When you’re a Disney fan, you have a favorite. A favorite movie; a favorite character; a favorite song; a favorite park! I feel like I’m always swapping out my favorite Disney everything. We had a ‘business trip’ scheduled to Anaheim, CA for VidCon a couple weeks ago and it was a no brainer we were going to extend our stay a couple days to checkout Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure. How does it match up to Disney World (read those posts here)? We loved Disney World. It really was a magical experience.
On paper, the Disney cast members at all locations are formally trained to abide by a structure- a script of sorts. How could one park be different from the other? While they’re built to like-designs, we had far different experiences. Some we knew just by looking at the website, some we had to experience in person.
Disney Land vs. Disney World
Disney Magic Band (Disney World) Vs. No Disney Magic Band (Disneyland/California Adventure)
· Available at Disneyworld only, not available at Disneyland
o Cashless, cardless experience; Great Souvenirs for children; Park Entry, hotel entry
FastPass+ (Disney World) Vs. FastPass (Disneyland/California Adventure)
· FastPass+ @ Disneyworld allows for ride reservations 90 days in advance- Including changes and additions at park kiosks
· FastPass @ Disneyland is a free form way of riding rides. Schedule ride time slots at park kiosks ONLY- only on the posted time slots. No freedom in schedule.
Dining (Disney World) Vs. Dining (Disneyland/California Adventure)
· More sit down options at Disneyworld
· Very few character dining experiences at Disneyland; not enough themed restaurants.
Cinderella’s Castle (Disney World) Vs Sleeping Beauty’s Castle (Disneyland/California Adventure)
· Cinderella’s castle is larger and more grand. Looks better in Main St photos.
· The history of the original castle at Disneyland is great for history. It’s old Hollywood; Walt’s first castle.
Disneyworld Fireworks Vs. Disneyland Fireworks
· Very limited space for viewing at Disneyland in comparison to Disneyworld.
· The entire left side of the ‘viewing area’ is obstructed by trees.
· The fireworks at Disneyworld were more magical. They were enormous.
· The lights projected on the castles was MUCH MORE VISIBLE on Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.
PhotoPass (Disney World) Vs. PhotoPass (Disneyland/California Adventure)
· Disneyworld has far more PhotoPass Locations than Disneyland & California Adventure PhotoPass Locations.
Disneyworld Cast (non character) Vs. Disneyland/California Adventure Cast (non character)
· They were NOT as welcome and ‘in character’ at Disneyland apposed to Disneyworld. Didn’t hear the ‘script’ more than five (5) times while there. Rarely heard them call my daughter princess. Did not hear them say the word “magic” or “magical” once.
Downtown Disney (World) Vs. Downtown Disney (Land)
· Downtown Disney (world) is much larger and offers more for all ages.
· More dining options at Downtown Disney (world)
While these are the thoughts and opinions from my family’s visit, they may not be accurate for everyone. Overall we will continue to book our bigger Disney trips to Disney World. We felt more in the Disney element for the entirety of our stay on the grounds. Disney World offers a much more broad, magical experience for you and all your guests.