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WDW vs Disneyland

Skibum1970

Well-Known Member
I am planning on a Disney trip in early November. All along, I have been planning on going to Disneyland and DCA in order to see Disneyland for the first time and to experience Carsland. My wife, the long-suffering and yet wonderful spouse, and I will stay a week. However, I have some reservations. I love WDW and the feeling of staying onsite with nothing but Disney surrounding me. Disneyland is surrounded by Anaheim and LA.

So, given these options, could some of you provide some feedback? What would you do and why?
 

tiggerbuddy

New Member
If you are planning on spending your entire week at Disney, I would opt for WDW. We spent a week in CA 4 years ago but only 3 of those days were at Disneyland and DCA. We felt we had seen the entire parks in those 3 days. Also, since this was our first trip to CA, my teenage daugthers had to see the other sights of LA and Hollywood. When we stayed at CA, I did like that we stayed at Paradise Pier and everything was within walking distance between the hotel and parks. The other noticeable differences were both parks get crowded quickly and their wait times will be much longer than WDW. Also, you may not get fireworks every night given the proximity of the parks to the local neighborhoods. Of the nights we were there, they did not do fireworks two of the nights due to the winds. Also, if you want to see other parts of greater LA area, it was a long drive from Anaheim.
 
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tikiman

Well-Known Member
Im here in California and as much as we love WDW, Disneyland is a must visit. I agree that a week is a long time and 3 or 4 days is plenty to see everything but if you want to take a week then you can go at a slower pace and even enjoy more of the hotel. I actually like the Disneyland Hotel better than the Grand Californian, especially now with the new rooms, pool and Tangaroa Terrace. It is a short walk through their version of Downtown Disney to get to the parks. With all that has gone into DCA there are some great things to see and do and the original Disneyland has some things that are better than WDW’s version. The detail and layout of Disneyland is much better than the Magic Kingdom. You can really stroll around and enjoy the park at a slower pace. The new version of Space Mtn is great and Pirates and Small World are much better than their East Coast versions. If you get a chance, eat at the Blue Bayou, if anything just for the atmosphere. The Indiana Jones ride is still the best ride in Disneyland.
 
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rle4lunch

Well-Known Member
Im here in California and as much as we love WDW, Disneyland is a must visit. I agree that a week is a long time and 3 or 4 days is plenty to see everything but if you want to take a week then you can go at a slower pace and even enjoy more of the hotel. I actually like the Disneyland Hotel better than the Grand Californian, especially now with the new rooms, pool and Tangaroa Terrace. It is a short walk through their version of Downtown Disney to get to the parks. With all that has gone into DCA there are some great things to see and do and the original Disneyland has some things that are better than WDW’s version. The detail and layout of Disneyland is much better than the Magic Kingdom. You can really stroll around and enjoy the park at a slower pace. The new version of Space Mtn is great and Pirates and Small World are much better than their East Coast versions. If you get a chance, eat at the Blue Bayou, if anything just for the atmosphere. The Indiana Jones ride is still the best ride in Disneyland.

I agree with everything he said. I grew up going on summer trips to WDW and am planning to go again for the 10th time this December. I hadn't visited DL for the first time until 2006 and I must say that if you don't experience POTC, Small World and Space Mountain (WDW version is much slower than DL's) at DL, you're missing out. The detail of the Magic Kingdom is better at DL than WDW (which is disappointing considering WDW has as much space as they want and they had the time to do it right). I'm really hoping that the new Fantasyland does something to redeem WDW Magic Kingdom, because other than Cinderella's castle being vastly superior to DL's Snow White castle, WDW MK is found lacking. Blue Bayou is great food, but for 2 people you're going to spend around $80 guaranteed. But I've eaten there a few times and it's worth at least one trip, for the atmosphere and the filet mignon.

Now that I live in San Diego, my wife and I go all the time up to DL (Halloween and Christmas parties are great), and I've stayed at the Grand Californian which is nice and I'd recommend. Although if you want to go a little cheaper there are literally dozens of hotels within 10 minutes walking distance to the park.
 
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LoriSue

Member
I think the parks are like children. I love them equally yet differently. I love Disneyland because it is the original. The light is still on in Walt's apartment, Oscar is still working at the Carnation Cafe, the green bench that Walt sat on in the park is in town square. I do agree, however, that 4 days is definitely enough. If you try to do an entire week, it will start wearing on you unless you look for other activities, maybe a tour or something. I also love that when you go to WDW, once you get there, "Everything the light touches is our kingdom". We are going to DL this summer for a few days and one thing we're doing to help with the lack of the 2 other parks is taking a day out to go to San Francisco to visit the Disney Family Museum. If you have stick with your California plan and want some info, feel free to message me and I'll share more some ideas with you.
 
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tikiman

Well-Known Member
I think the parks are like children. I love them equally yet differently. I love Disneyland because it is the original. The light is still on in Walt's apartment, Oscar is still working at the Carnation Cafe, the green bench that Walt sat on in the park is in town square. I do agree, however, that 4 days is definitely enough. If you try to do an entire week, it will start wearing on you unless you look for other activities, maybe a tour or something. I also love that when you go to WDW, once you get there, "Everything the light touches is our kingdom". We are going to DL this summer for a few days and one thing we're doing to help with the lack of the 2 other parks is taking a day out to go to San Francisco to visit the Disney Family Museum. If you have stick with your California plan and want some info, feel free to message me and I'll share more some ideas with you.

They Disney Family Museum is great. Its not run by Disney Corp but by the family so it is done right. We are 60 minutes out of San Francisco so it was somethign we had to go check out and it was worth it.
 
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Skibum1970

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Thanks for the information. It's such a tough decision but partly based upon knowing the enjoyment of being in an "everything Disney" environment. Since we probably won't get out to DL again, I am planning on springing for the Grand Californian and will probably just use three days as the time spent. Plus, two more days are spent flying to CA as it is four hours from Cincinnati without a connector and thus we'll be a little wiped out from jetlag and the move to Pacific time. So, it appears that I'll be bound for California.
 
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