This is one Magic Kingdom attraction that's much better in Disney World than Disneyland

Of all the Magic Kingdom attractions shared by both Disney World and Disneyland, one is actually far better in Florida than its California counterpart!
Jungle Cruise To Reopen At Disneyland Park
Jungle Cruise To Reopen At Disneyland Park / Handout/GettyImages

It’s a common belief among Disney park fans that Disneyland’s Magic Kingdom has the edge over Disney World in terms of ride quality. Pirates of the Caribbean, the Fantasyland rides, and Space Mountain — they all feel better in California than in Florida. The Haunted Mansion may be a bit better in Orlando but Anaheim can boast the great Nightmare Before Christmas overlay to balance it out. 

In short, when it comes to a Magic Kingdom with more vibrant and exciting turns on classic Disney attractions, Disneyland pretty much comes out on top. Except for one ride where Orlando actually does have the edge for a better version that offers a more fun experience for guests. 

The Jungle Cruise.

Yes, there are a lot of similarities between the two rides in theme and scenes. Yet a few small yet important differences make the WDW version of this attraction better than its California counterpart, even if both are fun voyages.

What makes WDW’s Jungle Cruise better?

The key advantage Florida’s Jungle Cruise has is space. In 1994, the Jungle Cruise was joined by the Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye attraction, necessitating cutting into some of the real estate. Thus, the Florida version has a lot more room to work with. 

Now, Disneyland does get points for a better exterior that looks like a real jungle outpost and the fact it’s two stories also helps the line. Both have touches of old-fashioned radio broadcasts and pieces of supposed memorabilia linked to 1930s exploration. WDW does seem a bit more spaced out while DL is more condensed to the tighter Adventureland. 

As for the ride, while it follows the same beats, there are some key differences. Take the African veldt scene which feels a bit too tight cramming the animals around the rocks. In Florida, it’s far more spread out, giving the animals more showcase and the lions inside the cave are further ahead for better viewing. That makes the scene spark more.

Schweitzer Falls is also far better in WDW. In Disneyland, it’s just a few trickles of water, hardly living up to the “falls” part. In Florida, it’s a true cascade of water, fitting the title perfectly and so makes the inevitable joke about it even better. 

Jungle Cruise guides now deliver their pun-filled spiels about    the backside of water    from behind face masks and transparent vinyl curtains.

Jungle Cruise guides now deliver their pun-filled spiels about the backside of water from behind face masks and transparent vinyl curtains. Junglecruise / Seth Kubersky/The Unofficial Guides for

There’s other good touches like how instead of just one elephant squirting water out of its trunk, it’s joined by others and the gorillas in the camp hanging out under one tent rather than running around. The best addition is the Cambodian temple scene. In California, you just pass by some ruins but in Florida, you get a dark ride style trip through a temple with gold statues, cobras hissing, a tiger growling and more. It adds a more exotic air to the attraction that fits the theme. 

Sure, they don’t have the piranha bit, but they still have great stuff like the hippo with the sunken boat, the monkeys taking over a ship, and a crashed plane that gets more attention. That combines with the usual corny jokes to make this version better.

To top it off, there's the Jingle Cruise holiday overlay, adding some nice lights and decorations to the attraction with holiday-themed puns. That puts it a bit ahead of its California counterpart to bring some Christmas feel to the jungle setting.

Of course, if you want the absolute best version of the Jungle Cruise, you need to go to Hong Kong Disneyland, which has a larger ride that culminates in a fantastic fire and water show. However, for folks in the United States, the Walt Disney World version of Jungle Cruise does have the edge over the original California counterpart, even though both are classic attractions that deserve a spin.