On July 17, 1955 the amusement and entertainment world changed forever with the opening of Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Parades, fireworks and amazing shows delight the crowds, but the big thrills come from the rides. Here are the 5 best rides in Disneyland:
1. Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy is full of thrills for children and tweens. Anyone 40″ tall or over can ride this meteor-blasting rocket ride that takes visitors through the galaxy and into the Dome of Doom. Kids will hear spooky acoustics and see vibrating, pulsating lights. The ride bumps and careens through the darkness as ghoulish apparitions try to grab riders. There are star fields, glowing meteors, and unearthly sounds as this ride propels riders forward into the blackness of the galaxy. While this ride is a lot of fun, it may be scary for younger children. This ride is located in Tomorrowland.
2. Located in Critter Country, Splash Mountain is log flume water ride, perfect for cooling off on a hot day. The glide is deceptively smooth. Just coast past Critter Place and Br’er Fox’s Lair. The animals are singing and all is lovely…well, at least guests think it is. The culmination of the ride is a hair-raising 5 story plunge down Splash Mountain that will leave riders breathless. Lots of fun songs and cooling water sprays accompany visitors on this ride that is great for children and adults 40″ and taller.
3. Matterhorn Bobsleds in Fantasyland are built to fill that urge for speed. Outrun the Abominable Snowman by fleeing on a bobsled. Going into the Swiss chalet rail station will have riders holding on to their hats as the winds howl around them. The ascent takes guests 80′ high into an icy cave – the lair of the Abominable Snowman – before crashing out of the side of the mountain and whizzing down the mountainside. Hang on around icy precipices and over frozen bridges. See the jagged rocks as you cling on for the ride to the bottom where a shallow alpine lake means you have outrun the snowy monster. This ride is for people 42″ or taller.
4. No visit to Disneyland would be complete without riding the Mad Tea Party, an original ride in the park. Since 1955 visitors of any height have enjoyed this spinning tea cup ride that is fun for all ages. Inspired by Alice in Wonderland, this ride holds up to 5 people in one tea cup – perfect for families. Spin the wheel in the middle to go faster. The other ‘tea cups’ on the plate will splash so close to that it looks like a collision is sure to ensue. All of the cups spin around a giant tea pot as fun music fills the air.
5. The Jungle Cruise in Adventureland is perfect for any heights and all ages. Grandparents can enjoy a ride with their grandchildren on this one. This slow boat tours riders through the remote rivers to see gorillas, cobras and more. The MeKong River features an old shrine overrun with vines and baboons. The African Congo has an abandoned Pygmy site. The Nile River has a band of headhunters and they are looking for riders on the steam boat – but don’t fear – the skipper of the boat is brave and clever.
Disneyland is divided into 8 parts – Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Critter Country, Mickey’s Toontown, Frontierland, New Orleans Square and Main Street USA. Guests can enjoy any or all of the ‘neighborhoods’ as they ride the newest adventure attractions or enjoy an old favorite from the original Disneyland theme park.