There are arguments about this all the time among Disneyphiles. Which is better? Disney World or Disneyland? Just getting back from a trip to California where I spent several days at Disneyland, I can answer that question, at least to my own personal opinion. I loved going to Disneyland. It was beautiful, and there was something about the park that was different than going to the World in Florida. Maybe it was the smaller size, or maybe it was something less tangible today. Walt Disney himself designed and built Disneyland. While he worked on Disney World, he died before much of it could be built.
Despite that, Disney World is still my favorite. Disneyland was beautiful, and it was a lot of fun, but even with the addition of Disney’s California Adventure, it’s still much smaller than Disney World. There simply isn’t the space to expand in the way that Disney World has, and that limits the park in ways that Disney World hasn’t experienced. There are many similarities to Disneyland and The Magic Kingdom at Disneyworld. What are the differences? Well, let’s see:
- The castles are different. Disneyland has Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, Magic Kingdom has Cinderella’s.
- Pirates of the Caribbean is much better at Disneyland.
- Disneyland has Alice in Wonderland and Pinocchio rides.
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is still at Disneyland. It was removed from Magic Kingdom during the 90’s.
- The train ride is better at Disneyland.
- The outside of the Haunted Mansion is different in Disneyland.
These are just a few of the differences. For myself, I enjoyed getting to ride new rides (and enjoy an old favorite that the World no longer has). Even better, it’s Halloween time at the Disneyland resort, so Jack Skellington has taken over the Haunted Mansion ride and Space Mountain is currently some (fairly) scary ghosts. I’ve never seen either park decked out for any holiday, so I can’t comment on any differences in decorations.
On to DCA or Disney’s California Adventure. Frankly, I was less than impressed with the park. There weren’t a lot of rides there, and much of the area was walled off for reconstruction (due to open at various times in 2011). Perhaps this construction means that they are working on improving some things in the park and making it better. I can only hope so because it currently makes travel around the park complicated. Areas that should be reachable through the Hollywood Backlot now have to be reached through A Bug’s World. In addition, at least one of the rides which should have Fastpass, Toy Story Midway Mania, doesn’t. The line was never less than 45 minutes and often longer so I skipped out on that one. Too bad, I loved it when I was last in Disney World two years ago. I was also less impressed than I thought I would be with the new World of Color night time show at DCA. From the promotional material, I thought I would be seeing something comparable to Fantasmic! While World of Color was beautiful (and I would have probably been more impressed if I’d been able to get a seat in the front of the show instead of watching from the side) Fantasmic! still wins hands down.
I had fun, and I got to see Disneyland, something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. Mostly though, unless I move to the west coast someday, I’ll probably be sticking to Disney World in Florida. But hey! If I ever move close enough to Disneyland to drive there in 2 hours or less, I’ll be getting an annual pass. It still has the Disney magic that I can never quite get enough of.