Top 5: Things Every Disneyland Fan Should Know About Walt Disney World

In the last Top 5, Angie explained that she had been a Walt Disney World fan all of her life. Until last year, she had lived on the East Coast and had never vacationed or explored the United States west of the Mississippi River. Now that she lives in Colorado, we felt it was due time to head west to Disneyland. She experienced things she had never experienced at a Disney Park before. The overall feel of the Disneyland Resort is much different than that of the Walt Disney World resort. Like Angie, I had grown up going mostly to one side of the United States. I was a frequent West Coast traveler. I had been to Walt Disney World once when I was nine years old, but for the most part I knew Disneyland like the back of my hand. When I became an adult was when I became more familiar with the Florida resort and as someone who had been a dozen times to Disneyland, Walt Disney World is a much different place. That’s why I decided to counter Angie’s article with this one. Here are my top 5 things every Disneyland fan should know about Walt Disney World.

Sing with Ursula at Disney's Art of Animation Resort

#5-Stay on Disney property! One thing I will always remember about going to Disneyland as a kid is that the local motels are basically all the same. In fact, I can only two of the names of the hotels I’ve stayed at in Anaheim. It’s not really important at Disneyland. You stay two blocks away at some dingy motel with a small pool and 100 rooms and you walk to Disneyland every day. At Walt Disney World, it’s a whole different game. Staying at a resort hotel will save you some time. If you aren’t planning to see Universal Orlando or any other part of Florida, my top suggestion for travelers is to stay on property. There are plenty of hotels to fit most budgets and you will save yourself an hour or so of driving time. Staying outside of the Disney property is cheaper in hotel fees but your car will still need to be filled with gas. If you prefer not to have a car on vacation, Disney World has a pretty awesome transportation system that will get you wherever you need to go and it’s free.

#4-Park Hopping shouldn’t even be in your vocabulary. Disneylanders know that park hopping is just another part of your day at the Disneyland resort. Walking from one park to the other is less than your average neighborhood block. It’s simple to be going from Space Mountain to Radiator Springs Racers. At Walt Disney World, park hopping can be a pain. Leaving a park to go back to your hotel can be a 15-30 minute jaunt, but getting to another park can be anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour of your day and that’s precious time in the parks for some people. I simply don’t recommend park hopping. Pick a park for the day and just go with it. Truthfully, having less than 4 days on a Walt Disney World vacation and trying to get all of the major theme parks in is insanity and you’ll need a vacation from your vacation afterwards. Stay on property for 4 or 5 nights and go to a theme park once every day and you’ll be satisfied.


#3-Adult beverages are recommended. Seriously! Disneyland was a pretty alcohol free zone until Downtown Disney and California Adventure were added to create a much larger resort. Even with the larger resort, the only place really worth having a cocktail may be Trader Sams at the Disneyland Hotel. At Walt Disney World, every hotel has a bar, every restaurant has specialty drinks, and every park, beyond Magic Kingdom, has a place to stop and grab a beer. I’ve stood in line for an attraction at the Hollywood Studios park and have seen a beer guy walking the line like we were at a baseball game. It’s like Walt Disney World wanted to be the drunk uncle of Disneyland.

#2-You are going to be walking more than you want. Walt Disney World is big, but more importantly, the parks are big. Disneyland is 160 acres which is no small walk in the park (pun?) but Epcot is 300 acres and Animal Kingdom is 500 acres. These are large parks and strolling the park can take ALL DAY LONG! If you pass on riding Soarin’ in the morning, you may not be riding it because you will most likely never walk past that area of Epcot again for the day. It’s tough to think for a Disneyland veteran but covering ground at a WDW park is a challenge in itself.


#1-Locals aren’t as Disney savvy in Florida. What I mean is that the Florida resort is the number one tourism destination in the world. It’s a cool place where you may hear 10 different languages spoken in a day. You’ll definitely see more than your fair share of families wearing the same colored “family reunion trip” shirt for sure. The unfortunate side of this is that there are less people at Walt Disney World calling it “home”. Crowds at Disneyland who live locally in the area are much nicer to their park. Picking up after themselves at counter service restaurants or keeping bathroom areas clean isn’t just for the cast members on hand at Disneyland. I’ve seen people wiping up after themselves at sinks and picking trash up off the ground just so they can keep their local park clean. At Walt Disney World you will see less cases of that and more cases of people stopping in the middle of walkways, bathrooms being ruined before a cast member can get there to clean, and overall a less friendly vibe from the tourist crowd. That’s not to say that there aren’t wonderfully nice and decent people at the Florida parks. All I’m saying is that you’ll encounter some rude people from time to time which seems to be a rarity in Southern California.

For those traveling to both coasts, leave your thoughts and opinions on what you prefer from either resort. What are the differences you spot or might take for granted? Thanks for reading!

Josh Taylor


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Modern Mouse Radio is a multimedia Disney fan site run by Josh Taylor and put together by a crew of amazing individuals. Check us out. You won't be disappointed.

Posted on May 31, 2014, in Articles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I can personally vouch for all of these, having been to Disney World many times! All of these are VERY true!

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