As a seasoned Walt Disney World attendee, I can honestly say that I feel like I know everything there is to do there (even though I actually don’t), and I never have trouble navigating the parks or figuring out what to do next. I have been going to Walt Disney World since I was five and have been on countless trips since then (this past May was trip number 14, and trip 15 is coming up in January!).
So, when I got the opportunity to take a trip to Disneyland with one of my closest friends, I jumped at the chance. I had always wanted to see it – to see the places that Walt himself walked, ride the rides that came from his great mind. It’s been a dream of mine for a long time.
And now that I’ve been home for a little over a week and can take a step back and assess the trip in a little more detail, I can tell everyone the biggest differences between the two Disney parks.
1. A LOT smaller
I was actually surprised HOW much smaller. I went into the trip knowing that it was, getting myself ready for the fact that there probably wouldn’t be as much to do and see. As opposed to the four parks at Disney World, there are only two at Disneyland, and they’re a lot smaller in comparison.
2. A LOT cozier
I think because it was smaller, it also had a cozier feel. This was fine until the third day of our trip when the parks were packed, then it was just claustrophobic. (I suggest not going on a weekend.)
3. A LOT busier
Not the parks themselves necessarily, but the area. Disneyland is right in the middle of Anaheim, California. I was impressed that they got everything into one small space because the city is RIGHT THERE. It’s hard to explain without seeing it. We took Uber rides to and from our hotel which took anywhere from 5-15 minutes and we were only a mile away from the parks.
I tried to go into Disneyland with an open mind despite what I’d heard from some different people about the major differences. I didn’t want to go off of other people’s experiences without knowing for myself. The cast members (employees) were not nearly as friendly. They didn’t smile a lot and didn’t talk unless spoken to. (Something that is obviously very different at Disney World). The wait-staff at the Disneyland restaurants were not as attentive as they are at Disney World restaurants. They were rush-rush-rush and wanted to get you in and out of the restaurants so that they could get new customers in. (I get that this happens at some other major restaurants, but it’s just a stressful situation when you want to sit down for a nice meal at Disney.)
5. STILL nice
I was happy overall with my trip to Disneyland. While it wasn’t obviously my first choice of Disney destinations, I had a great time. I got to walk where Walt Disney walked, I got to ride rides that he came up with, and I got to see things he saw. That in and of itself was worth the whole trip.
So, would I go back? Maybe. But I’ll be spending most of my time at Walt Disney World from now on.
Have you ever been to Disneyland? If so, what were your favorite things?