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Disneyland Article
Disney World And Disneyland Have 11 Iconic Matching Attractions Heres Which Park Has The Best Version Of Each Ride

Haunted Mansion
Kim Renfro
February 27, 2018
March 05, 2018
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Disney parks are known for thrilling rides, epic foods and drink, and a creatively magical experience. The original Disneyland park in California has many rides that match up with Florida's Disney World, but not all rides are created equal. For example, the Space Mountain in Disney World is drastically different (and worse) than its California counterpart.

After visiting both parks, we selected 11 matching Disney World and Disneyland attractions and rated which is the best version. Keep reading for a look at the differences between each of the iconic rides.

WINNER: Space Mountain is a markedly more fun roller coaster in Disneyland.

As we reported after visiting Disney World, the version of Space Mountain in Disneyland is far superior for several key reasons.

The track has been updated more recently, resulting in a smoother ride. Plus the style of roller coaster cars used in Disneyland makes the experience better thanks to supportive-backs and the epic music that plays throughout.

In Disney World, Space Mountain is a rough ride.

The Disney World version of Space Mountain has no music and a much jerkier ride experience. Though the line has neat interactive element, it's not enough to make up for the neck-breaking roller coaster ride.

WINNER: It's a Small World is better in Disneyland.

Again, this comes down to the exterior design and line experience. The actual ride itself is essentially identical, but the experience as a whole feels completely different in Disneyland.

It's a Small World has its queue and ride boat system outside in Disneyland, with the iconic clock tower fa├žade placed as a landmark in Fantasyland.

In Disney World, It's a Small World gets lost among other rides.

The Disney World version of It's A Small World has a more plain castle exterior, and instead puts most of the line and the clock tower architecture indoors.

This design choice may be due to the more extreme heat in Florida, but the result is less magical than the California counterpart.

WINNER: Disney World has the best version of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Not only is the line experience better for Big Thunder in Disney World thanks to added interactive elements, but the coaster itself is more fun.

The track also feels longer - with more exciting drops - and the ride seems to go faster in Disney World's version. It's a close race, but the Florida version wins out.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is still fun in Disneyland, just slightly less so.

Since the line hasn't been updated as recently as its Florida counterpart, the Big Thunder coaster in Disneyland is a slightly worse experience. But California residents need not despair - this is a close contest. Both roller coasters are rightfully iconic rides in the Disney Parks.

WINNER: Splash Mountain has a better storyline in Disneyland.

This is another close race, but Disneyland edges out the Disney World version of Splash Mountain thanks to the addition of the eerie "Laughing Place" song.

Right before the epic drop, the animatronic critters sing a spooky song that adds to the building tension. This creates an overall more memorable ride experience.

In Disney World, Splash Mountain is less exciting.

Without the creepy version of "Laughing Place," Splash Mountain is still an enjoyable ride but it's missing the added oompf of tension.

The ride cars are also different from Disneyland's, seating parkgoers side-by-side in pairs instead of a single file log flume. This allows more people per ride, but also makes storing bags at your feet harder.

WINNER: Disneyland's Mad Tea Party takes the cake.

This iconic swirling teacup ride is identical in both parks when it comes to the attraction itself, but location is everything. The Disneyland version is set under the open sky with decorative lanterns hanging above and the Matterhorn Mountain ride towering nearby.

The fully outdoor setting makes the Mad Tea Party ride a joy both during the day and at night.

In Disney World, the overhead cover detracts from the experience.

The Mad Tea Party has a much less exciting location in Disney World, and the needed shelter from extreme Florida sun means the whole ride is placed under a large covering.

Though the shade is a welcome addition for parkgoers who are roasting in the sunshine, it makes the overall experience less magical.

WINNER: Star Tours is more thrilling in Disney World.

Not only is the line experience made cooler with an outdoor re-creation of Endor, but the Star Tours storyline is changed for the better in Disney World. The mechanics of the 3D ride may be the same, but the narrative of the space-flight-gone wrong is different.

There's awesome moment in particular where the ship appears to be falling off the edge of a snowy cliff, and it's the highlight of the ride you won't get in California's version.

The exterior of Star Tours in Disneyland is much more bland.

Star Tours in Disneyland has a much more simple outdoor line set-up. While the ride itself is a blast - it falls short of the excitement brought by the Disney World narrative. Perhaps a new storyline (with more fun drops) will come soon to the California version.

WINNER: Disney World has the best version of Jungle Cruise.

The Jungle Cruise ride has a very similar set up at both Disney World and Disneyland, but the Florida iteration is slightly longer and has a whole different section where the river boat goes through a temple.

The added length means even more animatronic creatures, including tigers and way more elephants than the California ride.

Disneyland's Jungle Cruise is still a worthy ride.

The Disneyland ride has been a key part of Adventureland since the park opened in 1955, and has remained mostly unchanged. Parkgoers are still treated to a barrage of pun-filled jokes, making it a great ride for all ages.

WINNER: Pirates of the Caribbean has way cooler features in Disneyland.

Disneyland's version of this ride starts off with an epic atmospheric setting by gliding past an indoor restaurant designed like a New Orleans eatery in a bayou. The hushed tones of diners combined with swamp sound effects makes for a great start to this fun ride.

Plus there are smaller details - like lightning effects during a fake storm and the timing of one drop - that give this Pirates of the Caribbean ride the edge.

In Disney World, Pirates of the Caribbean satisfies but doesn't wow.

Though much of the Disney World iteration is similar, it's missing the Blue Bayou element and a couple narrative staples. The Spanish fort exterior is a neat alternative to Disneyland's New Orleans feel, but overall we think this is a slightly worse ride experience.

WINNER: Soarin' Around the World has become an icon in California Adventure.

Right across from Disneyland is the California Adventure theme park, and Soarin' Around the World is one of its must-ride attractions. The whole building is designed like an airplane hangar, with fun facts about famous pilots hung on the walls where people queue up.

In Disney World's Epcot, Soarin' Around the World is crammed into the corner of an unappealing building.

Soarin' Around the World is practically hidden away in the Land Pavilion in Disney World, making the overall experience inferior. Though the ride itself stays mostly the same, this version loses out on the great atmosphere created by the California design.

TIE: Disneyland's Haunted Mansion is on par with the Florida version.

They're both very different on the outside, but equally interesting. The Disneyland version sits near New Orleans Square, with its long line winding outside of the plantation-style manor.

The ride itself is almost identical on the inside - a classic spooky journey through the halls of ghosts.

In Disney World, Haunted Mansion is in Liberty Square instead.

The giant mansion in Disney World is a different architectural beast, since it sits in the colonial America section of Magic Kingdom. Again, since the ride itself is essentially identical, we're calling this one a tie.

TIE: Peter Pan's Flight is virtually the same at both parks.

This ride is known for its extremely long lines, thanks to the unique ride track that helps families feel as if they're flying above the city of London and magical Neverland.

Both versions have a simple line structure and then very similar ride tracks inside.

The Peter Pan's Flight ride in Disney World has a jazzier sign, but that's about it.

Aside from the more colorful and modern signage, Florida's Peter Pan's Flight counterpart is really the same package as the Disneyland original.
Attractions Referenced

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Haunted Mansion

It's A Small World

Jungle Cruise

Mad Tea Party

Matterhorn Bobsleds

Peter Pan's Flight

Pirates Of The Caribbean

Space Mountain

Splash Mountain

Star Tours: The Adventures Continue

Restaurants Referenced

Blue Bayou Restaurant

Lands Referenced



New Orleans Square

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