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Planning a trip to Disneyland? Want to make sure you get to experience the best of the best during your trip? To help you get the most bang for your buck, here is my list of can’t miss things to do in Disney’s California Adventure.
1. Radiator Springs Racers
First up on my list of the can’t miss things to do in Disney’s California Adventure is Radiator Springs Racers. This is the headliner ride in the Carsland section of the park.
It is also, arguably, the most popular ride in the entire park. And for good reason: it is a blast for people of all ages! Head here as soon as the park opens to make sure you get to ride this one at least once on your trip!
After boarding cars, you ride through a series of show scenes getting some help from the residents of Radiator Springs. Then, you race another car through the open landscape of the surrounding area to a thrilling finish. It is way more fun than it seems like it should be!
Please note that the height requirement for this ride is 40″.
2. Soarin’ Over the World
Want to experience the thrill and freedom of flying while enjoying some of the world’s most beautiful landmarks? Then, Soarin’ Over the World, located in Grizzly Peak, is for you!
This innovative ride simulates the sensation of hang gliding by combining a unique swing structure with an Imax movie where you fly over the world’s most famous landmarks. Disney really sells this experience by adding in 4D elements, such as wind, water, and scents from the movie.
You will walk away saying “Wow!” Even though I don’t enjoy heights, I love this ride.
Children must be at least 40″ tall to ride Soarin’.
This is the one attraction on this list that may not be appropriate for younger members of the family or those who really don’t like thrills, because it is an intense roller coaster.
The Incredicoaster used to be California Screamin’, but it has been rethemed around the Incredibles. It includes a rocket launch, inversions, and speed.
My son decided this was a one and done, but my husband declared it the best roller coaster he had ever ridden. I fell somewhere in between.
The daredevils in your family will love this one, but the more timid members will probably want to avoid it.
Find the Incredicoaster in Pixar Pier. The height requirement for the Incredicoaster is 48″.
4. Toy Story Mania
If you have read my list of the best things to do at Hollywood Studios, you know that I think Toy Story Mania is one of the best rides ever created.
It is just a fun experience for everyone in the family. You should definitely ride this one because it is one of the best can’t miss things to do in Disney’s California Adventure.
On Toy Story Mania, you will feel like you are in the midst of a video game! Once you are in your ride vehicle, you use a spring-loaded gun to compete in a series of carnival games hosted by the characters of Toy Story.
In each game, you earn points. Your car keeps track of your score throughout all the games. While you can compete against other person in your car, you can also work together to open up secret bonus targets for even higher scores.
This ride is located in the Pixar Pier section of California Adventure.
5. Goofy’s Sky School
Goofy’s Sky School, located in Pixar Pier, is a fun little introduction to roller coasters for kids. Your kids will probably love this one more than you will because it tends to be a little on the rough side. But, luckily, it is short and has small, quick dips and turns that will make your children squeal with delight.
This is a great roller coaster for those who are scared of heights or intense coasters because it is pretty tame in the grand scheme of things.
There is a lot of cute theming here too, so look for all the fun details as you wait in line and board the ride.
The height requirement for this is 42″.
6. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue
Next on my list of the can’t miss things to do in Disney’s California Adventure is Mike & Sully to the Rescue. You will find this one in Hollywood Land.
It is a classic dark ride where you join the best friends as they race through the scare factory to get Boo back home.
The Roz audio-animatronic at the end is pretty impressive.
This is a cute ride that everyone can enjoy. There are lots of fun details from the monster world throughout the ride and queue, so keep an eye out for those!
7. Turtle Talk with Crush
Turtle Talk with Crush is a show, but it is one of the funniest things in all of California Adventure.
Basically, you sit on benches in a theater while children sit on the carpet down in front. Through the magic of Disney, Crush, the sea turtle from Finding Nemo, talks to the kids for 15-20 minutes. He asks the kids questions and they get the chance to ask him some questions.
You never know what little nuggets will come out during these shows. Because of the audience participation factor, every show is different.
If you go to Disneyland with children, you need to go see this show. You will be laughing the rest of the day!
It is located in Hollywood Land.
There are three rides in Carsland, but it is so much more than rides.
This land is so detailed and immersive that you will feel like you just stepped through a movie screen and on to the streets of Radiator Springs. The entire land is a feast for the eyes.
Take some time during your day at California Adventure to just walk around and enjoy the environment of this land. There are shops, restaurants, and lots of photo ops.
This land is fabulous during the day, but it takes on a whole new life at nighttime where it comes alive with neon lights everywhere. Be sure to take some time to absorb it all during both the day and night.
9. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is one of the three rides in Carsland. It is not a headliner, but is a fun little ride to be enjoyed by adults and kids alike.
Basically, you sit in one of the cute little tractors from the movie while Mater plays some country music. The tractors swing and whip you around from side to side.
It is very similar to the Aliens Swirling Saucers ride at Hollywood Studios in Florida. This is one of those rides where you and your kids will be laughing the whole time.
Kids must be 32″ to ride.
10. Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters is the last ride you will find in Carsland. Like Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, it is a little ride that will have you giggling the entire time.
Here, Luigi has brought in some of his Italian car friends to perform with you as their dance partner. The cars move in unexpected ways as they dance around each other.
It is so much fun! You can’t help but enjoy this cute addition to the park. Your kids are sure to love it too!
This also has a height requirement of 32″.
I hope you can use this list of the can’t miss things to do in Disney’s California Adventure during your next trip to Disneyland. You are sure to love your time here anytime you experience these ten attractions.
They are (almost) all fun for the whole family. And they are all a great way to have fun with your kids during a day at Disney.
To get tickets for Disneyland and California Adventure, visit Disney’s website.
For more tips, see Disney trips with grandparents, the best things to do in Disneyland, Disneyland’s Toontown, and my list of unique quick-service restaurants in Disneyland.
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