Disneyworld VS Disneyland Vacation


We have been to disney world every year for the last 7 years. It will be twice this year going back for christmas. Planning for next year we are concidering disneyland and staying at one of there hotels. Would this be a disapointment compaired to going to disney world. Also how do the transfers work between LAX and disneyland there is no info that I can find on there website.:happy:

Any help or suggestions would be appreciated!

Next trip first christmas in Disneyworld. Dec. 21 2006 (POP)

[countdown=“December 21, 2002;Currently At WDW;BLUE”]My Countdown to Disney[/countdown]


This will be our second Christmas at WDW and we
think its the best time. Have not been to Disney-
land but lots of these fine folks will be giving you
great info.


Can,t wait I know it will be crowded but we are going mainly to see everything decorated. we got the bug ever since we saw a special on the food channel. I will be waiting for the disney land responces.



You know CC, we have been to WDW in
July, August, April and December and I
think like I said December is the best. We
know all about the crowd estimates and
we just don’t care! There are a VERY few
times at WDW when its not crowded. We
are of the up early and get to the parks,
do what we want and just gear down from
there type of families. If sleeping in and
then getting to the parks is your favorite
way than more than likely you will fight the
crowds. Whatever works for your own families.
To the folks that say Christmas is way too
crowded for them, I say that my local mall
is way to crowded, my church is way to crow-
ded, all the small Christmas shows, highways,
post office, school productions. At least you
know good things will happen at Disney.:happy:



OK, that was a bit dramatic, whatever your family decides will obviously be a good time! I was just like you though, I spent 22 years going to WDW so frequently and loving EVERY moment of it that when I had my first opportunity to go to Disneyland in 2000 I was DEFINATELY a bit apprehensive and nervous about “being disapointed.” I was TOTALLY and COMPLETELY wrong!!! DISNEYLAND is AMAZING! Granted, your vacation there will feel VERY different than a WDW vacation, but nothing really compared to the originality and magic at the Disneyland Resort. WDW will ALWAYS be “my place” but since that first trip trip to DL in 2000 I went back in '03, then again in June '06, and were going AGAIN this coming June '07.

As far as the transfer from LAX, I DID hear they have a coach bus to take you there but I never used it. We always had a rental car b/c we were doing other things in southern California besides DL. Hmmm, maybe they have a “quicksilver” type service you can hire? I am unsure about all that, I do know it’s only about a 45 minute drive and it’s always gone really smooth and easy for us.:happy:

As far as the resorts, and I KNOW some people are going to disagree with me, I say stay at a DL resort! There ARE plenty of great “good neighbor” hotels right there on Harbor Drive but staying at the Disneyland Hotel for me was DEFIANTELY part of the magic, this past trip staying there had a TOTAL different feel than when I went to DL and stayed off property. This June we are staying at the Grand Californian for the first time, but I have been in the lobby, seen the pool, and the restaurants and also love it there too. I’ll be honest, if you are going to try Paradise Pier, you MIGHT be a little disapointed. I found it no different than a chain hotel “adding in some Disney touches.” GRANTED, it is a NICE hotel, but it just did NOT do it for me. Wasn’t too into it, but I am sure there are some Mousebuzzers who think it’s great… just not Disney enough for me.

(PS: if you want a “breakdown” of why I think a DL vacation feels ALOT different than a WDW vacation just let me know. :laugh:)


Wish- I’d love to know what makes them so different! You’ve piqued my interest… I’ve been toying with the idea of “exchanging” a WDW trip for DL for some time now.


Although my wife and kids will make the final choice we have been leaning disneyland. It helps hearing from fellow disney fanatics.


your right the crowds dont bother us we always work around them.


I agree with Wishy. I think everyone should to to Disneyland at least once. That was Walts original. We went on our honeymoon in 2003. Yes they are different. I actually felt bad for the locals. When we drive to WDW it is so vast and open and green. But at Disneyland, their is so much around it. Other outside companies riding on Disney’s crowds. My girlfriend and I always thought Disney should promote travel between ALL of the parks.


Disneyland is where I grew up and to me it is the most magical place on earth. While I loved WDW when I visited, to me it just wasn’t the same.

Here are a few of the things off the top of my head that DL has that WDW doesn’t:

Indiana Jones
Tarzan’s Treehouse
Sailing Ship Columbia
Tiki Room (NOT under new management)
Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln (I adore this show for some reason)
PotC is much longer
The Blue Bayou…yum!
New Orleans Square and Critter Country
Toontown is much better themed IMHO
Fantasmic is on the river rather than in a theater which I prefer
Roger Rabbits Car Toon Spin
Mr. Toads Wild Ride
Alice in Wonderland
The Matterhorn
Storybookland Canal Boats
Casey Jr. Circus Train
Club 33
And of course DL is Walt’s dream. He made every decision regarding the park and it is his dream.

Being that DL is Walt’s park, I think everyone that appreciates Walt needs to visit. Just to walk where he walked and experience his dream. It’s just magic!

I know a lot of people that prefer how spread out WDW is. While I love the fact that WDW is enclosed and it makes you forget that there is an outside world, everything is sooo spread out. I love how easy it is to park hop and how going back to my room for a nap in the middle of the day (I prefer the on-site Disney hotels also) doesn’t have to be planned around shuttles or anything…I can just walk


When I’ve flown into LAX, I’ve taken taxis, Super Shuttle and Airport Bus in the past.

My personal choice is Super Shuttle (SuperShuttle International, Inc. - Home). It is about $15 pp one way. Taxis are a bit more expensive, but if you have a larger group a van taxi may end up saving you money. I wouldn’t recommend Airport Bus at all. They are huge so you usually end up making a thousand stops. Not fun! Super Shuttle only holds about 9-10 people so at the most you’ll be making one or two other stops.

But if you haven’t booked yet, I actually recommend flying into Orange County (SNA). It’s way closer to DLR and traffic is much lighter. Plus cab fees and shuttle fees are less expensive. I’ve also found that generally you can find lower fares into SNA vs. LAX. Long Beach is another option.

Good luck and don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions!


Well just from my trips, I see them as two VERY different experiences for the following reasons:

  1. EVERYTHING in the DL Resort is in walking distance. No buses or cars needed to get to the parks, DTD, the resorts, etc. You can walk from one end of the DL Resort to the opposite end in like 15 minutes, and that’s a leisurely stroll.

  2. Of all the times I’ve been to DL, even in the VERY busy summer time, the atmosphere is A LOT LESS hurried. Families just seem to be taking their time more, it’s not as “commando.”

  3. You don’t have to be in a tizzy trying to make ADRs MONTHS in advance. Sure, they do take them 60 days ahead (I believe) but definately not like the mad 160 day ADR rush for WDW.

  4. There doesn’t seem to be as many “gate pushers” in the morning. We’ve been at the DL park for opening time several times (on different trips), and even during that CRAZY “Pirates Premier” week we found HALF of the park nearly empty for the first 2 hours. We LITERALLY did ALL of Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, and Frontierland in that two hours… REPEATING rides. I couldn’t believe it!

  5. The monorail!!! The monorail ONLY brings you from DTD to Tomorrowland, back and forth. The monorail lines in WDW seems to go past MILES of beautiful scenery, stops at 3 resorts, etc… the DL monorail was great on those tired days when we were too lazy to walk through DTD from the Disneyland Hotel to the park. It’s smaller, has a shorter route, and it was weird b/c the tracks seem SOOO much lower. They almost feel right above your head when you walk past them in DTD.

  6. There seems to be A LOT more counter service places to eat, versus sit-downs.

  7. Even the character meals seem different to me. In WDW I feel like a lot of times you are kinda slightly “pushed” out of the restuarants fairly quickly. Especially at Crystal Palace, Liberty Tree, etc. In Disneyland, the dining seems A LOT more relaxed and “take your time;” they definately weren’t handing us the check as we ate our last bite of dessert. I definately witnessed this more relaxed feel at Goofy’s Kitchen, Storyteller’s Cafe, and Blue Bayou.

  8. In WDW, if you spend 7 days it is entirely possible that you don’t get to see EVERYTHING. If you spent 7 days in DL, heck even 5, it’s TOTALLY possible to pretty much do and see everything. We went in busy June on all three of my trips there and felt like we covered all bases by the end of day 4.


WOW, Wish! Awesome list!! :eek: :biggrin:

Definitely visit Disneyland. You won’t regret it. :mickey:


I’ve been to DL twice now, just returning a little over a week ago from my second trip. This time I went solo for the marathon race. I did meet friends out there, but I was on my own traveling, so I used the Super shuttle they offer there in LA.

I can’t believe what bargain it was!! $10 each way and they took me door to door. The shuttle was waiting right outside the baggage pick up at the airport and took me and a few other people straight to our hotels. They travel in the commuter lane on the highway, so the trip was very quick. I went in and out of Orange County airport, which is closer to Anaheim than LAX, but the shuttle works the same way at both airports. I reserved it on line and it was all paid for: including the tip! My return trip was reserved and they gave me a very reasonable time to be waiting for my return ride to the airport.

As for staying onsite: we stayed at the Candy Cane Inn, which is one of the good neighbor hotels.Disneyland Anaheim Boutique Hotel at the Candy Cane Inn
I highly recommend it. The price was great: $90 a night with a AAA discount and the place was immaculate, very nicely decorated, offered a free breakfast every morning, and the staff couldn’t have been more accomodating. They are only a short walk from the parks, but there is also a complimentary shuttle that will drop you off and pick you up right at the gate if you don’t feel like walking.

If you’re going with kids, we’ve stayed at the Portofino Inn and Suites with our three kids. Portofino Inn and Suites Anaheim Hotel near Disneyland
They have lovely 2 bedroom suites there for a very good price, and are next door to the Candy Cane and also have a shuttle.

It’s not like WDW where staying onsite is necessary to enjoy the experience. Space is at a premium there so they only have 3 smallish Disney hotels on property. They’re pretty pricey and hard to get. I wouldn’t bother with trying to stay at one of them there, as I don’t think any of them are worth the price. You get early entry as a perc with your park ticket, regardless of where you stay.


One more addition to wish’s report. I have done the character breakfast at DL & WDW. I actually preferred the charater meal at DL. The characters sat at our table and played with my ds. Goofy would dance with the kids before they even entered the restaurant. It just seemed to be a more relaxed atmosphere.


I beleve our minds are made up. I like the idea of addressing disneyland as a different Experience. You all have provided great information and links. I always stay in disney but looking at some of the other options I may not. I like the fact that it is a slower pace and I wont have to do the marathon around the parks. That sold me itself. I also like the fact that the parks were within walking distance and we wont have to wind sprints after buses all day. It may be our first “Vacation” in year’s.



Disneyland is great at Christmas time. They way they transform “It’s a Small World” and all the holiday decorations and music makes it so different. We like it so much that we are going to try WDW for Christmas (always do summer).

I would say that staying at one of the Disney hotels is a must. We stayed at a non Disney hotel right across the street from the park (you could spit on it from there) but it was horrible and you cannot even believe how hard it was to get in and out of the park. You would think it was easy being so close but it was not. The convenience of the Disney Hotels are worth the extra price. We actually like the Disneyland Hotel better than the Grand Californian. The GF was nice but the rooms were smaller, the price was much higher and it was still very easy to walk from the Disneyland Hotel.

You will find some of the stuff at Disneyland to actually be better than WDW. It does not take as many days to see everything.

I also suggest flying into Orange County Airport. It is much closer to Disneyland but it might be more expensive.


We stayed at the Park Vue once (directly across the street too) and I agree it was yucky. We moved the following morning to the Portofino which was great. Fortunately, not all the Good Neighbor hotels are like that.


We have been to WDW 5 times and ONLY go at Christmas time. It is AWESOME!! Like you, we are planning our first DL trip for next summer. I am so nervous, because I know nothing!! This thread has really helped out and gotten me very excited!! I am such a WDW fanatic, I didn’t know if I’d enjoy DL as much. I know it will be different, but I hope it will still be magical.

Keep the advice coming.

We will be flying into Las Vegas with my husband for business and spend a couple of days there. Then we will rent a car and drive to DL for 3 or 4 nights.

Looking forward to hearing more!!


Hey landry, that sounds like our June trip! We are doing DL for 4 days (renting a car), staying at a Palm Springs spa for two nights, then Vegas for 4 days! Fun!