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9 Not-to-Miss Disney California Adventure attractions

by Mommy Frog on August 13, 2014

Let the Californian adventure begin! Disney California Adventure is themed around the rich culture and history of California and pays tribute to the Golden State in a number of its attractions. It is also the place where some of Disney and Pixar's most beloved characters and stories come to life, and there is no finer example of this than Cars Land, which opened in 2012 as the park was expanded and re-imagined. Make sure you follow our Disney California Adventure Touring Plan so you don't miss out on Cars Land or any of the park's top attractions!

Not to miss Disney California Adventure attractions

Here is our list of not-to-miss Disney California Adventure attractions & shows:

1. Radiator Springs Racers

No trip to Disney California Adventure would be complete without a visit to Cars Land and Radiator Springs Racers. This combination dark and thrill ride starts off with a scenic drive through the gorgeous Ornamental Valley. From there, you'll encounter Mater, Doc Hudson, Lightning McQueen and other "Cars" characters as you ahead into town ahead of the real action. After a tire change or a fresh coat of paint, you're ready for the open road! The Cadillac Range mountains are the backdrop for a high-speed road race through the hills and high-banked turns.

2. World of Color

Not to miss Disney California Adventure attractions and shows - World of ColorParadise Pier is the setting for this spectacular 28-minute show that displays scenes from your favorite Disney films on a humongous screen of water! Nearly 1,200 fountains shoot water 200 feet into the air during this kaleidoscope of color and sound. Make sure to pick up a FastPass for the show at the Grizzly Peak River Run so that you will get a good spot for the show (don't worry, it's not connected to the rest of the FastPass system).

3. California Screamin'

Not-to-miss Disney California Adventure attractions - California Screamin'

Get ready to scream! This steel coaster made to look like an old-fashioned wooden roller coaster is one of the fastest rides at any Disney theme park and the only ride at Disneyland to include an inversion. At an altitude of 120 feet, you'll have prime views of the surrounding Paradise Pier and beyond!

4. Grizzly River Run

not to miss Disney California Adventure attractions - Grizzly Peak River Run

This white-water, river rafting adventure will leave you breathless and soaking. The Grizzly River Rafting Company will transport you up 275 feet to the top of Grizzly Peak aboard an 8-person raft before sending you back down the roaring rapids.

5. Toy Story Midway Mania

Not to miss Disney California Adventure attractions - Toy Story Midway Mania!

Test your aim inside this 3-D carnival-style, midway shoot-em-up. You'll play several games inside the midway, each with different targets and requiring different skills levels. Hit the secret targets and you'll unleash even more targets worth more points! While waits do build for this attraction, they aren't nearly as long in Disney California Adventure as they are at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

6. Soarin' Over California

Not-to-miss Disney California Adventure - Soarin' Over California

Get ready to hang glide over the beautiful state of California. Once you're feet leave the ground, your journey begins. You'll soar over the clouds of San Francisco and past the Golden Gate Bridge, past the towering trees of Yosemite National Park, the desert of Palm Springs, the shores of Malibu, the bright lights of Los Angeles and other notable California destinations.

7. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror

No matter when you visit, a trip to the Hollywood Tower Hotel is always in order. Make your way through the abandoned hotel, past the cobwebs of the once-posh digs into the library, where you'll encounter a secret passageway that takes you into the 5th dimension. You'll board a service elevator for the ride of your life as you free fall from 13 stories high!

8. Disney's Aladdin - A Musical Spectacular

This 40-minute Broadway-style musical brings to life the Disney classic "Aladdin," including the spectacular soundtrack. You'll sing along to the film's classics and hear a song created just for the show as Aladdin sets out to save Princess Jasmine.

9. Mater's Junkyard Jamboree

not to miss Disney California Adventure - Mater's Junkyard Jamboree

Whether you're a "Cars" fan or not, you won't want to miss this square dance by a herd of mini-tractors. Grab your partner and get ready to do-si-do aboard the tractors that spin around the outdoor dance floor.

We hope you've enjoyed our look at the not-to-miss Disney California Adventure attractions. Be sure to check out our Disney California Adventure Touring Plan for your day in the park. If you're looking for help planning your trip, start with our Los Angeles Planning Guide, which includes all of the area major attractions. 

Related: 9 Not-To-Miss Universal Studios Hollywood Attractions & Shows

Related: 9 Not-To-Miss SeaWorld San Diego Shows & Attractions

Related: 9 Not-to-Miss Knott's Berry Farm Attractions & Experiences

Hoppy planning!

Mommy Frog

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