If you've been to Disneyland before, you know what to expect, but what you may not know is what's new since then. To help you keep up with the changes, here's a list of new rides at Disneyland and California Adventure.
If you don't go to Disneyland every year and need to catch up, you'll also find what was new in the past years below.
In Disneyland, Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance opens in Galaxy’s Edge in January. The Haunted Mansion will also close for a few months for rehab after Nightmare Before Christmas ends its run on January 20.
Snow White’s Scary Adventures is getting a major refurbishment, which includes structural and electrical upgrades, along with new projections, according to their building permit. Indiana Jones Adventure will also be closed
On February 28, 2020, look for a new parade at Disneyland, called “Magic Happens” that features classic Disney characters and the stars of more recent Disney animated films like Coco.
Several new hotels will open in 2020. In April, the JW Marriott Anaheim Resort will become the first luxury hotel in the Disneyland area outside of theme park gates, a little less than a mile from the Disneyland entrance near the Anaheim Garden Walk. Other expected openings include Cambria Hotel & Suites, Westin Anaheim Resort, and Home2Home Suites.
A new themed area will open in California Adventure in 2020. It's based on The Avengers and will include anchored the popular Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! ride. A Spider Man ride is expected to open in the summer, along with character meet and greets and a new eatery.
While thinking about Disneyland rides, you might also want to take a look at Disneyland's Best Rides, Top Rides for Kids and Toddlers, Disneyland's Most Popular (and Busiest) Rides, and Disneyland Roller Coasters.
Coming to Disneyland in 2021 or later:
Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is scheduled to open in Disneyland’s Toontown in 2022, which will be a couple of years after a similar attraction opens at Disney World in 2020. The ride will make history as the first Mickey Mouse ride ever and the first new Disneyland attraction outside of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge since Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters debuted in 2005.
Construction on Avengers Campus will continue, with a third ride in the plans.
What Was New at Disneyland in 2019
The big event in 2019 was the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at the end of May. Until early 2020, only one of the two rides in that area is running, the Millennium Falcon.
In California Adventure, the former Bug's Land disappeared as construction began for Avengers Campus.
Jessie’s Critter Carousel, which replaced King Triton's Carousel, opened in April. Its new creatures are based on animals that Toy Story character Jessie the yodeling cowgirl might find out on the ranch. Get ready to saddle up on a whimsical snake, armadillo, turtle, bunny and more critters from the world of Woody’s Roundup.
Inside Out Emotion Whirlwind also opened in Pixar Pier. It's a remake of the old Flik's Flyers with a theme from the Pixar film about a young girl and her emotions.
What Was New at Disneyland in 2018
Disney premiered mobile ordering from fast casual and quick-service restaurants using the Disneyland App. You can choose your food items and pick up time and then just step right up to pick your meal with no waiting.
Downtown Disney got some upgrades that include a bowling alley, a multi-sensory Star Wars experience, new shops, and restaurants.
A new arrival point called Eastern Gateway, which opened in late 2018, now provides guests with more choices for access and parking. It also includes a new parking structure with 6,800 spaces, a new transportation facility, and an elevated pedestrian bridge over Harbor Boulevard.
At Disneyland, the Pixar Play Parade, which was previously California Adventure’s afternoon parade moved to Disneyland in April, replacing the Soundsational Parade. The monorail got a new paint scheme featuring characters from The Incredibles and Finding Nemo. Main Street U.S.A. also emerged from a refurbishment that replaced the horse-drawn streetcar track.
Pixar Pier at California Adventure opened on June 23, 2018. It's not a new area, but the old Paradise Pier got a new theme and a new name.
At Pixar Pier, most of the rides remain, but some of them got new Pixar themes:
- The already fun and exciting California Screamin’ rollercoaster becomes the Incredicoaster when it adds a storyline: The Parr family races alongside you, trying to catch baby Jack-Jack!
- The Fun Wheel experience is unchanged, and the only noticeable change is the characters painted on the gondolas. Nearby you’ll find new midway games based on Pixar films.
- Toy Story Midway Mania also remains the same but it becomes the center of a Toy Story-themed neighborhood.
On the food front, you can still get a hot dog or a churro at the pier, but the stands serving them have new Pixar character themes. The food item causing the biggest stir is the Jack Jack Cookie Num Num, a thick cookie with chocolate chunks and chewy dough.
Ariel’s Grotto closed, replaced by the Lamplight Lounge, which serves California casual gastro-pub cuisine and unique signature cocktails. Don’t worry about missing out on those Lobster Nachos which were a popular item at the restaurant’s Cove Bar. They will be on the Lamplight’s menu.
The “Paint the Night” Parade moved over to California Adventure on April 13 through November 4, 2018. The nighttime extravaganza was a big hit with guests at Disneyland, and it has a new a float featuring characters from The Incredibles.
A Bug's Land closed permanently in September to make way for the new Marvel-themed area. That means Tuck and Roll's Drive 'Em Buggies, Flik's Flyers, Francis' Ladybug Boogie, and Heimlich's Chew Chew Train are gone — and so is the Bug's Life show.
What Was New at Disneyland in 2017
Rivers of America reopened after being closed for more than a year to make way for construction of the new Star Wars Land. Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island, the Disneyland Railroad, Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia, and Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes are all open again
Nighttime show Fantasmic! returned on July 17, with new mist screens and effects.
With the release of the new Beauty and the Beast film, the old Edelweiss Snacks in Fantasyland transformed into the Red Rose Taverne.
In California Adventure, Twilight Zone Tower of Terror closed in January. It returned as Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
Also in California Adventure, Cars Land got a seasonal overlay for Haul-O-Ween, with the residents of Radiator Springs dressing up and celebrate Halloween as only a bunch of talking cars can.
The Grand Californian Hotel launched a major room upgrade project in early 2017 that made the Grand Californian even grander than ever. You can get a look - and an overview of the hotel's pros and cons in the Guide to the Grand Californian.
Two more rides were added to the FastPass system: Matterhorn Bobsleds in Disneyland and Toy Story Midway Mania in Disney California Adventure.
Disney MaxPass: In early 2017, Disneyland announced a new way to get FastPasses. It's called Disney MaxPass which you can use on the Disneyland app to get your Fastpasses digitally without the need to walk to a FastPass machine to collect them.
What Was New at Disneyland in 2016
Autopia got snappy new cars that Curbed LA says "look like something Magnum P.I. would drive." They're sleek, Honda-branded sports cars in red, black, white, royal blue, silver.
Disney surprised many of their fans by announcing that the nearly-new Paint the Night Parade would make its last run on September 5 and both the 60th anniversary fireworks show Disneyland Forever and the World of Color water and light show at California Adventure Park also ended. The classic Fantasy in the Sky fireworks which dates to Disneyland's earliest days returned.
There weren't any big, new rides at Disneyland in 2016, but big changes began as they worked to build the new Star Wars Land. Also related to Star Wars:
- The film Star Wars: Path of the Jedi replaced Captain EO.
- Jedi Training Academy got a new look. Jedi wannabes need to register to participate.
- The lower level of the old Innoventions building became the Star Wars Launch Bay and the building was renamed Tomorrowland Expo Center.
- Space Mountain became Hyperspace Mountain with some new Star Wars-related theming.
- Star Tours became Star Tours the Adventure Continues. Characters from the latest film showed up in some of its storylines.
What Was New at California Adventure in 2016
A new “Frozen” musical replaced the long-running Aladdin show at the end of May.
Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters opened in early March, replacing Luigi's Flying Tires with a more engaging experience.
A new film Soarin’ Around the World started showing on June 17, the day after it premiered at Shanghai Disneyland. The film follows the same general format as the original Soarin' Over California but features locales from around the world.
What Was New at Disneyland in 2015
2015 was Disneyland's 60th anniversary, with a big “diamond” celebration.
At the Haunted Mansion, the Hatbox Ghost returned. He shows up just after you leave the attic, and has a fun effect that involves his head and the box.
At Matterhorn Bobsleds, the abominable snowman got an upgrade that made him more realistic.
Peter Pan emerged from refurbishment with some newly added effects.
A new seating system premiered for the Fantasmic! nighttime show, with reserved viewing areas that require a Fastpass, similar to the way World of Color operated since it first opened.
The Disneyland Forever fireworks show and Paint the Night parade dazzled visitors during the diamond anniversary, but both were retired after that. World of Color: also got a new storyline but went back to its previous format afterward.
New at Disneyland in 2014
After what seemed like the longest refurbishment in Disneyland history, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad reopened, with a new, silky-smooth track and a fun new ending.
Longtime musical act Billy Hill and the Hillbillies played their final day of performances at Disneyland Park on January 6, 2014.
New Disneyland Rides in 2013
No major updates happened at Disneyland and California Adventure in 2013.
Fantasy Faire moved to a new home near Sleeping Beauty Castle. It gives princesses and knights of all ages a role in a charming storytelling experience and a nicer place to meet and greet their favorite Disney princesses. A new show called Mickey and the Magical Map also opened at the Fantasyland Theatre.
New Disneyland Rides in 2012
- Cars Land in California Adventure opened in 2012
- Also at California Adventure, San Francisco chocolate maker Ghirardelli opened a new soda fountain and chocolate shop
- For the first time in 20 years, new music was playing as you entered Main Street U.S.A.
- Matterhorn Bobsleds got new cars, with three seats per car, two of them linked together to accommodate six guests. And after a long hiatus, the mountain climbers came back.
Disneyland hotel renovations completed, with new guest rooms, pool area, and dining options.
New Disneyland Rides in 2011
- Star Tours converted to 3-D and set in the period between the two Star Wars trilogies
- Mickey's Soundsational parade premiered in June 2011
- New at California Adventure: Ariel's Undersea Adventure
- Old and New at California Adventure: Goofy's Sky School, the classic "mad mouse" roller coaster that opened as Mulholland Madness took on a flying academy theme with Goofy as the instructor.
New Disneyland Rides in 2010
- Orange Stinger (California Adventure) converted to Silly Symphony Swings
- World of Color premiered at California Adventure, a nighttime water show
- Captain EO starring Michael Jackson returned, replacing Honey I Shrunk the Audience
New Disneyland Rides in 2009
- it's a small world renovated
- New fireworks show at Disneyland
- Cinderella's Castle opened a new walk-through attraction
- California Adventure's Sun Wheel got a new Mickey face and a new name: Mickey's Fun Wheel but was otherwise unchanged
- The Disney Gallery reopened in the Former Bank of Main Street building
- Space Mountain premiered a new holiday light show
- Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln returned to the Opera House in a newly refurbished version as part of The Disneyland Story