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
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.