Everyone who knows me knows that I love all things Disney. I am an Annual passholder at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida. As someone who lives on the East Coast, the Walt Disney World Resort is the park that my family and I visit for our Disney vacations. I have had the opportunity to visit the Disneyland® Resort two times in the past with my Aunt for a short visit each time. It was very nice but I was much younger and we were only there for just a short visit so I did not get to experience all that the Disneyland Resort had to offer. All of that changed this past May 2017 when my parents who are also Walt Disney World Annual passholders and I decided to do a bucket list trip that we always dreamed of to the original Disney park… Disneyland® Park!
My dad had only been to Disneyland Park as a four-year old and did not remember anything about the park and my mom had never had the opportunity to experience Disneyland Park. My mom decided that for her birthday last year what she really wanted to do was finally take the trip across the country to visit the original Disney park that Walt created.
We planned a ten-day trip to California and we spent five days at the Disneyland Resort. It was so nice to see my parent’s reaction to the original Disney park. It is so different from the Walt Disney World Resort. The first thing that is so amazing, is walking onto Disneyland Resort property and being in the hub with Disneyland Park on one side and Disney California Adventure® Park on the other and a few short steps away is Downtown Disney! Everything is within walking distance! From a family that is use to the over 40 square miles at Walt Disney World, being at Disneyland and being able to stand in the central hub and see everything all at once was so different.
Walking into Disneyland Park’s Main Street, U.S.A., while being very similar to the version at the Walt Disney World Resort, there is a different feeling. For my family, it was the knowledge that Walt Disney himself walked in the very same place. I think that is what stood out best for us in this park. Everything here was inspired by Walt and Disneyland Park’s walls are filled with so much history. The castle is much smaller but everything on Main Street, U.S.A. was so quaint and charming. We found ourselves walking much slower and just taking in all the details.
Here are some differences between sister attractions at the Disneyland Resort and the Walt Disney World Resort. You really need to visit the Disneyland Resort to experience the differences for yourself. Pirates of the Caribbean is much longer and starts out in an incredible Bayou scene which is authentic to the Disneyland version. There is even a restaurant inside the ride! The Blue Bayou restaurant overlooks the wonderful opening scene of the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction. There are two drops in this version of the ride and many details that are not at the Walt Disney World Resort. Then there is another classic Disney attraction, the Haunted Mansion. At the Disneyland Resort there are many differences from the version at the Walt Disney World Resort, from the Southern Mansion exterior to the Hatbox ghosts, not to mention the transformation to Haunted Mansion Holiday for the Halloween and Holiday seasons.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad has more special effects that I hope they bring to the Walt Disney World Resort. Then there is the classic it’s a small world attraction, the Disneyland Park version features dolls themed to Disney characters all throughout which is so cute. We also loved being able to walk through Sleeping Beauty Castle. Inside the castle there is a walk-through which tells the story of Sleeping Beauty. Being able to walk inside the famous castle was magical. There are many classic dark rides that we loved like Alice in Wonderland, and Pinocchio’s Daring Journey. I think my favorite Fantasyland attraction would be the Storybook Land Canal Boats. Here you sail through beautiful miniature gardens that depict scenes from beloved Disney movies! There are so many experiences you can only find here at Disneyland Park.
If you love the Walt Disney World Resort but have never visited the Disneyland Resort you will want to make this a trip in your future. Experience for yourself the feeling of being in the original park that Walt himself planned and brought to life.
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