Disneyland and Walt Disney World are both magical resorts. Each has great dining options, shows, and attractions! There are even some rides that are the same at both resorts! However, there are some rides located at Disneyland that are superior to their Disney World counterparts. Here’s my top rides that are way better at Disneyland.
Space Mountain is sooooooooo much better at Disneyland! It’s smoother, darker, and the cars are set up better. At Disneyland, you ride side-by-side with another rider, and it is so smooth. At Disney World, you sit in a row of 3 and you feel like you could fall out of the car at any turn (at least that’s how I felt!). The one at Disneyland also has some great holiday overlays.
it’s a small world
In 2008, it’s a small world at Disneyland was redone adding some popular Disney characters to the mix. The characters were subtly and wonderfully blended into the classic ride. There’s also a holiday version and 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!
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
There is one main reason I prefer the Disneyland version of the Buzz Lightyear ride over the one at Walt Disney World: 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!
Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean is amazing at Disneyland! Disneyland’s version is almost 7 minutes longer than the one at Disney World. 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. Floating by the Blue Bayou is also a very nice touch!
The Haunted Mansion ride-through at Disneyland isn’t necessarily better than Disney World’s but I give this one to Disneyland for the Holiday overlay. Every year in late September, they shut down the ride for two weeks or s and put in a remarkably detailed Jack Skellington/The Nightmare Before Christmas overlay. The overlay stays through Halloween and Christmas and makes for an extra fun ride on Haunted Mansion.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
The wildest ride in the wilderness is a can’t-miss at both parks, but hold on to your hats and glasses, because there’s a bit more excitement on the Disneyland version. In 2014 the track was upgraded and some impressive theatrical elements were added. Projection mapping technology creates an illusion of an impending explosion with plenty of smoke adding to the effect.
Autopia at Disneyland 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 you can get a driver’s license! Also, you get to hang out with ASIMO the Honda robot.
Both parks offer a railroad that circles the park. It’s not the fastest way to get around, but it’s a pleasant way to get off your feet for a bit and see the park from a different point of view. The one at Disneyland has an additional stop compared to Disney World. It also has more stuff to see that you can’t experience elsewhere, making it a better ride. It has a cool Dinosaur diorama using animatronics and it passes through Splash Mountain at one point.
Do you agree with my list? Did I leave any out? If you’d like to visit Disneyland, or Walt Disney World, contact me today! My name is Sara Solberg and I’m a travel agent with Amazing Magical Adventures, a Disney earmarked agency. I can help you plan a magical vacation and my services are FREE.