Differences Between Walt Disney World and Disneyland
I have been going to Walt Disney World in Florida since being a little girl. Despite being a huge Disney World fan, I had never been to Disneyland. Visiting Disneyland Resort for the first time last week was an amazing experience. Here is a comparison between Walt Disney World in Florida and Disneyland Resort in California.
Key Differences Between Walt Disney World and Disneyland
There is no comparison when comparing the size between Walt Disney World and Disneyland. Disney World is approximately the size of San Francisco. It encompasses 42 miles.
Disneyland as a comparison is less than one square mile. Walt Disney World is on its own secluded property while Disneyland is in the middle of the city of Anaheim.
Walt Disney World has approximately 25 resorts while Disneyland only has 3 Disney owned resorts. In Disney World even on property hotels can take some time to get to the parks.
In California, Disney owns The Grand Californian, Paradise Pier, and Disneyland Hotel. All of the Disney owned hotels are a quick walk to both parks.
3. Number of Parks
Walt Disney World has 4 different amusement parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios). It has a complex transportation system utilizing buses, monorail, boats, and the Skyliner to connect all the parks.
Disneyland Resort has two parks Disneyland and California Adventure. We were surprised when we first arrived to the parks how close everything was. Disneyland and California Adventure theme parks are literally right across the walkway from each other. Park hopping at Disneyland is super easy and convenient.
The city of Anaheim operates a bus system, for a fee, for off site hotels but most of the hotels are an easy walk. Disneyland also operates a monorail but it is currently unavailable.
Disneyland Resort is very walkable. It is easy to get to Disneyland, California Adventure, Downtown Disney, and all the surrounding hotels. We stayed at an off property hotel that was only a 10 minute walk from the parks.
The Disney owned hotels are even closer. The Grand California has its own entrance to California Adventure making it the shortest walk from any Disney hotel.
The parks themselves also seemed more walkable than Walt Disney World. Our feet felt less tired navigating the parks compared to Walt Disney World. Downtown Disney is also a quick walk from both parks for additional dining and shopping options.
There is something magical about visiting Disneyland in California due to it being the very first park that Walt Disney himself created. Disneyland has several original attractions still in operation. It is very similar to Magic Kingdom in Disney World but also has key differences.
Disneyland has beautiful detailed and themed lands within the park. The queues in Disneyland remind you of a different era in regards to the narrowness and compact lines.
California Adventure is a newer park than Disneyland but has some of the best themed Disney lands. Radiator Springs is the best themed land I’ve ever visited in a Disney park.
At Halloween, it was even more special. California Adventure also has a Marvel themed land, Avengers Campus, including the brand new Spider-Man attractions, WebSlingers.
6. Number of Attractions
Despite Walt Disney World being significantly larger than Disneyland, Disneyland actually has more attractions. Disneyland Resort has over 50 rides and attractions compared to Walt Disney World’s 25 rides. If your family loves rides you can enjoy many in a short visit to Disneyland.
7. Trip Length
I recommend visiting Walt Disney World for a week. Walt Disney World has so many things to do that you can stay at week and do something different each day. Disneyland is a great place for a long weekend trip. We visited on the extended Labor Day weekend, and although we did not do everything, we felt we were able to cross most things off our list.
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