I’m often asked, “Should I go to Disney World or Disneyland?” Most others quickly respond with Disney World. And they might be right – Disney World is home to four theme parks and over twenty hotels onsite, giving families the ultimate Disney experience. However, Disneyland is much smaller with two theme parks and three hotels and is a lot more.
1. Size Matters
Disney World is over 27,000 acres and can be intimidating to little ones looking to meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Families may have to pick and choose their time wisely, missing out on many of the incredible experiences. A much easier feat is Disneyland, at 85 acres (soon expanding to 100 with the addition of Star Wars Land). Don’t get me wrong, Disneyland is also a lot of ground to cover and you’ll need to several days, but it’s do-able.
I took Taylor to Disneyland for the day when she was 18 months. I followed some bad advice and didn’t bring or rent a stroller. However, even with her little legs and my overly developed “mom-arms”, we were able to manage the day. Because she was so young, we spent most of the day in Mickey’s Toontown, where they had plenty of play structures in the shape of Mickey’s friends’ homes. The park was fairly quiet and lineups were to a minimum, allowing Taylor to get the full experience without the frustrations of crowds.
2. Location, location, location
This is my favourite reason – the beauty of going to Disneyland in California is the accessibility to so many other great attractions. If you’re traveling with teens, toddlers, and grandparents, this is a great option. Not everyone will want to spend multiple days at Disney. Anaheim and Los Angeles have so much more to offer from Universal Studios and Hollywood to numerous parks to cheap hockey (it’s significantly cheaper to catch a Winnipeg Jets’ game than at home!) This also can be a quick a stop on a multi-destination trip.
3. More Affordable
One-day, one-park passes at both Disney World and Disneyland are comparable, starting at $97 USD at Disneyland and $102 at Disney World. You will however see greater saving on multi-day, multi-theme park passes. The same goes for meal plans.
One major place you’ll save money is your accommodations. Because Disney Land is much smaller and more accessible from offsite, you will have more choices in hotels and will likely find the need to visit Disneyland less, resulting in daily pass savings.
It is the original Disney theme park. Yes, Disney World is bigger and has a more theme parks and attractions, but there’s something authentic about Disneyland being the first. Maybe because it is the only park designed and built under Walt Disney’s direct supervision. Although it has undergone several renovations since it still captures the magic of Disney.
Both Disneyland and Disney World are great choices for vacations – you won’t regret either. But I urge you to take the time to consider your trip and who you’re traveling with. Many people go to Disney World because “bigger is better”, but that’s not always the case. You can have a trip of a lifetime at Disney land, too.