Disneyland vs Walt Disney World: Which One Should You Visit?

We would love to be able to visit both Walt Disney World and Disneyland each year, but that isn’t always possible.  Both of these Disney Parks offer amazing magical experiences that are unique and special to them.

When trying to determine where you might head for your Disney vacation, there are a few things to take into consideration.  We are going to break down some reasons why you might want to visit Walt Disney World vs Disneyland for your family vacation.

We hope that this will help you determine which Disney Park will be the best for your family right now.

four parks
Credit: Disney

Length of Vacation

One of the big decisions that go into planning a vacation is how long you are able to visit.  When looking at Walt Disney World vs Disneyland, they actually great for different lengths of vacations.

For longer vacations, such as 5 to 7 days, we would recommend heading to Walt Disney World.  By having a longer amount of time to visit, you will be able to experience all four parks (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios) with time to enjoy the Disney Resort, Disney Springs, or even the water parks.

Walt Disney World is extremely large meaning no matter how well you plan, you will spend some time traveling between Parks and Resorts.  If you only have a limited amount of time, you won’t want to spend it on a bus or boat.

For shorter trips, such as anywhere from a quick day trip to 3 to 4 days, we would recommend Disneyland.  Because there are only two Parks in Disneyland (Disneyland and California Adventure) you can easily experience all they have to offer in a shorter amount of time.

Since the Parks are so close together, you can easily move between the two Parks not losing previous touring time traveling like in Walt Disney World.

Food and Wine
Credit: Disney

Adult Trip

We personally love adult-only trips to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World; however, if we had to suggest one it would be Walt Disney World.

There are a few reasons why we would choose Walt Disney World for those adult-only vacations.  The first reason is EPCOT.  The festivals and entertainment in EPCOT offer a great adult-friendly atmosphere.  There is a lot to see, do, drink, and eat in EPCOT that adults will enjoy experiencing together.

Another aspect that makes Walt Disney World a great option for adults is all the Resorts.  The Resorts give even more dining options from signature meals to great, themed bars.

Finally, over at Disney Springs and the Boardwalk, there is a variety of entertainment and dining that adults will enjoy having access to during their vacation.

These factors work together to make Walt Disney World a great option for an adult’s trip.

Radiator Springs Racers


Both Walt Disney World and Disneyland offer a variety of rides.  They both have thrill rides such as Big Thunder Mountain, Space Mountain, and Splash Mountain.  On the other hand, they have great options for families as well.

If your group wants to focus on rides, you will want to head to Disneyland.  Because Disneyland only has two parks, the rides are a lot more concentrated making it easier to hop from ride to ride getting more accomplished in a shorter amount of time.

Even though Walt Disney World has opened some top rides lately, both Disneyland and California Adventure have numerous rides for Guests to access.

Another reason to head to Disneyland if you are a ride fanatic is the use of Genie+.  In Disneyland, Guests seem to be able to access more return times throughout the day giving them a better chance to experience more rides with lower waits.

We love the rides at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland; however, if a successful trip means riding more then Disneyland is where you want to head.

Topolinos Terrace
Credit: Disney


If delicious food is an important part of your vacation experience, then you will want to choose Walt Disney World over Disneyland.  This might be surprising to some as Disneyland is often known for its food.

The reason we would suggest Walt Disney World is because of the variety that Guests have to choose from.  At Walt Disney World, Guests just have more options.  There are a variety of signature dining experiences, multiple character meals, and even restaurants by award-winning chefs.

Even though Disneyland has some excellent dining locations, they are limited.  Walt Disney World offers so much variety that those wanting to experience different and unique cuisine can do so easily.

Walt Disney World is also great for foodies because of the festivals at EPCOT.  Throughout the year EPCOT hosts a variety of festivals where unique food and drink can be experienced at different festival booths.  This is a great way to enjoy different cuisine from around the world and by a variety of chefs.

Walt Disney World Monorail

Easy Transportation

When it comes to the ease of transportation, Disneyland has Walt Disney World beat easily.  Guests staying at one of the three Disneyland Resorts can easily walk to and from their Resort and the Park.

In Walt Disney World, no matter where Guests stay, they will have to rely on buses, boats, monorails, or Skyliner to get to and from their Disney Resort and a Disney Park.  This can take anywhere from minutes to hours depending on the day.

For those Guests that have mobility issues or those that will need to rely on a wheelchair or even have strollers for their kids, Disneyland is a lot easier to navigate.  The two parks are so closely located that Guests can easily walk back and forth between them.

We would love to be able to visit both Walt Disney World and Disneyland each year, but that isn’t always a possibility.  If you are trying to determine which magical Park you should visit, we hope that looking at these factors can help you narrow down your choice.

Just remember, no matter which one you choose it will be magical.

Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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