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!

Touring Tips

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. The coaster was sometimes shut down two or more times a day 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 frequently 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).

California Screamin' Wait Times

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.

Special Comments

Long and smooth; may induce motion sickness; 48" minimum-height requirement; switching off available

Ride Through

Special Needs

Other Attractions in Paradise Pier

Touring Plans with California Screamin'

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