Five Things Disneyland Has Over Disney World

Categories: Dishney
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When Walt Disney World opened its gates in Florida in 1971, Disneyland started taking the proverbial backseat to its younger (and much larger) sibling.

Disneyland was just a theme park. Disney World was a destination.

Of course, since then Disneyland has made great strides in making its resort a vacation destination as well, but Disney World has also continued to grow. With four theme parks, two water parks, and 33 resorts and hotels, Disney World is now the world's largest and most-visited resort.

But Disneyland has many things going for it that Disney World doesn't. Check out five of them after the jump.

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5. Club 33!

Sure, not everyone has access to it, but how cool is it that the park has a secret members-only club located inside? And they serve booze! Disney World doesn't have anything comparable in the Magic Kingdom or otherwise, which is odd because you'd think they'd try and cash in on the ridiculously high annual fees they charge members for the privilege of dining there.

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4. Better Rides!

Disneyland has numerous rides that can't be found anywhere in the entire Walt Disney World Resort (Matterhorn Bobsleds, Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, etc.), but even the rides that appear in both parks are better in Disneyland. Pirates of the Caribbean is significantly longer in Anaheim than it is in Orlando; Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad are more intense (to be read: older, faster, and more rickety); and the exterior of It's a Small World is a beautiful Mary Blair-inspired structure while the one that exists in Florida feels more like the entrance of a wine cellar (though that will change when Fantasyland gets a huge facelift in 2013).

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3. It's Small!
Disneyland is the mom and pop shop to Disney World's big-box store. Its size may prohibit it from expanding in the way its kid sister has over the decades, but the quaintness of Disneyland is one of its many charms. Bigger isn't always better. Unless you're talking about checks, drinks, or presents, of course.

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2. Disney California Adventure!

Yeah, it's taken awhile for this park across the way to find its groove, and Disney World definitely has its fair share of other parks to visit. But if you've spent more than an hour in Disney Hollywood Studios you know that's more than enough time to see everything, and if you've visited Animal Kingdom you know it's an amazingly beautiful park with very little to do once inside. But California Adventure is coming around, especially with the refurbishments they've been tackling in recent months. It will never have the charm of Disneyland, but the park is definitely an added bonus to the overall resort package.

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1. Walt Built It!

Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966; Walt Disney World Resort opened five years later on October 1, 1971. This means that Walt himself never set foot in the actual park. But Walt built Disneyland, not only with his genius but also with his bare hands. He sat on its benches, pedaled his bike over the bricks of Main Street, and rode the train around the track. His fingerprint is Disneyland, and you won't find one of his fingerprints in Disney World.

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24 comments
Loeva Mills
Loeva Mills

I believe it :) It's the only one I ever went to ;)

Maria Pereira
Maria Pereira

"It's not in Florida" should be the number one selling point.

Marisa Totero
Marisa Totero

As a kid I went to Disney World every year since it opened...after moving to OC, I definitely choose "Disneyland" over Disney World any day!!

Gil Mrqz
Gil Mrqz

Walt himself drove the firetruck that's used to take guests from the front of the train station to the front of the castle

Elizabeth Mendoza
Elizabeth Mendoza

Tower of Terror is also more of an intense ride at DCA versus HS in Orlando.

David Yeh
David Yeh

Way to use up to date photography, guys! And I can list a dozen more things that DL has better than WDW.

Catbaker24
Catbaker24

I think both parks are spectacular!  Each has it's own pros!  I do get to Disney World more, since I have family in Florida!  I really enjoyed Pleasure Island and the Disney Cruise Line is awesome too!  The article seems to bash the World, but I think they are both great!  I even love Downtown Disney!

Mkbuggy13
Mkbuggy13

I think it's crazy to say you can do HS in an hour-this completely false statement makes the entire article void for me.

Rob Hall
Rob Hall

Good article, Justin. The seemingly endless flood of Florida posts at the Disney Parks blog can get a little tiresome sometimes. Thanks for reminding us that the original Disney park, right here in OC, can always stand proud!

LJSW
LJSW

Each of the Florida parks has a unique identity, even though Disney is trying to make them more and more uniform, much to their detriment.  EPCOT is about the human spirit, both in the future and in our world; Disney's Hollywood Studios, before it became a giant billboard for modern-day Disney crap, was about celebrating the movies (and used to be the BEST of the parks); Animal Kingdom is unique and exciting and lush.  California Adventure is a carnival filled with Disney characters that didn't fit in Disneyland.  It was on its way to becoming something really different, then Disney lost its nerve.

Marcoasgarcia
Marcoasgarcia

Completely agree with this article, Disneyland is by far my favorite resort. And club 33 is great BTW, delicious food, impeccable service and beautiful location.

Bill T.
Bill T.

Hell, Walt DROVE the train around the park.

Pretty well encapsulates my feelings for the park.

Jim
Jim

Who woulda thought you'd see such a positive Disney piece in OC Weekly?

Hunterwoo
Hunterwoo

Awesome article Mr. Shady... uplifting... and dare I say... I felt the pathos of Disney's passing in your nunber 1.

Ukboys
Ukboys

Yes, exclusivity is a draw, and there is great food at other Disneyland locations, too (Napa Rose, the old Vineyard Room, Steakhouse 55, the corn dog cart), but the service cannot be beat!  Although we don't get there as often as we did in the past (we now live outside the U.S.), when we arrive our drinks are waiting for us on the table and they now serve our favorite gin!

berlto
berlto

I like this review, I dont agree with all of it, however I do like Disneyland better than Walt Disney World. I live in Florida and go to WDW a lot, but the fact that Disneyland is smaller and has more intense rides makes me love it. Also the fact that Walt walked there, ate there, and even slept ther on occasion (above the firehouse on main street) makes it incomparable to WDW.

The Beast
The Beast

Actually the food at Club 33 is great. I had a filet that was like buttah. That plus the booze and dessert buffet? Yeah, it rules. 

909Jeff
909Jeff

5. Club 33!  I have access and its a novelty at best... You can get better food elsewhere. Its appeal is that not everyone can get in and it sells booze.  

A. Nonymous
A. Nonymous

"California Adventure is a carnival filled with Disney characters that didn't fit in Disneyland.  It was on its way to becoming something really different, then Disney lost its nerve."Nope.  DCA was built on the cheap with an eye far more on profits than imagination thanks to Eisner (a massive embarrassment to the Disney legacy).  If "different" means "crappy", then it was well on its way.The 2-d "picture postcard" entrance had no charm, warmth or depth.

Believe me, I've spent quite a bit of time there.  The current upgrade will finally bring it up to Disney standards, thank God.

Bill T.
Bill T.

La la la la, I'm not listening!

Bill T.
Bill T.

Whoa, Jeff! I am completely jealous, one doesn't enjoy such perks on engineer pay (even lead engineer pay)   :-( Grats, actually, glad to hear you are able to partake (sp?).

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