Here is a don’t miss attraction list for Walt Disney World guests coming to Disneyland for the first time. Use this guide for a magical trip! If you normally visit Walt Disney World and you’re coming to Disneyland for the first time I’m here to help! There are 2 parks to enjoy, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Unlike in Florida, the parks are across from each other, a one minute walk! Be sure to read more about your first time visit to Disneyland on this post. I’m going to cover the must see attractions you don’t have in Orlando. Plus add some bonus things you might want to check out if you have time.
I have been to WDW several times and have a good idea of what attractions are over there. Here’s a list of rides that are unique to the Disneyland Resort. I have listed them by park and then which land they are located within that park.
Disneyland rides not found at WDW
- Alice in Wonderland
- Casey Jr. Circus Train
- It’s a Small World (Much longer and cuter at DL. Ride the holiday version early November to beginning of January if you can.)
- Matterhorn Bobsleds (it’s a classic but it’s kind of jerky I’m warning you.)
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
- Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
- Sleeping Beauty castle walk through
- Snow White’s Enchanted Wish
- Storybook Land Canal Boats
- Indiana Jones (same ride vehicle as Dinosaur but WAY better!)
- Gadget’s Go Coaster
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
NEW ORLEANS SQUARE
- Haunted Mansion (a different version from WDW. Don’t miss the holiday overlay of Haunted Mansion Holiday September-December)
- Pirates of the Caribbean (same theme but the DL version is better and twice as long!)
- Finding Nemo Submarine
- Space Mountain (faster in Disneyland and much better)
Disney California Adventure rides not found at WDW
- Monsters Inc.
- Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
- Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree (similar to Alien Swirling Saucers)
- Radiator Springs Racers (similar ride vehicle as Test Track)
- Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
- Jessie’s Critter Carousel
- Pixar Pal-A-Round
PARADISE GARDENS PARK
- Golden Zephyr
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Jumpin’ Jellyfish
- Silly Symphony Swings
- Grizzly River Run (similar to Kali River Rapids)
- Web Slingers: A Spider-Man Adventure (read more here about this new land and attraction)
- Guardians of the Galaxy (similar to Tower of Terror different theming)
Note: some rides are the same and I didn’t put them on the list. I did indicate any differences to duplicate rides. Some rides are similar but have a different theme and are worth checking out. But if you’re strictly looking for rides you can’t do at WDW then use this list to guide you in your planning. If you have questions let me know. And be careful cause you’re gonna fall in love with Disneyland the original Magic Kingdom!
I highlighted in red the MUST DO rides at Disneyland!
There are lots of shows and entertainment that you will only find at Disneyland as well. The new Wondrous Journey nighttime show in Disneyland is a must see. More information about this show is found here. Plus add the nighttime show, World of Color in Disney California Adventure to your list. Another fantastic show you won’t find in any other Disney park, read more here how to watch it. Check the Disneyland app for current entertainment and shows. For tips about fireworks at Disneyland check out more information here.
Additionally enjoy these places to explore in Disney California Adventure like the Redwood Creek Challenge and the Animation Building.
Also be sure to check out lots of other posts on the blog that will help you plan for your visit. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and want some extra help you should read about customized plans that I can create for your trip. And if you’re looking for customized touring plans look here.