10 Rides That Are Better at Disneyland than Walt Disney World

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In a previous blog, I talked about some excellent rides at Disneyland that aren’t even at Walt Disney World.  Several of you named some rides that while located at both parks, are just better at Disneyland.  In some cases, the Disneyland version is superior enough to consider them two different rides.  I agree!  Here are some rides located at Disneyland that are superior to their Disney World counterparts.

 1. Space Mountain.  Space Mountain is sooooooooo much better at Disneyland.  It’s smoother, darker, the cars are set up better, and the loading process is better (just watch how they load the handicap-accessible cars–it’s really ingenious and cool).  It’s just better!!  At Disneyland, you ride side-by-side with another rider, and it is so smooth (I mean remarkably smooth).  It also has some great holiday overlays.  All this greatness did come at a price, however!  Space Mountain closed for 2 years at Disneyland for a complete overhaul.  That was painful for visitors!  But it was ultimately worth it.

2. Soarin’ Over California.  Technically the rides are the same.  I put Soarin’ at Disneyland over the Disney World version not because it’s the original, but for two reasons.  One, it makes sense!!!  It is Soarin’ Over California after all!!  Altering the title in Florida doesn’t really help it make sense there.  The second reason is the queue.  The queue at Disneyland is super detailed and appropriate.  First, you enter the ride from an aviation-themed part of the park called Condor Flats.  You then enter a standalone building that looks like an aircraft hangar.  Once inside, you pass lots of aviation themed pictures and memorabilia from famous aircraft, as well as a section dedicated to some of the true pioneers of aviation.  Finally, there’s an aviation themed counter service restaurant, Taste Pilots’ Grill, right outside the entrance.  All in all, it’s a complete experience that ends with a great ride that is themed perfectly for a park inCalifornia.

3. Grizzly River Run.  The Unofficial Guide says Disney learned from its mistakes at Disney Animal Kingdom’s Kali River Rapids when it built Grizzly River Run.  It did.  It’s a similar ride, but it’s better.  It’s longer and better themed.  Although Kali has a great queue, the ride itself has sections where it feels like someone forgot to theme it.  And right when you’re settling in, you’re done!  Grizzly River Run is much more exciting.  The ride also has some wonderful walking areas around the ride, including some beautiful locations to take family photos with a waterfall in the background.

4. Pirates of the Caribbean Pirates of the Caribbean is amazing at Disneyland!  I’ve heard some fans say they won’t even ride the Disney World version anymore (that’s a bit drastic in my mind, but I hear what they’re saying).  Disneyland’s version is almost 7 minutes longer!  The Disney World version feels rushed in comparison.  At Disneyland, the ride has a nice leisurely pace with an extra drop thrown in for excitement.  As a poster pointed out in a previous blog, floating by the Blue Bayou is also very nice touch!  This is definitely one of the rides that some people think is so much better, that it really isn’t the same ride as its Disney World counterpart.

5. it’s a small world.  In 2008, it’s a small world was redone adding some popular Disney characters to the mix.  Hardcore fans were in an uproar!  Was Stitch going to be terrorizing the dolls of the world?  When it opened, most people breathed a sigh of relief.  The popular Disney characters were subtly and wonderfully blended into the classic ride.  And the holiday version?  It’s excellent!  Add that to the fact the Disneyland ride is longer than the Disney World version, and is in its own beautiful, standalone building, and Disneyland’s version definitely wins!

6. Disneyland Railroad Disneyland’s railroad is basically the same loop around the park that you will find at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.  But, Disneyland throws in a Grand Canyon Diorama and some Primeval World components to make it a little more interesting.  The dinos are animatronic but they don’t scare the pants off you like they do in DINOSAUR at Animal Kingdom!  They’re just fun distractions!

7. Autopia.  Autopia is a richer experience than the Tomorrowland Speedway at Magic Kingdom.  The sights are more interesting, and the cars are cooler!  The track is longer and everybody gets a drivers license!  Of course, then Disney gives you the opportunity to spend more money to put your picture on the drivers license (shocking, I know!), but the Autopia drivers license is a cute souvenir either way.

8. Tarzan’s Treehouse This one is completely personal preference.  I loved the movie Tarzan.  I loved the music, I loved the characters, I loved the message, all of it.  I hate that no other Tarzan attraction has made it in either Florida or California.  Tarzan Rocks! anyone?  Here you follow pages from Jane’s sketchbook as they tell the story while you pass by various scenes.  This may not be a great representation of the movie, but it does make sense and I enjoy it.

9. Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters I’ve read some comparisons between Disney World’s Buzz and Disneyland’s Buzz, and most people seem to think they are pretty much equal.  I totally disagree for one reason–you can pick up your gun at Disneyland!!  The ride is so much better  when you are actually holding your gun!  You’re not chained to shooting at the targets right in front of you, and you can swivel around to your heart’s content!  This is especially helpful when you are in the car with a 4 year old who insists on steering.

10. Haunted Mansion.  I wouldn’t necessarily give the edge to this ride at Disneyland during most of the year.  The ride exteriors are both wonderfully themed, and the new interactive queue at Disney World is full of surprises.  The thing I love about Disneyland’s version that Disney World’s doesn’t have, however, is a holiday overlay.  Every year in late September, they shut down the ride for two weeks or so, and put in a remarkably detailed Jack Skellington/The Nightmare Before Christmas overlay.  To tell you the truth, I’m not even a big fan of the movie!  I never quite got it!  But the overlay is so much fun, and I’m always amazed at how many park guests dress in Jack Skellington garb during that time of year!  I love it when my favorite rides are changed up a little.  Even if only for a little while!

How about you?  Did I leave any out?

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Posted on November 4, 2011

74 Responses to “10 Rides That Are Better at Disneyland than Walt Disney World”

  • Splash Mountain is much better at Disneyland than at Walt Disney World. My favourite part of the ride was the “Burrow’s Lament”. :-)

  • I also prefer the Disneyland version of the Big Thunder Railroad!!!

  • agree on the article. those rides are much better. splash i disagree with. i feel like the ride is much quicker at DL than MK and the aminontronics are not kept up at either park! tower is better at DHS.

    BTRR, fantasmic are better at DL also.

  • All the rides at Disneyland Paris are better than Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Indiana Jones, and even the castle is better.

    • by Tammy Whiting on November 4, 2011, at 8:02 pm EDT

      I can’t compare the rides because I haven’t been, but I’ve seen pictures of the castle and it is amazing!

    • Really? I’ve heard a lot of good things about DLRP, but nothing this positive. I’ve always heard statements crouched with, “but maintenance is poor,” and “but Cast Members aren’t friendly.” Tokyo Disneyland, on the other hand…

      • Cast Members at Disneyland Paris have always been very kind and friendly to me, I would never say they are rude or not friendly. I wouldn’t say that “ALL” the rides are better, but many of them really are a lot better: Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, Pirates, Phantom Manor, It’s a Small World… all of them are bigger, longer and prettier. All the other rides are almost the same. And, of course, the castle is the most beautiful Disney castle of all!!!

    • At DLRP Space Mountain was awesome but horribly jerky. The speakers facing your ears left mine battered and bruised although, yeah it was spectacular! I don’t agree about Pirates simply because I could see the drops and we would stop for a moment beforehand which killed the suspense. As far as Paris’s Indiana Jones ride, well it could have been found in a carnival. Very cheap. It’s a horrible little tight seated coaster with a too tight loop.

  • I don’t disagree with any of these. For fun, how about an article on attractions that are better at Walt Disney World? Some suggestions:
    1) The monorail – longer, faster, actually used for useful transport, and you can go to three hotels, two parks, and the TTC
    2) Tower of Terror. I haven’t been on the Disneyland version (it’s been years since I’ve been there), but I’ve heard it doesn’t travel in three dimensions.
    3) Splash Mountain. Side-by-side is just so much more comfortable
    4) The castle. I admit the original Disneyland castle has its charm, but the Disney World one is just majestic.

    • by Tammy Whiting on November 4, 2011, at 8:02 pm EDT

      I definitely agree with 1, 2 and 4! Splash seems to be under debate!

      • I agree with all 4. For Splash, it’s longer at WDW and you sit side by side. While I may have enjoyed straddling my GF as a teenage guy, as a 40-somthing man, it’s too much work to load and unload. =p

  • Although I’d gone to WDW for 20 years before I started going to Disneyland, I have to say there is something very charming about Disneyland. How about free Christmas parade at Disneyland instead of the $50.00 hot chocolate and cookie at WDW? The up side to Disneyland is that everything is closer so easier to get around. With that being said, it also doesn’t take long for it to seem really crowded.

    • by Tammy Whiting on November 4, 2011, at 8:03 pm EDT

      You are so right about the free Christmas parade! I can’t wait to see it the week after next.

    • You can get the Christmas parade and fireworks at no extra cost at Magic Kingdom if you visit after the Mickey’s Very Merry parties are finished for the year.

      Also, Tammy, I don’t think you emphasized the magnificence of it’s a small world enough. The building is huge and ornate, plus it is awash in lights in the evening. It’s spectacular, even when it’s not the back drop to Magic, Memories, and You.

      Space Mountain at Disneyland is exhilarating in a way that Magic Kingdom’s just isn’t for me any more. I enjoy both, but the jerkiness of the Florida ride makes me readily aware of its age (sort of like the Matterhorn in Disneyland). Space Mountain in Paris is also thrilling, but it goes upside down and is a much more serious coaster than its analogs in the US.

      I also think people don’t give Soarin in DCA enough credit. Although the ride plays to much larger crowds in Florida, the aviation decor is a much better match for the ride than Sunshine Seasons and a Behind the Seeds tour desk.

      • by Tammy Whiting on November 5, 2011, at 10:34 am EDT

        That’s a good point about the Christmas parade at Magic Kingdom. Great tip!
        Small World’s building is amazing. I agree. I am also with you on Space Mountain too. I am not a fan of the jerking at Magic Kingdom.
        Thanks for reading, David!

    • Free…for now. The Halloween party is already a hard ticket event at Disneyland.

      I would argue that more is offered at MVMCP than “just” the entertainment that later becomes free (plus snacks), but everyone perceives things differently.

      • by Tammy Whiting on November 5, 2011, at 7:10 pm EDT

        True, free for now. The Halloween party at Disneyland used to be crazy cheap also. I think we paid $15 a person at our first one.

  • I completely agree with these! I have issues with popping heads at WDW’s Haunted Mansion, so DL’s one was a nice, relaxing ride in comparison. Soarin’ was particularly special for us as we had just driven down from San Francisco, with a detour to Napa, as part of our honeymoon.

    Indiana Jones and Dinosaur – I know they’re not really the same ride, but I would much rather have the DL version!

    • by Tammy Whiting on November 5, 2011, at 7:30 am EDT

      I remember just being blown away by Soarin’ the first time I rode. I still feel a little bit of that when I go on the Disneyland version.
      Indiana Jones is definitely better!

  • You should go to Disneyland Paris!! Space Mountain Mission 2 is the most spectacular and wildest version of the ride ever! Pirates of the Caribbean is very similar to the California original but longer and scaryer! It’s a Small World retains the enchantment of the original but with better music and more color and illumination effects! And Phantom Manor (Paris’s version of the Haunted Mansion) is several minutes longer and it’s backstory connects with the Big Thunder Mountain backstory. And of course, Big Thunder Mountain is a lot wilder and faster than in any other park!!

    • There are hundreds of theme parks across the world with more thrilling rides than WDW and DL. Unfortunately, they miss that extra something that makes the American Disney parks great.

      Disneyland Paris is Disney in name only – the cast members are rude and disinterested – I doubt they bother with Disney Traditions, the surroundings are tired and poorly maintained, and the food is the absolute worst in France. I adore France and I adore Disney, but the combination just fails.

      • Cast Members at Disneyland Paris have always been very kind and friendly to me, always smiling and giving me a very warm feeling. Maintenance is not poor at all, but it’s true that it’s not as good as it is in the other parks, and that is something that they’re solving right now. The Castle has recently been refurbished and looks spectacular, and there are several spots in the parks that are being renewed and will be ready for next year’s 20th anniversary.

      • I’ve never been, but I can’t help but think the same thing. Disney and France just don’t mix. I have a hard time imagining that the cast members at Disneyland Paris would really “get it”.

    • by Tammy Whiting on November 5, 2011, at 7:31 am EDT

      I would love to go to Disneyland Paris. I’ve heard some negative things about cast members, but I’ve spoken to others who had great experiences. Either way, I want to try it!

  • Storybook Land!

  • I know I’m in the minority in this opinion, but I like Tower of Terror at DCA much better than at DHS. I think staying in one shaft makes it seem more like an elevator gone awry. At DHS, once the elevator leaves the shaft and behaves like a ride vehicle, my suspension of disbelief is shattered.

    For me, DCA’s Tower is an elevator that goes bezerk. DHS’s Tower is an elevator where you see cool stuff, followed by a dark ride, followed by a bouncing ride.

    • by Tammy Whiting on November 6, 2011, at 4:57 pm EDT

      That’s interesting! I like the segment where you leave the elevator shaft, but I hadn’t thought about it from that perspective.

    • You may be in the minority, but I agree with you. I think you hit the nail on the head. Tower of Terror in Florida has cool features, but it sort of misses the point. It’s not supposed to act like a ride vehicle, it’s supposed to make tourists feel like they are in an actual elevator……that’s why DCA’s is better. It’s another example of quality over quantity. Disneyland=quality WDW=quantity

  • I agree with all your picks. BUT what I like much better at Disney World is how you wait in the dreaded lines. Many more are inside, with lots of fans and with things to do! I wish Disneyland would pick up on these ideas too!!

    • by Tammy Whiting on November 6, 2011, at 4:59 pm EDT

      Good point! Some may say Florida takes better advantage of the air conditioning because they need it more! But there are definitely those crazy hot days at Disneyland where air conditioning would be wonderful.

  • by Andrew Carrieri on November 6, 2011, at 12:23 pm EDT

    I’m clearly in the minority on the Space Mountains but I greatly prefer the Florida version primarily because of the track layouts. Whereas the Orlando version has many sudden dips, the DL version is, from what I understand, a strict downward spiral. I definetely noticed the lack of dips in the DL version and was disappointed.

    • by Tammy Whiting on November 6, 2011, at 4:59 pm EDT

      I have a friend who feels the same way. I talked up DL’s version so much, when she rode it, that was the first thing she said. There were no drops!

  • Ooh, great post, thank you! I’ve been to WDW half a dozen times, but I’m going to Disneyland in March for the first time since I was 11. I want to make the best use of my time there in terms of comparing the parks (and still just having an awesome Disney time, obviously!) The more I read about Disneyland, the less attractions I can think I can just skip for similarity’s sake – I think I have to ride everything! Though, to be honest, I’d have wanted to experience everything anyway. lol. But I second a suggestion for an “attractions that are better at WDW” post! I want to know my options before I go :)

  • Another thing that is VASTLY superior at Disneyland is not really a ride, so I suppose that’s the reason it was not included in your list. Fantasmic makes WDW’s look laughable. Disneyland by a landslide (if you can find a good place to watch it, that is).

    • by Tammy Whiting on November 7, 2011, at 1:12 pm EDT

      It is vastly superior, I agree! It was in one of my previous blogs, 10 Shows That Are Only at Disneyland. I think it’s so much better I only counted it at Disneyland!

  • Don’t forget about Peter Pan! I almost did.

    • by Tammy Whiting on November 7, 2011, at 1:13 pm EDT

      True, true! Lots of people prefer Peter Pan at Disneyland. I do hate that there’s no Fastpass for it at Disneyland. It just makes it so hard to ride.

  • Another thing I like better is Main St. at DL. Absolutely charming. Love the little steps to sit on and eat an ice cream cone. Love the magic shop. And love where they place the big Christmas tree, right at the beginning of the street.

  • The Tiki Room! I think it’s SO much better at Disneyland–the WDW one just gets on my nerves. Maybe it’s because I grew up with the DLR one, though. Leaving for WDW tomorrow so I’ll give it another try. :)

  • Another thing of I love better in Disneyland is their Main St. There is just something so charming about it. It still has the Magic Shop and I love to sit on the steps in front of one of the shops and eat an ice cream cone.

  • Hi guys just back from my first ever trip to disneyland
    Paris all I can say is WOW!!
    Heard so many negative comments regarding staff
    Rides etc and just for the record theese were all untrue
    They spoke very good english were v helpful and
    Kind my daughter was treated like a true princess
    Courtseyed too and all the cast members on the rides
    Said hello little princess to her utter delight
    Also once just before the parade we qued for a snack at
    The bistros and a few rude frwnch tourists pushed
    Infront of us (this happened a few times) and then
    The bistro closed for the parade my partner was disgusted that we had qued
    And was told sorry – but then a few moments later we were chased down
    Main street with a bag of muffins and a cast member saying sorry enjoy!
    That was so sweet and made up for it strait away!!
    We only qued for 20 mins max for any ride over our 4 day stay and that was for buzz
    Lightyear and thunder mountain!! We also felt very lucky
    To find ourselves covered in surprise snow on our final day on
    Main street (fake) it was truly a magical experience!!
    Nothing but praise for DLP deffo back next (and hopefully every year)
    Truly amazing!! Ps only disneyland in the world (or so I’ve heard) to have its own dragon underneath
    The castle (fantastic) and as for castle its utterly stunning breathtaking truly truly magical

    • by Tammy Whiting on November 8, 2011, at 6:13 pm EDT

      It’s great to hear such a good report of Disneyland Paris! I can’t wait to see that dragon myself one day. Thanks for sharing!

  • Having been to both on many occations, my feeling is that DL is a great little one day trip (two if you add DCA) but it compares much closer to Orlando’s Universal studios. DL and DCA occupy approx 140 acres while AK, HS, Epcot and MK (all these parks combined truely make up WDW, not just MK) sits on over 1,000 acres and that’s not even counting water parks! Nice try though. There will always be a special place in my heart for DL but an overall comparison isn’t fair. It’s like comparing a really great local production to a Broadway show. DL can be an awesome part of a vacation. WDW is a vacation.

    • by Tammy Whiting on January 3, 2012, at 10:07 am EDT

      I know you’re not alone in your feelings, Vince. I do feel like Disneyland is a vacation destination unto itself though. I’ve blitzed through Universal in about 6 hours, I couldn’t do that at DL. It definitely has a smaller footprint than WDW, but it actually has more attractions. Having said that, I do love both WDW and DL. I wouldn’t discourage anyone from visiting either one. :)

      • Hi Tammy. Just to keep this going in good fun, according to their websites, Disneyland and Disney’s California adventure have a combined 29 “moving attractions”. This doesn’t account for shows or “walking attractions”. On the other side, MK has 19, Epcot has 9, Animal K has 7 and Studios has 6, for a total of 41. That also doesn’t count two water parks (of which DL has none), the new additions to Fantasy land coming in 2012 and 2013 and Downtown Disney / Disney Quest, which combine for another several moving “rides”. Never been to California’s version of Downtown Disney so not sure if they have rides for the kiddies. Again, we’ve done DL and CA in a weekend which is just not poss at WDW. Can’t stress and agree with you enough when it comes to loving all of them and I think that they should all be visited. Just felt that WDW was getting a bit of a bad rap on this blog. At WDW, you can book a week long vaca, never do the same place twice and (if you stay at a Disney resort) never have to get behind the wheel to fight traffic. Closest thing to a cruise on dry land. Btw, we are 1500 miles from WDW and 3000 from DL so I’m not a “homer” for either haha. Just trying to add to the dialog on this page.

        • by Tammy Whiting on January 3, 2012, at 8:34 pm EDT

          I appreciate the dialogue, Vincent! Thanks for reading! Don’t get me wrong, I love WDW. I visit several times a year and I’m going again in a couple of weeks. The purpose of my blogs is usually to convince WDW lovers who have never been to DL that it’s worth a trip. Too many people dismiss DL because of its size. I used to.

          As far as the number of attractions go, it’s definitely hard to categorize everything. I probably should have used the word “ride” instead of “attraction”. A couple of months ago, I asked a very knowledgeable poster on a message board I frequent how he would break them down. I really like the way he explains it, and I don’t think he’d mind if I repost it. The last line is definitely the point I am trying to get across. Here’s what he said:

          There are things in each park that Disney tries to list as “attractions”, but that I don’t count, such as Donald’s Boat in DL’s Toontown, each individual train station, midway games in Paradise Pier or Dinorama, DCA’s bakery tour, shooting galleries, minor princess meet n’ greets, separating Innoventions exhibits out separately in both Disneyland and Epcot (but I count Innoventions West and East at Epcot as two separate attractions), etc., etc. But I do count the big stage shows like Aladdin in the Hyperion Theater or the Nemo Musical at DAK, mostly because it helps the attraction count for the WDW parks like DHS and DAK. I also count each World Showcase country as an attraction, even if it doesn’t have a ride or movie like Italy, Germany, Morrocco, Japan, UK, etc. But, I don’t count the big night spectaculars or parades; World of Color, Fantasmic!, Illuminations, etc. since those don’t have a turnstile to enter through and are really in a class of their own. One thing that always pads the count for Disneyland and Magic Kingdom is by separating the “Main Street Vehicles” into four different attractions; horseless carriage, Omnibus, fire engine, horse-drawn streetcars. DAK also gets a boost by counting each animal trail as an attraction.

          So, that’s the overall method to the madness. And here’s the current “attraction” count I come up with in 2011 for the six American parks using that strategy.

          Disneyland Resort Attractions 2011 – 75 [sic]
          Disneyland Park – 50
          Disney California Adventure – 26

          Walt Disney World Resort Attractions 2011 – 88
          Magic Kingdom Park – 35
          Epcot – 24
          Disney’s Hollywood Studios – 14
          Disney’s Animal Kingdom – 15

          Now, if you want to only count “rides”, and by that I mean an attraction where you board an actual ride vehicle that physically moves (Carousel of Progress counts) or travels somewhere along a track, that’s a different count and it’s as follows;

          Disneyland Resort Rides 2011 – 54
          Disneyland Park – 37
          Disney California Adventure – 17

          Walt Disney World Rides 2011 – 49
          Magic Kingdom Park – 26
          Epcot – 10
          Disney’s Hollywood Studios – 6
          Disney’s Animal Kingdom – 7

          What is interesting behind these 2011 tallies is that 10 months from now Disneyland Resort will add four new rides to their total, all of them in DCA. WDW has one new ride opening next year (Little Mermaid in fall ’12), and one ride reopening in ’12 with Goofy’s Barnstormer. The double Dumbo doesn’t really count as an extra ride, and the Seven Dwarves mine train is replacing the existing Snow White dark ride, so that’s a wash when it comes to the overall tally.

          It’s not entirely scientific, as evidenced by the glass of wine while I’m tallying, but it’s pretty close. And any good Disney fan could argue that a certain something be included or excluded from the lists, but I think it’s pretty darn close. And it’s also a great way to explain just how jam-packed with rides and attractions that the compact two-park Disneyland Resort is compared to the sprawling four-park Disney World property.

  • Hi again Tammy. Wow, I think that blogger made my point rather well. Not once did I see mention of one or the other being better, just different. My interest in starting to comment was that this page was geared to things about DL being “bettter” than WDW. When I looked and didn’t see a page reflecting the things “better” about WDW, I figured it was time to intervene. There was little to no balance for the other side. The info brought forward again leaves out items that, when planning an overall vacation, can’t be left out (water parks, etc). Many of those I’ve had this conversation with seem to have not only a “California pride” pride clouding their view but a bit of a Napoleon complex (“DL is smaller but better”). Any fair reading of the page would show that the slant is towards DL being “better” and that is both unfair and not true. Sure, there are individual facets where each shine (I love DL’s Pirates ride and WDW’s Space Mountain) but they are simply two different experiences. If the focus of the page was, for instance, “where each beats the other”, I would have probably never been heard from. The blogger mentioned himself how his assessment was “unscientific” which is, again, my core point. Better is as subjective as chocolate and vanilla. I think either of these destinations are worthy of your valueable (and limited) vacation dollars. They both have pros and cons, they both have experiences that you won’t find in any other US theme park. As far as “better”, Baskin-Robbins does a pretty fair business with at least two dozen flavors. That leaves alot of room in deciding favorites. Personally, I’ll take my mint chocolate chip and I’ll not be the one to tell you that mine is better than yours. There’s plenty of room for both of us.

    • by Tammy Whiting on January 4, 2012, at 7:22 am EDT

      I think we are in violent agreement, Vince. :)I definitely don’t think DL is better than WDW. I’m coming from the mindset that WDW doesn’t need defending. People, including myself, love it. In fact another one of my blogs is about 10 things that DL can use that WDW has. It’s Disneyland that people dismiss outright because of its size. They don’t realize that it’s actually quite comparable in the amount of things to do, not counting the water parks of course which are one of the things I list that would be a great addition to DL. People don’t realize the quality of rides and shows you can find at DL. My blogs aren’t meant to convince people not to love WDW. They’re to convince people that DL has a place in their vacation schedule too

    • One last tidbit. Based on 2010 numbers, DL was the #2 visited theme park in the world. #1, 6, 7 and 8 were all WDW parks (#1 being MK). As with all numbers and opinions, readers can draw from that what they will. All in all, I think that makes for some pretty good company.

      • Our last two comments overlaped. Sorry. Yes. Hopefully the attendance numbers I just put out can relax any fear of DL being overlooked. 15 million people can’t all be wrong haha. I think it just depends on the circles that the conversation is taking place. This was fun. Thank You

  • I have to say that I’m thoroughly enjoying this dialogue!

    We actually visited both WDW and DL in 2011 for the first time and can see a lot of special things about both resorts. For WDW we were there for four days and did the Rope Drop to Closing routine each night which was amazing (and exhausting). For DL, we spent three days there really taking everything in at both parks then headed to San Diego for a wedding only to bookend our trip with “One More Disney Day” before heading back to NYC. Since we are on the East Coast we will likely tend to go to WDW a lot more out of convenience (we have three trips planned this year are are becoming AP holders) but will definitely be taking a trip out west to visit DL every other year or so. :-)

  • Thanks Vince! I’m sure there are many others also following along. :-)

    I’m really enjoying our trips to Disney – I just wish I had discovered this when I was a kid and not when I was 35!

  • I’ve enjoyed the back and forth on this post. I live in California, have been to DL too many times to count and to WDW 5 times, and absolutely love both. Each has its own quirks and things that are better or not quite as good as the other, and both should be considered for vacations. Vince is right that DL (including DCA & Downtown) can be done in 2 – 3 days. WDW requires a week to do it right.

    Since I’ve been to both, and most of my friends in CA have never been to WDW, the question I get most often is “which is better?” It’s a simple question that is frustratingly hard to answer! Tammy, the reprint of the other blogger’s post was great! I’m going to send it to many friends so they can compare for themselves.

    Oh, and C-J, I’m 43 and I think I love the parks more now than when I was a kid! As you get older I think you start to notice the details more, and recognize the love and thought that’s gone into the parks’ design.

    • by Tammy Whiting on January 4, 2012, at 1:33 pm EDT

      Thank you for reading too, Jill! I agree, Disneyland is a shorter vacation. WDW takes a lot of time if you don’t visit frequently. Shorter, but still worth the trip! :)

    • Awesome to read this, Jill. You nailed my point. Picking one as “better” is so darn hard. They are both the fulfillment of a dream and labors of love. To a lesser extent, it’s kind of like picking a favorite child…impossible. What a great place to be at as a Disney fan. It’s not as much about best as it is best for you. Great hearing from you. Many thanks to Tammy for providing the forum for this discussion.

  • Nothing beats going to Disneyland with a local who has been many times! On the last day we were there we went with the bride and groom (from the wedding in SD) and they knew so many secrets they shared along the way!

    That led us to buy “The Hidden Magic of WDW” for our trip in three weeks (just a long weekend). We are both really excited to see the Parks for the detail this time around rather than how we were last summer when we were in full on “Must ride everything on our first trip” mode!

    Even better is the other two trips planned this year are for a week each which will be pretty awesome.

    • The beauty of repeat visits, C-J. I spend alot of time doing personalized itineraries for friends and family. Great to share little hidden things that aren’t in any of the books.

  • Exactly! That’s why we are looking forward to a year with a minimum of three trips to WDW. Who says if there isn’t a cheap combo of airfare/hotel that we won’t make a few weekend trips as well to maximize our Annual Passes!

    • Yikes! You put me to shame haha. My wife and I have three kids so between that and the distance getting to either that often is something we may have to wait for retirement to accomplish. Have fun this year

  • We don’t have kids so it’s pretty easy for us to pick up and go on a whim. Plus, there are tons of flights between NYC and MCO so hopefully that will create even more opportunities. Who knows, maybe I will come back with some Magic Secrets to share with everyone!

  • I agree with all of your ride comparisons, except that I do wish Disneyland had kept Swiss Family Robinson as its treehouse theme. I like the movie Tarzan but personally would have found a different attraction for it instead of changing the treehouse. But that’s a minor quibble. Also, I would give Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion the edge all year round. Just a better version, in my opinion. I can think of quite a few other ride versions that I think are better at Disneyland, but we can keep it at ten for now. Just goes to show how superior Disneyland is to Walt Disney World. The rides, characters, shows, fireworks, and just overall Disney…..it’s all better at the original. By the way, I have to respond to comments I’ve seen about how beautiful Disneyland Paris’s castle is. Yes, it does look nice, but something bothers me about it: It doesn’t look like Disney to me. It looks more like a fancy Russian orthodox cathedral. Just doesn’t fit with Walt’s theming, in my opinion. Maybe I would feel differently if I saw it in person, but from a photo standpoint that’s how I feel.

    • by Tammy Whiting on January 27, 2012, at 11:10 am EDT

      Thanks for reading, David! I know I’m probably not in the majority about liking the Tarzan theme. I do love DL’s Haunted Mansion year round. Although the new queue at WDW is quite fun. That’s also an interesting point about the castle at Disneyland Paris. It does look a little like a Russian cathedral!

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