4 Best Roller Coasters at Disneyland (Ranked by Experience)

Disneyland is home to some of the most famous park attractions in the world. Some of these are rollercoasters that people travel internationally to experience. Others are so lightweight that seasoned coasterheads don’t even bother waiting for them.

But what makes a roller coaster worthy of international travel?

And what makes a roller coaster unworthy of a 15-minute wait?

Ultimately, it’s the experience.

If a ride offers the kind of experience you’re looking for, then you’ll go for it. So, ranking the best roller coasters at Disneyland must start with experience…

Roller CoasterImmersivenessUniquenessMemorability
Space Mountain10/108/109/10
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 7/108/106/10
Matterhorn Bobsleds8/106/106/10
Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster6/106/105/10

The Best Disneyland Roller Coasters Ranked (By Experience)

Disneyland rollercoasters are not meant to attract thrillseekers looking for the steepest drop or the most inventions. The park has themed attractions that must be experienced as stories. So, to rank Disneyland parks, one must judge each attraction by its immersiveness, uniqueness, and memorability.

  • Immersiveness – How believable is the ride? Does the rider get absorbed into its backstory and concept? 
  • Uniqueness – How likely is a rider to find a similar ride at a different park?
  • Memorability – How likely is a rider to remember the experience?

If Disneyland coasters were judged not by their immersiveness, uniqueness, and memorability, they wouldn’t even be worth writing about. Below, you will see how Disneyland rollercoasters score on metrics used to judge standard rollercoasters. Spoiler alert: they’re not that great.

  • Height – The tallest rollercoaster at Disneyland Park is 147 feet tall (Matterhorn Bobsleds) 
  • Length – Disneyland Park’s longest rollercoaster is Space Mountain (3,459 ft long)
  • Drop – No Disneyland rollercoaster features a prominent drop.
  • Top Speed – 35 mph is the highest speed for a Disneyland rollercoaster (Big Thunder Mountain)
  • Maximum Angle – The standard maximum angle for Disneyland rollercoasters is 25 degrees.

Now that you know the spec range of Disneyland rollercoasters, let’s look at how the rides rank according to the experience they offer.

1. Space Mountain

  • Date Opened: July 15, 2005 
  • Park Section: Tomorrowland
  • Height: 85 ft
  • Length: 3,459 ft
  • Rider Height Requirement: 44 inches tall
  • Seating Capacity: 12 riders per train
  • Top Speed: 32 mph 
  • Ride duration: 02:45

Disneyland’s Space Mountain starts off at a futuristic space-themed launch station. Its trains are designed to look like spacefaring vehicles straight out of a sci-fi movie. So, it makes sense that the ride has one of the longest waiting lines in the park.

But is it worth the wait? Of course. Even the first minute of the ride is worth the wait. The train moves through a dark tunnel with glowing lights that form your baseline. Once you’re used to these lights, you notice that the ending of the tunnel is much darker, with a galaxy suspended at its center.

Then you plunge headfirst into darkness with projects of stars all around you. The ride shifts its speed and angles alongside the starry projections throughout its 2 minutes and 45 seconds. And before you know it, the light dots turn into long streaks of light, and you’re at the end of the ride, docking back in the station.

  • The ride is housed in a white pyramid-shaped dome. 
  • Space Mountain is one of the oldest rides at Disneyland 
  • It is the second rollercoaster to be introduced to Disneyland

2. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

  • Date Opened: September 2, 1979 
  • Park Section: Frontierland
  • Height: 104 ft
  • Length: 2,671 ft
  • Rider Height Requirement: 40 inches tall 
  • Seating Capacity: 30 riders per train (approx)
  • Top Speed: 35 mph
  • Ride duration: 3:00

For rollercoaster purists, this ride might be even better than Space Mountain. It definitely is better on the rollercoaster metrics despite offering a less novel experience. Big Thunder Mountain is a railroad rollercoaster with a mining theme. Its track is surrounded by rocky mining tunnels. The track moves through a miniature town designed to fit the attraction’s backstory.

The ride doesn’t feature serious or scary drops, though it does have its thrilling moments. The best among these is the sudden movement from broad daylight to complete darkness followed by a flash. This series of shifts takes most riders by surprise.

  • Disneyland is not the only Disney Park with a Big Thunder Mountain Ride. 
  • There are a total of 4 Big Thunder Mountain Rides located at four different Disney parks.
  • Despite varying backstories, all Big Thunder Mountain Rides are set in fictional mining towns with haunted gold mines.

3. Matterhorn Bobsleds

  • Date Opened: June 14, 1959 
  • Park Section: Fantasyland
  • Height: 80 ft
  • Length: 2,134 ft
  • Rider Height Requirement: 42 inches
  • Seating Capacity: 6 riders per train
  • Top Speed: 27 mph
  • Ride duration: 2:26

The Matterhorn Bobsleds ride is the oldest rollercoaster attraction at Disneyland. It has steel tracks and glides forward with minimal bumpiness. Since there are no steep drops or inversions, the ride’s main draw is its theme.

Named and modeled after the Swiss mountain Matterhorn, this bobsled ride goes through carefully constructed mountain tunnels and over a small body of water. The peak of the mountain is painted to appear snow-capped, and there’s even an abominable snowman in one of the tunnels.

The ride is most immersive when the bobsleds are in the tunnels. They do not look artificial. But whenever the bobsleds move out onto the open-air sections of the track, you remember that you’re at a theme park and not in the Swiss Alps.

While the ride is a hit among children and adults alike, most visitors rank it below Space Mountain in immersiveness and overall experience. Its queue is, therefore, shorter than that of Space Mountain.

4. Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster

  • Date Opened: January 24, 1993 
  • Park Section: Mickey’s Toontown
  • Height: 27.9 ft
  • Length: 679.2 ft
  • Rider Height Requirement: 35 inches 
  • Seating Capacity: 32 riders per train
  • Top Speed: 21.7 mph
  • Ride duration: 0:44

The Gadgetcoaster is the mellowest rollercoaster ride at Disneyland. It is among the top five rollercoasters just because only four are at the park. But that’s only if you judge the ride by the standard non-disney metrics.

But what is a liability to a seasoned coaster-head is a perk to a family with young kids. This rollercoaster is not as scary as the average thrill ride, but it manages to pack some thrills in its short duration.

It is the perfect ride to introduce your kids to rollercoasters without scaring them or putting them in harm’s way. Also, because this ride isn’t really for adults, it has a shorter queue. And at Disneyland, that’s always a plus.

  • The ride, according to its backstory, is made by Gadget Hackwrench from the Chip’n’Dale’s Rescue Rangers. 
  • Previously, the ride was called Gadget’s Go Coaster.

Other Rollercoasters At Disneyland Resort

Disneyland Park is one of the two parks at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. The other theme park is Disney California Adventure, and it has much better rollercoasters than Disneyland Park.

Since the two parks are just a three-minute walk away from each other, you can easily visit both in a single day.

Pro-Tip: Visit both parks with a Magic Key Pass or Park Hopper Ticket.

Disney California Adventure Rollercoasters Ranked

The following rollercoasters are in California Adventure at Disneyland Resort. Since they’re not in the main Disneyland park, they are ranked separately.


  • Date Opened: February 8, 2001 
  • Park Section: Pixar Pier
  • Height: 120 ft
  • Length: 6,072 ft
  • Rider Height Requirement: 48 inches minimum 
  • Seating Capacity: 24 riders per train
  • Drop: 108 ft
  • Top Speed: 55 mph
  • Ride duration: 2:36

For diehard coasterheads, the Incredicoaster might be the only real rollercoaster between the two parks. It beats all rollercoasters across all Disney parks in speed, drop size, number of inversions, and maximum vertical angle.

But what makes it a great rollercoaster for thrill seekers might make it a not-so-ideal one for the average Disney park visitor. Some riders have complained about the ride’s sudden acceleration, while others have found its sweeping drops downright nauseous.

So, if you’re not a rollercoaster veteran, then you might want to hold off on this one. Despite being ranked the better one of the two rollercoasters at California Adventure, it is definitely not for everyone.

For perspective, Goofy’s Sky School, the other rollercoaster at the same park, has a speed of 27 mph. In contrast, the Incredicoaster has a speed of 55 mph (roughly double) that it reaches within 4 seconds of its launch. Plus, the ride inverts at one point (you’re upside down).

  • The Incredicoaster is the fastest rollercoaster across all Disney parks. 
  • The ride is named after The Incredibles (film franchise).

Goofy’s Sky School

  • Date Opened: February 8, 2001 
  • Park Section: Paradise Gardens Park
  • Height: 55 ft
  • Length: 1,200 ft
  • Rider Height Requirement: 42 inches minimum 
  • Seating Capacity: 4 riders per train
  • Top Speed: 27 mph
  • Ride duration: 1:45

Goofy’s Sky School is an airplane-themed rollercoaster with an outdoor track. It is a fun ride for kids peppered with ‘flying lessons’ that the ride misses by design.

There are boards at different points on the Sky School tracks instructing riders to pilot their ‘planes’ in specific ways. Of course, the riders don’t have any control over the planes, so the opposite happens.

In the safety of a medium-sized rollercoaster, riders can experience the thrill of trying to pilot a plane and having it spin out of control.

The concept is pretty unique and could definitely be taken much further with longer tracks and steeper drops. But Goofy’s Sky School is ultimately a kids’ ride, and for a children’s rollercoaster, it definitely has what it takes to be a top-three consideration.

  • The ride is based on a Goofy short from the 1940s 
  • Goofy hosts the ride via pre-recorded audio.

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