Disneyland Anaheim Vs. Disneyland Paris: Who Wins?

Last Updated on September 5, 2015

Note that when we refer to Disneyland Anaheim, Walt’s original park in Anaheim,we will use DLA. We’ll use DLP to refer to “Disneyland  Paris”, the park in Europe.

After visiting DLA a couple years prior, being so close to another Disneyland Park created more excitement than we could handle. Not knowing if we would ever be back to Paris, we just had to make time in our itinerary to spend a day at DLP.

Hoping we would find it just as magical as DLA, we hopped on a train line from central Paris that runs directly to the Disneyland Resort. About a half hour later, we found ourselves at DLP.

Disneyland Paris Castle

In both parks you walk down Main Street USA to the castle, with the different lands such as Adventure Land and Fantasy Land fanning out from there. Both sites contain additional parks as well as the main Disneyland site. At DLP you can visit Walt Disney Studios Park, and DLA offers California Adventure Park. It is a good idea to allow at least a day for each of these parks, though we did DLP in one day.

DLP feature Lumiere and is a nice touch. Beauty & the Beast is one of Debbie’s favorite Disney movies of all time, so seeing Lumiere featured was a thrill.

The Theme Of Disneyland Paris: Lumiere!

The rides had a lot of similarities between DLA and DLP, but we were still left disappointed as our two favorite rides were not up to par.

The Pirates of the Caribbean ride is close to the DLA version. However, the scenes seemed to be in a slightly different order and the ride felt noticeably shorter than at DLA. But, for the most part it was the same excellent ride.

Indiana Jones – Our First Thought “Are You Kidding Me?”

Indiana Jones and Temple of Peril is an outdoor roller coaster. We were extremely disappointed. It was nothing like the incredible DLA version. With Indiana Jones, Disneyland Paris massively failed. Even the roller coaster isn’t very good. Its A Small World was found at DLP. While the colors are beautiful on the outside, it was much less grand than the one at DLA. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was turned into a restaurant named Toad Hall in DLP.

The Alice In Wonderland Maze Was Cute!

Not all attractions were bad, however. Alice’s Curious Labyrinth is a a giant maze at DLP, is neat to walk around and makes you feel like you could be in the movie itself. The classic Dumbo ride is the same in both parks.

We Loved Stepping Into A World Of Everything Aladdin.

There was a fun little walkway dedicated to Aladdin where you can view Mr. Cave of Wonders. Armageddon at DLP was just like Backdraft from Universal Studios.

The Rock ‘N Roller Coaster by Aerosmith had a video and memorabilia of Aerosmith inside the decent roller coaster ride.

Darcy Learning To Draw Mickey Mouse

It was great to join in an animation session where we were taught how to properly draw Mickey Mouse. However, DLA’s California Adventure Park is far superior to DLP’s offering of Walt Disney Studios.

Disneyland wouldn’t be complete without its own Downtown Disney, known in Paris as Disney Village, which features shops and restaurants galore.


Walt & Mickey


Ultimately, what were the differences?

Disneyland Paris  has one big advantage to European citizens: it’s in Europe.  DLP can be reached with a car and they don’t have to fly to the other side of the planet.

We felt the rides were not up to par when compared to DLA. There were not as many characters making their round for photos.

Perhaps it is the pure magic of walking into Disneyland Anaheim, the original, that makes the DLA park so much better. Perhaps it is because Walt Disney never stepped foot in Disneyland Paris, that there is not the same “magic imprint” there. Luckily for adults who find their kids drive them crazy at Disneyland, Disneyland Paris is the only Magic Kingdom resort where alcohol is served.

Ultimately, Disneyland Anaheim still holds our ultimate loyalty. DLA creates a much more magical experience with better quality, lighting, and cleanliness.

Keep in mind that hardcore Disney theme park fans will still love Disneyland Paris. If you can afford the trip, Disneyland Paris does offer fun, interesting, and exciting Disney experiences; just don’t expect a complete DLA clone.

Regardless of our partial disappointment after our visit ti DLP, for us, it was a prefect way to spend a day in Paris — with some friends:


Chip N Dale
Goofin’ Around
Mickey Mouse!
Mary Poppins – Practically Perfect In Every Way

How many Disney parks have you visited? Which one was your favorite?