It’s no secret we love Disney World. Ask anyone who knows us and they can tell you we could talk about how awesome it is for quite a while. When the opportunity came up for us to take our kids to Disneyland, we were thrilled because none of us had been there, but we couldn’t help but wonder how it would compare to our precious Disney World. Before we had kids, we visited Disneyland Paris so we had that to compare to as well. This is probably no surprise, but we LOVED it! We even found several differences that we think make it ideal for young kids like ours, possibly even better than Disney World in some ways. In case you are wondering how we felt they compared, here are our top reasons why you should definitely plan a trip to Disneyland even if you are a die-hard Disney World family.

It’s the Original

We all know that Disneyland was the original Disney park but I was surprised by how cool it really was to see where it all started. Seeing the light in the window of Walt’s apartment was a reminder that Walt actually walked this park and helped with every detail of making it. There are still attractions that were original to opening day.

Roaming Characters

It was a pleasant surprise to find that characters still roam through the park at Disneyland. That is a more rare occurrence at Disney World where most characters are in designated meet and greet spots with clear lines. We ran into characters all over the park and doing all sorts of things. We played pirate, pirate, lost boy with Peter Pan. Rode the carousel with Belle and Jasmine. Joked with Gaston while he was looking for Belle. Rode the teacups with Mad Hatter and Alice. And even had to avoid some of the villians like the Evil Queen and Jafar. Our kids loved stumbling upon characters and interacting with them in more ways than just an autograph and picture.

Smaller size

Disneyland is so much more condensed than Disney World which is a big plus for traveling with little ones. Don’t get me wrong you will still be walking a lot! But things are much closer together which makes it a little easier to manage. Since Disneyland and California Adventure face each other, it’s super easy to walk from park to park if you want to go back and forth and have a park hopper.

Walkable to everything

We stayed right across the street from Disneyland and loved the fact that we could literally walk to everything. We didn’t have to get in a vehicle for five days. We loaded up the kids in the stroller each morning and walked right to Disneyland or California Adventure. At the end of the night, when the kids were asleep in the stroller we could stroll back to our hotel and they could sleep all the way to our hotel room without being disturbed. Since everything is laid out right next to each other, we were able to get to the Disneyland Hotel to eat at Goofy’s Kitchen or run over to Downtown Disney to shop for souvenirs or park hop in just a couple minutes. Unlike Disney World where we would have to wait in lines to jump on buses, boats or monorails to get to another park, hotel or Disney Springs.

Unique Experiences

There are some things you can only do at Disneyland. Unique shows and parades like Mickey and the Magical Map or Paint the night were so fun. The Matterhorn is iconic and you can’t ride that in Florida. Almost everything at California Adventure is distinct from Disney World. Carsland is incredibly immersive with great rides. Radiator Springs Racers may be my favorite ride in all of Disneyland. Pixar Pier is so fun and themed adorably. For our family of superhero fans, getting to meet all the Marvel Superheroes was a highlight. Can’t wait to see what they do with the Marvel land when it opens in 2020. The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail in Grizzly Peak is so unique and our kids loved running around in there and exploring and climbling.

Disneyland lives up to it’s name as the happiest place on earth. We are so glad we got to take our kids at the ages we did and can’t wait to go back. I hope everyone gets to experience the magic of Disneyland at least once.

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