As a regular Disney World visitor, it is so easy to get comfortable with all the incredible offerings found at Walt Disney World Resort that you may not even consider the advantages of giving Disneyland a try. Yes, Disneyland may be smaller, yes it’s in the middle of a city and yes there aren’t as many onsite properties. However, there are so many wonderful differences between the parks that a visit here will really leave you feeling like you’re seeing Disney again for the first time! To give you just a taste of the advantages, here are 7 reasons why we think a Disneyland visit should definitely be in the cards for regular Disney World visitors!
1. Walk in Walt’s Footsteps! – For die-hard Disney fans, walking down Main Street U.S.A in Disneyland can be such a powerful experience. After all, this is the park that Walt built. From the window above the fire station, showing you were Walt’s office was, to recalling all those iconic photos you’ve seen of Walt (like the one above) during his time at the park, the history really comes alive at Disneyland. For those wanting to delve a bit deeper into the development of Disneyland as well as Walt’s career, I highly recommend the Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps tour. During this three hour magical journey you’ll learn how Walt Disney wove his personal history into the parks. You’ll even be let into a few areas of the park of deep historical significance that aren’t available to regular visiting guests. To find out more check out this page.
2. Smaller and More Manageable – Disneyland is a lot smaller in size and scope than Walt Disney World. At Disney World, you have 4 theme parks, 2 water parks and over 25 resorts. At Disneyland, you have 2 parks, 3 onsite resorts and Downtown Disney. However, don’t be fooled, what it lacks in scale it makes up for with dozens of incredible attractions, amazing eateries and more! A question I get asked a lot when it comes to planning a Disneyland getaway is how much time is needed to see everything. When it comes to Walt Disney World, I usually advocate for a 5-7 night stay. For Disneyland, you can see most everything with three full days at the park or opt for a more leisurely 4-days. You may want to lengthen this slightly if you want to do San Diego, Hollywood or other neighboring areas and attractions but Disneyland also lends itself well to long weekends making it the perfect short break!
3. Milder Summer Temperatures – Regular Disney World visitors will normally avoid Disney like the plague during the Summer months. With a rainy hurricane season, high humidity and temperatures often in the 90s, it’s easy to see why. However, travelling during the Fall-Spring months is not always an option for families with tight work schedules or kids in school. In this respect, Disneyland does provide milder temperatures. Where the average July high in Orlando is 91° in Anaheim it’s 84°. In California, you also won’t have to deal with the constant afternoon downpours and this area of the country offers about 50 more sunny days per year than Orlando!
4. Exclusive Attractions – One of my favorite things about visiting Disneyland is the chance to enjoy rides that just aren’t available at Walt Disney World. From classics like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and Alice in Wonderland to Indiana Jones Adventure and rides like the Incredicoaster ( in the soon to be unveiled Pixar Pier), a visit to Disneyland is an incredible opportunity to make some new Disney memories and enjoy rides that simply aren’t available on the East Coast! But that’s not all, be sure to stay late one night to check out the breathtaking World of Color water pageant as well as the Paint the Night Parade, both are the perfect unique endings to your Disneyland days!
5. Car’s Land – This wonderful addition to Disney California Adventure Park needs to be experienced by all Disney fans at least once. Whether it’s grabbing some delicious grub at the Cozy Cone or Flo’s V8 Cafe or speeding off into the horizon with Radiator Springs Racers, the Imagineering that went into this area of the park is wonderfully detailed and immersive. During your visit here you can also cozy up to some of your favorite friends from the Cars franchise including Lightning McQueen, Sally, Mater and Doc, take a spin on Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree and more! Bring your cameras as there’s something magical around every turn!
6. Incredible Treats – If one of your favorite things to do at Disney is to try the amazing food than Disneyland does not disappoint. As a matter of fact, we here at Disney Addicts are frequently jealous of the amazing treats that get unveiled each season at Disneyland Resort. If churros are your thing then you will be a happy bunny as there are so many incredible (and constantly changing) varieties here that we find it hard to keep up! Other must-try items include the corn-dogs, Mickey-shaped beignets at the Mint Julep and pretty much anything from Bengal Barbecue!
7. Marvel! – Though characters and attractions based on the Marvel Universe are slowly cropping up at Walt Disney World, Disneyland has them in abundance. First, there’s the incredible Guardians of the Galaxy- Mission: BREAKOUT! which took over the Tower of Terror last year and has been winning over fans ever since making it one of the most popular rides at Disney California Adventure Park. You also have a Guardians of the Galaxy-themed dance party and character meet and greets from such notable Marvel characters as Doctor Strange, Black Panther, Black Widow, Captain America, Spider-Man, Loki, Thor and Gamora!
These are just a small fraction of the many reasons why we here at Disney Addicts think Disney World visitors should definitely save up for a Disneyland visit! We are confident that you’ll love everything that these parks have to offer as well as the three onsite resorts (which you can find out more about here!)
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Images copyright Disney.