Disneyland Roller Coasters

Guide to Roller Coasters at Disneyland and California Adventure

Disneyland roller coasters aren't those big, steel monsters you'll find in other theme parks. Disneyland and California Adventure have a half dozen between them, but each has a distinctive personality. 

They include the world's first tubular-tracked steel roller coaster (Matterhorn Bobsleds). At California Adventure, you'll find California Screamin' which is one of the longest steel-railed, looping coasters in the world.

That being said, you're still not going to find most of these roller coasters on lists of the world's scariest, fastest, biggest, or baddest. In fact, none are "standard" by roller coaster geek definitions; all have been modified and themed. What they do have going for them is that unique brand of Disney magic. And if you like to ride roller coasters that don't make you feel like you were just beaten up (or about to throw up), they may be just the thing for you.

This list is organized by park, and within park by level of thrills.

  • 01 of 06

    Disneyland: Space Mountain

    Disneyland's Space Mountain
    ••• Space Mountain, Disneyland. Matthew Simmons / Getty Images

    Space Mountain was voted the best "popular ride" in Disneyland by our readers. I love the feeling you get from this indoor, metal-railed roller coaster that 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.

    There are a few things you need to know before you get on. They're all in the Rider's Guide to Space Mountain.

    Minimum height: 40 in (102 cm)

  • 02 of 06

    Disneyland: Matterhorn Bobsleds

    George Lopez Celebrates Daughter's Birthday At Disney
    ••• George Lopez and Family Riding Matterhorn Bobsleds. 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 our readers, reaching a top speed of 18 miles per hour during a ride that's slightly more than two minutes long, depending on which of its two tracks you go on.

    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.

    Find out which line moves faster, pick up some trivia to amaze your friends and find out what you need to know in the Matterhorn Bobsleds Rider's Guide.

    Minimum height: 35" (89 cm)

  • 03 of 06

    Disneyland: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland
    ••• Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland. Handout / Getty Images

    Big Thunder Mountain is one of the best rides in Disneyland, according to our reader's poll.

    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 at 28 miles per hour and it's a long one, too at three minutes, 15 seconds.

    Before you ride, find out how to do the "goat trick" and more in the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Guide.

    Minimum height: 40 in (102 cm)

  • 04 of 06

    Disneyland: Gadget's Go Coaster

    Gadget's Go Coaster in Toontown
    ••• Gadget's Go Coaster in Toontown. ©2006 Betsy Malloy Photography. Used by Permission.

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

    All the details about it - including who might not want to try riding it are in the Gadget's Go Coaster Guide.

    Minimum height: 35 in (89 cm)

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    California Adventure: California Screamin'

    Disney's California Adventure Roller Coaster
    ••• California Screamin' Roller Coaster at Disney California Adventure. Macduff Everton / Getty Images

    California Screamin' 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. 

    During the two-minute, 36 second trip, you'll climb 120 feet and drop 108 feet. The screamin' part of its name refers to what you'll be doing as it blasts you from zero to 55 mile per hour in four seconds and sends you heels over head on the loop around Mickey's face.

    If you want to get some strategies for the ride, find out more about California Screamin' and know what to do to have more fun on it, check the Guide to California Screamin.'

    Minimum height: 48 in (122 cm)

  • 06 of 06

    California Adventure: Goofy's Sky School

    Goofy's Sky School at Disney California Adventure
    ••• 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, 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.

    You can get all the details about it, tips for riding and more in the Guide to Goofy's Sky School.

    Minimum height: 42 in (107 cm)