DL vs. WDW


We spent six days at WDW last month. It was our first trip there as a family and had a blast and want to go back. Here’s the question of the day . . . if we went to DL next year, would it be a let-down in any shape, form, or fashion? I know DH and I would love it, but am wondering if DS(8) would expect the same things that WDW has to offer. And how do they compare?


To be honest, I think that this post can only generate a “debate” that is not necessary.

Disneyland is a TOTALLY different experience than WDW - it’s supposed to be. Your kids should definitely not expect the same experience as WDW. Otherwise, what’s the point? It has an entirely different park than WDW (California Adventure) and in my opinion, is a totally different atmosphere. Each park should be appreciated for what it is, and not for what it isn’t. I defintely think you should take your family to Disneyland, but if you are expecting WDW, you’ll be let down. Expect Disneyland. It’s a different place, and so well worth the trip.


Thanks. Sorry, I didn’t mean to start any debate. I was just wondering if anyone else has done both trips within a year or two (with primary-age child) and what their experience was. Please, no debates. Only real experiences. We’d love to visit DL. We just don’t know how soon after WDW we should do it in order to have the best experience possible. Sorry if I started something I shouldn’t have.


Gosh smee, I could go on and on (and usually do)…but I’ll just leave it at this…

Disneyland is smaller & not as overwhelming at WDW…but it has just as much Magic packed into its every square inch as WDW has in its 47 square miles!

It depends on each person, and how they take it. Some love it just as much, others are not so happy. (The ones not as happy are the ones who expect a park with its own highway, canal & bus system just like WDW…that type of thing.)

I think you guys would have a GREAT time. There are 2 parks (one of which is the ORIGINAL–that is awesome enough in itself!!) DTD and 3 resorts, plus going off-site is a lot easier if you want to save $$.


Thanks, dznygirl. Smaller and not as overwhelming actually sounds good. DS was very overwhelmed the first couple of days. It was bigger than life. And we packed a lot into six days. Six days at DL might be perfect!

I truly hope I didn’t offend anyone by my first post here. I didn’t mean to!


Oh, no…you didn’t start anything…but it could go there, kwim? Don’t worry, all’s good. :slight_smile:

We spent 5 days at WDW in December and we are very frequent visitors to DL…dh is a cast member but even before then, we had annual passes.

The most similarities you’ll find will be in Disneyland park (and the Magic Kingdom). But even then, it’s not the same at all. You could go to the Magic Kingdom one one day and Disneyland Park the next and have two totally different experiences. And for everything else, it’s totally different aside from a few rides here and there (such as Tower of Terror) and even then…it’s not the same.

WDW has a lot more open space, but that’s not what you go for, is it? There is as much to do at DL and then some vs WDW…DL and DCA have more attractions total than all four of WDW’s parks combined. But you won’t find a gas station on property…kwim?

The one thing that DL has that WDW can never have is Walt and his “presence.” He lived in DL, and the walk down Main Street definitely reflects that magic. It’s the original Disney park, and the only one that Walt designed and enjoyed. It has also been completely renovated from head to toe, so everything is in tip-top shape and looks beautiful.

Have fun! :mickey:


No offence taken, I’ve never been to WDW, all I know is that it’s HUGE. And a lot of people thing huge is better, But that’s not always true :wink:. Neither Resort is better, there’s just a size difference. When Walt Disney built Disneyland he never expected it to be so popular so he didn’t buy much land, people caught on quick and a lot of businesses etc. came rollin’ in, leaving no land for any other parks. Walt admited that he should have bought more land to begin with, but it was to late. So when he had the idea of building Disneyworld in FL he bought TONS of land secrectly so no buisinesses etc. would come moving in. This leaves Disnworld HUGE and Disneyland Small, (er). It’s definatly not ‘small’ it’s a pretty big park full of lots of fun and loads of atmosphere. Just explain to your kids that it was the original and that it’s totally different. Just enter the park with a clean slate and experience Disneyland! :biggrin:


OH BOY here we go again sigh…another one of these FUN FUN debating posts (cough cough…YEA RIGHT!) MEANING I HATE these debating posts, but DLR is great and different from WDW as is the same with WDW. If you have not had a chance to check out DLR I would higly suggest you do so, its great and different from WDW and for those of you who have not had a chance to check out WDW I would suggest you do so as well…and thats all Im saying.


smee, I was thinking the same thing before I went to DL for the first time last year. I didn’t know what to expect, besides the size difference. But when I got there I was honestly blown away… I didn’t even notice the size difference, there was sooo much to see and do, and just being in the place that started it all was amazing. I came back and I couldn’t decide which one I liked better… but finally I decided that, in my opinion, they really can not be compared. They are so, so different. Just go with an open mind and ready to absorb all the amazing stuff DL has to offer and you will have an AWESOME time! :slight_smile:


We have only been to DL once, in 1999. DD was 8 yrs old at the time and had been to WDW when she was 6. As for myself, I totally agree with what DisneyWife said about experiencing the parks for what they both are seperately and not what the should be in comparison. I would assume that if you went to Tokyo or Paris DL then you would have difference experiences at those parks as well.

Think of it this way, if all the parks were the same, who would want to go? That is what makes Disney parks worth going to, different feelings, experiences, attractions, etc.

I would LOVE to go back to DL; especially for the 50th. Too far to drive and DH and DD won’t fly. We’re used to going to WDW and it familiar to us but would love to experience DL again. Definately worth the trip…ENJOY!!! :slight_smile:


Disneyland covers 430 acres, which also includes the “3rd theme park land” currently unused, next to a staff parking lot. As far as theme parks are concerned, Disneyland covers 85 acres, while WDW’s Magic Kingdom covers 107 acres. Oddly enough, Disneyland has a lot more rides than the Magic Kingdom. As for the other theme parks; EPCOT covers 300 acres, Disney-MGM Studios covers 154 acres, and Animal Kingdom covers 500 acres (much of it currently unused). As for California Adventure, it was 55 acres when it first opened in 2001 (roughtly the same size as Disneyland when it opened in 1955), not sure now, since A Bug’s Land and Twilight Zone Tower of Terror opened.

It depends on each person, and how they take it. Some love it just as much, others are not so happy. (The ones not as happy are the ones who expect a park with its own highway, canal & bus system just like WDW…that type of thing.)

I think you guys would have a GREAT time. There are 2 parks (one of which is the ORIGINAL–that is awesome enough in itself!!) DTD and 3 resorts, plus going off-site is a lot easier if you want to save $$.

I think people should see Disneyland and WDW as 2 completely different theme parks, instead of excepting the same thing at both. This is perhaps the reason people often feel let down by Disneyland after visiting WDW, and sometimes vice-versa; which is really a sad thing, since Disneyland and WDW are really two great theme parks, and people should actually visit both instead of one or the other! :mickey:


Amen Kent! :mickey: I couldn’t have said it better myself! (obviously…) LOL

To me, Disneyland and WDW are equally as wonderful…there is just no comparison for me. They both have advantages/disadvantages that just completely even them out! I would take one or the other any day. :heart: Although now that I’ve worked there, DL will always have a special place in my heart…:rolleyes:


I seriously think you will have a wonderful time. :wub: There are very few who are disappointed, and I know you guys won’t let tiny differences ruin your vacation!! :biggrin: Some of those differences will probably be refreshing and exciting, like PJ said!

No one’s debating AHB…relax…:happy: