TMSM’s Best of 2017 ~Walt Disney World Vs. Disneyland, My Thoughts on the Subject!

Our Best of 2017 series continues….

When I was in California in July, I had gotten a lot of messages from readers about my thoughts regarding visiting Disneyland for the first time, and how it compared to what I’m used to at Walt Disney World.  Well, here’s a little bit of my thoughts on the subject! Enjoy! ~M

This summer, my family got to go on an adventure. A California Adventure, if you will. I’m a die hard Disney World fan, there’s no denying that. Disneyland was always on my bucket list, and truthfully, I had no clue as to when we’d ever get there. Travel is expensive, and when you’re a small business owner, the funds usually aren’t there to be able to do extra activities. Well, being that the D23 Expo was happening and Disney invited us to come out, we couldn’t say no. How often will we have that kind of an opportunity? Probably not again for awhile if at all, so we went for it. I was so excited to finally see the Disneyland Resort. The day we headed to the first park, California Adventure, I felt like a big kid. Those Disney butterflies in my stomach were present, and I couldn’t wait to check it out. California Adventure is awesome. Beyond awesome if I’m being honest. There is so much to do there. Cars Land is fantastic, Paradise Pier was a favorite of ours too. The kids wanted to go on California Screamin’ so that was on our must do list, as well as the new Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout. California Adventure has something that particularly appeals to my family…. Marvel. They have a whole Marvel section that includes character meets, activities and merchandise. The kids got their faces painted for free there too, it was so much fun. At the end of the day is the beautiful World of Color show. It’s gorgeous! My only regret was that we didn’t get to the viewing area sooner, I really feel we need a do over when it comes to World of Color, there was so much to see. When we were leaving the park, we had HUGE smiles on our faces, it was such a great time and I felt truly blessed that we got to go.

The following day was Disneyland Park. I sort of had those butterflies in my belly again, but for different reasons. Disney is a way of life for me, and being able to finally walk in Walt’s original park was so exciting. Their Main Street USA is similar to ours at Walt Disney World, but everything is on such a smaller scale. Speaking of smaller, lets discuss the Castle. Sleeping Beauty Castle is SO tiny compared to Cinderella Castle. If you stand too close to the Partners statue, you almost can’t see the Castle. It’s still magical though. Being able to walk where Walt did gave me chills. I was so excited to be there and see it all. Disneyland has a lot of similarities to Disney World, but stands out on it’s own as well. We couldn’t wait to explore the park. We went on rides that aren’t at the Magic Kingdom, like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and the Matterhorn, but we also went on rides that we were familiar with, like Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion. To be honest with you, Disneyland has a better Haunted Mansion than Disney World. It’s creepier, if that makes sense. Also, they have the infamous Hatbox Ghost there. He’s so cool. The first ride through my photos of the Hatbox Ghost didn’t come out, so we turned around and got another FastPass and went right back on the ride. I was able to get him the second time. Pirates is better too, it’s longer. The food at Disneyland is a better variety as well, the kids had more to choose from besides burgers and chicken nuggets. At the end of the day, Disneyland has a fireworks show that includes so many of my favorite themes, and also has pieces of the now retired “Wishes” which makes it even better. We truly had a magical day at Disneyland, and I can’t wait to go back.

I had previously heard from others that you can do the Disneyland parks in two days. That’s not true. Not if you’re new to it all. There wasn’t nearly enough time to see and do everything that we wanted to. I told the kids that even though we missed a lot, we were lucky that we got to go, and we’d just plan another visit and hopefully have more park time. We were there mostly to cover the D23 Expo, the parks were just extra fun. Being at D23 was a dream come true, it was very exciting to be able to cover that event in person rather than reporting from home. Being at the Parks Panel was a high point, it was a thrill to see all the new things that are coming across Disney parks. We made some great contacts, saw a lot of fun things, and had an exhausting time. People had asked me if I like one better than the other, Disneyland or Disney World. I can honestly say they are BOTH fabulous in their own right. Yes, they are similar, but both bring a lot to the table. I almost feel like you can’t compare the two, as they are unique and magical on their own. Disney is Disney to me, and it’s all good. Being able to show my boys Disneyland was a dream, truly, and I’m so thankful for the experience. Looking forward to doing it all again someday… See ya real soon Disneyland, thanks for the adventure.

Author: Michele

Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the book “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 96.5 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others.

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