DISNEYLAND RIDES VS. WALT DISNEY WORLD RIDES

Now that I've had the chance to visit both of the Disney parks in the United States, I thought it’d be fun to take a look at how the rides in both parks that are similar/comparable and vote which park has the better ride. Husband and I were doing this while we were there, but I wanted to make a post about it too. I will always list the Disneyland ride first, followed by the Walt Disney World one, and then my feelings on them are below. Obviously, not all the rides at Walt Disney World, or Disneyland is mentioned in this post. I only mentioned the ones that had counterparts in each park. Each park also has their own park exclusive rides as well. These are my opinions based on my Disney experiences! :)

Disneyland Monorail (Magic Kingdom) vs. Walt Disney World Monorail (Magic Kingdom)

Both are great because, come on, they’re monorails! Obviously, the Walt Disney World one is bigger. WDW has two, one that runs on a resort loop - the Contemporary, the Grand Floridian and the Polynesian. This one is closest to the Magic Kingdom. Then one that takes you between the Magic Kingdom park and the Epcot park. The one at Disneyland takes you back and forth from Downtown Disney to Tomorrowland. The plus side for the Disneyland one, though, is that they still let you ride in the front of the monorail. Walt Disney World doesnt let you do that anymore.


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Disneyland Railroad (Magic Kingdom) vs. Walt Disney World Railroad (Magic Kingdom)

Again, both are great. They go around the entire Magic Kingdom park at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The cool part about the railroad at the Disneyland Magic Kingdom was that at one point, you go past a diorama that takes you “back in time” and you see dinosaurs. The one at WDW doesn’t have anything like that. I also feel like the Disneyland one has a little bit more props/scenery along the train tracks.


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Indiana Jones Adventure (Adventureland, Magic Kingdom) vs. Dinosaur (Dinoland USA, Animal Kingdom)

I loved both. But for me, I prefer the Indiana Jones Adventure because you can actually see what’s going on. Dinosaur is SO dark that it’s really hard to see anything at all. The only downside to the Indiana Jones Adventure ride is that it was SO loud. I actually covered my ears half way through. Again, they’re both fun, but I liked the Disneyland ride a little more.


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Jungle Cruise (Adventureland, Magic Kingdom) vs. Jungle Cruise (Adventureland, Magic Kingdom)

They’re equal! I can’t remember much that differs between the two. The rides the same, the cast member’s speech is the same, the scenes are the same. Just an overall fun ride. But Disneyland does do a Jingle Jungle Cruise during Christmas, which sounds like it's pretty cute!


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Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room (Adventureland, Magic Kingdom) vs. Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki Room (Adventureland, Magic Kingdom)

These are pretty equal too! The one at Walt Disney World is slightly larger. However, the show is the exact same. Although, I did have fun visiting the “secret” bathrooms at the Disneyland Enchanted Tiki Room! This is one of husband's favorite rides/shows, so it’s always a must do! He loved experiencing the Disneyland one since it was so close to Walt's heart - husband feels a special connection to Mister Disney when we see the Enchanted Tiki Room.


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Pirates of the Caribbean (New Orleans Square, Magic Kingdom) vs. Pirates of the Caribbean (Adventureland, Magic Kingdom)

Unfortunately, I can’t compare these because the POTC at Disneyland was CLOSED. We were so upset and disappointed because the Disneyland one is fifteen minutes compared to Walt Disney World’s eight-minute ride. We were SO excited to go on it, but it didn’t open until after we’d already come all the way back to Ohio. So, for now, we like the one at WDW! This is hubby’s favorite ride, so we will definitely have to go back to Disneyland again someday to check this out!


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Tarzan's Treehouse (Adventureland, Magic Kingdom) vs. Swiss Family Treehouse (Adventureland, Magic Kingdom)

We’ve never done either of these! A lot of steps + husband's prosthetic is not ideal. We’d love to do them someday, but they just haven’t been top priority previous Disney trips. I listed them in this blog, however, because I wanted to show that both parks have an equivalent ride. I imagine that Tarzan's Treehouse would be more enjoyable since I love that movie and would understand the references. Swiss Family Robinson is a very old live-action movie of Disney's that I haven't seen before.


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Haunted Mansion (New Orleans Square, Magic Kingdom) vs. Haunted Mansion (Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom)

The Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World wins this one hand down! It's much longer, bigger and scarier. Also, despite being mostly the same rides, some rooms are different at Disneyland than at WDW. The Haunted Mansion is my favorite Disney ride, so I love any version. Although, the Disneyland Haunted Mansion does a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay during the holiday season (which husband would love to see because he loves that movie).


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Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Frontierland, Magic Kingdom) vs. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Frontierland, Magic Kingdom) 

They're both equal. Although I do believe the tracks are very different between both parks and Disneyland as a bit more “environment” (like scenery/props) than what I remember Walt Disney World having. But both are really fun roller coasters.


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Mark Twain Riverboat (Frontierland, Magic Kingdom) vs. Liberty Square Riverboat (Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom)

We did not do the Mark Twain Riverboat at Disneyland because we did the Liberty Square Riverboat at Walt Disney World and weren’t particularly fans. But because the lands between the two parks are different, I'm sure you’d see different things on the Disneyland riverboat. It still is just not something we’ll go out of our way for at either park in the future.


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The Disneyland Story Presents Great Moments with Mister Lincoln (Main Street USA, Magic Kingdom) vs. The Hall of Presidents (Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom)

I haven’t done the Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World in years, but considering it has all of the United States presidents involved, as opposed to Disneyland's Great Moments just having President Lincoln (albeit being my favorite president!)...I'd say the WDW is a more dramatic show. Both are really cool to experience, though, as long as you're into American history!


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Splash Mountain (Critter Country, Magic Kingdom) vs. Splash Mountain (Frontierland, Magic Kingdom)

Both are great! Although the Disneyland one as an entire section that is not in the Walt Disney World one!?! Other than that, the rides are almost exactly alike and they’re both equally are awesome. I'd have to say that Splash Mountain is our favorite ride out of all of the Disney Mountains.


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The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (Critter Country, Magic Kingdom) vs. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom)

These are pretty darn similar. I think the storyline is slightly different but, overall, they’re the same ride. They’re both fun in regards to slower dark rides.


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Dumbo the Flying Elephant (Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom) vs. Dumbo the Flying Elephant (Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom)

We didn’t do the one at Disneyland because it’s pretty obvious that this ride is going to be the same as the one in Walt Disney World. However, with the newly updated Dumbo ride at WDW, it’s a lot more immersive in terms of theming than the one at Disneyland.


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It’s a Small World (Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom) vs. It’s a Small World (Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom)

We weren’t able to do IASM at Disneyland because it was closed as well! I was looking forward to it because it is its own freestanding building (whereas the one at Walt Disney World is inside a building with other attractions attached). I was also looking forward to seeing all the Disney characters added in to the different lands inside the ride. This is a ride we’re going to have to hit the next time we’re at Disneyland as well.

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King Arthur Carousel (Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom) vs. Prince Charming Regal Carousel (Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom)

Same ride at both parks, just different names. Both are equal because they’re a carousel. There’s not much that can be changed except for the Fantasyland theming being different.


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Matterhorn Bobsleds (Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom) vs. Expedition Everest (Asia, Animal Kingdom)

Now, the reason I put theses together is that they’re both mountains that have to do with a yeti. However, Expedition Everest is better, hands down. It’s bigger, smoother and has a more unique story. The Matterhorn Bobsleds (the one ride at Disney I was looking forward to the most) was so rough and in desperate need of updating that it was really hard to enjoy it. I was too busy trying not to get beat up by the ride to get into it. It’s not a ride I'll be doing again.


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The Mad Tea Party (Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom) vs. The Mad Tea Party (Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom)

These are equal, although The Mad Tea Party at Walt Disney World is covered and the one at Disneyland is uncovered. I also think the one at WDW is bigger.


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Peter Pan’s Flight (Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom) vs. Peter Pan’s Flight (Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom).

Exactly the same ride. Although, it did look like they had recently redone the blacklight paint at Disneyland, so it was a lot brighter than the one at WDW!


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Gadget Go Coaster (Mickey’s Toontown, Magic Kingdom) vs. The Barnstormer Featuring The Great Goofinie (Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom)

We were unable to do the Gadget Go Coaster at Disneyland because it was closed. But it was found in Toontown, and The Barnstormer is in the Storybook Circus area of Fantasyland - meaning they’re tame kiddie coasters. The Great Goofini ride is a pretty fun, so I imagine Gadget Go would be similar (although I'm surprised they haven't rethemed it yet since Gadget was from the Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers television show, which isn't on TV anymore, and I doubt any kids nowadays really know her.)


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Astro Orbiter (Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom) vs. Astro Orbiter (Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom)

We did not do the one at Disneyland. However, Astro Orbiter at Disneyland is at ground level, whereas the one at Walt Disney World is on the second floor and only accessible by elevator. We enjoyed the one at Walt Disney World, but it’s not exactly a “must do” ride for us because it does make us dizzy.


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Autopia (Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom) vs. Tomorrowland Indy Speedway (Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom)

We don’t like either one of them! I feel like the Autopia track is longer than the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway, but both rides are just “blah” for us. The cars are too slow, the steering is too stiff, it takes everything inside of you to push down on the gas pedal or brake pedal, there’s not much to see while driving around and you’re confined to a track. :/


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Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters (Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom) vs. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom)

We don’t particularly care for this ride either. However, we appreciated that the Walt Disney World one is clean and nice looking. We were shocked at how dirty and in huge need of a refurb (i.e. paint was chipping off the cars) that the Disneyland one was in. It’s just such a hard ride to get into because not only do you have to be in control of spinning your car, but it’s also really hard to tell which laser beam is yours and when you’re actually hitting a bull eye or not.


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Space Mountain (Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom) vs. Space Mountain (Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom).

Disneyland's Space Mountain gets this one! We were actually not going to do the Disneyland one because we hate how rough the one at Walt Disney World is. But we finally decided to just go for it because we were there and, boy, were we surprised! We wound up going on it a handful of times afterward. First off, the cars are different, and we got to sit side by side. Then the “take off” part of it was much more immersive. And when you’re in the actual ride, Disneyland's Space Mountain as 1000x more “stars.” It was so cool to feel like we were actually speeding through space, as opposed to WDW's Space Mountain where you’re in complete darkness.


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Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom) vs. The Seas with Nemo and Friends (Future World: The Seas, Epcot)

These rides are comparable because they both have to do with Finding Nemo. However, we weren’t able to make the submarine voyage at Disneyland because it was closed. The Disneyland one takes place in the old 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea attraction submarines and goes along a track underwater. Whereas with The Seas with Nemo and Friends, you’re riding in a car (“clamobile”) going through the aquarium (The Seas building).


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Star Tours The Adventure Continues (Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom) vs. Star Tours The Adventure Continues (Echo Lake, Hollywood Studios)

We didn’t do the Star Tours ride at Disneyland because the one at Walt Disney World makes me feel so sick and panic-y. So I guess they'd be equal because the concept at both parks is literally the same.


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Monsters Inc Mike and Sulley to the Rescue (Hollywood Land, California Adventure) vs. Monsters Inc Laugh Floor (Tomorrowland, Magic Kingdom)

These are comparable because they both have to do with Monsters Inc. However one is a ride, and one is an interactive show. For me, I really liked the ride. I've always dreamed of a Monsters Inc. Ride before I realized that Disneyland actually had one! The show at Walt Disney World is cute, and it really is funny, but I just prefer the ride! I like to be immersed in a story when I'm at a Disney park, and rides do that for me more than a 3D movie.


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California Screamin’ (Paradise Pier, California Adventure) vs. Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster (Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Studios)

Both of these roller coasters are great. They’re definitely the big boys when it comes to roller coasters at a Disney park. I'd have to say that I enjoyed California Screamin’ better. For one, it’s outside, and I liked being able to see - the Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster is completely in the dark at Walt Disney World. And although the Rock ’n’ Roller Coaster has more inversions, which I enjoy a lot! But I think that California Scremain’ is longer and more thrilling.


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Goofy’s Sky School (Paradise Pier, California Adventure) vs. Primeval Whirl (Dinoland USA, Animal Kingdom)

These are both fun kiddie coasters. However, the Primeval Whirl at Walt Disney World is a spinning car whereas Goofy’s Sky School cars at Disneyland are stationary.


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The Little Mermaid Ariel’s Undersea Adventure (Paradise Pier, California Adventure) vs. Under the Sea: Journey of The Little Mermaid (Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom)

We did not Ariel’s Undersea Adventure at Disneyland because we did the Journey of The Little Mermaid ride at WDW and were less than impressed with it. Plus, we are really annoyed with Ariel (WHY is everything always about her!? WHY is she everywhere!?). I'm assuming the story is the same, although I can’t be sure since we didn’t do the Disneyland one.


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Toy Story Midway Mania (Paradise Pier, California Adventure) vs. Toy Story Midway Mania (Pixar Place, Hollywood Studios)

Both are great! Toy Story Midway Mania is one of our absolute favorite Disney rides. We just have so much fun on it. They’re almost entirely the same. However, you board the one at Disneyland outside the building whereas the one at WDW is boarded from inside the building.


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Grizzly River Run (Grizzly Peak, California Adventure) vs. Kali River Rapids (Asia, Animal Kingdom)

We really hate rides that soak you to the bone. Plus, being drenched in water and husband having a prosthetic leg doesn’t make for an enjoyable day for him. So, although Grizzly River Run was closed when we were at Disneyland, we would have skipped it in the first place. We’ve never done the Kali River Rapids ride at Walt Disney World, but they’re similar because they’re both white water rapids water rides.


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Turtle Talk With Crush (Hollywood Land, California Adventure) vs. Turtle Talk With Crush (Future World: The Seas, California Adventure)

We’ve never done other one. This is a lot more kid focused, even more so than Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor at Walt Disney World. Because it’s interactive, obviously the shows are going to be different every time you go to it, but it’s the same idea at both parks.


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Muppet Vision 3D (Hollywood Land, California Adventure) vs. Muppet Vision 3D (Streets of America, Hollywood Studios)

We’ve done Muppet Vision 3D at Walt Disney World a ton because husband love love loves the Muppets. We didn’t do the one at Disneyland because it’s the same show, but it’s fun. It’s the way 3D movies were growing up for us (wherein you had to actually be somewhere like a theme park to actually SEE a 3D movie). With the Muppets new movies the past few years, I'd like to see them refilm this and make the 4D aspect (like the air that rushes at you, the bubbles that come from the ceiling, etc.) better utilized.


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The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (Hollywood Land, California Adventure) vs. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror (Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood Studios)

Both are such a great ride…but WDW is better! The Walt Disney World one is longer and bigger and a lot more immersive. Plus, the drops at Walt Disney World just seem like they’re scarier than the ones at Disneyland. But we’ll always ride this ride because it’s so fun. We did find it strange that the one at Disneyland is stationary…the cars at the Walt Disney World one actually moves through the building.


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It’s Tough To Be A Bug (Bugs Land, California Adventure) vs. It’s Tough to Be A Bug (Discovery Island, Animal Kingdom)

We didn’t see the show at Disneyland because they actually were using the theater for an exclusive Maleficent preview. We enjoy the one at Walt Disney World, but it’s another disney film that could use some updating (in terms of quality - it's a little blurry nowadays).


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Radiator Springs Racers (Cars Land, California Adventure) vs. Test Track (Future World, Epcot)

I am a huge advocate of Test Track. I will defend it forever, especially since it’s been redone. We had hated Test Track before they updated it. It was never worth the wait for us originally, but now we can’t get enough of it. I don’t get why people hate it so much - I even had a Disney elitest once tell me that I wasn’t a true Disney fan because I preferred Test Track 2.0 over the original version. With that being said, though, Radiator Springs Racers is better. It was a must-do for us because husband loves Cars so so so much…but I was on the fence because RSR has been so hyped since it’s opened and I couldn’t imagine that it was “that” good! But BOY was I wrong! I think of our entire visit, Radiators Springs Racers were our absolute favorite, #1 Disneyland ride. That ride is everything I could have ever wanted or wished for out of a Disney ride. It’s slow and fast, has a great story line, and 10000000% immersive. I cannot believe how much I fell in love with this ride. The ride system is the exact same as Test Track…and, although it doesn’t have the Build-Your-Own-Car station during the queue like TT does, Radiators Spring Racers has a fantastic story. It was so so so enjoyable. And every time we road it, we won! I really really really hope they bring RSR to Walt Disney World (in Hollywood Studios) - forget Disneyland people being so possessive of it, it really is a fantastic ride that should be enjoyed at both parks! So, while we will always be Test Track 2.0 fans…Radiators Springs Racers are the better of the two. We can’t wait to be back at Disneyland to ride it a few hundred more times! ;)


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