Both Disney World and Disneyland will give you a Disney themed experience. So, what is the difference?
Here are ten comparisons that will help you decide:
Disney World is 43 square miles, and is made up of four separate theme parks. Those are the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios.
This means that it is pretty much impossible to see it in one trip.
Disneyland is much smaller at only .25 square miles, with two theme parks, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure.
You could do that in in three days if you planned it right.
3. Space Mountain
Disneyland’s Space Mountain roller coaster has a smoother ride, thanks to a more recently updated track, with coaster cars that offer better support.
The Disney World Space Mountain coaster was darker, more rickety and jerkier, and there was no music, while Disneyland has great music.
4. It’s a Small World
It’s a Small World is quintessential Disney. It was an original attraction in Disneyland which Walt Disney himself rode. The ride is pretty much identical to both Disneyland and Disney World, so it comes down to little details.
One aspect that can be judged is the line-up experience. In Disneyland, the It’s a Small World line-up and ride boat system are outside, with the famous clock tower façade placed in Fantasyland, whereas the Disney World version has a plainer castle exterior, with most of the line and clock tower indoors.
This may have been done to cut down on the line being in the hot Florida sun, but it changes the experience.
Disneyland uses popular Disney characters within the ride, and the Disneyland ride is longer.
5. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Again, the rides themselves are so similar that it comes down to other elements. In this case, the line-up experience in Disneyland is slightly worse than in Disney World.
This is because Disney World has added interactive elements to the line that make it a better experience. The coaster ride itself is slightly more fun in Disney World. The ride seems to go faster and the drops feel more exciting.
6. Pirates of the Caribbean
The Disneyland version starts out by boarding your boat, which is surrounded by a gigantic cavern, then going past a restaurant that is set in a bayou. There are the sounds of the restaurant in addition to swamp sound effects that sets the tone and gives outstanding atmosphere.
Then, there is a fake storm featuring lightning effects that enhance one of the ride’s drops, and there are more show scenes.
Disney World is missing the bayou scene and has a Spanish fort exterior instead, and there are some narrative elements missing, so the ride experience isn’t quite as good.
Disneyland and Disney World both offer rides and attractions that people love, and one is not so outstandingly better than the other, so you can’t go wrong, whichever you choose!