4 Differences Between Disneyland & Disney World That Prove Which Park Is Better

4 Differences Between Disneyland & Disney World That Prove Which Park Is Better

It's time to decide which is the winner of all things Disney.

As one of those kids who grew up on VHS tapes of "Cinderella," "Toy Story," "The Lion King" and more. I was basically conditioned to be a Disney super fan. With that being said, I have visited both parks throughout my childhood and into my teenage years and I am here to break down the pros and cons of both parks.

Disneyland, the first park to be built and opened to the public in 1955, includes the Magic Kingdom and California Adventure. Disney World, on the other hand, includes four main theme parks: The Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, EPCOT, and the Animal Kingdom. While Disneyworld and Disneyland share the same theme park, the Magic Kingdom in common, they do have some differences.

1. Magic Kingdom Castles

Magic Kingdom in DL can be best described as a smaller yet refreshing version of the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. It features the Sleeping Beauty castle, which includes a beautiful walk through of the Sleeping Beauty story which is a fun interactive feature for park visitors. Disneyworld, on the other hand, features a much larger castle design of Cinderella’s castle. It does offer some special perks such as dining with the princesses inside the castle, but for day to day park visitors, it is closed off.

This isn’t necessarily a problem but most of the times I’ve been to the Magic Kingdom I couldn’t even get remotely near the castle because of construction. However, there is just something so magical about seeing that huge castle once you enter the park that makes it take the win in this category.

2. Magic Kingdom Rides

As for the actual rides, both parks have unique attractions that distinguish their parks from each other. For an example, Disneyworld has Matterhorn Bobsleds, Tarzan’s Treehouse, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Indiana Jones Adventure, Storybook Land Canals, and more. Disneyworld, on the other hand, has rides such as Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor, Stitch’s Great Escape, Magic Carpets of Aladdin and more. What I personally like about Disneyland is their décor for their rides. Rides such as It’s a Small World which is pictured above has such a beautiful entrance that appeal more to the eye. However, I like the rides as a whole at Disneyworld better.

3. Magic Kingdom Parades

For the daytime parades, both parks offer different parades that feature festive tunes and beautiful floats. Disneyland has Mickey’s Soundsational Parade whereas Disneyworld has Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade and Move It! Shake it! Dance and Play it! Street Party. As for nighttime parades, DL Magic Kingdom has Paint the Night, a colorful nighttime parade, a crowd favorite.

However, there are no nighttime parades currently at the WDW Magic Kingdom which is quite disappointing. Since the Magic Kingdom opened in Florida, it has not gone this long without a nighttime parade, over 5 months, and as a kid, I always remember going to the Electrical parade and hearing the catchy song play through the speakers along Main Street.

Hopefully, they start up a new parade soon as nighttime parades are a must for Disney goers! Sadly, for the time being, I’ll have to give the win to Disneyland for the better parade and variety so to say.

4. Magic Kingdom Dining

For dining WDW’s Magic Kingdom, it offers more variety in food and places to eat within the Magic Kingdom and at their hotels as well. As for Disneyland, it offers several places to eat within the park, but few outside of their two theme parks. As for the actual food, both parks offer similar types of menus for all meals. However, because Disneyworld has more character dining options, their food tends to be more expensive in my experience. Either way, Disneyworld’s Magic Kingdom’s dining is better in my opinion and gives more choice as to where to eat.

Final Results

As the Magic Kingdom in Disneyland has more of a homey and vintage feel, it is Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom that wins the crown for me. It’s larger than life persona seen as soon as you set eyes on Cinderella’s Castle just wins me over. Disney World is a full-on vacation destination, and the Magic Kingdom is just one of the amazing parks that make Disney World a top travel destination for all these years.

While I do enjoy Disneyland for its detail-oriented appeal, it is more of a local destination for families in the area than Disneyworld is.

Hopefully, though everyone who read this gives both parks a fair chance as I did because each park offers something completely different than its counterpart.

Cover Image Credit: Allison Gass

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For Camille, With Love

To my godmother, my second mom, my rooted confidence, my support


First grade, March. It was my first birthday without my mom. You through a huge party for me, a sleepover with friends from school. It included dress up games and making pizza and Disney trivia. You, along with help from my grandma, threw me the best birthday party a 7-year-old could possibly want.

During elementary school, I carpooled with you and a few of the neighborhood kids. I was always the last one to be dropped off, sometimes you would sneak a donut for me. Living next door to you was a blessing. You helped me with everything. In second grade, you helped me rehearse lines for history day so I could get extra credit. In 4th grade, you helped me build my California mission.

You and your sister came out to my 6th grade "graduation". You bought me balloons and made me feel as if moving onto middle school was the coolest thing in the entire world.

While you moved away from next door, you were a constant in my life. Going to Ruby's Diner for my birthday, seeing movies at the Irvine Spectrum and just hanging out, I saw you all the time. During these times, you told me about all of the silly things you did with my mom and dad, how my mom was your best friend. I couldn't have had a greater godmother.

In middle school, you pushed me to do my best and to enroll in honors. You helped me through puberty and the awkward stages of being a woman.

Every single time I saw you, it would light up my entire day, my week. You were more than my godmother, you were my second mom. You understood things that my grandma didn't.

When you married John, you included me in your wedding. I still have that picture of you, Jessica, Aaron and myself on my wall at college. I was so happy for you.

Freshmen year of high school, you told me to do my best. I did my best because of you. When my grandma passed away that year, your shoulder was the one I wanted to cry on.

You were there when I needed to escape home. You understood me when I thought no one would. You helped me learn to drive, letting me drive all the way from San Clemente to Orange.

When I was applying to colleges, you encouraged me to spread my wings and fly. You told me I should explore, get out of California. I wanted to study in London, you told me to do it. That's why, when I study abroad this Spring in London, I will do it for you.

When I had gotten into UWT, you told me to go there. I did and here I am, succeeding and living my best in Tacoma. I do it for you, because of you.

When I graduated high school and I was able to deliver a speech during our baccalaureate, you cheered me on. You recorded it for me, so I could show people who weren't able to make it to the ceremony. You were one of the few people able to come to my actual graduation. You helped me celebrate the accomplishments and awards from my hard work.

When your cancer came back, I was so worried. I was afraid for you, I was afraid of what I would do without the support you had always given me. When I was in Rome, I went to the Vatican and had gotten a Cross with a purple gem in the middle blessed by the Pope to help you with your treatments. It was something from me and a little bit of my mom in the necklace, the gem.

Now, sitting so far from you away at college just like you wanted me to. I miss you. I wish I was there to say goodbye.

I'll travel the world for you, write lots of stories and books for you, I will live life to the fullest for you.

You are another angel taken too early in life. Please say hello to my parents and grandma in Heaven for me.

Lots of love,


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A Gap Year Was Just What I Needed

Taking a year off between high school and college was the best thing I could have done for so many reasons.


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I hiked 14,000-foot mountains, watched the X-Games in Aspen, attended endless concerts, and became a better snowboarder by having the chance to do it every day. Without my friends and taking this leap, I would have been sitting in a classroom wondering what I could have been doing instead. Because of taking time off, I am now back in class, able to focus on my work and doing better than I ever have before.

The most important part of my gap year was finding myself. I proved to myself that I am strong and independent, and I can achieve any goal I set as long as I work hard and have fun along the way. Before I left, I had no idea what I wanted to do or be. Upon my return home, I realized I needed to go to college to receive a higher education to better myself. Having a full-time job and being out in the real world helped me to narrow down what I really want to be and what I want to achieve for myself. I learned how to truly live and that there is no set path I need to take because this is my own life to create.

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