Why would someone choose to go to Disneyland when they have the option to visit Walt Disney World? We just returned from Disneyland. Here are my top 10 reasons to recommend that even the most ardent Walt Disney World patron visit Disneyland at least once. I do not think that Disneyland is better, but is different.
10. ‘Mickey’s Map‘ – This is a live action, Broadway-style musical, very similar to what is presented on the Disney Cruise Line. It follows Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey on a journey through several skits based on Disney movies. It is unlike anything at WDW as it is not just a retelling of a movie.
9. Paint the Night Parade – The new feature parade at Disneyland is one the better Disney parades.
8. Matterhorn Bobsleds – You know that you have wanted to ride this, and many of you wish that Epcot would add Switzerland just to get this ride.
7. Disneyland Resort Hotels – The best thing about these resorts is their location, with each being easy walking distance to Downtown Disney, Disneyland, and California Adventure. The Grand Californian Hotel overlooks and opens into California Adventure. No busses are needed here.
6. Comparing attractions that are in both Disneyland and WDW – There are a lot! And, it is fun to compare and look for differences like the vocals in Splash Mountain, the scenes in It’s a Small World, and the queues to Soarin’ or Pirates of the Caribbean.
5 World of Color – The new feature show at California Adventure is like a mix of Fantasmic and Wishes. Water spouts, projections onto mist, lights and lasers, fireballs, and movie clips make this a must see.
4. Classic Attractions – Things do not change easily at Disneyland. This means that classic attractions that were long, ago discarded at WDW can still be enjoyed: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Snow White’s Scary Adventure, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, and Alice in Wonderland. Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage still uses the classic submarines from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
3. Cars Land – This is arguably the best themed land in any North American Disney park. I am not a big fan of the Cars movies, but Cars Land is great. Radiator Springs Racers is also one the best Disney rides.
2. Nostalgia – Having 60 years of history and walking the streets that Walt built make Disneyland special: from the original Main St. U.S.A., to Walt’s apartment above the fire station, to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Disneyland is the original.
1. Disneyland has a different feel. I have spoken to several people who have worked at both parks, and each tell me that the focus and the politics are different. The ambience is unique for each. WDW is huge with people coming from all over the US and the world. Disneyland feels much smaller and more intimate with a local, Southern California vibe.
Both WDW and Disneyland are great family vacation destinations. For us, WDW is “home,” but an occasional change of pace on the west coast is something that you will enjoy, too.
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