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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

High 10 Rides That Are Higher at Disneyland Than Disney World

Walt Disney World vs. Disneyland is a debate that’s been performed to dying, together with on this weblog. There isn’t any precise reply, simply an “it relies upon.” With that stated, it’s pretty plain that the California parks have the definitive model of a number of sights, besting their counterparts at Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. This listing covers the cloned rides that Disneyland does higher than Walt Disney World.

The typical visitor could not discover many, and even any, variations amongst a lot of the rides on this listing. First-timers (nicely, technically “second-timers” because you’d must expertise every model no less than as soon as) in all probability don’t know and even care concerning the variations. However the diehards do, and can pore over each the big-picture features and little particulars that make the best way an attraction is offered superior at Disneyland or Walt Disney World.

Anyway, consider this as each a just-for-fun sibling rivalry submit that lists our favourite rides which are higher at Disneyland than at Walt Disney World and a sensible listing for WDW followers who’re first-timers to Disneyland and need to know which clones aren’t skippable. Oh, and earlier than you Florida followers seize the pitchforks in disagreement, simply remember that we’ll have one other listing with what’s higher at Walt Disney World coming quickly.

Our hope is to supply as goal of an inventory as potential (with some subjectivity and nostalgia creeping in–it’s unimaginable to keep away from!), and assume we’re uniquely located to try this. We’re lifelong Walt Disney World followers who think about that our “house” resort, we’ve lived close to the parks (below half-hour, relying upon visitors) on each coasts, and in addition performed dozens of journeys to every as vacationers. We love each for various causes–every have strengths and weaknesses.

Ought to this and these twin clone lists go nicely, we’ll think about doing variations for Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland, too. (I’m undecided there’s adequate curiosity in these on condition that they’re separated by oceans versus an Orange County to Orange County flight–however tell us within the feedback if that’s the case.)

Anyway, on with this high 10 listing of rides which are higher at Disneyland than Walt Disney World…

N/A. Area Mountain – Objectively talking, Area Mountain at Disneyland is much superior to the Magic Kingdom model of the attraction. Totally redone again within the early aughts, Area Mountain appears to be like, sounds, and seems like a contemporary curler coaster at Disneyland. There’s on-board audio, the potential for seasonal overlays (equivalent to Hyperspace Mountain and beforehand Ghost Galaxy for Halloween), side-by-side seating, and extra.

In contrast, the Magic Kingdom model of Area Mountain is a blast(off) from the previous. It seems like a spinal adjustment that you could be not be capable of rise up from on the finish, and people of us suffering from “bony butt syndrome” (it’s a factor; there are dozens of us…dozens!) can be grimacing because it rockets over the random bumps within the monitor. Oh, and for those who do Magic Kingdom’s Area Mountain at night time when your eyes have adjusted to darkness, be ready to be just a little an excessive amount of…equivalent to how little clearance there’s overhead…within the less-than-total darkness.

However, there’s a purpose Area Mountain is “N/A” as an alternative of high 3 (the place it objectively belongs), and that’s as a result of that is my listing and considered one of my most unpopular Disney opinions is that Magic Kingdom’s Area Mountain is the higher attraction–that means the entire package deal, not simply the trip (which is definitely an improve at Disneyland).

Magic Kingdom’s superiority comes all the way down to the old-fashioned results within the queue, iconic star tunnel music, twin monitor structure, and even the post-show scenes. To me, it’s probably the most full model of Area Mountain from begin to end, and that scores it large factors in my e-book. Admittedly, I view Area Mountain at Magic Kingdom by the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia, because it has an enormous place in my coronary heart. Maybe the identical method many lifelong Disneylanders would declare that Matterhorn bests Expedition Everest (it doesn’t).

10. Mad Tea Occasion – It is a easy and easy one. Mad Tea Occasion is healthier at Disneyland as a result of being open-air and because of its environment. Attributable to Florida climate (learn: rain), it doesn’t have the posh of going roofless, and that alone is an enormous loss.

The views are additionally higher at Disneyland, and that’s true whether or not you truly trip the teacups or simply stand exterior and watch. The latter is arguably the seminal model, as you’ll be able to watch the teacups, monorail, and Matterhorn . Disneyland’s kinetic vitality stays undefeated.

We’re going to finish up snubbing no less than just a few “greater” sights that Disneyland does greatest, however I can’t not embrace Mad Tea Occasion. There’s a sure magnificence and allure within the simplicity of the Disneyland model that I feel is generally misplaced at Magic Kingdom.

9. Haunted Mansion – There was a time once I in all probability would’ve put Haunted Mansion on the Walt Disney World model of this listing. Even at present, there are lots of little issues to like about each variations. Similar goes for the Tokyo Disneyland incarnation of Haunted Mansion, which is actually the OG Magic Kingdom model. Heck, we might even broaden that to Phantom Manor and perhaps Mystic Manor, each of which share bloodlines (though the HKDL is extra like prolonged household who you’ll be able to declare or disown as you see match).

Just a few questionable selections at Magic Kingdom within the final decade-plus give a slight edge to Disneyland, particularly for the Haunted Mansion purists on the market. For the decidedly non-purists, there’s additionally Haunted Mansion Vacation at Disneyland and never Walt Disney World, which appears to embody extra of the calendar every year.

Yearly for Halloween and Christmas (now beginning in late August and working by mid-January), Sandy Claws decks the halls in a trip overlay impressed by The Nightmare Earlier than Christmas. Though I’m not a fan of the movie and err on the purist facet for many issues, I truly love Haunted Mansion Vacation. It’s extremely thorough, to the purpose that it’s virtually a model new trip utilizing Haunted Mansion as a canvas to create one thing new. (It makes me want we did have a standalone NBC trip, particularly as the vacation seasons get longer.) In any case, this twofer pushes Haunted Mansion at Disneyland into the lead, even when solely by a bit.

8. “it’s a small world” – Initially created for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Truthful, “it’s a small world” is a Walt Disney authentic with a storied historical past and collaboration amongst a number of Disney Legends–the Sherman Brothers, Alice Davis, Mary Blair, and Rolly Crump. After being an enormous hit on the World’s Truthful, “it’s a small world” was shipped to Disneyland and opened in 1966.

Disneyland diehards know all about its place in Disney historical past and rightfully view their model of “The Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed” as a masterpiece. In contrast, most Walt Disney World company might take or go away “it’s a small world” at Magic Kingdom. Many wrongly assume it’s antiquated or annoying, and it’s considered as a second or third-tier Fantasyland attraction.

Whereas I truly do assume there are small and delicate methods the precise ride-through at Magic Kingdom is superior, the entire package deal at Disneyland is healthier. This begins with the whimsical facade and outside opening act, that are a extra joyous approach to set the stage for the upbeat attraction about world peace and residing in concord. I feel nailing the vibe within the queue is actually vital, and units the tone for what’s to return. And naturally, there’s the vacation model at Disneyland, which is so good that it makes our listing of the highest 10 Disney sights on this planet.

7. Autopia – We’ve usually “joked” that Tomorrowland Speedway at Magic Kingdom is an effective way to take pleasure in loud noise, automobile exhaust stench, and incur some gentle mind harm. I suppose that’s all a part of the enjoyable–everybody is aware of cognitive talents are overrated. (This weblog is proof optimistic of that!) Additionally a part of the enjoyable is that about the one factor to see is a flat, barren panorama. It was beforehand referred to as the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, becoming because it felt just like the monotonous and tedious freeway drive by the fields of Indiana.

Autopia is considered one of many sights that’s higher at Disneyland, due to its extra partaking monitor, lush setting and interconnectedness of Tomorrowland. It’s oozing kinetic vitality due to the monorail and railroad, and simply has a greater vibe. Autopia additionally obtained new life again in 2016, with the addition of ASIMO and Fowl–two characters who now seem in present scenes due to the Honda sponsorship. To make sure, I’m not a fan of both model of this attraction and often skip each–but when pressured to trip one, Autopia is the hands-down winner.

6. Disneyland Railroad – Each of those are practice rides that loop their respective fortress parks with stops at just a few stations alongside the best way. As such, most informal company are going to deal with them as interchangeable transportation rides. And that’s even a lot of the followers who take pleasure in each.

The plain benefit of Disneyland Railroad is that it has a scene with actual (okay, Audio Animatronics) dinosaurs known as Primeval World. But it surely’s not simply that. Disneyland Railroad has superior surroundings, a extra partaking structure, and much more ‘lifeless’ areas of nothingness.

That is in all probability an overly-serious take primarily based on weekly rides aboard the Disneyland Railroad, however it’s so a lot better upon nearer inspection. Even for those who simply need to get off your ft and from level A to B, the Disneyland model is superior due to its stops!

5. Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters – As a online game fan, the primary time I rode Buzz Lightyear’s Area Ranger Spin at Walt Disney World, I used to be actually impressed. It mixed two of my favourite issues–shooter video games and darkish rides in a enjoyable albeit clumsy method. That was over 20 years in the past, earlier than Toy Story Mania burst onto the scene and even subsequent variations of the Buzz blaster.

Time has since handed it by, and Buzz makes our Checklist of 10 Points of interest That Have Aged Poorly at Walt Disney World. I really like the concept of the trip: an interactive shooter trip that makes use of bodily present scenes to make it partaking for company who need to benefit from the attraction passively or actively. Staging, props, and Audio Animatronics are actually cool. The issue is that the Buzz is principally busted at Magic Kingdom, with unresponsive blasters and too-easy hacks to max out your rating.

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters at Disneyland fixes the important thing points. Whereas you may get blasters that don’t work nicely (or in any respect), it’s far much less frequent. Ditto non-working targets. Most significantly, the capturing is smoother, gameplay is extra responsive and interesting, and the weapons are handheld providing larger vary of motion. This is probably not noticeable to non-gamers, however it’s akin to the distinction between Tremendous Mario Surprise and Disney’s Magical Quest. Each enjoyable video games, however one is clearly superior whereas the opposite is caught prior to now.

4. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway – The latest trip at Disneyland can be higher than its recently-added counterpart at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for causes we clarify within the aptly-titled Why Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway Is Higher at Disneyland.

Though the ride-through portion of the attraction is essentially a clone, there are delicate methods the Disneyland model is greatest. This begins with its location in Toontown, the place the trip is housed inside El CapiTOON Theater–a riff on an opulent previous Hollywood cinema, proper all the way down to the Artwork Deco design beneath all the toonified artifice. It additionally helps that Disneyland opted to make Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway an growth–and in what was beforehand its weakest land. In contrast, Disney’s Hollywood Studios changed an iconic attraction and thesis of the park in Nice Film Journey.

However what’s performed is completed, in order that half arguably doesn’t matter when evaluating the rides as they exist at present. One large method that El CapiTOON Theater bests its Walt Disney World counterpart is the queue. Because of the cartoon fashion in Toontown, Imagineering had much more latitude with the queue at Disneyland, and it actually exhibits.

The tip result’s one thing far superior, with the main points added to El CapiTOON Theater are enjoyable and interesting. The poster artwork initially is actually intelligent, and makes El CapiTOON really feel like an actual theater. From there, it continues with an exhibit showcasing the evolution of Mickey Mouse. The queue for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Disneyland is without doubt one of the greatest on this planet, and it’s principally a walk-through attraction.

3. Peter Pan’s Flight – This listing is a bit misleading by limiting itself to cloned sights, because it overlooks something that now not exists in each areas. As a complete, Fantasyland at Disneyland completely trounces Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom. It’s not even a remotely shut name, even with the comparatively latest (nicely, a decade in the past) addition of Seven Dwarfs Mine Practice.

Fantasyland at Disneyland is house to Mr. Toad’s Wild Journey, Alice in Wonderland, Snow White’s Enchanted Want, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, and extra. Not solely do none of these exist at Walt Disney World, however the Disneyland variations of many have obtained enhancements over time to modernize and hold them recent.

This contains Peter Pan’s Flight, which is now higher at Disneyland because of this. The added results, upkeep, and barely superior structure all make Peter Pan’s Flight at Disneyland a markedly improved expertise than at Magic Kingdom. On paper, the variations appear comparatively minor, and it’s in all probability true that first-timers would miss most of them.

As somebody who rides each variations of Peter Pan’s Flight quite a bit (in all probability an excessive amount of!) for technique subject testing, the distinction to the eager eye is night time and day. Peter Pan’s Flight is such a superior expertise at Disneyland, and deserving of its high 3 spot on this listing. (Doubly in order a ‘consultant’ for the definitive Fantasyland.)

2. Indiana Jones Journey – There’s no Indiana Jones trip at Walt Disney World…for now. Arguably, this shouldn’t be on the listing in any respect because of this, as evaluating trip programs is like opening Pandora’s field and invitations them between Radiator Springs Racers and Check Observe, Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout and Tower of Terror, and just about each Omnimover darkish trip. However I’d argue that the overlap between Indiana Jones Journey and DINOSAUR at Animal Kingdom are far more pronounced. Not solely that, however Walt Disney World followers are at present mired in a debate about changing DINOSAUR with Indiana Jones Journey, so this feels well timed and apropos.

Those that have performed each have in all probability famous some similarities between DINOSAUR and Indiana Jones Journey. This will come as a shock to followers who’ve performed each–and assume they’re very completely different on account of the on-ride expertise–however the underlying trip is principally a clone. The monitor structure is sort of equivalent, trip autos and system are all the identical. That’s the place the similarities start and finish.

Indiana Jones Journey is thus far superior to its prehistoric counterpart that it’s fully comprehensible that company don’t understand they’re (principally) the identical underlying trip. Whereas DINOSAUR leans closely on darkness, extra darkness, empty present scenes and non-working results, Indiana Jones Journey is jam-packed with brilliantly-staged present scenes and an inside that’s much more partaking and satisfying. There are a variety of results, and the best way these interaction with the monitor and all the things coalesces is simply unimaginable. It’s a definitive demonstration of why trip programs aren’t all the things–or actually, something–and it’s all about how they’re utilized.

Indiana Jones Journey is a masterclass in themed design, worldbuilding, and storytelling in thrill rides. It’s additionally Exhibit A in how Walt Disney World did dinosaurs soiled with that land at Animal Kingdom. Dinosaurs are, by each measure, the good creatures to ever have roamed the earth. They might eat Harrison Ford in 99 battles out of 100. (He’d get fortunate and crash his airplane into them 1 time.) Because the newer attraction primarily based on these lovely beasts, DINOSAUR must be mild years higher than Indiana Jones Journey. And but, it’s not even remotely shut.

Previous to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Indiana Jones Journey was probably the most groundbreaking addition to Disneyland ever. Indiana Jones Journey was a generation-defining attraction and paved the best way not only for future rides, however influenced complete lands. Even three a long time later, it’s nonetheless a revolutionary trip that feels recent. All the things about Indiana Jones Journey is superb. The queue setting the tone, the humorous pre-show, and the daring journey aboard a transport automobile deep into the Temple of the Forbidden Eye in the hunt for unimaginable rewards.

As Sallah would (and does) say, “it’s not like something you’ve got ever skilled, I guarantee you!” Walt Disney World followers are in for a deal with, particularly if (as rumored) the Animal Kingdom model of Indiana Jones Journey finally ends up being the definitive one, surpassing even Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea!

1. Pirates of the Caribbean – This simply nabs the #1 spot, and the explanations are so apparent as to anybody who has ridden each that not a lot clarification is even warranted. In the event you’ve solely performed the Magic Kingdom model of this boat trip, you haven’t really skilled Pirates of the Caribbean. This considerably longer model incorporates a body narrative (assume Coronary heart of Darkness) that establishes a foreboding ambiance and presents what’s to return as a cautionary story. What follows is a sequence of vignettes that includes Audio Animatronics pirates partaking in swashbuckling mayhem in large and spectacular units of a burning city.

Pirates of the Caribbean deftly balances lighthearted humor alongside the dastardly deeds of pirates in what must be a jarring juxtaposition, however it simply works. Pirates of the Caribbean is a quintessential slice of mid-century Americana, and with {that a} generally cavalier perspective that has landed the attraction in scorching water (so to talk) with trendy audiences. However, it continues to resonate, immersing company in a pirate assault whereas additionally delivering character and emotion.

The one factor I’ll say for the Walt Disney World model of the attraction is that each its exterior, queue, and miniland (Caribbean Plaza) are superior. We argued above that “it’s a small world” at Disneyland is healthier due to all of this stuff, regardless of the trip itself arguably being higher at Magic Kingdom. Nicely, the distinction right here is that there’s no argument concerning the ride-through portion of Pirates of the Caribbean–it’s such a large enchancment at Disneyland that it renders all different arguments moot.

Planning a Southern California trip? For park admission offers, learn Ideas for Saving Cash on Disneyland Tickets. Study on-site and off-site inns in our Anaheim Lodge Opinions & Rankings. For the place to eat, try our Disneyland Restaurant Opinions. For distinctive concepts of issues that’ll enhance your journey, try What to Pack for Disney. For complete recommendation, seek the advice of our Disneyland Trip Planning Information. Lastly, for guides past Disney, try our Southern California Itineraries for day journeys to Los Angeles, Laguna Seashore, and plenty of different SoCal cities!


Which Disneyland sights do you assume are higher than their Walt Disney World counterparts? Any rides that this listing snubbed which are superior within the California parks? Something on this listing that you just assume is definitely worse at Disneyland? Do you agree or disagree with our picks? Any questions? Listening to your suggestions—even while you disagree with us—is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas under within the feedback!

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