After three trips to Disney World in Florida in as many consecutive years, we decided to switch up our Disney trip this year and visit the opposite coast. I grew up going to Disneyland every time my family visited my grandparents in Southern California. So there is definitely a nostalgia factor there. Disneyland is where I first discovered my love of the Disney parks. But over our last few visits to Orlando, I have fallen in love with Disney World, as well.
So, which is better?
Well, that depends on what you’re looking for. Keep reading to find out what I think.
Disney World has Cinderella’s Castle. At Disneyland, Sleeping Beauty’s pink and blue fortress stands as the entrance to Fantasyland.
Both castles are beautiful and are worthy of their title as key landmarks for Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park. However, I have to say I prefer Cinderella’s Castle in Orlando. Just catching a glimpse of it when walking up Main Street towards the hub fills the heart with excitement and endless possibility. After so many visits to Disney World, I was a little disappointed at first with how small Sleeping Beauty’s Castle was. The size of Cinderella’s Castle alone is not what draws me to Magic Kingdom, however. I love that at least part of Cinderella’s Castle is visible from nearly everywhere in Magic Kingdom. Like a beacon, it stands as a reference point to where you are and where you want to go.
Character Meet and Greets
Meeting characters is one of our favorite things to do at Disney. On our trip to Disneyland in August, I expected the process of meet and greets to be the same, if not very similar, to that of Disney World. However, I found this not to be the case. I found the process of meeting characters at Disneyland to be, at times, frustrating and disappointing. The process is organized and precise to a T at Disney World, with characters coming out on time and the location of the line very clear and easy to find. The cast members even know when to close the line when the number of guests would exceed the amount of time the character was available to meet them. Disneyland could definitely take some pointers from its east coast sister park. Sometimes, the characters didn’t even show up to meet guests until long after the time they were scheduled. And sometimes, the schedule changed last minute. The planner in me found this somewhat frustrating when trying to plan our day.
However, when it comes to the variety of character experiences available, Disneyland has Disney World beat. I was impressed with the amount of side characters seen around the park. Characters such as the Fairy Godmother, Cruela DeVil, and the Evil Queen were seen regularly. Buddy became best buds with Captain Hook and Ladybug was also able to fulfill her lifelong dream of meeting Flynn Rider- both characters they couldn’t meet at Disney World.
Disney World has Epcot, which is my second favorite park at Disney World after Magic Kingdom. I missed strolling through the World Showcase and trying out different foods from around the world when we were at Disneyland. However, Disneyland has California Adventure, which I also loved. This includes Cars Land, which D and I enjoyed even if our children were less than impressed.
Disney World is obviously the bigger of the two resorts, spanning about 40 square miles. It is impossible to travel between parks and resorts on foot. However, what Disneyland lacks in size, it makes up for in coziness. I love that all three of Disneyland’s resorts, Downtown Disney, and the two parks are within walking distance from each other. It definitely makes it more convenient for guests to go back and forth during the day. I really can’t decide which I prefer better. The bigger size allows for more space for magic. But the smaller sized Disneyland does not lack in the magic department.
The weather in California is, hands down, better than in Florida. Period. The end. I am not a hot weather girl. D always teases me that I’m a weather wuss- I prefer mild climates. I don’t like cold weather and I especially despise hot weather. As much as I love Disney World, the most magical place on Earth would be a lot more magical if it weren’t so hot and sticky. But it’s Disney, so I gladly put up with it. Although California obviously gets hot, it is not nearly as humid as Florida, making the heat much more bearable.
So going back to my earlier question… which Disney park is better- Disney World or Disneyland? I don’t think I could choose. Each park has it’s strengths and weaknesses. I prefer aspects of both parks and I would gladly go to either as often as possible.
Which Disney park do you prefer?
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