The Disneyland Resort vs. the Walt Disney World Resort - Who will come out on top?
Let's take a look at 5 attractions with differences between the two Magic Kingdom parks - and it won't just be the Roller Coasters!
1) Space Mountain
Let's start off with a roller coaster. First though - can we talk about a running theme within Walt Disney World? What is with the aversion to onboard soundtracks? For me this makes Disneyland's version far superior - Yes, Disneyland's Space Mountain has a soundtrack! It has even changed with different overlays including Ghost Galaxy around Halloween and the Star Wars overlay of Hyperspace Mountain.
While Walt Disney World may feel like it has the longer ride time, Disneyland also wins here with an almost 3:00 minute experience compared to Walt Disney World's 2:30 minute ride. I feel a lot of this is the lack of soundtrack again playing its part here to make you think the ride is shorter than it is. Do you know which one was opened first? If you said Disneyland again, you would be incorrect. Just 2 years prior in 1975 Space Mountain opened to the Walt Disney World guests. While the Disneyland crowd had to wait, I think it was well worth it!
The Highway in the Sky is one of the well known attractions for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland - although one is definitely more of an attraction than a mode of transportation nowadays. The classic monorail debuted at Disneyland in 1959. It would be more than a decade later we would see the monorail operating in Walt Disney World. Disneyland's version is now mostly an attraction - of which you should always try and ask for the Cone or Tail to sit in for a treat! Walt Disney World has used this system to take it to a whole new level however. This monorail system is designed for transportation. Boarding one of these to get where you need to go at Walt Disney World is almost a right of passage.
Winner: WALT DISNEY WORLD!
3) It's A Small World
Don't kill me! I will not directly mention the song although - who am I kidding? You have it started already inside your head, right? Well, I will say this is actually one of my favorite attractions. You can send the hate mail now but I could honestly ride this multiple times if I could! I find the representation of cultures so fascinating. Disneyland has the original version from the Worlds Fair which does give it an extra nostalgia factor.
Walt Disney World's version has undergone some updates but still remains quite classic in it's presentation - even including some additional cultures not featured in Disneyland's version. In 2009 Disneyland updated their attraction to include some familiar Disney and Pixar characters to their appropriate countries. In my opinion this just enhanced an already amazing attraction.
4) Mark Twain and Liberty Belle Paddleboat
Boat rides around the Rivers of America sound like an amazing and relaxing ride about midday for me. I make a point to try and ride every other trip as this can take up a chunk of your time that could be spent riding something more thrilling. If you like something relaxing - this is the attraction for you. Now lets talk about your river excursions. Once again Walt Disney World let me down here by not having a soundtrack. There is a burning cabin on the side of the bank but no reason for it - maybe it is part of Tom Sawyers Island? I digress. Disneyland has (to my recollection) always had a narration - on the Sailing Ship Columbia too! This narration not only provides a storyline but also several historical facts about river life and the maintenance of the boats. In 2017 Disneyland reopened the Rivers of America with a new storyline and some new figures. This one was no competition.
5) Buzz Lightyear Astro Blaster/Space Ranger Spin
What makes this attraction unique? You ride around shooting at Zurg and Aliens for points. Simple enough yet there are a few differences! First off in Walt Disney World your Astro Blaster "gun" is fixed to your Rocket Ship making it difficult to aim at times. Disneyland has a handheld Astro Blaster you may freely use to shoot in practically any direction. This can really assist in finding those higher pointed targets! One plus of Walt Disney World was the space tunnel. A "vortex" pulls you through space and you're surrounded by the action of Buzz Lightyear and Zurg engaged in a space battle. This was a very cool experience within the attraction and I won't ruin it for you if you have not been on it yet. Disneyland's version seems a bit more compact but both have about a 5 minute ride time - enough time to try and get as many points as possible. Since the points are the goal here, I have to give the win to the one with the easier Blaster to operate.
So that wraps up comparing the Magic Kingdoms of both coasts. Do you agree with this assessment? Who would win in your book? Head over to our Facebook Group to discuss more! If you want to check out the differences yourself, make sure you book your trip soon! Disneyland has reopened for California Residents and Walt Disney World is currently accepting guests from all over the USA. Let's get your next vacation scheduled by filling out one of the quote forms below so you can do your own comparisons!
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