Quick reviews of the 14 rides I went on at Disney Resort Anaheim

California Adventure

Radiator Springs Racer: Really just a slightly improved and better themed version of Test Track from Anaheim. But overall a better ride experience. The ride I was thinking about doing again the most. A-

Grizzly River Run: Rapids ride, with a lot of tech shared with the Kali ride from Animal Kingdom. But much more intense, and I got completely and totally soaked. B+

Monsters Inc: Ouch. Ageing ride that wouldn’t have been that good to start with. Second rate animatronics, doesn’t do anything beyond the bare plot of the movie, and no thrills. D-

Guardians of the Galaxy: Reskin of the Tower of Terror, which makes an improvement on an already excellent ride. The theming is stronger around a better property, and the ride sequence has been rejigged around what works well (particularly the free fall). A++

Frozen: OK, not technically a ride, and I didn’t review the shows last time I did this. But a pretty good adaption of the movie into a one hour show. No new numbers, but the cast did a good job with the ones they had. B+

Soarin’: Identical in nearly every way to the Epcot version. B


Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: I missed this last time here, so it was number one on my list. Good ride, but probably the weakest of the four ‘mountain’ coasters overall. It’s a strange choice to put a big train out the front of the coaster – adds to the theming, but takes the best seats away. C

Star Tours: I was prepared to ride this one again and again until I got the Last Jedi sequence. Luckily I got it on the first try. They’re better sequences than some of the random assortment for this ride, with a good mix of plot and ‘ride’ mechanics. Plus. a nice tie in to the new Star Wars land (which could be seen from both the outdoor coasters I went on). A-

Indiana Jones: A frustrating ride that is in the ‘could have been great’ category. There’s good tech involved (although it breaks all the time, including when I was in line), and a good underlying property. But the plot of the ride isn’t done well, and the technology doesn’t mesh well with it. C-

Jungle Cruise: Ageing animatronics and some racist caricature in this ride don’t detract from the number one attraction – incredibly corny puns. Great guide helped a lot as well. The only ‘Opening Disneyland Day 1’ ride I went on. A

Matterhorn Bobsleds: Second best of the four mountain coasters, a good thrilling coaster that has a good mix of speeds and turns. A

it’s a small world: A ride that feels even more dated than it is. It’s a song that has become a cliche for annoying, mixed with some very racist stereotypes (although clearly done with no conscious malice). Absolutely no thrills, just a straight line ride. But still some incredibly technology with the sound. D+

Haunted Mansion: Just something slightly better about this than the Disney World version, couldn’t explain why. B+

Space Mountain: Still one of my absolute favorites, a perfect example of how a dark ride can make a mid-range coaster thrilling. A+