Ah, Disney World! Is there any place on earth that is more magical or more exciting? Is there any vacation destination that better realizes Guests’ childhood dreams? And is there any other destination to which it would be more fun to travel any time of the year? Millions of Disney fans from all over the world might just chant an emphatic “No!” But our beloved Walt Disney World does have an older sister in Anaheim, California, that has been granting wishes and making dreams come true for over 60 years! The Disneyland Resort in California—including Disneyland Park, Disney’s California Adventure, Downtown Disney and three resort hotels—encompasses approximately 510 acres. That means that the entire Disneyland Resort would just about fit inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park at Disney World. But even though Walt Disney World is much larger than Disneyland, there are several things that our friends in California enjoy at the parks that we wish were at Disney World too. Here are 8 of them.
8. Radiator Springs Racers
In this fun attraction at Cars Land inside Disney’s California Adventure Park, Guests find themselves fully immersed in the Route 66 feel we got in the first installment of the Cars film franchise. Guests board a 6-person ride vehicle that is somewhat reminiscent of the vehicles at Test Track at EPCOT. See the Cadillac Range Mountains and take a gentle “Sunday drive” through Ornament Valley, past Radiator Falls, before heading to the start line. And then hold on tight for a high-speed race, full of thrilling small drops and high-banked turns—all while enjoying the interesting red rock formations all around you. Who will make it to the finish line first?
7. Mike and Sulley To the Rescue!
You’ll find this exciting attraction based on Disney/PIXAR’s 2001 Monsters, Inc. in Hollywood Land at Disney’s California Adventure Park, where Guests are invited to board a taxi at the Monstropolis Transit Authority and take a ride through downtown Monstropolis. All is well until it’s discovered that a human child (Boo) is on the loose in the city! Suddenly the pleasant tour turns into a search for Boo and a duck-and-dash from the CDA agents. In the ride, Guests get to see Harryhausen’s Sushi Restaurant, the Scare Floor, the Door Vault and more. This ride would be a great addition to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, don’t you think?
6. Storybook Land Canal Boats
This attraction would be a welcome site somewhere in Fantasyland at Disney World. At Disneyland, Guests board a 12-passenger boat for a tour of several miniature versions of destinations told of in Disney animated movies. Guests sail past the castle in Arendelle from Frozen where Anna and Elsa grew up, the beautiful London park from Peter Pan, the Cave of Wonders from Aladdin, Toad Hall from The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, and English village from Alice in Wonderland and more. The miniatures were made on a scale of one inch to one foot and are unbelievably detailed.
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Disneyland’s Incredicoaster opened to the public on June 23, 2018, and replaced California Screamin’, which had been in operation since 2001. The Incredicoaster opened just a week after the theatrical release of Disney/PIXAR’s Incredibles 2. The story behind the attraction is that the townspeople of Metroville have gathered together to dedicate the town’s roller coaster to the Incredibles family (hence the name Incredicoaster) as a show of gratitude for all that the supers have done for them. Even the incomparable Edna Mode has joined the supers for the dedication so she can help supervise Baby Jack-Jack. But before the supers or Edna can stop him, Jack-Jack begins to exhibit his smorgasbord of super powers, and what ensues is an atmosphere of chaos and excitement as everyone races to find Jack-Jack, and Guests are invited to board the Incredicoaster and help find him. The ride is full of drops, loop-di-loops, high-banked turns and even a 53-foot long version of Elastigirl—all on a track that’s over a mile long!
4. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
Years ago, in the space where you can now enjoy The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh attraction, Walt Disney World was home to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. When Disney made the decision to give Mr. Toad the axe, fanatic mayhem ensued. But at Disneyland, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was an Opening Day attraction and it’s still in operation today. Guests enter Toad Hall and board a motorcar for a crazy ride through the English countryside, but they’ll have to dodge police along the way, as well as explosives and other dangers. The attraction includes a simulated motorcar crash and a trip to Hell, which was offensive to some in the Disney World attraction. The ride is based on The Wind in the Willows and to this day, it is missed greatly by many Disney World fans who loved Mr. Toad as well.
3. Snow White’s Scary Adventures
Disney World fanatics will remember Snow White’s Scary Adventures—yep, Disney World had its own version of the attraction before the New Fantasyland expansion was completed. It was housed in the same location where the Princess Fairytale Hall is located. If you were a fan of the ride and wish you could have the experience again, just head to Disneyland (or lobby for it to be re-imagined at Disney World). In the attraction at Disneyland, Guests board a four-seater mine cart and embark on a journey to visit the Seven Dwarfs’ cottage. Then the ride takes Guests on a tour of the mines “where a million diamonds shine” before braving the dark forest to escape the Evil Queen. Guests see the Evil Queen in front of her Magic Mirror, the spooky trees in the forest, the Queen’s dungeons and more. The ride lives up to its name—some of the scenes are a bit, well, scary.
2. Blue Bayou restaurant
The Blue Bayou Restaurant sits in New Orleans Square at Disneyland, and we wouldn’t mind having one at Disney World. It is one of the most beautiful and popular places at which to dine in all of Disneyland. The cuisine is Cajun and Creole, and thanks to the décor and layout of the restaurant, Guests actually think they have stepped into New Orleans. Dishes like gumbo, spiced shrimp and jambalaya grace the menu, as do rack of lamb, steaks, salmon and more. For dessert, try the 8-layer chocolate hazelnut cake or the crème brulee! You can’t go wrong no matter what you order, but you’ll be making a big mistake if you hope to eat here but don’t make a dining reservation.
1. Walt’s apartment
At Disney World, there is an apartment on the fourth floor of Cinderella Castle that is said to have been where Walt would have stayed during his visits to Disneyland’s Florida counterpart. But alas, Mr. Disney wouldn’t live to see the completion of Disney World, so that apartment never became Walt’s. He did, however, have an apartment inside Disneyland. It’s still there to this day—on the second floor of the Main Street Firehouse. It’s only about 500 square feet of living space, but in that space is a small kitchen, a bathroom, a wooden desk and more. It was decorated in reds and whites to keep with the firehouse theme. There’s even a fireman’s pole hidden in one of the closets. Guests can see the apartment as a part of the “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps” guided tour. There is a light inside the window that faces Main Street that is always on—a tribute to the man who began it all. And while no apartment at Disney World would truly be Walt’s because of his early passing, we wish Walt had lived into his old age so he could have enjoyed that apartment in Cinderella Castle—and who knows—some of us might just have been blessed enough to run into him in the parks.