Sleeping Beauty Castle
  • On Mar 29, 2020
    Lindsey from VA Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Hi! I haven’t been to Disneyland in years, and will only have a couple of days when I do get out there. I have been to Disney World a bunch, so are there rides that are similar enough to skip, or are there enough differences that I should try to do it all?

    Hi Lindsey!

    Welcome to the Disney Parks Moms Panel, and thank you so much for asking me this great Disneyland Resort planning question! I was actually kind of in your shoes not too long ago; I lived on the East Coast where I made over a dozen trips to Mickey's Florida home in a short number of years. Then two years ago my family moved to California, an hour from Walt's original theme park, and those first few visits felt like when you visit the same brand of grocery store two towns over, where everything feels familiar but not in the "right" place. I am more than happy to share what I've lEARn about Disney's two coasts!

    Of course I think you should definitely try to do, ride, see, eat and experience everything. And you are right that there are plenty of attractions featured on both coasts, so it makes the most sense to experience the ones that can only be found at Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park. But some of these duplicates are simply unmissable, especially those that are "Opening Day, 1955 Originals." There truly is something so magical about soaring over London on Peter Pan's Flight in a pirate ship that Walt might have sat in, or taking a spin on the King Arthur Carrousel and rushing to get Jingles, the horse with all of the bells, which is rumored to be Mrs. Disney's favorite horse.

    Some Disneyland attractions do have very minor differences compared to their Florida cousins, like at The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh you ride in a beehive vs a honeypot, or the blasters in Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters lift out of the base of the ride vehicle to help you better defend the Galaxy. Some differences are so substantial that I (don't tell Walt Disney World) almost like the Disneyland version better, like the hallway after the stretching room in Haunted Mansion gets you up close to the haunting statues that seem to follow your every move, the Dynamite scene on the final lift hill of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is truly explosive, "it's a small world" has added some of your favorite Disney pals to their home countries, and Pirates of the Caribbean seems twice as long with a beautiful beginning in the bayou plus a second drop! You certainly don't want to miss the Disneyland version of Fantasmic! as it has a completely different middle part than its 'World counterpart. And even the very familiar Walt Disney World Resort staples have a unique twist in CA, like the Disneyland Monorail is both a mode of transportation and also a full-circle attraction. (And pro tip: ask if either the very front or very back cabin is open for a super duper special ride.)

    Bonus tip: If you really enjoy the game I made up called "spot the differences" where you compare everything between Mickey's two resorts, you'll definitely want to visit Refreshment Corner, the Disneyland Dining Location that is in the exact same spot on Main Street U.S.A. as Disney World's Casey's Corner.

    I hope that this helped you plan your future Disney Days, Lindsey, and if you have any more Disneyland Resort planning questions, We're All Ears!

    ~Kristen
thumbnail image for Kristen

Meet the Panelist: Kristen, Texas

Hi, I'm Kristen! I am a preschool mom and military wife who loves keeping up with the latest Disney Parks news. Trips to Walt Disney World have always been fun, but now that I'm the parent AND the planner every moment is that much more treasured.  I am so honored and excited to be able to share tips I've picked up, pass on fun factoids I've learned, and help create magical moments for your vacation of a lifetime!  Learn More About Kristen

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