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WDW Resort vs. Disneyland Resort

Which park should I visit next and why? If you could only go to just one and not the other, which resort would it be?

From Frank Prsha
Posted October 2, 2013 at 5:33 PM
Okay I've been to the WDW Resort 6 times now. I would like to go to the Disneyland Resort at least once in my life. What are the differences between the Disneyland Resort and the WDW Resort? How long is enough time to visit the Disneyland Resort? Is the Disneyland Resort better than the WDW Resort or is it the other way around? I would like to hear back from you guys!


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

From Anthony Murphy
Posted October 2, 2013 at 9:16 PM
Picking between the two resorts is like picking between your children. Each of them have their pros and cons. Since you have already been to WDW a bunch of times, I would recommend going to Disneyland. I think you will appreciate WDW more seeing how DL works.

No doubt, Disneyland Resort is the Happiest Place on Earth. This is the park that Walt Built. However, this park is tiny compared to the Magic Kingdom. You know all those stores on Main Street at the Magic Kingdom? Try taking out four of those stores and you got the DL version. It is amazing how Disney is able to work just as many attractions in DL as there is in MK, but at a fraction of the size.

I believe Disney had no idea that his theme park was going to be such a cultural phenomenom. If he knew that, it would have been built somewhere bigger.


Good? Better? It depends on what you consider the benchmark of good and bad. DLR has the historic rides. You are experiencing the original Tiki Room, the Jungle Cruise, the Mad Tea Party, The Matterhorn. Some of these rides are over 50 years old. However, both parks are on the smaller size. Because of this, there are not as many restaurants, hotels, and shopping opportunities. WDW does it well, but uses size and theming to really get you into their world. At DL, you know that you are still in CA.


As for your question, I would say 3 to 4 days is enough for Disneyland Resort. The other interesting dynamic is that the other theme parks actually play nice and work with each other to offer special deals. I would be prepared to go to another theme park too. I would suggest USH because, it is the actual Universal Studios!

From Frank Prsha
Posted October 3, 2013 at 7:06 PM
Thanks for all the info! I hope to see Disneyland someday! Would a WDW vet be disappointed their first time to Disneyland? I mean will it seem as magical as what Disney World seemed the first time I went?

From Joey I
Posted October 4, 2013 at 3:51 AM
Frank,
I went to WDW 4 times before my first trip to DLR, but DL is so magical that I actually like it more than WDW! It's a little tiny but the park totally focuses on a "quality not quantity" style. You'll love DL and their amazing exclusive attractions!

From James Rao
Posted October 4, 2013 at 10:50 AM
I am on the way back from my epic trip (six days) to DLR, which I visited for the first time since 1981 (having visited WDW many times in the intervening years). I will produce a full trip review in a week or so once I get home and get caught up on the mundane things of life, but in the meantime, I would strongly urge any theme park fan to visit DLR at least once in his/her lifetime. It is a great experience and well worth the time and money. Overall I prefer WDW simply because it handles crowds SO MUCH BETTER than DLR, but there is no question DLR deserves your attention and your theme park dollars.

From Robert Niles
Posted October 5, 2013 at 10:13 PM
Here's my pecking order for Disney resorts:

Tokyo > Anaheim > Orlando > Paris

Better maintenance, food quality and the overall convenience of a walkable resort give Disneyland the edge over WDW, for me.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted October 6, 2013 at 11:24 AM
If you are used to WDW, you will like DL.

I have found that people who are used to DL do not necessarily like WDW.

What makes DL better maintained and better food? I did not see anything like that when I was there. That's not saying that DL was shabby and had crappy food. I just didn't find it any difference in maintenance and food quality. I would argue WDW has a bit of an edge just because quantity. It is easier to get around, I will give you that.

From Frank Prsha
Posted October 6, 2013 at 1:00 PM
Thanks everyone for your responses! They were very informative!

From Frank Prsha
Posted October 6, 2013 at 1:04 PM
How are the hotels at Disneyland? Are they worth staying at? Or is it better to stay off property?

From Anthony Murphy
Posted October 6, 2013 at 3:26 PM
There are three hotels: Disneyland Hotel, Grand Californian, and Paradise Pier.

I have only stayed at the Grand Californian and Paradise Pier. I have heard good things about Disneyland Hotel, but it appears to be the furthest from the action.

The Grand Californian is, of course, spectacular. Its right in the middle of the action and has that Disney Charm. Its a bit pricey though. Still, they have their own gate into DCA.

Paradise Pier is very nice, but it probably will remind you more of a Double Tree Hotel. A nice business hotel, but lacking a bit of the Disney magic. Still, the rooms were nice, the view of the park beautiful, and a pretty good character breakfast. My family really liked this one.

From Flavio de Souza
Posted October 8, 2013 at 4:52 AM
DLR is smaller, but its 2 parks have more dark rides than the 4 of WDW.

Regarding hotels, the only really worth is Gran California. The other 2 are more far away from the parks than the many smaller hotels, with better cost benefits, you can find outside the resort.

From James Rao
Posted October 8, 2013 at 8:27 AM
All three Disney resorts are within easy walking distance (or monorail distance in the case of Disneyland) of the parks and Downtown Disney. They are expensive, but if you never want to "leave the magic" they are all worth it. I stayed at Paradise Pier and loved it. Wonderful hotel. Not much of a theme, but top notch in every other respect (except shower water pressure - it is a little bit low).

I jogged around the whole resort area every morning and did not see any local hotels/motels that I would have preferred over Paradise Pier. And while some of them were as close, I did not see any that were substantially closer. Not enough to sway my opinion, anyway.

It sounds like you are going on a once in a lifetime trip - so make sure the place you are spending your downtime is more than just a cheap place to sleep and shower. It should be part of the experience, IMHO.

From Frank Prsha
Posted October 11, 2013 at 3:42 PM
Thanks everyone for the advice!

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