Incredicoaster with palm trees at dusk

The Thrill Seeker’s Guide to Disneyland Roller Coasters

Thrill rides usually aren’t the first attractions that come to mind when you think about Disneyland. After all, The Happiest Place on Earth is known more for Sleeping Beauty Castle, the monorail and family-friendly dark rides like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise, and Peter Pan’s Flight or lively attractions like Mad Tea Party or the former Splash Mountain (soon to be Tiana’s Bayou Adventure) than its roller coasters.

However, with a multitude of exciting attractions that cater to all adrenaline levels, from the nostalgic twists and turns of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Space Mountain to the superpowered fun of The Incredicoaster, this enchanted wonderland still has plenty to offer thrill seekers of all ages. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the pulse-racing world of Disneyland roller coasters, ranking each exhilarating journey by its unique ride features and overall thrill factor. Whether you’re a seasoned theme park enthusiast or planning your first Disneyland vacation, our detailed analysis will help you navigate through The Happiest Place on Earth.

Matterhorn Mountain Disneyland

Everything You Need to Know About Roller Coasters at Disneyland Resort

Welcome, adrenaline junkies and Disney Parks fans! Before we break down the best roller coasters Disneyland and California Adventure have to offer, pull down on your lap bar and buckle up as we dive into the details of these exciting, pixie-dusted Disneyland rides.

How many roller coasters are there at Disneyland Resort?

When it comes to coasters at Disneyland Resort, it’s a relatively small world (after all). Unlike Walt Disney World, which is home to nine roller coasters, Disneyland Resort boasts a mere six coasters, with four at Disneyland and two at Disney California Adventure Park.

What is the fastest roller coaster at Disneyland?

Those with a need for speed should probably look elsewhere, as the vast majority of Disneyland’s six coasters tend to be on the slower side. We’re talking between 22 to 35 miles per hour max. The biggest exception is the Incredicoaster at Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure Park, which tops out at a speedy 55 miles per hour.

Here’s where all the coaster-style rides at Disneyland rank when it comes to top speed:

  • Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster – 22 mph
  • Goofy’s Sky School – 27 mph
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds – 27 mph
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – 28 mph
  • Space Mountain – 35 mph
  • Incredicoaster – 55 mph


What is the biggest coaster at Disneyland?

In terms of thrill rides at Disneyland, The Happiest Place on Earth can’t quite compare with nearby theme-park counterparts like Universal Studios Hollywood. Unlike the massive, intense rides offered at other nearby parks, coasters here tend to be exceedingly family-friendly, with manageable max speeds, some surprising twists and turns and fun drops in place of pulse-racing inversions.

So, what takes the crown for the scariest Disneyland rides when it comes to roller coasters? The biggest roller coaster at Disneyland Resort in terms of sheer thrills is, without a doubt, the Incredicoaster at Pixar Pier in California Adventure Park. Not only is this superhero-inspired coaster the fastest in the resort, but it’s also the only Disneyland ride with an inversion. On top of that, it has an exhilarating 108-foot drop, it is the tallest Disney roller coaster at any of the parks worldwide, with a maximum height of 122 feet, and, at a track length of 6,072 feet, it’s also the sixth-longest steel coaster in the world.

What is the easiest coaster at Disneyland?

For those searching for a great starter coaster for younger guests, look no further than Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster. The epitome of a kiddie coaster, this easy-going thrill ride is the perfect introductory attraction for budding adrenaline junkies, boasting a top speed of a mere 22 mph, a short ride time and a few surprises to get tiny hearts racing. Plus, with a height restriction of only 35 inches, it’s also the most approachable of all the coaster-style thrill rides at Disneyland. Other kid-friendly coasters include Goofy’s Sky School, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and, though it is certainly more intense, Space Mountain.

Can you take your bags on coasters at Disneyland?

Unlike riding some of the scariest rides at other theme parks, you don’t need to store your belongings in a locker in order to go on. There is typically a small mesh pouch available inside the ride vehicle where you can stash smaller items such as wallets, sunglasses and mobile devices. And as long as it isn’t too big (think a backpack, purse or shopping bag filled with souvenirs), you are also free to stow your bag with you near your feet. This even includes the Incredicoaster despite its inversion. Thanks, physics!

Best Roller Coasters at Disneyland and California Adventure Ranked by Thrills

Now that we’ve tackled the basics, what are the best coaster-style rides at Disneyland? Just like the resort’s other attractions, determining the best rides for coaster seekers really depends on personal preference. While some prefer attractions with really strong theming, others are simply wanting whatever brings the biggest thrills.

Conversely, families traveling with small children may be looking for the least scary coaster they can introduce to their kiddos. As a result, we decided to rank each of the coaster-style rides at Disneyland by their overall thrill factor, taking into account elements like max speed, track design and g-force. That way, it’s easier for you to determine which of these Disneyland thrill rides is best for you and your coaster-loving crew.

And trust us, there is something for everyone, from kiddie coasters like Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster to nostalgic, family-friendly favorites like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Space Mountain to scream machines like the Incredicoaster. So, hold on tight, folks, because we’re about to take a wild ride through the best roller coasters at Disneyland and California Adventure.

6. Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster in Disneyland Park

For families in search of a great introductory coaster for the little ones in their group, Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster is the perfect place to start. This charming junior coaster at Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland is themed after the dynamic Rescue Rangers duo, which the grown-ups in the group are sure to appreciate.

Offering just a few surprises, this Disneyland ride provides an enjoyable ride experience without being too intense. Plus, with a run time of less than a minute, the gentle journey is ideal for those who are dipping their toes into the world of thrill rides.

Height Restriction: 35 inches (89cm) or taller

Max Speed: 22 mph

Duration: 44 seconds

Lightning Lane Access: None

Water tower with signage

5. Goofy’s Sky School in Disney California Adventure Park

If you’re on the hunt for a coaster that’s big on fun but relatively low on fear, then look no further than Goofy’s Sky School in Paradise Gardens Park at California Adventure. This wild mouse-style coaster is perfect for younger thrill-seekers or anyone who prefers thrill rides on the tamer side.

Featuring plentiful twists, sharp turns and steep drops, as well as (very) loose theming based around a flight school where Goofy is the (ill-advised) instructor, this kid-friendly coaster is sure to put a smile on your face. But be forewarned. The ride here can be pretty rough at times, so don’t be surprised if it also puts a crick in your neck or back.

Height Restriction: 42 inches (107cm) or taller

Max Speed: 27 mph

Duration: 1 minute and 45 seconds

Lightning Lane Access: Genie+

Mountain with waterfalls and trees

4. Matterhorn Bobsleds in Disneyland Park

Get ready for an exhilarating ride through icy mountain peaks on the Matterhorn Bobsleds. Located in Fantasyland in Disneyland, this bobsled ride-style coaster takes you on an alpine adventure filled with unexpected twists and turns as you try to escape the Abominable Snowman.

A classic attraction since making its debut in 1959, Matterhorn Bobsleds is steeped in Disney history as the original Disneyland roller coaster and the world’s first tubular steel coaster, which allowed for a smoother ride and more thrilling drops. The theme of the ride was conceived by Walt Disney, who was inspired to create the attraction after being awed by the real Matterhorn mountain on a trip to Switzerland. As a result, some of the scenes you hurtle past on your journey are downright picturesque.

And we do mean hurtle—parts of the coaster have been known to pull over 2 Gs (gravitational forces). Meanwhile, an audio-animatronic Abominable Snowman added in 2015, sound effects and immersive projections add to the generally exhilarating atmosphere. Not to mention, this trailblazing Disneyland coaster is also completely unique to the park. The only downside is that it can be jerky at times, which can lead to some rough patches. So, don’t be surprised if you walk out with an achy bottom.

Height Restriction: 42 inches (107cm) or taller

Max Speed: 27 mph

Duration: 2 minutes and 7 seconds (Tomorrowland track) or 2 minutes and 26 seconds (Fantasyland track)

Lightning Lane Access: Genie+

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Red Coaster Behind Rocks

3. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Disneyland Park

Hold on tight and get ready for “the wildest ride in the wilderness” on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, one of the best rides at Disneyland. Located in rough-and-tumble Frontierland, this thrilling mine train-style coaster sends riders careening through an abandoned gold mine for close to three-and-a-half heart-pumping minutes of sharp turns and surprise drops.

Looking to up the thrills? Try something called the Goat Trick. As you climb up the coaster’s second chain lift, keep your eye out for a goat with a stick of dynamite in its mouth. That’s Billy the Disney Goat, the star of the Goat Trick. Then, as the train starts its descent, stare down the goat as you head down the hill until you can’t see him anymore. This will trick your inner ear into believing that you are experiencing more gravitational forces than you are in reality.

Height Restriction: 40 inches (102cm) or taller

Max Speed: 28 mph

Duration: 3 minutes and 25 seconds

Lightning Lane Access: Genie+

Blue and White Space Mountain Logo on Ground, White/Grey Cylinder Shaped Space Mountain Building

2. Space Mountain in Disneyland Park

If you’ve ever wished you could cruise through the depths of outer space, then Space Mountain in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland is for you. This iconic attraction takes you on a thrilling journey through the universe in almost total darkness. With unpredictable twists and turns, surprise drops and only a handful of shooting stars to guide the way, this exhilarating coaster will have you shrieking with delight.

And don’t underestimate Space Mountain’s relatively mild-mannered max speed. Because you can’t see anything as your rocket ship zooms through the depths of space, everything you encounter feels even more intense than it would with the lights on.

Height Restriction: 40 inches (102cm) or taller

Max Speed: 35 mph

Duration: 3 minutes

Lightning Lane Access: Genie+

Incredicoaster with palm trees at dusk

1. Incredicoaster in Disney California Adventure Park

If you’re a fan of Pixar’s The Incredibles, you can’t miss the Incredicoaster in Disney California Adventure Park. Previously California Screamin’, this rethemed launched steel coaster takes you on a thrilling adventure with everyone’s favorite superhero family. After a high-speed launch that propels you from zero to 55 miles per hour in four seconds, you’ll chase after baby Jack-Jack as he rampages around Pixar Pier.

The most intense ride at Disneyland when it comes to coasters, the Incredicoaster is the only roller coaster in the resort with an inversion, the tallest coaster at any of the Disney Parks worldwide at 122 feet at its peak, and the sixth-long steel coaster in the world, stretching to 6,072 feet. To top it all off, it also touts a 108-foot drop, making it one of the scariest Disneyland rides overall. Not to mention, it has a fun storyline and theming and, the powerful music serves as a fitting soundtrack to the superpowered experience.

Height Restriction: 48 inches (122cm) or taller

Max Speed: 55 mph

Duration: 2 minutes and 36 seconds

Lightning Lane Access: Genie+

How to Get Your Adrenaline Fix on Roller Coasters at Disneyland

All set to take on Disneyland’s exhilarating coasters? Here are some savvy tips to help you make the most of the resort’s top thrill rides.


Request a Specific Seat for Bigger Thrills

For thrill-seekers looking for even more excitement, create your own adventure by requesting to sit in a particular part of the ride. For example, many people only want to sit in the very first ride vehicle of the coaster as it offers a front-row seat to the adventure. However, for those wanting to up the intensity of a ride, your best bet is to ask to sit at the very end of the coaster. With the weight of the rest of the ride hurtling along in front of you and your ride vehicle being pulled along, any twists or drops you might encounter will feel more pronounced.

Use Lightning Lanes or Ride Early or Late in the Day to Avoid the Crowds

Thrill rides at Disneyland are often among the most popular attractions in the resort. Consequently, you’ll need to approach your day accordingly if you want to avoid the inevitable crowds. For budget travelers who are looking to save money, the simplest and cheapest (i.e., free) way to accomplish this is by either tackling a coaster right away in the morning, especially close to rope drop, or close to closing time, as the queue times tend to be shorter. Guests staying at one of the Disneyland hotels will enjoy an even bigger head start as they enjoy early entry to the theme parks up to 30 minutes before the park officially opens.

Naturally, if you would prefer to just jump the line and avoid big crowds entirely, your best option would be to upgrade your visit with Disney Genie+ Lighting Lane entry. However, bear in mind that this trip-hacking service comes at an additional fee. Accordingly, this can get a bit expensive, particularly for families traveling with more than one child.

Mobile phones with Genie App

Start Pint-sized Adrenaline Junkies Out Small

Is there an aspiring thrill seeker in your midst searching for an adrenaline rush? Start them out with an easy-going junior like Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster. Then, once they’ve tackled that introductory thrill ride, up the ante with similarly kid-friendly attractions like Goofy’s Sky School, followed by Matterhorn Bobsleds and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, before working your way up to the scariest rides like Space Mountain and the Incredicoaster.

Take Advantage of Rider Switch if Your Child Is Too Scared or Short to Ride

But what about those who are traveling with kids who are too scared or aren’t tall enough to ride? Not to worry! That’s where Rider Switch (also called Rider Swap or Parent Switch) comes in handy. Available at any ride with a height requirement, this complimentary service lets guardians trade places with one another so someone can go on the coaster as the other waits it out with the little one. This way, everyone who wants to and is big enough can experience the roller coaster without having to wait in line again.

Storm troopers inside a cargo bay

Get an Adrenaline Rush on the Other Thrill Rides at Disneyland

Is Space Mountain not enough to get your heart pounding when you visit Disneyland? From an out-of-this-world dark ride to a whitewater rapids river raft-style boat ride, from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge to Cars Land, these are the other best rides for adrenaline junkies at Disneyland.


  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
  • Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
  • COMING SOON! Tiana’s Bayou Adventure (formerly Splash Mountain)

California Adventure

  • Grizzly River Run
  • Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Toy Story Midway Mania

Boat on a river with trees

Alright, roller coaster enthusiasts, that concludes our ranking of the best roller coaster rides at Disneyland Resort to an end. What are your picks for the best thrill ride in this exciting category? Let us know in the comments! Then, find out how you can save some money and make Genie+ more affordable with our discount Disneyland tickets.