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The 10 best rides at Disneyland

It was my first time at Disneyland. Here are the top 10 rides

One of the oldest rides in Disneyland, the Mad Tea Party, includes spinning teacups on saucers and operates in Fantasyland. (Christopher Reynolds/Los Angeles Times/MCT)
One of the oldest rides in Disneyland, the Mad Tea Party, includes spinning teacups on saucers and operates in Fantasyland.
Christopher Reynolds, Los Angeles Times via MCT

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Disneyland has so many rides. The rides span from one end of the park to other. There’s some in ToonTown, others in Adventureland and then some in Fantasyland. There’s just so many rides to enjoy.

I decided to experience plenty of rides for my first visit to Disneyland. I wanted to maximize my experience as much as I could so I sampled a slew of rides to see which ones stood out.

Indiana Jones Adventure

It’s hard to defeat Indiana Jones Adventure in terms of quality. It’s a thrill ride from beginning to end. The music swells around you. Guests are given a top experience that is really unmatched. There’s a reason why the wait time for this ride is always so long. Lots of people want to experience the breathtaking ride. It’s definitely a must-ride for first-timers and anyone who visits Disneyland thereafter.

Space Mountain

I have to be honest. Space Mountain ranks so high on my list because I rode in the front seat of the ride. You see nothing but black skies and bright stars. The ride jerks you around, cutting one way and then dipping another. It’s a wild ride through space. I wish the Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge rides would have done something similar. But Space Mountain is its own unique experience that is truly hard to beat.

Big Thunder Mountain

The dips, the dives, the cuts and the turns of Big Thunder Mountain create a thrilling experience. Add in the outdoor element of the sun and light breeze and it is a perfect ride to get you through the day, especially when you need something fun to lift your spirits.

Mad Tea Party

This is the OG. Spinning a tea cup, whipping the center plate around. It just doesn’t get better than the Mad Tea Party. You leave in a daze — you’re definitely dizzy and losing balance. It’s such a fun experience that’ll have you and your friends laughing.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Look, I get it. We’re sick of Johnny Depp and Captain Jack Sparrow. But as we await “Pirates of the Caribbean 6,” checking out the original pirate’s ride is well worth it as Disneyland. The muggy rooms, the small waves and the swashbuckling pirates provide a creepy, dark and fun experience that makes you remember what made the original “POTC” film so exciting.

Soarin’ Around the World

I had no idea what to expect with Soarin’ but it was definitely one of the most entertaining rides at Disneyland. Lifting high into the air, moving slightly backward — you definitely feel like you’re flying in the air. There were several times where we dipped toward the pyramids or the ocean when I thought I was legit going to hit water. Such a fun time and well worth the wait.

Jungle Cruise

It’s nice to take a gentle ride through the water and the jungle, especially when you’ve been walking around all day and need a break. But a lot of this depends on your captain. Some captains are funnier than others. My captain was sort of funny but she was throwing too much shade at us on the boat, which made us feel a little uneasy about whether we should laugh at our experience.

Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin

The wait was five minutes so I decided to check out this ride. It was zany, crazy and ridiculous. But in a way, it was the perfect Disneyland ride. It was so silly that it brought me back to what it felt like to be a child. I love how it made me feel young again. Being an adult is hard. Just laugh while you’re on a ride. It’s just a ride, after all.

Splash Mountain

This was my second ride of the day. I got soaked. It wasn’t even the final descent that got me. It was a random sputter of water from one of the holes in the side. I got super wet from this ride and had to dry off the rest of the day. But it’s a Disneyland classic — one you can’t ignore.

Peter Pan’s Flight

Look, it’s a short ride. Waiting 50 minutes for maybe five minutes of ride doesn’t seem like great return on investment. But there’s magic with Peter Pan’s Flight. Soaring over London is an amazing experience. Seeing Peter Pan and Captain Hook battle is cute, too. It’s a nice and simple ride to pass the time as you wait for something more. Definitely worth a look.

Storybook Land Canal Boats

Similar to Jungle Cruise, this depends a lot on your host. The ride is cute and romantic. But my boat was in danger of tipping since one side of it had four people and the other had close to seven (including yours truly who is, for lack of a better phrase, a little bigger). But the messages and references to Disney movies are cute and entertaining. Definitely a good late-night ride to cap off the evening.