I’ll be honest… one of my biggest Disney pet peeves is when folks confuse Disneyland with Walt Disney World. And this is further intensified when I point out their error and they respond with, “Well it doesn’t matter because they’re both the same anyway.” Oh my, that gets me going! They truth of the matter is that, while both parks are wonderful and magical and have lots of similarities, there are many, many differences between the two. And while I could write a whole book on the differences, I’ll limit this to just a few that I think you should know when deciding whether to visit Walt Disney World in Florida or Disneyland in California.
Probably the most obvious difference is size. While Disneyland covers 500 acres, Walt Disney World covers over 25,o00 acres! That’s right, when Walt decided on ‘the Florida project’, he acquired more than enough land to continue expanding for many years to come. So, with all this extra space, that means extra stuff! For starters, Walt Disney World has 3 theme parks and 2 water parks you won’t find in Disneyland. Along with these extra parks, you’ll also find 28 Disney owned and operated resorts right on Disney property. These resorts cover both ends of the vacation budget spectrum. From Value Resorts that are big on fun but not on price to lavish Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts that will add luxury and extra amenities to your vacation.
Another big difference is in the sizes of their respective castles. While Sleeping Beauty’s Castle in Disneyland is 77 feet tall (not overly tall so it wouldn’t overwhelm the smallest guests), Walt Disney World’s Cinderella’s Castle is a whopping 189 feet tall with a full working interior which includes a Cinderella’s Royal Table, Bibbidy Bobbidy Boutique, and the Disney Dream Suite. And let’s face it, when it comes to castles, any princess will tell you that size DOES matter. 😉
In Walt Disney World, you’ll also find a whole new Fantasyland! Part of the new Fantasyland is the Be Our Guest restaurant, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Enchanted Forest, and Storybook Circus. Also in Fantasyland at Walt Disney World you’ll find Mickey’s Philharmagic! None of these can be found in Disneyland. And in Tomorrowland at Walt Disney World you’ll find Carousel of Progress and The Tomorrowland Transit Authority (formerly the PeopleMover). Both of these are classic Tomorrowland attractions that are no longer found in Disneyland.
And finally, while I touched on this when I mentioned the 3 other theme parks, I really want to focus on the magnitude of EPCOT. There is truly nothing even remotely like it in Disneyland. From the educational fun and excitement of Future World to the fabulous shopping, dining, and exploring in World Showcase, it’s a multi day adventure in and of itself.
As I said earlier, I could write a book on all the differences, but this gives you a good idea of why I have such a strong response when folks assume Disneyland and Walt Disney World are the same! And keep an eye out because my next blog will be about what you can find in Disneyland but not in Walt Disney World. They’re both fabulous vacation destinations, so–no matter which park you choose–you’re going to love it.