Pinocchio’s Daring Journey is a classic dark ride located in Fantasyland at Disneyland. Based on the 1940 Disney film, this ride takes you on Pinocchio’s journey to become a real boy. From the detailed sets and figures to the catchy tunes, it’s a charming experience for all ages. In this review, we’ll go over the ride details, wait times, best times to ride, history, and design of the ride.
Average Wait Times: Pinocchio’s Daring Journey rarely has long standby waits, averaging 10-20 minutes most of the day. Early morning and late evening usually have the shortest lines. Wait times peak in the afternoon around 1-2pm.
Height Requirements: There is no height requirement for Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, making it suitable for guests of all ages, including young children.
Single Rider: Unfortunately, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey does not offer a single rider line. The ride is designed to be enjoyed as a group, allowing families and friends to share in the experience together.
Ride Duration: The ride lasts about 3 minutes.
Genie+ and Lightning Lane: Genie+ and Lightning Lane are not currently available for this attraction.
Rider Switch: Rider Switch is available. This option allows one group to wait with the non-riding members while the others experience the attraction, and then they can switch without rejoining the line.
Disability Access Services (DAS): Guests with disabilities can utilize the Disability Access Service (DAS) for a more accommodating experience. To access DAS, guests should visit Guest Relations upon entering the park. Must transfer from wheelchair/ECV.
Best Time to Ride: Early morning and late at night are the best times to enjoy this ride with little wait time. Take advantage of Early Entry if possible. Tuesday-Thursday are usually not as busy as the weekends. Check out our crowd calendar for the best times to visit the Parks.
Early Entry Ride: Yes
History and Design
Pinocchio’s Daring Journey opened in 1983 as part of a major expansion of Fantasyland. It replaced the Mickey Mouse Club Theater attraction. Based on the similar ride at Tokyo Disneyland, Imagineers brought Pinocchio’s story to life through detailed sets and audio-animatronics. The ride was designed to be more advanced than earlier Fantasyland dark rides like Snow White and Peter Pan. The animated figures and sets were given more movement and dimensional scenery using forced perspective techniques. The ride vehicles also have more motion with quick turns and short drops.
The exterior is designed to look like a quaint European village, with the queue weaving through the streets. Inside, the sets are vibrant with ornate details. The ride systems allow each vehicle to follow a unique path for a slightly different experience. Over the years, effects like fiber optic fireworks and holograms of the Blue Fairy have been added. The exterior was refurbished in 2015. Pinocchio’s Daring Journey brings this classic tale to life through immersive storytelling and imaginative sets.
The queue winds through the streets of Pinocchio’s village, passing by Geppetto’s workshop. Once aboard the wooden carts, you enter the Stromboli Puppet Show and see Pinocchio dancing with marionettes. The ride continues backstage, where Pinocchio is trapped in a birdcage before being set free. Other scenes include Pleasure Island, Monstro the Whale, and the Blue Fairy bringing Pinocchio to life.
The ride vehicles twist, turn, and dip as you travel through the dimly lit scenes. Detailed audio-animatronic figures of Pinocchio, Geppetto, Jiminy Cricket, and others bring the story to life, enhanced by classic songs like “I’ve Got No Strings” and “When You Wish Upon a Star.” The sets feature rich colors, textures, and lighting effects. Highlights include the starry night sky in Pleasure Island and the menacing giant figure of Monstro the Whale. While it’s not a thrill ride, the quick turns and brief drops make it exciting for kids. The dark scenes may be frightening for some, but the charm of Pinocchio shines through. At just over 3 minutes long, it’s a short but sweet ride.
Tips for Riding
Ride early or late in the day for shorter waits
Bring small kids during the day when it’s less scary
Listen for songs from the film like “I’ve Got No Strings”
Look for Geppetto’s cat Figaro peeking out of the toy shop
Wave back at Stromboli in the puppet show scene.
Beware of Monstro’s loud sneeze and big mouth at the end!
Pinocchio’s Daring Journey is a testament to the timeless appeal of Disney storytelling and Imagineering. Its captivating ride experience, coupled with its accessibility and nostalgic charm, makes it a cherished part of Disneyland’s Fantasyland. From the playful exterior to the whimsical scenes within, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey invites guests to embark on a magical adventure that resonates with the spirit of Disney magic. Whether you’re reliving the classic tale or introducing a new generation to the story, this beloved dark ride continues to weave the enchanting legacy of Pinocchio within the fabric of Disneyland’s rich tapestry of attractions.
Pinocchio's Daring Journey packs charming details and classic Disney magic into a short but delightful ride. Fans of the film or dark rides shouldn't miss this Fantasyland gem on their next visit to the Happiest Place on Earth.