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My Disneyland “Must Ride” List

The Best Rides in the Happiest Place on Earth

Disneyland, the happiest place on earth—and most expensive. Well, maybe not most expensive. I’m sure we can all agree, though, the tickets, food and merchandise from Disneyland cost way too much. And yet, we buy all of it. What’s the reason? People don’t go for just the rides, they go for the experience. They sit down with their family and friends to watch the Pixar Play Parade and Fantasma. Personally, I’m more of a ride girl. My family and I don’t waste time watching firework shows and taking pictures with Mickey and the gang. We get as many Fast Passes as we can and hit all the best rides. Our record was 85 rides in four days, which includes our daily four hour naps. Since I’m so into the rides, I decided to make a list of five Disneyland rides that you won’t want to miss. Here it is, my Disneyland “Must Ride” list:

1. Space Mountain

The first ride on my “Must Ride” list is Space Mountain—my mom’s and many others’ personal favorite. This ride is located in Tomorrowland, the futuristic/space themed part of the park. This ride so much fun and is one of the only roller coaster-type rides in the whole park. Space Mountain takes you on an adventure through space, hence the name. It’s in total darkness and goes 35 mph, which may not sound like much, but trust me, it feels fast. And make sure to pay attention in the final tunnel and smile for the picture. The only problem is that this ride is really popular. The wait is rarely under half an hour, so this is where Fast Passes come in handy. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I rode Space Mountain without a Fast Pass.

3. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Next up, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Too long of a name for a ride if you ask me. This ride is located in Frontierland. Little fun fact, when I was younger, I loved this ride so much, but as I got got older, I started liking it less. But now, it’s definitely a must ride for me. This ride goes through mountains and into caves, and has a total of three lift hills. My favorite part of the ride is during the second lift hill. When you’re at the top, look to your left and you’ll spot the goat carrying dynamite in his mouth. If you do ride Thunder Mountain Railroad, I highly recommend asking to be in one of the back rows. You’ll get the best experience in the very back, but any of the final three rows works well. You may be tossed around just a bit, but it’s totally worth it. 

4. Splash Mountain

Another must ride is Splash Mountain, one of the more popular and very iconic rides of Disneyland. This ride can be found back by the Winnie The Pooh ride in Critter Country. Splash Mountain takes you through the story of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and Brer Bear. Brer Rabbit is causing trouble and Brer Fox and Brer Bear are trying to trap him. It doesn’t quite go their way. Brer Rabbit tricks them into thinking he doesn’t want to go to the briar patch. But really, he does. So, Brer Fox and Brer Bear throw Brer Rabbit into the briar patch and everyone lives happily ever after, sort of. And although this seems like a fun little Disney dark ride you go on with your tiny children, it’s more than that. Splash Mountain is a water ride that goes down multiple steep drops. The biggest one drops you 49 feet at a 45 degree angle. Plus, it drops at a speed of 40 mph. Splash Mountain also has many cheerful songs and a total of 103 audio-animatronics singing and somewhat dancing.

4. Pirates of the Caribbean

The next ride on my list is Pirates Of The Caribbean, one of the only rides in New Orleans Square. This ride is another personal family favorite. And another popular ride, so get your Fast Pass. This ride takes about 15 and a half minutes to go on. But it’s totally worth it. It’s a water ride that takes you through many different scenes. There’s a battle scene between land and a ship, burning down a village, pirates locked in a cell and of course, Captain Jack Sparrow being, well, Captain Jack Sparrow. You can actually spot Jack in multiple different scenes in the ride. One time, Johnny Depp dressed as Jack Sparrow and surprised fans on the ride. This ride will always please you, and definitely deserves to be on the must ride list.

Before I move on to my final ride, here are some honorable mentions. Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Star Tours and Alice In Wonderland. These may not be in my top five, but they’re definitely ones to check out and ride for yourself. 

5. The Haunted Mansion

And now, the final choice on my “Must Ride” list is, The Haunted Mansion. The Haunted Mansion is my all time favorite Disneyland ride. As a kid, I didn’t really care for it. But when I got older, I started noticing so much about the ride that just makes me love it more and more. This ride is in New Orleans Square, and is a slow moving, dark ride. You travel through the haunted mansion and meet the residents, the first of which being a ghost host who explains that there are 999 happy haunts living there. Then you meet Madame Leota, the floating head who is trying to make contact with the spirits. Next you approach the ballroom scene. Ghosts are dancing and if you look closely, you can spot the spider web covering up the bullet hole in the glass. Next you go through the attic and are met face-to-face with my favorite dude in the whole park, The Hatbox Ghost. He’s a ghost who can take his head off and place it in the hatbox he’s holding. You end with going through the graveyard and finally, a mirror will show a ghost sitting next to you in your seat. It’s a lot to take in at once, but it’s so much fun. Plus it’s nicely air conditioned, which is nice in the hot California weather. This ride is great for little kids as well. It’s not as scary as it appears to be.

And with that, I end my Disneyland “Must Ride” list. All of these rides are so much fun and each provides a completely different experience. So the next time you go to Disneyland, make sure to check out these rides. You’ll be glad you did.

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My Disneyland “Must Ride” List
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