Disney World vs Disneyland

8:09:00 PM

As you might already know our family may like Disney..just a little. We have been three times in the last year and Porter has been three times before he is two!  I recently was able to visit Disney World in Orlando, Florida and Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. I want let you know the PROS AND CONS for both parks.

Transportation from the Airport: World or Land
Disney World offers the free Magical Express (no car seat necessary) to and from the airport for all Disney resort guests. They will even send you luggage tags about a month in advance, and once you check your luggage at the airport you do not have to touch it again until you get to your room at the Disney resort. Disneyland was a different story you have to find your own transportation from the airport to the Disneyland hotel you are staying at. There are very few reasonably priced choices, but here are the options we came found. Southern California Grayline has a large bus that runs from 6am to 8 pm and cost around $50 round trip. (No car seat necessary) Our flights were, of course, outside of this window so we had to find an alternative. Super shuttle is a van that cost $34 round trip. You must bring your own car seat and they pack as many people as they can in the van.  This means you could have multiple stops on your way to and from the air port. Car rental cost around $200 but you then have to pay to park your car which was $15 a day.  This still does not include gas which was $4 a gallon when we were there.  We went with this van service call Disneyland Express Shuttle. (No affiliate with Disney) Round trip was $140, we didn't have to bring a car seat or ride with anyone else. The trip took about thirty minutes as opposed to ninety minutes the super shuttle supposedly takes.

Transportation to and from Parks and Downtown Disney: World or Land
Disneyland is a smaller resort all three hotels are within walking distance of the two parks and Downtown Disney. The walk takes about ten minutes maximum. There is also a monorail from inside Disneyland to Downtown Disney.  Disney World resort is a city in itself. They suggest if you are going to dinner reservations to allow two hours time to get there. This suggests already the traveling can take up a lot of your day. All four parks are pretty spread out.  Depending on what park you plan on spending the most time at I would suggest getting a hotel near that park. To go to a park you have to walk to the bus stop, wait for a bus (this could take 20 minutes), ride the bus (could take 15 minutes), and walk from the drop off spot into the destination. Then, repeat this all again to leave the park.  Even if you stay at the Contemporary resort it still takes time to ride the monorail.

Dining: World or Land
Disney World offers the dining plan and Disneyland does not. Since Disney World has more hotels and parks they ultimately have more places to put restaraunts.  I was not impressed by the dining at Disneyland there was not a quick service option on location and without a car I felt stranded without food. Good thing I brought snacks.

Downtown Disney: World or Land
Downtown Disney World has more restaurants, more entertainment, and more stores. You can spend an entire vacation day at Downtown Disney World but at Disneyland we went into every store/shop that was open and it maybe took us an hour and a half.  There is no Cirque Du Soleil or Disney Quest at Disneyland.

Hotels: World or Land
Disney World, Orlando, Florida has more land so they have more hotels and can offer more so this is a no brainer. Disneyland only has three options: Grand Californian this is suppose to be the luxurious hotel and it is nice but it is not anything as nice as the Animal Kingdom Lodge or Grand Floridian at Disney World.  Disneyland Hotel looks ok from the outside but it does look a bit outdated.  Paradise Pier resort is where we stayed and it was ok I would compare it to Disney Worlds Art of Animation hotel. There are many non-Disney resorts to stay at near Disneyland that could be an option. (Photos: Disneyland Hotel, Grand Californian, Paradise Pier)

Parks: World or Land
If you only have a few days Disneyland is great to buy a two day pass and see most of the attractions the parks have to offer.  A few days is not enough at Disney World, you need four days alone to go to all of the parks.  When we went to Disney World we said we are only doing two parks. The first choice was Magic Kingdom, but the second choice was harder to make.  We had certain rides at all three parks we loved.  At Disneyland one park is basically Magic Kingdom and the other (California Adventures) offers most of the things we love at all three parks.  (Photos: Cinderella's Castle- Magic Kingdom and Sleeping Beauty's Castle- Disneyland)

Weather: World or Land
I have only been to Disneyland twice but both times the weather was sunny and 70's. This is typical all year round for California.  Florida is a little different...summers are HoT and winters can be colder than 70.  When we went in January we had one day of shorts and flip flops.  The other days we needed jackets, blankets, and hot cocoa.  In Orlando you can count on it to be humid and rain at least once while you are there. Supposedly it hardly rains in Anaheim, CA.
Photo credit: Google search
Connect with me on FB if you are looking to travel to Disney World soon. https://www.facebook.com/Bobbie.MarvelousMouseTravels/

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  1. You have been to Disney World in May! :) My families going the exact same time you went, May 4-8. Could you tell how the weather is during that time. Im debating on taking anything denim/jeans! Any other info would be great! I love how you organized the snacks per day in advance, I'm definitely going to use that method!! Thank you

  2. Lilliana see my blog on Porter's first trip to Disney. http://wishesdocometru.blogspot.com/2013/05/1st-trip-to-disney-world.html This may give you a better feel for how we dressed and so on...I do remember us swimming and it was warm enough for shorts. Hope this helps.