During the 11 years of life of the Magical Memory Planners, one of the things we often hear is that Walt Disney World is better than Disneyland or vice versa.
While we all most definitely have our favorite aspects about each destination saying that one is better than the other, we feel, just doesn’t do either justice. Each is so different. Even the attractions with the same name are quite different.
So, for giggles, we thought we would highlight a few of our FAVORITES. Here are five differences between Disneyland and Walt Disney World!
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
The differences between the Disneyland Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Walt Disney World’s version, begins outside. At Disneyland, the queue is outside, whereas at Walt Disney World, you go into a prospectors house/office.
During the ride, at Disneyland you slow down (a little) as you go through a Gold Rush town. At Walt Disney World, there isn’t a Gold Mine town to go through.
At Disneyland, the Fire Station has a unique feature that the Fire House at Walt Disney World simply could never have. When Walt Disney built Disneyland, he put his personal apartment/office upstairs at the Fire Station. When he passed, the Cast Members of Disneyland placed a light in the window that can be seen from the street below. This light is always on as a reminder of Walt’s presence in Disneyland.
Autopia vs Tomorrowland Speedway
Autopia at Disneyland is supposed to emulate a peaceful drive through a countryside in an old style car. The cars almost look “cartoon-ish”. At Walt Disney World, you’re at a Speedway. And while you cannot drive FAST, they do still have speed caps on the cars, you are emulating a raceway and are in a small “race car”.
At Disneyland, the castle at the end of Main Street USA is the home of Sleeping Beauty, ie Aurora. And at Walt Disney World, Cinderella’s Castle. The most noticeable difference between the two castles is the size. Aurora’s castle is noticeably smaller. At both castles you can walk through, but one difference you may not know, is that Sleeping Beauty castle, you can walk through passageways within the castle that depict the original Eyvind Earle artwork from the Sleeping Beauty movie.
At Walt Disney World, while you can walk through from the front to the back, there is not an attraction within the castle. You can, however, eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table on the second floor of the castle. Reservations are required.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean is quite different between the two parks!
At Disneyland, the queue begins outside and located in the French Quarter area of the Disneyland park. Whereas at Walt Disney World, you are in Adventureland.
At Walt Disney World, the queue takes you through a darkened cavern. At Disneyland, however, you’re at a mansion and then enter into the door of the mansion to board the boats.
The ride itself is very similar but the biggest difference is that at Disneyland you have TWO drops versus the one at Walt Disney World. Also, at Disneyland, you begin in the bayou and pass by a restaurant (Blue Bayou) and a cabin before entering into the world of the pirates.
While both parks are “home to the mouse”, they are truly different vacation destinations and are both magical places to visit for your next Disney vacation.
To learn more about Walt Disney World be sure and check out 3 Surprising Activities at Walt Disney World
And to learn more about Disneyland be sure and check out A Disney World Fan’s Visit to Disneyland.