Who can pick between Disneyland vs. Disney World? When they are so different and yet so similar? For starters, Disneyland and Walt Disney World are on the opposite sides of the country, so the weather is bound to be different as well as the scenery.
You also have to consider how long you want to be at the respective Disney parks and how many days are needed to explore each park fully. If you want a short and sweet vacation, then Disneyland will definitely be your go-to resort.
However, if you are planning a jam-packed week-long trip, then Disney World will fit this bill perfectly because it can easily take over a week to visit each of its parks comfortably.
This post is all about the differences between Disneyland vs. Disney World and the similarities between Disneyland and Disney World! Plus, we made sure to include pros and cons for each Disney Park so you can make the choice yourself =).
Disclaimer: Disney, the Disney logo, Walt Disney World, Disney products, parks, and projects are all owned and copywriter protected and trademarked by the Walt Disney Company. This guide is based solely on our personal opinion, and we gathered facts from our experiences and the Disneyland and Disney world websites for data.
Disney World vs. Disneyland: The Ultimate Guide
If you are still entirely clueless or even more confused after considering the size and location of the parks, then make sure to continue reading because we wrote this comprehensive guide for Disneyland vs. Disney World to help future travelers decide which part will fit their vacation needs. We broke down restaurant offerings, shows, character experiences, differences between the parks, history, budget and cost, rides, hotels, and more!
This post is about the differences and similarities between Disneyland and Disney World. We wrote a Comprehensive Guide on these two top Disney Parks so you can pick the best park for your next vacation!
Disneyland vs. Disney World: Which Park Is Better To Visit and When?
One thing you want to note of before even planning your trip to either popular Disney Park, is what is the weather going to be like and how are the crowds. Below we’ll break down the differences between Disneyland and Disney World.
Disneyland Crowds vs Disney World Crowds: Which has lower Crowds?
Disneyland is the winner for this section, but only slightly because both parks have seen a rise in park goers over the years.
Disneyland will overall have fewer crowded days in comparison to Disney World though because its a smaller park and it sees less theme park visitors than its big cousin Walt Disney World.
On the other hand Disney World is composed of several Disney theme parks, which disperses the foot traffic somewhat. If you were to compare Disneyland and Animal Kingdom you would choose animal kingdom for fewer crowds. While Magic Kingdom and Disneyland would be a match if not more guest at Magic kingdom.
Whichever park you choose for your disney trip, the best time to go will be around school periods and avoiding winter break, summer break, spring break, etc. It’s also known that visiting during the beginning of holiday seasons is a good time to go.
As well as visiting from tuesday – thursday have seen some noticeable results with lower crowds. In regards to which month to visit either park, January through February are great times to go, as well as late spring, and early fall.
Disneyland Weather vs Disney World Weather: Who Has Better Weather?
Disneyland Summer vs Disney World Summer:
Everyone knows Disney World and Summer is a no go, its extremely hot and humid. Meanwhile, Disneyland while still scorching will be slightly better as it’s a dry heat vs sticky heat. Personally, we enjoy Disneyland Summer more than Disney World Summer because it does not result in us feeling sticky and makeup and hair ruined only hours into the day.
Disneyland Fall vs Disney World Fall:
Now when it comes to Disneyland during the fall
Disneyland Winter vs Disney World Winter:
Disneyland Spring vs Disney World Spring:
Which Disney Park Is Better: Disneyland vs. Walt Disney World?
Everyone loves Disneyland because it’s the original Disney park. However, Disney World has more to offer regarding parks, food, attractions, and other things. This is why this question is up for interpretation and based on personal opinions. However, we personally liked Disney World because it was a lot bigger with so many more parks.
But Disneyland is the original and first Disney park that was built. For that reason, we’ve noticed that it has a lot more of a personal touch, and you just feel a little most nostalgic and happy at Disneyland. Here are the differences in pros between the two great Disney resorts.
- smaller and mostly doable in 1 day
- Better weather in Anaheim
- Slightly less expensive
- Original Disney Theme park
- More Magical
- Better Holiday Decor/vibes
Walt Disney World Pros
- Variety of attractions and parks
- More rides
- Lots more to see and do
- More places to dine at
Do Disneyland and Disney World have the same attractions?
Disneyland and Disney World offer a lot of similarities in terms of the attractions, experiences, and shows. However, there are some exceptions due to Disney World and Disneyland having different theme parks and being different sizes. For example, Disney World will offer Flight of Passage, Expedition Everest, and Frozen Ever After.
Meanwhile, Disneyland offers Radiator Springs Racers, Indiana Jones, and the World of Color show. So, when planning your trip be sure to check each park’s attractions to ensure that you finally get to ride the rides that you’ve been waiting for. The worst thing is ending up disappointed because you assumed both parks would have the rides you wanted.
Also, another activity that is offered at both Disney parks is Disney pin trading! This popular activity is done with cast members and guests and involves trading collectible Disney pins. to learn more about mastering Disney pin trading read our guide!
Is Disneyland older than Disney World?
The original Disneyland Park is located in Anaheim, California atop 500 acres. This park opened on July 17, 1955, and cost roughly $17 million. Meanwhile, Walt Disney World is located in Florida Bay Lake and sits atop 27,000 acres. This park opened on October 1, 1971, in honor of the late Walt Disney and cost roughly $400 million to build.
Is Disneyland as crowded as Disney World?
Disneyland has only 2 parks and sits atop only 500 acres. Meanwhile, Disney World has 4 parks plus 2 water parks and sits atop 27,000 acres. Due to the vast differences in size, Disneyland will most likely appear to be more crowded than Disney World would since Disneyland has a lot more packed into its space than Disney World does. Also, depending on the time of year and the weather, this can change as crowds surge during summertime and festive seasons.
Is Disneyland or Disney World more expensive?
Ticket pricing can vary depending on the park, the time of the year, the specific dates you’re visiting, the number of days you’re visiting, and whether or not you want the park hopper option for your tickets.
In general as of Summer 2023 prices for a standard ticket
Disneyland Ticket Cost:
Tickets: Start at $104 (price changes depending on the date, time of year, number of days, etc.)
Genie+: Est extra $25 per ticket per day and changes depending on day
Park hopper: Est extra $65 per ticket or more.
Parking: extra $30 per day.
Disney World Tickets Cost:
Tickets: Start at $109 (price changes depending on the date, time of year, number of days, etc.)
Genie+: Est extra $25 or more depends on day and park plus tax per ticket per day.
Park hopper: Est extra $75 or more per ticket per day
Park hopper plus: Est an extra $95 per ticket per day or more.
– Car or Motorcycle
- Preferred parking: extra $45-$50 per day
- Standard parking: $25 per day
-Oversize vehicle: $30 per day
Disneyland vs. Disney World: Character Experiences
Disney’s character experiences are vast at both Disneyland and Disney World. However, Disney World does appear to have a lot more options when it comes to character experiences, such as the popular avengers’ campus marvel heroes! take a look at the available character experience below at the respective Disney parks.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park: Character Experiences
- Ancient Sanctum
- Animation Academy
- Avengers Headquarters
- A Christmas Fantasy Parade
- Disney Junior Dance Party!
- Disney Visa Cardmember Photo Opportunity
- Disney Visa Cardmember Star Wars Photo Opportunity
- Fantasy Faire
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off!
- Meet Disney Pals on Buena Vista Street
- Meet Disney Princesses at Royal Hall
- Meet Pixar Pals at Pixar Pier
- Meet the Residents of Radiator Springs in Cars Land
- Meet Tinkerbell in Pixie Hollow
- Meet Raya at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
- Mickey’s House and Meet Mickey
- Minnie’s House
- Star Wars Launch Bay
- Storytelling at Royal Theatre
- Turtle Talk with Crush
Walt Disney World: Character Experiences:
- Disney Princesses at Walt Disney Resort
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Entertainment
- Donald’s Dino-Bash!
- For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
- Green Army Drum Corps
- Meet Alice in the United Kingdom
- Meet Anna and Elsa at Royal Sommerhus
- Meet Belle in France
- Meet Characters from Aladdin in Adventureland
- Meet Daring Disney Pals as Circus Starts at Pete’s Silly Side Show
- Meet Dashing Disney Pals as Circus Starts at Pete’s Silly Side Show
- Meet Disney Junior Pals in Animation Courtyard
- Meet Disney Pals Near EPCOT Main Entrance
- Meet Disney Stars at Red Carpet Dreams
- Meet Donald Duck in Mexico
- Meet Favorite Disney Pals at Adventurers Outpost
- Meet Joy Inside ImageWorks
- Meet Merida At Fairytale Garden
- Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater
- Meet Mulan in China
- Meet Olaf at Celebrity Spotlight
- Meet Peter Pan in Fantasyland
- Meet Princess Jasmine in Morocco
- Meet Princess Tiana and a Visiting Princess at Fairytale Hall
- Meet Snow White in Germany
- Meet Sulley at Walt Disney Presents
- Meet the Toys in Toy Story Land
- Meet Vanellope Inside ImageWorks
- Meet Winnie the Pooh and Tigger at The Thoughtful Spot
- Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas Parade at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party
Disclaimer:Not all character experiences will be available year-round, some are only available at certain times of the year, certain days of the week, or times of the day. This list may be missing some and is not an entirely comprehensive list of all character experiences available.
Disneyland vs. Disney World: Character Dining
Disneyland and Disney World both offer various character dining opportunities that you are sure to love. They also made sure to broaden the types of character dining for different budgets, experiences, and parts of the resorts.
Disney does seem to focus on placing character dining at its nearby resorts so keep that in mind as only a few character dining experiences are offered at Disneyland resort and Walt Disney World Resort.
When comparing the two, Disney world does have a few more experiences but that’s to be expected since Disneyland is considerably smaller. There are also a few more fine dining experiences offered at Disney world vs Disneyland which has more budget-friendly options.
We made sure to list the currently available character dining experiences in both resorts, but do keep in mind Disney is constantly changing menus, hours, and opening and closing attractions due to construction. So basically double check the character dining youre interested in is still offered during the time you’ll be visiting.
Disneyland Character Dining
- Minnie and friends – breakfast in the park at Plaza Inn
- Mickey’s tales of adventure – breakfast buffet at storytellers cafe Disney’s Grand Californian hotel and spa
- Disney princess breakfast adventures – napa rose, Disney’s Grand Californian hotel and spa
- Goofy’s Kitchen- Disneyland Hotel
Disney World Character Dining
- Chef Mickey’s Fancy feast – Disney’s contemporary resort
- garden grill restaurant – Epcot
- Hollywood &Vine – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
- Story Book Dining at Artist Point with Snow White – Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
- Topolino’s Terrace – Flavors of the Riverie – Disney’s Riverie Resort
- Tusker House Restaurant – Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Disneyland vs. Disney World: Theme Parks
Disneyland offers two theme parks as a part of its Southern California resort, while the Disney World theme park in Orlando Florida, is compiled from multiple theme parks and water parks which create a monstrous resort.
Disneyland Resort Theme Parks
- Disneyland Park
- Disney’s California Adventure Park
Walt Disney World Theme Parks
- Magic Kingdom
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney World Water Parks
- Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon
- Disney’s Blizzard Beach
Disneyland Vs. Disney World: Shows
Everyone loves Disney for the fantastic movies, and series they launch every year. However, if yore looking for live shows then both parks will offer an abundance of musicals and performances for you and or your family and friends to see wh revisiting either park. When comparing the two, Disney world does offer more shows, but that is probably due to the large size of the parks and being able to offer more.
We also noticed that Disney world seems to offer newer relevant shows and Disneyland usually tends to stick to classics. So if you prefer seeing newer content then choose Disney World, otherwise, if classics hold a place in your heart then visit the original Disneyland Resort.
- “Believe… In Holiday Magic” Fireworks Spectacular
- A Christmas Fantasy Parade
- The Dapper Dans
- Disneyland Forever
- Fantasy Faire
- Five & Dime
- Fourth of July- Fireworks
- Frightfully Fun Parade at Oogie Boogie Bash
- Halloween Screams
- Holiday Toy Drummers
- Hollywood Backlot Stage
- Live Entertainment at Splitsville Kingpin Stage
- Main Street Electrical Parade
- Mariachi Divas
- Mickey’s Mix Magic
- Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession
- New Year’s Eve- Fireworks
- Paradise Garden Bandstand
- Tale of the Lion King
- Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
Disney World Shows
- Beauty & The Beast Live on Stage
- Country Bear Jamboree
- Disney Enchantment
- Disney KiteTails
- Disney’s Celebrate America: A Fourth of July Concert in the Sky
- Electrical Water Pageant
- Festival of the Lion King
- Finding Nemo: The Big Blue… and Beyond!
- Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
- It’s Tough to be a Bug!
- Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire
- Mickey’s PhilharMagic
- Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks at Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
- Muppet*Vision 3D
- Once Upon A Time
- Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular
- Tree of Life Awakenings
- Wonderful World of Animation
Disclaimer: Not all shows will be available year-round, some are only available at certain times of the year, certain days of the week, or times of the day. This list may be missing some and is not an entirely comprehensive list of all shows available.
Disneyland Vs Disney World: Rides
Disneyland is a lot smaller but it still features certain rides that none of the other Disney parks have like the Indiana Jones ride, the Matterhorn bobsleds, Alice in Wonderland, Mission breakout, Cars Radiator springs racers, and the special Nightmare before Christmas layover of the Haunted Mansion which is only at Disneyland.
Disney World Rides:
With that said, Disney World has 4 theme parks and 2 water parks so it alone has so many rides that Disneyland just doesn’t have like Flight of Passage, Slinky Dog Dash, Rock n Roller Coaster, Mission Space, Expedition Everest, Frozen Ever After, not to mention the rides at the 2 water parks
Disneyland vs. Disney World: Size
Which Disney Park is bigger? Disneyland or Disney World?
Walt Disney World size vs Disneyland: Disneyland is roughly 500 acres while Disney World has over 27,000 acres. Disneyland contains two theme parks meanwhile Disney World contains four theme parks, including Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Magic Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios plus two waterparks.
Based only on its size, many people find the southern california park easier for them to navigate – particularly if children are traveling with them. Plus, generally, you won’t need as much time to fully explore Disneyland as you would need to explore Disney World.
Overall, Disneyland vs. Disney world size is a big size difference as you can tell, and it’s easy to see why newer Disney fans would want to first-start off at the smaller California park.
Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park Size
- approximately 500 acres
- Roughly 131 attractions/things to do
- 2 theme parks
Walt Disney World Resort Park Size
- approximately 27,000 acres
- Roughly 264 attractions/things to do
- 4 theme parks, 2 water parks
Disneyland Transportation vs. Disney World Transportation
Transportation options vary greatly from park to park. Due to its small size, Disneyland provides most resorts and both parks are accessible by walk from everything in the area. And if you go park-hopping between Disney Park and Disney California Adventure you can just walk.
Walking from Disneyland to California Adventure takes less than 10 minutes. If staying outside the Disneyland property there’s a resort bus station bus, car park bus, or shuttle from hotels or airports that take you to Disneyland.
If you want to get around Disneyland itself, there are buses, shuttles, trams, and a monorail. But it must be noted that Disneyland park, Disney California Adventure, Downtown Disney District, and several of the Disneyland resort hotels are all within walking distance of each other.
Transportation at Disneyland features the monorail, and trams are there for convenience but walkability amongst the parks and surrounding areas is typically no more than 20 minutes.
If you want to get around Disney World itself, there is a monorail, a Disney Skyliner, buses, and water transportation. The parks at Disney World due to their large size are a lot more spread out. So, walkability isn’t as great and we do recommend utilizing the provided transportation routes to save you time and make your trip more efficient.
Disneyland Airports vs Disney World Airports:
There’s also to consider, the airport you’ll be flying into when choosing which disney theme park you’ll be enjoying for your upcoming Disney Trip. Disneyland is situated in Anaheim and the closest airports to Disneyland are SNA and LAX. While Disney World mainly only has Orlando Internal airport, which is a busy airport to fly into.
Disney World Transportation
- Disney Skyliner
Disneyland vs Disney World: Anaheim vs Orlando
Depending on your location, whether closer to the east coast or the west coast you might prefer one of the parks over the other. Personally, the weather in Orlando was a little too wishy-washy for us. One minute it’s scorching hot and the next you’re caught in the middle of a pouring thunderstorm.
The rain was so bad we ended up soaking wet, rides got canceled/closed due to the lightning and our outfits got messed up for photos. The constant humidity was pretty annoying too. Meanwhile, Anaheim is typically warmer and the weather doesn’t often change on you the way it does in Orlando. For that reason we prefer Anaheim and Disneyland!
Disneyland vs. Disney World: Opening Day
Disneyland Opening Day:
opened in Anaheim in 1955 while Orlando opened 16 years after that opening in 1971. Walt Disney was pleased by the backsight and Disney disliked having an overflow zone surrounding Disneyland and the surrounding attractions because he viewed it as breaking the illusion.
Walt Disney World Opening Day:
In Orlando, to prevent this the entrepreneur bought an enormous tract of land to build a big theme park for the next generation of visitors. In comparison, the two theme parks in Disneyland are on approximately 500 acres and The Orlando park is on approximately 27,00 acres.
Which Disney Park has the Best Castle?
Disneyland Castle vs Disney World Castle:
Disneyland Sleeping beauty castle is much smaller than Disney Worlds Cinderella castle. To be exact Sleeping beauty castle stands roughly 77 feet tall and overall is very small when comparing it to the gigantic Cinderella castle which stands at over 189 feet!
To be fair though, Disneyland just didn’t have the area to build a magnificently large castle which is why the California theme park castle is so small when you compare it to the other parks. Meanwhile, Disney World was meant to be large in all aspects and they have the land to do it!
Another crucial difference between these two castles is that you can walk through a sleeping beauty castle via an attraction. The Cinderella castle does not have the same option, instead, the Florida theme park castle is home to a fine dining restaurant, and a princess theme shop that can help makeover any child into a princess!
Downtown Disney vs Disney Springs
One thing that Disneyland and Disney World have in common is they both have designated shopping and dining districts. Disneylands version is known as Downtown Disney District and Disney Worlds version is called Disney Springs.
Disneyland Hotels vs. Disney World Hotels
Disneyland Resort Hotels:
There are three Disney-owned hotels located in Disneyland Anaheim, Downtown Disney District, Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. There are also 57 Disney-approved good neighbor hotels as of Summer 2022.
Walt Disney World Resort Hotels:
Over at Disney World, there are 34 different hotel resorts, from the budget-friendly Walt Disney Art Animation Park to the sleek safari-themed Animal Kingdom Lodge and Disney Polynesian Villa & Bungalows, to the luxurious Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort. The park also boasts 43 “Good Neighborhood Hotels” located decently close to the park.
Disneyland Cost vs. Disney World Cost
A 1-day pass to the Disneyland park is priced from $104, with entry into Magic Kingdom starting at $99 for guests 10 or under, and $94 for kids 3 to nine. In the Park, children are allowed to use the playground without a fee.
Keep in mind that the more days you add to a reservation, the cheaper it’ll be per day—a 5-day Disneyland ticket will cost around 74 dollars a day, while an identical ticket to Disney World is $85 a day. There are also Park Hopper tickets that allow visitors to visit several theme parks at Disneyland or Disney World within 1-2 days.
Disneyland Restaurants vs. Disney World Restaurants
Both parks offer an array of restaurants that closely match the way they look to the food that is offered. However, there are some differences in restaurant offerings, mainly because Walt Disney World is so much bigger than Disneyland. Disney World has over 395 restaurants/dining packages. While Disneyland parks have 121 places to eat at.
How many restaurants does Walt Disney World Resort have?
Disney World has over 395 restaurants and quick-service eateries to grab some yummy food and drinks! These numerous dine-in places are spread out over Walt Disney World resort at the following locations: Magic Kingdom, Disney Animal Kingdom, Disney Hollywood Studios, Epcot, Disney Springs, and Disney hotels.
How many restaurants does Disneyland Resort have?
Disneyland Resort has over 121 places to dine, including restaurants, fast food eateries, dessert shops, cafes, and more!
What Special Dining Does Each Disney Park offer?
Disney World offers to Be Our Guest, a popular and expensive dining option that allows you to dine at Beast castle; You’ll be able to see the beast when he stops to visit the various dining halls. While Disneyland Offers Cinderella Royal table dining, it’s a beautiful experience similar to being our guest but instead hosted at cinderella castle and of course, cinderella instead.
Disneyland Resort And Walt Disney World Resort Places To Dine
*Not an exhaustive list, but we wanted to list popular places to dine at, get drinks, or grab snacks and sweets*
Disneyland Resort Restaurants
- Awards Wieners
- Angry Dogs
- Ballast point brewery
- black tap craft burgers and shakes
- crazy shake
- flo’s v8 cafe
- Ghirardelli soda fountain and chocolate shop
- Naples Ristorante e bar
- Ralphs Jazz kitchen
- Salt and straw
- UVA bar and cafe
- Wetzel pretzel
- adorable snowman frosted treats
- bayside brews
- cozy cone motel
- lamplight lounge
- Sonoma terrace
- alien pizza planet
- Bengal barbecue
- blue bayou restaurant
- cafe Orleans
- carnation cafe
- Cathay Circle restaurant
- churro carts
- corn dog castle
- Disney princess breakfast adventures
- docking bay 7 food and cargo
- edelweiss snacks
- french market restaurant
- galactic grill
- Ogas cantina
- the golden horseshoe
- goofy kitchen
- Hollywood lounge
- hungry bear restaurant
- jolly holiday bakery cafe
- kat Sakas kettle
- la Brea bakery express
- lucky fortune cookery
- magic key terrace
- maurices treats
- Mendocino terrace
- milk stand
- mint julep bar
- napa rose
- pym tasting lab
- red rose taverne
- river belle terrace
- ronto roasters
- royal street veranda
- shawarma palace
- stage door cafe
- storytellers cafe
- tiki juice bar
- Tomorrowland skyline lounge
- trader sam’s enchanted tiki bar
- turkey leg carts
- wine country trattoria
Disney World Resort Restaurants
- the turf club bar and grill
- Olivia’s cafe
- Sebastian bistro
- 4 rivers cantina barbacoa food truck
- 50s prime-time cafe
- Abracada Bar
- ale and compass lounge
- aloha isle
- amorettes patisserie
- anadapur ice cream truck
- artic expeditions
- auntie gravity galactic goodies
- baseline tap house
- be our guest restaurant
- biergarten restaurant
- big river grille and brewing works
- block and hans
- cape town lounge and wine bar
- caravan road
- caseys corner
- catalinas eddies
- cheshire cafe
- choza de margarita
- cinderella’s royal table
- columbia harbour house
- connections cafe
- cool ship
- creature comforts
- the diamond horseshoe
- Dawa bar
- dino diner
- docking bay 7 food and cargo
- dockside diner
- eight spoon cafe
- fife and frum tavern
- flame tree barbecue
- flying fish
- gaston’s tavern
- kat sakas kettle
- katsura grill
- jungle navigation
- the launching pad
- main street bakery
- Ogas cantina
- milk stand
- pinocchio village laus
- ronto roasters
- rose and crow dining room
- salt and straw
- the sand bar
- satu’li canteen
- sci-fi dine in theater restaurant
- sleepy hollow
- storybook treats
- Tomorrowland terrace restaurant
- Tortuga Tavern
- Woody’s lunch box
- yak and yeti
Disney World and Disneyland Wrap Up!
That wraps up our post for Disneyland vs Disney World! We hope you enjoyed this post and that it helps you decide which park will better fit your vacation style! So we are super curious, what disney trip will you be taking next? Are Disney World Vacations or Disneyland Vacations in your future?
Ps. If you also would love other tips and guides make sure to read our other Disney post that well links below ☺️