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Disneyland: What’s the Scariest Ride of All? A Ranking of Every Ride

Disneyland and California Adventure take the spots as some of the best theme parks in the world. Both children and adults alike can find their perfect ride as not every attraction is for the faint of heart. How much fear can you take? Here’s a personal list of each ride ranked by scariness.   52. Casey Jr. Circus Train D52 Flickr: lorenjavier Where to find it: Fantasyland (Disneyland)
Opened: July 31, 1955 Not too much can go wrong here, except if you’re afraid of charming trains. And if you are, it would be best to wait outside the park until the rest of your crew comes back.   51. Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train D51 Flickr: andrew_d_miller Where to find it: A Bug’s Land (California Adventure)
Opened: Oct. 7, 2002 Another lovable train, but riding inside the body of a caterpillar might not be all that appealing if you think about it.   50. King Arthur Carrousel D50 Flickr: harshlight Where to fin it: Fantasyland (Disneyland)
Opened: July 17, 1955 No one’s really sure why this carousel is spelled with two “r”s. The horses are quite big and quite fake, but once you get past that, there’s no problem.   49. King Triton’s Carousel of the Sea D49 Flickr: rollercoasterphilosophy Where to find it: Paradise Pier (California Adventure)
Opened: Feb. 8, 2001 This time you will be aboard giant sea creatures instead of your average horse. Once you get past the idea of sitting on scales, you can enjoy the ride. Don’t worry, you’re not actually in the ocean.   48. Mark Twain Riverboat D48 Flickr: harshlight Where to find it: Frontierland (Disneyland)
Opened: July 17, 1955 Yes: Boats can be terrifying. No fear though because this one runs on a track. Another advantage is that you can brush up on your Twain history!   47. Sailing Ship Columbia D47 Flickr: harshlight Where to find it: Frontierland (Disneyland)
Opened: June 14, 1958 Scarier looking than the Mark Twain, Columbia may appear foreboding, but the good news is Columbia runs on the same track as the Mark Twain. Yet, an important not is the Columbia actually killed someone. It’s doubtless that it will happen again, but you never know.   46. Dumbo the Flying Elephant D46 Flickr: rollercoasterphilosophy Where to find it: Fantasyland (Disneyland)
Opened: Aug. 16, 1955 Hanging in the air is not phobia to be underestimated. Even though most toddlers have no problems riding Dumbo, the height can be adjusted, the maximum of which isn’t really that high, you still may want to be careful.   45. The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure D45 Flickr: lorenjavier Where to find it: Paradise Pier (California Adventure)
Opened: Dec. 6, 2012 Rides in complete darkness may induce some sort of panic, but this extremely close adaptation of The Little Mermaid, shouldn’t spur a panic attack. It’s relatively mellow, except for Flotsam and Jetsam, Ursula’s minions.   44. Storybook Land Canal Boats D44 Flickr: harshlight Where to find it: Fantasyland (Disneyland)
Opened: July 17, 1955 The start of this calm boat ride takes a turn when you go into the mouth of a whale. Not cool. Once that’s over, it’s all good, unless, of course, you don’t like all the very detailed miniatures displayed everywhere.   43. Disneyland Railroad D43 Flickr: expressmonorail Where to find it: Disneyland
Opened: July 17, 1955 Not being the most popular of rides, the Disneyland Railroad unknowingly and surprisingly passes through a land where GIAGANTIC DINOSAURS live. Not kidding. You have been forewarned. The ride is still rather tranquil though.   42. Autopia D42 Flickr: phuson Where to find it: Tomorrowland
Opened: July 17, 1955 The only thing to really fear in this ride is the feeling of being an adult. Driving a car may bring on nerves, but your “driving” is really being done for you because you are on a track.   41. Tuck and Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies D41 Flickr: conniel Where to find it: A Bug’s Land (California Adventure)
Opened: Oct. 7, 2002 The point of riding in these buggies is to crash into others. You know it’s coming but the impact still surprises. It’s not nearly as peaceful as Autopia.   40. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh D40 Flickr: aloha75 Where to find it: Critter Country (Disneyland)
Opened: April 11, 2003 Hungry bears are not usually what you want to find yourself in front of. Winne the Pooh is an exception however. The only scary thing here is that not too many people know about this ride.   39. Muppet*Vision 3D D39 Flickr: harshlight Where to find it: Hollywood Land (California Adventure)
Opened: Feb. 8, 2001 Originally deemed as a “4D” show, Muppet*Vision achieves the potentially terrifying feat of breaking the fourth wall when bubbles somehow COME OUT OF THE SCREEN.   38. Alice in Wonderland D38 Flickr: lorenjavier Where to find it: Fantasyland (Disneyland)
Opened: June 14, 1958 Alice in Wonderland has been known to bring on nightmares, but the ride is your typical “in the dark ride” and is too short to do too much damage.   37. Francis’ Ladybug Boogie D37 Flickr: hamsters Where to find it: A Bug’s Land (California Adventure)
Opened: Oct. 7, 2002 Avoid eye contact with the ladybugs. Or death awaits you. Seriously. Just look at the picture. Point made. The ride itself is fairly tame though.   36. Luigi’s Flying Tires D36 Flickr: harshlight Where to find it: Cars Land (California Adventure)
Opened: June 15, 2012 Try not to dwell on the fact that you are defying nature by floating a bit off the ground on an oversized tire while you gently dump into the other floating people on tires.   35. Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! D35 Flickr: jeffchristiansen Where to find it: Hollywood Land (California Adventure)
Opened: Jan. 23, 2006 Looking at the name of this ride, there is a lot to be worried about. Anything has to do with monsters is quite troublesome, not to mention the added intensity of the exclamation point! In reality though, the dark is scarier than the monsters in this ride.   34. Peter Pan’s Flight D34 Flickr: lorenjavier Where to find it: Fantasyland (Disneyland)
Opened: July 17, 1955 The one and only scary moment in this ride is also perhaps the coolest. You can’t really beat flying over London in a pirate ship. Look down and you’ll see that you could survive the fall if it came to that.   33. Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters D33 Flickr: e_chaya Where to find it: Tomorrowland (Disneyland)
Opened: March 17, 2005 The risk factor here is being petrified of embarrassing yourself with a low score because even though the evil emperor, Evil Emperor Zurg, has downright scary potential, you have a blaster gun. Defend your honor!   32. Toy Story Midway Mania! D32 Flickr: aloha75 Where to find it: Paradise Pier (California Adventure)
Opened: May 31, 2008 Again, you will have to deal with anxiety of a low score here. Toy Story Midway Mania is in a close tie with Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, the ominous carnival is what ultimately makes the distinction.   31. Pirates of the Caribbean D31 Flickr: gkaitz Where to find it: New Orleans Square (Disneyland)
Opened: March 18, 1967 Watch out for Johnny Depp! The recently added Jack Sparrow looks significantly more real than all the other fake and freaky looking pirates. He could be secretly following you. Keep a sharp eye.   30. Jumpin’ Jellyfish D30 Flickr: jeffchristiansen Where to find it: Paradise Pier (California Adventure)
Opened: Feb. 8, 2001 Here starts the attractions that could bother not only those who are strangely uneasy. However Jumpin’ Jellyfish’s looks are a bit deceiving. “Jumpin’” in reality is more like hopin’ in this ride designed for kids.   29. Golden Zephyr D29 Flickr: expressmonorail Where to find it: Paradise Pier (California Adventure)
Opened: Feb. 8, 2001 Supper fast! Just kidding. It just looks like it is. When it’s windy, California Adventure saves this ride for another day. The only real potentially petrifying thing is how high you will be off the ground if you decide to take a spin.   28. It’s a Small World D28 Flickr: themeparkmom Where to find it: Fantasyland (Disneyland)
Opened: May 28, 1966 The message is great. I get it. But the celebration of multiculturalism is interrupted by the big creepy singing dolls everywhere you turn. No one can deny it.   27. Star Tours—The Adventures Continue D27 Flickr: harshlight Where to find it: Tomorrowland (Disneyland)
Opened: May 20, 2011 Much better than the previous version, which hadn’t been updated since the 80’s, Star Tours’ update also includes more scare. Star Wars villains play an active role and you might see some fuzzy Wookies experience some violence.   26. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room D26 Flickr: aloha75 Where to find it: Disneyland
Opened: June 23, 1963 This 12-minute nightmare is not a ride or a show. So what is it? I’m not sure but you get the whole package: animated and robotic birds, and horrific music. It may be something to skip, with the exception of the famous Dole Whip.   25. Jungle Cruise D25 Flickr: averain Where to find it: Adventureland
Opened: July 17, 1955 A good guide makes the ride. The fear factor is up to them. With a little bit of convincing acting, Jungle Cruise will turn into a real thrilling adventure. Keep an eye out for those hippos!   24. Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin D24 Flickr: lorenjavier Where to find it: Mickey’s Toontown (Disneyland)
Opened: Jan. 24, 1994 Being able to spin your own car around in the dark definitely makes the nerves go up. Oh, and you’ll also be threatened with toon-killing dip at one point. Not to mention the very real horrible accident involving the death of a young boy.   23. The Haunted Mansion D23 Flickr: lorenjavier Where to find it: New Orleans Square (Disneyland)
Opened: Aug. 9, 1969 The Haunted House was made to be scary, but it really isn’t all that terrifying. That being said though, looking into a mirror and seeing a ghost sitting next to you enjoying the ride as well freaks me out everytime.   22. Captain EO Tribute D22 Flickr: rollercoasterphilosophy Where to find it: Tomorrowland (Disneyland)
Opened: Feb. 23, 2010 Shortly reopening after Michael Jackson’s death, Captain EO was deemed a “tribute”. The show is rather dull, but still quite unsettling. Anjelica Huston as an alien and the seats constantly shaking are the only things to be slightly worried about.   21. Pinocchio’s Daring Journey D21 Flickr: lorenjavier Where to find it: Fantasyland (Disneyland)
Opened: May 23, 1983 This ride is indeed “daring”. It’s also the opposite of fun. You are practically put into cardiac arrest after being trapped in a birdcage, going to Pleasure Island (there’s nothing pleasurable about it), watching your friends transform into donkeys, and finally, you’re almost swallowed by an extremely evil-looking whale. NOT OKAY.   20. Soarin’ Over California D20 Flickr: harshlight Where to find it: Condor Flats (California Adventure)
Opened: Feb. 8, 2001 Even though it is technically a simulation ride, look down from you zooming plane and you will see that you are actually suspended in the air. In addition, you feet are DANGLING FREELY over the massive abyss.   19. Disneyland Monorail D19 Flickr: prayitnophotography Where to find it: Tomorrowland (Disneyland)
Opened: June 14, 1959 “Mono” also means one. One rail. That’s it. Enough said; no further explanation necessary.   18. Astro Orbiter D18 Flickr: angeloangelo Where to find it: Tomorrowland (Disneyland)
Opened: 1998 Do you see the photo!!!??? Excuse me while my anxiety takes over for a minute. Basically a grown-up version of Dumbo, with an even more adjustable personal height, Astro Orbiter has you in a rocket ship, which is much more scary than being in a flying elephant.   17. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride D17 Flickr: lorenjavier Where to find it: Fantasyland (Disneyland)
Opened: July 17, 1955 This ride was secretly made for adults. It’s an extremely heavy morality tale where you realize your sins while surrounded by painted devils. Your heart rate continues to rise, and then, you die. Really. And you go to hell. Sorry for ruining all the fun.   16. Mickey’s Fun Wheel D16 Flickr: aloha75 Where to find it: Paradise Pier (California Adventure)
Opened: May 4, 2009 I’ve never been a fan of the iconic theme par or fair attraction: the Ferris wheel.  How can I when all you’re doing is hanging out 5 million times higher than anyone should be without being in an airplane? Mickey’s “Fun” Wheel makes it even worse by suspending you in dangling gondola. No thanks.   15. Gadget’s Go Coaster D15 Flickr: rollercoasterphilosophy Where to find it: Mickey’s Toontown (Disneyland)
Opened: Jan. 24, 1993 A roller coaster is a roller coaster, no matter if it was made for kids or not. It’s still scary. Gadget’s Go Coaster is no exception so stop making fun of me!   14. Silly Symphony Swings D14 Flickr: harshlight Where to find it: Paradise Pier (California Adventure)
Opened: May 28, 2010 Known as a “wave swinger” or a “swing ride” or perhaps better known as “my genuine worst nightmare”, Silly Symphony Swings are extremely deceptive. They look innocent enough, but when you’re feeling like you are about fly out of your seat and straight to your death you’ll realize that you’re eyes betrayed you.   13. Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage D13 Flickr: lorenjavier Where to find it: Tomorrowland (Disneyland)
Opened: June 11, 2007 If you’re even a little bit claustrophobic, stay away from Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. Same advice for if you are afraid of the ocean, which it all too perfectly understandable. Also, remember the anglerfish in the movie? Well you get to see one close up.   12. Radiator Springs Racers D12 Flickr: harshlight Where to find it: Cars Land (California Adventure)
Opened: June 15, 2012 Radiator Springs Racers tends to break down a lot: the first bad sign. Talking cars are actually quite nerve-racking, even though I know you don’t think so now. There is even a farting car. Then, all of the sudden, you’re in a super stressful race.   11. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad D11 Flickr: aloha75 Where to find it: Frontierland (Disneyland)
Opened: Sept. 2, 1979 Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is without a doubt the most exhilarating roller coaster you will find at Disneyland. (Not Space Mountain!) We’ve already talked about the concept of just being a roller coaster, so unfortunately there’s that factor involved. Oh, and it’s also been derailed in the past.   10. Matterhorn Bobsleds D10 Flickr: lorenjavier Where to find it: Fantasyland (Disneyland)
Opened: June 14, 1959 Nothing is scarier than pain. The Yeti on the Matterhorn earns most of the credit for being scary as it is constantly roaring at you, but the bobsleds take the lead. They redid the bobsleds, but you will still exit the ride feeling sore.   9. Grizzly River Run D9 Flickr: prayitnophotography Where to find it: Grizzly Peak (California Adventure)
Opened: Feb. 8, 2001 After this ride you will never be dry again. After an easy start, the rapids switch up their game, toss you around, and completely dowse you. You will be forced to go down one of the big drops backward, which is totally unsettling. On the plus side though, no one will notice if you pee a little from fright.   8. Splash Mountain D8 Flickr: harshlight Where to find it: Critter Country (Disneyland)
Opened: July 17, 1989 The 53-foot drop is definitely long enough to make you life flash before your eyes. Look out for the briars on you’re way down! Just because no one ever crashes into them doesn’t mean it can’t happen.   7. Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye D7 Flickr: lorenjavier Where to find it: Adventureland (Disneyland)
Opened: March 4, 1995 You know it’s simulated, but you can’t help to be terrified and feel like you will not be leaving alive. This ride has everything that you could ever imagine to be horrifying: giant snakes, giant boulders, giant darts being shot at you. And then there are the giant bugs on the wall. That’s the worst of the worst.   6. Goofy’s Sky School D6 Flickr: lorenjavier Where to find it: Paradise Pier
Opened: July 1, 2011 Originally this ride was named Mulholland Madness, which was shut down because it was TOO UNSAFE. Now that it’s been renamed it’s supposed to be safer but you won’t feel that way when you’re almost flying off the rails at all the turns. Simply terrorizing.   5. Mad Tea Party D5 Flickr: lorenjavier Where to find it: Fantasyland (Disneyland)
Opened: July 17, 1955 That they made this for children is unfathomable. Go for a spin at the Mad Tea Party and it will dizzy you, disorient you, and leave you with no idea of what just happened. Don’t go on if you have any one of the listed forbidden preexisting conditions.   4. Space Mountain D4 Flickr: averain Where to find it: Tomorrowland (Disneyland)
Opened: May 27, 1977 As Space Mountain is entirely in the dark, it’s impossible to get a decent photo. A roller coaster in the dark is also not ideal for those who scare easily (or even those that don’t!), because you never know what’s going to happen next. Put that on top of all types of twists and turns, and you have one freaky ride.   3. California Screamin’ D3 Flickr: endbradley Where to find it: Paradise Pier (California Adventure)
Opened: Feb. 8, 2001 Whoever decided riding upside down was okay, it’s not, and nor will it ever be. California Screamin’ is your pretty standard scary roller coaster and definitely not for the weak-hearted.   2. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror D2 Flickr: disneyworldsecets Where to find it: Hollywood Land (California Adventure)
Opened: May 5, 2004 Here lies a combination of all the things that creep me out: Elevators, old hotels, cobwebs, and falling to my death. Just lovely. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror really should cease to exist for all the panic it causes.   1. Snow White’s Scary Adventures D1 Flickr: lorenjavier Where to find it: Fantasyland (Disneyland)
Opened: July 17, 1955 Absolutely the scariest ride Disneyland and California Adventure has to offer. I refuse. This dark ride is the definition of TERRIFYING. The Disney World version of Snow White’s Scary Adventures was even more distressing, (how that’s possible, I don’t know) it had to be shut down. Set off any warning bells? http://www.buzzfeed.com/louispeitzman/ranking-e...

2 comments

  • Anon

    Hmmmm. This article sounds familiar. Word for word, horrifyingly similar to the buzzfeed one, which was published earlier???

  • Michele Dawn Sanderson

    I LOVE DISNEY LAND ESPECIALLY IT’S A SMALL WORLD, I FELL IN LOVE WITH DISNEYLAND AND I HAVE BEEN IN LOVE WITH WALT DISNEY SINCE I WAS VERY VERY YOUNG!

    WALT DISNEY WAS A MAGICIAN, TRULY A MAN, FULL OF THE DREAMS IN LIFE THAT MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY ON EARTH.

    I always enjoy visiting the world of Disneyland!

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