In my last article, we took a look at 5 attractions that Disneyland does better than Walt Disney World. Today, the tables have turned, and we’re going to be highlighting the attractions that are superior in Florida.
Just like last time, this is all opinion. If anything, it gives us all a reason to try both versions of these attractions for ourselves and make our own judgments about them. And, just because an attraction is on this list doesn’t mean the Disneyland version is bad by any means, it simply means that the Disney World iteration reigns supreme!
An opening day attraction on both coasts, The Jungle Cruise is one of the most classic Disney attractions at their respective parks. Known for its humor and puns, guests find themselves on a tour through the jungle on an enchanting riverboat!
A huge factor in both versions of the attraction is the cast member portraying the Skipper. At both parks, the Skippers do a phenomenal job telling some of the most repugnant puns you’ve ever heard.
Disneyland’s opening day version of this attraction was different, and has changed quite a bit throughout the years. In fact, in 1976, it even took inspiration from Florida’s version and tried to mimic it in many aspects. In spite of this, these attractions are not carbon copies of each other. Both versions of this attraction share similar scenes, but they can sometimes be found in a different order.
One colossal advantage that Walt Disney World’s version has over its Disneyland counterpart is the inclusion of an incredible interior section. This magnificent Cambodian temple features a stunning Bengal tiger, whereas, out in California, the tiger is just another animal along the river. This section makes the ride stand out greatly, and provides an amazing contrast in atmosphere and tone when compared with the rest of the ride. The incorporation of this sequence really gives Walt Disney World’s Jungle Cruise the edge and makes it unique.
The Jungle Cruise in the Magic Kingdom is the ultimate way to experience this Disney classic. At least until the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson version comes out.
Both versions of this legendary attraction are perfect for cooling off on a hot day. This log-ride style attraction is one of the very best all-around attractions at both Disney resorts. It’s part thrill ride, part dark ride, and part water ride all rolled into one amazing experience.
The Magic Kingdom’s version is slightly longer, clocking in at 11:45, whereas Disneyland’s version is around 9:15. Going hand in hand with this, Magic Kingdom’s features 5 drops instead of Disneyland’s 3, making it much more of a thrilling experience throughout.
The seating arrangement also plays a big role in giving Walt Disney World the edge. At Disneyland, guests are restricted to sitting one by one. At Walt Disney World, you are able to sit two by two, making the ride much more comfortable. You can also get the perfect PhotoPass picture sitting next to your family and friends, rather than having everyone in a single-file line.
The Walt Disney World version also features far superior animatronics, and the story elements are much easier to follow.
The last major difference in these attractions is the music. In the Magic Kingdom version, the music has a country/bluegrass feel to it, which fits in perfectly with its Frontierland location. However, in Disneyland, it is a jazz style score that doesn’t really fit the theming of where the attraction is set. Perhaps if the attraction was located in New Orleans Square, the soundtrack would be better suited.
Overall, the Magic Kingdom version is better in every way. Just don’t forget your Ziploc bags.
Load into your doom buggy, don’t lose your head, and watch out for hitchhikers! You can’t get much more classic than the Haunted Mansion. This spectacularly spooky attraction is sure to provide happy haunts for all of the foolish mortals who enter its doors on either coast. However, Walt Disney World’s paranormal paradise is preferred.
Liberty Square’s hauntingly gorgeous Gothic mansion looks like it could have been ripped right out of a classic Dracula or Frankenstein film, as opposed to the bland Southern Plantation style out in New Orleans Square in California. Walt Disney World’s also features a new immersive queue full of easter eggs and fun little touches that not only enhance the lore of the mansion, but also provide some solid entertainment when you are waiting in line on a busy day.
It is also slightly longer due to its size and features a few scenes not present in the original, such as the library and the psychedelic staircase room.
The only thing the Disneyland version has to its advantage is the inclusion of the Hatbox Ghost, which has become an iconic character in Disney fandom. In virtually every other area, the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World is superior.
Some Disneyland fans may argue that the “Haunted Mansion Holiday” overlay could give their version of the ride the upper hand. Although it is very well done, the Walt Disney World version is better consistently throughout the year, and not just for the 3 months where it is basically a whole new attraction. In fact, some visitors vacationing in California during this time may be disappointed that they are unable to ride the actual Haunted Mansion attraction; a problem that would never be present at Walt Disney World.
Walt Disney World’s Haunted Mansion will always keep you coming back for more. That is, if you ever leave it at all. There is always room for one more Happy Haunt…
Peter Pan’s Flight
Get ready for the flight of a lifetime aboard your own personal pirate ship! Peter Pan’s Flight is a staple of Fantasyland, and is a must-do if you haven’t experienced it before! While both versions of the attraction are similar, the Walt Disney World version soars above its counterpart.
In the Disneyland version’s latest refurbishment, new “Pixie dust” effects were added throughout the ride, giving it a corny, synthetic look that was simply unnecessary. The Walt Disney World version feels much more classic despite the fact it opened 15 years after the original version. It has a vintage feel, which the Disneyland version is now lacking due to its use of modern effects. The Magic Kingdom version is basically the same as it was opening day, except for the upgraded way that you enter the attraction.
Walt Disney World’s new interactive queue is simply amazing! You begin your journey by exploring the Darling family home, before you take off to Neverland. You’ll find the beloved fairy, Tinker Bell, playfully causing some mischief, you’ll watch your shadow come to life on the wall, and the whimsical feelings of nostalgia will grip you before you even board the attraction. Out in Disneyland, don’t expect anything spectacular, as the queue is simply a series of ropes leading up to the front of the line.
Besides this, the Magic Kingdom’s version tells the story better, is slightly longer, and is more detailed.
This attraction is also notorious for having exorbitantly long wait times. In Walt Disney World, you have the ability to get a FastPass for it, while out in Disneyland, you’ll be forced to wait in the standby line no matter what.
Just like Peter Pan himself, this attraction never gets old!
Dumbo The Flying Elephant
When it comes to classic attractions, it doesn’t get much more classic than this. Even if you’ve never set foot in a Disney Park, you know about the Dumbo ride. So many other theme parks have tried to replicate it, and Disney themselves have several knockoff versions scattered throughout the parks with different theming. But, you can’t top Dumbo.
The riding experience itself is virtually identical at both parks. However, Walt Disney World’s is the best way to experience Dumbo for two primary reasons.
First off, the overall design of the attractions are slightly different. Walt Disney World’s has the better aesthetic to it, as it looks more like a circus. This makes it feel right at home in the Storybook Circus area of Fantasyland, and adds more to the general theming of the area.
Secondly, and most importantly, the Walt Disney World version has two spinners instead of one. So, twice as many people can experience the attraction at the same time. This not only cuts down wait times, but also cuts down a lot of the congestion that Fantasyland can have during most of the day.
At both parks, Dumbo is fun for the whole family, but the Walt Disney World version is elephant-astic!
What attractions did we leave out? Which attraction on the list do you not agree with? What attractions do you feel Disneyland does better than Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments down below!