Eight Rides You’ll Only Find at Disneyland

Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World fans often engage in a friendly rivalry. Both groups claim that their park offers the better batch of rides.

This argument amuses me since you’ll find the overwhelming majority of iconic attractions in both locations.

disneyland resort

Photo: disneyland

Still, each theme park does claim a few significant exclusives. Here are eight rides you’ll only find at Disneyland Resort.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

When you hear the term “E-ticket attraction,” you have this ride to thank for it.

Finding Nemo

Photo: Disneyland

In 1959, Disneyland plotted its first extensive expansion since the park’s 1955 opening.

One of the headline attractions of this expansion was Submarine Voyage, which submerged guests underwater at Tomorrowland.

submarine

Photo: D23.com

If you’ve ever heard about the cast members who sunbathed as mermaids in the 1960s, it happened at this ride.

After Submarine Voyage lost popularity, Disney re-themed it to Finding Nemo.

Finding Nemo

Photo: laughingplace.com

When you ride this attraction now, it may remind you of a Walt Disney World ride. Disney shares animation/video footage between the submarine ride and The Seas with Nemo & Friends.

The Incredicoaster

When Disney California Adventure opened, its source of pride was a thrilling roller coaster called California Screamin’.

california screamin

Photo: Disney.wikia.com

Sadly, when the park re-themed to Pixar, one of the planned neighborhoods covered the coaster’s territory.

So, some brilliant imagineer got the bright idea to add incredible touches to the ride.

California Adventure

Credit: Disney

Now, you’re not just trying to survive an aggressive roller coaster. You’re also trying to recover Jack-Jack Parr, the most superpowered child on the planet.

Somehow, the storyline makes the ride that much better. It’s a masterpiece!

Increditcoaster

Credit: Disney

Indiana Jones Adventure

Long before Disney purchased Lucasfilm, the parks had already embraced the stories of Star Wars and Indiana Jones.

On this attraction, tourists travel to the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. It’s part of a guided tour that Indy’s friend, Sallah, runs to fund an expedition.

Indiana Jones Adventure

You’re perfectly safe, right? Oh no no. You’ve watched Sallah in these films, right? He’s the breathing definition of irresponsible.

So, your tour group accidentally infuriates the deity whose temple you’re desecrating with your presence.

Photo: Joshua Sudock/Disneyland Resort

Thankfully, Indy shows up to…somewhat save the day. Really, this adventure doesn’t go that great for him, either, but everyone survives! Hooray!

Matterhorn Bobsleds

The other massive 1959 expansion involved Disney’s creation of an entire artificial mountain, one paying tribute to the Matterhorn.

Matterhorn

Image: Disneyland

You cannot imagine how proud Walt Disney was of this architectural triumph.

During the early years of Matterhorn Bobsleds, Disney would have climbers scale up and down the mountain for some guaranteed PR.

Walt with Matterhorn

Photo: Disney

The whole thing screamed Disney theme park magic. Nowadays, we take artificial mountains for granted, but the Matterhorn was the first.

As for the ride, well, that one’s a part of theme park history as well. It was the first continuous steel tube track roller coaster on the planet.

Matterhorn

When Disney decided to build the world’s first true roller coaster, it established an industry standard that remained for decades.

Honestly, nothing approached Matterhorn Bobsleds in stature until Space Mountain more than 15 years later.

Disneyland resort winter

Image: Disneyland

Both those rides claim equal responsibility for what I describe as the ongoing roller coaster arms race that drives the industry to this day.

Oh, and tubing down the Matterhorn is still just as fun today as it was in 1959!

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

Okay, I’ll confess that this one makes me bitter. At heart, I’m a Walt Disney World guy because I grew up in the south. So, this park was closer.

I visited several times as a kid, and one of my favorite attractions was always Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

Mr. Toad

Photo: themeparktourist.com

You may disagree, but I always felt it was the most cartoonish of all Disney rides. Its wicked sense of humor always delighted me.

Well, as you know, Magic Kingdom shut down Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Now, Disneyland claims bragging rights as the only theme park in the world with this attraction.

Mr. Toad

Photo: touringplans.com

In a way, that’s how it should be. After all, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was an opening day attraction at Disneyland in 1955.

If there’s only one in the world, it should be here. Still, I cannot ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh without lamenting the opportunity cost of its existence.

Mr. Toad

Photo: touringplans.com

I love that ride, but it came at a MASSIVE cost.

Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin

Here’s an attraction that none of us can enjoy at the moment. Disney recently closed Mickey’s Toontown to make it better.

When the themed land reopens in 2023, it’ll offer better and more modern amenities. Until then, all the attractions will stay offline.

Still, I’m including Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin because I believe it’s important.

Photo: Disney

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Who Framed Roger Rabbit was the Frozen/Encanto of the era.

Disney’s animated movies were just starting their renaissance during this era. Roughly 18 months before The Little Mermaid, this “live-action” film debuted.

Image Credit: D23

Hollywood ate it up, as did Disney fans. So, Disneyland added Car Toon Spin to capitalize on the film’s popularity. It arrived in 1994 and has anchored the themed land ever since.

When Mickey’s Toontown reopens, Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will replace it in significance, but that’s not the point.

Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin

Photo: Disneyland

Car Toon Spin matters. It’s that simple. Park officials know this, too. They recently chose to update problematic aspects rather than re-theme the ride to a new IP.

Snow White’s Enchanted Wish

When Disneyland opened in 1955, Snow White’s Scary Adventure entertained and confused guests.

snow white

Photo: themeparksandentertainment.com

Imagineers guessed wrong about providing riders with Snow White’s perspective of her own story.

Once the ride ended, people inevitably asked, “Where was Snow White?”

Still, when Walt Disney planned his park, there was no doubt that it’d include a Snow White attraction.

Snow White's Enchanted Wish

After all, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the film that made Disney as a company.

Many years later, Imagineers redesigned the ride to give it an upbeat theme.

snow white

Now, we get to watch Snow White live out her happily ever after as someone who has defeated the Evil Queen and fallen in love with the proverbial Prince Charming.

WEBSLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure

The newest attraction on this list comes with bragging rights. It’s the first Avengers Campus ride ever.

Avengers Campus

Yes, Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! Technically came ahead of it but 1) it was modified from a different ride and 2) Avengers Campus didn’t even exist yet.

WEBSLINGERS is the first glimpse of what’s to come at Disney theme parks.

WEBSLINGERS

Photo: Disneyland

The MCU drives much of Disney’s popularity today. It’s inevitably going to have a massive park presence once Disney works out some legal issues.

Already, we can visit this ride and pretend like we’re Spider-Man, shooting webs out of our hands and stopping weaponized robots. It’s awesome!

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Photo: Disneyland

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