Disneyland Vs Disney World: Which One is Better?

disneyland vs disney world

Amusement parks are so much fun. It is a place with attractions made up of numerous fairground rides, shows, and other entertainments. Also, there are amusement parks that include different types of themes and they are known as theme parks. If you are a Disney fan, you get the two most popular amusement parks that have Disney themes around the world. Those are the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland in California. Here you will see the detailed comparison guide between Disneyland vs Disney World.

Worrying about which amusement park you should choose for your next trip, Disneyland or Disney World? You don’t have to worry. Here is a read that will hopefully clear all your doubts. There are lots of similarities; therefore, it gets difficult to answer “which is better, Disneyland or Disney World”. Both Disney parks include castles and famous Mountains. Also, both of them feature Mickey Mouse and the Disney Princesses. So, what’s the difference between Disneyland and Disney World? Continue reading and you will get to know the difference between Disneyland and Disney World.

Basic Difference Between Disneyland and Disney World

disneyland vs disney world

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When you start comparing the basic difference between Disneyland and Disney World, the first question arises: what is the location, and which is bigger Disneyland or Disney World? Disneyland is present in Anaheim, California and Walt Disney World is present just outside of Orlando, Florida. Disneyland includes two parks and is Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure.

The first one is the original park and the second one was added in 2001. Disney World is made up of four parks and that are the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. So, is Disney World bigger than Disneyland? The answer is yes.

You will get an Old Hollywood to feel as you enter Disney World’s Hollywood Studios, and California Adventure at Disneyland. These six Disney parks have their unique feel and atmosphere. Another main comparison should be between Disney World vs Disneyland size and location. Disneyland is present in the middle of the city of Anaheim making your entering and exiting to Disney property pretty easy. On the other hand, when you visit Disney World in Florida you are likely to end up in the Disney bubble.

To put it into perspective, Disney World covers approximately 25,000 acres of land, while Disneyland covers almost 85 acres of land. The coverage of the area clarifies the question “which is bigger Disneyland or Disney World”.  

Basic Comparison Between Disneyland Vs Disney World Size And Location

DisneylandDisney World
Location Disneyland is present in Anaheim, CaliforniaDisney World is present in Orlando, Florida 
Area It covers 85 acres of landDisney World covers approximately 25,000 acres of land
Number of parksDisneyland includes two parksDisney World includes four parks
Opening of parksJuly 17, 1955October 1, 1971

Disneyland Vs Disney World Cost

disneyland vs disney world

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When you plan a Disney trip, you might wonder which park is less expensive and which is more, Disney World or Disneyland. There is no specific answer to this. Your expenses wholly depend on the type of trip you are going to take. But if we talk about the main tickets of these two amazing Disney parks, Walt Disney World will cost slightly more than Disneyland.

Talking about Disneyland resort expenses, your pay starts from $104 for guests 3-years old and up. Also, to enter Magic Kingdom you have to pay $109 for guests that are 10 years old and up and $104 for children aging from three to nine. However, the stay days will affect your pocket. The tickets will be less expensive when you stay for more days. Also, a five-day ticket to Disneyland will cost you almost $72 per day while the same ticket to Disney World will cost you approximately $88 per day. 

Disneyland also offers many more non-Disney hotel options in the area which makes it less expensive if you want to stay for one or two nights. Finding a less expensive place makes it slightly easier to stay close by without losing out. However, if we talk about the cost of a Disney-specific Resort, you will see that Disney World has less expensive Disney Resorts in comparison to Disneyland. This is because there are only 3 Disney Resorts available in Disneyland which makes the booking at a fairly premium rate.

On the other hand, there are several Disney Value Resort options available in Disney World. Therefore, if you stay at Disney World, you will get the full Disney experience and perks at a lesser rate. So, is Disney World better than Disneyland? If you are planning a stay in a Disney atmosphere, Disney World will be better for your pocket. 

Quick Cost Comparison Between Disneyland And Disney World

DisneylandDisney World
Ticket costLess expensive than Disney WorldMore expensive than Disneyland
Disney theme hotel costMore expensive than Disney WorldLess expensive than Disneyland
Cost of Genie+ and Lightning Lane$20 per ticket per day$5 per ticket per day

Rides of Disneyland Vs Rides Of Disney World

Disneyland was a park and the Magic Kingdom was constructed after the original park. Disneyland and Disney World may have some similarities in layout and some rides, however, the other parks are all very unique. If you are curious to know some of the best popular and fun rides at Disneyland that you will not find at Disney World, here is a list of rides for you to consider riding:

Indiana Jones Adventure: 

It is one of my most favorite rides at Disneyland. It is an incredibly fun and detailed ride queue that takes you on a wild adventure in a safari Jeep. Also, you have to find and rescue Indiana Jones. This ride is a little similar to DINOSAUR at Disney World but you get better execution. 

The Incredicoaster: 

You will find this fun ride at Disneyland’s California Adventure Park. With this ride, you will be on an adventure of catching baby Jack from The Incredibles. This is also a smooth and unique ride that is only present in Disneyland.

Matterhorn Bobsleds: 

This ride is the original steel roller coaster that was opened in 1959 and there was nothing like it. It is still present to this day. 

Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin: 

You won’t find any other Roger Rabbit representation at any park, unfortunately. This is also a dark, unique, and silly spinning ride that’s hidden away in ToonTown. 

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride: 

It may not be the most exciting ride on this list but it is one of the classic rides. This ride has also been featured there since the park opening. 

Some rides don’t have any difference or much difference. Some of these rides are as below:

  • Space Mountain
  • It’s a Small World
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Splash Mountain
  • Mad Tea Party which is also known as the Tea Cups
  • Star Tours
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Soarin’
  • The Haunted Mansion
  • Peter Pan’s Flight

Also, both Disney parks have systems known as Genie+ and Lightning Lane that give people the opportunity to skip the lines at some of the rides. However, the cost varies. 

Some Unique Rides At Disneyland Vs Disney World

Disneyland Unique ridesDisney World unique rides
Matterhorn BobsledsTomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
Casey Jr. Circus TrainWalt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
Storybook Land Canal BoatsSpaceship Earth
Alice in WonderlandRock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Finding Nemo Submarine VoyageMickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway
Indiana Jones AdventureSlinky Dog Dash
Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BreakoutAvatar Flight of Passage
Mr. Toad’s Wild RideKilimanjaro Safaris

What Is The Difference Between Disneyland And Disney World Food

disneyland vs disney world

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When you are planning to book Disney restaurants, any Disney World expert will suggest you book it on your computer 180 days before your vacation. This is because they are extremely popular and booking at many restaurants gets almost full on the same day as reservations open. Disney World has many restaurants available that include over a dozen character meals at both the parks and resorts. This quality of Disney World also makes it a foodie’s paradise. 

Disneyland offers only a few restaurants and only a handful of table service restaurants at the parks, resorts, and Downtown Disney. Furthermore, you will only get five character meal options. Disneyland also opens its restaurant reservations but is slightly more manageable 60 days out.

However, the reservations don’t fill up as quickly as Disney World restaurants. Therefore, for Disneyland, sit-down reservations are good but not most important to your vacation. At Disneyland, quick service is the best way to enjoy time at the parks.

Quick Difference Between Disneyland And Disney World Food 

DisneylandDisney World
Limited restaurants availableDozens of restaurant available
You get only five character mealsDisney World offers variety of character meals
Pre-booking is not importantPre-booking is important if you want to enjoy Disney restaurant 

What Is The Difference Between Disneyland And Disney World Characters?

cheapest time to go to disney world

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Most of the characters in the two are the same but character meets are different. So, which is better: Disneyland or Disney World in terms of character meetings? At Disney World, you get a proper schedule for meeting Disney characters. You will also see some specific spots in the Disney World that are made only for Disney character meetings. 

At Disneyland, there are no specific spots for Disney character meetings. The Disney characters are roaming in the park as well as at the Disney hotel resorts. You can bump into numerous characters at Disneyland without having any clue that they would be in the area. Moreover, the surprise meets with Disney characters make the interaction so much fun and exciting. For example, this kind of interaction is fun, spontaneous, and organic which you can’t get in Disney World. 

Disneyland Transportation Vs Disney World Transportation

disneyland vs disney world

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As Disneyland covers only 85 acres of land, it makes everything easier. You can easily walk between the parks, hotels, and Downtown Disney. The main entry of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure are just across from each other. They also share the same ticket booths which makes it more convenient. If you are staying in the Disney hotel in Disneyland, you will also be able to walk in the park at any time you want. You can also transport yourself directly into Tomorrowland inside the Disneyland park by just hopping on the monorail in Downtown Disney. 

Disney World is much larger geographically because it is distributed on almost 2500 acres of land which also makes it impossible to walk all around the park. But, you don’t have to worry because each hotel provides you complimentary transportation to the parks and Disney Springs. However, the means of transportation depends on your location. You may also have to travel via bus, boat, monorail, or even through the Disney Skyliner. Moreover, traveling in the park may become a fun memory. 

Best Time To Visit Disneyland Vs Disney World 

disneyland vs disney world

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Disneyland is present in the sunny area where the temperature remains rather stable throughout the year. However, it is said that the temperature can dip to around 50 degrees in the winters and can reach above 100 in the August and September summer heat. On the other hand, Disney World is present in the area where it gets hot and humid during the summer months. Therefore, summers surely are not the ideal time to stand for hours in line for a favorite ride. 

Both the Disney parks are likely for spring trips, according to the weather conditions. But, you should create a proper plan before visiting a Disney amusement park. In April and March, there will be school spring break which will create an unbearable crowd in both parks. Also, if you don’t want to be a part of the crowd, holiday breaks are not the best time for you either. Holidays, for example, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Fourth of July, and also special celebrations like Halloween

So, what is the best time to visit Disney amusement parks? To gain the full experience of the Disney amusement park, I suggest you plan a trip just after spring breaks. This way you also get to avoid long lines and the weather won’t bother you that much. You will surely have a blast in a shorter amount of time.

Nighttime Spectaculars, Which Is Better Disneyland Or Disney World?

Both Disneyland and Disney World have amazing nighttime productions of fireworks and light displays. However, the shows between locations are so different from each other. Each nighttime show is epic and unique. 

Also at Disney World, you get the Illuminations at EPCOT, Fantasmic at Hollywood Studios, and Celebration of the Magic at The Magic Kingdom. On the other hand, at Disneyland, you get a view of the World of Color. Also, a spectacle of different colors of lights on water is shown every night at Paradise Pier in Disneyland. You can’t say which show is better until you see them all by yourself. 

Days You Need For A Disneyland Experience Vs Disney World Experience

disneyland vs disney world

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You need a different number of days in Disneyland and Disney World to gain a full Disney experience. Both Disney parks require an amount of time to do everything. For example, for Disneyland, one long weekend is enough. That doesn’t mean there is not a lot to do but whatever Disneyland offers, you can experience it on a weekend. Full four days will be more than enough if you want to extremely enjoy Disneyland. When you want to soothe your Disney crave, Disneyland will be perfect. It will also be the perfect quick getaway for a Disney lover. 

For Disney World, you need a full week to fully explore the park. Each day will offer you something. Your trip won’t get boring even for a single day because there is so much to do and explore. Some people say a full month won’t be enough for Disney World. However, sometimes it gets tiring. 

Difference Between Disneyland And Disney World, Activities Outside The Park


If you want to be a part of the crowd, you should plan a trip to Disneyland or Disney World. They are the most popular amusement parks and never are left alone. You can experience peak crowds during holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, summer vacation, spring break, and even on the weekends. 

Where there is a huge crowd, there will be long lines for rides in the amusement parks. You have to wait in a long line whenever you want a ride in Disney World or Disneyland. But, in the comparison between Disney World vs Disneyland size of lines, Disney World is a winner. You have to wait roughly 10-20 minutes longer at Disney World because of the sheer number of visitors. However, the size of the waiting lines varies from day to day and from attraction to attraction. 

To avoid the long waiting time, I recommend you add the Disney Genie+ option to your tickets. This option is available in both Disney parks. This service also offers you access to the quick Lightning Lane entrance and lets you bypass the normal standby lines. Therefore, you can spend less time waiting and more time enjoying your favorite rides at Disney parks.

Disney Genie+ is the replacement for the old FastPass+ and MaxPass systems. However, you have to pay extra bucks for this option, but that extra money will be worth it. But, the Disney Genie+ has some limitations. However, on the highest-demand attractions, both Disney parks offer separate individual Lightning Lane Passes. 

Advantages Of Disneyland

  • Disneyland is compact which makes it very convenient to roam around. When you are on a trip to Disneyland, you will be able to complete your full tour within a few days.
  • You can walk through one attraction to another attraction which will be fun and exciting.
  • Moreover, at Disneyland, there are some off-site hotels within walking distance where you can stay and enjoy your trip.
  • It is present at the location where the weather is stable and perfect for a theme park.
  • Southern California has less rain and warm weather which is ideal for walking and roaming around the park.
  • You can also bump into any Disney character anywhere and anytime.
  • The surprise interaction also always bright ups the mood and makes your day more amazing and exciting.

Disadvantages Of Disneyland

  • It has only two theme parks which make it having fewer attractions and rides to choose from.
  • Moreover, there are only three on-site hotels and many fewer restaurants with fewer character meals.
  • Also, themes are little ones, therefore, they just are not as interesting as those of Disney World.

Advantages Of Disney World

  • Disney World has many advantages over Disneyland because of its four theme parks and two waterparks. These four theme parks offer so much and with water parks, the trip becomes a fun memory that will live with you for a very long time.
  • It is so big that each section just feels like a world unto its own.
  • It also offers a variety of character meals, shows, and events. Furthermore, parks and resorts have their unique character and themes. At Disney World,  everything feels a little extra magical.

Disadvantages Of Disney World

  • Since it is over a large area of land, walking is tiresome and Disney transportation is time-consuming.
  • The transportation takes away a sizable chunk out of your day. 
  • Furthermore, if you aren’t lucky enough, your trip can be ruined because of the weather of the location.
  • The cost of the trip can also create holes in your pocket. Therefore, you should properly plan your trip to Disney World. 

Quick Comparison Between Difference Between Disneyland And Disney World

DisneylandDisney World
Location Anaheim, CaliforniaOrlando, Florida
Size Spread on 85 acres of landSpread on 2500 acres of land
Rides 41 rides55 rides
Opening of parksJuly 17, 1955October 1, 1971
Cost of ticketsLess expensive than Disney WorldMore expensive than Disneyland
Disney theme hotel costMore expensive than Disney WorldLess expensive than Disneyland
Cost of Genie+ and Lightning Lane$20 per ticket per day$5 per ticket per day
Water parksNot a single water park is availableTwo water parks are present
Days you needFour to five days maximumMinimum a week
Website Disneyland.disney.go.com disneyworld.disney.go.com
Operating SeasonYear-round Year-round 
In-Park ResortsThree Twenty-five plus
Golf CoursesNone Five 
Annual VisitorsAround 18.3 million visitors per yearAround 55.9 million per year

Disneyland Castle vs Disney World Castle

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Are you wondering about details of the different Disneyland castle vs Disney World castle? Well! I have got a read for you. Both places seem full of castles and mystical creatures. At Disneyland, find Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. This castle is about 77 feet high. In comparison, Cinderella’s Castle is called the centerpiece of the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. Cinderella’s Castle is about 189 feet high and more significant than Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.

Another difference in Disneyland Castle vs Disney World Castle that you may note is the use of gold. Disneyland’s castle contains gold on parts of its castle exterior. However, on the contrary, Disney World’s castle uses anodized aluminum that mimics gold leaf. The differences don’t stop here, but you will find only one of them to have a working drawbridge. Again Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland takes the prize and features a working drawbridge across its moat. The castle drawbridge of this magnificent abode has also remained open all the time except for the two occasions. Firstly, the drawbridge was lowered during the park’s grand opening and then on during the grand opening of the New Fantasyland.

The highlight of Disney World Castle is that it contains a magical boutique for kids. The kids go into the boutique to undergo a transformation into their favorite princess character. This also makes them feel special and they love their day.

To dive into more details here is a quick comparison of the castle difference between Disneyland and Disney World:

Disney WorldDisneyland Castle
Disney World’s castle is in FloridaDisneyland Castle is in California
Cinderella’s Castle in Disney World is larger when size is comparedSleeping beauty’s castle is smaller in size when compared to Cinderella’s Castle
The Disney World stage is a relatively new additionMagic castle has a stage in front for different shows that entertain guests
It finished in July of 1971It was completed in July 17, 1955

Moreover, Sleeping Beauty has castles worldwide, for example, one in Hong Kong and one in Paris, which is not valid for Cinderella’s castle. Cinderella owns only one other castle in Tokyo, and also it is smaller in size. Also, the interior of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland was first thought to be used as storage to serve some useful purpose. However, later Sleeping Beauty walk-through attraction was created.

What Is the Difference Between Disneyland and Disney World- Avenger Campus?

disneyland vs disney world

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Avengers Campus at Disney California Adventure was opened in 2021 on the 4th of June. The campus is a Marvel Cinematic Universe-themed “Land.” It features different rides and attractions that are all based on Avengers characters. For example, themes on Spider-Man, Iron-Man, Ant-Man, and the rest of the avengers. Moreover, the same kind of this new theme park area will also appear at Disneyland Paris in France and Hong Kong Disneyland in China. However, it will not be part of Walt Disney World in Orlando. This is because of licensing rights with rival theme park Universal Studios Florida.

Disney World lovers can look forward to taking a spin on the new Guardians of the Galaxy, a roller coaster based on the series of the same name based at EPCOT in 2023.

Also Read: Best Day Trips From Orlando: Travel Less Visit More

FAQ

Q1- Do Guests need a ticket and a theme park reservation on the same day and same park they want to visit?

Ans- Well! Yes! Anyone older than three years will need a valid ticket.

Q2- Is it true that certain parks, hotels, restaurants, attractions, experiences, and also other offerings at Disneyland or Disney World have limited availability?

Ans-  Both Disneyland and Disney World have limited capacity and are subject to limited availability or closure, and park admission and offerings are not guaranteed.

Q3- Does having a dining reservation guarantee access to a theme park?

Ans- No, this is not true, and guests for an in-park dining location must also have a valid ticket and theme park reservation.

Conclusion:

For a historic and nostalgic feel, you should go to Disneyland. Disneyland is Walt Disney’s very first theme park. On the other hand, at Disney World, there are countless things to do. So, what is the difference between Disneyland and Disney World? There are lots of things that are unique in both Disney parks which are mentioned above. For example, you get a simple, exciting, and lovely Disney experience at Disneyland. On the other hand, at Disney World, there will be countless things to do and you won’t be able to complete all things. However, both Disney parks give amazing Disney experiences with different things that include rides, shows, nighttime activities, character meals, and whatnot.  

In the end, it doesn’t matter which Disney park you choose, Disneyland or Disney World, you won’t regret any Disney amusement park trip. Hopefully, this article helped you to compare Disneyland vs. Disney World vacations so you can plan your next mind-blow trip to see Mickey and the Disney gang.

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