Goofy’s Sky School

July 2011 – present

LOCATION

Paradise Pier – Whether you’re entering from Pacific Wharf or Grizzly Peak, follow the path along the right of the Pier. You will see Goofy’s Sky School tucked in the right corner, across from the Silly Symphony Swings.

BACKGROUND

Goofy’s Sky School replaced Mulholland Madness, a virtually identical coaster with Los Angeles’ Mulholland Drive as its theme. Mulholland Madness had three major crashes in its first month of operation, and was plagued with technical problems. When California Adventure began incorporating more and more characters in the park, Imagineers took the opportunity to revamp the coaster and introduced the Goofy theme.

Today, Goofy’s Sky School takes riders on a flight with newly licensed pilot Goofy, through the skies of Paradise Pier. The Sky School is the tamest coaster at the resort, with the fewest drops and longest flat-track area. Goofy’s Sky School is a great coaster for little ones that aren’t ready for California Adventure, or for Goofy fans of all ages.

EXPERIENCE

Details:

  • Single Rider Line – yes
  • Fast Pass – yes
  • Height Requirement – 42″ (106 cm)
  • Ride Duration – 1:50

As guests approach the boarding area, they see posters advertising Goofy’s Sky School, and flying tips for new pilots. From the deck, guests load into planes and take off into the skies of Paradise Pier, ready for their first flying lesson! The planes swerve, dip, and circle the pier, until the new pilots have earned their flying licenses and proceed back to the deck.

MY RATING: ★★☆☆☆

Goofy’s Sky School is the strangest ride in California Adventure. It seems somewhat out of place, given the detailed facades and decoration of the rides surrounding Paradise Pier. But what makes Goofy odd is not its appearance, but the ride itself. Most of the ride is flat, with sharp turns. At first its fun, but the turns are so sharp you legitimately worry about the car tipping over and dumping you out. Once you get to the drops, they provide the anticipated stomach flip, but the cars come to a screeching halt at the end of each drop. While I get the premise (Goofy’s a terrible pilot and you’re in for a crazy ride as his students), the abrupt stops are uncomfortable and the ride is about as rough as the Matterhorn Bobsleds.

I visit Goofy almost every time I go to the parks, but more so for laughs than an exciting coaster experience. This ride is a great option for young visitors or riders not ready for the big coasters yet, but if you’re seeking thrills or weary of jerkiness, I would steer clear of the Sky School.

VISITING TIPS

Crowd levels of Goofy’s Sky School depend on the season. In the summer or on weekends, lines can get lengthy. Grab a fast pass or make use of the single rider line and you can work this ride anywhere into your touring plan. If you already have fast passes for another ride and want to keep your group together, visit Goofy as late as possible; lines tend to die down after dark. For off-season visitors, you should have no problem with lines.

Another tip: hold on TIGHTLY to belongings or have someone in your party stay back and hold them for you. The turns are much more aggressive than they look, and I’ve seen a massive backpack thrown from the ride.

TRIVIA

Goofy’s Sky School was one of the first rides to be redone as part of the plan to incorporate more Disney characters into California Adventure.

The Sky School planes reach a maximum speed of 27 miles per hour, the same maximum speed as the Matterhorn Bobsleds.

Despite its small track area, the ride duration is fairly long for a thrill ride: almost two minutes.

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