Disneyland rides found at Walt Disney World – are they the same or different, which park has the better version? These questions and more answered in this post plus a FREE printable list for you to print at the end.
If you are typically a Disneyland guest and planning a trip to Walt Disney World, I have a list of rides which both parks have in common. Some attractions are basically the same with a small difference. But I’m going to break it down ride by ride so you can decide if you want to skip the ride while visiting WDW. Many of the rides are classics and you may still want to ride them. But if you find yourself in a time crunch I will suggest which ones you can skip. I may even recommend if you’ve done the ride at Disneyland you don’t need to do it at WDW thus giving you time to explore things we don’t have at Disneyland. In this post I am only going to cover rides that exist at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
One thing you will find is the ride itself might be basically the same, but the queues in WDW in general are better. The parks in Orlando are bigger and have more space to build queues. Longer lines at WDW require longer queues with more shade. And if guests are going to be in line longer they need more exciting things to look at and entertain them while in line. So even if a ride is the same you might consider going on the ride just to see the elaborate queue.
For all you old timers like me who remember Disneyland as a kid I will be sure to mention the attractions that used to be at Disneyland and have made a permanent home at Walt Disney World. These are rides you won’t want to miss.
What rides are the same at Disneyland and Walt Disney World?
Here’s a list of rides in each park, categorized by land. Use this list to decide which attractions you might choose to skip based on the info below. You will see an * (asterisk) by the rides you could skip if you’re under time constraints. At the end of this post I will include a printable list you can take with you on your trip.
- Jungle Cruise – very similar to Disneyland
- Pirates of the Caribbean – same ride but much shorter
- *Swiss Family Treehouse – similar to Tarzan’s Treehouse at Disneyland. This theme was in Disneyland decades ago.
- *Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room – same show
- Barnstormer – reminds me of Gadget’s Go Coaster in Toon Town at Disneyland
- *Dumbo – same ride very cool waiting queue area check it out.
- *It’s a Small World – is much shorter so you can skip, but the queue is indoors.
- *Mad Tea Party – same ride but covered
- *The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – same ride, better queue
- *Mickey’s PhilharMagic – same as Disney California Adventure, better queue
- Peter Pan’s Flight – same, WAY better indoor queue
- *Prince Charming Regal Carrousel – same
- *Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid – same ride, better queue
- *Walt Disney World Railroad – same ride but different views as you circle the park
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – same ride vehicle, different track, fun queue
- Country Bear Jamboree – same show that used to be in Disneyland
- Splash Mountain – seating side by side
- *Tom Sawyer Island – very similar
- Haunted Mansion – great queue and a few additional scenes not found at Disneyland
- *Liberty Square Riverboat – same
- *Astro Orbiter – same ride but better views like they had decades ago at Disneyland
- *Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – skip the gun is stationary can’t be removed
- Space Mountain – slower and no music, definitely better at Disneyland
- *Tomorrowland Speedway – similar to Autopia but far less exciting
- Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress – same ride that used to be in Disneyland years ago
- Tomorrowland PeopleMover – same ride that used to be in Disneyland years ago
- *Star Tours – similar to Disneyland
STAR WARS: GALAXY’S EDGE
- *Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run – same ride
- Rise of the Resistance – same ride
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – same as old ride in Disney California Adventure with added forward movement
- Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway – same ride in Disneyland
TOY STORY LAND
- *Alien Swirling Saucers – similar to Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree in DCA
- Toy Story Mania – same ride, better queue
- *Soarin’ Around the World – same as Disney California Adventure
- Test Track – similar ride vehicle as Radiator Racers but totally different theme/ride.
DISNEY’S ANIMAL KINGDOM
- *Kali River Rapids – similar ride type as Grizzly River Run, but different theming.
- *Dinosaur – similar ride vehicle and track as Indiana Jones, but no comparison skip it that’s my opinion.
- *It’s Tough to be a Bug – same show that used to be in Bugs Land at DCA years ago.
Two other SAME but DIFFERENT things
Lastly there are 2 other things worth mentioning that are very different from Disneyland. If you’ve seen Fantasmic! at Disneyland and loved it then you’ll want to see the Fantasmic! show that plays in Hollywood Studios every night in a stadium style theatre. You get a seat for this show. Still arrive at least an hour before for a good seat. While their Steamboat is underwhelming, but rest of the show is fantastic since they updated it. They have added parts and scenes that we don’t have at Disneyland. Totally worth seeing on your Hollywood Studio day.
The castles are different as well. The castle at Disneyland is Sleeping Beauty’s castle and Magic Kingdom’s castle is Cinderella’s. Disneyland is home to the original castle and the Magic Kingdom castle is much bigger. Also at Disneyland anyone can walk up inside and through the castle, but at Magic Kingdom guests are not allowed inside unless you are eating at the restaurant in the castle. At the Magic Kingdom they have a Princess dining experience inside the castle. But you can only go inside if you have dining reservations for Cinderella’s Royal Table. So make sure you snag one of the hardest dining reservations to get as soon as you decide you’re going if that’s important to go inside the castle.
I hope you found this information helpful if you’re a Disneyland regular heading to WDW! Now these are my opinions but I tried to give a fair comparison of the rides. I am happy to answer any questions you may have about traveling to Walt Disney World. If you’re looking to book a trip to Walt Disney World check out this post where I explain the best way to save money and how to book a trip.
Below is a FREE printable list you can use to help you navigate on your trip. It’s a summarization of all that you read above. Print this list, then decide which rides you must do on your trip. Keep the list handy so you know which ones you can skip if you run out of time. This printable is for personal use only.
CLICK HERE to print Disneyland vs. Disney World Rides list
For more tips on both Disneyland and Walt Disney World follow my Instagram account where I share daily!
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I am planning my first trip to WDW. I’m hoping to go in March. Is that a busy time of year? What is the weather usually like? I’m from Arizona…
March is normally busy with spring break, but the first week is fine. Currently the park is only running at 35% capacity so this year anytime in March will be fine. It will be great weather, but they do have humidity which is a whole new experience for us Arizona folks. Bring a portable fan and take mask breaks to help with the humidity.
I’m so excited for Cruella on Disney+! I don’t think they could have chosen anyone better than Emma Stone for that role. I remember watching 101 Dalmatians as a kid. That was a great movie. There are really some great movies coming out recently.
Anyone can walk through the Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom. We were just there for the 50th anniversay, and we have walked through on every other trip we have been on.
Not like you can walk up and around inside at Disneyland. Yes you can walk through the middle walkway at Magic Kingdom, but you can’t go inside unless you’re dining at Cinderella’s Royal Table. Whereas over in Disneyland you can walk up inside and through the Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland. It tells the story of Sleeping Beauty as you walk through it’s really fun.