Tips for Disney World Regulars Visiting Disneyland

Located on opposite ends of the United States, Disney World and Disneyland generally draw visitors from different parts of the world. As far as Americans are concerned, those who live east of the Mississippi River tend to go to Disney World while those living west of the Rocky Mountains will go to Disneyland, with those in the middle settling on one or the other at some point, typically based on family tradition. In fact, part of the reason Walt Disney set about building a second park in Florida was that barely anyone from the east coast was visiting his resort in California.

Despite these seemingly unshakable visitor trends, a select number of die-hard Disney fans will make the journey to the park they aren’t familiar with at least once. For families familiar with Disney World who are planning to take a trip to Disneyland this year, it’s important to know a few things before making the commitment. Although much will end up looking, feeling, and even smelling the same as the resort experience in Orlando, the Anaheim experience is distinct in a number of ways.

Transportation

Depending on traffic, the driving time between the Orlando airport and Disney World is about 30 minutes. The drive from Los Angeles International airport to Disneyland will take over an hour. If possible, consider booking a flight going into the Orange County airport, which is about half the distance.

If renting a car, be prepared for more congestion on the roads. The LA area is infamous for heavy traffic during all hours of the day. With that said, Florida roads are considered some of the most dangerous in the country. Those in Southern California lack that reputation (probably because everyone is going too slow.)

In the event your family is involved in a car accident on the way to Disneyland, pull over to the side of the road and call 911 right away. California Highway Patrol officers will be there shortly. If someone in your family is seriously injured, we suggest contacting Pines Salomon injury lawyers before heading back home.

Watching the pixar parade is a must

Size

Disneyland is notoriously smaller than Disney World. It’s often said that Disneyland can fit into the parking lot for the Magic Kingdom, which is just one of four separate parks located on Disney World property.

Unlike Disney World, which lives up to its name in that it feels like you’re on a different planet before parking your car, Disneyland is located in the middle of a populated city. The park gates are only a few hundred feet away from major roads lined with fast food, gas stations, and convenience stores.

The plus side to the smaller size of Disneyland compared to Disney World is the reduced time spent moving from one place to another. Those familiar with Disney World know a good chunk of the time is spent waiting in line for buses. While Disneyland also has a bus system, visitors staying at hotels along the major roads outside the park are only a five or ten-minute walk away from the park gates. What’s more, the second Disney park in Anaheim known as California Adventure is literally across from Disneyland.

Proximity

A trip to Disney World is like entering another realm. By the time you’ve parked on the property, you’re miles away from any semblance of civilization not run by an anamorphic mouse. Contrast this with Disneyland, which is in the middle of a major urban area.

While die-hard Disney fans cherish the isolation of Disney World, the proximity of Disneyland to the outside world can come in handy. The nearest grocery store isn’t five miles away, it’s just down the street. Forgot something back at the room? It’s a ten-minute walk round trip and you’re back waiting in line for the Haunted Mansion.

Unless you’re stopped at the top of Mickey’s Fun Wheel or craning your neck at the peak of Splash Mountain, the world beyond Disneyland is not easy to see or hear from within. With this in mind, families should know they can still expect the magic of feeling as though they are in a whole new world, even if it’s only a different land.

Experience

Frequent visitors of the Magic Kingdom in Florida are in for an uncanny experience when they step into Disneyland for the first time. In many ways the two parks are identical, but subtle and not-so-subtle differences scatter the landscape.

The most noticeable difference is the castle designs in each park. You could say Cinderella’s castle in Florida looks like a wedding cake whereas Sleeping Beauty’s castle in California looks more like a birthday cake.

The location and layout of iconic rides are also different. Furthermore, Disneyland has retained several rides which have been removed from Disney World, including Snow White’s Scary Adventure and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.