Other than people wearing masks indoors, Disneyland gives no indication of a raging pandemic and feels just as crowded as ever. We visited Disney in early January for my birthday present from Edgar! We booked our trip for Wednesday hoping to avoid weekend crowds. However, long lines prevailed as the masses continued to pour into the park. For some rides we ended up waiting for 60+ minutes because we didn’t buy Lightening Lane passes- something to consider if you want to get on more rides.
This post is all about what I think is worth the wait, or money, at Disneyland. I’m speaking as someone who likes thrill rides but can also appreciate a less thrilling but well-designed ride. I also prioritize good food on trips so I’ll share what I tried and if I thought it was worth the expensive price (because we all know food is going to be expensive at Disney)!
Matterhorn Bobsled (Fantasyland): 7 minute wait, Worth it
We went through the single rider line which allowed us to wait only 7 minutes. The Matterhorn ride has minor thrills and is pretty bumpy. I would not go on this ride if I had to wait more than 10ish minutes.
Space Mountain (Tomorrowland): 47 minute wait, Worth it
This is a can’t miss ride in Disneyland. Space Mountain is an immersive experience that makes you feel like you’re blasting through space!
Star Tours (Tomorrowland): 5 minute wait, worth it
Virtual reality, motion simulator ride in which you “ride” through space. Definitely worth checking out. I would’ve even waited longer for this ride.
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (Star Wars Galaxy Edge): 75 minute wait, Worth it
The most involved ride we experienced the whole day. The story line involves riders being “recruits” for the Resistance and getting trapped/having to escape in a fight against the First Order. The ride is a combination of motion simulator, walk-through, and trackless dark ride in which you zoom around various sections of the ride. I thought it was worth the wait to experience once but if I were to ride a second time I would not wait 75 minutes.
California Adventure Rides
Guardians of The Galaxy (Avengers campus): 54 minute wait, WORTH IT
My favorite ride was hands-down Guardians of The Galaxy. The ride is super simple: a series of drops in a dark tower. I found myself giggle-screaming uncontrollably. Do not miss this one!
Grizzly River Run (Grizzly Peak Rec Area): 60 minute wait, NOT worth it
I think we must have gotten in line at the exact wrong time because our wait was insane for such a short ride. This is a very tame, river rapids ride with only one semi-exciting drop. I would recommend skipping it even if you only had to wait 10 minutes.
Incredicoaster (Pixar Pier): 20 minute wait, worth it
The only actual roller coaster we rode all day and we loved it so much we did it twice! The line moves so quickly we only waited ~20 minutes both times. I appreciated how the whole ride was exciting- not just one part.
Radiator Springs Racers (Cars Land): 30 minute wait, worth it
I was on the fence about whether this ride was worth it, but ultimately decided it was worth doing once. I was surprised to discover most of the ride is slow, going through a simulated Cars town. Only the last little bit of the ride involves racing.
Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure (Avengers campus): 40 minute wait, not worth it
Possibly an unpopular opinion but I did not think the new Web Slingers ride is worth it- but I have friends who think it is. The one thing it has going for it is its unique interactive element in which you “shoot” webs. I would recommend checking it out if you only had to wait 20 minutes or less.
Black Tap (Downtown Disney): For lunch we split the Mexico City burger (comes with fries) and Edgar got a beer. We paid $31.25 total. The food was great- definitely recommend.
Cake Pop (Penny Arcade in Disneyland): Paid $5.49 which is more expensive than a normal cake pop, but worth it in my opinion. The chocolate inside was decadent and soft, which was complimented by the hard chocolate shell.
Salt and Straw (Downtown Disney): Quality ice cream with unique flavors. I tried the Honey Lavender (Edgar thinks it tastes like a candle but I like it!) and Salted, Malted, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Edgar had the Chocolate Gooey Brownie and Double Fold Vanilla. We both got waffle cones so it came out to around $19 total. We love ice cream so this was worth it to us.