Robert H. (Bob) Jackson, Jr.
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Lots of people get DisneyLand and Disneyworld confused....sorta like Yosemite and Yellowstone
But if you've been to both, you'll never confuse them again.

However, there are similarities. Specifically in the ride technologies and presentations.

Here's an incomplete comparison of some of the differences.

Comparing Disneyland to Disneyworld

Base Ride theme/technology

California Version @ The Disneyland Resort

Florida Version @ Walt Disney World Resort

High capacity, slow floating rafts through an old pirate’s dream populated with an extensive collection of animatronic people and animals. Both locations were updated in mid 2006 incorporating 3 appearances of Captain Jack Sparrow from the movie series.

Disneyland California’s “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

The best incarnation of the two, in my opinion. The “story line” seems more complete, and I prefer the gentle start via one of my favorite restaurants, the Blue Bayou. This ride was the last Disneyland feature Walt himself worked on; he died in 1967 shortly before it opened.

Florida’s Magic Kingdom “Pirates of the Caribbean”

A slightly abbreviated version of the California storyline, due in part to a rare Disney planning mistake: planners of the Florida Magic Kingdom complex assumed that since Florida was within spitting distance of the Caribbean, that there'd be little interest in this storyline because it wouldn't be "exotic" enough. After opening in 1973 and after enduring many pointed complaints from early DisneyWorld visitors, planners quickly added a somewhat shorter version of the California ride in a special "land" at the Orlando Magic Kingdom.

Happy loud, mechanical birds, Tiki gods, and tropical plants gather for Walt Disney’s first major collection of audio-animiatronic figures for a Disney show.

Disneyland California’s “Enchanted Tiki Room”

Essentially the “original” version of the show. Great for little kids. Maybe a bit quaint by today’s standards, but very endearing.

Florida’s Magic Kingdom “Tiki Room under new Management”

An updated version of the California version. More “story” and more “hip”, it feels more contemporary while preserving the sheer thrill of the California version.

Indoor ride-in-the-dark roller coaster

Disneyland California’s “Space Mountain”

Updated in 2005, this version of the ride got faster and smoother and upgraded the soundtrack, creating a better thrill experience. The preshow still suffers by comparison to Orlando, but the ride is better.

Florida’s Magic Kingdom “Space Mountain”

Better “preshow” and higher capacity (meaning the lines tend to move faster).

Slow tethered boat ride through a jungle of tacky, strange fiberglass animals with campy humor. Under normal circumstances, most park managers would have killed off a ride this low tech years ago, but the homespun campy humor makes it a perinneal favorite of kids and adults alike.

Disneyland California’s “Jungle Cruise”

Florida’s Magic Kingdom “Jungle Cruise”

Disney Railroad – one of my favorite rides, since kids growing up these days rarely experience rides on real trains.

Disneyland California’s “Disneyland Railroad”.

One of Walt Disney’s personal favorites, his love of trains brought these authentic railroad engines to California and Florida to make their constant loop around the park. California’s version has cars that point inward to the park, sort of like “Stadium Seating” in new theaters while Florida’s feel more like a real front-facing train car.

Florida’s Magic Kingdom “Magic Kingdom Railroad”

Small slow internal combustion powered cars on a track.

Disneyland California’s Autopia - When Disneyland first opened, these cars were made of aluminum skins; few were remaining after the first few days of use as kids inevitably crashed, bashed, rear-ended and bumped these babies into each others.

Florida’s Magic Kingdom Autopia

Computer driven HumVee vehicles with built-in motion simulators making an already wild and rough ride even more jarring

Disneyland California’s Indiana Jones Adventure”

The first and still the best of these rides, it combines a compelling story line loosely adapted from the Indiana Jones movies with a high technology ride. I ride this every time I’m in California.

Florida’s Animal Kingdom “Dinosaur”

Low rise, steel roller coaster

Disneyland California’s “Big Thunder Mountain Railroad”

Florida’s Magic Kingdom “Big Thunder Mountain Railroad”

Creepy slow special effect ride through a haunted house only Disney could create. More entertaining that scary.

Disneyland California’s “Haunted Mansion”

Florida’s Magic Kingdom “Haunted Mansion”

Room-sized motion simulator taking you on bizarre planetary tour with a crazy robot pilot on his first ride.

Disneyland California’s “Star Tour”

Florida’s Hollywood Studios “Star Tours”

3D theater with special effects

Disneyland California’s “Honey I Shrunk the Audience” and California Adventure’s “Its Tough to be a Bug”

Florida’s Epcot “Honey I shrunk the Audience” and Florida’s Animal Kingdom “Its Tough to be a Bug”

A major, big time log flume ride with an Uncle Remus story theme.

Disneyland California’s “Splash Mountain”

Florida’s Magic Kingdom “Splash Mountain”

A compact, bumpy but relatively tame rollercoaster notable for its radical U turns

California Adventure’s "Mullholland Madness"

Florida’s Animal Kingdom “Primevil Whirl”

My favorite of the two in that the cars not only bump and whip you, but actually spin.

Monorail - still one of my favorite attractions at both California and Florida complexes.

The original Disney Monorail, requires admission media to the Disneyland park to ride. Makes two stops – one in Disneyland’s Tomorrowland and one outside the park in Downtown Disney, beside the Disneyland Hotel. California’s version has smaller cars, fewer stops and moves much more slowly, BUT also feels more like an attraction than a pure form of transportation.

Still one of my favorite "attractions" at the Florida Complex, the Florida versions function as important, yet fun, transportation for Magic Kingdom, the resorts around Magic Kingdom and between Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Does not require park admission, since it functions as real transportation between Magic Kingdom, three Resort hotels and Epcot.  Sadly, Disney has to date declined to expand beyond these points of interest, even though plans were in place for expansion to Disney Hollywood Studios 

Tower of Terror  - A unique-to-Disney computerized ride combining vertical motion acceleration with a story line appealing to those who enjoy Rod Serling's 1960's era Twilight Zone television series. Ride is programmed to be slightly different each time you ride it (i.e. the drops and yanks are of varying duration and frequency). California Adventure's Tower of Terror - arguably one of the highlights of the otherwise less than stellar California Adventure park. Florida's Hollywood Studios Tower of Terror

Maybe it because it was built first, this version has the better preshow and overall stronger themed experience for me



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