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WDW Magic Kingdom vs. Disneyland Questions


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I like how DLR is small. Disney World (which I think Everyone should Experience) Is like a City its huge you never have to leave. Disneyland I love how everything is walking distance. 3 hotels, Downtown Disney, 2 themeparks all within like a 1/3 mile walk. Disneyland is better then Magic Kingdom and the parks them self are up kept much better at Disneyland...

but in the end Disney World is a world and there is more to do, and it gives you the TRUE Disney magic as your transported to a strictly Disney "World".

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If you compare DL to the MK only then DL wins.

 

I believe Disneyland is FAR MORE SUPERIOR 100%!!!

 

What I find most annoying about the "Disneyland Fanboys" is how they will tell you how far superior Disneyland is, yet offer very little constructive feedback as to why. They just want you to believe "it just is..."

 

You had a very legitimate series of questions, and I really do appreciate those who gave their response and put in a bit of effort to back it up. The guy is talking about spending thousands of dollars for a vacation for him and his four year old daughter. I would expect more out of our users than to just tell him "Disneyland is better...because it is..."

 

Sorry, I just had to say something...it frustrates me sometimes when I read comments like these...

 

I hope you enjoy your trip to either park, whichever one you choose!

 

--Robb

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I like how DLR is small. Disney World (which I think Everyone should Experience) Is like a City its huge you never have to leave. Disneyland I love how everything is walking distance. 3 hotels, Downtown Disney, 2 themeparks all within like a 1/3 mile walk. Disneyland is better then Magic Kingdom and the parks them self are up kept much better at Disneyland...

but in the end Disney World is a world and there is more to do, and it gives you the TRUE Disney magic as your transported to a strictly Disney "World".

My sentiments exactly! Park vs Park Disneyland wins by a landslide. However, Disneyworld is AWESOME if you are going for more than 1 park!

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If you compare DL to the MK only then DL wins.

 

I believe Disneyland is FAR MORE SUPERIOR 100%!!!

 

What I find most annoying about the "Disneyland Fanboys" is how they will tell you how far superior Disneyland is, yet offer very little constructive feedback as to why. They just want you to believe "it just is..."

 

You had a very legitimate series of questions, and I really do appreciate those who gave their response and put in a bit of effort to back it up. The guy is talking about spending thousands of dollars for a vacation for him and his four year old daughter. I would expect more out of our users than to just tell him "Disneyland is better...because it is..."

 

Sorry, I just had to say something...it frustrates me sometimes when I read comments like these...

 

I hope you enjoy your trip to either park, whichever one you choose!

 

--Robb

 

More of a Theme Park Fanboy, but let me give you some detail per your request Robb.

 

Disneyland has history on its side. For the majority of the population they could care less, but I am guessing if the original poster is on a theme park website he does have some interest in the overall theme park genre. Now Disneyland was not necessarily the first, but it was the first popular theme park of its kind.

 

Now lets say you don't care about history. Well then the best value for your dollar would still be to go to Disneyland (remember DL vs. MK). Disneyland offers a lot of the same attractions as MK plus the attractions that are available at other WDW Parks (ex Star Tours and Fantasmic). You then have things not available at the MK like Matterhorn (another historical attraction) and the Indiana Jones Adventure. If cleanliness and attraction upkeep is important then Disneyland is better as well.

 

Take it this was way. If MK and DL were the only 2 parks in a resort, which one would you visit more often?

 

I would also recommend to anyone visiting Disneyland is to visit everything that Southern California has to offer (Beaches, Hollywood, Magic Mtn, Knotts, Universal, etc...) even though Disney wouldn't want you to leave the Disneyland Resort

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Take it this was way. If MK and DL were the only 2 parks in a resort, which one would you visit more often?

Well, my answer is pretty easy... I live 50 miles from Disneyland and 2,500 miles from Magic Kingdom. Since September of 2009 I've been to Disneyland zero times, Magic Kingdom 5 times, and Tokyo Disneyland 3 times.

 

I know I'm in the minority when it comes to Southern Californians, especially native SoCalers, but I really think that Disneyland is by far the worst of the Magic Kingdoms. I even rank it lower than Hong Kong Disneyland, even though HKDL has far fewer attractions...but that's a discussion for another time... Disneyland is cramped, claustrophobic, frustrating, the employees are terrible and the locals are even worse.

 

But I've already explained myself in my other post...

 

--Robb "I'm a pretty serious Disney fan...but one that really doesn't like Disneyland...at all." Alvey

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^ Don't get me wrong. I totally understand why people hold it in such high regard. Remember, I worked at the park for 5 years. Was there for the opening of one of the "mountains", was there for the opening of the parks most popular show, worked the parks most popular parade. I lived it. I totally understand it. I'm just not one of the die-hard fans.

 

--Robb

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I think the parks of Walt Disney World are better for one reason - isolation.

 

"Excuse me, where is the nearest Wal-Mart?"

"We don't have a Wal-Mart here."

"Come on, we're in Orlando, there has to be a Wal-Mart around."

"We're not in Orlando. We're in the Magic Kingdom."

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I just came back from a week-long trip to WDW, yet grew up with Disneyland. I have included my 2 cents below. Hope this helps you out further in making your decision.

 

*Disclaimer: the following review is completely subjective, please take with a grain of salt.*

 

While I really liked the Magic Kingdom, I absolutely love Disneyland, and I am entirely in the opposite spectrum when it comes to why. While most people appreciate the vast expansive feeling of the MK, I have always gravitated to smaller, more cozy environments. I love how small and quaint Disneyland is. I love being able to walk from Splash to Space in 4 minutes or less. I love how jam-packed the place is with rides, shows, and attractions. I understand it's a result of lack of space on Disney's part, but there really is something to discover in almost every nook and cranny. And it's incredible how well-planned everything is. One would never guess that Alice in Wonderland sits directly on top of Mr. Toad's, or that Autopia is on top of the Submarines' show building. The way they were able to accommodate everything is just fascinating to me. I really enjoyed myself at the MK, but the fact that everything was so spread out made the experience feel somewhat anemic for me. The park did not feel as complete to me as Disneyland does. I did, however, love the Haunted Mansion at the MK, much better than Disneyland's. And the MK automatically wins points for the Carrousel of Progress and still having the People Mover (much better ride system than Disneyland's ever was). I never did experience Alien Encounter, but Stitch's Great Escape was not that bad, kind of cute, actually. I will say the following about Space: I found the coaster experience to be superior to Disneyland's, but in my opinion, the theming on Disneyland's is superior to MK's. With that said, I prefer Disneyland's, only because I am more inclined to a rich, immersive, themed experience that a roller coaster experience any day.

 

When it comes to resort experiences, hands down WDW wins. I can never imagine staying on property at Disneyland, it has always been a 2-day experience for me, at best. WDW is expensive, but the resort does such an amazing job at pulling you into its world. We stayed at a moderate, and it literally felt like staying in another place and time. I can't begin to imagine how much more heightened the experience is at a deluxe resort. And the perk of park-hopping cannot be matched anywhere else. It was also an awesome experience seeing attractions I've ridden at Disneyland in a whole new park, with different surroundings.

 

I did find that the WDW resort as a whole is just a bit more relaxed on their upkeep (chipped paint here and there, a few animatronics out of sync, an overfilled trash can now and then) but nothing too dramatic that will detract from your experience. I have found several times on other boards that claim that WDW is literally falling apart due to their maintenance problems, but that was not the case when I was there. It's still a worthwhile experience, and far cleaner than most other amusement parks.

 

My advice would be to do a weekend trip to Disneyland with your 4-year old, and in a few years, definitely do the WDW trip. I was debating taking my 3-year old nephew with me (he frequents DL with his mother all the time), but after further discussion with my sister, we decided to wait until he's at least 5 or 6. Either way, you can't go wrong with a Disney vacation, unless you're visiting Disneyland Paris, but that's a discussion for another board. Good luck with your decision making.

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Okay, I haven't been to WDW since 2002, but when I visited DL and DCA in 2008, I was completely blown away.

 

I really underestimated both parks, and the rides they had. California Screamin' was an awesome ride, especially at night and I had no idea it would sneak into my top 10. Very cool ride, even if it wasn't really themed. But damn does it look pretty at night!

 

Indiana Jones and Grizzy River Rapids were both...well, out of this world. Indiana Jones had me going when I started going through the queue, the pre show video was hilarious, and the ride itself was unreal! I couldn't believe I had hardly heard about the ride and it turned out to be one of the best theme park rides I'd ever been on! Grizzly River Rapids had be believing that we were REALLY going to flip over. I loved Kali River Rapids, but I was blown away by GRR!

 

Tower of Terror was awesome, I know it doesn't have the moving track part; but I had just as much fun if not more on the Cali version as I remembered having in WDW.

 

Space Mountain was another huge suprise to me. I didn't know how different the two Space Mtn's were, and I loved the audio track that went along with the ride!

 

Splash Mountain and Big Thunder were both great, nothing I noticed different from Orlando's.

 

I spent 3.5 days between the two parks, and I think it was the perfect amount of time to take in Downtown Disney, DCA, and DL. I did everything multiple times, and loved every part of both parks. Disneyland is probably my favorite park to this date. Even though I remember WDW VERY well, I still know it had been 6 years ago going into DL; can't wait to get back and see how I like it!

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Thanks again everyone for the feedback. Tax time is coming and that will make my final decision. Either way, I plan on a nice trip report to share.

 

At least I am not seeing much gang activity in the area. The closet ones are "E/S Holly Hood Piru"

 

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&oe=UTF8&msa=0&msid=109207396431294085739.00000112583e7047c0070

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Robb echoed everything I feel about the two. My ride breakdown goes something like this:

 

Big Thunder Mountain - Disneyland > WDW (apparently they're mirror images of each other, but I prefer DL's!)

Space Mountain - Disneyland > WDW

Splash Mountain - WDW > Disneyland

Tower of Terror - WDW >>>>> Disneyland (no comparison, really!)

Pirates of the Caribbean - Disneyland > WDW

Haunted Mansion - WDW > Disneyland

 

Everything else I've been on is pretty equal. And though I'd love to ride Expedition Everest more than Matterhorn, the latter is a lot of fun and is the much, much more family-friendly version of a relatively similar type of ride. California Screamin' blows away all the other Disney coasters to me, but of course that's not a deal-breaker for your daughter!

 

As far as resort experiences go, WDW is definitely the better of the two. And by better, I really mean the absolute, 100%, unanimous winner. You can spend your week on WDW property, never see the outside world, and lose yourself in everything there is to do. The Disneyland Resort is much, much smaller, and you're going to see the outside world. It kills the illusion a bit, but it's still a fantastic place to spend your time, and if you're a fan of the whole historical aspect of Disneyland it's pretty cool to stand at the exact center of the park and to recognize Walt's in-park apartment and whatnot. If you stay in a Disney hotel, I'd suggest requesting a room in the newly-renovated Dreams Tower at the Disneyland Hotel. I just stayed there Sunday night in a premium room and it was absolutely superb. Very much preferred to my week-long stay in paradise Pier in June - though that hotel is pretty nice itself, and the view from rooms above the fifth floor of DCA is pretty cool!

 

And now I'll restate what everyone else has said - both resorts are fantastic places to spend some time, but WDW is definitely the better overall experience and will give you a lot more to do for a lot more time. Disneyland is a two-day affair at most, whereas the entire WDW resort could probably keep you busy for a week straight in parks/waterparks alone. What Robb suggested - a week at WDW and then a long weekend at Disneyland in the future - is definitely something I'd agree with. It's really up to what you're looking for and how much you have to spend (WDW costs quite a bit!), but they're both places you'll definitely want to visit with your daughter!

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^ Thanks. I was wondering what the difference was between the two Haunted Mansions. I remember seeing the DL version winning year after year on Amusement Park Today over WDW's. That is what confuses me about the review between the two.

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I honestly can't remember much of what happens inside of WDW's - it's been two years since I last rode - but I just rode DL's on Monday and I do think that WDW's doesn't have the minute-long stretch of traveling backwards down a random hallway. Also, I think that the interior of the WDW version is nicer, more updated, and I think that the ride might be a little bit longer. And the facade and approach is much, much nicer and more scenic, if you ask me!

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^ Thanks. I was wondering what the difference was between the two Haunted Mansions. I remember seeing the DL version winning year after year on Amusement Park Today over WDW's. That is what confuses me about the review between the two.

 

WDW's ride is longer. It has 3 (I think?) extra scenes, although one of them is in the Disneyland version's queue. It also has a surround sound effect in the preshow, which hasn't been added to Disneyland's yet. IMO, the facade is also much better, but that's completely subjective. They're currently making further enhancements to the queue, but like most people, I have no idea what that entails.

 

The reason DL's Mansion was usually compared favorably is because WDW failed to update the attraction like DL did... and the maintenance sucked. But the refurb a couple years ago fixed all that, and it's now the superior version, like it should have been all along.

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  • 1 month later...

I know I might be late to the party, but my honest opinion is that you can't go wrong with either park.

 

I've noticed a common complaint here is that Disneyland is smaller than the Magic Kingdom. As someone who was at Disneyland last Monday and Tuesday, I couldn't disagree with this complaint any more. Last Monday my brother and I went to Disneyland, got there at 8 a.m. and were able to ride the Monorail, Space Mountain (twice), the Matterhorn, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Pirates of the Caribbean, and the Haunted Mansion by 10:15 a.m. The smaller size allows you to accomplish more in a single day. Not to mention, the whole of California Adventure is VERY close to the whole of Disneyland so if you don't like walking, you can get EVERYTHING in close proximity to one another.

 

So, I'd consider Disneyland to have the advantage in:

Size (Smaller = less walking = more time to experience the attractions)

Pirates of the Caribbean (although I do like WDW's theming and queue better)

It's A Small World (although both rides are very similar outside of the exterior theming)

The Enchanted Tiki Room (The Under New Management show at WDW just isn't anywhere near as good)

Space Mountain (The on ride experience is FAR superior at Disneyland, although the queue is better at WDW)

Autopia

Plus the stuff you don't have at the Magic Kingdom such as: Alice in Wonderland, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Pinocchio, Rodger Rabbit, Indiana Jones, Finding Nemo

 

I'd say Magic Kingdom has the advantage in:

Resort Complex (Much more stuff to do within Disney Property nearby)

Splash Mountain (Better seating arrangement and better show arrangement)

Haunted Mansion (although Disneyland has the Holiday Mansion which is excellent)

Plus the stuff that you don't have at Disneyland such as: Country Bear Jamboree (a really great attraction), Hall of Presidents, Aladdin, Stitch, Monster's Inc Laugh Floor, Tomorrowland Transit Authority, Carousel of Progress, Phillarmagic.

 

Disneyland ALSO has Star Tours (found at Disney Hollywood Studios at WDW) and Matterhorn (with a MUCH newer and arguably better Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom).

 

I, personally, think that Disneyland is the greatest single theme park on the face of the Earth. My second favorite theme park, well, it's the Magic Kingdom.

 

I'm looking forward to the Fantasyland improvements at the MK, as well as the final completion of California Adventure. As I live in Phoenix, I visit Disneyland at least once every 18 months or so (for 2-3 days a time). I went to Disneyland last week and am planning a WDW trip tentatively for October.

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I've noticed a common complaint here is that Disneyland is smaller than the Magic Kingdom. As someone who was at Disneyland last Monday and Tuesday, I couldn't disagree with this complaint any more.

 

Disneyland's small size becomes a problem on busy weekends, not as much during the week. The park wasn't designed to support the number of guests it gets during peak times. The walkways get incredibly claustrophobic, like you're going to be trampled, and the park does a HORRIBLE job of crowd control.

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Well, I got my tax return in and made a decision on which to go to. I will be going to Disneyland California to save a few bucks for this year. I paid off a credit card my wife had with the saving and getting close to debt free.

 

Orlando will be next year. I decided to also stay off property for California as many recommended here. Thanks for that advice, it saved me almost $200 a night and I am actually across the street from the entrance.

 

Also, I figured I have never been over there and wanted to try it out. My daughter also loves The Little Mermaid and we will be there a week after that opens at DCA. I want to also experience this Pirates, since that is one of my favorite rides in Orlando. Matterhorn and the Nemo Subs are just icing on the cake. Also, with some of the money I saved I am getting her the full princess makeover at the Boutique.

 

EDIT: Also, I will be staying starting on a Monday and leaving back to Phoenix on a Friday in the Summer. No weekend crowds for me

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Glad you'll get to see it and make your mind up for yourself!

 

I never went to Disneyland as a kid, my first visit I was 20 and I've been a hald dozen times since, and WDW twice.

Forgetting it costs me WAAY more to go to Disneyworld, because in my opinion you get a lot more for your money too so that argument doesn't exist for me.

 

For me WDW is just so much more impressive, the scale of the whole 'operation' there is just a thing to behold and just shows how Disney just does it better than anyone else on the planet.

And there are so many awesome hotels.

 

However I prefer Disneyland many times over compared to WDW. Robb mentioned earlier that none of the DLR fans can justify why it's better and neither can I, and I'm not saing it IS better, just that I think it's better.

 

All it comes down to for me is that Disneyland just has this 'magic' feel to it for me. I still get goosebumps when I walk towards the park (and I'm 27 mind you) and it just has this charm about it that the Florida parks have. They have heaps of other things going for them but just not this. On my last visit I got to take someone for their first Disneyland experience and just to see the look on their face and the sparkle in their eyes was amazing. Disneyland is the park that started it all and it just has this unexplainable vibe for me.

I tell EVERYONE to go check out WDW for sure, but I think everyone also needs to experiene Disneyland.

 

Look forward to hearing how you find it!

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Disneyland's Remember Dreams Come True fireworks show is the absolute best fireworks show in the whole entire world!!! DON'T MISS IT!!! Also World Of Color at California Adventure. & Fantasmic. I think though Disneyland's Splash & Big Thunder are better than Disney World's. I also like Disneyland's Pirates because of the short drop the boat goes down. I think there's another smaller drop. Also Small World is way more better than Florida's. & Indiana Jones OMG! Gotta love it! & Of course the Materhorn, Nemo Subs. California Screamin OH YEAH!(Far better than Rock N Roller). But however too bad California Adventure's Tower Of Terror is not the same as Florida's. Florida's is better but California's is still fun. Plus we still have Mr. Toad & Alice & Phinicco(which Florida doesn't have) & Space is sooooo much better than Florida's. Although some say Florida's Space is pretty similar in layout to the Matterhorn. Plus we're getting Radiator Springs Racers which will be far more superior than Test Track. Disneyland RULES!

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Glad you'll get to see it and make your mind up for yourself!

 

I never went to Disneyland as a kid, my first visit I was 20 and I've been a hald dozen times since, and WDW twice.

Forgetting it costs me WAAY more to go to Disneyworld, because in my opinion you get a lot more for your money too so that argument doesn't exist for me.

 

For me WDW is just so much more impressive, the scale of the whole 'operation' there is just a thing to behold and just shows how Disney just does it better than anyone else on the planet.

And there are so many awesome hotels.

 

However I prefer Disneyland many times over compared to WDW. Robb mentioned earlier that none of the DLR fans can justify why it's better and neither can I, and I'm not saing it IS better, just that I think it's better.

 

All it comes down to for me is that Disneyland just has this 'magic' feel to it for me. I still get goosebumps when I walk towards the park (and I'm 27 mind you) and it just has this charm about it that the Florida parks have. They have heaps of other things going for them but just not this. On my last visit I got to take someone for their first Disneyland experience and just to see the look on their face and the sparkle in their eyes was amazing. Disneyland is the park that started it all and it just has this unexplainable vibe for me.

I tell EVERYONE to go check out WDW for sure, but I think everyone also needs to experiene Disneyland.

 

Look forward to hearing how you find it!

VERY WELL SAID. Unlike Robb the small size of Disneyland is what I love about it. Disneyland feels, to me, more like a Dollywood or something like that, a park that is not part of a chain. It is modest in size, and I feel like Walt put so much work into it and everything was kind of an experiment. Magic Kingdom feels more "corporate" to me... as if they saw that they had Disneyland down to a science and just said "lets make it bigger." The love and details aren't there like they are at Disneyland... it's missing the "Walt."

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While I love the charming feel of Disneyland, as others have said, I just can't feel immersed in it. The lands all look great...until you walk for thirty seconds and you're in another land. It's crazy standing inside Adventureland and seeing New Orleans Square, the entrance to Fronteirland, and possibly the Astro Orbiter if you're in the proper location. Not to mention, you can indeed see outside the berm in a few locations. Don't get me wrong, I love the park and enjoy many of its quirks, but it works against it as well as for it. It's just nice to know that if you go one mile in any direction in the MK, you're still on Disney property. Do that in Disneyland and you wouldn't feel so great about your location. Not to mention that Indy, Disneyland's best exclusive attraction, seems like two thirds amazing with one third nothing. As for WDW vs. DLR, that has been answered time after time.

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I hope you have a great time! I'm going by myself (read: without my children) to Disneyland in September for the race weekend. I am so looking forward to it, since I haven't been to Disneyland since I was 17 years old. I think you have to go into the trip understanding it will be a different experience than visiting WDW!

 

Either way, both parks have more Disney magic than I'll find anywhere at home!

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