The Differences Between Disney World and Disneyland
When you’re trying to make the choice between a vacation in the Sunshine State or the Golden State to fulfill your craving for a Disney getaway, you probably spend a hot second researching what type of experience Disneyland and Walt Disney World offers. Though they share similar names – and purposes – these two theme parks have many differences. While each destination will create one-of-a-kind memories for you and your family, a specialized Disney travel agent can help you determine which magical place is best for your wish list. Here, a sneak peek of what to expect out of both must-see spots:
There are more hotels to choose from in Orlando.
After you purchase the plane tickets or map out the journey via car, the next step is to book your hotel stay. Especially if you’re traveling with smaller children, having a resort that offers entertainment to keep their curious minds busy (and ahem, give them a bed to themselves to sleep in) is important on your list of parenting must-haves. And since you’ll be spending the majority of your time in the parks themselves, you’ll want to have a home-away-from-home to rest your head that’s not too far away.
Both parks offer on-site properties, but Walt Disney World has many more to choose from, with at least two dozen options (and more coming in 2018!). They’re also easy on the budget, offering several options in many price ranges. Though the creme-de-la creme is Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort, you can find less expensive options throughout the property, all offering commuting options to Epcot, Magic Kingdom and beyond. On the other side of the country, Disneyland does offer on-site hotels, but far fewer. You can choose from Disney’s Paradise Pier, the Disneyland Hotel and the Grand Californian, at varying nightly rates.
Disneyland is more walkable.
When you’re finally wrangled your crew out of bed, got ‘em dressed and packed up your bag of water bottles and sunscreen for the day, it’s time to make your way to the land of rollercoasters and character greetings. Because Disney World is much larger than Disneyland, the magic-makers offer complimentary buses, monorail, boats and ferries to transport your family. However, if you’re staying at a Disney resort in California, you can simply use your own two feet to get to the Downtown Disney District, making park hopping that much smoother (and tantrum-free).
There are more rides at Walt Disney World
When your kiddos are older and up for the thrill of a rollercoaster, you might want to turn your attention to Disney World instead of Disneyland. At WDW, there are countless attractions for children of all ages, along with some high-speed roller coasters and water-centric rides for the brave at heart. While Disneyland definitely features many entertainment options of their own – like Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and Mickey’s Fun Wheel – they don’t have quite as many as the Orlando destination.
Walt Disney World is much bigger.
When your next-door neighbors returned from their Florida getaway to Disney, they may have dished on the impressive size of the park. As a whole, Walt Disney World is around 43 square miles, or well, the size of San Francisco. You’ll find Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, all spread out, all offering a large variety of experiences. On the much smaller scale is Disneyland, at 500 acres and featuring two parks, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure. While you’ll definitely get your steps in at both destinations, you’ll likely need a longer vacation at WDW to be able to savor all of the fun and excitement.
There’s more food to choose from at Disney World.
Picky eaters in your family? Or children who get bored of the same ‘ole menu, real fast? Walt Disney World will keep them guessing, with more than 6,000 places to eat throughout the property. You can nibble on everything from Mexican and Asian to Italian and Americano, there’s something to choose from for every palette. However, at Disneyland, you might not find as much of a selection or competition. Some places in WDW do require a reservation (talk to your specialized Disney agent who will work out the details for you), you’ll find a much more laid-back Californian vibe at the land instead of the world.
Ready to book?
We bet you are! Regardless if you’re thinking of Florida or California, let our Disney Travel agents create the vacation of a lifetime for you and your family. And hey, remember, you’ll definitely go to both before the kids head to college.