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Exciting Paradise Pier at Disneys California Adventure

Pictures of Paradise Pier rides: In the slide show above, you're viewing photos of rides and attractions in the Paradise Pier themed area of Disney's California Adventure Park in Anaheim, CA. At Paradise Pier, you'll find just the right mix of rides for all ages in your family---thrill rides, family attractions, and kiddie rides. Plus, the lavish, multi-million dollar Little Mermaid ride (which was new for Summer 2011) is sure to be a BIG hit with your family members who are fans of the animated movie!

Paradise Pier Rides and Attractions

Little Mermaid Ride--New!

What is Paradise Pier? It's a themed area at the Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, California. In fact, it's the section of the theme park that's filled with the most family rides!

What's new at Paradise Pier this year? The long-anticipated Little Mermaid ride! If you're a fan of the "Little Mermaid" animated Disney movie, you won't want to miss this major new attraction. (Note: You can see pictures of the Little Mermaid ride in the slide show above.)

This multi-million dollar dark ride moves you through Little Mermaid scenes featuring high-tech touches to enhance your feeling of immersion in the movie's story line. All your favorite characters are here...and so are your favorite Little Mermaid show tunes. Expect crowds for the entire rest of the year (and next!) because this is the must-see attraction at Disney's California Adventure this year!

What are the other fun rides & attractions at Paradise Pier? You'll discover the list on the rest of this page! Note: One beloved attraction for thrill-lovers has been removed: the Maliboomer tower ride. It will surely be missed by all those Disney park fans who love their theme park fun more wild than mild.

California Screamin' roller coaster in Paradise Pier!

Photo: the California Screamin' roller coaster at Disney's California Adventure Park

The California Screamin' roller coaster is the biggest thrill of 'em all in Paradise Pier at Disneys California Adventure.

You'll hop aboard a ride car that's wired for sound, and gives you pulse-pounding music to accompany your high-speed trip.

Next, you'll ease out of the station giving you a restful moment to contemplate what's coming...before you're CATAPULTED ahead on a flying takeoff! You'll zoom from 0 to 55 MPH in a mere 5 seconds!

You'll take drops--including a BIG 108' plunge! You'll zoom through banking turns along your course---and even loop upside down!

You'll be able to use a Fast Pass for this attraction on busy summer days. The line is out-of-doors, but shaded. And, one last thing---guests need to be 48" or taller to ride.

Goofy's Sky School: "Wild Mouse" style fun

If you've been to the Disney California Adventure theme park in the past, then you surely remember the Mulholland Madness ride. One of the major thrill rides in the Paradise Pier themed area, this popular ride was a specially-themed version of the "wild mouse" style roller coasters that you've probably enjoyed at other theme parks and state fairs.

As a part of the Disney California Adventure make-over plan, the Mulholland Madness ride has been re-themed to become Goofy's Sky School. It's the same ride...but it now incorporates the popular Disney character, Goofy, as part of the visual effects that you'll enjoy here.

Goofy's Sky School features sudden turns that make you gasp and leave you wondering, "Will I fall off the edge?" Of course, you won't fall, and it's all part of the fun.

Unfortunately, Goofy's Sky School is a relatively slow-loading ride, and waiting times reach 45 minutes or more on a busy day. If you have a multi-day ticket to Disneyland & Disney's California Adventure, this won't pose a problem for you. However, if you're visiting with a one-day ticket, you may feel that this is one ride you might skip if the line is too long (since this particular ride is not unique to Disney parks, other than its "Goofy" character theme.)

Minimum Height: Your kids will need to be at least 42" tall to ride this zippy attraction with you.

The beautiful Fun Wheel graces Paradise Pier

The beautiful Fun Wheel is one of the most visible landmarks in Paradise Pier. It's one of the first rides you'll see as you walk into the Paradise Pier area...and your kids will surely want to give it a whirl. The good news is that you'll enjoy wonderful views of Disney's California Adventure Park; the bad news is that this ride is not as fun as it appears.

When you board the Fun Wheel, you'll be lifted 16 stories into the sky, with plenty of time to enjoy them as you make stops for other passengers to board.

The most unique feature of the Fun Wheel (as opposed to ordinary Ferris Wheels or Big Wheels) is that you'll be able to ride the Fun Wheel two different ways---in either stationary cars that will give you a tame ride similar to a traditional Ferris wheel, or in "sliding" cars that scoot around with the movement of the wheel, for some added zip. Once again, there's good news and bad news about the sliding cars which look so tempting. Yes, they're quite exciting WHEN you're zipping across the "slide" bars. However, the bad news is that you'll probably only get to enjoy one or two of these fast 'n fun movements when you're aboard. You see, to keep the line moving, the Fun Wheel spends about 90% of its time loading and unloading. You'll actually make only one revolution at full speed (or possibly two, if you're lucky.) As unbelievable as it sounds, you'll probably feel like you boarded the Fun Wheel only to "enjoy" letting other people board...and then it's time to exit the ride.

Which should you choose: the stationary cars...or the "sliding" cars? You should know that there's a big difference in the size of the two lines for this ride. If you choose the "plain" non-moving cars, your wait will be minimal---in fact, you may be able to board on the Fun Wheel's next go-round, even on a busy day. That's because nearly EVERYONE wants to try out the sliding cars! Are they worth the extra waiting time? Well, yes...BUT. There are some big "buts" here. The sliding action IS fun, but since you won't get to do very much sliding, it's not worth the extra wait-time if the line is long. Personally, we can only recommend that you choose the sliding cars when the line for them is short. Otherwise, be prepared for disappointment, because there's lots of waiting...and very little thrill...involved with these sliding cars.

All ride cars are completely enclosed with wire mesh, so young children can't fall out and get hurt. There is no minimum height requirement for the Fun Wheel.

The former Orange Stinger swing ride is now the

Silly Symphony Swing Ride

Photo of the Silly Symphony Swing Ride ride at Disneys California Adventure ParkIf you've been to Disneys California Adventure in the past, you surely remember the Orange Stinger swing ride, pictured to your left. This ride has now been re-themed to become the "Silly Symphony Swings. (It now looks much different than this picture, but our shots didn't turn out very well.) This ride is a Disney-themed adaptation of the familiar swing ride that can also be found at other theme parks, including the nearby Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA.

Several unique features set the Silly Symphony Swings apart from the rest, making it a particularly good version of the standard "swing ride." For one thing, the seat size is quite ample---and much more comfortable for 21st century guests than the swing sizes in older rides of this genre. Then, of course, you'll enjoy the ride's Disney theme...including music as well as visual cues...which makes for a one-of-a-kind ride experience.

This is a moderately-thrilling "family" style attraction. The minimum height requirement for the Silly Symphony Swings is 40" or taller.

Grab your toddlers for the tame Golden Zephyr ride

Photo of the Golden Zephyr ride at Disneys California Adventure Park The attraction you see in these photos is the Golden Zephyr in Paradise Pier at Disneys California Adventure. The Golden Zephyr, which is actually silver-colored, is a ride that's especially suitable for the younger members of your family.

Several "gondolas" are suspended from a 90-foot tower. When the ride begins, they circle the central hub at a moderate speed, giving you nice views of the Paradise Pier waterfront.

Though we'd LIKE to say that this ride is "loads of fun," we just can't. It's a great ride for families with younger children---something the whole family can do together.

However, young children are the ONLY ones who are likely to get a thrill from the Golden Zephyr. For older kids & adults, a more fitting name for this ride would be the "Silver Snoozer!"

Fortunately, this is one ride in the park where you probably won't have much of a wait! So, if you have young children, here's the place in Paradise Pier to head for mild thrills featuring no minimum height requirement.

Youngsters LOVE the Jumpin' Jellyfish ride!

Photo: Young children adore the fun Jumpin' Jellyfish ride...and parents can join the fun, too! Are you looking for pictures of colorful jellyfish? A number of readers have reached this page trying to find jellyfish photos...but, as you can see, this page talks about a jellyfish theme park ride! To see this website's pictures of real jellyfish, please visit the "Jellyfish and Sea Nettles" page of this site.

An absolutely ADORABLE children's ride in Paradise Pier at Disneys California Adventure is the Jumpin' Jellyfish ride. Another outstanding example of the park's colorful "eye candy" rides, the Jumpin' Jellyfish ALSO provides a fun ride-action for the younger set.

Once in your ride car, you'll ascend a tower...from which you'll be "dropped," in a mild and gentle version of a free-fall ride. (Note: The tall "Maliboomer" free fall ride at Disney's California Adventure has been dismantled and removed from the park. It will surely be missed by thrill ride fans!) The Jumpin' Jellyfish attraction is great fun, and parents are welcome to ride along, as well. In fact, moms & dads may even get a bit of a thrill from the Jumpin' Jellyfish, too!

Guests must be at least 40" tall to ride the Jumpin' Jellyfish. (The height requirement is necessary to keep younger, smaller kids from the possiblilty of slipping out of the ride underneath the restraint bars.)

King Triton's Carousel at Paradise Pier

Photo of the colorful animals on King Triton's Carousel are as much fun to view as they are to ride!  Paradise Pier at Disney's California Adventure Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! That's what you'll be saying the moment you catch sight of King Triton's Carousel. This ride adds some colorful Disney eye-candy to Paradise Pier at Disneys California Adventure with its vivid colors and unique styling.

What's the story line behind this lovely carousel? King Triton (Ariel's father from "The Little Mermaid") lives underwater and rules the creatures of the sea. In keeping with that theme, this carousel has NO horses--or other land animals on board....only sea creatures!

You'll be able to ride spectacular jewel-colored fish, dolphins, whales, sea lions, otters and sea horses on King Triton's Carousel. Around and around you'll go as you ride to the tunes of familiar Disney music.

There is no minimum height requirement, although parents should, of course, stand by the sides of their younger children as they ride.

Toy Story Mania---

combines an indoor dark ride with fun games of skill

Toy Story Mania is one of the most popular rides in the Paradise Pier themed area. Added as a part of Disney California Adventure's billion dollar makeover, this movie-themed ride became instantly popular when it debuted. Lines? Yes, you'll surely find them here! But, most people feel that Toy Story Mania has been worth the wait as the family teams up with their laser guns to tackle a series of arcade game challenges. What's more, Toy Story Mania has the ability to change games at any if you return to the park in several years, you'll probably be intruiged to find one (or more) different games along the ride path.

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