While we were in California we went to Disneyland for 2 days. Yes, we were just at Disney World at the end of January but we couldn't resist taking Emme Claire to Disneyland since we were so close to it! And I'm really glad we did. It was a lot of fun! We spent one day at the original Disneyland Park and the next day at the California Adventure park.
For those of you trying to decide whether to go to Florida or California to see Mickey and his friends I wanted to share some of the differences that I found between Disney World and Disneyland. And also some Pros and Cons about each of them. Keep in mind I have a 2 year old and so I might not have good tips or info for people with teenagers.
Disney World (DW) is made up of 4 main parks (not including water parks) while Disneyland (DL) is made up of 2 main parks. Both places have a Downtown Disney that is accessible to the public with no tickets where you will find shops and restaurants. At Disneyland the original theme park called Disneyland Park is very similar to the Magic Kingdom at DW. And at Disneyland the California Adventure park is a lot like Hollywood Studios in DW. As far as I know there is nothing at Disneyland that is similar to Epcot park or Animal Kingdom. And I don't think Disneyland has any water parks.
One thing I loved about Disneyland is that the 2 parks they have are literally next door to each other. The entrances to both parks are just a short walk from each other. And if you have ever been to DW then you know the parks there are very far apart and you have to take some sort of transportation to park hop.
But at the same time Disney World has more parks therefore they have more to offer. But my favorite parks at DW are Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios and those are the ones that are similar to the Disneyland parks. So I'm okay with that.
Another major difference is that DW has tons of hotels within the resort. Disneyland has just 3. But any of those 3 would be in a good location because they are all very close together. Disneyland is a lot easier to walk around than Disney World, maybe because everything is closer together.
Also there aren't nearly as many restaurants at DL as there are at DW. And one of the cast members in a restaurant told me that people going to DL don't really use the Disney Dining Plan.
Something else I noticed is that DL doesn't have as many rides with the Fast Pass tickets. Actually none of the rides that we wanted to ride with Emme Claire had them. Seemed like all the rides with Fast Passes were the rides that had height requirements, like the more thrilling rides.
All in all they are both great places and if you ever have the chance to go to both then I say go!! How can you go wrong with a Disney theme park?