Disneyland Vs. Disney World: The Complete Comparison
When it comes to Disneyland and Disney World, there is a lot of debate about which park is better. Some people swear by Disneyland, while others prefer Disney World. So, which one should you visit? Well, it depends on what you are looking for.
In this blog post, we will compare and contrast the two parks so that you can make an informed decision about which one is right for you!
Table Of Contents
- Disneyland Vs. Disney World: The Complete Comparison
- Disney Is Always A Good Idea
- Disneyland Vs. Disney World: History
- Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Size
- Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Crowds
- Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Castles
- Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Castles
- Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Accommodations
- Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Entertainment
- Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Location
- Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Rides
- Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Character Dining
- Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Food
- Disneyland Vs. Disney World: The Holidays
- Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Best Time to Visit
- Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Transportation
- Disneyland Vs. Disney World: RunDisney
- Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Final Thoughts
Disney Is Always A Good Idea
A Disney vacation is always a good idea. The theme parks are designed to be increasingly immersive with each new generation, making them perfect for people of all ages. There is so much to see and do, from classic attractions like It’s a Small World to cutting-edge experiences like Rise of the Resistance. And of course, there are the iconic characters that everyone knows and loves. No matter who you are, there’s something at Disney that will make you smile. Best of all, a trip to Disney can be surprisingly affordable if you plan ahead. So if you’re looking for a magical vacation that everyone will enjoy, look no further than the Happiest Place on Earth.
Are you still undecided about which Disney resorts to visit? This comparison of the Disneyland vs. Disney World resorts can help you decide which park to visit next.
Disneyland Vs. Disney World: History
If you’re seeking history and nostalgia, Disneyland is the place to go. It was Walt Disney’s very first theme park, which opened its doors on July 17, 1955. The park was originally much smaller, including Main Street, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland, and Tomorrowland.
Walt Disney was not present at the conception of Disney World in Orlando, Florida, but he passed away five years prior to its opening in 1971. We believe that it would have met his expectations!
Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Size
One of the biggest differences between Disneyland and Disney World is the size. At only 500 acres, Disneyland is much smaller than Disney World, which means that it is less overwhelming and easier to navigate, especially with small children. However, this also means that there are fewer attractions and things to do at Disneyland. If you are looking for a more relaxed vacation where you can take your time exploring everything the park has to offer, then Disneyland is a great choice.
However, if you want a more action-packed vacation with lots of things to do, then Disney World is the better option, with 43 square miles of land.
Both Disney resorts are worthwhile visits, but your choice may be impacted by the amount of time you have to explore the parks. While it is possible to see all of the major attractions at Disneyland in a day or two, you’ll require around a week to see everything at Disney World between all the separate park options.
Also, keep in mind that because of the disparity in size between Disneyland and Disney World, each has a different number of theme parks.
The Walt Disney World Resort includes four theme parks: Epcot, Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. All theme parks are spread out within the property.
The Disneyland Resort boasts just two theme parks: Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Both theme parks are next door to each other, making it super easy to use a park hopper ticket.
The Magic Kingdom and Disneyland parks have many similarities, but the other amusement parks on this list are unique.
Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Crowds
Another difference between the two parks is the number of crowds. Because Disneyland is smaller and has fewer attractions, it tends to be less crowded than Disney World. If you hate crowds and long lines, then Disneyland is definitely the better choice. However, keep in mind that because it is less crowded, Disneyland often sells out of tickets much faster than Disney World. So, if you have your heart set on visiting Disneyland, make sure to buy your tickets well in advance!
Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Castles
Both Disneyland and Disney World have castles, but they are not identical. The castle at Disneyland is Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, while the castle at Disney World is Cinderella’s Castle. If you’re looking to take that perfect fairytale photo in front of a castle, then Disney World is your best bet.
Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Castles
One of the most iconic things about Disney parks is the castles. At Disneyland, you’ll find Sleeping Beauty Castle, which is based on the original castle from the 1959 film. The castle is small but mighty at 77 feet tall.
In contrast, Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has Cinderella’s Castle, which is 189 feet tall and inspired by several different real and fictional castles.
Both castles are beautiful in their own right, but if you’re looking for a more grandiose castle experience, Disney World is the place to go.
Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Accommodations
When it comes to accommodations, both Disneyland and Disney World offer a wide variety of options to suit any budget.
The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Disneyland Hotel, and Paradise Pier Hotel are the three Disney-owned hotels at Disneyland.
Walt Disney World boasts 25 on-property hotels. Budget-friendly choices include the Art of Animation Resort and the Pop Century Resort. For a more luxurious experience, you can stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge or the Contemporary Resort.
No matter which park you choose to visit, you’re sure to have a magical time! So, what are you waiting for? Start planning your next Disney vacation today!
If you’re looking for a truly magical experience, staying in one of these hotels is a must, but might break the bank.
If you’re trying to do Disney on a budget, you can easily stay a short walk away from Disneyland at a good neighbour hotel, that may offer some extra Disney perks. If you stay off-site at Disney World, it is not as convenient.
What Are Good Neighbor Hotels?
The Disney good neighbor hotels are those that are near the Disney theme parks and have been authorized by Disney. Each of these hotels was chosen for its proximity to the parks, as well as for their high standards of quality, customer service commitment, and value provided.
Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Entertainment
Both Disneyland and Disney World offer a variety of live entertainment options, from stage shows to fireworks displays.
Since Disney World is bigger, however, it has A LOT more to offer when it comes to entertainment.
For one, there are far more options in Disney World for fans of live theatre such as Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage and Festival of the Lion King (both will blow your mind!).
Throughout the day, both theme park resorts provide exceptional shows, processions, and character encounters. The celebration continues at night with incredible fireworks and multimedia displays.
*The exact things provided are subject to change; check the Disneyland and Disney World entertainment calendars to see what will be available during your visit.
Read Next – Tips For Visiting Disneyland With A Large Group
Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Location
Location The location is also a major difference between the two parks. Disneyland is located in Anaheim, California, which is about an hour’s drive from Los Angeles.
Disney World, on the other hand, is located in Orlando, Florida. If you live on the West Coast or are planning a trip to California, then Disneyland might be more convenient for you.
Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Rides
Both Disneyland and Disney World offer a variety of rides for all ages. However, Disneyland is better known for its classic rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones, while Disney World is home to newer rides like Avatar Flight of Passage and Rise of the Resistance. So, if you’re looking for classic Disney experiences, then Disneyland is the place for you. But, if you want to experience the latest and greatest that Disney has to offer, then Disney World is a better option.
Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Character Dining
One of the best parts of any Disney vacation is getting to meet your favorite characters. Both Disneyland and Disney World offer character dining experiences where you can enjoy a meal with some of your favorite characters. However, Disneyland only offers character dining at select restaurants, while Disney World has character dining experiences at nearly every restaurant in the park. So, if you’re looking for a variety of character dining, Disney World is the best option.
Our favorite character dining at Disneyland is Goofy’s Kitchen. The Beauty and the Beast Be Our Guest restaurant in Disney World is another favorite, though characters only make special appearances there. The experience in the ‘castle’ and trying the ‘grey stuff’ is amazing.
Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Food
Both Disneyland and Disney World offer a variety of food options, from quick counter service meals to sit-down restaurants.
There are several fantastic restaurants and snacks in both locations. Both parks have various character meals to select from.
Again, since Disney World is much bigger, you will find a lot more options. However, that does not mean that the selection at Disneyland will be a disappointment.
Because Disney World is bigger, they simply have a LOT more options. But if you do your research and plan ahead, you won’t be disappointed with the food at either park.
You do not want to leave a Disney park without trying the Dole Whip.
Disneyland Vs. Disney World: The Holidays
Both Disney parks celebrate holidays with enthusiasm, with special events over Halloween and Christmas that feature characters in special attire, parades, etc.
However, it feels like Disneyland does the holidays a little better. Characters are dressed in their special attire for everyday wear during the holiday, instead of just for featured parties. Disneyland also impresses with the decor a bit more, especially at Christmas.
The parks at Walt Disney World save much of their holiday celebration for paying customers at special events. But there’s still plenty to enjoy over the holidays, from Christmas decorations to unique cuisine items. Epcot also has recurring festivals all year, giving you something to celebrate even if it isn’t Christmas time.
Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Disneyland is from January to early March. The weather is mild and the crowds are relatively low. However, keep in mind that some attractions may be closed for refurbishment during this time.
The best time to visit Disney World is from mid-January to early February. The weather is pleasant and the crowds are low. However, similar to Disneyland, some attractions may be closed for refurbishment.
Read Next – Going To Disneyland Pregnant – Is It Worth It?
Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Transportation
At Disneyland, you can park hop within a few minutes. The parks are so close that all you have to do is walk across Esplanade, a plaza between the two. This means that transportation options are limited.
There are resort buses, parking lot buses, and hotel shuttles that will take you to Disney if you are visiting Disneyland from off-site. There is a monorail that connects Downtown Disney to Tomorrowland at Disneyland. However, since it is so simple, you’ll most likely be walking to the parks. It is almost easier and faster to walk than to wait for transportation!
Disney World isn’t quite as easy. The parks are fairly spread out, and you cannot exactly walk between them. To make up for this though, Disneyland has a large on-site transportation network.
Buses, the Monorail, the Skyliner, walking routes, and even boats are all available to get you to any Disney World park. Efficient and easy!
If you’re visiting Disneyland, you’ll likely fly into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and then take a taxi or ride-sharing service to the park. Alternatively, you can take the Anaheim Resort Transit (ART) bus from LAX.
For Disney World, you’ll fly into Orlando International Airport (MCO) and then take a bus, taxi, or ride-sharing service to your resort. You can also rent a car, but parking at the parks can be expensive.
Disneyland Vs. Disney World: RunDisney
Disneyland used to host run Disney events, but these days if you want to participate in RunDisney, you must go to Disney World. Race weekends typically sell out quickly, so if you’re interested in running one of the races, be sure to sign up as soon as registration opens.
RunDisney is a ton of fun as you get to meet a lot of characters along the way, including some rare characters that you do not see often.
I did the Dopey Challenge in 2019 and it was one of my favorite life experiences, and I would love to do it again. For the Dopey Challenge, you run four races over four mornings: a 5k, a 10k, a half marathon, and a full marathon.
The best part about running in Disney World is that the race course takes you through all four parks throughout the Dopey Challenge, so you get to see a lot of the park in a short amount of time. I loved running down Main Street and through the castle while it was dark outside and the castle was lit up!
Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Final Thoughts
So, which park is better – Disneyland or Disney World? The answer really depends on what you’re looking for in a vacation. If you want classic Disney experiences and rides, then Disneyland is the better choice. But, if you’re looking for the latest and greatest that Disney has to offer, then Disney World is a better option.
To summarize, Disneyland is smaller and less crowded than Disney World, but it also has fewer attractions. It is located in Anaheim, California, and is more convenient for those on the West Coast. However, tickets sell out quickly and it can be expensive to visit. Disney World is located in Orlando, Florida, and is much larger than Disneyland. It can be more crowded, but there are also more things to do. Tickets are less likely to sell out, but it can still be expensive to visit. Consider your location, budget, and what you want to do on your vacation when deciding which park is right for you!
So, there you have it! A complete comparison of Disneyland and Disney World. Both parks are great vacation destinations, but the best choice for you depends on your preferences. Do you want a more relaxed vacation with fewer crowds? Or an action-packed vacation with family?
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