Land or World?

My guy and I recently got back from a whirlwind trip to California, during which I tried to show him everything the southern half of the state had to offer.

And I mean everything…

Some might say I over planned...

Some might say I over planned…

We visited friends in San Diego and LA, hung with the elephants at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, drank wine in Temecula wine country, wandered the decks of the Queen Mary, scuba dove off Catalina, walked the Walk of Stars, saw the Hollywood sign and Griffith Observatory, climbed into the belly of a dinosaur in Cabazon, watched the sun rise in Joshua Tree National Park, cheered for baseball at the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (of Los Angeles)…

[deep breath]

…and rode the rides at Disney Land.

So, of course, when I had dinner with a friend the other night she immediately asked, “Don’t you think that Disney Land is a sad, ghetto version of Disney World?”

First of all, don’t be harshing on my Disney Land.  As a Southern California native, it will always hold a special place in my heart.

But, for the sake of “unbiased journalism” (because that’s what you’re looking for when you read random food/photography/whatever blogs, right?) I will attempt to objectively list the pros and cons.

1.  Disney Land is the original.

Maybe this doesn’t mean as much to other people, but I know that my parents went on dates at Disney Land when they were teenagers.  My grandparents probably went on dates there, too.

Heck, I even celebrated my high school graduation there with an all-night, formal-dress, wholesomer-than-wholesome party.

Complete with an awkwarder-than-awkward picture.  Don't even get me started on what I'm wearing.

Complete with an awkwarder-than-awkward picture. Don’t even get me started on what I’m wearing.

2.  Disney World has the better castle.

Seriously, Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World is a thing of wonder.  It’s huge.  It gleams.  It’s got lots of towers.  It’s 3D.  In comparison, the castle at Disney Land sort of looks like this…

No offense to the amazing flickr user who made this Lego Castle.  It's awesome.  Probably more awesome than Cinderella's actual castle at Disney Land.

No offense to the amazing flickr user who made this Lego Castle. It’s awesome. Probably more awesome than Cinderella’s actual castle at Disney Land.

3. Both are pretty damm amazing when it comes to recreating reality.

Exhibit A: One one side is a real fountain in Rome. On the other, is the “fake” fountain in “Italy” at Disney World’s Epcot Center. Pretty close, eh?

I actually prefer the Disney version.  The real one is a little creepy!

I actually prefer the Disney version. The real one is a little creepy!

Exhibit B: Which is the real train station in San Diego and which is the “fake” train station in Disney Land’s California Adventure?

Yeah, I know.  The fake palm tree totally gives it away!

Yeah, I know. The fake palm tree totally gives it away!

4. Disney World serves alcohol.

Sorry, mom, but this is a consideration. When I’ve had a long day of standing in lines surrounded by misbehaving children, a cold, adult beverage is really nice. Of course, at Epcot Center you can skip the lines, the kids, and the rides…and just drink your way around the world. Not that I would do that. Ever.

Look away, mom!  You don't want to see this!

Look away, mom! You don’t want to see this!

I have to make a small clarification here. Although I’m giving the alcohol “win” to Disney World, it’s not a slam dunk. Most of the lines (and screaming kids) are at the Magic Kingdom, which doesn’t serve alcohol. And, while Disney Land is dry…California Adventure is not. So, it is possible (just a hypothetical here) to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Disney Land by taking a short walk over to California Adventure and sitting down for a mojito. Theoretically. Not that I’d ever do that.

This photo of mojitos is for illustrative purposes only.

This photo of mojitos is for illustrative purposes only.

You may have noticed that Disney World is ahead by a half.  (I’m only giving a half win for alcohol, for the reasons stated above, and because I’m not unbiased. I need my candidate to win.)

5.  Disney Land has better rides.

This is what it’s all about, right?  The rides!  Disney World is bigger.  There’s more room to move around.  There are more individual parks.  (Though, seriously?  Hollywood Studios?  That’s worth half a day…at most.)  Disney Land is more cramped, with less room to walk around, and rides jammed into every conceivable corner.  But, here’s the undeniable truth.

The “classic” rides are better at Disney Land.

There.  I said it.  Just try to fight me on this.  Here’s some examples…

A.  The Matterhorn.  This one doesn’t even exist in Florida, so it wins by default.  A snow capped mountain in the middle of a theme park?  With real, human mountain climbers and fake, animatronic yeti?  And yodeling music at the front of the line?  And rider operators wearing lederhosen?  Just too cool.  Those yeti still scare me…every time.

B.  Pirates of the Caribbean.  I’m not kidding here.  Pirates exists at both parks.  Both parks have annoyingly inserted an animatronic Johnny Depp and changed the pirates-chasing-wives part around to be more PC.  But, the ride at Disney Land is twice as long.  And, before it actually starts, it floats through the Louisiana bayou (I really have no idea why pirates are attacking Louisiana) where lucky guests can enjoy a cool, quiet, leisurely meal.

Ahh...doesn't that look relaxing?

Ahh…doesn’t that look relaxing?

The food is pretty darn amazing, too.  We started with gumbo that was impossible to resist.  I had crab cakes.  Jerry had…prime rib? I don’t remember.  Both were paired with this amazing potato dish that was at least half butter.  It was expensive, but totally yummy.

See?  Don't I look happy?  Relaxed?  And STUFFED!

See? Don’t I look happy? Relaxed? And STUFFED!

C: Autopia. I’ve always loved Autopia. When we went to Disney World in the spring, I made Jerry stand in line for it. We waited and waited. (Okay, it was probably 20 minutes) and then got into these little cars, went around in a big, boring loop in the full sun, and that was it. Boring!

At Disney Land, the cars go through their own little world. It’s almost like a mini interstate…but not like today’s interstate. Like the old interstates, in the days of Route 66. Lanes merge and diverge. It’s shaded. It’s usually 5-10 degrees cooler than the rest of the park.

It’s also twice as long.

D. (And the argument that makes all other arguments moot.)
Space Mountain is totally better at Disney Land.

Space Mountain is my favorite ride. It has been since I was tall enough to ride it. It’s a roller coaster…in the dark. There are flashing lights everywhere…and ridiculous music…and some poor actual human who has to sit in a control booth in a ridiculous outfit as the cars head up the first climb.

At Disney World, the lights are turned up just bright enough so that you can kinda see where you’re going. What’s the fun of that?

Plus, instead of the cool flashing lights and suspended “stars” that make you feel like you’re flying through galaxies, in Disney World they just project a few galaxies on the ceiling. Lame.

Just for the sake of argument, I’ll will now run through the rides that are better at Disney World.


Anyone got a suggestion?

Yeah…I didn’t think so.


One Comment to “Land or World?”

  1. i think the drinking part sold me! LOL – love reading your posts! great!

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