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View Full Version : Disneyland vs Disneyworld?


albianne
11-16-2006, 11:47 PM
After just returning from our 3rd trip to Disneyland this year we are wondering if we should do Disneyworld next time. Is there anything different at DW than there is at DL? I have heard that it is more spread out (more walking) and that the weather will be more humid at DW but are there any different rides, parades, fireworks etc, is it more expensive to get park tickets or rent hotel rooms in Florida, would love to hear if anyone has experience with both parks.

Albianne

Albertan mom
11-17-2006, 12:07 AM
There are TONS of threads about just this topic. If you do a search, you will be sure to find some!

In a nutshell.....

Disneyworld is huge. All in all, it is bigger than the city of San Francisco. It has the four main parks (Magic Kingdom, Animal Kingdom, MGM and Epcot). Then it has two waterparks, 2 mini golf courses, a few big golf courses, a few lakes, 20+ hotels, and Downtown Disney.
You cannot get from one park to another without using transportation. The closest parks are at least a 10 minute drive from one to the other.

The parades, shows and fireworks are the same, and different.
WDW-no Aladdin show, they have Beauty and the Beast
WDW-no Billy Hill and the Hillbillies
Both have Fantasmic.
WDW also has Illuminations.
Animal Kingdom has Mickeys Jungle Jamming Parade.
MGM has the Stars and Motor Cars parade.

Magic Kingdom and Disneyland are very very similar. In layout, rides, atmosphere.
MGM and California Adventure are somewhat the same.

You will find many rides the same, but some different ones at both parks. They both have Splash, Space, BTMR, Pirates, IASWorld, PPan, Teacups, etc...

Hotel prices, vary, depends what you are looking for.

I was always scared to go to Disneyworld. But we went this summer, and it was great. Huge, but great. We are now planning our 3rd trip to Disneyland. But I am sure we will return to Florida, especially if they offer free dining again!

Disneyland is smaller, more magical.
Disneyworld is larger, more 'wow' factor. (bigger castle, etc..)

Here is my opinion right after we returned...
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1224824

You will enjoy WDW too!

PocahontasLookALike
11-17-2006, 12:21 AM
I say, if you have the means to go...GO! Definitely something worth experiencing!

GailT
11-17-2006, 07:19 AM
I always went to DW and I love it but I am going to DL this year for something different and to experience it. I know they are different but it will be a new memory etched in my mind forever :santa:

honeymom
11-17-2006, 08:34 AM
WDW is more to be savored as a full fledged resort. DL is more like going to the city.

While spread out, we find that it is easier to walk down Main Street (more space so it seems less crowded). We love Epcot, especially dining at the different countries. We also love the atmosphere at MGM and Animal Kingdom.

But, the biggest plus for us are the resorts. I don't know what your budget allows but if you can, stay onsite. We have stayed at POFQ and WL. The pool areas are really nice at the onsite hotels. Plus, at the WL we spent a day playing by the lake and renting water mice. It was so much fun. You don't have to be a guest at WL to rent the mice and they can be rented at any of the hotels on the lake. We also found that the boat to MK from WL was a nice way to travel. And, we had the best time (not the best food) at the Whispering Canyon restaurant.

We're going to DL next. We did not enjoy DL the last time that we went (summer of 2002). It is just such an intense experience. We're hoping that staying at the GC this time, will make it easier for us to take a daytime break and have some relaxation as well.

disney-super-mom
11-17-2006, 02:30 PM
After just returning from our 3rd trip to Disneyland this year we are wondering if we should do Disneyworld next time. Is there anything different at DW than there is at DL? I have heard that it is more spread out (more walking) and that the weather will be more humid at DW but are there any different rides, parades, fireworks etc, is it more expensive to get park tickets or rent hotel rooms in Florida, would love to hear if anyone has experience with both parks.

Albianne
We're actually making our first trip to WDW in January, so I'll let you know what I think about the actual parks when I get back.

As far as being more expensive, I would say it's really a toss up for us.

Airfare: (from Spokane) is about the same to either Southern California or Orlando.

Tickets: WDW park hoppers cost a bit more, but WDW has a few more rides compared to DL/DCA, as well as A LOT more shows.

A five day adult hopper ticket at WDW: $246
A five day adult hopper ticket at DL/DCA: $219

Food: There's just no comparison here in my opinion. WDW wins this one by a large margin. WDW has countless restaurants and eateries (between all of their parks and resorts), and with the dining plan, it seems eating at WDW costs less and you'll certainly have more choices.

Hotel rooms: In my opinion, WDW wins this one too. Even their value resorts have decent rooms that are cute and clean, free transportation to/from the parks and airport, food courts, lots of fun decor and ambiance, and HUGE pools. For around $85 per night, you can't beat that! Plus, for around $150 a night, you can stay at a moderate resort that has all the amenities of a value resort plus a sit down restaurant and a great themed pool with a fun slide.

Most of the hotels and motels around DL will run about $100-$140 per night, and they certainly don't offer the amenities that the WDW resorts do. And if you want to stay at one of the Disneyland Resort hotels, than you better be willing to pay about $200 per night or MORE. This is why the Disneyland resort is in such need of a onsite moderate hotel resort. (and a DVC resort too! :thumbsup2 )

Obviously you won't have as much walking to do at the DL/DCA parks because they're much more compact, but they still offer so much fun stuff to do. That's one reason we love DL/DCA - it's compact and easy to get around!

There's lots of different rides, attractions, parades, fireworks and many more shows at WDW - you won't be disappointed in that aspect at all. And it may be fun for you to ride some of the same rides as well and note any differences, some you may like better and some you may not. :goodvibes

But when it comes to convenience of location, DL/DCA (southern California) is so much closer to where we live. We can leave our house in Spokane and within 5 hours be in the parks and having some FUN! It takes 8-10 hours for us to get to Orlando, so that's a whole vacation day wasted on travel. (Of course maybe WDW is worth it - we'll find out soon!)

Anyway, if you want to give WDW a try, I say go for it! You'll have plenty of new things to experience! :wave2:

Dizneydaz
11-17-2006, 02:44 PM
I love both! We go to DL several (or more times) a year since we live so close. We've gone to WDW about 10 times in the last 8 or so years. Twice a year, the last few years.

WDW is a completely different experience. Since we stay on property (many times at value resorts for $79/night) we are immersed in everything Disney. When we go to DL we are only there for the day and then go back home.

I'm am frequently asked "why do you go to WDW so often when you live so close to DL?" I tell them until you go, you don't know how different it is.

When we go to DL we usually only eat 1 meal there, when we are at WDW we eat all meals there. And in Sept. 05 and 06 we were able to eat free! We are planning on going back Sept. 07 if they offer it again.

If you are thinking of going to WDW, do it! You'll be glad you did. I make all our arrangements online and have learned how to go for the least amount of money (airfare, rental car-you don't need one but we like to have it, room, and tickets).

Yes, the weather is different. But a little bit of rain never hurt anyone! July and August can be very hot. That's another reason we like Sept.

Anewman
11-17-2006, 04:37 PM
We are long time DisneyLand AP holders, and we took our first trip to the World last year. Lets just say that we went back this year.

Disneyworld is a vaction destination, even if you dont go to the parks. Watersports, golf, great dining, sports(mlb and nfl training camps) and shopping. To me pretty much anything familys do on vacation you can do at Disneyworld.

junglejoy
11-17-2006, 09:58 PM
You'll get as many opinions as there are people to this one. Here's another...

We went to DL 10 times in four years and thought it was time to go to WDW. So this Sept we went for the first time - ever! It was fantastic, huge, great food, great resorts (we stayed at the Contemporary - fantastic location!), great attractions, parades, fireworks, etc. We had a great trip! We will go again! But our first love is DL.

DL has more charm, more details - it feels like home. And that's probably because DH and I grew up going there and we've taken our kids there since they were babies. It has all our memories, emotions, etc. So we prefer it.

DW also costs a lot more. We usually drive to DL (12 hour drive) where we couldn't drive to FL (three day drive), so we flew. That made our expenses go up by about $2K. And we figured since we're paying so much for airfare, we may as well go for 11 days so we could see as much as we can. So we did. More hotel expenses, etc.

We didn't rent a car - you don't need one. You can take Disney transportation to everything. They even pick you up at the airport and then take you back to the airport if you're staying on-site (which I would recommend).

The whole time we were there we felt like we'd been there before because there were so many familiar things. But it was sooo different. And the heat! I will never go again in Sept (or Apr-Sept). When we go again we're going in Jan! I just about died from the heat! And we were there (lucky us) during love bug mating time. They didn't bit or sting, but they swarmed everywhere. You didn't want to talk while walking places for fear one (or 20) of those bugs would fly in your mouth.

Disneyland we can do in 3-5 days. We had 10 days at DW and needed more time. Plus we wanted to go to a water park and didn't have time! So DW is huge!

If you can swing it, go! You'll love it! Planning is fun and I highly recommned www.tourguidemike.com He used to be a sponser here, I'm not sure if he is anymore. And I'd still be interested to hear what you think. We still prefer DL, but would go back to WDW in a heartbeat!

challada
11-18-2006, 10:04 AM
We do both regularly and can tell you that it is definitely two different worlds.

There are plenty of similar rides/attractions such as Teacups, Dumbo, Soarin', Muppets, etc...but there are plenty of differences as well like Rockin' Rollercoaster, Mission Space, Test Track.

We always do a house in Florida and a hotel in California.

Water parks in FL are great.
Downtown Disney in CA is better.

Our big difference as a previous poster noted, it's three hours of flights to SoCal for us but ten to twelve hours of flights to FL for us, so we do DL more often (we live further away than Spokane poster).

disneycutie84
11-18-2006, 04:42 PM
I also agree that if you have the time and money, a trip to Disneyworld is worth it.
We are planning our first WDW trip for May 2007. Its for college graduation. From what I have read and the pictures I have seen, its going to be great! The amount of stuff to do seems unbelievable and I would also say that WDW has DL beat as far as dining is concerned. So many food options, so little time! :rotfl:
I just think that everyone should experience it, if they are able to. Although I adore Disneyland, I am so excited for WDW that I can barely stand it! :dance3:
Best of luck planning your trip!

Disney Magic
11-18-2006, 10:31 PM
Go to WDW! As others have already stated, they are two completely different experiences, and both are great. WDW is a true vacation destination and has such a variety of theme parks/activities/shows/cultural experiences/special festivals and events/water parks/beautifully themed resorts/dining and shopping opportunities, etc., etc., that everyone in your family will find something they love to do.

The attention to details in the World Showcase at Epcot and the Animal Kingdom are absolutely incredible. We took a tour of the Epcot architecture, and found that artisans from one of the countries actually built their pavillion, and original blueprints were used to duplicate some structures and features in the other pavillions. A whole lot of research was done on each pavillion to make it very authentic, both architecturally and horticulturally. Incredible, incredible attention to details. In fact, I have been going since my kids were very young, and on our recent visit I just noticed that two hummel figurines come out to ring the bell in the glockenspiel in the German pavillion......just like we saw at the glockenspiel in Munich. There is just so much to take in that even a WDW vet sees something new every visit. We also took a tour of the Animal Kingdom, and the detail is unbelievable there too. As you can probably tell, our favorite parks are EPCOT and the Animal Kingdom.

DLR is great, and so is WDW. But I will say that you will probably prefer the resort where you made your family memories. Nostalgia plays a big part in it. I loved DLR, but I made my family memories at WDW, and that just can't be replicated at DLR.....and visa versa. One resort will always feel more like "home" to you, but that's not saying the other isn't great also. Disney just doesn't disappoint! I think it's just great that we have two completely different Disney resorts to visit.

Disney Davo
11-19-2006, 10:43 AM
As a So. California native with a 100 or so trips to Disneyland and now a Florida resident. I have 3 week long trips in to WDW this year alone, I'll let you know I still have not seen all of WDW. Every Disney fan has to do a trip to WDW and spend at least 5-7 days there. WDW is a class act as far as resort vacations go with many options to choose from on almost any budget. I am currently looking for a job back in So. California and will miss WDW, but I'll be close to DL so it's all good. If I had to choose the best between the two I couldn't do it, they are both GREAT!!!!!

Albort
11-19-2006, 12:55 PM
Simple prospective...

Original vs. New

Captjackson
11-19-2006, 01:26 PM
After just returning from our 3rd trip to Disneyland this year we are wondering if we should do Disneyworld next time. Is there anything different at DW than there is at DL? I have heard that it is more spread out (more walking) and that the weather will be more humid at DW but are there any different rides, parades, fireworks etc, is it more expensive to get park tickets or rent hotel rooms in Florida, would love to hear if anyone has experience with both parks.

Albianne

This being a "Should I try something different?" as opposed to a "Which is better?" thread, I say you should go to WDW if you get the chance. I've only been to WDW 2 times, once back in the mid 70's (pre Epcot) and again in the late summer of '04. On our last trip, we had 4 days and barely scratched the surface. Just like others have said, WDW and DLR are different versions of the same theme. As a lifetime west coaster (including the first 12 years in the suburbs of LA), DLR remains my favorite park. However, I would love to go back to North America's "other" Disney resort. ;)

FreeTime
11-19-2006, 02:45 PM
We have been to WDW many, many times and on a recent business trip out west I finallly got to try DL. That being said, we are planning on taking our kids to DL next summer. We want to have a Disney vacation where we don't have to walk for miles and miles. We want the kids to experience how the attractions are a little different and to ride the kiddie rides that WDW doesn't have before they are too old. I would suggest that you visit WDW at least once though. We are planning to add DL to a trip we have planned to Lake Tahoe so we only have to pay for airfare once. As another poster stated, the airfare is adding about $2k to the trip so we are planning on staying longer.

alfredromero1975
11-20-2006, 09:10 PM
Four parks vs. two parks. Two water parks. Lots of new things to see, plus the nearby beach is warm enough to actually climb into :)

DisGirl819
11-21-2006, 11:55 AM
We were in DL in April WDW in July (July 4th!) and are going back to DL tomorrow!
Our opinions:

DL has better rides overall (Space Mtn, Indiana Jones, Cal. Screamin, Soarin)
Rides we liked better at WDW (Splash Mtn, TOT)

WDW is a TON of walking and waiting. We waited for 30 mins sometimes for a bus to take us back to the resort. We stayed at Coronado Springs which is beautiful, but again a ton of walking to make it to the pool!

Loved the water parks, we went to Typhoon Lagoon on the 2nd to last day there and wished we would have gone more often.

I love Epcot. It is my favorite park of all time, I could spend days there.

We thought MGM was rather boring, we finished the park by 1 pm and cancelled our dinner ressie for Fantasmic. I wish we'd have stayed to see Fantasmic but we couldn't stay at the park more. RNR was slower than Cal. Screamin and we were disappointed by it. Loved the shows (Indiana Jones Stunt Show and Lights Motors Action).

Animal Kingdom was amazing, we thought we'd only spend a 1/2 day there but came back for a second day! Expedition Everest is awesome. The forest trails are great (especially if you love animals and zoos). We were sorely disappointe by the Safari ride. We couldn't take focused pics because our driver was driving like it was a speed course to see who could finish first.

MK is not as much fun as DL because the rides are not all there, they are in various parks and it feels a bit more cramped.

Overall, we enjoyed WDW and it is worth it to take a trip there. Do your planning! Iplanned for about 8 months with ADRs, park plans, etc and planned each day. If we hadn't had that I think we would have been overwhelmed and it wouldn't ahve been a great trip. Definately go.
Our opinion is that we like DL better because it is smaller, but the rides and options at WDW can't be beat, especially for dining. :wave:

Twinprincesses
11-21-2006, 12:31 PM
We normally go to WDW but this year we did DL. I love both and they each have their own appeal. I think we are doing DL again next year.

Disney Davo
11-21-2006, 06:17 PM
That is a really good post. As stated both WDW and DL are great for there own reasons. It is true you definitely get more for your money at DL. If you could only go to one park DL MK would be the one. One thing I would like to share is that we love MGM for the shows, if you missed Fantasmic at WDW you really missed out on the best show Disney has to offer. DL's Fantasmic is not really that good; WDW has a world class theater modeled after the Hollywood Bowl just for Fantasmic, it is truly awesome.