Disneyland Vs. Disneyworld

Updated on May 31, 2008
M.S. asks from Plano, TX
11 answers

I'm thinking of taking the kids to Disneyland or Disneyworld. We've never been to either. I'm leaning towards California (more convenient and I know CA better), but would love to hear a comparison of the two. Also, I would love advice about how long to stay. My kids are 10, 10 and 13. I have bad feet and am concerned about all the walking (I will be taking the kids by myself).

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answers from Dallas on

If you are only planning a day or two at the park I would say either is fine. Honestly, if you want to do any other sight seeing not involving Disney I would say go to Californai as it is much prettier and the weather is nicer than FL. However, if you want to spend more than a day or two at the park go to DIsney World as there is SO MUCH MORE to do there. It's like 5 parks in one and all of the hotels also have great pools etc.

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answers from Dallas on

I grew up and California and have also been to Disneyworld. I vote Disneyland ALL the way. You can see almost all of the same things in 2 parks vs 3 or 4 in florida, so the park fees will be less expensive. Also my favorite attraction it's a small world is so grand at Disneyland and pathetic in the magic kingdom LOL. Also you cant beat the Cali weather, and to top it off you can stay at one of the 3 hotels that are on the property and you get to go into the park on Sat at 7am way before the parks open to the public, when I took my two children we had gone on all the rides we wanted to and were headed back to the hotel for nap and lunch by 10 am! I like the original Disneyland hotel better, it has that nostalgic feel of earlier disney and the neverland pool is awesome. Also you can visit Hollywood, Beverly Hills and the OC beaches are nice, you could do a 3 day at Disney and a couple of other days in one of the beach resorts, my favorite is the Hyat Huntington Beach Resort, the kids love it. I also think the food is better in CA, in florida there are masses of tourists and the food is cheap and bland, but thats just my opinion. Hope you have a great time!

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answers from Dallas on

Disneyland without a doubt.

This is why...

#1 Temperature at Disneyland is very mild. Nice, beautiful weather. Not hot and humid as in FL. As a matter of fact, when we have gone it is always in June and some days in early June we can't swim because it is too cool!

#2 Time Difference. On certain days you get into the park early if you stay on property. If you are going to California, 9:00 a.m. their time is 11:00 a.m. your body time. No problem! Go to Florida, and 9:00 a.m. their time is a lot earlier to your body. Yikes.

#3 Crowds. Many schools in California don't get out until end of June. So you're only competing for rides with the other people who have traveled to the park.

#4 Do the Best, Leave the Rest. Disneyland has two parks that share the same entry plaza. One is the traditional Disneyland, which is almost identical to Disneyworld Magic Kingdom. The other is California Adventure. This is where they took the top attractions from all the other parks at Disneyworld and put them into one place.

#5 Close Hotels. If you stay on property at Disneyland, you can walk to the Park. 10 minutes on a 3 year old's legs from the furthest hotel. You are that close!! And the furthest hotel has a monorail anyway.

#6 Cost. No way could you stay that close to the gates of Disneyworld for the same cost as what you pay at Disneyland.

Our favorite hotel - the Disneyland Hotel. We like to get a room in the Sierra Tower, overlooking downtown Disney. It has a Peter Pan themed pool. Downtown Disney is full of restaurants and all right there at your doorstep. The evenings are beautiful.

Every time we go we don't think we have stayed long enough. But alas, we run out of money. :-) Last time we went for two days in the park, a day off to lounge at the pool, and then a 3rd day in the park.

Oh - and check out mousesavers.com for ways to save $$

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answers from Dallas on

Now my two cents! I'm from Southern CA as well and grew up going to Disneyland...however my DD is 5 and in January we took her to Disneyworld. IMO, World is MUCH nicer than Land. You can do LA in 3 days (taking your time) and still see everything. FL, I would stay a week+ if you want to go see all 4 parks. But, like someone said, there are pros and cons to both.

Land Pros:
Smaller, MUCH smaller for easier navigating.
Cheaper, especially if you stay off site in any of the surrounding cities.
Can't beat the weather, IF you go now. If you wait until August, it will be crowded AND HOT.

Land Cons:
Smaller, with only two parks.
Older, it's really showing its age.
Crowd, more locals and "unsavory" types, as well as schools are letting out now and depending when you go, you might have to compete with the Grad Nights (earlier closings and more traffic)
LA Traffic, it's a mess, ALWAYS.

World Pros:
Much more bang for your buck.
Newer (ie, nicer)
More variety in terms of attractions for all ages.
Much more "Disney Magic" happening. It's really like its own world there.
Free transportation if you stay on-site.
Dining Plan, Dining Plan, Dining Plan (not sure if it's offered at Land, but it's WONDERFUL and SOOOO worth the money)
No crowds in the off-season and weather is PERFECT.
Can be made all-inclusive
Rides offer assortment to young & old.

World Cons:
More expensive, but not as much as you would think. We stayed on site, in a mod resort, for 5 nights and 6 days, deluxe dining plan, with RT airfare for three (non-stop!) for less than $3K. We paid in advance and didn't have to spend a dime when we got there (well except to tip for the sitdown meals and souvenirs.)
FL is HUMID. Even in January. If you want to sweat to death, go in Summer. :)
Much more spread out (ie, lots of walking). DW is HUGE.

In my opinion, you can go to Disneyland first and be impressed. But if you go to Disney World and THEN go to Disneyland, you will be disappointed. It's SOO different. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Disneyland and it will always be in my heart, but DisneyWorld ROCKS!!! Even my DH was planning our next trip on the flight home!!! LOL Good luck, and feel free to PM me if you have more specific questions. Oh, one more thing. You can compare the costs on disney.com/travel Another great site is allears.net

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answers from Dallas on

I am a Disney Vacation Club Member and have been to both Land and World quite a few times. Here are my personal pros and cons:
-Only 2 Parks (this could also be a con)
-Not as spread out (easier on the feet)
-If you stay at the Grand Californian, you have a private entrance to Adventure land which your older kids will enjoy
-Easier to cover two parks in fewer days

-Only 2 parks
-Older kids will probably not enjoy the Disneyland Park (it has "cute" rides)
-Older kids may get bored after a while

-4 regular parks and 2 water parks (I think- we always go in the winter when the water parks are closed)
-if you stay on site, you can take the on-site transportation to all the parks; extra hours
-good variety of on-site accomodations from cheaper (but nice) motel type places to condos.
-great pools!

-very hard on the feet
-most of the parks are very spread out

Once you decide, there are some great books to help you plan your trip. It's best to take advantage of the FASTPASS. Also, there are some great extra things to do at DisneyWorld, but you have to make reservations for everything- I especially like the fireworks boat tours (private boat to watch the fireworks at Epcot and Magic Kingdom)!

Hope this helps and have FUN!!! I love both places!!! We are already booked for early December.
R. B.

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answers from Dallas on


I've never been to Disneyland but I did live in Orlando/Kissimmee for over five years before coming to Texas so I am very familiar with that area. It's hard for me to believe it could be better in CA than FL :-) The others are right in saying the parks are huge, I'm thinking you may have walking problems with any theme park you go to because that's all you do is walk walk walk. Orlando is nice because if you want to try out Universal Studios or Sea World while there, they are both not too far from DW. There is also Downtown Disney where you can go to the Cirque de Solei (probably spelled wrong) or so many other fun tourist attractions. I would not recommend a summer visit, it is very warm and humid in FL and very crowded. If you can visit around October, you will have the most perfect vacation. Also, don't feel like you have to stay in a Disney hotel, there are so many other less expensive hotels in the area that will give you a free shuttle to the parks so you can spend your extra money on other things. CA may be nice, too but there's a reason Orlando is the number one tourist destination in the world :-) My neighbors have visited it every year for the last 22 years!

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answers from Dallas on

I have never been to Disneyland, but I LOVE Disneyworld. We are going this July and can't wait! If you go to Disneyworld I would recommend at least 5 days if you want to see everything. If that is too long for you, pick which parks you want to do and give yourself a day for each one.

As for all the walking I would recommend getting a pair of MBT's. They are special orthopedic shoes and look a little funny. They are also rather expensive, $150 to $200. I would recommend you go to a store to get fitted and find the style you like then go online to find a sale price. They are so worth the price and effort! They are the only shoe my parents wear. I got a pair of sneakers with Disney in mind to try them out. I think I will go back for another pair, this time sandals. My cousin is a teacher and has foot and back issues. She bought a pair last month and already wants more. The Walking Company located in the Arlington Highlands, I-20 and Mayfield, carries them. Go to the MBT website and check them out.

Heave fun on your trip!

Correction: the store is located at I-20 and MATLOCK. Sorry about the incorrect info.

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answers from Dallas on

I've been to both and for your older kiddos I'd rec. Disney world-- more options of things to do there is also SEA WORLD and other parks there. The SEA WORLD IN Fl is much better than the one in San Antonio.
you may want to rent a motorized scooter as anywhere you go there is tons of walking. You will need/want at least one day at each park in FL EPCOT, ANIMAL KINGDOM, MGM, Magic KINGDOM, and they have a neat water park-- i def. think the older kids would like Disney World better.
happy planning...

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answers from Dallas on

My family loves Disney World. It has something for everyone. If you are going strictly for the Disney experience I would recommend that you go to Florida. It's the easiest vacation to do. You can stay onsite, they will transport you to and from the airport for no extra charge, you don't have to worry about your bags b/c they will deliver them right to your room, you can do the meal plan which is a steal(you end up paying way less for really quality food than what you would end up paying for fast food), they provide shuttle services to anywhere on the property, and as an onsite guest you have access to "advantage hours" at parks(an hour before/after regular park hours), and if you need a day to rest your feet all the resorts have great swimming pools many with water slides, too. You might want to look into renting a seated scooter for navigating around the parks if you don't think that you'll be up for the walking. If you go to Disney World, you won't be disappointed. We love it so much we go every year, but we do go in the fall b/c it's not crowded and the weather is perfect. Good luck and enjoy your vacation!

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answers from Dallas on

I'd say it depends on how long you want to go and what your kids are interested in. Disney has vacation DVDs that they'll send for free. I bet if you called them, they'd send you one for each place. Then you can watch them with your kids and you can all decide together. There is a lot more variety at Disney World and they take care of all the transportation if you stay on-site (even the transportation from the airport to the hotel). Or, check out a couple of books about each park and look through them (let your kids thumb through them too).

One more thing - I know DWorld has scooters you can rent. We saw a lot of people riding those who would have difficulty walking so much, especially in the big parks like Epcot.

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answers from Dallas on

Hi M.,
I grew up in CA and at Disneyland! Never been to Disneyworld though, so I can't realy compare. However, I can give you why I think D-land is better. First off, the crowds are nothing compared to what I hear is at D-world. Second, you don't need to spend a whole week - 3 days would be perfect to be able to see both parks (2 in the main park and 1 in CA adventure), but you could do it in 2 days. Personally, I don't think your kids would be bored, even though they're older - there is a good mix of "big" rides. D-land really is nostalgic and the "original". The last "pro" is that the weather will almost always be better at D-land!

You may want to check out using a wheelchair if you have bad feet. Aside from helping you out because it is A LOT of walking, you and the kids won't have to wait in line. I don't know what they're policy is on it, so you may want to call them. Have a great time, whichever you choose!

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