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As a Florida resident, I've been to Disney World in Orlando probably thirty times--often enough that I skip all the parts I don't like and just go to my favorites (EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios). But until recently I had never been to Disneyland and its sister park, California Adventure, in California.

A little while ago I got to spend the day in both parks. Alas, I was a bit disappointed--the parts of Disney World that I like are the cultural/educational stuff, and Disneyland has precious little of that. It's geared mostly at young children. Overall, Disneyland is like Florida's Magic Kingdom, only smaller, with more people, and much longer lines. The only ride I really wanted to go on--the submarines, because there isn't one in Disney World--was alas closed for renovations. So because of the long lines, I only ended up going on two rides--Star Tours and the Jungle Cruise; they were great, but of course they are the same as the ones at Disney World.

Don't get me wrong---Disneyland is a wonderful place for kids, and all the children I saw there seemed to be having a great time. But it wasn't my cup of tea.

So here are some photos from my day at Disneyland:





Main Street USA


Horse-drawn buggies carry people from one end of Main Street to the other





The kids get to see lots of Disney characters


The Matterhorn Bobsled ride



Sleeping Beauty's Castle




Space Mountain


Star Tours ride


Youngling Padawans lightsaber-fighting with Darth Vader




Captain Nemo Submarines, alas they were closed


The "Autopia" ride




The Sword in the Stone


Alice in Wonderland Teacups ride


Flying Dumbos


Pinnochio ride


Monstro the Whale


It's A Small World











Big Thunder Ranch


One of "The Friendliest Horses on Earth"


Goats in the petting zoo


Shooting Gallery




Jungle Cruise Ride


Tarzan's Treehouse


Mark Twain Riverboat


Tom Sawyer Island. Forgotten factoid: In 1970, a group of hippie anti-war protesters occupied Tom Sawyer Island--Disney closed the park and called the riot cops to roust them out.


Canoe ride


New Orleans Square, where the Pirates of the Caribbean ride is located


The Haunted Mansion


Splash Mountain was closed for maintenance

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Comment Preferences

  •  I have almost the opposite reaction. It seems to (4+ / 0-)

    me that Magic Kingdom isn't much better than Disneyland, despite having far more space, and some rides aren't as good at Magic Kingdom.  I'd think with so much more space they could have lots more rides in Florida.

    That said, living almost equidistant from both, DisneyWorld is a more desirable destination because there's 4 parks there, versus the one and a half (the half is DCA) at Disneyland.

    •  Im not terribly thrilled with Magic Kingdom either (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hnichols, FloridaSNMOM

      and usually just go there long enough for Jungle Cruise and Pirates.

      When some people in Disneyland saw that I was from Florida (I had a Florida t-shirt on) they asked me which was better, Disneyland or Disney World.  It's really not a fair comparison, since Disney World is sooo much bigger and has far more parks, and the parks themselves are so different (California has no equivalent to Animal Kingdom or Epcot, which are the parts of Disney World I find interesting). Magic Kingdom is bigger than Disneyland, but I agree it's not necessarily better.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sun May 04, 2014 at 06:58:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  With my wife from FL (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lenny Flank, hnichols, FloridaSNMOM

        It's a combo we can go visit her parents and make our way to Disneyworld.

        That said, last time I went I went to Universal, and while it's considerably smaller than DW, I enjoyed the Harry Potter area far more than almost anything in the Disney Parks.

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Sun May 04, 2014 at 07:14:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was at the Harry Potter thing a few weeks after (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tmservo433, ferg, FloridaSNMOM

          it opened.  The odd thing is that I've never seen any of the Harry Potter movies, so I had no idea what anything was (I was enormously disappointed to learn that "butter beer" is not actually beer--tee hee). So all the kids there were running around exclaiming "that looks just like blah blah blah's house!", and I had no idea what they were talking about.  ;)

          But I did like the Jurassic Park part of Universal.  

          I know Sea World has had its problems since it was sold by Annheuser-Busch, but it is still a fun place to spend an afternoon and there's still lots of learning to be done there.

          Of course my very favorite place in all of Florida is and probably always will be Key West.  There's no place like it.  :)

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sun May 04, 2014 at 07:22:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Harry Potter: Read the books, they're better. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Lenny Flank, Munchkn

            Though the movies do stick pretty close to the books for the most part, much closer than a lot of movies do. The books are still better.

            "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

            by FloridaSNMOM on Sun May 04, 2014 at 10:31:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for the cool photos - I'll never get to (4+ / 0-)

    visit DisneyLand, but I've been to DisneyWorld twice. Here in Michigan - we just go to the sand dunes or sailing on the Great Lakes - lower cost, fewer people.

    Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. - Einstein

    by moose67 on Sun May 04, 2014 at 07:45:09 AM PDT

  •  I'm the opposite of you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, Lenny Flank

    I grew up not to far from Disneyland and went frequently. I moved to the east coast and have taken the kids to DisneyWorld a few times. Everytime I am at the Magic Kingdom it feels very familiar bit "off". Sort of a dream version of Disneyland where things are not quite right.

    I will say between the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland, Disneyland has the superior Pirates (longer, Blue Bayou restaraunt, the French Quarter, and the better Small World.  I remember the House of Tomorrow and Monsanto's Journey Through Inner Space which was a great make out ride.

    However, because DisneyWorld now houses the Carousel of Progress which was moved from Disneyland when I was a kid, I'm inclined to give DisneyWorld the win. Plus, you don't catch glimpses of Anaheim.  

    I had forgotten about Pinnichio. Thank you for these pictures.

  •  Never been to Disneyland (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, Lenny Flank

    But I've been to Disney World and it's probably my favorite place ever. I am quite envious of you right now.

    I love president Obama!!!

    by freakofsociety on Sun May 04, 2014 at 09:54:22 AM PDT

  •  I can't subject my daughter to Small World (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lenny Flank, Older and Wiser Now

    anymore, not since she read the Kingdom Keeper's series lol. In Kingdom Keepers all the dolls in Small World come to life and attack the main characters. I think taking her on the ride would give her nightmares, more than the usual ones.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Sun May 04, 2014 at 10:33:46 AM PDT

  •  The opposite perspective (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lenny Flank, Older and Wiser Now

    I grew up in LA so I've been to Disneyland dozens of times. I've been to Disneyworld once, and I didn't care for it; it just seemed too spread out, too far flung, with long walks in the Florida sun to get from one attraction to the next. I'm sure if I grew up in Florida I'd find Disneyland cramped and crowded.

    We didn't get to go to Epcot or any other park, so I can't speak to those. I've been to California Adventure a handful of times, and it's dreadful. That terrible surf calliope music blares throughout 80% of the park and it's like my brain is being stung by wasps.

    We went to France a couple years ago and I dragged my family to Disneyland Paris. It was the highlight of our trip! As an amusement park, it was fun. As a bizarro Disneyland it was mind bending. We didn't read much about it, so any changes would be a surprise. And hoo boy were we surprised when we rode Space Mountain!

    Now I'm dying to visit the parks in Tokyo and Hong Kong (and Shanghai, once it's built.)

  •  I remember going to Disneyland (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lenny Flank

    with our daughter when she was just 4, back in 1995. Can you believe that we were able to buy 5 day adult flex passes for $55? Early admission was included on some of those days, too. We stayed in one of the mom and pop motels on Harbor Blvd within walking distance. We'd go early when the park opened up, push our daughter around in her stroller, then head back to our hotel midday to relax and let her have her nap. Then we'd head back out to the park for another hour or two of fun. It was a great trip. December, weather was perfect, and we were practically the only people in the park. We rode Peter Pan multiple times in a row, without even getting off. No one was in line waiting.

    A few years later we took her to Disneyworld. It was much harder to do the "return to hotel midday" thing, because we'd have to go back to our car and drive to our hotel. We hit a stretch of rainy weather, and to top that off it wasn't as uncrowded as we had expected for December.  

    For little kids, Disneyland is much better.

    •  partly, you just were unlucky-- (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Rain in Florida in December is a rarity (though it's not very unusual to get a few chilly days).

      But yes, Disney World is big, very big, many times the size of Disneyland.  That means you'll be walking a lot more, and getting around isn't as easy. Disney does have a very good transportation system of buses to get easily from park to park to hotels, but it still takes a little while to get anywhere.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sun May 04, 2014 at 02:21:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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