Eleven years after Disney California Adventure opened, California Screamin' remains one of the most popular attractions at Disneyland Resort. People tend to fall in love with this ride, for it accomplishes its goal so well, transplanting classic big coaster thrills into the friendly, beautiful, well-run environment of a Disney theme park.
It took over a decade for the rest of the park to catch up, but California Screamin' has been a hit from the very start. It was one of DCA's three best opening day attractions, a reputation it shared with Soarin' and Grizzly River Run.
It's the longest coaster in the state and the longest looping coaster on Earth. California Screamin' lives up to its name, but most of the screams you hear from riders are shouts of exhilaration and joy. Although the ride is intense, Screamin's not out to terrify you; its goal is to give you the wildest, most breathtaking high-speed run on the West Coast.
There are many unique elements at play on this amazing ride. For starters, Screamin' can handle five six-car trains on the course at once. No other outdoor looping behemoth can boast that kind of capacity.
Though Screamin's profile gives the appearance of a classic boardwalk coaster, its layout is unique. Defying simple coaster classifications, it's a steel coaster designed to look like a wooden coaster. It's an out-n-back/twister mix with a waterside catapult launch, a simulated chain lift, a vertical loop, scream tubes, bunny hops, whoop-de-doos and a helix. It's also comfortable, smooth as glass, and includes a modified train seat to aid wheelchair access. And it has a soundtrack.
All in all, California Screamin' is a near-perfect coaster in a spectacular setting. All it needs to make it 100% perfect would be some kind -- any kind -- of theming or landscaping added around the final brake run and station approach track.
All good coasters have character, and California Screamin' seems to have the personality of a huge, mischievous dragon watching over Paradise Pier. With a wild mix of classic ideas, modern tech and one-of-kind tricks, it truly is one of the most amazing coasters on Earth.