August 8, 2012

Best Splash Mountain: Disneyland or Walt Disney World?

Splash Mountain Disneyland 2012
Splash Mountain, by far one of Imagineering's most popular creations, has been thrilling U.S. guests ever since the ride opened at Disneyland in 1989 and Walt Disney World in 1992. The two versions offer similar experiences, but each has its own location-specific exterior, as well as different seating layouts and music arrangements. They're both great, but is either one better than the other?

I love the green, beautiful, nearly-Tolkien look of Disneyland's mountain. I enjoy both the jazzy style of Disneyland's music score and the country/bluegrass version at Walt Disney World. The hitchhiking alligator at DL is wonderful, but so is the animated silhouette chase at WDW. Disneyland's final drop is scarier.

BUT...although both could use some TLC in the audioanimatronics department, this Disneyland native must admit that -- when both mountains are operating at their best -- Walt Disney World's Splash Mountain wins this one. Its story is easier to follow, it has more special effects, and the side-by-side seating is more comfortable than DL's single-file bench. The Florida ride also splashes guests without overdoing it; ever since the log makeover a few years ago, Disneyland's Splash Mountain soaks people.

California has the epic-length Pirates ride, and Florida has the more elaborate Splash Mtn. What do you think? If you've ridden both Splash Mountains, which do you prefer?


  1. I haven't been to Disneyland yet, but Splash in Disney World is my favorite ride :) It is very interesting to hear about the differences! I hope to check it out in DL sometime soon.

    1. Disneyland's version is a great ride with a few minor rough spots in its design, while WDW's feels like the 2.0 version: Disney definitely used the time between California and Florida's edition to improve the story flow and plus up the effects. :)

  2. I admittedly have only ridden the Disney World version, but I've watched ride-through videos of Disneyland's and I think that Disney World's is better. The Disneyland version is good too, of course, but I think you summed it up best in your comment: they improved the story flow and plussed up the effects.

    That said, can Disney World's version get a Hitchhiking Alligator at some point?


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