Disneyland vs. Disney World: What is Better for Your Next US Holiday?

Published on 2019-06-19
disney castle

You're looking to book a holiday to the most magical place in the world, a Disney theme park!

But which Disney park is the best? Is it Disneyland, California or Disney World, Florida? Well, look no further. We've got all your answers right here.

Continue reading as we take you through the major differences of Disneyland vs. Disney World to help you decide on your next magical holiday.

Disneyland vs. Disney World

We're going to run through the major categories that can influence a holiday-makers decision. From price to size, we'll compare both Disneyland and Disney World so you can book your holiday safe in the knowledge that you're fully informed.

Just remember, both of these parks are in the USA, so make sure you have the correct visa before you travel.


According to the Walt Disney World Fact Sheet, Disney World in Florida is huge. The entire complex covers about 40 square miles or, to put it more simply it's about the size of San Francisco

Disneyland, California, by contrast, is smaller. Despite this, however, Disneyland is the original Disney park and has been open nearly 16 years longer.




Both parks share a number of attractions and some are even virtually identical. With that said, Disney World in Florida has a larger selection of rides, including some exclusive rides featuring one of Disney's more popular recent IPs, Frozen.

In addition, Disney World in Florida boasts the Animal Kingdom and Epcot parks as well as 2 water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.

Wait Time

It's a fact of life when visiting theme parks - you're going to have to wait in line. However, if you are completely put off by standing around and waiting then there is a clear winner in this category.

We took the average wait times for 6 of the biggest attractions shared by both parks and boiled that down further to a single number that represents the average wait time in minutes. The results are as follows.

  • Disneyland - 45.6-minute average wait
  • Disney World - 66.5-minute average wait

If waiting in line isn't your thing, Disneyland California wins this category.


As you might expect, navigating around Disney World in Florida, the larger park, is trickier than navigating around its Californian counterpart. Both parks have excellent maps and information stalls, but if you are looking to take in Disney on a smaller, more manageable scale, Disneyland California might be the right choice.


While there is a lot more to do in Disney World, Florida, you'll need to allow a lot more time to do it in. This is because of the transportation necessary to move you from place to place.

It can take between 30 to 45 minutes in Disney World to travel between the 4 main parks using the monorail, buses or boats. The systems work extremely well, but the size of the complex makes it a time-consuming process.

By contrast, you can navigate Disneyland, California entirely on foot. Walking from the nearby accommodation to the parks is a short walk, and is 0.7 mi between the two California parks. This takes about 10 minutes to cover on foot.


Disneyland, California has 3 Disney hotels on-site. Each of these, as we've discussed, is a short walk from the parks.

Disney World, Florida, however, has 35 on-site hotels listed on their website and a host of other accommodation options nearby. You can sort the hotels by location to determine which is the closest to the park you're planning on spending the most time at.


As you'd expect, with more offerings, Florida's Disney World tickets tend to be more expensive. At the time of writing, one adult (10+), 3-day park hopper ticket to Disney World is $490.68 US (£377.82).

It's worth remembering, however, that with 4 parks at Disney World in Florida, you may need more time to see and do everything. The price above also doesn't cover the two water parks. You can expect another $20 US (£15.40) per person, per day if you want to include the water parks.

For the same 3-day park hopper ticket at Disneyland, California you can expect to pay $355.00 US (£273.31). With the smaller complex, you may be able to see everything in 2 days, further saving you money.

Final Thoughts

Each park has its perks, and you'll enjoy a holiday like no other in whichever park you choose. In the Disneyland vs. Disney World bout, it's the guests that are the real winners.

If you need any help with your visa application to visit any of these great parks, then visit our easy ESTA application page to get started.



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