Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort share a number of the same attractions, such as Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, “it’s a small world,” and many others. But if you think that these attractions are the same on both coasts, you would be mistaken.
One of the many things I love about Disney is that they never do the same thing twice; and while the attractions that can be found on both coasts may share the same names and themes, they do have differences too. Hey, who doesn’t like variety, right? But you have to wonder, which resort has the best version of a popular attraction? Which Disney Park has the bragging rights? Well, that’s what I’m going to find out beginning with an attraction that’s sure to bring out your competitive side in Disneyland vs. Disney World Attractions: Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin.
What is Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin?
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin are dark rides where guests shoot at targets scattered throughout the attraction for points and to compete for high scores. The Magic Kingdom was the first to gain this type of Buzz Lightyear attraction back in 1998. There, it is known as Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Disneyland didn’t gain its version until quite some time later in 2005 and under a different name, Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.
Disneyland’s Astro Blasters is just across from Star Tours – The Adventure Continues
Location: Tomorrowland is where both versions of this interactive Buzz Lightyear attraction can be found. At Disneyland, Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters is towards the front of Tomorrowland and on the left side, right across from Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. At Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is tucked a bit deeper into the land and has a bit more space around it than at Disneyland. The attraction can be found at the end of the main path from the hub into Tomorrowland and on the right, across the way from the Astro Orbiter attraction. Oftentimes, Buzz Lightyear is meeting and greeting with guests nearby, so keep an eye open!
Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Resort share a number of the same attractions, such as Pirates of the Caribbean, Peter Pan’s Flight, “it’s a small world,” and many others. But if you think that these attractions are the same on both coasts, you would be mistaken. One of the many things I love about Disney is that they never do the same thing twice; and while the attractions that can be found on both coasts may share the same names and themes, they do have differences too. Hey, who doesn’t like variety, right? But you have to wonder, which resort has the best version of a popular attraction? Which Disney Park has the bragging rights? Well, that’s what I’m going to find out beginning with a classic attraction from the future in Disneyland vs. Disney World Attractions: Space Mountain!
What is Space Mountain?
Space Mountain is a big favorite among Disney Park fans and has been for decades. The attraction is set in the future where rocket rides through outer space are a norm, however, Space Mountain is anything but. Unlike most coasters, Space Mountain is completely indoors and set almost entirely in the dark! It’s thrilling, but has no inversions and feels a lot faster than it is. I consider it a great “test” coaster for kids who aren’t quite sure if they’re ready to take on California Adventure’s California Screamin’ or Hollywood Studios’ Rock n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith. What’s also cool about Space Mountain is that it’s sparkling white structure and spires are just as iconic to Disney Parks as the ride itself.
While it’s true that the Magic Kingdom is home to a number of classic family attractions, such as “it’s a small world” and the Jungle Cruise, the park is also home to a number of thrill rides promising speed, drops, and screams!
It seems, however, that at the Magic Kingdom there is a rule that the park’s thrill rides must be delivered in the form of mountains. Attractions such as Splash Mountain and Space Mountain are some of the park’s most popular and both are known to flood their queues with guests and evaporate those FastPass+ reservations. This causes guests like myself to plan and strategize on how to get that adrenaline fix without wasting valuable park time in line.
Usually I trust FastPass+ or a Magic Kingdom Touring Plan to get me on these mountain-shaped attractions without suffering long waits, but during my last trip I had a crazy thought — Can you conquer the Magic Kingdom Mountains in an hour? Feeling confident, as well as caffeinated, I decided to find out.
Epcot is one of my favorite parks at Walt Disney World. I never get tired of seeing Spaceship Earth, or watching the dancing Fountain of Nations in Future World, or doing a little shopping in World Showcase; but what I’ve recently discovered is that the Epcot that I know isn’t exactly what Walt Disney had in mind when planning Disney World. You see, back in the 1960s when Disney World was being planned, the Magic Kingdom wasn’t what Walt was most excited about. In fact, when Walt introduced television viewers to his plans for Florida, he said that EPCOT would be the “heart of everything we will be doing at Disney World.” Walt also said that it wouldn’t be a park at all, but rather a community of the future where you could live! So what was the Epcot supposed to be like? What happened along the way? Well, keep reading because for today, I’m here to tell you all about The Epcot That Never Was.
Walt’s Original Vision for EPCOT
One of Walt’s many interests was city planning and finding solutions to the everyday problems of the cities of the day, such as traffic, slums, pollution, and crowded conditions. He had learned a lot about planning, building, and construction when creating Disneyland, and he now felt that he could provide some solutions to the problems he saw in the real world in the form of a working community called EPCOT.
EPCOT stood for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and it would be an example to the country and the world for how to build and run better cities. It would also serve as a sort of testing ground for new technology, products, materials, and ideas from America’s industries and corporations that would serve to improve our lives.
EPCOT wasn’t just some idea or possible plan for the distant future of Disney World. Walt fully intended to build it, had many plans and diagrams, and intended it to be the focus of his Disney World on the East Coast where 20,000 residents would live and work. Pretty cool, huh?
The Tomorrowland preview has evicted Captain EO from Epcot’s Imagination pavilion. (Photos by Seth Kubersky)
Do you want to go back to the future? Well, we’re already in 2015, so Doc Brown’s time machine is off the table, but Disney is now giving guests a glimpse of the world (or at least the moview) of tomorrow. As Rikki Niblettreported, Walt Disney World’s Tomorrowland preview officially opened on April 18 inside Epcot‘s Magic Eye Theater, formerly home to Captain EO.
The new temporary attraction is essentially an advertisement for the upcoming Brad Bird-directed sci-fi flick, which will be released to American theaters on May 22.
I feel a sense of irony writing this title for this article. 😉
For those of you excited about the Tomrrowland sneak peek that will be taking place in Epcot‘s Magic Eye Theater in the Imagination Pavilion (you know, where Captain EO has been playing), it will begin tomorrow, April 18. In addition, to being able to catch the preview guests will also be able to get a close-up look at one of the jet packs used in the film, along with a display of concept art and photos straight from the set.
For those visiting Disneyland, the preview kicked off today at the Tomorrowland Theater. After catching the preview, guests are invited to visit the Starcade to see original props and production artwork.
The preview will last approximately 15-20 minutes and is expected to run until May 24. Tomorrowland heads to theaters on May 22.
Do you hear that sound? It’s the sound of Disney fanatics screaming in joy! (Or maybe it’s sounds of disgust…) Why? Because Stitch is out and Olaf is in.
According to a leaked press release dated for next week, Olaf’s Frozen Escape! will be joining the Magic Kingdom’sTomorrowland. The updated attraction will find guests in a brand new interstellar attraction featuring the lovable snowman from Frozen, Olaf. This new attraction will see the popular and adorable character mistakenly captured by the galactic authorities who send him to a containment facility, where all kinds of mayhem breaks out.
According to the concept art, the Olaf! pre-show includes other characters from Frozen:
Once guests are seated in the round theater, they will receive a warm hug helping to encourage them to remain seated. The lights will dim and Olaf will appear right in front of guest’s eyes! Then, because he doesn’t have his personal snow cloud with him, Olaf starts melting, causing him to short-circuit the laser beams, therefore allowing him to be able to interact with guests.
Are you excited about the upcoming film, Tomorrowland? (How can you not be?! It looks fantastic.) Well, if you are anxious about the movie, which stars George Clooney, then you’ll need to make sure to catch the official sneak preview taking place at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
For those visiting Walt Disney World, you’ll need to head to Epcot and the Imagination Pavilion. I’m sorry to report that at least temporarily, fans of Captain EO, Hooter, Odie, Idie, and Fuzzball will not get to see the rag-tag band attempt to deliver a gift to The Supreme Leader. The preview for Tomorrowland will be taking place in the Imagination Theater, and will include in-theater effects. (Captain EO will see its last day of operation on April 9.)
Over on the west coast, at Disneyland, guests can go to Tomorrowland (good place for a preview about a movie named Tomorrowland) where they can catch the sneak peek replete with in-theater effects in the Tomorrowland Theater. In addition, in the Starcade, there will also be an exhibit available for guests to enjoy production art and props used in the movie.
The official sneak preview will begin in mid-April (no official date has been announced) and the preview will last approximately 15-20 minutes. Tomorrowland heads to theaters on May 22.
The weather has been very overcast for the past week or so, but that didn’t make the view below any less sweet! This was my first time seeing the Studios hat free in fifteen years and I made a special trip just to see it. I vividly remember when I was a little girl that before the park would open Goofy would dance and play in front of the theater. I’d totally forgotten until I saw this again. I also remembered the Rocketeer “flying” from the roof with his jet pack. Anyone else remember these things? Let me know in the comments below! I’d love to reminisce with you.
Of course, since I was there I had to check out what else was new for you. Click to read more to see what other trouble we got into this week.