April 2, 2019
Is Disneyland or Disney World Better

Is Disneyland or Disney World Better


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Are you planning a disney vacation but not sure if you should go to Disneyland or Disney World? Well the parks are both great, but in very different ways. Here is what you need to know about the two very different Disney Parks.
Disneyland or Disney World - Planning a Disney vacation but not sure which park to visit? Here is everything you need to know to pick between Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida. WOW!!! I had no idea they were so different!! Great insight and comparison!!!!

Disneyland or Disney World

Growing up my parents took me to visit both Disneyland and Disney World. So while our family loves heading to Disney World, we have also ventured over to Disneyland multiple times.

Both Disney parks are going to offer Disney’s amazing entertainment that is fun for the whole family, but there are some big differences that you should know before you book your next vacation!

Don’t miss our other tips and tricks as you are Disney World Planning


Radiator Racers best disney ride

Disneyland vs. Disney World Differences

Disneyland is the park geared more at locals who come more frequently for just the day.  Here are some of the ways Disneyland is different from WDW because of that difference:

  • Park is made up more of moms with kids meeting for playdates, teens without parents, etc.
  • No “Vacation Mentality” – as this isn’t the big annual vacation most people aren’t as tuned into their kids; they brought them to hang out for the day, but Mom is still on her cell phone and kids are not on their “best” vacation behavior
  • Fewer girls dressed as princesses (again because they come more often to just play)
  • Characters do less posing and more interacting (once you know to expect this, it’s actually kinda fun)
  • Not as many food choices (you can just walk out of the park and across the street for McDonalds)
  • Hours are shortened tremendously during “low” times
  • Fewer Employees with pins to trade (locals seem to be more into getting the “best” ones and not just trading for the fun)
  • Rides tend to go down all throughout the day (you come to just expect that at least a handful or more will go down during the day; but at least they go back up soon although you will loose your spot in line)
  • Fantasyland, ALL of Fantasyland closes 1 hour before fireworks during fireworks, and takes a while to re start the rides afterwards.
  • You will be disappointed by the size of the castle!

alice in wonderland ride Disneyland

More Disneyland Differences to Consider

  • Unlike WDW, benches abound at Disneyland making taking a break and watching parades very comfortable!
  • Because of the limited space Disneyland has to work with the park feels more crammed together. That means it isn’t a great stroller park and the line ques are not interactive, or very well themed. They are typical amusement cattle coral style.
  • Only 3 official Disney hotels which are both expensive so most stay at partner hotels a quick walk away. It doesn’t save money over Value hotels at Disney World and means that you are no longer “in the magic” for evening food, movies, theming, etc.
  • There is a shuttle (for a fee) from nearby airports, but it stops at many hotels, including Disney hotels and good neighbor hotels. The buses run less frequently and it is not as seamless as in WDW.

But while there are disadvantages, there are also some unique advantages to this park which make it a great spot to stop while visiting the west cost:

  • They’ve crammed all the best rides in a small space. That means that instead of having to visit 4 parks to see the “best” you can just see two that are literally across from each other! HUGE time saver!Aladdin Musical

Disneyland Unique Rides

  • There are a lot of unique rides that are only in Disneyland including:
    • CARSLAND! This is the best themed are of any Disney park in my opinion. It includes Radiator Racers, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, and Luigi’s Tires plus Flo’s Diner (a great place to eat!)
    • Toontown where you can go inside all the different Fab 5 homes including some great places to play, meet and greets, and Roger Rabbit’s Ride (great fun for Preschoolers!)
    • Storyland Boats
    • Casey Jr. Circus Train
    • Pinnochio Daring Adventure
    • Snow White’s Scary Ride
    • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
    • Matterhorn
    • Finding Nemo Submarine Subs
    • It’s a Small World (way better!)
    • Autopa (aka Tomorrowland Speedway which is way better here)
    • Pirates of the Caribbean (way better!)
    • A Bug’s Land – various rides with a bug theme for preschoolers
    • Paradise Pier – lots of more traditional amusement/carnival rides like a ferris wheel, swings, and more!
    • Incredicoaster
    • Monsters Inc Ride
    • Guardians of the Galaxy
    • Mickey’s Fun Wheel
  • The rides seem to be upgraded and maintained better (maybe because guests return so may times in a year) – for example Big Thunder Mountain has a great use of technology to have it look like the flame is moving up the mountain and then explodes.

pirates of teh caribbean at disneyland is longer and better

Tips for Visiting Disneyland

  • Visit when kids are in school, but make sure the parks are open “enough”
  • Skip the stroller, photopass, and dining plan
  • If you frequent Disney World go ahead and skip Fantasmic here and instead enjoy shorter wait times for rides
  • Don’t bother bringing a stack of trading pins
  • Get a hopper so you can go back and forth between the parks
  • Head to Carsland first!
  • Take full advantage of morning magic hours if you stay at a Disneyland hotel
  • Get ready to run back and forth, this park still uses old school Fastpasses
  • BEST FOOD – Flo’s V8 Cafe, Pacific Wharf Café, Cafe Orleans, Rancho del Zocalo Restaurante, and Ariel’s Grotto for a princess meal
  • Everything you need to know about Disney’s California Adventure Park (which includes Carsland!)

meeting mickey mouse in toontown in disneyland

TOP 13 Disneyland Rides unique to California

  1. Radiator Spring Racers (best ride of any Disney park!)
  2. Alice in Wonderland
  3. Monsters Inc Ride
  4. Disney’s Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular – Frozen Show
  5. World of Color Show
  6. Indiana Jones Adventure (this Indiana Jones ride is amazing on a huge scale)
  7. Finding Nemo Submarine Subs
  8. Mickey and the Magical Map Show
  9. Toontown
  10. Paint the Night (evening parade)
  11. Pixar Pal Parade (parade)
  12. Matterhorn Bobsled (a classic)
  13. Nostalgic Rides including Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Snow White’s Scary Ride

toontown at disneyland
They cram a lot of rides into one space!

The good news is you will get to see all your favorites from Disney World + a few more all in one park! The bad news is that something has to give so the ques are not as fun & themed.


Disney World

Disney 2013 - Beth 303

Disney World is huge which allows guests to be immersed in the magic, but means guests will need way more time to see it all.

The large, impressive Disney World castle that makes it easy to navigate through the park. Plus the park which is actually on the 2nd level allows employees to magically appear by using the tunnel system.

  • Parks are made up mostly of families on vacation who are all engaged and trying to create priceless memories together
  • Families wear Disney t-shirts, mouse ear hats, and kids wear costumes (and are treated as royalty as a result)
  • Lots of characters to see; very organized with cast members to oversee the lines
  • Tons of food choices and restaurants including LOTS of character dining and amazing snacks
  • Although there are best times to visit Disney World, any time will have long hours with plenty of shows and attractionsimagination with figment ride at epcot in disney world

More Disney World Advantages

  • Lots of pins for trading
  • The parks are very spread out and a stroller for kids 5 and under is a must. Because of all this space Disney World has been able to make incredibly well themed areas and lines that will be to wait in together (including some interactive ques)

If you are taking a week to immerse in the amazing Disney magic this is the park for you! You will never have to leave the magic and there is lots to keep you busy for at least a week if not 2!

  • There are dozens of hotels to fit every budget and family style.
  • From the moment you step off the plan you will enter the magic with the very well run (and FREE) buses to and from the resorts.

jungle cruise holiday tours

    Tips for Visiting Disney World

     winter mini gofl course at disney world

    TOP 13 Disney World Rides unique to Florida

    1. Kilamanjaro Safari
    2. Expedition Everest
    3. Seven Dwarf’s Mine
    4. Celebrate the Magic
    5. Test Track
    6. Festival of the Lion King
    7. Finding Nemo – The Musical
    8. Frozen Ride
    9. Mickey’s Philharmagic (4D show)
    10. Festival of Fantasy Parade
    11. Mission Space
    12. Blizzard Beach Waterpark
    13. Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage

    This is the park to come to when you are planning on taking at least 5 days to enter the magic. You’ll need that long to see all the different parks and do all the walking. You’ll be delighted by how friendly other guest are, how into character the cast memebers are, the different characters to meet, lots of rides and shows, plus a chance to unplug and play with your kids.


    Disney World Planning

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