I LOVE Walt Disney World in Florida! It feels like home to me and brings me such joy that I visit as often as I can. With all the amazing things at Disneyland in California, I knew it was time for me to make a trip out west to visit Mickey’s original home.
I had visited Disneyland before, but way back when there was only Disneyland park and California Adventure was not even in the works. I had vague recollections of it being much smaller than Magic Kingdom at Disney World and fondly remembered some of its unique rides like the Matterhorn, Submarine Voyage, and Indiana Jones Adventure. What I experienced when I arrived was even better than I remembered and far exceeded my expectations!
Here are some of the things I actually liked better about Disneyland versus Disney World:
Everything is within walking distance
The Disney resorts are all right next to the parks and Downtown Disney, which makes it very easy to simply walk to the parks each day (it also makes taking a mid-afternoon break easy!). In fact, everything is so close that there is no bus system to transport guests around from place to place. You will never be farther than a 10-minute walk from any place you want to go at Disneyland.
Park Hopping is very convenient
Because everything is so close, it makes it easy to hop from one park to another. In fact, the entrances for the parks are right across from each other! You also go through security outside of the park entrance area so you are able to go back and forth between the parks and Downtown Disney without going through the security lines again.
Characters are everywhere and easy to meet
Meeting characters at Walt Disney World can be time consuming and require a lot of planning. At Disneyland, they truly just wander the parks and stop to visit with people. Sure, there are spots you can find certain characters, but we never waited longer than 10 minutes to meet anyone (even for Anna, Elsa, and Olaf!). In the Avengers Campus area of Disney’s California Adventure you will see many fan favorites walking around.
The unique attractions are some of my favorites
You have never truly experienced Pirates of the Caribbean or It’s a Small World until you ride the originals at Disneyland. They are so much better! (Sorry, Magic Kingdom). And the Finding Nemo Submarines and Indiana Jones Adventure will always be some of my favorite Disney attractions. But let’s talk about California Adventure for a minute here – it is AMAZING! The theming is fantastic and really covers the spectrum of California, from the streets of Hollywood Land where you will meet most of the characters to rugged Grizzly Peak, Pixar Pier, and Cars Land, this park is Disney at its finest. This park is what Hollywood Studios at Disney World should be. Cars Land truly transports you into Radiator Springs. The Cars characters actually drive around town and stop to greet guests (yes, they talk!) and Radiator Springs Racers is officially my very favorite Disney attraction (sorry, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train). If you get a chance, you HAVE to check this park out!
Disney kicked it up a notch when they added Avenger’s Campus in 2022. Now you can rub shoulders with some amazing marvel characters such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Spiderman and others. Web Slingers is so much fun as you get to help Spiderman wrangle rogue Spider-Bots. And, if you liked Tower of Terror you are going to LOVE Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
There is a laid back, easy vibe to the parks
I love to plan Disney vacations! But sometimes you find a lot of guests stressed out at Disney World trying to stick with their plan or get it all in (it’s impossible to do it all at Disney World). Because Disneyland is smaller, easier to navigate, and located in California, it has a more relaxed, easy-going vibe to it. You can do it all there, actually. If you have 4 days and a good game plan, you can enjoy every single thing there is to do at both parks and not be stressed in the process. I kind of love that.
Walt Disney said, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” This is still true today. If you haven’t been yet, then there is still so much to see and do and new things coming all the time.
If you are able to get out to Disneyland, DO! It is amazing! The fireworks at Disneyland, “Wonderous Journeys”, is new for the 100 Years of Wonder Celebration and The Magic Happens parade is back too. At Disney’s California Adventure they have a new show called World of Color – One.
Want to check out this Disney destinations for yourself? We’d love to help you plan your vacation! As always, our help is always FREE to our clients.