Disneyland instead of
disneyworld? Which park really delivers the most disney magic?
Picking Disneyland instead of Disneyworld is sure to stir up some controversy, I know. Choosing which Disney park is best can be a big deal for a lot of families. Sometimes Disney is a once in a lifetime trip and choosing the wrong destination could make or break the magic. Ok, that’s really not true. The Disney magic is real and it’s real at both parks. The Disney meltdowns are real too but that’s a whole different post in itself.
But why choose Disneyland instead of Disneyworld? Isn’t an entire world better than just a land?
I remember years ago talking to my sister-in-law about Disney trips. She told me she would
It would be like saying, “Hey I have a donut and i have a donut hole. Which would you like for breakfast?”
At the time I had one kid and had been to Disneyland when I was six and Disneyworld when I was 23. I was thinking like one of those non-parents who will never feed their kid anything but Kale. Then they have a kid and he is eating goldfish crackers off the floor mats in the van.
Now, I’ve been to both Disneyland and Disneyworld with kids and I would agree Disneyland instead of
disneyworld is an awesome choice.
Fast forward ten years to my older wiser self and I can completely agree that Disneyland has a lot of advantages to Disneyworld.
I have been to Disneyworld with one kid for a quick and crazy whirlwind trip.
I have been to Disneyland for a family reunion style trip when my kids were 5 & 2 and I was 8 ½ months pregnant. Bonus tip if you want your baby to be born a tiny bit early plan to walk 5 miles at Disney for three days. That did the trick for me.
We did Disneyland again with the grandparents two years later with my 3rd kid as a two-year-old instead of a bowling ball in my belly.
Our most recent trip was to Disneyworld with grandparents and friends. It was split over two weekends because well, it’s a long story, but the moral is I’ve been to both Disney parks with a variety of kids and age groups.
I know it might sound crazy but I prefer Disneyland over Disneyworld and here’s why:
I would recommend
disneyland instead of disneyworld because it is more convenient. A lot more convenient!
We always stay off property because we are a family of go-getters who like to save money where we can. We choose condos and A
During our last Disneyworld
trip I was blown away by the amount of time it took us just to get into the Magic kingdom.
From the parking lot to the tram line, the tram to the monorail or ferry and from there to the turnstile lines and you are FINALLY inside. Whew, I felt like I finished a marathon while pushing a stroller before my ticket was even scanned. We only returned to our condo on one of our four Disneyworld days because it took so much time and effort to get in and out of the place!
Compare that to our Disneyland experience where our condo commute was dream.
We took a nice 5-minute walk in the sunshine to the tram and were dropped off right at the gate. It was fantastic. One of the days we were at Disneyland there was a sudden downpour at the end of the day so we cut it short and pushed our stroller from California Adventure back to the condo in about 15 minutes. We dried off, caught up on some much-needed rest and prepared some lunch to take into the park the next day.
Disneyland instead of Disneyworld is a good choice because of the weather alone.
We went to Disneyland in September and the weather was absolutely perfect.
Shorts and t-shirts with a light sweater for morning and evening and you are golden. There was one small rain burst at the end of one of the days. Disneyworld is a different story.
We went to Disneyworld on the exact same dates in September and it was miserable.
I was thinking I was being really smart waiting for the fall cool down. Folks, there is no fall cool down. Florida is a hot humid swamp and you are in it, my friend. You are on a heat attracting concrete slab in the middle of a swamp. There was sweat, there was rain, there was misery.
It was so hot and humid on our first day at the Animal Kingdom that I was really evaluating my life choices.
We left the park at around 3 because we know when to cut our losses but you couldn’t pay me enough to go to Disneyworld in the heat of the summer. NO WAY. We were able to rally and go back to the Magic Kingdom for their fireworks show which totally reignited the Disney magic but California wins hands down in the weather category.
I don’t like Crowds and disneyland has less of them.
I don’t know about you, but I hate crowds. I know there are tons of people who find them invigorating, but even with my mad extrovert skills, I hate navigating strollers through gobs of smelly tourists. We always choose to do Disney trips in the off-season. I know, I know skipping school to create family memories is frowned upon. Sorry. Not sorry.
Disneyworld is the most popular theme park in the entire world and it can feel like it too.
In the fall, when we visited both parks, lines were minimal. We could walk on Thunder Mountain and had a short 10-minute wait for It’s a Small World.
Disneyworld has a much larger capacity than Disneyland so even though Disneyworld has more guests inside they spread out and give you a less crowded feel. That’s all fine and good while you’re in the park but also means that after the fireworks spectacular you are fighting with 70,000 people to navigate your way out of the park rather than a much more manageable (yeah right) 40,000.
Disneyland’s California Adventure It’s a Bugs Life area was all but deserted on our trip in September. The kids had a blast doing the rides over and over again without stopping. If you have toddlers or preschoolers Disneyland is where it’s at.
disneyland instead of disneyworld makes your trip so much more relaxing.
So, when most people think of vacation, the thought of relaxation comes to mind. Sitting by the pool, window shopping, playing with the kiddos ect. You can do all of that during a week at Disneyland. You have time to do the park for a day. Hang out and the condo and swim for a day or walk to Downtown Disney for some window shopping.
With a 3-day park hopper pass you will spend three days at the park and have 4 days to relax by the pool, head to the beach, do whatever you please. It’s relaxing and calm. Disneyworld, on the other hand, is a whole different animal.
Disneyworld passes are usually the best “bargain” if you buy the
Trust me, the preschool gang can’t hang with this schedule. What usually ends up happening is you feel forced into “getting your money’s worth” by traveling through all 4 theme parks at a breakneck pace trying to see it all and do it all.
By the time you get home, you are thoroughly exhausted. You spend the next three weeks trying to recoup from your “vacation”. You’ll be playing the part of Snow White cleaning, doing laundry and unpacking. Your kids will be playing the part of Grumpy.
The bottom line for you and your littles: Disneyland is the winner.
- Disneyland is easier to navigate especially when it comes to getting into the gates of the Magic Kingdom.
- There are fantastic and very reasonable off-site accommodations within walking distance to the Disney tram.
- The humidity isn’t 157% for most of the year. Don’t even get me started on the very common spring and summer downpours in Florida. Bleck.
- If you go to Disneyland you might have at least a small chance of returning home feeling like you had time to unwind.
We are Disney fans through and through and have amazing memories at both parks.
If you live on the East Coast
If you’re looking for more family travel tips join our email list by subscribing below.