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Disneyland Trip Planning Guide
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Brian Bennett

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Forward
Forward  |  Why Travel to Disneyland?  |  My Favorite Things at Disneyland

Resources

Disneyland Trip Planning Phone List  |  Critique of Published Disneyland Trip Guide Books  |  Other Disneyland Resources on the Web

Planning Ahead

Planning Your Trip  |  What Time of Year You Should go to Disneyland  |  How Many Days Do You Need to "See It All?"  |  Other Attractions in Southern California  |  Estimating What Your Trip Will Cost  |  Rental Car Considerations  |  What You Should Pack to Take on Your Trip

Accommodations

Should You Stay On or Off Site?  |  Off Site Accommodations  |  Disneyland Area Campgrounds  |  Disneyland's "Good Neighbor Hotels"  |  On Site Hotels  |  Grand Californian  Hotel  |  Disneyland Hotel  |  Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel

Disneyland Resort Primer
A Disneyland / WDW Comparison  |  The Ins and Outs of Disneyland Reservations  |  How to Use Disneyland's Transportation System  |  Developing a Daily "Game Plan"  |  The Daily Afternoon Break Touring the Parks With Kids  |  Touring the Parks With an Infant  |  Touring the Parks with Disabled Guests

The Parks
General Issues
  |  All About Admission Media (i.e. Tickets)  |  General Park Operating Hours  |  "Magic Mornings", the Disneyland Resort's Version of Early Entry  |  Fastpass -- Disney's New "Virtual Queue"  |  Disneyland  |  Details-at-a-Glance  |  Touring the Park  |  Attractions  |  Shopping  |  Disneyland Shows and Entertainment  |  Parade of Stars  |  Believe: There's Magic in the Sky  |  Fantasmic!  |  Disney's California Adventure  |  Details-at-a-Glance  |  Touring the Park  |  Attractions  | Shopping  |  Eureka! The California Adventure Parade

Everything Else
Downtown Disney  |  Guided Tours of Disneyland

Disneyland Restaurant Resource

First, if you couldn't find it here, I would appreciate it if you would click on this link and send me a message to tell me what's missing.  I'll do my best to "fill in the blanks" as soon as possible.

Why Travel to Disneyland?

If you are familiar with Walt Disney World, you might wonder why anyone would visit Disneyland in Anaheim, California. After all, Disneyland is small. It covers fewer than 300 acres (including the Hotel properties) while Walt Disney World exceeds 30,000 acres. Walt Disney World has a Magic Kingdom park which is "just like" Disneyland in California. The resorts in Florida are all themed. In contrast, only the newest resort hotel (the Grand Californian) at Disneyland is...the other two, older hotels are not. So why would anyone want to travel to Disneyland when they can go to Walt Disney World instead?

The answer is really very simple. Walt Disney World began in Anaheim, California. The very ideas, concepts, and inspirations that eventually resulted in the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, the Disney / MGM Studios, the water parks, and the themed resorts of Walt Disney World originated at Disneyland. For the Disney-purist, that reason alone is sufficient reason to travel to California. For the typical tourist, of course, that is probably not a big deal on the surface.

In fact, it means a lot.

For one thing, Disneyland has a lot more to do and see within it's bermed boundaries than exists in the Magic Kingdom in Florida. It's smaller, but over the years a lot more has been packed into that space. Second, the themeing of several of the "lands" at Disneyland are unique to that park. New Orleans Square, Fantasyland, and Mickey's Toontown are examples. New Orleans Square and Mickey's Toontown (Toontown Fair just doesn't compare) don't even exist in the Florida park, and the designs of the two Fantasylands are really quite different. Third, Disneyland has some blockbuster attractions that can't be found at all in Florida. "Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye" is the foremost example. "Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin" and "Pinocchio's Daring Journey" are others. "Fantasmic!", the Walt Disney Company's most spectacular night time show can be seen in it's original form only at Disneyland. (Frankly, the Disneyland version of "Fantasmic!" alone is reason for a trip to Anaheim.) Last, and in my opinion the most important reason, is that Disneyland was built during Walt Disney's life. He personally was involved in the design and development of many of the attractions in the park. Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World were dreams of Walt Disney, that is true. But only Disneyland has the charm of being Walt's little family park.

Of course the addition, in 2001, of Disney's California Adventure and the new West coast Downtown Disney have added another day and a half of Disney vacation content here in Anaheim.

If I had to choose between spending a couple days at Disneyland versus a couple days at Walt Disney World, I'd pick Disneyland anytime. If I had to choose between spending a full week at Disneyland versus a week at Walt Disney World, I'd pick Walt Disney World due to the vastness of the resort. Maybe that will help you gain a perspective.

 

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