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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

How Attractions Differ--Walt Disney World and Disneyland Part 1

Now that we've been to Disneyland we can make comparisons between the West Coast parks and Walt Disney World.  And while both contain many of the same attractions, there are differences.  This post is an attempt to capture the differences.

Let's start at the Magic Kingdom:

Pirates of the Caribbean--Located in New Orleans Square in Disneyland, the queue is mostly outside and winds up two ramps on either side of the queue courtyard.  Once inside, waiting guests get to view guests cruising by in the boats towards the end of their sailing.  A noisy parrot greets guests on land and in the water.  Once loaded, the boats float in the bayou with views of the Blue Bayou restaurant located in the middle of the attraction.  The husband questioned the bayou but felt better about it after thinking about New Orleans and its history of pirates and that this attraction is the star of New Orleans Square.  Two drops bring guests into the middle of the pirate scenes and stories but does include a bedroom scene that from my perspective does not exist at Walt Disney World.  At the end of the attraction, guests stay in the boat as it rides up the ramp/waterfall.  We rode this attraction 3 times and I was mesmerized by the water falling down while the motorized ramp moved up.  Guests then circle back around to where other guests are entering and get greeted by the parrot.  When exiting the boat, guests walk by Blue Bayou Restaurant and then exit into New Orleans Square.  This attraction is not a Fastpass attraction at Disneyland.

Haunted Mansion--No interactive queue for guests in Disneyland.  The entrance and story are the same.  The Hatbox Ghost has been recently re-added to the attraction in Disneyland for the anniversary.  What I did notice was that the queue after the "falling room" has more light at Disneyland and less "smooshing" by guests trying to go from a group into a single person line.  This attraction is a Fastpass attraction at Disneyland.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad--the line at Disneyland includes both a standby queue and Fastpass.  Instead of going down a narrow ramp like at Walt Disney World, the mostly outdoor queue ends with narrow steps going up.  We kept track of wait times and the longest the standby queue wait time was 20-30 minutes and seemed to move quickly.  The ride itself is longer!

Enchanted Tiki Room--The queue is outside and uncovered and has a walk-up counter to order Dole Whips inside the queue area.  The show actually begins outside.  Then the doors open, guests walk up steps and enter for the show.  At that point, the show is the same and guests can bring in their refreshments to enjoy during the show.

Disneyland Railroad--One wouldn't think that the railroad would be different, but it was.  There is one train that allows guests to sit facing the outside of the train, similar to one of the trains that takes guests to/from Rafiki's Planet Watch in Disney's Animal Kingdom.  The Railroad stops at Main Street, New Orleans Square, Toontown, and Tomorrowland.  Guests still get a sneak peak inside Splash Mountain but the real surprise happens between Tomorrowland and Main Street stops.  Catch a glimpse of the Grand Canyon and a prehistoric world.  We learned on our tour, well actually we asked, that these displays were originally designed for attractions that have yet to be used.  So cool!  Feel free to take pictures, just turn the flash off on your phone or camera.

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters--Even the name is different.  Same game and same idea, it's just that the blasters come off of the holster on the ride vehicle.  Also targets light up and are worth more points when lit.  An attraction photo is taken but guests can email the photo to themselves rather than purchase or added to their Memory Maker or Photopass.  This attraction located in Tomorrowland is a Fastpass attraction.

Peter Pan--I might make some Disneyland fans mad as we kept hearing how updated this attraction was now that it had re-opened from refurbishment.  Frankly, I couldn't see what they were talking about.  The London scene consists of lighted dots on the ground, much different than the cars and bridges at Walt Disney World.  The ride vehicles are the same.  There was an extra scene at the end that was different for us.  If you want to ride Peter Pan at Disneyland, pack your patience or get there first thing when the park opens.  We were in the first twenty people in line during an Extra Magic Hours morning and when we exited, the wait was up to 70 minutes.  No Fastpasses are offered for this attraction at Walt Disney World.

It's a small world--An all outdoor queue and loading area for the boats lead guests through the various scenes accompanied by the song.  Various Disney/Pixar characters along with Disney Princesses can be found in the various scenes from around the world.  Only the boats are in the water as the water flume winds in and out of the scenes which are indoors.  No Fastpass is available for this attraction at Disneyland

Dumbo the Flying Elephant--If you rode Dumbo at Walt Disney World before it was moved and doubled in size, added Fastpass and indoor interactive queue, then you would have experienced the Disneyland version.

Jungle Cruise--The attraction itself is almost exactly the same except towards the end.  What is different is the queue.  We should have noticed that the wait time, but we missed it.  When we entered the queue it seemed that we were just steps from stepping onto a boat.  Boy, were we wrong!  The queue, which does not offer a Fastpass option, winds in and out and UP and DOWN--that's right--stairs!  The stairs go up and guests wind some more on an upper level.  I so badly wanted to shout down below the unsuspecting guests entering the queue to turn back; do not enter.  The queue eventually wound back down the stairs and we inched closer to the boat entrance.  At one corner, guests can either go left or right in the queue.  Be sure to keep your party together.  This only separates who will be entering the front or back of the boat.

Splash Mountain--The story and ride experience are mostly the same.  The queue is outside and the attraction does offer Fastpass.  What is most different is the ride vehicle which is one person per row compared to the 2-3 people per row at Walt Disney World.  An attraction photo is available for purchase or can be added to Photopass +.  We were witnesses to a marriage proposal via the ride photo and an answer to the proposal at the ride photo pick-up location.  Actually, we witnessed two marriage proposals during our visit.

There may be others attractions that differ that we didn't experience during our visit.

Part 2--California Adventure will be coming soon.

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