Disneyland vs Disney World – Which One Is Better for You and Why

Related Articles

Disney Wire OGs Rachel and Derek are constantly in between Disney World and Disneyland visits for up-close and personal deets. But there are some tough calls to make when we need to dig deep into Disneyland vs Disney World to know which is better.

Disney World vs Disneyland – what’s better and why?

Well, here is a list of things that make them both special, yet better or worse than one another.

Since there are different determining factors, there is no one correct answer.

But the conclusion you draw from these is what might best suit you.

Size matters, and the bigger, the better

While location is the most significant factor to consider depending on where you come from, size is more apparent if we let the location slide.

If both the theme parks are equally accessible to you, the thing that would matter would be the size.

Disneyland was the first among Disney theme parks established in 1955. But it was a small undertaking compared to Disney World, founded in 1970.

Disneyland has two theme parks, while Disney World has four.

Disneyland resorts include three hotels, while the Walt Disney World has 30+ hotels, two water parks, and a golf course.

Disneyland vs Disney World size suggests that the former spreads across 500 acres while the latter covers 25,000 acres.

So, Disney World is 50 times larger and spread across 40 square miles.

No wonder Walt Disney wanted to make his futuristic city capture such a large chunk of Orlando!

Now, why does the size matter to you?

You have many more options to explore in Disney World as it spreads across Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.

For a dedicated Disney vacay, you will be more inclined towards visiting the place with more rides, attractions, eateries, and all that jazz!

Both Disney resorts are worth your time, but you need at least one week to explore WDW thoroughly. Disneyland will take at least 2-3 days to cover the most critical rides and attractions to experience.

Location and accessibility

As Derek and Rachel are Orlando residents, they are always a drive away from Disney World. While Anaheim is more than a 5-hour flight away, so Disneyland is less accessible.

Similarly, where you are and where you can travel will help you better select the place you are more likely to visit.

If you’ve never been to Florida or California, both options are equally alien to you, depending on your boarding destination.

To make a complete itinerary, you should consider more aspects, like places to visit in Orlando and Anaheim.

Anaheim is 35 miles from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), while the nearest airport is John Wayne Airport-Orange Country (SNA).

For WDW, Orlando International Airport (MCO) is the most accessible to reach. The theme park conglomerate is 16 miles away from the airport.

disneyland castle

Ticket prices and annual passes

Disneyland vs Disney World ticket prices and travel expenses matter when considering the theme parks. Your budget begins when you plan your trip, and that doesn’t start by considering theme park prices.

At first, you’d want to find out the flight costs and hotel charges and then tally how one day’s worth in Disney World differs from Disneyland.

While rates are constantly subject to change, the standard one-day ticket price in Disneyland starts at $104, while it is $109 for WDW.

Holidays, weekends, and special occasions change the base price in both theme parks.

There are also multi-day ticket options depending on the number of days you choose to visit. For example, in August 2023, the cost of visiting Disney World for four days was $485. It changes according to demand. But a similar ticket would be sold at the standard price in Disneyland. The last listed price for a 4-day ticket was $395.

Both theme parks offer annual passes best availed by frequent visitors or locals. Disneyland sells the Magic Key pass for $1,649, and it includes blackout dates as well. While Disney World sells the Incredi-Pass for $1,399 for all days across the year.

Temperature and best time to visit

California is in the extreme west, while Florida is in the extreme east of the USA. The weather conditions in both places differ drastically. Look for what to expect regarding temperature in both destinations before booking.

If you’re headed to Southern California any time of the year, you can experience steady temperatures at your advantage. But during winters, Anaheim can drop to 10 degrees C (50 degrees F) and around 37 degrees C (100 degrees F) during summers.

Florida is hot and humid, and waiting in lines can be quite a pain if you’re planning a summer vacation. It is ideal to come here during spring, but it is also important to note that there will always be a crowd during spring break.

Holidays are busy in both theme parks. Both parks have crowds from Halloween to New Year, and ticket prices skyrocket like never before.

The best time to visit Disneyland to experience less crowd would be between mid-September and mid-November.

While mid-January and May are the best times to visit Disney World if you want a low group. But it will either be too cold or hot depending on your chosen month. Summer vacation dates can vary, but that can add groups during the hot month of May.

Mid-September to mid-November is also a low season for Disney World visits.

Theme parks

Disney World has four theme parks, while Disneyland has two. Disney World began with Magic Kingdom, where you can find the iconic Cinderella Castle. Meanwhile, EPCOT has several pavilions that let you explore different countries’ cultures and cuisines.

Hollywood Studios is another theme park at Disney World dedicated to movie fanatics. It includes Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land that immediately transports you inside the big screens.

Finally, Animal Kingdom includes a zoo that houses animals from Asia and Africa. The most attractive part of this theme park is Pandora.

Disneyland created the first-ever Magic Kingdom, and the castle belongs to Sleeping Beauty. Disney California Adventure has the vibe of Hollywood Studios but intrigues you with Pixar Pier, Cars Land, and Avenger’s Campus.

Disneyland vs Disney World parks

Resorts and Hotels

Orlando and Anaheim have plenty of stay options with budget to luxury accommodations. But staying off-site will be way cheaper if you want to save some money.

Yes, transportation can be an issue as Disney World resorts make the theme park quickly accessible.

Given the size, booking a place outside might require you to create external transport arrangements.

Staying on-site will help you get options more easily, like private cars, monorails, and more.

Disneyland Hotel, Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, and Paradise Pier Hotel are three on-site options in Anaheim. These come with special early visit offers so you can enter the theme parks before everyone else.

There are 34 on-site properties in Disney World. There are also tent and cabin rentals that are comparatively cheaper.

The best place to stay at Disney World has to be Grand Floridian. But more options like Art of Animation, Contemporary Resort, Polynesian Resort, and Animal Kingdom Lodge are more attractive options to choose from.

Food and Beverages

Disney World has many more dining options. You will always be spoilt for choice from Space 220 to Cinderella’s Royal Table. There are eateries serving cuisines from across the globe and many quick-service restaurants for a fast grab.

Disneyland has limited eatery options, but some notable names include Pym’s Test Kitchen, Blue Bayou Restaurant, and Red Rose Taverne.

Festivals and Holidays

While you’re in for crowds, you’re also in for the most exciting times to be at Disney during the festival season.

EPCOT hosts four significant festivals across the year, including Festivals of Art, Flower and Garden Festival, Food & Wine, and Festival of Holidays.

Disneyland celebrated the Lunar New Year, Food & Wine, and Festival of the Holidays.

While two events are similar, the spread at Disney World is bigger and better. From food booths to exhibitions, festivals make a different attraction that cannot be compensated with the best rides.

Halloween to Christmas

Disneyland and Disney World have different attractions during the holiday season. While Disney World hosts Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party, Disneyland hosts the Oogie Boogie Bash during Halloween.

You must be at Disneyland during Christmas to experience Disney characters in their best avatars. During this time, the meet and greets are unique, well-dressed, and decorated to suit the holidays.

Disney World, however, welcomes celebrities and special guests while hosting exclusive events for park visitors.

Disneyland vs Disney World – The Final Verdict

There is a reason why Derek and Rachel packed their bags and moved from Michigan to Orlando. Yes! The answer definitely is Disney World and their love for this destination.

Disney World opens you up to innumerable more options than Disneyland. But if you have little time and want to ensure you get all of it, Disneyland could be your pick.

You should go all in for at least seven days to make the most of Disney World. But at Disneyland, you can cover everything under the sun and save time to explore Anaheim.

Disney World might rob you of exploring Orlando as you can only fully experience some things even if you spend a month. There is simply so much to do in WDW.

As you get more variety, you also have the liberty to choose more things to do. You also have Disney Springs for shopping, eating, and entertainment.

Disneyland will also want you to immerse in its merchandise options. But it won’t be a bounty like Disney World.

Final thoughts

We hope you’ve found your answer. But here is our final take. Given the opportunity, take advantage of both. While Disneyland has its old charm, Disney World serves you bigger and better. While WDW would be the better option, it is not like Disneyland is any less magical.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Disney World in California or Florida?

Disney World is in Orlando, Florida, while Disneyland is in Anaheim, California. The names sound similar, but they are two different entities in two extreme corners of the US.

2. Which is the No. 1 Disneyland in the world?

Disneyland California is the first and best Disneyland Park. It was the stepping stone to make Disney theme parks a cult that makes magic come true across generations for Disney lovers.

3. What’s better Disney World or Disneyland?

Disney World is definitely better because it is 50 times bigger and offers more entertainment options. It is more futuristic, with inclusions of theme parks like EPCOT, and constantly innovates and improves. Disney World has more rides, attractions, eateries, and shopping options. Where there is variety, there is an opportunity to select the best experiences to cherish.

More on this topic


Html code here! Replace this with any non empty text and that's it.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

DISCLAIMER: DisneyWire.com is NOT associated nor affiliated with Walt Disney World nor the Disney company in any formal way. ALL registered trademarks and Disney images listed are the intellectual property of Walt Disney World and the Disney company. Please contact us with any removal requests or DMCA and we will respond immediately. We make no claims to own the rights to any Disney property.

Popular stories