Truth be told, I always thought Disneyland’s was the better Splash Mountain. Not just due to the John Debney score, but because it focuses more on immersing you into the environment and is more thrilling due to the quicker speed. I find it more charming, though I may be partial due to it being the version I grew up on. Reminds me more of how the original Journey Into Imagination was setup through the way it’s staged and the way the environments are setup. You got what was going on in the “story”/Journey & characters through the dialogue & song lyrics and of course what was going on with the characters in each scene, but the focus was more on immersing you into the environments you explored and things happening in them and how the ride system correlated with this. That and of course the figures would illustrate this aswell with the way they were posed along with their emotion.
It follows much of the principle Marc Davis has talked about in the past. Regarding how rides aren’t really the best medium to tell a linear story. They’re really meant to put you into the moods and feelings of an environment or scene of a story (think of even the way the classic Fantasyland rides are. They don't tell a linear story or give much character development, but they bring you the greatest hits of moods/tones & environments and the ride motions & speed correlated with this.
Truth be told, I ‘really’ don’t know how they’d be able to fit Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in Disneyland’s. They really wouldn’t be able to tell much of a story with it.. and with no real conflict & villain to the story… I don’t see how you can really tell a good linear story as they typically do these days in DL’s ride system when it’s so drastically different. It’s clear WDI didn’t go into this knowing the two versions were so different in execution of the story. I think they thought, hey, they’re the same ride with the same plot in essence, just different log designs. So we can just easily port this to both coasts… oh how wrong they are..