So you’ve traveled to Walt Disney World and are a loyal fan of the massive Orlando resort. You might wonder why you should consider taking just one trip to Disneyland. Here’s one: no Disney fan should ever pass up the chance to see the original, the park that started it all.
But there are some other great reasons to consider trekking to the West Coast for a new experience.
The Weather. The weather in Southern California is perfect nearly year round. With summer time (June/July/August) highs averaging 84 degrees with lows in the mid-sixties, and an average of less than an inch of rain, California is big change from Orlando’s summer time highs of 91 degrees, lows in the 70’s and an average of 6-7 inches of rain.
The Costs. Pricing airfare out of Dallas-Fort Worth (since it’s a good center of the country spot and hub to a couple of airlines) airfare prices run about 10% higher for flights to Santa Ana/John Wayne airport compared to flights into Orlando International. Park tickets, though, can cost about 25% less. A four day park hopper ticket at Walt Disney World will set you back about $298 per adult. A 4 day park hopper for Disneyland, however, runs about $219. You can also purchase lower-priced, non-Disney hotel accommodations with your Disney package, which can also cost less. (At WDW, you cannot book an off-property hotel as part of your package.)
The Efficiency. What I mean by efficiency is you don’t lose as much time in transport. Disneyland is smaller in size than Walt Disney World, and is more compact. The two parks—Disneyland and Disney California Adventure share an entrance plaza. Turn left to enter Disneyland, right to enter DCA. Just outside the entrance plaza is the Downtown District and the three Disney hotel properties. The parking tram lets off and loads in one area. The hotels—the Disneyland Hotel, Disney’s Paradise Pier, and the Grand Californian, are all within about five to ten minutes of the parks. The Grand Californian even has its own “secret” entrance directly into DCA.
It’s “Walt’s Park.” Walt Disney maintained an apartment over the firehouse in Town Square at Disneyland. The apartment is still there, but is off-limits to most guests. Walt liked to dress himself up so that he would not be recognized and tour the park as a guest. While Walt Disney World was his dream, Disneyland was the dream he got to see realized.
So next time you plan a trip, I suggest pricing out the parks on both coasts. You just might be surprised.
Rachel is a Virginia native who now lives in Louisiana. She is married with two children, ages 5 and 3. After dreaming and wishing for several years, her family had their very first Disney vacations this year and are now addicted to researching and planning—whether for themselves or for others. They now plan to visit the parks at least once a year.