Our family has been to the Disney parks a handful of times this year and I feel that I have enough experience to share my advice and thoughts on the two parks. Our family has been to Disneyland with children 3 times and Disneyworld 2 times in the past 4 years. When you and your family are planning a Disney trip, one question I get asked often is which park should I go to? Disneyland or Disneyworld? For me, the answer is pretty simple. If you have children under 6/7, I highly recommend Disneyland, Ca. If you have older children, Disneyworld is for yall!
I’m not going to lie, when I went to Disneyland for the first time for Liam’s 1stbirthday, I was a little disappointed. I had only been to Disneyworld prior and seeing how small Disneyland compared to Disneyworld shocked me. Fast forward 3 years and I wouldn’t think twice about choosing Disneyland over Disneyworld when I’m with my children. Because the park is smaller (you can finish both parks in one day) it’s a lot calmer, easier to navigate, and relaxing. The size is perfect for families with younger children. Disneyland has most of the major rides that Disneyworld has. When you’re at Disneyland you can easily go back to your hotel and take a break. It takes maybe 10 minutes to walk to your car and drive. With Disneyworld, there are trains, ferries, and massive parking lots. Getting in and out of Disneyworld takes an hour itself. We went to Disneyland one night at 6pm and it was so calm. We rode 2/3 rides, grabbed dinner, and went home. It was honestly the most relaxing and enjoyable time. My children are younger so if they don’t take their naps or break, all hell breaks loose.
Disneyland is split into two parks; Disneyland and California adventures. Disneyland is the main attraction, it has the castle, Disney princess, and OG rides you saw on TV growing up. California Adventure is more of the movie side of Disney. They have more shows and newer movie characters. California Adventures now has Star Wars and Avengers area’s so that was really fun for Liam to see. Disneyland also has “fast passes” available to everyone for free. How it works is that you go up to a “Fast Pass” machine, scan your wristband or ticket, and then it’ll let you know a time frame to come back to get in the fast pass line. So, if you go up to the machine at 1pm, your fass pass might tell you to come back from 3:30pm-4:30pm. You’re limited to how many fast passes you can get per day but not having to wait in long lines for 1 ride makes your day so much easier. You’re able to bring snacks into both parks but the food at Disneyland is pretty good!
Overall, if you’re looking for a calmer more relaxing Disney trip, Disneyland is for you. We probably won’t take the kids back to Disneyworld for several years because it’s overwhelming with them. Plus, the weather is California most months is AMAZING! Be sure to check the weather forecast when you go because it does get really chilly some nights.
I don’t even know where to start when talking about to Disneyworld. Call me cheesy but I tear up every time I go to Disneyworld. I immediately get that magical feeling that wishes comes true, pure bliss, and all those Disney feelings, lol. Disneyworld is split into 4 parks; Magic Kingdom (main park), Epcot (has more adult rides and cultures), Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios (has the movie side of Disney). I’ve been to all four and Magic Kingdom is a MUST. It will take you most of the day to finish each park because there massive. Plus, the lines are really long. If you have older children, they would love Disneyworld because there are more “adult” rides/roller coasters. If you have younger children, there are plenty of rides but because it’s overcrowded, huge, and really hot, it gets tiring and overwhelming really fast. Disneyworld is in Orlando so it’s humid as well.
When we went to Disneyworld, we went from 9am-3pm. We rode 3-5 rides per day and was done. We still enjoyed our time but it’s hard to spend the entire day there with little ones. If you’re going with most adults, Disneyworld is the place to be. I’m going next month again for my best friends’ bachelorette party and I’m so excited to be able to experience it without children. I know it sounds bad but when you’re with little ones, you can’t ride all of those big rides. I also don’t have to worry about changing their diaper, making sure they’re cooled down, ect.