After countless visits to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, I finally had the opportunity to visit Disneyland Resort in California! I have to admit that I was a skeptic. How would Disneyland compare to Walt Disney World Resort? Wouldn’t I find it too small? Too old? As it turned out, I quickly fell in love with Disneyland and cannot wait to return. Here are my top 5 reasons to adore Disneyland Resort (in no particular order):
1. No need for buses, boats or monorails! When you stay at the Disneyland Hotel or the Disney’s Grand Californian Resort & Spa, Disneyland is literally at your doorstep. Simply walk out your door and find yourself in the heart of Downtown Disney with countless shops and restaurants! A short stroll through Downtown Disney brings you to the Main Entry Plaza for both Disneyland and California Adventure parks which are simply steps away from each other across the plaza. And if you are staying at the Grand Californian Resort, you can enter California Adventure directly from the hotel with a designated entry for ticket holders. The monorail also requires a ticket for Disneyland as it departs from Downtown Disney and ends directly in Tomorrowland! The compact, convenient layout of the resort is a huge perk.
2. Outdoor areas! Let’s face it, Orlando weather can often be hot, sticky and stormy. In contrast, Southern California is known for its spectacular climate and Disneyland showcases this with many outdoor seating areas at both table service and quick service restaurants. The outdoor lounge at the Cove at California Adventure is one of many spots I enjoyed during my recent trip.
3. Experiencing familiar attractions in a new way. Disneyland and California Adventure both contain numerous attractions that are also offered at Walt Disney World Resort, yet they have unique aspects. For example, Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean has a completely different feel for the first half of the ride until the familiar landscape returns about midway through. It’s a Small World actually begins outdoors at Disneyland and has many surprising sights along the ride.
4. Countless new attractions and entertainment! Did you know that Disneyland contains at least 32 unique attractions? From the thrills of California Screamin’ and the immersive experience of Radiator Springs in California Adventure to the classic Matterhorn at Disneyland, there are so many new rides to experience at Disneyland. In addition, the nighttime entertainment is spectacular and the Paint the Night Parade is hands-down the best parade of any Disney destination.
5. Nostalgia, history and walking in Walt’s footsteps: Disneyland is celebrating its 60th anniversary and the resort pays tribute to Walt Disney’s legacy in countless ways. The eternal light in Walt’s window overlooking Main Street serves as a reminder of Walt’s presence in this park. (Walt did not live to see the opening of Walt Disney World resort.) Historic and touching photos are throughout the resort in hotels, restaurants and attractions. If you are a Disney fan, a visit to Disneyland Resort in California will certainly entertain, thrill and warm your Disney soul.
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