4. Original versions of rides
Disneyland was the first park build by the Disney Company. It stands to reason that it is the one that has been copied by all others. While some of that has worked well, there are some things that will always be best at the original site. Several bloggers have gone through this list ride by ride, but I really don’t feel the need to do that as well. I will only talk about a couple of them.
For me, the ride that is the most drastically different is It’s a Small World. From start to finish the Disneyland attraction is extraordinary. The free standing building has a beautiful façade with a sculptured garden surrounding the ride line. The boat ride itself is beautiful. (I will discuss the evil nature of the accompanying soundtrack in another blog.) It is perfectly crafted in scope and perspective. The ride at the Magic Kingdom feels like riding through an over decorated warehouse.
Pirates of the Caribbean is also stronger at Disneyland, though not as drastically. While the two rides are very similar, the Disneyland ride has a better narrative flow and smoother transitions. Plus I like the big drop. This is a wet ride! Plus I really love floating past the restaurant in the swamp scene.
Peter Pan’s Flight starlit flight over London is more dramatic. The Disneyland Railroad has the dioramas, cheesy though they may be. The Mad Tea Party is open to the sky. Soarin’ over California feels more relevant in California. Little things, some for the ‘improvement’ of the second version of the ride and some just to set it apart from the original. Either way they just don’t quite work. To get the best versions of these rides you MUST go to the original to get the best experience.
*Added bonus: Space Mountain was first created for Walt Disney World not for Disneyland, officially it doesn’t belong on this list. However, about 12 years ago it was closed for refurbishments (for a very, VERY long time). When it reopened it was new, improved and completely awesome. Other than the name and basic concept they now feel like two completely different rides and the one at Disneyland is amazingly better.