By Mike Ellis.
Walt Disney World Resort. Disneyland Resort. Now that you have learned that there are absolutely incredible things to experience at each resort, and that you can see some truly unique things at one resort that you won’t find at the other, which set of Disney Parks should you choose when planning your vacation destination?
In this post, I’m going to try and help you answer that question. For many of you, this may be a non-issue; you may, for various reasons, already have chosen one resort over the other. For others of you, though, this may be more of a question, and the answer may not be so easy. So, let’s get to work to help you choose the right resort destination for you and your family.
Criteria #1: Location
The first thought I have is where you are in relation to the resorts. Walt Disney World Resort, of course, is located in Florida; Disneyland Resort is located in Southern California. Which location do you live closer to? For my family, since we live in Raleigh, NC, it is almost a no-brainer for us to choose Walt Disney World as our destination. If you live in Oregon, Washington State, or other western states, it may be an easy decision for you to choose Disneyland as your destination. Location does matter a great deal, in my opinion.
Criteria #2: Budget
In many ways, your proximity to Walt Disney World or Disneyland will dictate how much it will cost for you to travel to that destination. For example, our airfare to LA for us (a family of 3) ran over $1,000 — which was the best we found for our trip, and many people tell us was a very good rate for the three of us. However, if we had chosen Walt Disney World instead of Disneyland, I know without a doubt that it would have cost us hundreds of dollars less to get to Florida than it did to get to LA. So location to a resort is a key component in how much your vacation is going to cost.
Criteria #3: Interests
In the posts the past two days, I went out of my way to highlight the attractions that you have at one park that you don’t have at the other. Keep in mind that there are a lot of attractions that you can find at both parks, such as Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and so on. I think, though, what it comes down to is what interests do you have?
If you are a food person, and want to experience Disney Dining to a high degree, then I believe that Walt Disney World is for you. Certainly there are incredible restaurants that you can eat at at Disneyland, and we ate at three good ones — Blue Bayou, Ariel’s Grotto, and Storyteller Cafe — but for the sheer number of choices and the Disney Dining Plan option, you can’t go wrong with the restaurants at Walt Disney World.
Criteria #4: Party Size
The size of your vacation party can be a big factor for which resort you select. If you are the head of a tour group visiting from Brazil, for example, and you are bringing 500 people to a park, well, you aren’t going to cut it at Disneyland. There just isn’t enough resort room space in my opinion. Your only choice is Walt Disney World.
At the end of this mini-series, I hope that I have given you some good, common-sense ideas on how to make a decision on which resort to plan for your next vacation. Do I believe that someone on the west coast should only visit Disneyland Resort, and someone on the east coast only visit Walt Disney World? Of course not. With the right planning, you can visit any of the parks in the Disney system; Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World, Tokyo Disney, Disneyland Paris, Hong Kong Disney, and even Shanghai Disney when it opens — the choices are limitless.
It is my belief that my immediate family, having now been to Disneyland and experienced a lot of what there is to offer there, won’t need to go back anytime soon — but we may very well go back later. Disneyland will still be there, as will Walt Disney World — so if you can’t make it to one park right now, don’t worry — they’ll keep improving it and it’ll be there when you can make it.
If I can help you in planning any travel adventures, whether they be Disney, non-Disney, Disneyland, Walt Disney World, or anything in between, please feel free to reach out to me. My services are free to you, and it is my goal to help you plan the best vacation you can — at a price point that will leave you feeling like you totally got your money’s worth. Just click on one of the images below to submit a quote request, and thanks for stopping by on this journey to Disneyland and back to Walt Disney World!