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  • Writer's pictureHillary Van Way

Disneyland vs. Disney World: Attractions

Updated: Aug 19, 2020

If you've been to both Disneyland and Disney World, you've probably noticed that there are a handful of attractions that appear in both Disney parks. This past week, I was very lucky to be able to visit Disneyland and ride a few of these attractions, jot down my thoughts on each of them, and compose this blog post to compare the two. As I continue to ride more of these attractions in my Disneyland trips to come, I will update my list! For now, here are my comparisons of six attractions that are seen in both Disney World and Disneyland, followed by which Disney park takes the win (in my opinion)!

"it's a small world"

First of all, I love how noticeable and grand this ride is. It simply cannot be overlooked while walking through Fantasyland in Disneyland; and it's a cute ride with a good message, so it shouldn't be overlooked! Second, I love how Disneyland's ride is both indoor and outdoor. Disney World's is inside for the entire ride, so it's unique that Disneyland's boat ride begins outside and then continues inside. Lastly, I like how Disneyland incorporates Disney characters in their version. From Cinderella to Peter Pan to Lilo and Stitch, "it's a small world" in Disneyland has tons of Disney characters shown throughout the ride. These three major differences in Disneyland's "it's a small world" set it apart from Disney World's, so it's no comparison in my opinion.


Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

This is a toss-up because I like aspects of both the one in Disney World and in Disneyland.

  • Disneyland: I love how the landscape that surrounds the attraction is very authentic to an old, western mining town. I also like that they incorporate lit fuses and real smoke in the caverns, making you feel like you've entered a real mine! Check out the pictures I took this week of Big Thunder in Disneyland (first collage of pictures).

  • Disney World: I love how rough and intense this ride is, because it really lives up to its nickname, "the wildest ride in the wilderness!" The queue is also very interactive, which is a plus, especially when the wait is 45 minutes in the Florida heat.

Although it's a tough decision, I have to say that the Big Thunder in Disney World is better simply because it truly is a wild ride every time I go on it!

Disney World

Space Mountain

Maybe I need to give the Space Mountain in Disneyland another chance, but I felt that it was very underwhelming compared to Disney World's. I love a good roller-coaster that is fast, dark, and makes me scream the whole time. Disneyland's Space Mountain didn't go very fast, lacked thrilling drops and turns, and was just not what I was hoping for or expecting. Sorry Disneyland, but Disney World definitely wins the competition for this attraction!

Disney World

Snow White's Scary Adventures vs. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

I'm not a huge fan of change, so when Disney World replaced Snow White's Scary Adventures with Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, I was pretty devastated. One thing I appreciate about Disneyland is the fact that it has so many of the classic Disney attractions, including Snow White's Scary Adventures. Yes, it's a slow-moving "kiddie ride" through the story of Snow White, but I much prefer it over Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. After waiting 105 minutes to ride the hyped-up Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a ride that lasts 3 just isn't worth it to me! I will say that the technology of Mine Train was very advanced and neat, so I'll give that to Disney.


Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean in both Disney World and Disneyland are very similar, but somehow they give you two very different ride experiences.

  • Disneyland: Something very unique about this Pirates is that there is a restaurant inside of the attraction that has a Louisiana-inspired menu. Your boat passes in front of the restaurant, so as you would imagine, the restaurant is very dimly-lit and eerie. I love Pirates of the Caribbean and I love food, so I really like this dining experience inside of the attraction! l also love how the phrase, "dead men tell no tales," is said countless times throughout the ride. The ride in general just feels more quiet, dark, and creepy than the one in Disney World.

  • Disney World: The queue is more interesting and feels more authentic, which adds to the ambiance of the whole attraction. The drop in Disney World is also steeper and more exciting than the one in Disneyland. Lastly, the end scene with Jack Sparrow sitting with all of his gold is more memorable than the end scene in the Disneyland version of the ride.

I love both versions of this ride so much, which makes this decision very hard to make. I'm going to have to say that Disneyland's is better, only because of the restaurant and the constant eeriness throughout the entire ride.


Jungle Cruise

I went to Disneyland the day after my birthday, so I had a "Celebrating My Birthday" pin on for the day. After a very fun cruise full of the classic, corny Jungle Cruise jokes, our Skipper sang a special birthday song for me. This added some Disney magic to my day, so Disneyland's Jungle Cruise gets a big thumbs-up from me. However, the Jungle Cruise in Disney World travels through a temple, making the ride more unique and exciting than the one in Disneyland. Disney World's version also has the other half of the plane used in the Casablanca scene in Disney's Hollywood Studios' The Great Movie Ride (R.I.P.). Although Disney World wins for best Jungle Cruise, I really did enjoy Jungle Cruise in Disneyland (especially our Skipper)! Enjoy these pictures that I took this week in Disneyland!

Disney World

Which versions of these Disney rides do you like best?


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Oct 14, 2018

It’s a small world is a classic no matter where you are! I wonder how the weather affects the outdoor portion of the Disneyland version.

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