Seinfeld fans may remember Vandelay Industries, the fictional business invented by George Costanza as a means of falsifying his employment. As I recall, Vandelay started as a latex business, but evolved into an import/export company. It had what is known as a “diversified business model.”
|Imports: Chips (potato; some corn). Exports: Diapers|
Disneyland is a bit of an exporter itself. Being the original theme park, having been dreamed up by Walt himself (with absolutely no help from a single other individual), it set the gold standard for the company’s theme parks around the globe. Today there are very few attractions at Disneyland that have not been cloned at other parks. It seems every Magic Kingdom has a train, a castle, a Peter Pan ride, a jewel-encrusted equine-footwear saloon.
Even the non-Magic Kingdom parks steal attractions from Disneyland. The Indiana Jones Adventure found its way to Tokyo DisneySea. Star Tours docked in Hollywood Studios. Captain EO landed in Epcot, which also went cuckoo for CircleVision.
When it comes to imports, however, Disneyland tends to keep itself fairly pure. Sure, California Adventure robs amply from Florida to round out its repertoire. MuppetVision, It’s Tough to Be A Bug, and Tower of Tower were all borrowed from Walt Disney World. But Disneyland has been around for 55 years now, and I can only think of 6 attractions that were ever borrowed from its grandchildren (and no, we’re not talking about the World’s Fair Fab Four). I’ll give you about 8 seconds to come up with them on your own. Time’s up. Now it’s time to start listing them.
This is a biggie. Magic Kingdom had it first by a couple years, and for the longest time had the better version, with an extensive postshow and two different tracks. Disneyland closed the book on this argument by adding onboard audio, which drastically enhances the ride experience. They’ve also added seasonal overlays (Rockit Space Mountain and Ghost Galaxy) to give riders a fresh take on an old classic.
|At one time, it was also painted puke bronze, a color universally loved by fans. We cried when Disneyland restored the original white paint job. Really, we did. Seriously. Okay, we didn’t.|
Country Bear Jamboree
Another Florida original that went West. Though the show was originally developed for a proposed ski resort at Mineral King, it ended up in the Magic Kingdom by default and proved hugely popular. So popular that when Disneyland cloned it, they built two theaters, but the show was such a people-eater that they never really needed that much capacity. Many years later, it closed to make room for…
|Give Disneyland credit for creating the seasonal Vacation Hoedown and Christmas shows, which Walt Disney World was content to steal right back. And give WDW credit for continuing to run those seasonal shows. Oh wait.|
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Roundly viewed by Disneylanders as some what of a failure, the ride is actually a fine little Fantasyland-style dark ride, although a lesser clone to the one that first debuted at the Magic Kingdom. For awhile, Disneyland boasted a better exterior, with a more natural, woodsy facade, but recently the Magic Kingdom regained the crown with its impressive, immersive, interactive queue.
|Of course, neither Florida nor California can hold a candle to Tokyo’s version, which features free-roaming honeypots, and in typical Tokyo fashion also gives you a million dollars at the end of the ride.|
Honey, I Shrunk the Audience
Disneyland’s Magic Eye theater evicted the groundbreaking Captain EO as part of a reimagining of Tomorrowland in 1997. This popular Rick Moranis movie from Epcot moved in to take its place. The show felt out of place in Tomorrowland and never really took off (much like the rest of that Tomorrowland makeover). It closed earlier this year and was replaced by… Captain EO.
|We fully expect HISTA to return after Rick Moranis’s death creates a huge tidal wave of public interest.|
Calling this an attraction would be a joke, if it wasn’t so tragic. Disneyland’s historical Carousel theater was gutted for a trade-show of awful corporate exhibits, an idea imported from Epcot’s similarly awful Innoventions pavilion. It’s still there, and still 300 times more boring than listening to America Sings.
|This Innoventions improved upon the original by actually forcing you to wait in a line to gain entrance. That is sarcasm, for those of who don’t read parkeology on a regular basis.|
Buzz Lightyear AstroBlasters
The popular ride-through shooting gallery from the Magic Kingdom found a home in Tomorrowland after the Rocket Rods moved out. It does not share the “Space Ranger Spin” title from Florida because the cars do not have teacup-like maneuverability. Instead, it swiped the name from one of the rides at DisneyQuest. Along with Space Mountain, this has been one of the more popular imports.
|I love how the marketing folks helpfully added which movie inspired this ride. As if it just doesn’t sound interesting enough.|