February 2001 – present
Paradise Park – Whether you arrive in Paradise Park from Grizzly Peak, Pacific Wharf, or Cars Land, follow the main path to the right. You’ll see the Golden Zephyr on your right, just before Jumpin’ Jellyfish.
The Golden Zephyr was one of the original rides in California Adventure, and has been in operation since Opening Day. Modeled after 20th century circle swing amusement park rides, the Golden Zephyr was one of the classic boardwalk staples in Paradise Pier. Since 2001, the Golden Zephyr has been an iconic fixture in Paradise Pier, and was one of the only rides in this region of the park to survive the major expansion and renovation project without major changes.
- Single Rider Line – no
- Fast Pass – no
- Height Requirement – none
- Duration – 1:30
Guests flying on the Golden Zephyr load into one of six rockets. The rockets take off on a leisurely tour over Paradise Park, soaring outward but not venturing as high as the Silly Symphony Swings. The Golden Zephyr offers riders scenic views of the swings, Mickey’s Fun Wheel, California Screamin’, Paradise Bay, and Pacific Wharf. After the two-minute flight, the rockets return to the ground, and riders disembark back in the center of Paradise Park.
MY RATING: ★★★☆☆
This ride is not as exciting as the Silly Swings or the ferris wheel, but it’s still fun and has great views of the park. If you want to take pictures of the bay or the rides in Paradise Park, the Golden Zephyr offers a very unique vantage point. I’d recommend this ride for guests of all ages, but it’s great for younger kids or guests scared of the Silly Swings. You’ll get the same views on the Golden Zephyr, but the ride is not as intense and the vehicles do not fly as high in the air.
The Golden Zephyr never seems to have very long lines, with the exception of particularly crowded summer days or holiday weekends. So stop by whenever convenient, and you shouldn’t have to spend too long in line. If you can, visit after dark too, because Paradise Park is absolutely gorgeous when it’s lit up at night!
Note: the Golden Zephyr is very sensitive to wind gusts, so the ride closes if the wind is consistently over 10-15 miles per hour. Don’t be discouraged if the Zephyr is closed the first time you try to ride; check back later and it will likely reopen once the wind dies down.
When designing the Zephyr, Imagineers visited Pleasure Beach in Blackpool, England to study the park’s “Flying Machines”.
Though Dumbo and the Astro Orbitor share the same basic ride premise as the Golden Zephyr, riders cannot move the Zephyr up or down like they can on the other two attractions.
The top of the Golden Zephyr structure stands 90 feet tall.