So how do these two iconic Disney parks stack up against each other?
Well, the short answer is that you really can’t go wrong with either one.
Both Disneyland and Disney World have some similar experiences and others that are completely unique to one another. Each park has its pros and cons, but you really can’t go wrong with either one.
Here are some final thoughts:
Advantages – Disneyland
Disneyland is very compact, whereas Disney World is sprawling. As such, Disneyland is more manageable for walking. There are even some off-site hotels within walking distance.
Southern California has more of an ideal climate for a theme park with less rain and stable, warm weather. Disneyland lays claim to some great features (Car Land, for example), and some attractions which are now absent from Disney World (Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Snow White’s Scary Adventures).
Disadvantages – Disneyland
Disneyland’s smaller size puts it at a disadvantage for a few reasons. With just two theme parks, Disneyland has fewer attractions and rides to chose from. There are just three on-site hotels and many fewer restaurants than Disney World. Plus, the themes are just not as interesting as those of Disney World.
We also think Disneyland’s FastPass/MaxPass system is inferior to Disney World’s FastPass+ system.
Advantages – Disney World
Disney World wins in terms of park variety (4 theme parks, 2 water parks), dining options and character meals, FastPass+ system, shows, events, and atmosphere. By “atmosphere,” we mean that each section of Disney World just feels like a world unto its own.
The parks, resorts, and dining experiences each have their own distinctive character and themes.
We may be generalizing, but everything feels extra magical at Disney World!
Disadvantages – Disney World
Because Disney World is so spread out, walking can become tiresome and Disney transportation can be time-consuming.
The buses, monorails, and ferries are very efficient, but to get from Point A to Point B does take a sizable chuck out of your day. And pray that the skies stay clear because the rain, storms, and summer heat are known to put a damper Disney vacations.
Disney World vacations do tend to be more expensive than Disneyland vacations, so consider searching for discounts and deals or, better yet, contact a Disney Travel Planner to assist you with every step of your planning and booking process.
Disneyland vs Disney World – The Winner
We love both Disneyland and Disney World. The answer to “which Disney park is better” really comes down to personal preference. However, our favorite is clearly Disney World because it captures that special Disney magic like no other place in the world. Try both parks and see which one you like better!