Disneyland and I were born just 6 months apart and let me tell you that even though I’m 6 months younger than the magic kingdom, I feel really old just making that statement. Want to know how old I am? I remember the original mule ride where Thunder Mountain Railroad now stands. The mules left the Disneyland corral years ago, but oh man, did I love riding those silly mules and believing I was seriously trekking through the desert.
I grew up going to Disneyland probably at least once a year. I had an aunt and uncle who lived near Anaheim so on our annual visits, my mother would take us to Disneyland. On a few occasions my monkey sister came along, which made it all the better. I was the last child at home so I reaped in some of the good stuff, like annual visits to Disneyland.
It came as no surprise that when I grew up, got married and our son came along, he was also treated to almost annual visits to Disneyland. Here’s a travel tip that always worked for us when our son was a little guy. Pull your kiddos out of school for a couple of days and experience Disney during the week in the off season. It will make a world of difference and it really will be the happiest place on earth for you and your family.
Main Street Electrical Parade
Fast forward to January 2016 and we found ourselves headed toward Florida, while on our southern road trip, with a hankering to spend a day at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. It wasn’t our first visit, which was 27 years ago, (man I am old!) so when the generous folks at Disney gifted us with admission, we jumped at the chance. Truthfully, my main reason for wanting to go was to see the Disney Main Street Electrical Parade. I’ve been a lifelong fan of the parade. That, and I wanted to stroll through the park and relive some magical memories.
Disneyland or Walt Disney World?
I suppose if you live on the west coast you’re probably partial to Disneyland and those who live on the east coast are most likely partial to Walt Disney World. I have to admit I am partial to Disneyland but I am also pretty enamored with Disney World. There are differences between the parks, but nothing that lessens the fun.
For example, my absolute favorite ride from my childhood was/is Alice in Wonderland, which is not at Disney World. But, there are two (count them two!) Dumbo Rides in Disney World and just one in Disneyland where the lines are always painfully long in a child’s mind. And the Matterhorn Mountain Bobsleds cannot be found in Disney World. But, many of the other classic rides are there – plus many, many more throughout the different parks – for young and old alike to enjoy and create magical memories of a day with Disney.
My favorite moment in this video is at the 2:46 mark. Enjoy!
A few helpful links to help plan your visit to Walt Disney World in Orlando.
So what do you think? East coast -vs- west coast, Disneyland -vs- Walt Disney World. It’s a win-win, right?!
I first heard of Disneyworld at around age 10 when my school in the South of Brazil was organising an excursion there. I went home dreaming and I begged my dad to let me go. But unfortunately we could not afford it, so I was 28 years old when I finally made it there with my husband Brian, we had no kids yet. I did go back there with my kids and twice took them to Disney Paris. It is a magical world of make believe and in the future I hope to take my grandchildren there ( no pressure, my kids are just finishing University).
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When we were in Paris in 2013, I somewhat jokingly asked Abi if he wanted to go to Disney Paris. I knew he’d say no because we were in Paris and there were way better places to spend our time, but if he had said, yes, I would have gone in a heart beat, just for the experience of seeing all my Disney favorites in French. But, then again, I’m glad we used our time to go other places because I have a lifetime of Disney memories.
I too remember riding those mules and visiting Disneyland every couple of years when visiting cousins in La Canada. I think Disney’s land and World are the same yet different, especially with FL having more land to spread out on. But love them both equally and would return when I could. We are lucky to have grown up with Disney’s magic in our lives and to share with our children. I have Peter Pan Syndrome thanks to Disney.
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I love that idea of having Peter Pan syndrome, Gaelyn! I think everyone could use a bit of pixie dust now and then!
I went to Disneyland first as a little kid. I remember the seals. That is what I wanted to do. Watch the seals. Really frustrated my mother. I must have been about 5.
Still remember E ticket rides and yes, I loved the mules too.
I only made it once to the World in Florida. I think the weather put me off. Summer in Florida. Forgetaboutit.
I am waiting for grandkids to go again.
Oh yes, E tickets and the little paper booklets. Good memories!
I never made it to Disneyland. I was supposed to go when I was 14, but my mother was ill on the day we were going, so I stayed with her at the motel and my father took my sisters. Fast forward 14 years, and I visited the Magic Kingdom at Disney World in 1981 with my fiance. He became my husband and we took the two sons we produced to Disney World approximately every four years while they were growing up. We live on the east coast, so Disney World was definitely the most convenient default. However, that means I have no basis to compare Disneyland with Disneyworld. Of course, Disney World is nothing like it was on my first visit, expanded to include Epcot and other parks I don’t even know the names of. I enjoyed our Disney World visits the most when our sons were little and weren’t quite sure where reality stopped and Make-Believe started. However, if I never hear “It’s a Small World” again, it will be too soon. 😉
Disneyland is more constrained in acreage than DisneyWorld, that’s for sure. But they gave up several acres of parking to expand and build California Adventure, which is literally just a hop, skip and a jump from the entrance to Disneyland, very much unlike park hopping at DisneyWorld. We entered in Epcot and it was a monorail ride to get to the Magic Kingdom and then another monorail ride into the park. It is super fun to go as adults with no kids, but it is nothing like seeing the pure joy in your child’s eyes!