When considering a Disney vacation in the U.S., there are two distinct options: Disney World in Orlando, FL or Disneyland in Anaheim, CA. Many travelers choose the destination that is closer to home due to cost and time constraints. However, if you have the opportunity to pick either one, here are some things to consider before booking your tickets.
The main difference between the two Disney locations (in the United States) is size. Disney World sprawls over 43 square miles and is the size of a large U.S. city. It has four theme parks, two huge water parks, almost 30 Disney resort hotels and so much more. The sheer size of Disney World makes it almost impossible to experience the entire adventure in a single visit. And quite honestly, trying to do so will make for tired and stressed-out travelers. Rather, plan your vacation in advance and pick a list of must-see experienced based on the current interests of you and your children. As your kids get older, that list will change. That’s what makes Disney World a favorite place to visit with your family time and time again.
Conversely, Disneyland is much smaller, covering a “mere” 160 acres. It includes “only” two theme parks and three Disney resort hotels. It is possible to experience almost all of the Disneyland Resort in a three- or four-day visit.
Disney World provides many modes of transportation to get around. Travel between locations usually requires a car ride, tram ride, shuttle or ferry. In Disneyland, it is easy to walk from place to place.
Unique experiences and attractions.
Since Disney World’s Magic Kingdom was built based on Disneyland, the two parks are similar in layout and share many (but not all) of the same rides and attractions. And even the attractions found in both resorts have many differences. In either case, you enter the main park and walk down Main Street, U.S.A., where straight ahead is Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom in Disney World or Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland.
Tickets and Preparation.
Ticket prices at Disney World and Disneyland are about the same, and with the exception of children under age 3 which are free at both places, expect to pay about $100 per person for a one-day pass.
However, planning a Disney World vacation is not as simple as just showing up and walking about. The introduction of MyMagic+ allows visitors to pre-plan an entire agenda, including which attractions to request FastPass entrance and which times to visit. Moreover, the MagicBand essentially connects all aspects of your trip, including your resort hotel room key, entrance tickets, dining experiences and credit card information. This makes it easier to purchase just about anything with a swipe of your band.
Because of its smaller size, it is much simpler (and less techy) to plan a Disneyland vacation. You simply need to reserve your hotel, collect your theme park tickets and receive your FastPass via paper printout. There is now a Disneyland app that allows you to buy your tickets and view wait times and show times.
Whichever destination you choose, a Disney vacation is one to remember!