I know people who are die-hard Walt Disney World fans and can’t imagine scheduling a vacation to Disneyland. They’ve either never been to the original Disney theme park and feel like they must be loyal to Walt Disney World, they went as kids and feel like they’ve seen everything Disneyland has to offer, or they’ve heard that Disneyland is smaller than Walt Disney World and think they might be bored there. Well, I’m here to set the record straight! If you’re a loyal Walt Disney World fan, you’re going to love Disneyland because it’s the original, classic theme park that made our nation fall in love with theme parks. The Disneyland of your youth is NOT the Disneyland of today. Disneyland is constantly evolving and there is always something new. There is so much to do at Disneyland that if you truly take your time and explore everything there, you’re never bored!
Here are three reasons why I think every Walt Disney World fan should visit Disneyland at least once:
1 Walt Disney’s Original Vision Most people know that Disneyland is the original Disney park. Opening in 1955, Walt Disney himself designed everything in the classic American theme park. Mr. Disney had his own apartment in the park that is still there today. He researched and designed all the original lands in the park. He named things there and his handprint remains throughout the park even today despite the constant change at the two parks in California. There are gifts he gave to his wife in the park and the Disneyland Dream Suite still stands marked with the initials “W” and “R” for Walt and Roy Disney. You can even take a VIP tour called “Walk in Walt’s Footsteps” Tour. It’s a wonderful tour filled with amazing trivia for the hard core Disney fan. There are attractions at Disneyland that Walt Disney himself designed such as “it’s a small world” that have been copied at Walt Disney World, but keep in mind Disneyland has the original.
- Certain Attractions that only Disneyland has There are certainly more attractions in Walt Disney World between the four parks, but surprisingly there are attractions that are ONLY found at Disneyland in the two parks there. A couple of the thrill rides that can only be found at Disneyland include Hyperspace Mountain (think Space Mountain retrofitted for the Star Wars fan), California Screamin’(an excellent roller coaster), and soon the Guardians of the Galaxy will have its own attraction. There are special shows such as Mickey and the Magical Map that are only presented at Disneyland. Only at Disneyland can you dine inside the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction at Blue Bayou Restaurant. You can only see World of Color, a nighttime spectacular including pyrotechnics and a water screen, at California Adventure Park. Also, only at California Adventure Park can you dine in a restaurant designed like the Carthay Circle Theater where Snow White premiered in 1937. Carthay Circle Restaurant is one of a kind. Frozen, Live at the Hyperion is only presented several times a day in California Adventure Park. Only in California Adventure Park can you walk through the streets of Radiator Springs and feel a little like Lightning McQueen may roll up and be your best friend. Pixar Films have a very strong presence in California Adventure Park. There has even been an entire parade dedicated to these amazing films called the Pixar Play Parade. And speaking of parades, remember that Paint the Night Parade that is currently showing at Walt Disney World was designed to celebrate the 60th Birthday of Disneyland!
- More Do-Able- When I say Disneyland is more “do-able”, I mean that it can be easier on your feet, easier on your wallet, and easier on your kids. Especially if you have small children and you’ve braved Walt Disney World bus transportation between parks and hotels, you might really appreciate the ease at which you can maneuver the Disneyland Parks. There are only three Disneyland owned hotels and all three of them have 5-10 minute walks into the parks. That’s right, people, I said “walks”! You won’t have to brave a 45-60 minute bus ride before you even enter the park. That is enough to wear some children out. If you stay at the Grand Californian Resort, you simply have to ride the elevator down and walk into the private entrance of California Adventure Park. It’s SO simple. That also makes going back to your Disneyland Hotel for an afternoon rest a breeze! And if you decide to change parks, there is no problem finding the right bus. You don’t take a bus. You make a 5-minute walk across the concourse to the other park. You’ve already gone through bag check and security, so it’s really that simple!
I get why people love Walt Disney World. I do. It’s huge and amazing and magical. But, that shouldn’t stop you from trying out the original vision of Walt Disney himself. While Mr. Disney had the vision for the Florida theme park, he didn’t live to see the park opening. He spent 15 years nurturing Disneyland and I feel like the imagineers have done a great job of continuing his legacy. It’s a simpler place that takes one back to a simpler time. Why not try it out?
If you’re ready to give Disneyland a try, email me at Jeri@TravelwiththeMagic.com. I’m a Travel Planner and I’d love to help you book your trip to either Disneyland or Walt Disney World!