Top 5 Must Ride Attractions in Disneyland

There are so many attractions at Disneyland. How do you know what are the must ride attractions? If you’re new to our blog, welcome. We are four sisters with a passion for Disney; writing a blog in our four distinct voices, indicated by colour. We were going to write a blog outlining the must ride attractions in Disneyland,  but then I realized there was not a chance that four sisters would come up with a single “must-do” list. Then it hit me. Each sister will give their “Rider Profile” followed by their Top 5 rides. Because what you like in a ride will change what is on your “must-do” list.

Rider Profile #1: Erica

Simply sentimental. 


I’m a mom of 3 girls between ages 5-11. We have had more than 10 Disneyland trips as a family since our oldest was born. I have an emotional attachment to nearly every corner in Disneyland. That fence by Pirates where we parked our strollers. The bush by Splash Mountain where I put the stroller with our second child so she couldn’t make eye contact and would FINALLY go to sleep. (It sounds terrible but I was right there and she needed people to stop bugging her!)

So for me to narrow down to 5 rides… it’s a tough one.

But here I go:

1) Matterhorn Bobsleds (especially at night)

2) Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

3) Alice in Wonderland

4) Casey Jr. Circus Train

5) Autopia

For me it’s all about building the core memories, and then once you do, it’s hard to talk me out of how wonderful those rides are. My list is really based on going as a family and doing things with littles… the rides that even the adults will enjoy! I love experiencing Disney through the eyes of my kids and our nephews and nieces. We have also been with teenagers for youth ministries, and seeing them go on the rides for my kids has had a huge impact on which rides are highlights for me.

Rider Profile #2: Heidi

Atmosphere aficionado. All about the feels. Tummy flips, happy songs, nostalgic smells. Basically anything that makes me grin from start to finish is my jam. 

Must ride attractions Heidi

1) Splash Mountain

2) Space Mountain

3) Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

4) Alice in Wonderland

5) Pirates of the Caribbean 

It’s hard to pick my top 5 favorite attractions because it’s not a few attractions that make Disneyland so magical. It’s the collection of all the sights, sounds and rides that make it special for me. But the rides that make me grin from start to finish are the ones listed. Splash Mountain is the perfect mix of thrill and happy for me. You get the tummy flips but in between it’s just fun from start to finish. Space Mountain is just fun. The combination of the music, being in the dark, and the dips and twists just make for a solid thrill.

Big Thunder IS the wildest ride in the wilderness. I remember going on this ride with my late grandfather so it just holds a special place in my heart. PRO TIP: Keep your eyes on the goat holding the stick of dynamite for an extra thrill. Alice in Wonderland makes you feel like you are in the movie. It’s just a really beautifully done ride. Pirates of the Caribbean is great because it’s a nice, long, cool ride. They added Captain Jack Sparrow a couple of years ago which only made it better. 

Rider Profile #3: Elisia

Ride enthusiast. No ride is too big, no drop is big enough. Gimme them thrill rides all day, e’ry day.


1) Space Mountain

2) Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

3) Matterhorn Bobsleds

4) Peter Pan’s Flight

5) Jungle Cruise

Space Mountain is an obvious one. I LOVE to be in the very front, because your eyes stream tears from the sheer speed, and it’s just… amazing. Big Thunder is a solid wooden roller coaster. It’s fun to go on in the dark, and is a high capacity ride, so usually the line up goes quite quickly. Matterhorn is number three for a reason. It is very jerky, so if you have back problems, or a history of whiplash, you may want to skip this one. The left track is faster than the right track, and it is led by gravity, so if you put the heaviest people in the front, you will get the most momentum. It is also a great one to go on in the dark, as you get a really nice view of Fantasyland.

If you don’t plan on spending any time in Fantasyland, that would be a mistake. Peter Pan often has a very long line (think 45 min plus), but if you have the time, it is the best Fantasyland ride. Just pure magic. Finally, one of my top rides is the Jungle Cruise. I love that you sit down, and just smile (and often laugh) from start to finish. The “skippers” are hilarious, and tell jokes both new and old (ladies and gentleman, the moment you’ve all been waiting for… the eighth wonder of the world… the back… side… of… water!). It’s one the entire family can go on, and as a bonus, it becomes a Christmas-themed ride (The Jingle Cruise) from November to January!

Rider Profile #4: Danielle

A not-too-fast, not-too-slow kind of rider. Likes ’em just right. Gamer.

must ride attractions Danielle

1) Pirates of the Caribbean

2) Peter Pan’s Flight 

3) Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

4) Space Mountain

5) Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

Pirates of the Caribbean has always been a favorite of mine, in part because it was our Dad’s favorite, plus it’s cool and a good length which is a nice break from the heat. It got even better once they added characters from the movie to spot! Peter Pan’s Flight is a classic that even as an adult I have to go on at LEAST once a trip! There isn’t much to be said about the Mountains that hasn’t already been said so I’ll move on to Astro Blasters. As the biggest gamer of the sisters I enjoy the challenge of this ride along with the visuals. I always make it my goal to be the top scorer of the family (which often doesn’t happen if I’m there with Heidi and her husband because he is GOOD). Plus who doesn’t want to save the galaxy with Buzz Lightyear? 


Enough about us, we’d LOVE to hear from YOU!! What are your top 5 must ride attractions and why?? For our must do attractions at DCA, check out our blog post here.

Comment below, and have a magical day!

Erica, Heidi, Elisia and Danielle

5 thoughts on “Top 5 Must Ride Attractions in Disneyland

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  1. My little one (well, she’s 19 now) was afraid of most of the rides. She settled on Winnie the Pooh…and when I say settled, I mean we did that ride over and over. For hours. There was no line and we’d get off and right back on again. The attendant said “sweetheart, you could take your mom on other rides, you know”. She said “no thank you. Mommy just wants to stay with me”. And I did 🙂

  2. My top 5: 1. Space Mountain, 2. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, 3. Pirates of the Carribbean, 4. Indiana Jones, 5. Peter Pan. I’m in withdrawal…I was only there last weekend. Oh and if you include Disney California Adventure: Cars, Grizzly River, Soarin around the world (if I sit on the bottom) and now I can add Incredicoaster! I don’t have a 5th.

    1. I love this!!! So many memories wrapped up in the rides for sure. And I always want to go back right after we leave… you can never have too much Disney!

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