Top 5 Underrated Disney California Adventure Attractions

While not as beloved as its much older sibling across the street, Disney California Adventure (DCA) is still a great theme park. And with the 2012 rededication, it now truly feels like a Disney Park. However, even with all the great changes it’s gone through, DCA still has some offerings that get pushed under the rug. Here’s our list of the Top 5 Underrated Disney California Adventure Attractions. Please note that, with so many attractions, we had to limit the list to keep it economical. Every effort was made to be as inclusive as possible!

(Note: want to see our lists for the Top Underrated Disneyland Attractions? Check out Part 1 HERE, and Part 2 HERE)

Animation Building

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Beast’s Library changes from cursed to restored before your very eyes!

 

 

 

From the exterior look of this attraction, one wouldn’t expect it to be anything more than a sideshow or passing fancy, but there is so much more to this magnificent building than meets the eye. Not only does this building host the more well-known attraction Turtle Talk with Crush, but it also features three other distinct experiences that are well worth checking out! Branching out from a gorgeous high-vaulted room which surrounds you with videos of Disney development art, as well as animations-in-progress, synchronized to classic Disney tunes, these experiences are not to be missed. Perhaps you want to learn to draw Disney style? Maybe you want to say hi to Elsa? You can! In the Sorcerer’s Workshop, you can make your own animations while listening to the real Magic Mirror. Or you could take the cute character quizzes of the Beast’s Library while the space periodically changes as the Enchanted Rose wilts before your very eyes!

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Both Sorcerer’s Workshop and Beast’s Library are stunning examples of Imagineering craftsmanship, set-dressing, and design!

Goofy’s Sky School

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This poster captures the whimsical wonder of Goofy’s lovable clumsiness.

Replacing the cheesey Mulholland Madness Attraction, Goofy’s Sky School is a very welcome addition to the post-2012 update. Loosely inspired by Goofy’s Barnstormers at Walt Disney World, this cute coaster is a great start for small kids who are just starting to get into thrill rides. The ride, based on the famous Goofy ‘How To’ shorts, takes us on a fun and mayhem filled adventure through Goofy’s lesson’s on ‘how to fly a plane’. Obviously, with Goofy being such a lovable klutz, the lessons don’t really go as planned and result in a whimsical roller coaster of cartoon mayhem!

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Goofy’s Sky School is loosely based on The Barnstormer at Walt Disney World as evidenced by this poster showing the similar concept. Even though WDW’s version is considered by most to be the best of the two, Goofy’s Sky School is still fun!

 

Monsters, Inc. Mike and Sully to the Rescue

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Seriously…this ride is adorable!

While not one the most popular attractions in DCA by a long shot, Monsters, Inc. is much better than most people say. If you compare it to most of the similar movie themed ‘dark-rides’ of Disneyland, you will realize that the production values of this ride are quite high, even if they aren’t the best. And since it thankfully replaced the unwanted Superstar Limo attraction, Monsters, Inc definitely improves the space it’s in! The characters are adorable, the sets are well crafted, especially regarding the limited space they’re built in. Also, most people don’t realize that the eerie wisecracking Roz Audio-Animatronic which interacts with guest in real time was a huge technological breakthrough at the time and paved the way for the likes of Mr. Potato Head at Toy Story Midway Mania. The Marvel Land that everyone is excited about is going to be amazing, but it’s sad that most people don’t care that this attraction might get razed to make way for those new offerings.

Monster's Inc. Sulley Hidden Mickey DCA (Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland) photo(c)Disney
It may not be the best ride, but it sure is cute!

Mickey’s Fun Wheel

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This vintage-looking poster captures the feeling of DCA’s massive 2012 remodel.

For the record, every change made in Paradise Pier has been for the better and all the rides in that refurbished land are a bit underrated. We highly recommend riding California Screamin’, The Golden Zephyr, Silly Symphony Swings, Toy Story Midway Mania, etc., and attending the jaw dropping World of Color. However, we wanted to take time to emphasize the beauty and majesty of this oft-overlooked attraction. Most people view it simply as a backdrop and show-piece for World of Color, but the ride itself is quite breathtaking. Replacing the gaudy and cheap looking Sun Wheel, Mickey’s face is a welcome addition of beauty and charm in the landscape. Taking you to a height from which you can see almost the entire park, and letting you view it at a much more leisurely pace than Guardians of The Galaxy: Mission Breakout, Mickey’s Fun Wheel will steal your breath away. It is a high-flying experience that we guarantee you will not want to miss! With its sparkling technicolor show that lights up the night like a rainbow dream, how can anyone resist this gorgeous experience?

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Mickey’s Fun Wheel at night, now a central icon for the newer DCA, is literally one of the most breathtaking things you will ever see at a Disney Park…especially during World of Color!

 

 

The Little Mermaid-Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

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This poster gives us the feels!

This adorable dark-ride was made with love for you and your little Princesses and Princes; granting your wish to join Ariel and her friends under the sea! Far more advanced than similar film ‘Dark-Rides’ at Disneyland, and yet before the advantages of Walt Disney World’s Frozen Ever After ‘projection mapping’ Audio-Animatronics faces, the ride has highly sophisticated Audio-Animatronics that literally appear as if they are the actual drawings simply transplanted into real life. Because they were forced to use ‘old-school’ mechanical Animatronics, we believe it caused them to be more artistic and creative with the character’s facial movements. Following the same events of the film, Ariel’s Undersea Adventure takes you into a nostalgia fueled trip through brilliantly crafted scenes and gorgeous visuals. Sadly, due to the more popular attractions nearby, Ariel’s Undersea Adventure rarely exceeds a 5-minute wait and is usually passed by.

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Under the Sea!

 

Enjoy our list? Like and share! Let us know your favorite DCA attractions in the comments!

11 thoughts on “Top 5 Underrated Disney California Adventure Attractions

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