July 1955 – present
Although Walt Disney and the Imagineers knew they wanted an Alice in Wonderland ride in Fantasyland, they struggled to nail down a concept at first. Early ideas for the ride included teacups running on a racetrack, interaction with the Mad Hatter’s dining table, and more complex decorations surrounding the ride. Eventually, Disney simplified the idea to oversized spinning teacups, and the Mad Tea Party was born.
The ride debuted on Opening Day in 1955, and guests were immediately obsessed. To this day the Mad Tea Party has some of the highest attendance of any Fantasyland ride, and its equivalents in the other Disney parks have found just as much success.
- Single Rider Line – no
- Fast Pass – no
- Height Requirement – none
- Duration – 1:30
Alice’s voice welcomes guests to the Mad Tea Party as they load into the teacups. Some of the musical score heard in the original film plays as the cups start spinning all around the Tea Party track, and each cup has its own wheel for adventurous guests to speed up their own ride. The cups spin beneath a series of colorful lanterns, lamps, and a treetop canopy, although most guests are too busy spinning to notice! After about a minute and a half of twisting and turning through the Tea Party, the cups come to a stop and Alice informs visitors that the party has come to an end.
MY RATING – ★★★★☆
The Mad Tea Party is one of the most famous rides in the park, and its fame is well deserved. Although short, the ride is fun and sits in one of the quieter spots in Fantasyland. The line moves quickly, and there is plenty of space for guests unable to stomach the spinning to watch their families and friends. My only complaint about the Mad Tea Party is that the teacups are very difficult to spin, and near impossible to get moving very fast. If they went just a tiny bit faster, they would be all the more fun.
This ride is no different than any other popular ride in Fantasyland; it will be crowded throughout the day. I like to go at night, because the lanterns are glowing and I get less dizzy in the dark. But the line always moves quickly for the teacups, so I would suggest guests visit whenever it’s convenient, and not worry so much about the line.
Park guests were upset with the ride’s refurbishment in 2004, because the cups now turn significantly slower. However, the ride’s popularity remained largely the same.
Many guests claim that the purple teacup spins the fastest. I’ve gone on the ride several times just to test this theory, and have noticed no difference.
The Mad Tea Party was the first Alice-themed ride in Disneyland.