Disneyland's Roller Coasters

A Guide to Roller Coasters at Disneyland and California Adventure

When you think about roller coasters at Disneyland, they go hand in hand with the stories they tell and that particular Disney magic in telling them: a journey through outer space, a bobsled ride past the Abominable Snowman or joining the Incredibles family as they race to save their baby.

Those same roller coasters mark some industry firsts; the world's first tubular-tracked steel roller coaster (Matterhorn Bobsleds) and one of the longest steel-railed, looping coasters in the world (Incredicoaster at California Adventure).

If you’re looking for rides that scare you speechless, threaten to give you whiplash, or spend as much time upside down as right side up, you should visit Magic Mountain or Knotts Berry Farm.

If you’re looking for roller coasters that rate (at worst) at the high end of family rides, these are for you. And none of them will make you feel like you were just beaten up (or about to throw up).

Disneyland and California Adventure have a half-dozen roller coasters between them, but each has a distinctive personality. This list is organized by park, and within each park by level of thrills.

  • 01 of 06
    Disneyland's Space Mountain
    Matthew Simmons / Getty Images

    Space Mountain was voted the best "popular ride" in Disneyland by Tripsavvy readers, and some people say it's the most famous indoor roller coaster ever. This indoor, metal-railed roller coaster makes you feel like you're flying through space.

    It's a "dark" coaster that depicts a journey through the stars during a 3,450-foot trip that lasts two minutes, 45 seconds. And it feels faster than its actual because of special effects and the total darkness.

    • Minimum rider height: 40 in (102 cm)
    • Maximum speed: 35 mph
  • 02 of 06
    George Lopez Celebrates Daughter's Birthday At Disney
    Handout / Getty Images

    Matterhorn Bobsleds was the world's first tubular-tracked steel roller coaster when it opened in 1959. It's still a favorite ride of park visitors, with a ride that's slightly more than two minutes long.

    It's a lot of fun zipping through the mountain, in and out of the dark, screaming when the Abominable Snowman shows up. After its most recent renovation, it runs smoother than ever, with less jerky motion.

    • Minimum rider height: 35" (89 cm)
    • Maximum speed: 27 mph
  • 03 of 06
    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland
    Handout / Getty Images

    Big Thunder Mountain is one of the best rides in Disneyland, according to visitors.

    The theme of this roller coaster is a runaway mine train on a wild ride through mine shafts, bat caves, and dark caverns. The hills aren't so high, but it's one of the fastest rides in the park, and it's a long one too, at three minutes, 15 seconds.

    • Minimum rider height: 40 in (102 cm)
    • Maximum speed: 35 mph
  • 04 of 06
    Gadget's Go Coaster in Toontown

    Betsy Malloy Photography

    A "junior" roller coaster with a ride lasting only 44 seconds, the Go Coaster takes its name from a mouse who appeared in the television series "Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers."

    • Minimum rider height: 35 in (89 cm)
    • Maximum speed: 20 mph
    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06
    Disney's California Adventure Roller Coaster
    Macduff Everton / Getty Images

    The Incredicoaster looks like a classic wooden roller coaster, but in fact, it's a steel-railed, looping coaster that's one of the world's longest. And it's definitely the most thrilling roller coaster at the Disneyland Resort.

    It started out with the name California Screamin' and it's easy to see why: During the two-minute, 36-second trip, it climbs 120 feet and drops 108 feet. And even though the name has changed, screamin' is what you'll be doing as it blasts you from zero to 55 miles per hour in four seconds and go heels over head on a 365-degree loop.

    All the thrills are the same but when it became the Incredicoaster in 2018, but it got a new storyline: you dash around alongside the Parr family as they try to catch baby Jack-Jack!

    • Minimum rider height: 48 in (122 cm)
    • Maximum speed: 55 mph 
  • 06 of 06
    Goofy's Sky School at Disney California Adventure

    Betsy Malloy Photography

    It started out as Mulholland Madness, but now it's called Goofy's Sky School. It's definitely the tamest of all the roller coasters at the Disneyland Resort.

    Sky School is a "wild mouse" roller coaster with a mostly flat track and very tight turns. The front of the car sticks out to create the scary part, the feeling that it's going to fall off the track at every corner.

    The ride lasts a minute and a half.

    • Minimum rider height: 42 in (107 cm)
    • Maximum speed:  27 mph