Disneyland v. Disney World: a comparison of the rides and attractions at two of the most famous amusement parks in the United States


Walt Disney is a worldwide name as the empire boasts amusement parks in Florida, California, Japan, Paris and Hong Kong.

Disneyland-California and Disney World-Florida are the two master planned amusement parks in the United States and although they have a lot in common, there are just as many differences between the two. The parks are located on opposite sides of the country and feature a variety of rides, shows and attractions.

I recently brought my nephew Jeremiah, a Disneyland passholder from California, to Disney World in Orlando who compiled a list comparing the differences between the parks. After days of thrilling rides, creative shows and engaging details, this is what he came up with:

Top reasons why Disney World is better than Disneyland:

•Interactive Lines

•Castle Projection Show

•Longer Rides

•More Details

Splash Mountian (DW) – More detail in Characters, more scenes, more drops

Thunder Mountain: (DW) – Much longer ride + more drops, interactive line (spin wheels to look through mine shafts)

Winnie the Pooh: (DW) – VERY interactive line (bee tracks for kids throughout line & hunny wall with characters)

Ariel: (DW) – Actually tells the story through scenes narrated by Scuttle the Seagull, very detailed scenes right out of the movie

Snow White 7 Dwarfs ride: (DW) – Lines always moving, interactive touch screen jewels and spinning barrels, fans everywhere, thunder mountain type roller coaster with “high-ho” mine scene

Castle Dinner: (DW) – You can eat dinner inside the actual castle

Tarzan’s treehouse: (DW) – Bigger, more elaborate, more interactive, better views, HOWEVER, no story, no scenes, no characters + no treetop bridge OVERALL: Disneyland

Space Mountain: (DW) – Interactive Line games, Multiple different games for everyone (3 buttons), Matterhorn type seating, two tracks, not Star Wars themed, not as dark, could see shadows of the other track coming toward us

Tower of Terror: (DW Hollywood Studios) -Outdoor line through forest, Elevator cage to floor, cross the building through special room to drop shaft. Longer + more detailed

Disney World-Florida also has four different parks on the property including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom.

Disney World’s Animal Kingdom is an exceptional park that stands out for many reasons.

Expedition Everest: (DW)- similar to Matterhorn, much smoother, longer, Broken tracks lead to backwards ride 2-3 mins, abominable snowman projection, multiple drops, train-like cart, BEST RIDE AT DISNEY WORLD

**Spontaneous Disney songs in lines**

Kilimanjaro Safari: (DW) – similar to Jungle cruise, animal wildlife park, great tour, safari bus, practically a zoo

Although Disneyland is a smaller park overall, there are rides that stand out against their equivalents at Disney World.

Dinosaur Journey: (DL) – similar to Indiana Jones, fun but for younger aged kids, dinosaurs everywhere, pop outs and 1 drop, Indiana is much better

•Kali River Rapids: (DL) – similar to Bigfoot rapids, much shorter, 1 drop, because you don’t get as wet they spray you a lot and go trough dripping waterfalls to get wet, not as good as Bigfoot rapids

•Pirates of the Caribbean: (DL) – DW is shorter, only 1 drop + no blue bayou

•Teacups: (DL) – outdoors with hanging lanterns

All in all, both parks have so much to offer and truly bring the magic of Disney to life with every attraction.