Welcome to Theme Park Insider! Join the community or log in
Theme Park Insider
Facebook Twitter Google Plus Email Newsletter

Can you compare Disneyland to Disneyworld?

Disneyland: Is Disneyland just as good as Disneyworld?

From Brian Emery
Posted March 10, 2008 at 10:06 AM
Can you compare Disneyland to Disneyworld?

We are taking our yearly trip to Orlando in May, but I started to think next year we should go to DisneyLand and California adventure instead.

What else is in that area in Cali?

Or do you think Orlando is much nicer so just keep going there?
Thanks.


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From DONTAE ROBERTS
Posted March 10, 2008 at 2:46 PM
Me myself, I would love to go to where it all started! However I dont think that Cali can touch Olando over all, because there all only two parks there.

From Rob P
Posted March 11, 2008 at 3:11 AM
That perennial question of Disneyland or WDW Florida has raised it's head again.

We've visited WDW 5 times and Disneyland 3 times over the past 13 years and can tell you this much. They both have excellent qualities all their own.

Obviously WDW has the advantage of size and scope which cannot be bettered anywhere else but the original Disneyland has a delightful compactness that makes it a winner in the charm stakes.It's also the original Disney Park and when you walk the streets or ride the train ( Walt's particular favourite ) you can't help but feel nostalgic.

Now that Disney has added the Californian Adventure Park and developed Downtown Disney it means that the Anaheim experience is now better than ever.Don't forget that you also have Knott's Berry Farm close by and both Universal Studios Hollywood and Seaworld San Diego withing striking distance too.

We love both areas for different reasons and because it's such a tough choice we try to visit both.

Families may prefer the scale of WDW whereas California's greater diversity beyond the Parks may appeal more to the adult audience.

But if it's just Parks then Orlando gets my vote.....by a whisker.

I'll probably change my mind again tomorrow and back again the next day.

From Karin S
Posted March 11, 2008 at 12:06 PM
As someone already said, Disneyland is the original and it's where it all started. I was warned that Disneyland would be a disappointment when compared to WDW, but it wasn't. I knew it would be smaller and things would be different, but I wanted to experience the first park. I was there in 2000 (they were in the midst of construction for California)and enjoyed visiting the attractions and rides I'd seen on the Wonderful World of Color (for you youngsters, that was Walt's Sunday night show). The park was charming and easy to handle in one day and while it's not enormous, like WDW, it was a lot of fun and a "must do" for a Disneyphile.

Is it just as good? I think so - in it's own way. There are attractions at Anaheim's Magic Kingdom that aren't at WDW. It's worth checking out.

From DONTAE ROBERTS
Posted March 11, 2008 at 12:43 PM
I agree with Karin!

From Danny Melillo
Posted March 11, 2008 at 5:36 PM
I've never been to Cali, always wanted to though, but I love Orlando. For the surrounding area, Cali has USH, SFMM, Knotts, and Legoland. I'm not sure how far away they are though, but shoudln't be more than two hours. Anyone else k-now?

From Ben James
Posted March 11, 2008 at 6:25 PM
I'm currently here at Disneyland Resort (reporting from Paradise Pier Hotel) And, I have to say DL is a little disappointing compared to WDW. But, the closeness makes it great. Today I walked from my hotel to the entrance of the parks with minimal effort.

From David Kirby
Posted March 12, 2008 at 6:13 AM
Having never been to Disneyland, I can't give my own opinion but I've seen many people say Disneyland is superior to the Magic Kingdom, but that overall they prefer WDW.

From Michael Sherlock
Posted March 27, 2008 at 8:46 PM
The last resonse is key. I grew up in SoCal and finally went to WDW in 2003. WDW is obviously better than DL as a whole, but it isn't fair to compare like that. You need to compare apples to apples: WDW Magic Kingdom to Disneyland Park. In this case, DLP is better for several reasons. 1. Nostolgia-it all started there. 2. Matterhorn. 3. Indianna Jones. 4. Better Pirates of the Carribean due to the drops under the RR. 5. Blue Bayou. 6. More little shops on Main Street instead of one big Emporium which adds to the time effect. 7. Toontown's just plain better. 8. The orginal untainted Enchanted Tiki Room "under original management". 9. The subs are back! I do like a few things in WDW MK better than DL. 1. Mad Tea Party. 2. Country Bear Jamboree lives on. 3. Steam Train behind the scenes tour.

From rick stevens
Posted March 27, 2008 at 9:26 PM
I am a puriest. I have never been to WDW, but would love to go. From what I have heard, it would definitely get my vote as the more extreme and bigger park. But I will always have a place in my heart for DL. I have home movies and pic's from my first visit around 1959. We would go once a year as a birthday treat, since my brother and some friends had b'days close to mine. The Matterhorn was my first real roller coaster ride. I rode the Flying Saucers, really wish those could make a come back. Grad Night and Journey to Interspace and the great car transfer......ah memories from my youth. This is why DL will always be the best for me.

From Brandon Mendoza
Posted March 27, 2008 at 10:34 PM
Apples to Oranges. Disneyland is more like Disney's Magic Kingdom.

As a whole, Disneyworld is definitely a larger resort due to size and space. Disneyland Resort in Anaheim has more history and is more compact. Disneyland's Haunted Mansion also has the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay.

Both resorts have their own identity. I've been to both resorts, so I'd say go to both! It's worth it!

From James Rao
Posted March 28, 2008 at 4:05 AM
Personally, I would hold off on the CA trip until Disney finishes re-engineering California Adventure. With 1.2 billion being spent on that park (more than it cost to build it in the first place) the renovations will be sweeping and the park should be completely unrecognizable when complete.

From what I have read, DCA should be mostly finished by 2010, so if a couple more years of waiting won't hurt, hold off.

As for other things to do in the area, Knott's Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain (above average iron ride parks) are close by, as are Legoland (if you have fairly young kids), the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, Universal Studios, and Wild Animal Park.

There is plenty to do in an around DL, but you will have to do a lot more driving than in Orlando.

Finally, I agree with most of the other comments in that certain attractions are a lot better at Disneyland, such as Pirates and Space Mountain (for now - the 2009 refurb at WDW could be awesome!). And, Disneyland has more of the Peter Pan-type dark rides, if you are into those.

However, if you can stand to wait a couple years, I think that would be your best bet. 1.2 billion in refurbishments should be a sight to see!

From Adriel Tjokrosaputro
Posted April 8, 2008 at 8:33 PM
If you've never been to California before, I would suggest you go there. The Disneyland there is different, much more 'original' than the Orlando's Magic Kingdom. The rides are also slightly different which include different version of Splash Mountain and Space Mountain. There are also Finding Nemo and Matterhorn Bobsleds there.

California Adventure is known as the 'black sheep' of the US Disney Theme Parks. But it offers you lots of new experience like its wild Grizzly River Run, the fun California Screamin' and Toy Story attraction (open this summer, I guess?). But don't expect too much from this park, though. even the guests will leave the park empty by mostly 9.30 p.m.

There are also Knott's Berry Farm nearby, which offered quite a thrill but not as extreme as Cedar Point. If you want more, go to the further park called Six Flags Magic Mountain, which has 15 roller coasters ranging from juniors to 100-mph coaster. Universal Studios Hollywood is famous for its tram tour, while SeaWorld San Diego is just like Orlando's, minus the Kraken.

From Sylvain Comeau
Posted April 9, 2008 at 7:37 AM
If you look at the lists of attractions at the respective resorts, Disneyland resort has at least a dozen attractions not found at Walt Disney World. No one has mentioned the best of those: Indiana Jones! Truly an awesome dark ride that must be experienced by all Disney fans.

WDW has a lot more, but if you've already done all their rides multiple times, a visit to Anaheim is in order, in my opinion.

From Dan Rosenberg
Posted April 10, 2008 at 1:55 PM
I love them both but WDW obviuosly has mor rides.
I still prefer Disneyland Park over MK because they have Indiana Jones and an awesome space Mountain. DCA isnt as good as Disneyland Park, though, so if you go to Disneyland, Go to the Disneyland Park first and then if you have time go to DCA.

From Chloe !
Posted May 31, 2008 at 10:55 AM
I think their both good, but I think Disneyland is better. It's the original, and if you've never been there before, then you definatly should go. There's a lot of other theme parks that are a short distance from Disneyland (i live in southerern california, so I would know) that are really fun as well, like knott's berry farm is only like 20 mins. past it. So personally, I think you should go to Disneyland.

This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.

Theme Park Insider: Orlando 2014

Theme Park Insider: Orlando 2014

Get all of Theme Park Insider's reader ratings, tips, and advice for planning a trip to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, or SeaWorld, in our new 2014 Orlando guidebook! It's more than 200 pages of well-tested, insider information that will help you get the most from your vacation.
Order now: Kindle | iBooks | Paperback | Kindle (UK)