Planning a trip to either of these parks? Don’t know what to expect? Feeling lost and confused but with a deep urge to see the mouse? There are many things to consider, such as location, weather, size, and parks.
Let’s get started!
Depending on which coast you’re the closest to will most likely determine your decision in which park to go to. Growing up in Florida, I’ve been to Disney World a million times. I know not everyone has this luxury and Florida is a pain in the ass to get to, but you can easily make this a weekend trip from any of the surrounding states. If you’re willing to endure a few hours (6-8 hours) in the car and are dying to go to Disney World, it’s totally worth it! You can also find some cheap flights depending on season, time of day, day of the week, and booking in advance. I’ve flown round trip from Fort Lauderdale to La Guardia for $115! It is possible to get cheap flights to Florida for under $200 you just have to be patient and look for deals!
Speaking of cheap flights and being patient, that’s how I was able to fly to CALIFORNIA to go to Disneyland with my best friend! From Fort Lauderdale, FL to Los Angeles, CA we each paid $125 for our roundtrip flight! Amazing right?!? We flew with Spirit airlines, my first time flying with them, and it was a late late flight, but it served its purpose and we saved a lot of money! I booked our flight about 7 months in advance, which is very far in advance, but it was well worth it. However, if you’re on the west coast the same goes for those few hours of driving! If you’re willing to put in a good road trip, it’ll make your trip worth it, and 4-6 hours in gas is usually way cheaper than a flight.
Florida is known to be the “Sunshine State,” however if you know anything about Florida, it should probably be call the temperamental weather state. Especially during Summer time, when everyone wants to come to visit, the weather is very sporadic. It can be blazing hot with no clouds in sight to a downpour of rain and extreme humidity within an hour. It’s ridiculous! Also, if you’re not used to humidity be prepared to SWEAT and make sure to drink a lot of water! Ladies don’t bother wearing foundation, it will just melt off. This is probably the main difference between a trip to Disney World vs Disneyland. Depending on the season you decide to come, from January-March the weather is amazing! There’s not much rain, it’s not too hot, and the humidity is at a minimum with a possibility of a cool breeze! During this time, there’s fewer tourists and the lines go by a lot quicker.
I took my trip to Disneyland in October 2016 and HOLY CRAP the weather is amazing! I was in complete awe of how amazing weather can be on the west coast. My best friend Ali and I decided to spread out our park experience and dedicated 1 day to each park. The 1st day I wore a t-shirt with shorts and felt SO good! I didn’t sweat at all and never had to worry about dehydration. I put on a little foundation on my face and it actually stayed on! At night it got a little chilly but it was okay enough where I didn’t freeze my ass off. The 2nd day I decided to wear a long sleeve with shoulder cut outs and capri workout leggings. I was slightly worried I would get hot, but I rolled up my sleeves when I felt a little warm, and was completely fine. The long sleeves also helped out at night when the temperature dropped a little bit. I fully understand why people love California now.
This has to be the biggest difference between both parks. Disney World in Florida is consisted of 4 parks, 2 water parks, and more than 25 Disney hotels. Disneyland in California is consisted of 2 parks and 3 hotels. Notice the difference already? Disney world is about 40 miles, which is basically the size of San Francisco! Disneyland on the other hand is not even a quarter of that. Disneyland might be the original park that started it all, but if you’re looking for variety for all ages throughout multiple days, Disney World definitely has more to offer. Click HERE for Disney World maps and HERE for Disneyland maps to compare.
Disney World has sooo much to offer! I grew up going to Magic Kingdom so often that eventually I got sick of it, and didn’t return until I was much older. There’s Magic Kingdom, home of Main Street U.S.A., Adventureland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Tomorrowland, and Liberty Square. I can say with confidence now that Magic Kingdom is my favorite park out of all!
Epcot is home of deliciousness and drinking around the world! Depending on when you visit, you can easily attend an event based on food from around the world. There’s the famous Epcot Food & Wine Festival, Flower & Garden Festival, and Festival of the Arts. My favorite is the Food & Wine Festival, which offers food from more than 10 different countries around the world. YUM!
Animal kingdom is home of the Tree of Life, Expedition Everest, and my favorite characters from the movie UP, Dug and Russell. However, a trip to Animal Kingdom isn’t complete without doing the Kilimanjaro Safari and watching Festival of the Lion King. I cried the first time I saw this show, no joke. It’s AMAZING! Also coming this year in 2017 is the exciting addition of Pandora- The World of Avatar!
Hollywood Studios is the primary park that has gone through so much over the years! It’s been through name changes (MGM), the addition of Mickey’s iconic sorcerer’s hat, to ultimately the demise of the hat. Currently it showcases the original landmark, Disney’s replica of the Chinese Theater (The Great Movie Ride). Additions coming soon include Toy Story Land and Star Wars Land! Yay!! What a time to be alive!
Disneyland is still fresh in my mind and I can say if you’ve been to Disney World, you’ll definitely have an easy time navigating through Disneyland. The parks are structured relatively the same and it’s very hard to get lost. However, Disneyland has a few things Disney World does not offer or no longer has. Some of these things include New Orleans Square, Critter Country, and Mickey’s Toontown. It was so nice to revisit Mickey’s Toontown and visit Mickey and Minnie’s home from my childhood. Disney World had a Mickey’s Toontown Fair once upon a time before getting evicted in 2011.
Disney’s California Adventure Park is something that will stay with me forever. This park is a fun mixture of Disney and old school California vibes, it’s SO COOL!! California Screamin’, Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Radiator Springs, Grizzly River Run, and Cove Bar are MUSTS!! Ending your night with the World of Color spectacular is something that will take your breath away. Again, I cried. Adults have feelings too!
So whether you’re heading over to the east coast to visit the massive madness that is Disney World or headed to the chilled vibes of California to Disneyland, both of these parks have so many things to offer. It all depends on what you’re looking for and what you want to experience. These parks are unique experiences all on their own. They have something for everyone of all ages and are all magical.
Have you been to either park? Which do you prefer? I LOVE Disney World but would much rather prefer California’s weather, if you couldn’t tell. My ideal park would probably be a combo of Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and California Adventure but with California’s weather. Also, some sort of napping area for adults. I like to dream big!