Pinocchio's Daring Journey Ride at Disneyland

You probably know the story of Pinocchio, the puppet who wanted to become a boy. This ride follows his adventures as he tries to make his dream come true.

You get aboard a woodcarver's cart at the Stromboli Puppet Theatre. You see the puppet Pinocchio dancing, but in no time you (and Pinocchio) are in trouble. The evil puppet master Stromboli is after you. Fortunately, the Blue Fairy aids your escape, and you travel to Pleasure Island.

Pinocchio ignores warnings from Jiminy Cricket, which is a bad idea. As a result, you enter a creepy carnival full of noisy barkers, a scary clown and an ominously looming jack-in-the-box.

Finally, you all return to Gepetto. Pinocchio turns into a real boy, and everything in the workshop comes alive. As usual - all ends well.

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What You Need to Know

Entrance to Pinocchio's Daring Journey
©Betsy Malloy Photography
  • Location: Pinocchio is in Fantasyland.
  • Rating: ★★★
  • Restrictions: No height restrictions. Children under age seven years must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older.
  • Ride Time: 3 minutes
  • Recommended for: Small children and anyone who's a kid at heart
  • Fun Factor: Medium
  • Wait Factor: Medium to high
  • Fear Factor: Medium, but some scenes might be scary for the little ones
  • Herky-Jerky Factor: Low to none
  • Nausea Factor: Low to none
  • Seating: Ride vehicles have two rows of bench seats. Each row holds two people. You step straight into them.
  • Accessibility: You'll have to transfer into the ride vehicle, or request an accessible vehicle. Ask any Cast Member where to board. More about visiting Disneyland in a wheelchair or ECV
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How to Have More Fun

Scene from Pinocchio's Daring Journey
Aaron/Flickr/CC BY-ND 2.0

You won't need your Heads Up app or anything else to keep you entertained in line. That's because Pinocchio seldom has a long line, making it perfect when you just need to ride something - now.

Pinocchio’s Daring Journey - like all the other rides in Fantasyland - may close early to accommodate fireworks performances.

Some scenes might be too scary for the little ones. Things to watch out for include an evil laugh at the beginning, a trip through a terrifying cage, and a chaotic, dark carnival. You may also hear the word “ass,” but it is referring to a donkey, not a part of human anatomy. Before you ride, remind the kids that it’s all make-believe and Pinocchio's story ends happily.

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Fun Facts

Pinocchio's Daring Journey
Joe Penniston/Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The Pinocchio ride was the last dark ride built in Fantasyland, added in 1983 after it was successful at Tokyo Disneyland. Disney removed the Mickey Mouse Club Theater to make room for it.

The story is based on Disney's animated film "Pinocchio," which was the studio's second animated feature-length film. Ride designer Art Rowe and set designer Cliff Welch created the California ride, including the black-light painting that gives depth to flat surfaces.

Designer Bruce Bushman created a concept for a Pinocchio boat ride that was never built but looked like fun. It sent riders plummeting down the tongue of Monstro the whale, into a lagoon. Kind of like Splash Mountain.

Pinocchio was the first Disneyland ride that used holographic material. It's on the mirror in the scene where the boys turn into donkeys on Pleasure Island.

Lots of people say the Blue Fairy is a hologram, but it actually uses a nineteenth-century illusion that uses reflections, called Pepper's Ghost Illusion. The same effect appears in Winnie the Pooh and the Haunted Mansion.

Don't try to pull the yellow bow tie off the donkey. Years ago, you could do that, but now it's glued on.

In case you didn't see enough of Monstro the whale, he also shows up at the beginning of the Storybook Land Canal Boat ride.

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