Description And Comments
This apparently antiquated wooden monster is actually a modern steel coaster, and at 6,800 feet, the second longest in the United States. California Screamin' gets off to a 0-to-55-mph start by launching you up the first hill like a jet fighter plane off the deck of a carrier (albeit with different technology). From here you will experience tight turns followed by a second launch sending you over the crest of a 110-foot hill with a 107-foot drop on the far side. Next, you bank and complete an elliptical loop, visible all over the park. A diving turn followed by a series of camelbacks brings you back to the station. Speakers play a synchronized soundtrack complete with recorded canned screaming and a carnival barker cameo by actor Neil Patrick Harris.
We were impressed by the length of the course and the smoothness of the ride. From beginning to end, the ride is about 2 1/2 minutes, with 2 minutes of actual ride time. En route the coaster slows enough on curves and on transition hills to let you take in the nice view. On the scary-o-meter, Screamin' is certainly worse than Space Mountain but doesn't really compare with some of the steel coasters at nearby Magic Mountain. What Screamin' loses in fright potential, however, it makes up in variety. Along its course, Disney has placed every know curve, hill, dip, and loop in roller-coaster design.
A Carlsbad, California, woman found the roller coaster to be a smooth operator:
California Screamin' was WONDERFUL, and I am a 57-year-old mom, not an adrenaline-crazed young adult! It was my first ever upside-down ride, but it was so smooth and quick [that] I only felt a gentle pressure pushing me into the seat. It was so fun [that] I went again! Don't miss this one, at any age!
- This attraction offers FASTPASS.
- This attraction has a Single Rider line.
- Open for Early Entry.
- Open for Annual Passholder Extended Hours.
California Screamin' is a serious coaster, a coaster that makes Space Mountain look like Dumbo. Secure any hats, cameras, eyeglasses, or anything else that might be ripped from your person during the ride. Stay away completely if you're prone to motion sickness.
Engineered to run several trains at once, California Screamin' does a better job than any roller coaster we've seen at handling crowds, at least when the attraction is running at full capacity. Recently, presumably because of maintenance and staffing problems, several trains were side-tracked. This turned a well-designed coaster into a mammoth bottleneck. The coaster was sometimes shut down two or more days for technical problems. Early in the morning, however, it's usually easy to get two or three rides under your belt in about 15 minutes. Ride in the first hour the park is open or use FASTPASS. Note that the FASTPASS here is currently disconnected from the rest of the park's attractions, meaning you can hold a pass for this and another ride at the same time.
Another option is to ride via the Single Rider Line. There is not a well-labeled queue for single riders at California Screamin', so tell the cast member working the entrance that you'd like to ride as a single, and he or she will point you towards another cast member at a side entrance (enter up the ramp to the left of the queue).
This chart shows you roughly how long you'll wait for California Screamin' when you visit on a day with a given Disney California Adventure Crowd Level. The blue bars represent the average "peak" wait time (that is, how long the line will at its busiest). The bottom and top black lines represent the range of peak wait times to expect (for you fellow nerds out there: it's the 5th percentile and 95th percentile of peak wait times). Please note that these are estimates, and for a better forecast for your travel dates, see California Screamin' Wait Times.
- We rate this attraction as Not To Be Missed.
- This attraction has a minimum-height requirement of 48 inches.
- This attraction offers rider swap.
Long and smooth; may induce motion sickness; 48" minimum-height requirement; switching off available
Other Attractions in Paradise Pier
- Golden Zephyr
- Goofy's Sky School
- Instant Concert! ...Just Add Water
- Jumpin' Jellyfish
- King Triton's Carousel
- Mickey's Fun Wheel - Non Swinging
- Mickey's Fun Wheel - Swinging
- Operation: Playtime! - featuring the Green Army Men
- Paradise Garden Bandstand
- Phineas and Ferb Rockin' Rollin' Dance Party
- Pixar Play Parade
- Silly Symphony Swings - Single
- Silly Symphony Swings - Tandem
- The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel's Undersea Adventure
- Toy Story Midway Mania!
- World of Color
Touring Plans with California Screamin'
|Single Rider||5 min|
|Loading speed||Moderate to fast|
When to go
Ride first thing in the morning, or use FASTPASS
|Opening Date||February 8, 2001|
|Scope and scale||Super Headliner|
Let us know.