Our whole family of 4 has been visiting Disney World every 2 years for the past decade. This is a frequency that my husband and daughter like and then my son and I visit more often by ourselves in between.
But our next family trip to a Disney theme park will be to Disneyland Resort in California instead of Disney World.
More new stuff to see at Disneyland than Disney World
For all the talk about the new stuff at Disney World, there’s actually more new things at Disneyland.
At Disney World, New Fantasyland is still in progress and has so far resulted in just 1 new mediocre ride (a ride that existed at Disneyland first).
The redone Test Track is the same ride that it always was but with different graphics.
In the meantime, Disneyland has added Cars Land and World of Color – both of which are rumored to be coming to Disney World in the future as well – within the last few years.
Less expensive hotel options
To be within a short distance of a theme park at Disney World, you have to stay in a Deluxe resort which is expensive.
To stay within a short distance of a theme park at Disneyland, you can stay at a non-Disney resort without paying a huge amount of money.
My kids are both adult-sized (1 is legally an adult; the other is a still-growing man child) and they feel awkward about sharing beds at this point. When we stay in Deluxe rooms at Disney World, there is often 3 beds (2 Queens and a day bed) so that is helpful but we still often feel tense after sharing the same room for more than a couple of days.
We can book 2 rooms at a hotel within walking distance of Disneyland for less than half of what we’d pay at a Disney World Deluxe resort.
2 rooms, 4 beds, 2 bathrooms and a door between us for privacy for less than half of a WDW Deluxe.
More comfortable weather
Disney World weather can vary a lot and trip planning often includes how to survive the heat.
My son can’t handle heat at all. He’s only 11 and is planning to move to northern California as soon as he’s old enough, based largely on the temperatures.
Anaheim has much more consistently comfortable temperatures than Orlando, making it easy to plan a trip there just about anytime of year.
Rain is also much less of a factor in California than Florida. We can leave the ponchos home for this trip.
Easy to combine Disneyland with other things
My daughter isn’t the biggest theme park fan in the world. Shocking, right?
My husband and I had our honeymoon at Cedar Point in Ohio. My son and I have Annual Passes to Disney World. We’ve visited lots and lots of theme parks. 3/4 of our family loves theme parks.
She tolerates them and goes with us but would much rather visit the ocean, see new cities and experience some culture.
(By the way, my son hates the ocean. Can’t get these two to agree on anything.)
I try to plan family trips that incorporate everybody’s interests so a trip to Disneyland will allow us to include more things that she likes. We can see the ocean, visit L.A. and maybe drive to some other cities in southern California.
I know that you can do other non-Disney park things while visiting Florida, but Disney World is so big that it is its own destination and it’s hard to find time to tack on anything else.
I really love both Disney theme parks (and hope to visit parks in other countries someday as well) and look forward to returning to Disneyland with the fam, a place that I once couldn’t imagine loving since it is so much smaller than Disney World. After 1 visit, I fell in love. It’s just so damned charming.
Future plans for this site include expanding to include Disneyland trip planning resources.
Have you visited one park and thought about visiting the other? Or prefer one over the other?
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