Top 10 Rides that are Better at Walt Disney World Than Disneyland

The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California and the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida share a lot of the same classic attractions, however, many of these attractions are done much better at one resort than the other. Here are a few rides in which I find the Walt Disney World version to be superior.
The Top Ten
1 Splash Mountain Splash Mountain is a log flume at Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, and formerly the Magic Kingdom at the Walt Disney World Resort, based on the characters, stories, and songs originally from the 1946 Disney film Song of the South until controversy & petitions regarding racial history since the George Floyd... read more

Ever since I was little, Splash Mountain has been my favorite Disney ride and I consider myself to be a massive fan of it, loving pretty much anything that has to do with it. However, while I'm a huge fan of the ride in general, I do have to say that Disneyland's version, despite being the original, is pretty lackluster in comparison to WDW's. Aside from being technically thematically misplaced in WDW, nearly everything about the version is an improvement from the original: better animatronics, more cohesive story, longer, slower ride that actually lets you look at the scenes, arguably more fitting music, and more. I will give the Disneyland version points for being more thrilling, but I don't think that's enough to compete with everything the WDW version has going for it. At the end of the day I think they're both great rides overall, but I definitely consider WDW's to be the superior version.

2 The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, also known as Tower of Terror, is an accelerated drop tower dark ride located at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Tokyo DisneySea, Walt Disney Studios Park, and formerly located at Disney California Adventure Park. Except for the Tokyo DisneySea version, the attractions... read more

One of the few classics to have originated at WDW instead of Disneyland, and what a stellar ride it is. From the top-notch theming and design details to the thrilling drop sequence, the original WDW version of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is near perfection, the kind of ride that makes Disney stand out among the rest. Disneyland's Tower has recently gotten a Guardian's of the Galaxy makeover known as "Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout!," which I have yet to ride, but even when looking at the old California tower, it just completely paled in comparison to Florida's, from the lack of a fifth dimension scene to a far less appealing tower design. Now with Guardians taking over, that Tower just looks hideous; an eyesore if there ever was one. I'm sure the new ride is fun even though I was completely against it at first, and from what I've seen it has some neat effects, but I just don't think it could possibly top the Imagineering masterpiece that is WDW's Tower.

3 Haunted Mansion

Apart from the cheesy update to the hitchhiking ghosts and the end as well as the somewhat tacky new queue area, the WDW version of the Haunted Mansion exceeds Disneyland's in pretty much every way thinkable. Again, the new cartoonish hitchhiking ghost scene at WDW is the only real downfall I can find with that one, meanwhile, it has quite a few scenes that are missing from the Disneyland version, specifically the library scene with the moving busts, the hallway with the changing portraits and the staircase room. Notably, the busts and changing portraits are in Disneyland's queue, but I like them better as part of the actual ride. When looking at the two side by side, Disneyland really feels incomplete without these scenes. Another very noticeable difference between the two rides is of course the mansion itself, and while this difference is all up to personal preference in which is better, I personally like WDW's Gothic-style mansion better than Disneyland's Victorian. Last but not least, I'm not really a fan of the Nightmare Before Christmas makeover at Disneyland. It's a nice idea, but the execution just comes across as tacky to me and it for sure is not better than the original, which is why I'm glad they don't do that seasonal overlay at WDW. Overall, I much prefer the WDW version of the Haunted Mansion to Disneyland's.

4 Jungle Cruise

The Walt Disney World version of the Jungle Cruise is not too much different from it's sister in Disneyland, but what differences it does have pull it far ahead for me. The biggest thing of course is that WDW's has the Temple scene and Disneyland's does not. That alone kind of solidifies WDW's as being the better version, it's pretty hard to debate. The scene is especially cool at night (as is the whole ride for that matter) and it's a real shame Disneyland's doesn't have it. Disneyland does have a few unique scenes, however, such as the tiger at the beginning and the dancing tribe. WDW's has the scene with the Asian elephants as well, which isn't at Disneyland. Apart from the temple scene, I think that WDW does the "Backside of Water" better, and the ride as a whole feels less compact and less like you're just in the middle of a theme park than Disneyland's does. I know Disneyland can't particularly help that because the park is much smaller, but I still get that feeling from that version. Overall, I give this one to WDW without a doubt.

5 Astro Orbiter

Another one where there's really just no competition. For one thing, Magic Kingdom's is high-off the ground, placed right above the Tomorrowland Transit Authority, and making excellent use of the space. Meanwhile Disneyland's is located at the very front of Tomorrowland and is low to the ground, so it essentially is just an outer space-themed Dumbo clone. That alone is enough to declare WDW's the winner, but that's not the only reason. WDW's also just looks so much better, though that's no real surprise considering the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland in general looks much better than Disneyland's. It's not only more fun to be much higher up, you can also catch some nice views of the park from up there, especially at night. And as I said, being located high off the ground is what separates it from the rest of the Dumbo clones. Last but not least, it looks great at night and really adds a lot to the overall look and feel of Tomorrowland.

6 Star Tours Star Tours was a motion simulator attraction at several Disney theme parks, based on the successful Star Wars film series created by George Lucas.

The only thing it comes down to on this entry is location, but wow what a difference that location makes. Same exact ride, same queue, same everything at both locations, but I just much prefer it as an attraction at Disney's Hollywood Studios than I do at Disneyland. I don't know what it is, but something about Star Tours in Tomorrowland just doesn't feel right to me. Yeah, I know it's futuristic and all that, but it just feels out of place to me for some reason (though considering Star Wars Land is currently being built in Disneyland, albeit the other side of the park, it won't feel out of place for too long). I also really like the exterior at Hollywood Studios, with the giant AT-AT Walker at the entrance. Not much else to say other than that I just think it feels "right" at Hollywood Studios, whereas I just don't feel that way about the Disneyland version.

7 Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a mine train roller coaster located in Frontierland at several Disneyland-style Disney Parks worldwide.

This one's really a toss-up if you ask me. I think it really comes down mostly to which version you grew up with and are used to, in which case that would be the WDW version to me. The rides aren't perfectly identical, but they're pretty similar for the most part, they're largely just reverses of each other. One thing that I will say sticks out to me about Disneyland's is the final lift hill with the dynamite effect, which I have is to say is pretty darn cool and much better than World's equivalent. It also has some unique props (as does WDW), but don't think it's enough to get me to prefer it over the WDW version. I just prefer the sights, layout, and overall location of the WDW version much more, and as is the case for many rides, I highly enjoy riding it at night. While I do have my preferences, I think these two rides are pretty much equal at the end of the day, but it still had to be on here.

8 The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Not a huge fan of this ride, but it's meant for children first and foremost, so that's to be expected. As I like to say, it's no Splash Mountain. But anyway, looking at the two rides side by side, I don't know how anyone could honestly say that Disneyland's is better. WDW's is just flat-out superior in pretty much everyday thinkable: better pacing, better layout, better AA's, better effects, and a better queue. You could argue that the ride is more at home in Critter Country than it is and Fantasyland, and I actually think that it does, but the location doesn't matter to me as much as the ride quality does, and in this case, Walt Disney World's definitely got it beat. The rides have their similarities, but Walt Disney World's is just played out much better all the way through, and I personally find Disneyland's version cringe-worthy, for lack of a better word, especially the ending. Overall, the WDW version has much more merit as a dark ride for sure.

9 Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Not really a fair comparison if we're being honest. During Walt Disney World's Fantasyland Expansion, Dumbo got a second spinner as well as an entire play area for kids, whereas Disneyland's is just the same as it's always been. Not only is the idea of dueling Dumbos a nice way to deal with the wait times, it's also just a fun concept in itself. As for the actual ride, there's not much to discuss really, it's a typical spinner that can be found at nearly every amusement park, but it's a classic that kids enjoy, so it's immensely popular. While some classics may feel a bit dated, Dumbo's pretty timeless, and considering Disney still wants to put more spinners in their parks, that tells you the original is going nowhere anytime soon. Disneyland's is nice and full of nostalgia, but it just can't top WDW's in this case.

10 Space Mountain Space Mountain is the name of a space-themed indoor roller coaster attraction located at five of the Magic Kingdom-style Disney Parks.

Really? The Disneyland version is better, because it's so much smoother and is double seated, yet has more colorful effects, so kids would love it, and it has a countdown.
The Disney World version is too rough and jerky, and is only 1 seated, yet has cheaper special effects and no countdown.

It really varies on what the guest likes. If the guest likes a more intense thrill ride, they would choose WDW's version. If the guest likes the ride to be more atmospheric, they would choose the DL version.

Please take this off the list. No one likes a wreck better than a masterpiece.

The Contenders
11 Journey of the Little Mermaid

While comparing these two rides may be like trying to figure out which brand of tofu is the best, Walt Disney World wins hands down just based on queue alone, as the rides are practically identical apart from that. As I've said before, a great queue does not a great ride make, but in this case where the rides are the exact same brand of mediocre, that's all there really is to go by. Being honest, the queue and facade for WDW's Little Mermaid is fantastic, arguably one of the best queues in the whole park in fact. Lots of interesting things to look at, and the ride as a whole feels much more at home in Fantasyland than it does just plopped into a park about California. The queue in California is nothing compared to WDW's either. It's really a shame actually that Florida's queue and exterior are so great, it sets your expectations up way too high for the what the ride itself offers. Oh well.

12 Pirates of the Caribbean Pirates of the Caribbean is a dark ride attraction located in various Disney parks, including Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida. The ride takes visitors on a boat journey through various scenes that depict a pirate-infested Caribbean island. Originally conceived by Walt Disney... read more

No, Disneyland has a better Pirates of the Caribbean ride. There's 2 big drops as well as a better story and a longer ride, so Disney World's sucks.
Yet Disneyland's has many parts Disney World's doesn't have.
Whoever put this on the list clearly hasn't gone to the one in Disneyland. -railfan99

13 Soarin’

It's Soarin, and it fits more with Epcot & Disneyland's version isn't in the right spirit since it's Around the World, and no longer about California, so Disney just gave Californians a big middle finger.

14 Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride - Disney World

Closed for good since '98 over in Florida but at least the Florida version had 2 tracks.

BAdd New Item