Disneyland, CA for a Florida resident?Disneyland: Is Disneyland, CA worth the trip for a Florida resident who already has Disney World in his backyard?
From Derek MorseSo, I am a Florida resident and I love visiting Walt Disney World. I visit often and never tire of the Disney magic and the classic attractions that hooked me when I was 6 years old on my first visit. That being said, I just finished reading Bob Thomas' biography of Walt Disney and I can't help but feel I am missing something by not ever visiting Disneyland in California. I mean, this is the park that contains Walt's personal touch, the one that he helped to create. Walt Disney World was his vision carried out by others, Disneyland was his baby, all of the decisions went through him and him alone. So what is everyones opinion? Is it worth it to make the trek to California to visit Disneyland? Or is, there not enough difference to bother? I know that Pirates of the Carribean (one of my Disney World favorites), is supposedly better in California and I know that there are other attractions that are different. Of course, if I visit California it wouldn't be JUST to see Disneyland, but still, wanted everyones opinion on if it was a worthy venture to visit the park that started it all...
Posted April 12, 2010 at 12:09 PM
Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.
From Anthony MurphyYes,
Posted April 12, 2010 at 1:41 PM
If you are a Disney Fan, Disneyland is the mecca for all things Disney. You will be suprised on how tiny it is compared to WDW and will get to experience THE rides that Walt Disney personally has ridden and created. The place is dripping in history and still has the Tiki Room the way it was and should remain! It is also a wonderment to see how Disneyland, which is extremly tiny, can hold about the same attractions at Magic Kingdom. Will there be many similar rides? Yes, but Disneyland has some of their own like the Matterhorn, Storybook Boats, Captain Eo, and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride (who was taken up by the Pooh at MK).
Probably the neatest thing there is how Disney uses similar technology at the different Parks. You will find no Dinosaur Time Rover, but those Indy Jeeps will look very familiar and while you can't meet Nemo on a Clammmobile, that sub by the Matterhorn might allow you to "find" Nemo...
However, Disneyland Resort is about the size of EPCOT so you don't need as many days to visit, but Universal Hollywood should not be missed either since it is a REAL movie studios still in production (ironically, many ABC shows are filmed there)
So Disneyland is just great because its the first big (which is a very relative term) theme park and Walt Disney actually built this park. Just think back to if you were entering the park in '55. There was no Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Universal Studios (as it is now), Islands of Adventure, Busch Gardens, Seaworld, or any of the Six Flags Parks.
From Joshua CounsilDisneyland is really tiny. I find that it doesn't have quite the prelude that Disney World has. A boat ride or monorail trip to the front entrance of the Magic Kingdom is superior to a drive past cheap motels and tacky souvenir stores. Regardless, once you're in the park, Disneyland is far superior to the Magic Kingdom. In fact, I think the only MK attraction I like better than Disneyland's equivalent is the Haunted Mansion, though it's been a while. What I noticed first was how everything seemed to be shinier and cleaner, like they repainted it overnight. I found the themes more tightly-knit, and New Orleans Square is also a great addition.
Posted April 12, 2010 at 2:32 PM
California Adventure is another story. It doesn't outshine any of the WDW parks, nor any park I visited in the area. It felt cheap for Disney standards, and even the E-ticket attractions were underwhelming. California Screamin' was weak and had no theming. Grizzly River Run was pretty but dull. Their Tower of Terror attraction was not nearly as good as the DHS version. The only really worthwhile attractions were Soarin' over California and Aladdin, and the former can now be found at Epcot.
If I were you, I would wait a couple of years until the DCA expansion is well underway and there are some better attractions.
From Anthony MurphyUnlike most people on the site, I actually enjoyed DCA a great deal and I personally think they took too many good stuff out of there (Like Gold Dreams, Vineyard, etc). I also greatly enjoy Grizzly River Run much better to its Kali Kousin at AK.
Posted April 12, 2010 at 4:17 PM
DCA is ok, but the real gem is the park that started it all!
From James RaoDisneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean alone is worth the trip to California. However, like Josh says, I'd wait until the DCA refurb is done in 2011/2012.
Posted April 13, 2010 at 3:16 AM
From Derek MorseThanks for the tips...I definitely want to make the trip, but it will probably be a few years so I can save up the money and plan it properly.
Posted April 13, 2010 at 5:33 AM
From Joshua CounsilGood call. Patience rewards.
Posted April 13, 2010 at 8:49 PM
From Mad HatterI grew up in central FL but now live in Los Angeles, and I visit both resorts frequently. (For what it's worth, I work at Imagineering.) As an overall resort WDW certainly has much more to do, but in a comparison of the two Magic Kingdom parks alone, Disneyland CA is the winner. I brought my family from FL in December and they all agreed. We spent practically the entire day focusing on attractions that don't exist in FL. Despite its smaller size, Disneyland actually has significantly more attractions than the FL park, and the compactness is both charming and convenient: less walking! You'll be disappointed by the smaller castle when you enter, but that's about it. I would recommend...
Posted April 14, 2010 at 10:15 AM
Matterhorn Bobsleds at night (my favorite)
Alice in Wonderland
Railroad through Grand Canyon/Primeval World
lunch at Blue Bayou
snack at Bengal Barbeque
I also find the two Storybookland rides to be adorable. If you go during the holiday season, you can catch the special overlays of Haunted Mansion and Small World- both are clever and not available in FL. DCA's refurbishment will be nice if you're waiting a couple years anyway, but even then it will offer only a handful of worthwhile attractions that aren't available to you in FL: Radiator Springs Racers, Mickey's Fun Wheel, California Screamin, and World of Color. You'll end up spending most of your time at Disneyland either way.
From Nick MarkhamFor A Florida resident you would be surprised. Of all fo the Disney parks, Disneyland in California IS the best. Period. No Arguement. End of Discussion. And with DCA catching up with its expansions, you just might have two of the greatest parks in the world, not to mention the best hotel, Disney's Grand Californian.
Posted April 14, 2010 at 3:14 PM
You would love it, and there are many great rides there not at WDW, and the cloned rides are better here in my opinion.
From Sylvain ComeauIf your travel budget is limited for the next few years, then you will definitely get more bang for your buck if you wait until 2012-13, when Disneyland Resort will have Star Tours II, Little Mermaid, World of Color and Cars Land. Also, Universal will have the new King Kong and Transformers rides by then.
Posted April 16, 2010 at 1:34 AM
But the resort is definitely worth visiting now too, as long as you avoid the summer or spring break, when hordes of annual pass holders descend on the parks. Disneyland is the best and most charming park, and it has Indiana Jones Adventure, which is a must ride classic.
This discussion has been archived, and is not accepting additional responses.
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)
Theme Park Insider Guidebooks
Top U.S. Theme Parks
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Other Top International Parks
Readers' Top Themed Rides
Top Roller Coasters
Top Theme Park Shows
Features, News and Advice
2014 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar.
2013 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2012 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2011 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2010 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2009 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2008 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2007 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2006 Blog PostsJan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec.
2005 Blog PostsDec.
2004-2005Staff column archive