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Disneyland vs Disney World: Which Park Is Better? (2022)

When people hear Disneyland and Disney World, the first thing that comes to mind is the magical films we have watched. Not to mention the Disney characters we've come to love. Although often interchanged, these two terms differ from each other.

Our team spent 48 hours researching and compiling everything you have to know about Disneyland vs Disney World!

Disney World & Disneyland: How are They Different?

Disney World & Disneyland: How are They Different?

The Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland are Disney resorts that people often thought to be the same. However, they have a huge difference in the land size and the various funfairs inside.

The Walt Disney World, located in Orlando, has 43 square miles and has theme parks, including Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, and their iconic Cinderella Castle.

On the other hand, you can find the famous Disneyland in Anaheim, which measures 500 acres and flaunts various themed parks, namely Disneyland Park, Disneyland California Adventure, their masterpiece, the Sleeping Beauty Castle, and Downtown Disney District.

Closer Look At The Differences

Size & Location

Size & Location

One of the distinctions between Disneyland VS Disney World is the size and location.

The Walt Disney World Resort is located in Florida near Lake Buena Vista. Disney World covers 110 km², enjoying 4 themed parks like Hollywood Studios, Magic Kingdom, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It also has two water parks, beaches, and golf resorts.

The Disneyland Resort is located on the West Coast of the U.S in Anaheim, California. The land size reaches 500 acres and accommodates just two theme parks - Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park [1]. The Walt Disney World is bigger, but some parents think that going here is more manageable when they have kids because of its land size.

Disney Castle

Disney castles are the attractions that many tourists want to see. Going there can give a nostalgic experience and memory of the Disney films everyone came to love.

The Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom (located in Disneyland resort) is 189 ft. tall and has 27 towers. You can find restaurants, boutiques, and even a family suite here! It also showcases murals that feature some of the iconic scenes in the famous Cinderella Story. 

Meanwhile, Walt Disney World Resort boasts of its Sleeping Beauty Castle standing 77 ft. high. You can see many magical things inside, including scenes where Aurora is sleeping, the Grand Hall, Maleficent, and enchanted features like Corridor of Goons.

Also Read: Disney's Best Villains

Rides & Entertainment

Rides & Entertainment

Disneyland vs Disney World may seem different, but every Disney theme park is famous for its exciting rides and entertainment to visitors of all ages. 

The Disneyland Resort has Splash Mountain, Toad’s Wild Ride, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Haunted Mansion that will surely give you creeps and a thrilling experience. You don’t have to worry because you can’t find any gore here, and the ride moves slowly, so it’s perfectly safe for everyone. 

On the side, the Walt Disney World will let you enjoy numerous des like Walt Disney’s carousel, It’s a Small World, and Space Mountain - an indoor coaster that will send you to explore with stars and galaxies. Walt Disney World also has an Animal Kingdom theme park to cater to anyone interested in spending time in the natural environment and seeing some animals.

Theme Parks & Attractions

When talking about Disneyland vs Disney World, one of the differences worth noting is the number of parks they have and the theme park design they offer. Of course, these Disneyland parks are based on Disney films and movies under Disney property. 

If you want to explore numerous Disney parks and attractions, you should go with Walt Disney World because it has four theme parks and two water parks. You can go to Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, or Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

The Disneyland that you can find in Southern California has a Downtown Disney District and Disney California Adventure where you can scream at Increadicoaster, book fine dining at the World of Color, and enjoy the nighttime light and waters like Disney Springs.

Best Time To Visit

Best Time To Visit

When visiting these Disney theme parks, there are many factors to consider, like the number of crowds, seasonal events, and even the park tickets and hours.

Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World are better to be visited when the kids are still in school. It is best to visit around mid-September to mid-November before the Thanksgiving break or from mid-January to mid-March. Expect an increase of guests during Christmas, spring break, and from June to August from those who want to enjoy Disney vacations with their family and friends.

To be sure, you can always check their calendar of activities before planning your Disney trip and park visit. It is essential to know if they have any special occasions on your planned day of visit because when the number of people is high, they close both Disneyland and Disney World earlier.

Monicker

Before, Disneyland park was called “The Mickey Mouse Park” since Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse, and the gang is mostly seen here. It also went with “Disneylandia” before settling with its name today. This theme park is under the Disney World property and became famous in 1955 with over 18 rides and attractions. 


Walt Disney World, also known as Walt Disney World Resort or “Disney World” for short, is a famous resort located in Florida, United States. It is under the name of an entrepreneur, film and television producer, and owner of this Disney park, Walt Disney.

Restaurant, Resort, & Hotel Properties

Restaurant, Resort, & Hotel Properties

Disneyland and Disney World offer one-of-a-kind Disney hotels and resorts where you and your family can rest after a tiring day. You can also stay here if you availed of a 3-day trip to Disneyland or a few days of Disney World vacations. The resorts are also within walking distance from the various Disney parks.

Disneyland is also proud to present their Disney Springs, Pixar Pier, and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel. They have three hotels, including Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, The Grand Californian, and Disneyland Hotel, that offer outstanding services and flexible dining reservations.

Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort lets you enjoy a relaxing evening while watching fireworks light up the sky over the Cinderella Castle. Paradise Pier and Grand Floridian Resorts could be quite expensive. Still, you will surely get your money’s worth from their outstanding amenities, accomodating staff, and of course, the once in a lifetime experience.

Avengers Campus

Disneyland and Disney World Resorts both have Avengers campuses. The Avengers Campus in Disneyland showcases the prominent heroes in Marvel. This includes the Spider-Man attraction, Pym Test Kitchen, and Doctor Strange’s sanctum portal. 

On the other hand, the Avengers Campus in Disney World has a warehouse that collectors and MCU fans will surely love. Aside from superhero costumes, you can also look for comic books, Marvel DVDs, vinyl figures, artworks, and other Marvel-inspired apparel.

There are no significant differences in the Avengers Campus of Disneyland vs Disney World.

Also Read: When Did Disney Buy Marvel?

Transportation

Transportation

Suppose the guests are coming from the Orlando International Airport and wish to stay at a Disney Resort hotel. In that case, they may use a Disney Skyliner and Disney’s Magical Express to bring them straight to the Disney hotel they booked. There are also bus services between hotels, springs, and the parks.

Disney World has its famous Disneyland monorail, making it easy for guests to get around in the parks. The first route goes to Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, and some world-renowned resorts and spas. The second route goes to the ticket center and EPCOT.

Cost

When it comes to the cost of tickets between Disneyland vs Disney World, children under the age of three don’t have to pay any fees to enter. Opting to stay longer can also help lower ticket prices. 

Aside from that, the price of the 1-day ticket you will book will depend on the date you will visit Disneyland. To be sure, we recommend checking their website in advance before planning your trip. Their 2-day ticket costs around $240 for children and around $255 for adults. If you plan to stay for five days, the park ticket prices may range from $360 to $380.

The tickets in Disney World for a single day start at about $109.00 for ages ten and above. The 2-day base tickets are roughly $101 - $150 for three up to nine years old and around $107 - $155 for ten and above guests.

The ticket prices in Disneyland vs Disney World differ from time to time, so make sure to always check their website for updates.

FAQS

Which opened first, Disneyland or Disney World?

The first one to open is Disneyland. It was introduced to the public on July 17, 1955, under the Walt Disney company. Meanwhile, Walt Disney World Resorts opened on October 1, 1971. Roy Disney was responsible for designing and opening the theme parks after his brother, Walt Disney, died.

Is it worth going to Disneyland if you have been to Disney World?

No, it is not worth it to go to Disneyland when you already went to Disney World. The latter one already has lots of parks, rides, and attractions you can enjoy. Disneyland, on the other hand, is quite smaller, which means that there are only a few theme parks for you to enjoy.

Key Takeaways

There are lots of differences between Disneyland vs Disney World, but in the end, both of them offer exciting rides, resorts, and attractions that can make your stay memorable.

Disney World is bigger as it has four theme parks, including Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. They also have two water parks called Typhoon Lagoon and Disney’s Blizzard Beach. 

Disneyland has only two theme parks, namely Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. It is also popular for the castle of the famous Disney princess, Cinderella.

In the end, deciding which is better between Disneyland vs Disney World is still up to you, since there are quite a few factors you have to consider, like its location and the ticket prices. In the end, both of these surely are magical places to be in.

For Disney toys and collectibles, check out our list!

Reference:

  1. https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/experience/america/theme-parks/2021/10/24/disney-world-disneyland-differences-theme-parks/8520987002/