I am within driving distance of WDW, about 14 hours. That typically is the place we go, and we love Universal Orlando as well. Living in my part of the country, few people even consider Disneyland as a destination. I have been twice, and recently took a trip where I had a day trip to Disneyland, and it reiterated my opinion, that they are different and the same, but both are great. I now am of the opinion, if you are a hardcore Disney fan who loves the attractions, I think Disneyland may be the better option. For now. I know there have been tons of articles about their pros and cons, and this will not be comprehensive on that, here is a lifelong WDW visitor's take.
Disneyland is more compact but has more attractions. Crowd control is much worse, but the lines are much, much more manageable. People is Southern California do nothing in the morning, so getting there early is very unlike WDW, which is crowded throughout the day. Disneyland gets very crowded at night. It still uses the old fast pass system. On a Friday, I never stood in line for more than 30 minutes. That never happens at WDW now, and the 'for now' above is in hopes that they do not change it. If you want to experience the attractions, the compact nature of the park, the quicker lines, the lighter crowds in the morning, and the old fast pass system, Disneyland is an excellent option. Just don't think you are going to walk from one side of the park to the next come fireworks time.
Certainly, getting to and from the park is a nightmare. Traffic in Southern California is awful. I do like both locations, and people on my side of the country tend to forget about the SoCal option. If you pick the right time of the year, I think it is a great Disney vacation.Tweet
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