Top 5 Disneyland Thrill Rides You Shouldn’t Miss

Disneyland is home to a great variety of attractions with something for everyone, from gentler kid-friendly dark rides to thrilling, immersive adventures that will get your heart racing. If you haven’t visited the resort before, or if you have little ones who are just venturing into the world of thrill rides, you may be wondering which you should try and what to expect.

Some of the most popular attractions on property are thrill rides, and these stand out due to their incredible theming and execution. From roller coasters to drop rides, there are plenty of rides that will provide a thrilling experience for visitors. Keep reading for the top 5 Disneyland thrill rides, why you should consider riding them, and what you need to know! These rides will have lines on the most crowded Disneyland days.

1) Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! If you are looking for the ultimate thrill, look no further than this accelerated drop ride located in Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure. The ride takes you on an adventure to free the Guardians from the Collector, who has captured them and put them on display. Rocket recruits your help in this chaotic rescue mission that features six different potential Guardians songs and drop sequences that you can get.

The ride has a very upbeat tone, and the other guests in the gantry lift are often cheering and dancing to the music. The ride perfectly combines thrills and a fun storyline to make this a can’t-miss experience.

For guests who are dipping their toes into the world of more thrilling rides, we would recommend first seeing how you do with attractions with intense motion like the Incredicoaster and Indiana Jones Adventure before going on this ride. While the sensation of free-falling may be loads of fun for some, it can be a bit scary for others, especially younger kids.

2) Rise of the Resistance in Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland Park is another great thrill ride that is easily one of the most impressive rides Disney has ever created. This is one of the most popular rides at the park that can be accessed via Individual Lightning Lane purchase or standby line.

While the focus of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! is heavily centered around the drops, the experience in Rise of the Resistance is on the intricate worldbuilding and incredible effects that bring the ride to life. At every turn, you’ll feel as if you truly are onboard a First Order Star Destroyer racing to escape with threats like blaster fire, Kylo Ren, and a battle raging outside. The level of detail throughout the ride is truly impressive and will leave your heart pounding no matter how many times you’ve ridden it.

Though this ride is thrilling, it does not contain as intense motion as some others on this list—the one drop towards the end is small and not comparable to the bigger drops on Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!.

3) Radiator Springs Racers is one of the best thrill rides at the parks located in Cars Land at Disney California Adventure. You can access it via Individual Lightning Lane entry, but we recommend utilizing Single Rider to bypass the long standby lines.

Radiator Springs Racers starts off with a scenic tour of Ornament Valley, then heads into the dark ride portion that takes you through some iconic moments from the film and through the town of Radiator Springs, culminating in a thrilling high-speed outdoor race that reaches a top speed of 40 mph! The worldbuilding and storyline make this one of the best overall Disneyland rides that takes you right into the heart of the Cars film.

This is a great ride for those who may be uncertain about the bigger thrill rides or younger kids who are starting to venture into the world of more intense rides. You won’t get whipped around too much and will enjoy variety in pacing throughout the ride with the thrill of the high-speed race at the end.

4) Space Mountain is one of the best Disneyland roller coasters that is located in Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park. The ride’s premise is simple yet incredibly fun as you blast off to space and race through the darkness among the stars, with music that perfectly complements the action of the ride.

While not as intense as Disney California Adventure’s Incredicoaster, Space Mountain largely owes its intensity to the fact that it’s in the dark with thrilling drops and turns that you can’t anticipate. This can be a bit scary for kids who are not already familiar with the motion of a roller coaster, so we would recommend trying gentler options like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad first.

This is one of the most popular rides at the park, and we recommend riding it early in the day with our Disneyland morning strategy and using Genie+ Lightning Lane entry if you want to ride it again later on in the day.

5) Indiana Jones Adventure is one of the best thrill rides located in Adventureland at Disneyland Park. In this extremely immersive experience, you’ll brave the perils of the Temple of the Forbidden Eye as you rush to escape with the help of Indiana Jones. You’ll encounter screaming mummies, giant snakes, and even a giant rolling boulder during this high-stakes adventure. The design of the ride is truly remarkable and makes you feel as if you’ve been transported into another world.

While Indiana Jones Adventure does not reach high speeds like some of the roller coasters at the park, it has a lot of motion, throwing riders around as the transport navigates over extremely rough and bumpy terrain. If you are looking for a thrill, this ride will be perfect for you, but it may be initially scary for younger riders due to how immersive and intense it is.

These incredible thrill rides are just a few of the amazing attractions that are offered at Disneyland. For the must-do rides you shouldn’t miss during your visit, be sure to see our Disneyland 1-Day itinerary and 1-Day Disney California Adventure itinerary for everything you need to know.

At Mickey Visit, we share the most important tips for planning your trips to Disneyland, Walt Disney World, Disney Cruise Line, Universal, and beyond. Each week, we’ll share some of our top tips here on Laughing Place.

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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.