Vote of the week: Disneyland or Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom?
One of my favorite memories while working on Theme Park Insider came last December, as I walked into Disneyland
to shoot a photo essay on the newly renovated Sleeping Beauty's Castle
. What made the moment so special was what I was thinking as I walked under the train station and into Town Square.
"Wow, I've been to Disneyland and Disney World in the same week!"
It's the double that many Disney fans dream about, but too few get to do: To visit the original Disney theme park, Disneyland, with its younger sibling, the world's most popular theme park, Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. I've done the double in one week on two occasions, last December and on an epic roadtrip in 1990, when I drove from Orlando to Anaheim in two and a half days.
Which brings me to the vote of the week. If given the chance to visit just one of these two parks, for one day, which would you pick? Disneyland or the MK?
I'm not putting any restrictions on this. You can pick the park you think the better, if you've been to both. Or you can pick the park you haven't been to, if you've been only to one. Whatever you want. But tell us in the comments why you picked the one you did.
More stuff coming tomorrow before I call it a weekend.
Tough call. I think those from the West Coast who grew up with DL tend to think that WDW/MK is "too big", whereas folks who grew up on the East Coast who grew up with WDW/MK tend to think that DL is "too small". Just my own informal poll over the years. :)
^ That's awesome!
It all comes down to one thing: The Pirates of the Caribbean. At Disneyland, it is a masterpiece, the best ride in the park. Longer than WDW's version, a little more thrilling, and traversing the Blue Bayou with its not-so-healthy Monte Cristo sandwich, DL's POTC just cannot be beat. It is the quintessential Walt Disney experience. For that one experience alone - an experience that has resonated in my life since I was just a kid - Disneyland gets my vote.
Absolutely DL without a doubt for me! I'm from Australia and have been to both DL and MK recently. As a tourist from outside the US, DL gets my vote! It has the Indiana Jones Adventure, in my opinion, a better Splash Mountain, Matterhorn Bobsleds, a better Storybook Land, Fantasmic, a better Big Thunder Mountain, a much better Space Mountain & Pirates, Nemo and more... of course, we are comparing DL with MK (and not all of Disney World) so really I can't see how MK can beat DL in any way. Mind you, I recently went to Disneyland Paris and boy can they do an amazing Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain there! Much, much better than the US counterparts.
I gotta vote for what I regard as my "hometown." Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
James Rao writes: "It all comes down to one thing: The Pirates of the Caribbean."
I gotta go with Magic Kingdom at Disney World. Living in Orlando I am lucky enough to be able to see the park throughout the year. The most magical time is Christmas. Cinderella's Christmas castle lighting ceremony stands out in my mind as extraordinary. The Christmas parade, with the Cinderella ponies, is amazing as well. One of the fondest memories in my life was standing in front of the castle 3 days before Christmas, holding my wife's hand as we watched the ceremony and the castle lights come on in sections until it's full brilliance was revealed. Truly beautiful.
Since I've been to Disney World (and thus the Magic Kingdom) five times and never to its West Coast counterpart, I gave my vote to the original, Disneyland. I've always wanted to step foot in the park that Walt himself used to stroll around in.
It's not even a close match-up, DL by far. MK is so tacky and rundown. DL has way more attractions than MK as well.
Magic Kingdom due to its massive scope. Disneyland is too small for you to be taken out of the magic and you need to fit everything in DL that is basically at MK plus a few things from EPCOT,AK, and DHS.
While I prefer the Disney World resort to the Disneyland resort, comparing Disneyland Park to Magic Kingdom is no contest...Disneyland is clearly above and beyond better than MK
Oh and DL has Matterhorn and Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage as well...forgot about those 2 awesome rides
I had to vote for DL, I think because of the better POTC, the better Space Mountain, the "I-can't-believe-they-didn't-copy-this-at-another-park Matterhorn, and the inclusion of attractions located not in MK but elsewhere in WDW.
I went with WDW Magic Kingdom because I have never been to DL and I am a sucker for anything in Florida. Based on people's comments I would love to see DL and ride the POTC but I like the lay out of WDW, the different lands, and the immersion.
W McDougal claims: "MK is so tacky and rundown."
Grew up on anything Disney. Living closer the MK, I was in heaven first time I ever went.........now I am 61 and will be celebrating in the MK again. In all I have been to the resort 58 times and counting, but I have never been to DL. Yes, I would like to, but not being able to fly , guess I will never make it.........but MK is my second home, its gets my vote.
TH CREATIVE writes: "WDW's JC kicks DL's eight ways to Sunday."
^^Tongue firmly planted in cheek, by the way...
Easiest question ever. Disneyland is quite simply the best. Magic Kingdom is wonderful and it is a great place but compared to Disneyland it doesn't stand a chance. On attractions alone Disneyland has these over the MK:
Disneyland, without a doubt.
Let me tell you something Misssssssssssssssster Rao!
My vote goes to whichever park first installs the animatronic steel-cage match-up between James and TH.
Ahh, shucks. TH and I have not had this much fun blogging since Cedar Point linked in to the Best Ride Tournament and disrupted the whole affair!
I have never been to either, and I would choose Disneyland in heart-beat if I had the opportunity. For me it is all about the history of Disney that draws me to DL. I want to walk the very midways that Walt envisioned and supervised their construction, see the brilliance of his touch on the attractions. I've really gone through quite a "Disney revival" over the last year, immersing myself in the movies I watched when I was a kid, seeking out movies I have never seen, and even picking up a Disneyland Records vinyl last night.
While I enjoy both, Disneyland is by far the better park. It is the original. It has the Matterhorn. The entrance gates are even better. The Railroad has the grand canyon and dinosaurs. Storybook land canal boats, Mr. Toad, Canoes, only at DL. Smallworld at DL is a masterpiece. Fantasyland in general is much nicer in DL than in WDW. We all know space mountain is much improved at DL but with the refurb at WDW I am sure it will be matched. WDW does win Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mt. Railroad. There is no comparing POTC. DL wins hands down. They are two completely different rides. New Orleans square is probably one of the best lands in all the parks. I know, it doesn't have many rides but the details are fantastic.
What can I say? Mr. Rao is from Missouri. He's a bit provincial. Small wonder he finds robots wearing earrings and guy-liner so unusual and entertaining.
MK is a rundown mess. Just look at its dilapidated Dumbo, its creaky Splash that hasn't had a refurb overhaul in ages, and its sputtering Space Mountain that's finally getting a refurb after being run into the ground. The tent city of MK's Fantasyland is rundown and tacky as its Toontown compared to the fully realized and themed versions at DL. MK gets very few refurbs and upgrades like DL does, and its decorations for special events are so tacky. This vote should not even be a contest except a lot of people have gone to MK but have never been to DL.
The most impressive aspect of W McDougal’s post is his use of alliteration when he writes “dilapidated Dumbo” … and that’s not really impressive.
Although Disneyland may seem smaller....
This is easy. For one day, Disneyland over Magic Kingdom. For two or more days, that's also easy--Magic Kingdom over Disneyland. Two days would have been the hard choice. Disneyland has Walt's personal touch, more unique rides, more to do in one park and arguably better attractions (Pirates, Space Mtn).
Actually, the only way WDW could be winning in this poll is because Cedar Point fans are skewing the vote.
[Applying guy-liner as I type] So, what exactly do you have against us swish... err... swashbucklers, TH?
I was able to do both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom in the same day. I went for two hours in the morning to the Magic Kingdom at the end of my WDW trip before my flight back to SoCal. I arrived back into John Wayne Airport and had a friend pick me up and we went to Disneyland for the last half hour of it being open. Pretty cool to do!
Good News for James Rao!!!!!
Th, I am beginning to like your version of POTC better and better all the time. Those two young ladies are SMOKIN' HOT! Can we throw in Keira Knightley for good measure? After all, she really should be park of the
Be careful of what you wish for, TH. A script for the Jungle Cruise is still in works. You know it will star Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens in the Bogart and Hepburn roles. Then your beloved attraction will have its' own High School Musical AAs.
Come on James, admit it! In order to be a world class attraction, all the Jungle Cruise has to do is ...(mmpfh) ... just .... (chuckle) .... add .... (GUFFAW!) ... Johnny Depp.
Maybe the Jungle Cruise and POTC have more in common than I originally thought. I mean, when the summer season winds down, each of the oft re-used Jungle Blows
Mr. Rao writes: "I guess I am not the only one who likes Johnny Depp ..."
JR asks: In all seriosity, I must ask: TH, have you ever actually ventured out of Orlando long enough to visit the Disneyland version of Pirates
Y'know, I'd really,
This is Missouri, TH, it would be
I vote disneyland. I have been there far more times than ive been to MK and i simply like it better! Indiana Jones has a lotttt to do with this. It is probably the greatest themed ride ive ever experienced.
Gee think its time for my 2 cents worth. Ive been to both of them. And having worked at one and not the other..Ill go with Disneyland over Magic Kigdom. Theres lots of reasons as follows:
is there seriously an argument going regarding POTC and JUNGLE CRUISE???!!! did i miss something? i like Jungle Cruise well enough. We're talking an entire theme park... I vote with nostalgia.. the original gets my vote
Disneyland has everything close together which means more ride time more rides and attractions.
How did MK win the vote?
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