If you’re planning a trip to Disneyland, then it’s perfectly normal to be a little worried over how intense some of the rides and attractions might be. We all aren’t fearless daredevils, which is why I figured this list of Disneyland rides ranked by intensity would be helpful.
In this article, I’m going to rank the top Disneyland rides from the least intense to the most intense. I’ll also dive into what it is about each attraction that makes it either relatively harmless or extremely scary and intense!
Disneyland Rides Ranked by Intensity (TLDR)
So here is how I would rank the Disneyland rides in terms of intensity (with Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster rated the least intense ride and the Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout ranked as the most intense ride):
10) Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster (Least Intense Disneyland Ride)
9) Radiator Springs Racers
8) Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
7) Space Mountain
5) Goofy’s Sky School
4) Smugglers Run
3) Silly Symphony Swings
2) Mission Breakout
1) Incredicoaster (Most Intense Disneyland Ride)
Now, without further delay, let’s take a closer look at every attraction on this list!
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Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster
Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster is a fun and thrilling ride at the Disneyland resort that can be quite intense for some riders (especially younger children) due to its relatively high speeds. The rollercoaster takes guests on a wild ride through a child friendly maze of twists, unexpected turns and drops all while traveling at slightly over 20 miles per hour.
The ride features a number of exciting elements, including a launch section that propels riders forward at a relatively high velocity that adds some intensity. The high speeds of the ride, combined with its sudden drops and sharp turns make it an intense experience for many guests and earning the attraction a spot on our list!
Intensity Ranking 2/10
Radiator Springs Racers
California Adventure’s Cars themed attraction, Radiator Springs Racers, is a thrilling ride at the Disneyland Resort that can be quite intense for some guests due to its high speed towards the end of the ride.
This attraction takes guests on a high-speed race (against other guests!) through the winding roads of Radiator Springs and features a sharp corner to add some intensity. The ride features some of the most impressive and realistic non-human animatronics in any Disney attraction and takes riders through a series of twists and turns, including the aforementioned high-speed finale where riders race against another car full of guests.
While the speed and intensity of the ride can be overwhelming for some guests who don’t like the idea of high speeds, for those who love a good thrill, Radiator Springs Racers is a truly unforgettable experience and one of my personal favorites.
The ride is considered one of the most popular attractions at Disneyland with stand-by lines that can peak at upwards of two hours, so if this is on your must do list it’s best to get it done earlier in the day or later in the evening right before the park closes!
Intensity Ranking 3/10
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Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
While it’s not technically as fast as Radiator Springs Racers, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (located on the Disneyland side of the resort) is a very popular attraction that can often be quite intense for unsuspecting passengers, primarily due to its rather quick speed.
The rollercoaster travels at high speeds through sharp turns and steep drops throughout the entirety of the ride, which gives riders a thrilling experience however this attraction could be quite jarring for some.
The ride’s fast pace can be intimidating for those who are not used to such intense rides and high speeds combined with the ride’s twists and turns can also cause a feeling of weightlessness, adding to the excitement and potential intensity of this particular excursion. For those guests who love a good adrenaline rush however, Big Thunder Mountain is a must-ride!
Intensity Ranking 4/10
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Space Mountain is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most iconic rides at Disneyland and the attraction is mostly known for its intense experience. The ride takes you on a rollercoaster journey through space with twists, turns, and drops that defy gravity. What makes Space Mountain particularly intense however is its reliance on complete and utter darkness.
Unlike other rollercoasters that are brightly lit, Space Mountain is almost entirely dark, creating a sense of disorientation that adds to the thrill of the ride and also adds quite a bit to the intensity level. Riders are unable to anticipate the twists and turns, making each moment more surprising and intense than the last.
The lack of visibility also heightens the sensation of speed, Space Mountain reaches speeds of quite a bit higher than 30 Miles per hour which of course feels way faster when guests can’t see where they are going! The ride’s soundtrack also adds to the intensity, with futuristic music and sound effects that create a sense of urgency and excitement.
Intensity Ranking 4/10
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WebSlingers: A Spider-Man Adventure is one of the newest attractions at Disneyland and has quickly become a fan favorite (it is also my personal favorite attraction). This interactive ride takes you on a journey through the Avengers Campus while you get to help Spider-Man defeat the spider -bots that were created and that are growing out of control.
While WebSlingers is not a traditional thrill ride like Space Mountain for example, it can still be considered intense due to its very dark atmosphere. The ride takes place in a dark and dimly lit room, which can be disorienting and immersive and of course we find that the darkness creates a sense of urgency and heightens the suspense of the ride.
Riders are given web-slinging technology that allows them to shoot webs and defeat villains, adding an element of competition and excitement. The ride’s soundtrack and sound effects also create a sense of urgency and excitement, making each moment feel more intense than the last. I personally feel however that the darkness in the attraction and the 3-D nature of the screens is what makes it as intense as it is!
Intensity Ranking 5/10
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Goofy’s Sky School
Goofy’s Sky School is a thrilling attraction at Disneyland that is most definitely not for the faint of heart. While it is listed as child friendly, this particular rollercoaster takes you on a wild ride through the skies with Goofy as your pilot.
What makes Goofy’s Sky School so intense is its height and speed combined with the directions of the corners in the ride, and that’s what makes you feel like you’re flying. In addition to its height and speed, Goofy’s Sky School also has a unique storyline. Riders are trained to become pilots by Goofy himself, adding an element of humor and excitement to the ride.
The ride’s ambiance and sound effects also add to the intensity, creating a sense of urgency and excitement that makes each moment more thrilling than the last. This attraction is a lot of fun to participate in, however I am not a huge fan of the feeling of flying, so I find it to be a very intense and miserable experience for the most part! If you’re up for a wild ride in the skies with Goofy, then Goofy’s Sky School is the ride for you.
Intensity Ranking 5/10
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Smugglers Run (located in Disneyland’s Galaxy’s Edge) is a thrilling attraction that takes you on a journey through space aboard the Millennium Falcon. What makes Smugglers Run so intense is the feeling of flying and realism, very similarly to our previous ride.
Riders are given the opportunity to pilot the Millennium Falcon themselves, adding an element of excitement and responsibility to the ride which is already a 3-D experience complete with moving seats. The ride’s immersive graphics, sound effects and movements make it feel like you’re actually flying through space, creating a sense of realism that can be incredibly intense for some riders.
Intensity Ranking 6/10
General Intensity Rides
Silly Symphony Swings
Silly Symphony Swings is considered to be an intense attraction that is most certainly not for the faint of heart. This ride takes you on a high-flying adventure as you swing in a circular pattern on giant swings suspended from chains. What makes Silly Symphony Swings so intense is the height and movement of the ride, as well as the fact that it’s open-air.
Riders are lifted high into the air (reaching heights of up to nearly 60 feet), while the swings rotate at high speeds for about two minutes. This creates a sense of excitement and adrenaline that can be intense for some riders, especially riders who are not a fan of heights
As we mentioned earlier, in addition to its height and movement, Silly Symphony Swings is also open-air, which means that riders are exposed to the elements and the only thing holding them in the ride vehicle is a lap bar and safety chain. This can be a thrilling experience, as riders feel the wind rushing through their hair and the sun on their face, but it can also be scary for those who are afraid of heights or Who may not feel very secure within the swings.
Intensity Ranking 7/10
Mission: Breakout is one of the most intense rides in Disneyland (it’s actually so intense that it’s our second place choice for the most intense ride in Disneyland), and it’s no wonder why.
The ride features a series of unpredictable drops that send you plummeting down at breakneck speeds…the most intense of these drops is the final one, which sends you hurtling towards the ground until the end of the ride.
It’s not just the drops that make this ride so intense, the darkness that surrounds you as you make your way up and down the elevator shaft only adds to the thrill.
You never know what’s coming next, and the sense of anticipation is so thick that you could cut it with a knife. Overall, Mission: Breakout is an unforgettable ride that will leave you breathless and eager for more, however it might be a bit too intense if you’re not a fan of large drops.
Intensity Ranking 9/10
Incredicoaster at the Disneyland Resort is undoubtedly the most intense ride in the entirety of either California park. From the moment you strap yourself into your seat and the ride vehicle launches, you know you’re in for a thrilling experience whether you are prepared for it or not.
The coaster takes off at a very high speed, hurtling you through a series of twists and turns that will leave you dizzy and disoriented, but hopefully still smiling of course. The quick maneuvers and sharp turns will have you gripping the safety bar for dear life, unsure of what’s coming next.
Just when you think the most intense part of the ride is over, it ramps up the intensity even further, sending you careening towards an inversion at breakneck speeds. If you’re looking for a heart-pumping, adrenaline-fueled experience, Incredicoaster is the ride for you.
Intensity Ranking 10/10
Where is Splash Mountain?
Splash Mountain is closed at the end of May 2023 for a major re-theming. The ride is undergoing a major transformation to become Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, based on the beloved character from the movie “The Princess and the Frog.”
This re-theme has been long-awaited and is expected to be a huge hit with fans of the movie however, there is some uncertainty about what the intensity of the ride will be after the re-theme. Splash Mountain was known for its thrilling drops and fast-paced excitement, but it remains to be seen whether Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will be built to replicate that same level of intensity.
With this being said, we give Tiana’s Bayou Adventure a tentative intensity ranking of 5/10 with the original Splash Mountain receiving a very similar 5/10 due to the sudden drops and occasionally dark scenery!
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