I am a Disney Fan through and through. As a Southern California girl, I grew up regularly visiting Mickey and his pals at Disneyland. However, I've also had my fair share of (a dozen!) trips to Walt Disney World in Florida. Inevitably, people ask me which one I like better, and my answer is always the same, "Each one is special in it's own way, and I can't pick a favorite. They fill different roles. Disneyland is great for a long weekend getaway, and Disney World is a full on vacation."
Disneyland will always hold a special place in my heart, as it brings up the nostalgia of not only my own childhood, but of the fact that it was Walt's baby. His personal touches are throughout the park, with many original, innovative attractions still operating today. It's an easy resort to navigate, with the two parks set directly across from one another, and easy 1 minute walk between them. Even Downtown Disney is just right outside the gates.
Disneyland has some fabulous attractions that don't exist at the Magic Kingdom in Florida, such as Indiana Jones and the Matterhorn. And, as we always remind ourselves, several of the attractions are just better here: Pirates, It's a Small World, and Space Mountain. (Winnie the Pooh is better in Florida, though!) Then, over at California Adventure, we have the adorable Pixar Pier area, picture perfect Cars Land and the awesome Avenger's Campus. Disney keeps the parks fresh, quickly bringing in new characters and updating experiences to include what is popular. A lot to love in these two parks, but much of it can be experienced in 3 days. (I'd recommend 4 or 5 for a once-in-a-lifetime trip.)
Walt Disney World, on the other hand, is a beast. With 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, 2 miniature golf courses and a huge Disney Springs area, there is always more to do than can be done. EPCOT provides a delightful journey around the world, filled with talented street performers and seasonal festivals. Animal Kingdom offers up close experiences with animals AND great thrill rides. Hollywood Studios is home to the cutest theming in Toy Story Land, as well as offering multiple E-Ticket attractions. The dining options are varied and numerous, with tasty offerings in both counter-service and sit-down locations. With room to expand, new projects are always under development, keeping us coming back for more. The resorts themselves are worth visiting, with fabulous theming and details throughout. (They are especially exquisite at the holidays!)
Why do I tell you this? It's really to say that, if you're a Disney fan, you need to experience both destinations. Each one has its own charm, highlights, and nuances that you will enjoy. The spirit is the same everywhere, but the experiences are unique to each coast. If you've always said, "Someday I'll get to Disney World" or "I would love to visit the park where it all began", I'd love to help make that happen for you. Feel free to reach out any time so we can turn your "someday" into "remember when".
Lisa is the travel loving, animal adoring, Mickey Mouse hugging owner of Dreams Delivered Travel.