16 Scariest Rides at Disneyland California

The Disneyland California Resort is home to two theme parks that are packed with fantastic adrenaline-inducing rides that are sure to delight.

Whether you’re on the hunt for the scariest rides at Disneyland California or looking for rides that perhaps you should avoid this list has you covered.

1. Pirates of the Caribbean

This immersive, yet dark thrill ride is the perfect amount of scare for teens and older kids but maybe a little too scary for younger guests.

Riders will travel across the seas and approach the Dead Men as they try to steal the treasure!

The ride is full of small drops, water, and loud music and given that it’s in relative darkness you can’t always see what’s coming next.

2. Space Mountain

Space Mountain is a favourite among many Disney goers as this indoor rollercoaster takes you on a journey into the unknown areas of deep outer space.

Full of quick twists and turns, spinning wormholes and big drops, it is a perfect ride for all thrill seekers!

Yet, even if the sudden movements aren’t scary enough the high speed through the darkness will surely get you. 

3. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

One of the newest rides at Disneyland is Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.

This simulation ride has been built using a trackless drop system that is so high tech it really makes you believe you’re part of the battle between the Resistance and the First Order.

This combined with the majority of the ride taking place in complete darkness can make it a thrilling experience for older Star Wars fans, but often a scary experience for younger guests.

4. Haunted Mansion 

The Haunted Mansion is just as it sounds…HAUNTED!

Riders will move slowly through the eerie atmosphere of the mansion as they encounter frightening ghosts, spirits, and unearthly creatures.

This may be a little dull for tweens and teens, nostalgic for adults and scary for children.

In fact, our six-year-old niece who is a little delicate decided after entering the house (in the holding area) that this would be the perfect time to need the toilet (because she was so scared).

5. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is a dark ride that features loud music and frightening scenes that can be scary for younger guests.

However, tweens, teens and adults will likely find this ride fun and even thrilling in parts as you cause some damage driving through the English Manor known as Toad Hall.

Throughout the ride, you’ll skirt past the hallways and drift around corners as you destroy everything in sight as you try to escape from the police and the unknown.

6. Indiana Jones Adventure

Those who dare to go on the Indiana Jones Adventure will experience a fast-paced treacherous journey through the cursed temple to rescue Jones before it’s too late.

This thrill ride is full of loud scary noises and drops that will have riders on the edge of their seat as mummies giant insects, snakes, and other dangers await them. 

7. Matterhorn Bobsleds

Matterhorn Bobsleds is one of the oldest rides inside the Disneyland Park. This ride sees you travel through the Swiss Alps on a scary adventure into the sky and into an ice cave where you’ll encounter none other than the Abominable Snowman!

This ride reaches a height of 80 feet and speeds of 43 km/h which make weaving through the dark shadows of the snow trying to escape a mystic monster a very thrilling experience.

8. Incredicoaster

Incredicoaster is one of the fastest rides inside the Disneyland California Adventure theme park taking guests from zero to 55mph in just four seconds.

The screams from other guests as the ride launches are no doubt going to instil fear into younger guests and excite older ones.

The ride is filled with big drops, loud noises tunnels and special effects as you take on the fast-paced mission to catch Jack-Jack.

9. Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission Breakout

Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission Breakout has recently replaced the iconic Hollywood Tower of Terror while keeping the accelerated drop tower ride theme.

Subsequently, this fast-paced mission containing loud music, scary projections and of course huge free-fall drops is thrilling for teens and adults but can be scary for younger guests.

The special effects used throughout this ride alongside the iconic music from the Guardians of the Galaxy movies make this ride one that you won’t quickly forget while the six different storylines you can experience will keep you coming back to this ride for more.

10. Radiator Springs Racers

This is a fantastic family-friendly ride which sees you zoom around the iconic Radiator Springs. However, don’t let the Pixar Cars theme of this ride fool you, reaching speeds of up to 64 km/h this ride is anything but tame.

During your journey, you’ll experience multiple small drops and encounter dark and scary scenes that might be frightening for younger guests.

11. Grizzly River Run

Grizzly River Run is a fantastic water-based ride that is sure to provide you with an adrenaline rush.

Passengers who dare to take on this ride will be white water rafting down a river, spinning around as you descend through the rapids until you reach the 45-foot drop and plummet to the bottom.

Be warned that alongside being thrilled from this ride you’re also likely to get very, very wet!

12. Goofy’s Sky School

Goofy’s Ski School is one of the more unique rides within Disney’s California Adventure.

Based on Disney’s 1940 short film Goofy’s Glider this ride takes you high above the ground and simulates the experience that you’re going to fall off the tracks (similar to a wild mouse ride).

13. Mad Tea Party

Mad Tea Party is one of the few original Disneyland attractions that still operate in the park today.

This ride sees guests board a giant teacup and turn the wheel to send them spinning, which in turn can cause a lot of motion sickness – especially if you head on the ride with over-excited young children.

14. Pixar Pal-A-Round

Those with a fear of heights are no doubt going to be terrified by the iconic 160-foot Ferris wheel that towers over the Disney California Adventure Park.

If the height wasn’t enough selected gondolas also have the ability to sway, which can leave some guests feeling incredibly uncomfortable – be sure to ask for a gondola without this feature if you’re too scared to experience this!

15. Snow White’s Enchanted Wish

The fact that Snow White’s Enchanted Wish was known as Snow White’s Scary Adventures should tell you all you need to know about this ride.

Thankfully, the scary parts have been toned back a little in a revamp that took place in 2020, however, there’s still a scene where the Evil Queen looks in a magic mirror, then turns around to reveal a frightening old witch instead which can be scary to younger guests.

This is especially notable since this ride has zero height requirement meaning that anyone of any age can ride.

16. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

While Big Thunder Mountain Railroad doesn’t have any crazy drops, scary characters or take you upside down it can still be incredibly scary reaching speeds of 40mph.

Overall, while parts of this ride are scary it’s still a lot of fun for the whole family and can be a fantastic introduction to rollercoasters for younger guests.

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