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Disneyland is Better Than Disney World (Do You Agree?)

As an East Coaster, I’ve always visited Walt Disney World. It’s easy to access in Florida and offers four theme parks, rather than the 2 on the West Coast at Disneyland.

However, I’ve recently spent more time at Disneyland rather than at Disney World. I’ve found that I prefer Disneyland to Disney World.

Have you been to both theme park resorts in the United States? Read more to learn why I prefer Disneyland, even though it’s a smaller park with fewer rides and attractions.

We’ve received some complimentary admissions/trips to Disneyland and Walt Disney World, but have also paid our own way many times. This post contains affiliate links and a purchase/click through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us at no cost to you.

Whether you are booking a trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland, we recommend booking through our affiliate Get Away Today.

Disneyland train station with train in front.

Why Do I Think Disneyland is Better Than Disney World

Many Disney lovers prefer Walt Disney World and with good reason. It’s a larger resort, with some of the most popular rides – like Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and TRON.

There are also two water parks, mini golf courses, a larger entertainment area (Disney Springs), and many more resort hotels.

Despite this, I still prefer Disneyland. Here’s why.


Disneyland Park was the very first Walt Disney Park and is the only one that was designed and built under the direction of Walt Disney. His apartment and many other specific touches at the park are still there. If you are a Disney fan, this means a lot.

I also love seeing the Disneyland attractions in their original forms. Rides like it’s a small world and Pirates of the Caribbean just feel different at Disneyland. They are also longer rides, with more detail.

Other attractions at Disneyland Resort aren’t offered at all at Walt Disney World. These include the Incredicoaster, Radiator Springs Racers, Web Slingers, Indiana Jones Adventure, and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, is also only at Disneyland, although a similar ride is at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World.

Even if you prefer Walt Disney World, if you are a Disney fan, you’ll want to take at least one trip to Disneyland for sentimental purposes.


If you’ve been to Walt Disney World, you’ve probably experienced some hot, muggy weather. On average, the temperatures in Anaheim California tend to be lower, with less humidity.

While there was some rain at Disneyland during my last family vacation there, it’s more rare. In general, the weather is very pleasant, making for a better experience for your day at the park. There are more outdoor areas at Disneyland, including outdoor queues and seating areas.

While your experience can always vary, on average, the weather will make for a better experience at Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. Of course, you’ll always want to check the weather forecast in advance to make sure you are packed appropriately for your family vacation.

Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World from the side


Disneyland Resort in Anaheim is a much, much smaller resort overall, with two theme parks and three on-property resort hotels. While this means there are fewer options, it also makes things a lot easier to manage for a family vacation.

Once you arrive at Disneyland Resort, you’ll just need to go through security once. Then, you can access Downtown Disney, Disneyland Park, and Disney’s California Adventure.

Because you can easily walk between the two parks, park hopping is much more convenient. Just keep in mind that currently, you still have to wait until 11 am before you can hop to the next park (assuming you have purchased the park hopper option on your ticket).

Whether you choose to stay off-property or on-property, there are a variety of hotels and motels at different price points within walking distance. We’ve stayed at both on-property and off-property hotels, and have enjoyed all of our experiences.

There are three on-property hotels – Disney’s Grand Californian, Pixar Place Hotel, and the Disneyland Hotel. All of them offer close locations and some other benefits including early park entry. These three hotels are a close walk to Downtown Disney, Disneyland Hotel, and Disney’s California Adventure.

You may, however, prefer to stay off-property, if you have loyalty to a specific chain, are looking for lower prices, or want different amenities. There are loads of options, including Howard Johnson by Wyndham Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground, Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance, and the Westin Anaheim. These hotels, as well as many others, are a short walk to the parks.

Ease of Using Genie+

Genie+ is an option at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort. However, the way you purchase Genie+ is a bit different.

At Walt Disney World, you have to wait until the day you are visiting the parks to purchase Genie+ for the day. It can (and does) sell out.

At Disneyland, Genie+ can be purchased in advance, with your tickets. Depending on availability, you’ll also have the option to purchase it on the day of your visit.

It’s also much easier to make Genie+ selections at Disneyland in my experience. However, there are fewer options.

Entrance of TRON: Lightcycle/Run at Walt Disney World

Why You May Prefer Disney World

Although I can now say with certainty that I prefer Disneyland over Walt Disney World, that may not be true for you. Here are some reasons you may prefer Walt Disney World.

  • Flight time. If you are from the East Coast, the flight to California is much longer than the flight to Orlando International Airport.
  • Four theme parks: EPCOT and Disney’s Animal Kingdom are very unique parks that don’t have much overlap with the California theme parks. If you want to experience some of these attractions, including Kilimanjaro Safaris and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, or the World Showcase in EPCOT, you’ll need to visit Florida.
  • More Disney-owned hotels: While Disneyland Resort offers three on-property Disney hotels, Walt Disney World offers many more. There are a variety of themes and amenities at these resorts, so there may be something more appealing to your family in Florida than in California.

So, what’s your opinion? Is Disneyland better than Disney World? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Disneyland Sleeping Beauty castle

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