Disney World vs. Disneyland

vrajewski10513

DIS Veteran
Joined
Dec 11, 2013
After yesterday's show, and their discussion on WDW vs DL I have to wonder...

All of them chose Disneyland. I'm pretty sure most, if not all of the team, are transplants to Florida. I wonder why they chose to move to Florida instead of California?

To live near the magic of WDW, yet still keep Disneyland a special vacation spot?
Moved to FL before they ever learned to love DL more than WDW?
Cost of living in Florida is far less than California?
Completely un-park related occurrences brought them to Florida originally?

I've never been to DL, so it peaked my interest when everyone chose DL as the superior (or maybe just more magical/nostalgic) park to WDW.
 

jcb

always emerging from hibernation
Joined
Apr 28, 2007
Some came to Orlando for jobs. Some to be closer to WDW. They have all explained their “backstory” on past podcasts. I live within driving distance of WDW but vary in interest between WDW and DL.
 

disneyland_is_magic

DIS Veteran
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Yeah, yesterday was emotion and timing speaking, I don’t think that represents how any of them feels in the long run. WDW has their heart and that’s fine. Absence makes the heart grow fonder as they say and that’s what spell they are under.

If they REALLY, really believed that, there would still be a DisUnplugged DL show. There is not. It is not their favorite park. There hasn’t even been DL content in years because it wasn’t their focus.

I know they love/like/appreciate DL. I am not saying they don’t, just WDW is home to them.

Maybe I believe Craig, I think he has a deeper connection because of CWW. But yeah, ask them again in a year and I think you get different answers for most of the team.
 
Last edited:

ngl

Mouseketeer
Joined
Jul 1, 2009
Floridian here who lives 1 hr from WDW, DVC, annual pass. Been going to WDW since the early 70s as a child and (pre pandemic) would make at least 4 long weekend trips per year (and some other longer ones). Took our kids for the first time to DL 3 years ago (at the time ages 11 an 8). They LOVED it. We really enjoyed it as well. They talk about going back all the time (planning to surprise them in the fall with a trip!) As someone said, I think when you know something and have easy access to it you may appreciate it less because it is a "given." No question, as another poster mentioned, the logistics of a WDW stay such as transport to other parks, walking, etc. are more to deal with than DL, which is one of the reasons we did enjoy DL. Everything "compact" in one area. We liked the different take on rides. When we were there they had EMH (starting at 7am) which was great bc coming from the East coast we were always up early, which we typically do not do at WDW, and got so many things in early morning. We combine DL with another area in CA when we go as I think 3 days there generally is enough for us. Like everything else in life, to each his own!
 

Brett Wyman

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
DL will always win for Walt's original vision. Outside of that WDW wins with more parks, more resorts, and mostly importantly for me, a true bubble. Ive been to both and still prefer WDW. I personally cant stand seeing downtown Anaheim while in the DL parks. Now if you take into account other options outside the park I could see Cali wining over Florida. Depending on tastes of course.
 

manicstreet

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 28, 2012
After yesterday's show, and their discussion on WDW vs DL I have to wonder...

All of them chose Disneyland. I'm pretty sure most, if not all of the team, are transplants to Florida. I wonder why they chose to move to Florida instead of California?

To live near the magic of WDW, yet still keep Disneyland a special vacation spot?
Moved to FL before they ever learned to love DL more than WDW?
Cost of living in Florida is far less than California?
Completely un-park related occurrences brought them to Florida originally?

I've never been to DL, so it peaked my interest when everyone chose DL as the superior (or maybe just more magical/nostalgic) park to WDW.
So happy that someone else had the same questions as me!

I found this odd to say the least as they all/most moved to Florida to be close to Disney World. If Disneyland was your fav, why not move there and try to start your business/career. That is not to say that opinions can not change over time.

Having been to both Disneyland & Disney World dozens of times over the last 40 years I honestly don't think I could pick between the 2 (definitely not as emphatically & quickly) as they did. They both have their pros and cons.

With that said if I was forced to pick between the 2 I would probably go Disneyland. Why? It would have actually nothing to do with Disney. I just prefer Southern California's weather/climate/geography over central Florida's.

I think it would make for an amazing podcast (please do this for the charity marathon) if they got Tom Bell on and they compared both Disneyland and Disney World. I think it would be a lot closer margin than 5-0 in favor of Disneyland. If you compare Apples to Apples I think Disney World would probably win. You need to throw out all of the Walt walked here, designed this that and the other crap though. Obviously that is incredibly special but if you use that as the basis of your argument it would never be an even playing field.

Resorts
Parks/Attractions
Dining
Snacks

These are the things it should be judged on. Things a normal vacationer would look at when deciding on a Disney vacation. Not us wacko's that get off on the fact that Walt Disney actually walked down this main st and not the other.
 
  • OKW Lover

    Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle.
    DIS Lifetime Sponsor
    Joined
    Apr 29, 2004
    Hmmm, interesting discussion. I know several of the DIS team, having met them personally. I've followed them for many years, going back to the Bawb days. However, I wouldn't say I understand their decision to move to FL vs CA.

    On a personal level, I moved to FL (as opposed to CA) when I retired specifically to be close to WDW. FL offered a warm, year-round climate. It also offered a lower cost of living and no state income tax, which effectively gave me a 5% raise on my fixed retirement income.

    With that as background, I understand how many of the DIS folks like DL better than WDW's MK. I've been to DL several times and yes, there is a different feel to their park. Without denigrating the WDW CM's, we found the ones at DL to be better schooled in "the Disney way". Perhaps that's because in FL the staff is largely transient.

    Lets also keep in mind that WDW is so much more than Disneyland Resort. So many more resorts and parks. Spread out over such a greater area. When comparing the two, its often helpful to compare similar things. For example, compare WDW's MK to Disneyland park. Compare specific WDW hotels to the equivalent level of DLR hotels.
     

    Moliphino

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2016
    DL will always win for Walt's original vision. Outside of that WDW wins with more parks, more resorts, and mostly importantly for me, a true bubble. Ive been to both and still prefer WDW. I personally cant stand seeing downtown Anaheim while in the DL parks. Now if you take into account other options outside the park I could see Cali wining over Florida. Depending on tastes of course.
    The bubble really does it for me, too. Complete immersion and the outside world just fades away. Also, Epcot. I really really missed Epcot last time we went to DL (2016).
     

    Brett Wyman

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 30, 2018
    The bubble really does it for me, too. Complete immersion and the outside world just fades away. Also, Epcot. I really really missed Epcot last time we went to DL (2016).
    Yeah its a vacation destination VS a locals only day park. For me vacation destination is going to win out every time. We still love to visit DL when we are in SoCal(you can make it a pseudo vacation destination if you try), but we would always choose WDW first.
     

    WebmasterMaryJo

    Techarita
    Staff member
    Administrator
    Joined
    Dec 15, 1998
    When Disneyland was built, it was created as a one-day theme park. Walt Disney and company quickly realized the potential of having a resort, but real estate was too expensive in So Cal (many have heard that story). When they looked for a second park they had in mind to create a full-resort and even more (early EPCOT concept days). So, it stands to reason that Walt Disney World is a full resort with many options that it takes a good week to realize. The Disneyland Resort will never have that. For those asking why the team is based in Florida and not California, the team is mainly from the East Coast, and their destination has always been Walt Disney World. With everything it has to offer, it makes sense that they moved there, and then created a business that focused on the resort.

    I believe that the expansion we've seen at Disneyland is due to the success of Walt Disney World, and the Disney company has done a phenomenal job with the constrained square footage that they have to work with (minus a set-back or two due to short-sighted leadership... but they fixed it).

    There are a lot of livelihoods that depend on the business that Pete has created with John, et al. The Disneyland Resort could never sustain that, and so the focus is on WDW, the Cruiseline, ABD, etc. If people want to see more of a focus on Disneyland from the DIS, then it's simple, use Dreams Unlimited Travel for your Disneyland trips (I just booked Grand Californian Hotel stays through them-same cost as booking with Disney directly).

    When the team does go to Disneyland they get to experience that special magic that really just exists at Disneyland, and I think that invokes those feelings of their earlier visits to WDW when it was a bit more magical because, like most of us, those visits they did in the past were infrequent. So, you have the nostalgia of a special Disney visit plus the special touches at a beloved park. I think that for most of them, if they were asked today where they would rather go in the long run it would still be WDW, because WDW provides the complete package. Yet, when they go to Disneyland they get to experience new events and enjoy that Disneyland magic, so, of course some of them are going to think of that one park and what it meant the first time they went. I think most of us carry those feelings when we go to the Disney parks.
     
  • jimmymc

    Professional Adventurer!
    Joined
    Nov 26, 2016
    The way I've heard it, once you live in Orlando for a few months, Disney goes from being your vacation destination to your home park, while Disneyland is still a vacation.

    Disneyland also has a lot of history directly touching Walt, because he was there to oversee construction and the first years of it's operation. I believe as a result of this, the park feels more guest focused and stands out more from the crowd of other theme parks and attractions.
     

    kbelle8995

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 28, 2009
    I think of Disney World as my home Disney park. I know it like the back of my hand. I have a love of Epcot that I cannot fully explain. Some day I'm going to Disneyland But Disney World will always be special. It's where I had Citrus Swirls with my parents. I practically grew up at Fort Wilderness. I can't quantify that.
     

    Moliphino

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2016
    The way I've heard it, once you live in Orlando for a few months, Disney goes from being your vacation destination to your home park, while Disneyland is still a vacation.

    Disneyland also has a lot of history directly touching Walt, because he was there to oversee construction and the first years of it's operation. I believe as a result of this, the park feels more guest focused and stands out more from the crowd of other theme parks and attractions.
    See, I think with Disney World they were able to fix a lot of issues they had with Disneyland (largely due to lack of space). The walkways and queues are much larger and not so cramped, the layout is easier to navigate, everything is just larger. DL was my first park (twice, actually), but after years of going to WDW it felt so tiny and cramped the last time we went back.
    NOT saying WDW is better in every way, because it definitely isn't, but they made some big functional improvements in FL.
     

    Summer2018

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 29, 2017
    After yesterday's show, and their discussion on WDW vs DL I have to wonder...

    All of them chose Disneyland. I'm pretty sure most, if not all of the team, are transplants to Florida. I wonder why they chose to move to Florida instead of California?

    To live near the magic of WDW, yet still keep Disneyland a special vacation spot?
    Moved to FL before they ever learned to love DL more than WDW?
    Cost of living in Florida is far less than California?
    Completely un-park related occurrences brought them to Florida originally?

    I've never been to DL, so it peaked my interest when everyone chose DL as the superior (or maybe just more magical/nostalgic) park to WDW.
    I am a huge WDW fan. Then I had to attend a family reunion in Arizona and thought, since we are going all the way across the country, we should take the opportunity to spend a week in Disneyland. The thought was that it would be a once in a lifetime trip. Then we fell in love. I don’t care if I ever return to WDW now. DD wants to get married there and honeymoon at the Poly. There will be grandchildren eventually, so I know that I have many trips to WDW in my future.

    But the place that I yearn to visit again is 100% Disneyland, all day, every day.
     

    manicstreet

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 28, 2012
    I am a huge WDW fan. Then I had to attend a family reunion in Arizona and thought, since we are going all the way across the country, we should take the opportunity to spend a week in Disneyland. The thought was that it would be a once in a lifetime trip. Then we fell in love. I don’t care if I ever return to WDW now. DD wants to get married there and honeymoon at the Poly. There will be grandchildren eventually, so I know that I have many trips to WDW in my future.

    But the place that I yearn to visit again is 100% Disneyland, all day, every day.
    If you really let yourself think about it, is it because it is "fresher" since you have been there less times? I find it hard to believe that you do not care about returning to WDW ever again. They are completely different. That is really my biggest hang up with the whole conversation from last week. I could never imagine not going to EPCOT or Animal Kingdom ever again. I have said earlier that if push came to shove that Disneyland is my fav but that has more to do with the geography and weather than the parks themselves.
     

    disneyseniors

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 2, 2014
    We love WDW, but I can't wait to go to DL next Spring! It sounds like such a magical and fun place to visit. It sounds so different than WDW with different experiences. We will visit other places while in California too. Never been there before and can't wait!
     

    Connect

    TODAY'S HEADLINES

    Top