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You Need to Know: Disneyland vs Disney World

You Need to Know: Disneyland vs Disney World

Walt Disney’s creative vision lives on in Disneyland and Disney World. And, both parks certainly provide fun and entertainment for all ages.

However, today we want to see how the two stack up against each other and which one is best for your next vacation.

Let’s take a look!

Disneyland vs Disney World At-a-Glance

A large part of which you prefer may depend on if you live on the west or east coast. Disney World is in Florida, while Disneyland is in California.

Disneyland is the original Disney theme park. It opened in July 1955 and set the tone for what would later become Disney World. Although Walt Disney didn’t live to see the opening of Walt Disney World in 1971, he passed on his plans to a team capable of bringing it to life.

Both parks continue to help families of all ages make memories that they’ll never forget. The moment you pass through the gates of any of the Disney parks, you’ll step into a magical world. It’s as if the books and movies you grew up watching on the big screen come to life in front of your eyes.

Woman riding magic teacups at disney.
Usually people choose to explore Disneyland or Disney World based off of where they are located.

Disneyland vs Disney World Comparison

While both parks offer a lot, we’re going to compare them in several areas to see how they stack up against each other. Let’s get started!


Disneyland sits just outside Hollywood in Southern California. Due to the massive infrastructure surrounding the park, there’s little room for future expansion.

It’s located in a heavily populated and heavily developed area. It’s an easy trip for anyone visiting San Diego or Los Angeles. In addition, the weather is great all year round, which means you won’t have to plan around seasonal closures.

Disney World is in Orland, Fla., another location with optimal weather conditions all year round. Orlando is a city built for tourists. They make it easy for visitors to get to and from their resorts.

Disney World even offers transportation to and from the airport for guests staying in one of their many resorts. If you’re on the east coast, a trip to Disney World is a must!

Friends riding a rollercoaster at Disney.
While both parks have amazing rides, Disney World is significantly bigger.

Disneyland vs Disney World Park Sizes

When it comes to park sizes, it’s not even a fair fight. Disney World’s property in Florida is massive. By massive, we mean they own 43 square miles of land. When you compare this to Disneyland’s 500 acres, you realize how huge Disney World truly is.

To give a better idea of the difference in sizes, approximately 51 Disneylands could fit within the boundaries of Disney World. While Disneyland may be smaller, it still packs quite a bit within its borders. 

Cost to Visit

You don’t need to weigh Disneyland vs Disney World on this one. It’s no secret that neither are cheap. You don’t visit the parks expecting to save a few bucks. 

Overall, you can expect to pay a tad more to visit Disney World than Disneyland. A single-day ticket will cost between $114 to $199 for adults. In comparison, visiting Disneyland costs $117 for adults. All children three years and under are free.

There are a couple of ways you can save money when it comes to your admission to either of the parks. One of the best ways is by extending your stay. The more days you stay, the cheaper each day gets.

Another great way is by visiting in the off-season. The highest prices will be during the winter holidays and summer vacations. Not only will you pay the highest costs during those times, but you’ll also face the toughest crowds. 

Pro Tip: Considering exploring Orlando while visiting Disney? Try staying at one of these 7 Best RV Parks in Orlando, Florida.

Father and daughter riding rollercoaster in Disney.
Prices to enter both Disneyland and Disney World can be costly.

Getting Around the Disneyland and Disney World

When it comes to access, Disneyland wins. The two Disneyland park entrances sit across from one another. You can be standing in Disneyland and then venture over to the second Disneyland park, California Adventure, in a matter of minutes. It doesn’t get any easier or faster than that.

Disney World offers four different parks and two water parks, which can take a considerable amount of time to reach. Disney World does offer bus and monorail transportation between parks to help guests hop from park to park, but it won’t be quick.

Ride Variety

When you visit a theme park, it’s essential to know that there’s something for everybody. Luckily, both Disneyland and Disney World offer a good variety. Whether you’re looking for thrill rides or a gentler experience, you’ll find them at both parks.

If rides aren’t your thing, there’s plenty of shows and other experiences to help create a magical day as well.

The Matterhorn in Disneyland.
When comparing Disneyland vs. Disney World, you must consider what special attractions you prefer.

Exclusive Attractions

While both parks offer several of the same classic attractions, some are unique to each location. Disneyland may be smaller than Disney World, but it has Walt Disney’s Apartment, Matterhorn, Cars Land, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and the Indiana Jones Adventure.

Due to having massively more space, Disney World can build and develop more attractions without eliminating others. Animal Kingdom, one of the four parks at Walt Disney World, offers Pandora – The World of Avatar, which transports you straight into the popular “Avatar” movie. You can also find The Carousel of Progress, Spaceship Earth, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and Expedition Everest.

Little girl on ride at Disney World.
After spending a day enjoying Disney World, camp at Disney’s Ford Wilderness campground.

Camping Amenities

When it comes to camping while visiting the parks, Walt Disney World wins again. Walt Disney World offers Ford Wilderness, an on-site campground, for guests looking to camp in a tent or RV.

The campground offers many first-class amenities, including cable TV. Guests who stay at Fort Wilderness enjoy the same perks as those staying in other Disney resorts or hotels.

As we’ve discussed, Disneyland sits amid a large metropolitan area. Several campgrounds are nearby, but none offer anything close to what Fort Wilderness provides at Walt Disney World. The amenities will vary from campground to campground, but many offer 30-amp, 50-amp, and even tent sites.

Due to the location, any campgrounds within walking distance of the park will have a very urban feel and won’t be the quiet lake-side campground often thought of for camping.

Pro Tip: Before you reserve a spot at Disney’s Fort Wilderness make sure to read Is Disney’s Fort Wilderness Campground Worth The Price?

Which Park Should You Visit on Your Next Trip?

When it comes to Disneyland vs Disney World, you really can’t go wrong. Which park you choose may largely depend on which part of the country you plan to visit. You’ll most definitely create fantastic memories and maybe even walk away with a pair of Mickey ears to call your own. 

Visiting a Disney theme park is a memorable experience for all ages. Whether you hit the rides, enjoy the fireworks, or just take in the sights, you won’t soon forget a trip to either park. What’s your favorite Disney memory?

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