February 2001 – January 2018
Paradise Pier – Cross the bridge to the right of Pacific Wharf, and follow the main path along the bay – you’d see the entrance to California Screamin’ on your left, just before the King Triton Carousel.
When Imagineers were planning the boardwalk, a roller coaster was a must. And in true Pacific boardwalk style, California Screamin’ looked and felt just like an old school wooden coaster, with extra speed and style.
California Screamin’ had two distinctions that separated it from the rest of the coasters at the Disneyland Resort. Most noticeably, the coaster had a complete inversion, with its big loop visible from everywhere in Paradise Pier. And second, Screamin’ was the fastest ride in the park, launching guests at 55 miles per hour in just four seconds. It was an incredible unique roller coaster, and was by far one of the most popular rides in California Adventure.
As soon as you boarded California Screamin’, you were in for an adventure. The cars zipped around the corner and into the bay. In a matter of seconds, the countdown began, and before you knew it you’d be shooting into the sky at top speed! For two and a half minutes, California Screamin’ thrilled riders with three major drops, one inversion, and several sharp turns and dips. At the final turn, a camera snapped a photo, and guests offloaded with hearts pumping and throats sore from screaming.
During the summer of 2017, Disneyland announced plans to split Paradise Pier into two new lands: Paradise Park and Pixar Pier. As part of this transformation, the boardwalk side of Paradise Pier would be completely redesigned to Pixar theming. California Screamin’ closed in January 2018, to make room for the new lncredicoaster, an Incredibles-themed attraction.
My original rating: I have always been wary of roller coasters, and with its giant loop and three big drops, California Screamin’ was a no-go for me from the start. But on one visit to the park, my friends peer pressured me into a ride, and I was immediately obsessed! Calfornia Screamin’ is FANTASTIC, and it’s not at all as scary as it looks. The super fast launch is honestly easier than a slow buildup…you get going and don’t have time to question whether or not you can do it. While I still don’t care for the loop, I just close my eyes until the upside-down part is over, and I’ve never had much of a problem. If you’re like me, and on the fence about trying California Screamin’, give it a chance. I felt like I had unlocked an extra level of magic when I finally went on! (★★★★★)
Did the welcome/countdown voice sound familiar? I was Neil Patrick Harris!
California Screamin’ was the 8th longest roller coaster in the world, and the 4th longest in the US.
The highest point of the coaster was the second hill, which peaked at 120 feet. The subsequent drop from this point was a whopping 108 feet!
Though the structure and design resembled the classic wooden coasters of most California boardwalks, Screamin’ was a steel roller coaster.
In 2007, California Screamin’ temporarily changed to “Rockin’ California Screamin’”, and during the ride each car played a remix of “Around the World” by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
California Adventure was in a residential zone of Anaheim, so Imagineers have to abide by noise restriction guidelines. The blue tubes atop the big drops of the coaster prevented screams from disturbing nearby residents.