Disneyland vs. Walt Disney World: Ride by Ride, part 3

by MouseStation Crew, staff writer

MouseStation 427 - Disneyland vs. Walt Disney World: Ride by Ride, part 3

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Show run time 0:46:00

On today's show, Mark and Mike finish their three-part series comparing those rides that exist in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World to decide which version of each they like best.

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Feature: Disneyland vs. Walt Disney World: Ride by Ride, part 3

Mark and Mike finish their discussion of those attractions that exist in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World to decide which version of each they like best.

Here's how it played out:

Disney Animation
Animation Academy
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World
Sorcerer's Workshop
Turtle Talk with Crush
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World
Muppet-Vision 3-D
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World
Monsters (Sully & Mike to the Rescue vs. Laugh Floor)
It's Tough to Be a Bug
Walt Disney World
Toy Story Midway Mania
Walt Disney World
Games of the Boardwalk/Dino-Rama
Mulholland Madness/Goofy's Sky School vs. Primeval Whirl
Walt Disney World
Grizzly River Run vs. Kali River Rapids
Walt Disney World
Walt Disney World
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail vs. The Boneyard
Soarin' (Over California)
Walt Disney World

Listen to the show to find out why they picked what they did! Also, please send us feedback on your picks for ALL Disneyland vs. Walt Disney World attractions! Next time, we'll dedicate the whole show to your thoughts!

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Listener Feedback

Wesley from Vermont wrote in chiding Mike and Mark about getting away from including short subjects like Magical Moments and Tips of the Week, and suggested returning to a weekly or twice-weekly format. Mike and Mark addressed the issues, and got sidetracked into multiple other topics. Rambling? On our show? What a surprise!


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MousePlanet readers and MouseStation listeners have helped Mark to raise over $21,000 for the March of Dimes over the last six years to help save the lives of babies born prematurely. This year, while the total was only a little over $2,100, it is still quite a substantial amount, and will do a lot of good. Mark is sincerely grateful to all of those who donated, especially those who donate year after year. If you'd still like to donate, you can go to Mark's fundraising page to sponsor him. Next year, we'll try again to get Team MousePlanet going, and we'll have info available early in 2012 for you to sign up and walk with Mark. Thanks again to all who donated to help us to provide a better chance to prevent prematurity and to help those babies that are born prematurely, because new parents should take their babies home from the hospital, not to the cemetery.

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  1. By Roan Poulter

    I think you guys missed one attraction, that while not a totally "some sort of fruit" to "some sort of fruit" comparison, I think is worthy of comparing; California Screamin vs. Aerosmith's Rockin Roller coaster.

    Let me first say that I am horribly biased by my predilection for the Anaheim side of the world in almost all things; and I love California Screamin. But I really have to give it to them Florida boys on this one. The music working in sync with a dark rollercoaster through the hills of L.A. is a masterpiece, I wish Universal's Mummy ride were half that well done.

    I do love the whole boardwalk experience in DCA on Screamin and the music really adds to the theming, but it seems as often as not that I don't have music on my coaster as the battery's aren't charged.

    My single largest piece of evidence to Rockin's greatness would be that it causes me to like and even sing along with Aerosmith songs, a feat I had previously thought impossible.

    Keep up the good work, your efforts are appreciated.


  2. By IllusionOfLife

    Another great show, now onto my opinions on the subject (again, anything I don't have enough experience or opinion with is getting skipped):

    Disney Animation:
    I definitely agree with you guys on this one, the Disney Animation building is much cooler in Anaheim than it is in Florida. The first time you walk into the room with all the screens surrounding you it's a little bit breathtaking, and by contrast the Florida version has become not much more than a glorified meet and greet area. As a lobby for the surrounding attractions the Disneyland version works much better.

    Animation Academy and Sorceror's Workshop are similar enough on both costs that I'm not going to spend much time on them and skip straight to

    Turtle Talk with Crush:
    I agree that the surrounding environment is cooler at Walt Disney World (in fact The Seas with Nemo and Friends was one of my favorite attractions in Epcot), but for the same reason I gave Disneyland the edge with the Jungle Cruise, I'm choosing the DCA version over Epcot's. The performance of Crush, from my experience, is consistently much better at Disneyland than it is at Disney World, again, I don't know if it's just that LA has a larger talent pool than Orlando, or if we were just unlucky enough to get all the stinkers, but I almost always walk away from Turtle Talk at Disneyland with a huge grin on my face, and the same cannot be said for the WDW version. If the WDW version had consistently better talent, it'd be the obvious winner, but as it stands I prefer Disneyland.

    Muppet-Vision 3-D:
    I don't agree with the sweeping statement that Mike made regarding Disneyland attractions just feeling dumped into the environment rather than properly integrated, but I will agree Muppet*Vision at Disney's Hollywood Studios is a much more complete experience than it is at California Adventure. There are some gags at the DCA version that aren't present in the WDW version that I enjoy (the disaster effects props to name one), but it doesn't compare to the surrounding Muppet theming that is present in Florida. Walt Disney World definitely has the edge here.

    Twilight Zone Tower of Terror:
    I quite like the Disneyland version, I think it's interesting in that it's a unique experience from the Walt Disney World version and thus there's a compelling reason to see both, however, at Disney World it has a more complete package. Both rides are fun in their own way and I couldn't necessarily choose one over the other, but at Disney World you feel much more immersed in the attraction because the queue and surrounding area are much more elaborate. Its location at the end of Sunset Blvd. is great and it visibly looms over you the entire time you're in that section of the park, the grounds are wonderfully dilapidated and overgrown, and fake elevator doors in the lobby line up properly with the direction of the elevators on the exterior of the building. The California version, just doesn't have that same dramatic flair upon your approach, and the dummy elevators in the lobby are perpendicular to the elevator shafts which has always driven me nuts. Both are great, but Florida has the edge here.

    Monsters, Inc. (Mike & Sully to the Rescue vs. Laugh Floor):
    Laugh Floor is entertaining, but I don't feel it works as well as Turtle Talk with Crush. It's fun, but in my opinion it's only really worth doing once per trip. Mike & Sully to the Rescue, I'd say, is a much more fun attraction, however, given the film it's based on it has the potential to be much much more. I understand that they were trying to salvage the terrible Superstar Limo as inexpensively as possible, and in that regard they did a remarkable job. The fact that they were able to transform the infrastructure of such a truly god-awful attraction into a charming ride like Monsters, Inc. is nothing short of incredible, but it doesn't match the scope of what's seen in the film. I'd love to see them completely reinvent the ride to be much more elaborate and exciting, but since we all know that's never going to happen, I'll just have to make do with a good attraction that didn't have the ambition to be great. It's still better than Laugh Floor though, which was the original point before I got off on a tangent.

    Toy Story Midway Mania:
    This one's tricky, I think the queue at Disney's Hollywood Studios is really neat and definitely more entertaining than the fairly standard queue at California Adventure, but, I think the Disneyland version is integrated into the surrounding area better. Yes, Disney's Hollywood Studios has the surrounding Pixar Place area, but since there's nothing else in that area except the attraction it's little more than an elaborate facade for the building. At Disneyland, Toy Story Mania was the first step in transitioning the theme of Paradise Pier, and it is now very well integrated into the surrounding area and attractions, and it feels much more natural there. Also, the Mr. Potato Head barker is much more appropriate outside the attraction drawing people in, rather than tucked away inside where, by the time you see him, you've already committed twenty minutes or so to the queue making his barking a bit superfluous. Also, while the becoming the size of the toy aspect is obvious and in your face in Florida, Disneyland's version accomplishes the same thing in a much more subtle way by showing the ride as a play set in a Victorian decorated room at the exit of the ride. The over the top nature of the Disney World version is definitely cool, but I also appreciate the subtle simplicity of the California version. It's a tough call, but I'm going to say Disneyland here.

    Games of the Boardwalk/Dino-Rama:
    I think you guys summed it up pretty nicely: Games of the Boardwalk are reminiscent of a Victorian sea-side amusement park with a Disney twist, and Dino-Rama is reminiscent of a shady local carnival. Disneyland wins for understanding that "shady carnival" is not exactly the best theme to go for.

    Mulholland Madness/Goofy's Sky School vs. Primeval Whirl:
    When I got off Primeval Whirl I thought to myself, "wow, what a massive waste of space. Not only do you have an extremely mediocre attraction, you have two of them for the price of one." Mulholland Madness is an equally mediocre attraction, but at least it has the decency to take up half the space. Disneyland is the winner here, and I'm hoping that the Goofy "How To" theming will make it more enjoyable as well.

    Walt Disney World is so big that it's hard to do everything on one trip, and sadly Kali River Rapids was one we had to skip on our last trip, so I'm going to skip this one.

    Redwood Creek Challenge Trail vs. The Boneyard:
    I really enjoy Dinosaur (as I mentioned in the response to the first episode in this series) but Dinoland, USA is, in my opinion, kind of crappy aside from that. There's no consistent theming to the land, and you have cartoony two steps away from scientific without any kind of clever transition or integration. The Boneyard is a perfect microcosm of this. It just feels kind of jumbled together and not very well thought out. Redwood Creek has the edge here for having a consistent theme.

    Soarin' (Over California):
    Disneyland's is integrated much better than Walt Disney World's is. With or without the last two words in the title, it's still obviously Soarin' Over California, and that works much better in California. It also works much better in the setting of Condor Flats than it does in the setting of The Land.

  3. By LoveStallion

    I know MousePlanet is devoted solely to the stateside parks, but I think a park-by-park comparison throughout all Disney parks would be interesting. Paris and Tokyo have some stuff that really give the States a run for their money, Paris with Pirates, Big Thunder, and Space Mountain; and Tokyo with Winnie the Pooh and Tower of Terror. Just a thought. As per my rankings on this episode:

    Disney Animation
    Totally agree that Anaheim beats Florida. Much like all of Disney Studios, the Florida attraction used to actually mean something and represent the functioning studio that the park attempted to be. Now Studios is just a placeholder park with not much cohesion. Half of its rides could be swapped out or put in any other park.

    Turtle Talk With Crush
    Since I dislike that The Seas With Nemo and Friends has ruined The Living Seas, I'm just going to go with Anaheim, even though Turtle Talk clearly fits better in Florida than in the Animation building in Anaheim

    Muppet-Vision 3-D
    First off, if Florida loves it and wants to keep it, more power to them, but can we please just ax this thing at DCA? It's always felt like it was put in for lack of a better idea (Same goes for that entire area of Hollywood). I agree that the Anaheim version makes no sense in terms of location and implementation. It's a complete waste of space.

    Tower of Terror
    Florida all the way. I've only been on Florida's a few times, and that was over ten years ago, but it still sticks with me even though I've been on Anaheim's version dozens of times. Everything about Florida's feels more complete. The grounds are awesome, but what I like most is what Mark talked about - that the ride actually goes somewhere, whether it is up to the 5th dimension room where the elevator actually moves horizontally, to the ride ending on a sub-level right into the gift shop. I've always disliked that Anaheim's has the dual-level loading and just puts you right back where you started. It makes no sense from a storytelling standpoint. Also, I rode Florida's when there were no seatbelts, just a lapbar across the bench. That was fun!

    Monsters, Inc.
    I'm not huge on Laugh Floor, and I'm even less huge on the result of a desperate attempt to right the sinking ship of Superstar Limo. Anaheim's is at least a ride, though, even if it feels like a total stop-gap measure. Most people I know don't even go ride it when they are in DCA, and few know it's even there.

    Honestly, I'm going for a draw here. I choose neither. All are punished!

    Toy Story
    I'll echo some other comments. Florida has a better queue, but Anaheim has a better-integrated ride, overall. I dislike that DCA is lacking in creative queues. Waiting for Toy Story there can be terribly boring (and hot). I still don't understand the lack of Fastpass for it. Also, it gets points for being one of the few attractions to remain open once World of Color shuts down the Pier.

    Like most stuff at DHS, the Florida version just feels put there because it was put there. Disney can put any ride in at Studios and sort of ignore the movie studio theme. Better queue, but Anaheim makes more sense, overall.

    Is this even a contest? Dinoland is a disaster. DCA all the way.

    Mulholland Madness/Primeval Whirl
    Sadly, I have not ridden the latter. I like Mulholland Madness, but it's eternally frustrating that Disney just threw in a wild mouse and expected us to be impressed by its tongue-in-cheek approach to SoCal traffic. I doubt turning it into Sky School will make much difference. Also, we're slowly seeing anything Californian about DCA put to pasture. It is a theme park without a single, unifying theme.

    Primeval Whirl looks OK, though. I'm not sure why there are two tracks. Build the Beastly Kingdomme!!!

    Grizzly Peak vs. Kali River
    Kali River has a much better queue and theming throughout, but Grizzly Peak is a much better ride.

    Redwood Creek vs. Boneyard
    Redwood Creek gets the edge. Little of Dinoland makes sense. Redwood Creek is really fun to run around in, even as an adult; and it is perfectly themed with the immediate area.

    No contest. DCA wins. There's something comical about the same ride, minus two words in the title, being installed at other Disney parks, as if no one is going to notice that it takes us throughout California and just California.

    The Condor Flats setting works much better than The Land. The building actually looks like a giant hangar. Parts of the queue are nothing special, but I do love all of the photos and info about various pilots and aviation royalty.

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