The Complete Guide to Attractions and Rides at California Adventure | Magic in the Planning

The Complete Guide to Attractions and Rides at California Adventure

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Rides at California Adventure have certainly evolved since the park’s opening on February 8, 2001. And while some of its key attractions weren’t instant hits, all of that has completely changed over the years. Many attractions were added and old attractions received major renovations and re-theming.

Through it all, Disney’s California Adventure Park has honestly become one of my favorite Disney parks. And with the brand new Avengers Campus now open, the rides at California Adventure are even more exciting!

 


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**The Disneyland Resort officially reopened to the public on April 30, 2021, and some experiences listed below have been temporarily suspended or modified due to the pandemic. Be sure to visit our official Disneyland reopening post for updated information to guide your vacation planning! 


 

Update… Disney is replacing FastPass and MaxPass with the brand new Disney Genie and Disney Genie+. The new system is very similar to Disneyland’s MaxPass as it is an add-on purchase allowing you to make “Lightning Lane” reservations throughout your day in the parks. There is also the option to purchase Individual Attraction reservations for select top-tier attractions. For more information, be sure to visit our guide. Happy Planning!

 

Avengers Campus

Guardians of the Galaxy at California Adventure | Magic in the PlanningGuardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!

  • Height Restrictions: 40 inches or taller may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: This dark ride based on the Guardians of the Galaxy is definitely a thrill ride. (Sudden drops in the dark can be quite thrilling!) While this ride certainly has its “ups and downs” (pun intended!), it isn’t necessarily scary. In fact, you will most likely find yourself laughing for most of the ride. 
  • Wait Time: High
  • Genie+ Attraction: Yes

 

WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure

  • Height Restrictions: Any height may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: When Spider-Bots malfunction and get stuck in replication mode (and make their escape from a WEB Workshop), you will join Spider-Man in defeating them before they wreak havoc on the Avengers Campus. This is a brand new family-friendly ride that will be interactive and allow you to take part in all the superhero action.
  • Genie+ Attraction: The Lightning Lane of this top-tier attraction is only available as an Individual Attraction purchase and not included as part of Genie+.
  • Virtual Queue: The virtual queue for this attraction was paused on November 4, 2021, but it could be utilized in the future during busier seasons.

 

 

Cars Land

Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters at California Adventure | Magic in the PlanningLuigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters

  • Height Restrictions: 32 inches or taller may enjoy (children under seven must be accompanied by someone age 14 years or older)
  • About the Attraction: This very cute ride lets you “dance” in a classic two-seater car. The car comfortably seats two adults, although we were able to fit two smaller adults and a young child. We chose to ride at night with all of the amazing lights of Radiator Springs.
  • Wait Time: 30 minutes or less on average
  • Genie+ Attraction: No

 

Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree

  • Height Restrictions: 32 inches or taller may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: Enjoy an old-fashioned spinning square dance in Mater’s salvage yard as you ride in trailers hitched to baby tractors. (This is a very fun attraction to ride at night!)
  • Wait Time: 20 minutes or less
  • Genie+ Attraction: No

 

Radiator Springs Racers in California Adventure | Magic in the PlanningRadiator Springs Racers

  • Height Restrictions: 40 inches or taller may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: This is hands-down one of my favorite rides at California Adventure… especially at night! Immerse yourself in the world of Radiator Springs by taking a drive through town. You may experience some surprises on the way! You will find yourself racing against another car for
  • Wait Time: This line can get quite long! (60+ minutes), so we highly recommend a FastPass. There is also a single rider option for those willing to split up their party.
  • Genie+ Attraction: The Lightning Lane of this top-tier attraction is only available as an Individual Attraction purchase and not included as part of Genie+.

 

Grizzly Peak

Grizzly River Run at California Adventure | Magic in the PlanningGrizzly River Run

  • Height Restrictions: 42 inches or taller may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: This water raft ride is quite the thrill. Be prepared to get wet soaked!
  • Wait Time: This ride has long lines, so be sure to take advantage of FastPass or ride during parades or nighttime shows. (They also offer a single rider line for this ride.)
  • Genie+ Attraction: Yes

 

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail

  • Height Restrictions: Any height may enjoy with the following exceptions: Cliff Hanger Traverse Rock Climb – 42 inches or taller, Hoot n’ Holler Log Slides – 32 inches or taller, Sequoia Smokejumpers Training Tower – must be between 42-63 inches tall and under age 13
  • About the Attraction: This is not a ride but rather a chance to explore the great outdoors with multiple activities for the whole family. 
  • Wait Time: Low
  • Genie+ Attraction: No

 

Soarin’ Around the World

  • Height Restrictions: 40 inches or taller may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: Take a simulated parasailing flight around the world in this 180-degree, 80-foot IMAX theatre. While it is a simulator, be prepared for heights, gentle motion, breathtaking sights, and even smells as you travel to some of the world’s most exciting destinations.
  • Wait Time: This ride has long lines, so be sure to take advantage of FastPass or ride during parades or nighttime shows.
  • Genie+ Attraction: Yes

 

Hollywood Land

Animation Academy

  • Height Restrictions: Any height may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: This hands-on animation workshop gives guests the opportunity to learn how to draw their favorite Disney characters.
  • Wait Time: Classes begin every 30 minutes
  • Genie+ Attraction: No

 

Mickey’s PhilharMagic

  • Height Restrictions: Any height may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: This is actually a 12-minute, 3D movie starring Donald Duck that features kid-friendly in-house special effects. Some of the songs include “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast, “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid, “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” from The Lion King, and “You Can Fly” from Peter Pan.
  • Wait Time: About 10-15 minutes
  • Genie+ Attraction: No

 

Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! | magicintheplanning.comMonsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!

  • Height Restrictions: Any height may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: This cute slow-moving dark ride is perfect for young kids and families who enjoyed the movie.
  • Wait Time: 10-20 minutes (sometimes less)
  • Genie+ Attraction: Yes

 

Sorcerer’s Workshop

  • Height Restrictions: Any height may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: Located in the Disney Animation Building, enter the “Magic Mirror Realm” and experience two hands-on exhibitions revealing the tricks of the animators’ art.
  • Wait Time: None
  • Genie+ Attraction: No

 

Turtle Talk with Crush

  • Height Restrictions: Any height may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: In this popular attraction, your family can chat live with the totally tubular sea turtle Crush from Finding Nemo!
  • Wait Time: Low
  • Genie+ Attraction: No

 

Pacific Wharf

The Bakery Tour

  • Height Restrictions: Any height may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: This walk-through attraction takes guests through the history of the Boudin Bakery, as well as how bread is baked for various restaurants throughout the Disneyland Resort
  • Wait Time: None
  • Genie+ Attraction: No

 

Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar

  • Height Restrictions: Any height may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: This tour takes you behind the scenes of the creation of Pixar Pier. This includes a behind-the-scenes video presentation, a Pixar Pier land model, and an interactive roller coaster model.
  • Wait Time: None
  • Genie+ Attraction: No

 

Paradise Gardens Park

Golden Zephyr

  • Height Restrictions: Any height may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: This is a simple swing ride that moves in circles much like Dumbo (only you don’t get to control the height of your vehicle.) It provides some amazing views of the park, especially at night.
  • Wait Time: Less than 10 minutes
  • Genie+ Attraction: No

 

Goofy’s Sky School

  • Height Restrictions: 42 inches or taller may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: This smaller roller coaster is based on a 1940 short cartoon called “Goofy’s Glider.” It can certainly be a great option for families with kids who want to ride a coaster but are too short (or not quite ready) to ride the Incredicoaster.
  • Wait Time: Can be up to 40 minutes on busy days. They do offer a single rider line.
  • Genie+ Attraction: Yes

 

Jumpin’ Jellyfish

  • Height Restrictions: 40 inches or taller may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: Take a gentle ride on a brightly colored jellyfish as a cable lifts the vehicle 40 feet in the air. You will then float back to earth, bobbing up and down on the way. This ride can be amazing beautiful at night.
  • Wait Time: Low (typically less than 10 minutes)
  • Genie+ Attraction: No

 

Ariel's Undersea Adventure in California Adventure | Magic in the PlanningThe Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

  • Height Restrictions: Any height may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: Go “under the sea” with Ariel inside a giant clamshell! This slow-moving dark ride takes you through the story of how Ariel found her prince and lived happily ever after.
  • Wait Time: Typically under 20 minutes
  • Genie+ Attraction: No

 

Silly Symphony Swings

  • Height Restrictions:48 inches to ride alone or 40 to ride in a double swing with a responsible person
  • About the Attraction: This swinging attraction (which is similar to the Golden Zephyr) is based on Walt Disney’s “Silly Symphonies.” In fact, you’ll find Mickey Mouse, the band conductor on top.
  • Wait Time: Typically 15-30 minutes
  • Genie+ Attraction: No

 

Pixar Pier

Games of Pixar Pier

  • Height Restrictions: Any height may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: Enjoy four different boardwalk games featuring your favorite Pixar characters. Games include La Luna Star Catcher, Heimlich’s Candy Corn Toss, WALL·E Space Race, and Bullseye Stallion Stampede. (Games require prepaid credits to play. You can purchase these credits at nearby dispensing machines.)
  • Wait Time: None
  • Genie+ Attraction: No

 

Incredicoaster at California Adventure | Magic in the PlanningIncredicoaster

  • Height Restrictions: 48 inches or taller may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: Featuring a 108-foot drop and a 360-degree loop, this high-speed roller coaster is incredible! But perhaps one of the best parts of this ride is the takeoff! Riding at night is amazing as well!
  • Wait Time: High. We recommend using a FastPass or taking advantage of the single rider line.
  • Genie+ Attraction: Yes

 

Emotional Whirlwind at California Adventure | Magic in the PlanningInside Out Emotional Whirlwind

  • Height Restrictions: Any height may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: Based on the movie Inside Out, take a ride on one of 8 “Memory Movers” as you fly in a circle. While this ride is super cute and colorful, it is quite simple much like the Dumbo ride in Disneyland.
  • Wait Time: Typical wait times are 30-40 minutes. It is a slow-moving ride that takes a while to load, which means, unfortunately, means longer wait times.
  • Genie+ Attraction: No

 

Jessie's Critter Carousel at California Adventure | Magic in the PlanningJessie’s Critter Carousel

  • Height Restrictions: Any height may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: This super cute carousel is based on the adorable desert critters from the world of Woody’s Roundup in Toy Story 2.
  • Wait Time: Typically 10-20 minutes
  • Genie+ Attraction: No

 

Pixar Pal-A-Round

  • Height Restrictions: Any height may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: This attraction is actually a 150-foot-tall Ferris wheel that includes a ride within a ride. Some of the gondolas slide along the interior curves of a loop as the wheel turns! Both swinging and non-swinging cars are available.
  • Wait Time: Swinging cars are typically 30-60 minutes. Non-swinging cars are typically 20-50 minutes.
  • Genie+ Attraction: No

 

Toy Story Midway Mania in California Adventure | Magic in the PlanningToy Story Midway Mania!

  • Height Restrictions: Any height may enjoy
  • About the Attraction: Shrink down to the size of one of Andy’s toys and take part in five different 3D carnival games featuring all of your favorite Toy Story characters. You will compete for the top prize (bragging rights, of course) with the person sitting to you, so be prepared to unleash your competitive side!
  • Wait Time: High. Be sure to take advantage of FastPass!
  • Genie+ Attraction: Yes

 

We hoped you enjoyed our guide to attractions and rides at California Adventure! Looking to plan your first Disneyland Resort vacation? Be sure to visit my step-by-step guide to start planning!

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