DISNEY DINKS podcast 5.0: Walt Disney World vs. Disneyland

DISNEY DINKS podcast 5.0: Walt Disney World vs. Disneyland

Walt Disney World VS. Disneyland

It's one of the long litany of age-old questions. Yorkie or Westie? Broadsword or mace? Waiting for Guffman or Best in Show? 
Disney World or Disneyland? 

Let's get started! 

For starters, let’s talk about size. WDW is 43 square miles encompassing four parks and two water parks (not to mention four golf courses, 27 Disney hotels, 12 non-Disney hotels, and a campground). That’s twice the size of Manhattan and almost the size of San Francisco.

Disneyland, in stark contrast, is 500 acres. Two parks. Three hotels. Surrounded by the city of Anaheim.

And as long as we’re talking about size: Cinderlla’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom is 183 feet tall. Impressive, iconic, the symbol of the park.
Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland Park is 77 feet tall. Underwhelming, forgettable, and yes, a little sad.

 What'd you do with the real castle?                                                                         wikipedia.org  

What'd you do with the real castle?                                                                         wikipedia.org  

Winner: WDW

RIDES

UNIQUE TO Walt Disney World

Spaceship Earth, Mission: SPACE, Test Track, Frozen Ever After, Great Movie Ride (not for long!), Peoplemover, Kilimanjaro Safaris, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Rock N Roller Coaster, Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, Kali River Rapids, Tower of Terror.

UNIQUE TO DISNEYLAND

Matterhorn Bobsleds, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Radiator Springs Racers, Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, Luigi’s Rollicking Roadsters, Indiana Jones, California Screamin’, Roger Rabbit Cartoon Spin, Storybookland Canal Boats, Alice in Wonderland, Grizzly River Run, Snow White’s Scary Adventure, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

 Best Disney ride ever?                                                                                             wikipedia.org

Best Disney ride ever?                                                                                             wikipedia.org

OVERLAPS
Pirates (DL much better!)
Haunted Mansion (draw)
Splash Mountain  (MK better)
Space Mountain (DL better)
Soarin’ (draw)
Small World (we didn’t go on, but apparently DL)
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (DL slightly better)
Jungle Cruise (draw)
Buzz Lightyear (MK better)

Winner: Disneyland.

TECHNOLOGY

Magic Bands, Fast Pass Plus, and wifi in the parks are all huge advantages for WDW.
Also, so many rides broken were broken at Disneyland during our trip that it seriously cut into our planning ability and our enjoyment. In three days, we could only ride Radiator Springs Racers once!

 WDW game changers.    blog.touringplans.com

WDW game changers.    blog.touringplans.com

 

WDW is the clearcut winner in Technology, and makes one wonder why Disneyworld is so far behind.

DINING

There are more options, and better options, at WDW. Napa Rose and Carthay Circle are nice fine dining options at Disneyland, but WDW has a dozen comparable restaurants, plus Victoria & Albert’s, which is beyond compare. Disneyland does have Blue Bayou, which is one of the most fun in-park dining experiences you can have.  

 Victoria & Albert's incomparable plating.                                                         victoria-alberts.com

Victoria & Albert's incomparable plating.                                                         victoria-alberts.com

 

But WDW in another landslide.

AMBIANCE/MAGIC

WDW, with all its uninhabitable Florida swampland, is simply more immersive and insular. And in this case, that’s a good thing. You are fully ensconced in the Disney Bubble and reality fades very, very quickly. Disneyland, by contrast, feels more like something to do while in Southern California. You never feel quite so immersed, and you know the mean streets of Anaheim are just a few blocks on either side of you.

Disneyland has the original Walt touch, of course, which is meaningful. But given the number of locals who frequent Disneyland, it’s also full of wild packs of teens who have nothing better to do.

 You're not going to see this unsavory cast of characters at WDW.    academichelp.net

You're not going to see this unsavory cast of characters at WDW.    academichelp.net

Winner: WDW.

TRANSPORATION

You don’t need any at Disneyland! You walk from park to park in mere minutes. There is a monorail, but it seems almost pointless.

 Disneyland, why do you even need this monorail?                                 disneyland.disney.go.com

Disneyland, why do you even need this monorail?                                 disneyland.disney.go.com

Winner: Disneyland, because of pure ease.

LODGING

Far more options in terms of theming, comfort, location, and everything under the sun at WDW. Disneyland has three hotels—the Grand Californian, Disneyland Hotel, and Paradise Pier. And lots of people stay off property on the streets bordering the park.

 One of the many superior lodging options at WDW.                disneyvacationclub.go.disney.com

One of the many superior lodging options at WDW.                disneyvacationclub.go.disney.com

Winner: WDW.

Overall, while both parks are amazing and well worth visiting, if you’re going for a fully immersive, week-long experience, Walt Disney World is the clear-cut winner. If you happen to be in Southern California, you should carve your time out for Disneyland, but it’s more like a two-day side trip than a main event.

 A proper castle.                                                                                                    disneymagic.com

A proper castle.                                                                                                    disneymagic.com

 
 
Jaci Lund partner, creative director, designer Jaci’s quick wit and native intelligence comes across as soon as you meet her—and carries over to her design, where she fuses fun and sophistication in just the right doses. With a dual focus on creating original branding for new concepts and revitalizing the look and feel of even the most-established brands, Jaci approaches each project with a fresh and thoughtful perspective. While she recognizes the relevance of current trends, she’s hyper-conscious of the fine line that separates “trend” from “fad,” and tends toward more timeless and classic looks for her clients. Before founding Treebird, Jaci was instrumental in growing the design department at Atlanta’s The Reynolds Group, Inc. Through a five-year tenure that saw her quickly ascend to senior designer and then become the company’s first creative director, Jaci worked on design and branding projects with visionaries, entrepreneurs, and business leaders whom she admires greatly and whose own passion elevates her sense of what’s possible through new design, branding, and communication. Jaci has won nine ADDY Awards (and counting) for her design and branding work and has twice been featured in the national design blog “Art of the Menu.” She holds a B.A. in communications from Michigan State University and completed the graphic design program at The Creative Circus, where she also teaches a quarterly course called “Introduction to Creative Thinking.” To see Jaci's previous work please visit jacilund.com.