Guide to Scariest Rides at Disneyland Resort with Kids

Are there scary rides at Disneyland? From thrill rides to dark rides, this list shares the scariest rides at Disneyland and what to expect on your visit.

Disneyland Resort offers rides and attractions for guests of all ages. Most are family friendly and great for young children and older guests.

Most of Disneyland scary rides really come down to what scares you. There are no rides at Disneyland that are universally terrifying to all guests.

Some of the typical scariest Disneyland rides include the dark rides that make be frightening to small children, thrill and intense rides that include speed, heights, and drops.

There are rides on this list that may not be scary to you and your kids at all. I’ve tried to include any attractions at Disneyland that may be scary and help you prepare for your visit.

My kids have visited Disneyland and have tried most attractions at least once. This includes when they were all under ten years old. You know your kids best when determining if a ride at Disneyland is scary.

disneyland scary rides guardians of the galaxy

Be sure to check out more of our planning articles to help plan your Disneyland visit.

This article is discussing the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim, California. Check out this article if you are looking for the Walt Disney World park in Orlando, Florida: Guide to the Scariest Rides at Disney World with Kids.

disneyland scariest rides haunted mansion

Disneyland Scariest Rides at the Disneyland Park

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Big Thunder Mountain is a mine train roller coaster attraction that reaches speeds of 35 mph and heights of 104 ft. It is not high on the scare factor and is great for a first time coaster experience.

There are a few dark tunnels that guests will go through during the ride but they are not very scary. Guests must be 40 inches to ride.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage may not seem like a scary ride at all, and on the surface it is not. Guest board a submarine and use the portholes to view Finding Nemo scenes.

The scare factor comes into play if you have trouble with enclosed spaces. The submarine is closed and submerges below the surface for this journey.

It actually doesn’t fully submerge but if you struggle with claustrophobia this attraction may not be for you. If you do not have issues with enclosed spaces Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is an enjoyable attraction.

Haunted Mansion

Haunted Mansion is an indoor dark ride that takes guests through a mansion taken over by ghosts and ghouls. Haunted Mansion has no height requirement and is a slow moving ride.

Some guests may find Haunted Mansion scary. It is dark throughout most of the ride and it is has creepy elements. There are ghost projections and animatronics throughout the ride.

When my kids were small they didn’t like Haunted Mansion but some young kids love it. You know your kids best when deciding if this is a good attraction for your family.

Indiana Jones Adventure

Indiana Jones Adventure is a fast paced dark attraction that has a 46″ ride height requirement. There are a lot of twists and turns in this attraction and moments where guests are in the dark.

There are fire elements and special effects throughout this ride that may be scary to kids but most guests that meet the height requirement are fine.

Matterhorn Bobsleds

Matterhorn Bobsleds is a roller coaster that has a 42″ height requirement. There are small drops and Matterhorn would be considered a thrill ride.

Guests move through the mountain and encounter dark tunnels and a Yeti. The Yeti may be scary to some guests but most are fine with this attraction.

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is a simulator attraction at Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge area of Disneyland. Guests must be 38″ to ride.

When riding the attraction guests are loaded onto 6 person pods. Each seat has a job on the ship. The seats are not directly next to each other so if you have a child that may be scared to ride keep this in mind.

The attraction itself is not scary but the build up to getting on may feel scary because of the unknown aspect. Some small children will feel scared because they don’t know what the ride will be like.

Most kids are fine and your group are in the pod together where it is easy to talk and see each other the duration of the ride. There are intense movements but it is on a screen and not scary for most guests.

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride has no height requirement and is a classic dark ride at the Disneyland park. It is a fast paced story ending with the cars going through a scene with the devil in hell.

Most kids will be fine and can close their eyes if they find this part scary. It falls within the classic dark ride scary and should be find for most kids.

Pinocchio’s Daring Journey

Pinocchio’s Daring Journey is another classic dark ride that has scary elements in the story but is not really scary for most.

Guests follow the story of Pinocchio and encounter some creepy characters along the way. Most kids will be fine with this attraction.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean is a dark boat ride that has scary pirate themed elements but is mostly fun pirate animatronics singing. There are small drops but most kids are fine on this attraction.

There is not a height requirement on this attraction.

Snow White’s Enchanted Wish

Snow White’s Enchanted Wish is another classic dark ride that has a few scary scenes with the Evil Queen. Most guests will not find this ride to be too scary.

Space Mountain

Space Mountain is a thrilling roller coaster with high speeds and drops. It is also completely in the dark making Space Mountain a little scary for some guests.

The height requirement for Space Mountain is 40 inches.

Star Tours

Star Tours is a simulator attraction with a height requirement of 40 inches. Little kids and big kids should do fine on this attraction. It does not have many scary elements.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is a immersive dark ride with a ride height of 40inches. This attraction has cast members playing the parts of the first order and they are very good at it.

It can feel like you are actually captured by Kylo Ren. This attraction is really an amazing ride and most kids will find it fine to ride, especially if you are a Star Wars fan.

There are loud noises and a small drop but overall the thrills are not too intense. I recently rode with family that doesn’t like intense rides and they all enjoyed it, even their two small children under 6 years old liked it.

Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain has closed and will be reopening as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in late 2024. The attraction will still have big drops and exciting thrills.

disneyland scary rides incredicoaster

Disneyland Scariest Rides at Disney’s California Adventure

Disney’s California Adventure has a few more thrill rides than the Disneyland Park.

Golden Zephyr

The Golden Zephyr is a spinning ride that most won’t find scary but personally I did! If heights and spinning bother you, this might not be the best attraction for you.

It spins much like the typical swings ride you will find at a carnival. The entire ride is elevated above the ground making you feel higher than expected.

Goofy’s Sky School

Goofy’s Sky School is a roller coaster with sudden turns and drops. It is a “wild mouse” type coaster that gives guests the feeling of flying off.

There is a 42 inch height requirement and most roller coaster fans will like this ride.

Grizzly River Run

Grizzly River Run is a water ride that has a 42″ height requirement. Guests will board a circular ride vehicle that travels along the rapids.

There is spinning, small drops, and you will get wet. Most guests that meet the height requirement do not find this too scary.

Guardian’s of the Galaxy-Mission: Breakout!

Guardian’s of the Galaxy-Mission: Breakout! is a dark ride with big drops, dark and loud elements, and can be scary to some people. There is a 40″ height requirement.

We did not find this ride to be scary at all. There is fun classic rock music playing from the moment you get inside. I do not like drop tower attractions but this ride doesn’t give me the same sensation.

Tower of Terror, it’s counterpart at Disney’s Hollywood Studio, has a much scarier and creepier vibe. Guardians may be scary if you don’t like the drops but the drops are indoors and don’t feel as intense as other drop towers.


Incredicoaster is a roller coaster with big drops, a top speed of 55 mph, and an inversion. This is probably the most intense roller coaster at the Disneyland park.

Guests must be 48 inches tall to ride. There are interactive elements on this attraction that make it really fun. Most people that reach the height requirement will enjoy this ride.

The Little Mermaid-Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

I kept The Little Mermaid on the list because even though most may not find it scary, it is a dark ride set to the story of The Little Mermaid, the Ursula scene may be scary for young children.

My suggestion is have them close their eyes for the short part of the ride. The rest of the attraction is not scary at all. Even the Ursula part is her singing but I wanted you to be aware that it may scare kids that do not like dark scenes.

Pixar Pal-A-Round Wheel

This is the only attraction on this list that I have not personally been on. That is because I am too scared! This attraction is a Ferris wheel type ride. People with fear of heights should avoid.

The biggest fear for most is that some of the carts on the Ferris wheel are swinging carts adding an even scarier element. Guests can choose which they prefer when boarding.

Radiator Springs Racers

Radiator Springs Racers is a car attraction through Radiator Springs. There are not many scary elements although some scenes are dark.

At the end of the attraction guests will race around reaching speeds of 40 mph. Ride height requirement is 40 inches.

Soarin’ Around the World

Soarin’ Around the World is a simulator attraction where guests are lifted to feel as though they are flying through the scenes. This is a screen based ride and the attraction doesn’t go anywhere.

Guests with a fear of heights may find this attraction scary. Ride height requirement is 40 inches.

Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure

Web Slingers is for guests of all ages and is an interactive dark ride. Guests help Spider-Man defeat the bots that have taken over. This ride has dark and loud elements but most guests will enjoy this ride.

disneyland scary rides grizzly river run

As I mentioned earlier in this article a scary Disneyland ride is really up to the guest. I try to follow the rule of trying everything once unless we know for sure we won’t enjoy the attraction. You also search a POV of the ride on YouTube.

This will help you decide if a ride will be good for your family. This list should help determine the scariest rides at Disneyland for your visit to the Disneyland resort.

Want to hear more from me? Subscribe to my Five for the Road Substack where I share the latest posts from the blog, plus destination and theme park news I am excited about. It is like a coffee chat delivered to your inbox. 🙂

Sharing is caring!