Disneyland is a theme park within the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California conceived by Walt Disney. Here is a list of the current attractions found therein, arranged by “land” and with brief descriptions. Please note that these are only attractions from the Disneyland park itself, not from Disney’s California Adventure or other parts of the Disneyland Resort, and that parades and character meets are not listed in this article.
- Main Street, USA
- New Orleans Square
- Critter Country
- Mickey’s Toontown
Main Street, USA
Disneyland Railroad (opened 1955; originally called Santa Fe & Disneyland Railroad, 1955-1974) The Disneyland Railroad travels around the park, making stops at Main Street U.S.A., New Orleans Square, Mickey’s Toontown, and Tomorrowland. A narrator points out interesting facts and sights. In a tunnel between the Tomorrowland and Main Street stops there is a diorama of the Grand Canyon and the prehistoric world of dinosaurs.
Main Street Cinema (opened 1955) A small, indoor movie theater with several screens, each showing a different early black and white Mickey Mouse short. With the exception of Steamboat Willie, all the cartoons are silent; an old-fashioned-sounding soundtrack plays on a loop.
Main Street Vehicles (opened various years) These include the Fire Engine, the Horse-Drawn Streetcars, the Horseless Carriage, and the Omnibus. They travel up and down Main Street, with a stop on each end. The Walt Disney Story, featuring “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” (“Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” opened 1965, closed 1973, reopened 1975, closed February 20, 2005; The Walt Disney Story opened 1973) In the lobby, an exhibit about Walt Disney is set up, and guests look at it while waiting for the Great Moments portion to begin. When it does, they are escorted into a theater, where an full-sized animatronic robot of Abraham Lincoln recites the Gettysburg Address. This attraction is currently closed while an exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of Disneyland is constructed. Mr. Lincoln is scheduled to return following the festivities.
Disneyland The First 50 Magical Years (opened May 5th, 2005) An exhibit and a movie featuring Steve Martin and Donald Duck about Disneyland’s first 50 years. This exhibit is currently in the Main Street Opera House, and features a 12 foot by 12 foot scale model of Disneyland at opening day.
Astro Orbitor (opened 1998) Similar to the Rocket Jets of previous years, this is a ride in which the guests board a small personal “spaceship”, which then flies around in a circle in the air, going up and down around a sort of high-tech maypole.
Autopia (opened 1955) The guests drive small cars around on a preguided track, retaining relative freedom but not the ability to drive off the course (this was a lesson the Disneyland officials learned the hard way). The current version is a consolidation of the two former Autopias (one was in Fantasyland and one in Tomorrowland). This attraction has been updated several times since 1955, most recently on June 29, 2000.
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (opened 2005) Guests ride in spaceship-like cars armed with infrared laser guns. Guests must aim at targets and accumulate points to try and get a high score.
Disneyland Monorail System (opened 1959) This monorail train currently travels over Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, and much of Disney’s California Adventure and the Downtown Disney District, with stops at Tomorrowland and in Downtown Disney, near the Disneyland Hotel.
“Honey, I Shrunk the Audience” (opened 1998) A 3-D movie produced as a sort of sequel to Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, starring Rick Moranis, Marcia Strassman, Eric Idle, and Robert Oliveri. The basic storyline is that Moranis, as inventor Wayne Szalinski, is demonstrating his shrinking machine at an inventors’ awards show and accidentally shrinks the audience. The audience members are given such impressions as dog’s sneezing, the auditorium moving, and mice crawling up their legs. The attraction is based on a similar one at Walt Disney World. The theater it plays in is called the Magic Eye Theater (opened 1986 but completely retrofitted specifically for the new film).
Innoventions (opened 1998) A large round building housing various games and demonstrations of new technologies, much like Epcot. Built in the former Carousel of Progress, the outer ring of the building still spins when the attraction is open.
Space Mountain (opened 1977, closed 2003, reopened 2005) An indoor roller coaster in the dark. The original white exterior was painted green/gold in 1997, only to be restored to its original white in late 2003. The ride was very popular, but was closed without warning on April 10, 2003. During the closure, the entire track was removed and rebuilt (but with the same layout), and all of the special effects were updated. The ride reopened on July 15, 2005 as part of Disneyland’s fiftieth anniversary celebration.
Starcade (opened 1977) A large arcade featuring the latest games, air hockey, and often new motion-simulation games. Formerly occupying two levels, currently only the lower level is open.
Star Tours (opened 1987) A motion-simulation ride based on the Star Wars universe. The riders are “supposed to” be taking a trip on a space cruiser to the forest moon of Endor, but the robotic pilot (voiced by Paul Reubens) manages to mess things up and get the ship into all sorts of trouble, including icy comets and battles at the Death Star, before safely making it to the moon, where the passengers disembark. The ride queue is particularly entertaining as it features various audio-animatronics of Star Wars characters and scripted events every few minutes.
Alice in Wonderland (opened 1958) One of the many so-called “dark rides” of Disneyland (especially Fantasyland), this attraction has riders loaded into large brightly-colored caterpillars, which then go through a series of indoor displays that basically tell the story of the movie. An interesting note is that Kathryn Beaumont recorded the voice of Alice for the ride as she did in the Disney film.
Casey Jr. Circus Train (opened 1955) Guests ride in various cars of a small “circus train” and see a plethora of miniaturized towns, houses, etc.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant (opened 1955) A ride similar in design to the Astro Orbitor, riders can “fly” in replicas of the title character from the movie Dumbo.
Fantasyland Theatre (opened 1985 as Videopolis, became Fantasyland Theatre 1995) An outdoor theater that performs various plays based on Disney movies and characters.
“it’s a small world” (opened 1966) A boat ride through a tour of displays depicting various world cultures. Animatronic dolls sing the show’s famous theme song in many languages. Its theme song was written by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. The ride was originally created for the 1964/1965 New York World’s Fair. During the Christmas season, the ride is overhauled and given a winter holiday theme, a tradition dating to 1997.
King Arthur Carrousel (opened 1955) A carrousel featuring antique horses.
Mad Tea Party (opened 1955) Riders board any one of a number of brightly-colored teacups on a large platform. The platform moves in a circle, the teacups are also on smaller moving circles on the platform, and the riders can turn a wheel in the center of each teacup to make the cup itself spin around. Located adjacent to the Alice in Wonderland attraction.
Matterhorn Bobsleds (opened 1959) A sort of roller coaster ride that runs through a 1/64-scale reproduction of the Matterhorn mountain in the Alps. It is probably better known for its design than its ride. It is the only structure in the Disneyland park easily visible from the freeway. This attraction was the first roller coaster to use tubular steel track.
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (opened 1955) A dark ride based on The Wind in the Willows.
Peter Pan’s Flight (opened 1955) A unique variation on the dark ride theme, the rider “flies” in pirate ships through a creative interpretation of the Disney version of Peter Pan, traveling over London and then through Neverland.
Pinocchio’s Daring Journey (opened 1983) A dark ride through the story of Pinocchio.
Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough (opened 1955) A walkthrough display of the story of Sleeping Beauty located inside the Sleeping Beauty Castle. (This attraction is currently closed for refurbishment and its reopening date is unknown.)
Snow White’s Scary Adventures (opened 1955 as Snow White’s Adventures) A dark ride based on Disney’s first animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
Storybook Land Canal Boats (opened 1956) A boat ride with much of the same sights as the Casey Jr. Circus Train, but with a different layout and more leisurely pace. At the beginning of the ride, the boat travels through the mouth of Monstro the whale from Pinocchio.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (opened 1979) Another roller coaster, this one taking place on a runaway mine train. It replaced the more sedate “Rainbow Mine Train” ride and many of that attraction’s elements were incorporated into Big Thunder Mountain.
Fantasmic! poster at DisneylandFantasmic! (opened 1992) A highly elaborate water show in the Rivers of America. It features light effects, live actors, water stunts, and famous Disney characters.
Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition (opened 1957 as Frontierland Shooting Gallery, became Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade 1985, Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition 1996) A shooting gallery. In previous years actual BB guns were used; safer laser-powered guns are currently in use instead.
Mark Twain Riverboat (opened 1955) A large paddlewheel boat that makes a twenty-minute round trip through the Rivers of America, with a recording playing that points out various sights to see.
Sailing Ship Columbia (opened 1958) A sailing ship with the same route as the Mark Twain Riverboat, but smaller and designed as a pirate ship. Rafts to Tom Sawyer Island Large powered wooden rafts convey visitors to Tom Sawyer Island, which is surrounded by the Rivers of America and contains a western fort and a simulated old-west cemetery, Injun Joe’s Cave, the elaborate Tom’s Treehouse, barrel and suspension bridges to Smuggler’s Cove, and Tom and Huck’s Castle Rock, all designed primarily for children to climb and play on although they are all large and sturdy enough for adventurous adults to follow.
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room (opened 1963) A showcase of animatronic technology, featuring singing birds, flowers, and tiki poles. The Enchanted Tiki Room was the first Disneyland attraction to run entirely by animatronics.
Indiana Jones Adventure (opened 1995) A ride based on the popular Indiana Jones franchise. It is an extremely elaborate combination of the dark rides and a motion simulator (the Jeep the riders are in has a motion-control device that moves and shakes the upper section of the vehicle). The basic concept is that looking into “the Eye of Mara” will cause untold calamity, and of course it is virtually impossible not to look. Among many other dangers, the ride climaxes with a recreation of the gigantic boulder from Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Jungle Cruise (opened 1955) A “skipper” “pilots” a boat (actually on an underwater rail) through a jungle inhabited by wild animals and savages. The river is set in a jungle, combining African, South American, and Indian elements. It is presented as a sight-seeing tour in the early 20th century. The skippers originally followed a straight-forward script, but after Walt Disney heard a couple of guests commenting that they didn’t need to go on the ride a second time because there was nothing more to see, he instructed the skippers to improvise. The wise-cracks and bad puns practiced by the tour guides have since become the trademark of the Jungle Cruise.
Tarzan’s Treehouse (opened 1999) A recreation of the treehouse built by Tarzan’s parents in the movie of the same name. It is a walkthrough attraction. It was the product of a redesign of the former Swiss Family Treehouse.
New Orleans Square
(New Orleans Square opened in 1966)The Haunted Mansion (opened 1969) A ride through a haunted mansion in 19th century New Orleans, featuring the voice of the late Paul Frees as the attraction’s disembodied “ghost host.” The riders are taken throughout the house, the attic, and out the attic window into the graveyard. Between October and December, the ride is overhauled and given a theme based upon Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, a tradition dating to 2001. A 2003 movie, The Haunted Mansion, was based on this ride. On October 21, 2004, Cary “Jay” Sharp, a doctor and health-care attorney from Baton Rouge, Louisiana won a Disney-sponsored auction on eBay for the right to be the first non-Disneyland employee to have his name added to an attraction. With a winning bid of US$37,400, he became the “one thousandth ghost” and had his name and an epitaph placed on a tombstone in the attraction’s graveyard scene. All proceeds from the auction were donated to the Boys and Girls Club.
Pirates of the Caribbean (opened 1967) A twenty-minute dark ride, in a boat, through a gallery of animatronic pirates. This was the largest Audio-Animatronic attraction ever created and still ranks among the largest today. The ride seems to be expressing the message that piracy, though initially attractive, will ultimately bring about one’s downfall. A 2003 movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, was very loosely based on this ride.
The Disney Gallery (opened 1987) A gallery of Disney-related art. Sometimes it showcases preliminary artwork and sketches from certain attractions or movies, sometimes (as in the 100 Mickeys exhibit) it is associated only with Disney and not with any specific attraction, event, or topic. Often, prints from the exhibit are available for purchase, and the Gallery always sells things such as books about Disney artwork. The Gallery used to sell prints of the ride posters featured in the tunnels leading to and from Main Street. The posters can be now ordered online. The Gallery currently features a 50th anniversary exhibit.
(Bear Country opened in 1972; it was renamed Critter Country in 1988)Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes (opened 1971) Guests paddle canoes in the Rivers of America around Tom Sawyer Island. Splash Mountain (opened 1989) A ride based on Song of the South. Riders travel on water in “logs”, and the ride alternates between cheerful singing animals from the movie and steep drops for thrills. It has been one of the most popular rides in Disneyland since its inception. Many of the audio-animatronics used in the ride were recycled from Tomorrowland’s “America Sings.”
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (opened 2003) A ride that recreates memorable scenes from several of the Winnie the Pooh cartoons. As a nod to the “Country Bear Jamboree” which previously inhabited this ride’s location, hidden in the ride are animatronic moose and deer head trophies flanking a buffalo head trophy all from “Jamboree” that hang above the opposide side of the archway as you leave Pooh’s “heffalumps and woozles” dream sequence.
(Mickey’s Toontown opened in 1993)Chip ‘n Dale Treehouse (opened 1993) A treehouse based on Chip ‘n Dale.
Donald’s Boat (opened 1993) A large landed boat such as Donald Duck might have. It is named Miss Daisy after Daisy Duck.
Gadget’s Go Coaster (opened 1993) A roller coaster constructed to appear as if it had been pieced together from human objects by the character Gadget from Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers.
Goofy’s Bounce House (opened 1993) Goofy’s house. Almost everything in side is able to be bounced off of. This the only attraction in the park to have a maximum height limit (52 inches/132 centimeters).
Mickey’s House (opened 1993) Mickey’s house. At the end the guests enter his “movie barn”, where they have an opportunity to meet with him.
Minnie’s House (opened 1993) Minnie’s house.
Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin (opened 1994) A combination of the standard dark ride and the Mad Tea Party. Guests ride in a car resembling Benny the Taxi from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, named Lenny, and travel through; the storyline somewhat resembles that of the film.