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It is hard to choose between Disneyland and Disney World, but it is certainly not impossible. Each one has its pros and cons, and your choice should really depend on your location, budget, intended length of stay, and personal preferences.

The big debate

Disneyland is the original Disney theme park, located in Anaheim, California, which opened in 1955. Disney World, located in Orlando, Florida, opened in 1971, three years after Walt Disney’s death. Both parks were envisioned by Walt Disney but only Disneyland’s construction and operation was overseen by him.

For purists, the choice seems to be the original Disneyland. For the average tourist, however, Disney World seems to be the obvious choice – after all, it has more to offer in terms of rides and attractions. Disney World exceeds 30,000 acres of entertainment, accommodations, dining, and fun, while Disneyland covers fewer than 300 acres.

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Why some people like Disney World better

The sheer size of Walt Disney World is enough reason for a visit, with its four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney-MGM Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom), two water parks (Disney's Typhoon Lagoon and Disney's Blizzard Beach), other attractions (Downtown Disney and Disney's Wide World of Sports), numerous resort hotels for every budget, and more than 100 dining options.

What’s more, Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park is designed similarly to Disneyland, allowing you to “hit two birds with one stone.” Also, the hotel resorts in Disney World are all themed, in contrast to Disneyland’s older hotels (with the exception of their newest resort hotel, the Grand Californian). In Disney World, everything is in a grander scale – the structures and buildings are a lot larger and more impressive. Even the castle towers higher into the sky compared to the comparably smaller Disneyland castle.

Why some people like Disneyland better

he main reason why people would opt to go to Disneyland – aside from proximity – is that Disneyland is the original Disney theme park. To some people, the charm of this relatively smaller theme park is magical. It is Disneyland where the ideas and concepts for a magical Disney world originated, making it reason enough for Disney purists.

Also, a lot of rides and attractions are packed in the smaller sized theme park that is a lot easier to get around in. Also, the themes of the different areas, called “lands,” are unique to Disneyland; some examples include Fantasyland (different design to Disney World’s fantasyland), Mickey’s Toontown (different from Disneyworld’s Mickey’s Toontown Fair), and New Orleans Square.

Some of the blockbuster attractions in Disneyland not found in Disney World include "Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin," "Pinocchio's Daring Journey," and "Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye." The original “Fantasmic!” nighttime fireworks display is also one reason to go to Disneyland, Walt Disney World’s is just different. Probably the most important reason for Disneyland lovers is that Disneyland was built during the life of Walt Disney. He personally oversaw the design and development of a lot of the attractions in the park. It is like Walt’s little family park.

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