10 Reasons Why Walt Disney World Fans Should Visit the Disneyland Resort

If you have visited Walt Disney World but have yet to venture to the West Coast to experience the Disneyland Resort, then you must read our top 10 reasons WDW Guests should visit the Disneyland Resort. You may be tempted to book your vacation after you’re through reading this article!

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1. Disneyland HistoryHand holding a picture of Walt Disney in front of Disneyland

What makes Disneyland special and sets it apart from WDW is its history. Disneyland is the original Park that Walt Disney, himself, imagined and supervised the creation of. Details imagined back in 1955 when the Park opened are still evident today. A sacred place in the Park is found on Main Street U.S.A. where Guests can find Walt Disney and his family’s apartment, located in the firehouse. Curious to see what it looks like inside? Take the Walk in Walt’s Footsteps Tour (exclusive, obviously, to Disneyland).

Feel what it was like back in 1955 by taking a whirl on some of the original attractions – Autopia, Casey Jr. Circus Train, Disneyland Railroad, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Jungle Cruise, King Arthur Carrousel, Mad Tea Party, Main Street Vehicles, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Peter Pan’s Flight, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, or Storybook Land Canals!

2. Smaller, Manageable SizeThe entrance to Disney's California Adventure at night

WDW Guests may be surprised to learn that Disneyland is only approximately 510 acres compared to the WDW Resort that spans an incredible 27,000 acres! But Disneyland’s smaller size has many advantages, the first being, everything is within walking distance of each Park. All three Resort Hotels are just steps away from either the Monorail to get into Disneyland or the esplanade that welcomes Guests into each Park. Another bonus for Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa Guests that saves some steps is a special entrance into Disney California Adventure Park.

The best part of the Disneyland Resort’s size is that all attractions are within walking distance of one another! So forget burning valuable Disney minutes by waiting for transit to take you from, say, the Magic Kingdom to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, all attractions/dining/entertainment at the Disneyland Resort can be quickly and easily accessed by walking.

Even the majority of the Good Neighbor Hotels are within walking distance to the Disneyland Resort.

3. Conquer Both Parks in One DayThree pictures of Star Wars land, Disneyland castle, and Incredicoaster side by side

Yes, you read that right! It is actually possible to use a Park Hopper and bounce from one Park to another – all in one day! Here’s a word of advice if you plan on Park Hopping – start by creating a plan around your top favorite attractions/dining experiences/entertainment.Get in at rope drop and don’t leave until the Park closes! It can be done! Before we were Annual Passholders, my family and I Park Hopped all the time. It’s tiring, but doable!

4. Variety of Affordable Hotels to Choose From11 Reasons WDW Guests Should Visit the Disneyland Resort

Unlike WDW, there are only three onsite Resort Hotels – Disneyland Hotel, Paradise Pier, and Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. Although wonderful and accommodating to stay at a Resort Hotel, they are expensive. There are, however, over 50 local hotels around the Resort that all meet Disney standards that are close to the magic – and affordable, too! You can read all about picking a hotel to stay at for your Disneyland trip in our extensive hotel guide. 

5. Similar Yet Much Better WeatherCalifornia Adventure at night

Although the weather in Orlando is similar to the weather in Anaheim, Florida does have more rainy days than Anaheim does. Not only that, there is no threat of hurricanes on the West Coast. So when booking your vacation, don’t worry about the weather dampening your visit! If your visit does fall during rainy season, the fun doesn’t have to end. Pull on a poncho and enjoy the Parks! Disney Parks trend to be less crowded when it rains.

6. Brand New Avengers Campus

Disneyland is now home to the only complely themed Marvel land in the world! Avengers Campus opened in June at California Adventure with a brand new Spider-Man ride! The land is filled with Marvel characters, themed food and shopping, and a Spider-Man animatronic that flies through the sky.

7. Unique Lands Specific to the Disneyland ResortTrolley at California Adventure

If you are looking for more history inside the Disneyland Resort, take a leisurely walk down Buena Vista Street found right past the entrance gates in Disney California Adventure Park, exclusive to the Disneyland Resort. This retro-themed Land takes Guests back to the 1920s to what Los Angeles would have looked like when Walt Disney first arrived. Follow the street past the Hyperion Bridge to Carthay Circle Restaurant, a replica of the Carthay Circle Theatre where Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered. Pay close attention to all the details throughout this history-rich street. While there, hop on a vintage trolley car that will transport you to the past!

Step inside Cars Land where you will be transported into the fictional town of Radiator Springs! Race to win on Radiator Springs Racers; have a dance-off while sitting in Luigi’s Rollicking Roadsters; or square dance in a tractor in Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree.

8. Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission Outbreak! Is a Must to ExperienceGuardians of the Galaxy

If Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is one of your favorite attractions, then, boy, does Disney California Adventure Park have a great fit for you! Similar in concept (this attraction actually used to be the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror), Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission Outbreak! still contains stomach-turning drops, but follows a different story line. Help Rocket rescue The Guardians of the Galaxy from high up in The Collectors Fortress. Even better, this attraction transforms again into Guardians of the Galaxy – Monsters After Dark during Halloween time!

9. Find More Roaming CharactersMad Hatter and Alice standing in the Tea Cup ride

Can you imagine slipping into a teacup on the Mad Tea Party and Alice joins you for a spin? Yep, I’ve recently seen that! Unlike WDW, Disneyland characters roam throughout each land giving Guests different experiences with them! Not only can you find Snow White at the Princess Fantasy Faire, but you might also find her at the Wishing Well! The Official Disneyland App will pinpoint where all the characters are located, but sometimes you may have to look!

10 . Attraction Favorites at Disneyland are Noticeably DifferentPirates of the Caribbean

Of the similar attractions at both WDW and Disneyland, some of the Disneyland attractions provide a little bit more detail which set them apart from their WDW version. The Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Disneyland is longer with many more detailed scenes. A must-try experience that puts diners right in the heart of a Louisiana swampland is the Blue Bayou Restaurant. This dining treat is unique to Disneyland and one of the most popular dining spots.

Disneyland’s it’s a small world’s facade is massive in comparison to WDW’s it’s a small world facade primarily because this original attraction was created for the 1964-1965 New York World Fair. Disney’s facade is a show all its own with many moving parts. As if that isn’t impressive enough, special Disney and Pixar character dolls are placed throughout each country to add a little more Disney magic to this attraction.

Last, but not least, Jack Skellington and his ghastly friends take over Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion during Halloween time through Christmas. This spooky turn of events is something all Disney fans should experience!

Ready to Experience the Original Disney Park?

Transport yourself to where it all began by booking your vacation at the Disneyland Resort. Let us help you start planning your Disney vacation! Subscribe to our newsletter that is full of helpful planning information, exclusive Disney deals, and access to the lowest priced Disney tickets anywhere! You can find more information here:

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About Kim Schultz

Kim has her Bachelor's Degree in English Literature with a minor in Technical and Professional Writing from San Francisco State University. She received her editing certificate from University of Berkeley Extension and won numerous awards for fiction writing from the San Mateo County Fair Literary Stage.

One thing she loves most in life besides family and writing is Disneyland! Kim and her family are season pass holders and travel to Disneyland numerous times a year (between 10-15 times to be exact!).

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