Top 5 Attractions at Disneyland To Experience at Night

Disneyland rides are always magical at any time of day, but there are certain outdoor rides that possess a special charm at night. Especially for seasoned parkgoers who have been on Disneyland rides more times than they can count, enjoying rides during the night can be a fun way to experience your favorites in a whole new light. We will take you through five of our favorite Disneyland and Disney California Adventure rides to do at night and what makes the experience special!

1) Pixar Pal-A-Round. If you’re comfortable with spending some time high up over the parks at a slower pace, this Ferris wheel in Pixar Pier provides a great view of Disney California Adventure and glimpses of Disneyland with gorgeous nighttime lighting.

With the park lit up below you, you might catch details from this bird’s-eye view that you’ve never noticed before. It’s the perfect way to reflect on your day at the park, rest your feet, and soak in the stunning view. The hours to ride after dark are limited because of the World of Color shows each night.

2) The Mad Tea Party. While the classic, whimsical ride that invites guests to celebrate their unbirthday party is always charming during the day, it’s extra special to ride at night. With the lanterns glowing overhead and the vibrance of the pastel-colored teacups emphasized, the ride is eye-catching from a distance, captivating to watch while waiting in the queue, and even more magical to experience from the inside.

3) Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The worldbuilding of this mine train adventure is truly spectacular, between its beautiful red rock formations and all of the intricate details of the haunted gold mine. While Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a thrill during the day and one of the best rollercoasters at Disneyland in general, the lighting effects make it a real treat to ride at night.

The darkness also sharpens the effects of the ride, especially in the dynamite explosion scene, and you can more clearly see details that are more subdued when it’s daytime. Many enjoy riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad during the fireworks for a unique view of the show!

4) Radiator Springs Racers. The incredible theming of this immersive part-dark ride, part-outdoor thrill ride is such that it’s already a treat to ride during the day, but it’s designed to be a jaw-dropping experience at night.

On your way to the ride, the entirety of Cars Land is lit up with stunning neon lights and signs. The beauty of the Ornament Valley scene at nighttime is unparalleled, with the beauty of the bridge and waterfall all lit up before you venture into the dark ride portion of the attraction. During the racing portion of the ride, the rock formations surrounding the track are also enhanced with lighting effects, and it’s quite a sight to glimpse the neon Cars Land lights as you go zooming across the track. You’ll zoom right by Flo’s V8 cafe which is one of our top best Disneyland restaurants.

5) Matterhorn Bobsleds. Matterhorn Bobsleds, one of the classic not-to-miss rides at Disneyland, takes you on a high-speed adventure across the mountain to escape the Abominable Snowman. Some new rides at Disneyland struggle to compete with this attraction’s classic charm. The height of the ride gives you a particularly amazing vantage point to see Disneyland and Disney California Adventure lit up below.

The blue lighting also makes the premise of the ride a touch spookier, and the thrill of the rollercoaster feels more intense due to the darkness. Riding Matterhorn Bobsleds is a standout ride to experience at night, as it provides both a thrill and a magical view of the parks.

If you’re looking for a unique experience on these Disneyland and Disney California Adventure rides, make sure to give them a try during the night. The nighttime effects are truly impressive and amplify what is already special about these beloved attractions. You can see our full list of rides to do at night in our guide along with our take on what makes them stand out!

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Gavin Doyle
Gavin Doyle is the founder of and the best-selling author of “Disneyland Secrets”. Mickey Visit has been featured by Travel+Leisure, ABC, the LA Times, OC Register, Forbes, and more and reaches millions of readers planning Disney vacations each month. Over 100K subscribers receive their free email planning newsletter.