Iíve been to Disney World twice, once as a child, and once as a parent. We wanted to go back, but I wanted to try something a little different Ö so instead we went to Disneyland. I had read some comparisons prior to our trip, and frankly I donít think they told the whole story.
If youíve been to Disney World a bunch of times already, here are some reasons to give Disneyland a try:
1. There are a number of excellent rides not found at WDW, as well as some variations on your favorites;
2. You can WALK to Disneyland from your hotel;
3. Right across the way is a second park, all within walking distance;
4. The water actually tastes OK (no swamp water here).
Now, true, there are some drawbacks. I had read how Disneyland was smaller and more crowded, how the castle was smaller, etc. Yes, the walkways in each Land are narrower in comparison, more like corridors than the open spaces in WDW. However, this is not a problem unless crowd levels are high. And frankly, it made it easier to navigate since I could more easily see where I was. And yes, the castle is smaller, but so what? It really is a beautiful castle, and it has a real-looking drawbridge that you cross over to enter into Fantasyland, rather than the stone ramp one finds in WDW. If you go during the holiday season, the castle is lit at night with thousands of icicle lights Ė truly stunning.
Once in Fantasyland, the difference is amazing. Buildings look like buildings, instead of the goofy tent theming found in WDW. You actually enter the castle for Snow White. You go into Toad Hall for Mr. Toadís Wild Ride (which sadly is no more at WDW). You get the idea.
While itís easy to find lists of the differences between the two resorts, there are some real gems youíll find only at Disneyland. Some outstanding rides are Alice in Wonderland and Indiana Jones. Over in Disneyís California Adventure youíll also find a wonderful Monsters, Inc. ride and the spectacular Aladdin show which is head & shoulders above anything youíll find in WDW. For a bit of nostalgia, back in Disneyland Park you can ride the aforementioned Toad or the new Finding Nemo subs (I know itís not the same as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea but at least you can ride a sub again!). You also get the original version of the Tiki Room. Letís also add to that list a much longer Pirates of the Caribbean, which starts its voyage slipping quietly past the diners on the veranda of the Blue Bayou restaurant, under cover of darkness Ė how cool is that?
Sure, there are a lot of other differences, but my intent was to point out a few important ones, and to mention that regardless of which resort you visit, you will have a good time.