Adventure-seeking Teens and Tweens' Top Thrills at Disneyland

by Tad on November 4, 2015 Los Angeles   Video

Mommy Frog's Note: A few weeks ago, Tad shared his favorite top teen and tween thrills and places to chill out at California Adventure. Now he is sharing his favorite top teen thrills at Disneyland. As a mom of a tween, I understand how it can be hard to plan a family activity or vacation with a teen. Will they enjoy it or pretend not to know us? The good news is that most tweens and teens magically stop acting like typical teenagers when they enter Disneyland. Somehow we all magically turn back into little kids while we are there. Your teen may still love meeting their favorite Disney characters, using a magic paintbrush or wand to duel with others, and riding the biggest thrills rides on the park.

Knowing how to entertain your teens in the park can lead to a successful trip and create “hoppy” family memories. I’ll turn it over to Tad so you can hear from him directly about his favorite thrill rides and small thrills at Disneyland so your tween or teen can anticipate the fun that is in store for them. As parents, Leap and I feel safe letting Tad experience a little bit of freedom to do his own exploring sometimes on his own and sometimes with a friend to ride the rides for which Lily is not quite tall enough yet. We offer you Tad’s Top Teen Thrills at Disneyland. 

A few weeks ago I told you all about my favorite thrill rides and places to chill out at Disney California Adventure, but I saved my favorite park for last. Disneyland has a completely different feel from California Adventure and it has so much to offer people our age. Yes, there are thrill rides and I will tell you all about those, but there are some simple thrills that you can get just walking around, being in the park or when you need to rest.

Here are the best teen and tween thrills at Disneyland!


Top Teen Thrills at Disneyland - Autopia


How often do you get to drive your own car? It seems silly, but this ride so much fun for those of us not old enough to drive. Look for the mouse crossing and see the mouse holes and little mouse there.

Star Tours

Top Teen Thrills at Disneyland - Star Tours

This one never gets old because there are different adventures, places and characters each time. And there is always the anticipation of finding out who the rebel spy is. Pick me pick me! More adventures and characters are being introduced soon! One of the biggest thrills for me, though, is catching the storm troopers walking around inside the waiting area. They are there on and off throughout the day.

Space Mountain

Top Teen Thrills at Disneyland - Space Mountain

This thrill ride roller coaster in the dark is pretty scary, fast and fun. I like to ride it during Halloween time because it becomes Ghost Galaxy with a terrifying red skull that tries to get you. I can’t wait to see how the upcoming Star Wars theme is going to affect this ride. I recommend riding early or getting a FastPass for this one—it always has a long line.

The Matterhorn Bobsleds

They recently made over the Yeti to make him scarier and more lifelike. The left track it is a little faster than the right. I often use the single rider line while Mommy Frog takes Lily on the nearby teacups or Alice in Wonderland (check out my video of Alice during Paint the Night here). The Matterhorn ride gets scarier at night than during the day so choose your own adventure: left, right, day or night!

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Top Teen Thrills at Disneyland - Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

This here’s the wildest ride in the wilderness. Never gets old. This line moves fairly quickly and is one of my favorites, so I often hit it twice if the line is under 20 minutes. The front of the train is slower, and the back is a wilder and faster ride.

Top Teen Thrills at Disneyland - Splash MountainSplash Mountain

This thrill ride is so much fun. The line gets long on a hot day, but it is usually very short once it gets dark. I have found that I get soaked in the front seat. Mommy Frog prefers the fourth seat, where she does not get so wet. They do adjust the water depending on the weather. On a cold night we barely get a few drops on us, but on hot days we seem to get soaked. Smile for the camera at the top of the drop.

Indiana Jones Adventure

The ride is exciting but the line is fun and interesting too--pull the rope! This popular high-speed ride is also one you might want to get a FastPass for to reduce the wait.

Other Teen and Tween Thrills at Disneyland

Besides the thrill rides there are other fun things to do in Disneyland. They are small thrills that I look forward to each time.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean is always a favorite long and air-conditioned ride, especially when I am hot and tired from the thrill rides. Its line moves quickly and there are two thrills in the dark. If you like Pirates, you may like taking a raft over to Pirate’s Lair, an island with caves and trails and some pirates lurking around.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

Top Teen Thrills at Disneyland - Haunted Mansion Holiday

One of my favorite times of the year is when the Haunted Mansion is transformed into the Nightmare Before Christmas running from September to early January. Keep your eyes open for Jack Skellington and Sally in front of the ride for a photo op.

Wands and Paintbrushes

This year to celebrate Disneyland’s 60th birthday, you can buy magic wands and paintbrushes to interact with other people in the park. Duel with other guests and cast members by turning their light-up Mickey ears or wand the color you like. Use them to interact with Fantasmic! and the Paint the Night Parade. This is fun nighttime entertainment.

Paint the Night Parade

This parade has all of your favorite Disney characters along with 1.5 millions LED lights, music and dancers. In my video you can see one of the fairies come over to us to turn Lily’s Magic Paintbrush pink. That made her night. Of course my favorite color is—you guessed it—green! By the way,

Watching Fireworks

Top Teen Thrills at Disneyland - Disneyland Forever

I have hopped around the park and seen the Disneyland Forever fireworks from every location. I like to watch them from Main Street where I am surrounded by projection, but it’s easier to catch a closer view of the fireworks as well as another close-up type of projection (that matches the castle projection) at it’s a small world. The castle is a bit crowded for me. You can’t see the fireworks as well from the Rivers of America but the projection on water is pretty cool. The Rivers of America will be closing soon (temporarily) to build the new Star Wars Land.

All these things are my favorite top teen thrills at Disneyland as well as my other favorite things to do and see. I have enjoyed meeting some of my favorite Marvel characters in Tomorrowland, and I am betting there will be some more opportunities to meet Star Wars characters soon. With the building of Star Wars Land and some new Star Wars attractions opening up on November 16, I expect to have some new favorite thrills coming up!  I’ll keep you posted.

Related: Disney California Adventure's Best Thrills and Chills for Teens and Tweens

Stay cool!


Keep hopping, Tad!
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