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Old 04-27-2005, 03:32 PM   #1
Mary Jo
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ºoº Attractions Unique to Disneyland & California Adventure from WDW


Attractions not at WDW, or that are different:


Main Street:
Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln: Walt Disney personally worked on this attraction, and he had a special interest in President Abe Lincoln. The Hall of Presidents is based on it, but this is still worth watching. It was recently refurbished, and uses a new technique with headphones that make the sounds seem like they are right next to you. This attraction is the first one you’ll see (besides the railroad) when you enter Main Street. (NOTE: For the 50th, this attraction has been put away, but it is due to reopen later this year.)

Railroad: Although there is a railroad at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, the one at Disneyland is different. It circles the park, and you can see the various lands. It also stops at New Orleans Square, Toontown/Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland. After Tomorrowland, you’ll go through a diorama that shows the Grand Canyon and the Primeval World. It takes about 20 minutes to circle the park. It’s also a nice way to get from one land to another.


Tiki Room: Has the original show

The Jungle Cruise: This is set up differently – kind of backwards from the one at WDW, and doesn’t have a temple. The queue is different, is 2-stories on busy days, & has an animatronic hornbill going up the stairs

Tarzan’s Treehouse: Used to be Swiss Family Robinson – worth a visit because it has some interactive features

Indiana Jones: The ride is almost identical to Dinosaur @ Animal Kingdom; however, due to theme difference, this ride is far superior with fire, etc. This is the best themed queue at Disneyland, with interactive elements that will cause a reaction – push the poles and pull the ropes – even if there is a sign telling you not to.


New Orleans Square:
There is no New Orleans Square in WDW, so this land is really nice to visit (On the other hand, there is no Liberty Tree Square at DL)

Pirates of the Caribbean: For one thing, this is set in a New Orleans setting instead of Adventureland, like @ WDW. The queue is better at WDW, but the ride itself is themed so much better at DL

Haunted Mansion: This is also different at DL, although personally, I can’t say I like one better than the other – they are just “different” and it is worth riding.

During the holidays (starting the last weekend in September usually and lasting through the first weekend in January) the Haunted Mansion is redone as the Nightmare Before Christmas. The attraction bears no resemblance to the original Haunted Mansion during the holidays, and is a great treat, especially for fans of Jack Skellington, Sally, and Zero.

Trivia about Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion: Walt Disney wanted a place that would be set apart from the rest of the world, and with the limited options in the Anaheim area, he had a berm built around the park, and set the railroad on it, so the train goes around the park, stopping at various lands (Main Street, New Orleans Square, Toontown, and Tomorrowland). In the earlier years @ Disneyland, you could not see any of the cities outside the walls, except for a couple of spots in the park. Well, when they built Pirates and Haunted Mansion, they needed to put the ride someplace, so they dug a tunnel under the berm, and put the rides outside of the park. So, when you go on Pirates of the Caribbean, and go down the two small drops, you are really going under the train berm and into the ride. In the Haunted Mansion, the stretching room is really an elevator that takes you down and you go through the hallway (tunnel) to the actual attraction. You’ll notice that both attractions take you back up to street level at the end. Oh, and the same thing for Indiana Jones Notice as you go through the queue that you are going down… the actual attraction is outside the Disneyland Railroad boundary.


Critter Country: This whole land is unique to Disneyland

Splash Mountain – This attraction is pretty different than the one @ WDW, and the seats are different in the log. You sit in single file, and each seat has a backrest. I don’t know if one is “better” than the other – The one at WDW seems to follow the storyline better, but the one at DL is also fun to ride.

Davy Crockett Canoes -They don’t have canoes @ WDW. These are fun to do – everyone has to paddle, but watch out – the person in front of you just might accidentally splash you as you go around Tom Sawyer’s Island.

The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh This is different than the one at the WDW Magic Kingdom. (From what I hear, the one at WDW is better than this one because the one at DL doesn't "bounce")


Pirates Lair (formerly Tom Sawyers Island) This island has been rethemed as an island once overrun by pirates. There are still caves here, though they now have hidden treasure in the cave (reach for the treasure & see a surprise), and you can pump water out of a boat to see treasure, or lift the basket out of the water to see a surprise. The floating and suspended bridges are still here. There are also pirates who sing here at the island. I believe at WDW the theme is still Tom Sawyer, and I heard that there is a snack bar on the island at WDW, but not at DLR.

Thunder Mountain Railroad is basically the same, but the track runs in the opposite direction (from what I’ve been told).


Fantasyland: Almost all of the attractions are different here, as well as the architecture of the whole land.

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle: Okay, let’s start with the castle. You will notice as soon as you enter Disneyland that the castle is more “charming” than “awe-inspiring” like the one at WDW Magic Kingdom – Cinderella’s Castle. This castle has a walk-thru diorama of the story of Sleeping Beauty, which was recently reopened. The scenes are nicely done. When you go through the hall with the goons peer through the windows in the doors - you may see a surprise. There are a couple of shops in the castle, and a very nice Snow Whites grotto to the right of the entrance. There is no restaurant in this castle, and no place to enter it. However you do walk through it and the drawbridge is a real working drawbridge – raised & lowered two times in Disneyland history – on opening day in 1955, and after the Fantasyland refurbishment in the early 80’s (I’m thinking 1982)

Peter Pan: A dark ride that is different than the one at WDW, and charming. Guests “fly” in pirate ships through this attraction. (this is a favorite of many guests, including me – the line is almost always too long here, so it's best to visit first thing in the morning

Snow White’s Scary Adventures: Another dark ride – be sure to touch the brass apple as you enter the attraction, and when you’re standing in Fantasyland, look at the curtained window for a peek at someone staring out …

King Arthur’s Carousel: This has all horses, each completely different - when you see it, look for Jingles, the lead horse. You can tell who Jingles is by the bells hanging ‘round the neck. Also, Jingles was recently dedicated to Julie Andrews, and if you look at the saddle blanket you will see four figures painted on it to commemorate this dedication.

It’s a Small World This is the original attraction, brought to Disneyland after the 1964 World’s Fair, where it debuted. WDW now has a similar façade; however, this one is a bit grander. Try to time it so that you’re in front of the attraction at a quarter of hour ( :00, :15, :30, :45) for a little clock show. The ride lasts about 15 minutes. Disney characters were recently added, and it is fun to try & pick them out.

During the holidays (usually first weekend in November through first weekend in January) this attraction is transformed to the holiday version, where the dolls will sing Jingle Bells in various languages. It is very charming, and a must-see. Also, there is a light-show on the facade that is choreographed to music, so with the Christmas lights and the light-show, this is one "must visit" spot at Disneyland at the end of the year.


These are unique to Disneyland:

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride: No longer have it at WDW.

Pinocchio: All dark rides seem to have a villain, and the one here is Monstruo the whale. All ends well in Gepetto’s little shop

Alice in Wonderland: A dark ride like Peter Pan, with a nice ending as the caterpillar you are riding travels down the leaves when you exit the ride

Matterhorn Bobsleds: First steel coaster built – it’s just a tad rocky. You sit two to a seat in tandem style, and four to a bobsled. There are two sides – the Fantasyland side is a little smoother and slightly longer (by a few seconds), and the Tomorrowland side is faster with a little dip. This is one of my favorites to ride at night

Storybook Land Canal Boats: You ride in a boat outside and go through Monstro the whale’s mouth to tour miniature villages of Disney characters (very charming attraction and popular – lines can get quite long)

Casey Jr Circus Train: Ride in cars or cages on a track outside. As you go up the hill, try & see if you can hear Casey Jr. say “I think I can.” The little train wields its way around the same area that the Storybook Land Canal Boats go on – this is a fun ride. The following is no longer true, but still interesting, I think ~ Here’s something only a few know…During the fireworks show, Tinkerbell flies from the Matterhorn Mountain past the castle. When you are on Casey Jr, you can follow the cable with your eyes, and see the treehouse where she actually lands. It’s hidden in the trees in Frontierland.


Toontown: This whole land is nicely set up, and is styled differently than the one at WDW. It gets crowded during the day, and closes in preparation for the fireworks, so time it right when you visit. Early morning or late at night are best.

Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin: This is a dark ride like Mr. Toad, except you get to spin your car round and round.

Gadget Go-Coaster: This is very similar to Goofy’s Barnstormer

There are other things to do for small children -Donalds Big Boat to explore, as well as Mickey & Minnies houses.


Space Mountain: I like the one @ DL much better – you sit side by side in the cars, and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a car that has the music – makes the ride very exciting. During Halloweentime this is transformed to Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, so you are racing around space as ghostly aliens are projected throughout.

Autopia: This whole ride was redone in 2000, and the track is fun to drive – you even get to go “off-roading” – I definitely recommend this one, too. Even the adults should enjoy it.

Buzz Lightyear Astroblasters: It might be shorter than at WDW, but the cool thing here is that you can lift your blasters for a better aim, and then email your picture home or to a friend. This attraction will also be interactive on the Internet in the beginning of June.

Finding Nemo Submarine Ride: Since the submarines were removed from WDW, this is definitely unique to DL. For guests who are disabled and cannot get into the submarines, there is a room where you can view the same thing as the submarines - it is the next best thing to being on the ride itself

(Star Tours is exactly like the one at MGM Studios, and so is Honey I Shrank the Audience. I think I’ve heard that the queues are better at WDW, though the Star Wars queue at DL is good once you are inside)

***** ºoº *****


Golden State
Soarin’ Over California: I used to say, “There is no other attraction like this one.” But, they have since added it at WDW. You ride in a simulated hand glider over scenes of California landscape while listening to music – very nice. You can also catch whiffs of the orange groves, pine forests, and the sea. If you need motion sickness medicine, then take it for this attraction because you won’t want to miss it

Grizzly River Run – Similar to Kali River Rapids, but better, from what I have heard. This attraction takes place in the prominent Grizzly Bear Mountain, and you go up the mountain to ride the river down. It ends with a steep drop while your tire spins so you do not know who’s going to get soaked when you hit bottom

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail: Similar, yet different, to the areas where children can run around, go down slides, climb ladders, etc. There is also a storytelling amphitheater here, where you can listen to stories about Brother Bear

Tortilla Factory & Boudin Bakery tours: These tours demonstrate how Mission tortillas are made – and you get a sample, and how sourdough bread, which originated in San Francisco, is made – and you get a sample … the bread bowls used for soups and salads at Disneyland Resort are made at this bakery. You can also purchase fresh bread from this area.


Paradise Pier
California Screamin’: This loop rollercoaster is very different from Rockin’ Rollercoaster. It’s smoother, longer, and has only one loop, plus it is outside.

Various “boardwalk type rides”: Maliboomer, Mulholland Madness, Mickey Wheel, etc.


A Bug’s Land
Various kiddie rides for the 3-6 year old group, themed from It’s a Bug’s Life characters. The Chew Chew Train is pretty popular, and it is cute, with fun smells – watermelon, etc.

It's Tough to Be a Bug is identical to the one at Animal Kingdom, however, there is no awesome Tree of Life here. You may notice, however, that the queue winds around an area that is quite similar to the little isle that the ants live on in the movie.


Hollywood Pictures Backlot
Animation Station: Different than the one at WDW, and includes an interactive area that is fun to visit. There are five sections, 1) The Courtyard, which is beautifully done. The walls have static and moving scenes that change from one Disney animated feature to another, 2) Drawn to Animation, where the animator interacts with the audience and teaches everyone how to draw a character, 3) Turtle Talk with Crush is pretty much like the attraction at WDW, 4) Small Gallery that showcases the zoetrope - pretty cool demonstration of animation in 3D, and 5) the Sorcerer’s Workshop, which has activities and interactive exhibits in three sections. In the first room, draw your own cartoon character and make it move, then in Beast’s Library see which Disney character you are most like, and finally, in Ursula’s Grotto lend your voice to song or dialogue for different Disney scenes.

Hyperion Theater – Aladdin the Musical – This is a live show in a beautifully done theater with orchestra, mezzanine, and balcony seating. The show itself is very entertaining, lasts about 20 minutes, and really is a must-see.

Tower of Terror - The WDW version is more extensive in that you go across the building in the Twilight Zone. They couldn’t build the same thing at California Adventure, so you immediately enter the Twilight Zone as soon as the elevator doors close. There are some different special effects that give this ride a different experience than the one at Walt Disney World.

Monsters Inc - This is a dark ride, along the lines of the Fantasyland dark rides, and fun to go on. The line is usually very short

The rest of the attractions are identical, or extremely similar to the attractions at Walt Disney World.
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Old 04-27-2005, 05:43 PM   #2
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Mary Jo, first of all, I can't see how you remembered every detail on all of these rides! I love Disney like the next fan but you are truly an authority on the subject. We took our first trip to WDW a month ago and there were 2 things that we noticed very differently. They are:
Pirates of the Caribbean: For one thing, this is set in a New Orleans setting instead of Adventureland, like @ WDW. The queue is better at WDW, but the ride itself is themed so much better at DL
When we were on this ride at WDW, my DW and I were waiting for the BIG drop to come. When it didn't, we were a bit disappointed. We felt the theming was the same but I didn't pay attention very much
It’s a Small World This is the original attraction, brought to Disneyland after the 1964 World’s Fair, where it debuted. WDW now has a similar façade; however, this one is a bit grander. Try to time it so that you’re in front of the attraction at a quarter of hour ( :00, :15, :30, :45) for a little clock show. The ride lasts about 15 minutes.
At the Original Magic Kingdom, this attraction stands alone. It's elaborate and draws a lot of attention. This version at WDW was another disappointment. It looked like just another ride. In addition, it is shorter ride at WDW like you said.
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Old 04-28-2005, 12:46 PM   #3
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Mary Jo, thanks for your wonderful list! Here a few of my comments to add to your list. Sorry in advance for the overuse of exclaimation points! I mean, it's DISNEYLAND, after all!! And it's also a bit long, too!

Okay -- enough. I hope this helps!

Main Street
Main Street just seems more quaint than at the MK. And the best time to shop there is in the early afternoon. It's almost deserted compared to the rest of the day.

Here's some of my highlights: watching them make fudge at the candy store; looking at the dioramas outside of the Emporium; watching the silhouette artist or getting a silhouette made; watching the glass makers at the Crystal Arts store; getting a fourtune from Esmeralda outside of the Penny Arcade and playing with the antique machines in the Arcade; listening to the piano player at the Coke Corner; playing checkers at the Market House, getting a Mickey bar at the cone shop.

Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln: I'm sorry to see that it will be closed for the 50th celebration, for this is one of my favorites. I guess that goes back to the ticketed days when this was free and we ALWAYS went on it. There is something so magical about seeing Lincoln, and it's a great history lesson to boot!

Tarzan's Tree House: Stay off this if you're afraid of heights! It gives me the heeby-geebies! But I dutifully go on it with DD & DS. Oh the things a mom will do for her kids.

New Orleans Square
It is beautiful! Make sure to go to the Mint Julep bar to get fritters and a mint julep for a wonderful snack, then take a walk around the to the shops. Be sure to investigate all the little nooks and crannies, too!
Railroad: We LOVE the railroad! The dinosaur panorama is DD's favorite part. She always says that it is where her dinoasurs live. Hint: The New Orleans Square station can be packed during busy times and can take forever to be able to board. If this is the case, walk to where you want to go. It will be much faster.

Critter Country
Davy Crockett Canoes: These are SOOO much fun! Yeah, you may get a bit wet, but what a great way to cool off during a hot day. It's a great experience for kids who have never been on a canoe before. And don't be surprised if you get into a race with another canoe.
The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Actually, I liked the DL version better, especially the beehive cars you ride in. Can't exactly say why, though...
Tom Saywer's Island: We went last year and it was a bust compared to what it used to be. They've removed all the fun stuff, like the spinning rock and the guns in the fort due to injuries, etc., and they've taken the life out of the place. I'm hoping that they do something to make it fun again.

If you want to get on the rides without lines, you must get here first thing in the morning. The lines will be huge right to park closing. There's no fastpasses here, except for Small World.

As far as the "dark" rides, if you have little ones that scare easily, have overactive immaginations or are prone to nightmares, do yourself a favor and keep them away from Snow White, Mr. Toad, and in some cases Pinocchio. As adults we see them in a nostalgic light, but they are downright frightening to very young children. Alice in Wonderland can also be scary, especially the rides over the leaves at the end if they are afraid of heights.

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle: Nothing beats Christmastime at DL when the Hearld Trumpeters play carols from the towers of the castle! And I don't care that it's smaller than Cindy's at MK - I love this one just the way it is.
Peter Pan: I didn't care for the MK version at all. It seemed too dingy. The DL ride has much more magic to it and it isn't as dark. Ride this first thing in the morning, or you will wait 45+ minutes to ride the rest of the day.
It’s a Small World: The WDW version doesn't hold a candle to this one. Please make sure to see the clock show. You usually don't need a fastpass for this ride. The line moves very fast.
Pinocchio: The Pleasure Island room is absolutely magical with the fireworks and all.
Alice in Wonderland: There's nothing like riding on the leaves as you exit the dark portion. It always scared the begeebers out of me as a kid. I thought the car would go right off the edge!
Matterhorn Bobsleds: Try to get on this during the fireworks - it's absolutely amazing to see them as you speed through the mountain.
Storybook Land Canal Boats: This is one ride that is worth riding during the day and night. You have to experience this ride at least once in your lifetime.

If you want to get a photo with Mickey and not have to wait up to an hour to do so, get to Toontown when it opens and head straight for Mickey's house. Sometimes he's in front posing for photos, but if that line's long, go through the house and he'll be there at the end. Also, there is not much shade here or places to sit. It gets real hot in the afternoon.
Roger Rabbit’s Cartoon Spin: I wouldn't recommend small children going on this ride. It's pretty rough, scary, and overall not too fun. I'll not go on it again.
Gadget Go-Coaster: The line for this ride moves incredibly slow for a very short ride. That said, it is a fun coaster for the little ones.

Space Mountain: Once again, the DL version is much better. More fast turns, dips and spins, and you cannot see the track!
Autopia: Definitely a FP ride if the lines are long, for the line moves very s-l-o-w...

And I wish that they'd bring back the People Mover!

I'm sure there's more, but I can't think of it right now.
DCL: 10/18-22/09, 4/13-17/14; POP: 10/22-24/09; POR: 10/13-20/07; WL: 3/28/05 - 4/2/05. Many visits to Disneyland, including Grad Nite '77, 6/02, 7/03, 7/11/05, 7/18/06 & 6/30-7/1/08, 7/12, GCH 8/9-11/10.
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Old 06-02-2005, 05:32 AM   #4
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I'm with you I wish they would bring THE PEOPLEMOVER back I miss it
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Old 06-02-2005, 09:47 AM   #5
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For some reason, at DCA, I thought that Mulholland madness was the same/ similar as the primevial whirl at AK.. ??
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Old 06-02-2005, 10:23 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by geffric
For some reason, at DCA, I thought that Mulholland madness was the same/ similar as the primevial whirl at AK.. ??
Yup, they're both 'Wild Mouse' coasters...although I believe the PW at AK is classed as a 'Crazy Mouse', meaning the cars spin as it goes around the track.
MM uses standard, non-spinning cars.
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Old 06-04-2005, 06:05 PM   #7
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Don't forget Fantasmic! at Disneyland. It's a little different than the one at Disney Studios. The Pochontas fight scene in DS is replaced by a Peter Pan fight scene on the sailing ship Columbia at DL. The main villians are Malificent and Ursula at DL instead of nearly all the Disney villians at DS. The end steamboat is larger at DL than DS.

Mullholland Madness is different than Primeval Whirl. Other than MM doesn't spin, MM seems to be breaked heavier. The drops aren't as thrilling as Primeval Whirl's.
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Old 08-03-2005, 08:25 AM   #8
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Thanks for all this detail! I'm a WDW veteran making my first journey to DL in just TWO DAYS!!!!

This info really helped me know just what not to miss (although I am determined not to miss a thing) CAN'T WAIT!!!!!!
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Old 05-01-2007, 09:58 AM   #9
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How is the seating at Fantasmic different? Last time we were at DL we had to sit on cobblestones the whole time (OUCH). I was so glad when they put it in MGM they added tons of seating. What should we expect?
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Old 05-01-2007, 11:09 AM   #10
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WOW! Thanks so much for this. This is incredible as its going to help so many people on these boards.
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Old 05-01-2007, 02:14 PM   #11
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This was a fun read (again). I see I have to update my original post, and there are subsequent posts with a lot more detail, so, special thanks to quiltymom.

Mattmommy - if you go to the top of the Disneyland forum, you'll see links up there for a visit to the Disneyland Resort. Go to theme parks, then click on parades & shows for the link that describes Fantasmic with pictures.
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Old 05-01-2007, 07:32 PM   #12
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This is excellent, should we make it a sticky ?

vote people........
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Old 05-07-2007, 04:32 PM   #13
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I would like to add Mickey Mouse Pancakes - you can't get a Mickey Mouse pancake in WDW!
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Old 05-11-2007, 08:40 AM   #14
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Hello everyone!

I was just reading all you messages there about the differences between DLR and WDW and wondered if anyone had been to Disneyland Paris? I've been to DLR and WDW lots of times and as I'm from the UK have also been to Disneyland Paris many times.

I love DLP and I am sure that all of your DLR fans would love it aswell. They have done it very similar to DLR, although in terms of architectuer they have actually improved on it and taken it that step futher, which is so much fun. Here are a few examples:

Fantasyland is more like DLR, although I think they've added even more to it and laid it out even nicer, there is a kind of large pond (made to look like a river) that runs through part of the land with wheeping willow trees over hanging it and a humpback bridge that takes you over the Peter Pan, very pretty at night. It's a Small World is also much the same as DLR, it is housed in a large building slightly away from the rest of the land and is all pastel colours and a feature is really made of it.

Pirates of the Carribean is also much more similar to DLR in that it has the two dips and also has a restaurant inside it, although the outside theming is much better and quite extensive.

DLP doesn't have a tom sawyers island but it does have Adventure Isle in Advernture Land which is all pirate themed and has a Captain Hook Gallion Ship and a really high suspention rope bridge and mazes of tunnels. It's really fun!

So in Frontierland instead of tom sawyers island on the lake that the paddlesteamer (the Mark Twain was moved there I think, although I could be wrong) goes round, it's Big Thunder Mountain! You go under ground, under the lake, and end up on Big Thunder Mountain - it's way cool and the views at night are spectacular!!

Obviously the BIG difference in DLP is that they have a Discoveryland not a Tommorrowland. It's themed in the way the novelist and vissionaries of the past saw the future, like Jules Verne and HG Wells, and most notably in Space Moutain you get shot out of a cannon at the beggining of the ride to take you into the main bulk of the coaster (which goes upside down and has music playing at every seat).

DLP also has a Sleeping Beauty's Castle like DLR, it's still pink only it's much bigger. There is a couple of shops inside it, upstairs the Sleeping Beauty story is told through stained glass windows and models and downstairs in the dungeons is Malificent the Dragon, chained to wall, drumming her claws on the ground and occasionally roaring with displeasure!! It's great - they have done it so well, very atmospheric.

I also love how everthing is in French and English, it's very multi-lingual and I think really adds to the park.

Obivously that is just a really short and not very eliquent description of parts of DLP but if ever any of you guys happen to be in France, the UK, Germany or any other part of Europe for that matter, as a Disney fan I would try and make some time to experience DLP. It's a wee bit different from the USA parks and has a slightly different atmosphere but I don't think that it suffers for it - just makes is (as I said) a wee bit different. But I know you would all love it!!

ps I was going to post a lovely photo of Sleeping Beauty's castle at night.....but I don't know how! Doh! Sorry!
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Old 05-17-2007, 10:32 AM   #15
Natalie with Corbin Bleu 2008
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Northwest USA
Posts: 223

I really enjoyed reading these differences..I agree that Small World was a disappointment at WDW...I almost couldn't find it being in the middle of all the rest of the Fantasyland rides..
I don't agree that they should bring back the Peoplemover..I found it very boring..and..the only part I did like was went it went through one gift shop in Tomorrowland..
The thing I wish they would bring back to Disneyland that they now have in WDW is the Carousel of Progress..I love that thing...and..the ride (can't remember the name) before Star Tours.. in the same location....that shrunk you to the size of a molecule and you saw cells..etc..I was a wee little one when going through this ride..and I thought we actually shrunk...
My mom loved the house of the future...that was also in Tomorrowland..but I don't really remember it enough to comment...
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