Having recently returned from a fun-filled #DisneyVacayCA in sunny Anaheim, California, I am invariably confronted with the following question:
So, which one do you prefer, Disney World or Disneyland?
It is a question I know I cannot avoid, having posed it myself countless times to friends and family who have experienced both parks on opposite coasts. And even though I have forewarned myself that the query should be expected – even prepared to make a choice and stand by it – I am nevertheless unable to give a satisfying response.
I like them both, I hedge mildly.
Way to take a stand, Lena! At this point I should warn you that I also make a terrible expert witness, mediator and/or customer in line at Starbucks.
What’ll that be? asks the barista.
Hmmm… I can’t decide. I quite like lattes… but I like cappuccinos too.
Honestly, you can’t blame me. Asking me to choose between Disney World and Disneyland is like asking me to select a favourite among my offspring! It simply can’t be done – I love both my boys irrevocably and unequivocally for very different reasons. (Except when Ryder does that weird yodeling thing… or, perhaps, especially when he does that weird yodeling thing.)
However, since I’ve described my love affair with Walt Disney World in previous posts, I think it’s only fair that I make the case for Disneyland, too. Simply put, a visit to Disneyland Resort in California offers Disney, on your terms.
Let me explain. Using a numbered list, of course.
1. Accessibility. While Disneyland Resort is a no-brainer for Canadians on the west coast, east coasters may unnecessarily fear the trek across the continent to California. Don’t. A direct flight – and many are available – out of Toronto yields about a five-hour journey… slightly less if the pilot is of the Maverick or Ice Man variety. Catch some tailwind on the return flight home, and you can make the jaunt in only four hours (I speak from experience, having recently returned from LAX). Hence, the resort is accessible for Canadians from coast to coast, and should be included in all vacation plans where a visit to Disney is considered.
2. The Resort. I am not using the term loosely. Staying at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa, we experienced five-star service, amenities and accommodations, all with Disney’s signature attention to detail. From the award-winning food and world-class spa to the kid-friendly waterpark and posh poolside cabanas, a stay at a Disneyland Resort hotel has all the makings of a tropical vacation, without leaving the continent (or taking a shot of Dukoral). In fact, coupled with California’s favourable year-round climate and the numerous family-friendly activities, both on and off resort, the case for Disneyland Resort is a strong one.
3. Steps Away from the Action. I love Walt Disney World. I really do. But I do not love jumping on a bus to make my way from my hotel to the parks. Until I visited Disneyland Resort, I had accepted that Disney was a vast complex spanning miles and miles, necessitating ground transportation to, well, everything. However, when staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel, the parks are literally steps from your room. This is a critical advantage, as it allows you to enjoy your vacation – on your terms. You can hit the theme parks early in the morning to take advantage of Extra Magic Hours, while returning to your hotel in the afternoon to lounge by the pool. Take a quick nap, enjoy a delicious dinner in Downtown Disney (also minutes away) and re-visit the park to experience thrill rides in twilight. And you can do all this on foot – the obvious lack of commute meaning happy kids, and happier parents.
4. Park Hopper. A park hopper is only meaningful if you can hop parks in an efficient, effortless manner. With Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, the marriage of the magic is seamless, as the parks face each other a mere 0.6 miles apart (that’s a 3-minute walk, if you’re mentally programming your step counter). So go ahead! Hop from Fantasyland in Disneyland Park to Cars Land in Disney California Adventure. You can do it!
5. Because, Cars Land. There is only one place in the world that you can step into Radiator Springs, and for a mom of two die hard Cars fans, Disneyland will always hold a very special place in my heart. We’ve been home for just over a month now, and both Ryder and Reid have referenced Cars Land in some way, in some conversation, every single day. For the racing fanatic in your family, a visit to this incredible 12-acre expansion, inspired by the Disney·Pixar movie, is a must.
Advantage, Disneyland? My loyalty to Walt Disney World prevents me from making any declarations of the sort. (Says the girl who is still deciding between a latte or a cappuccino.)
So please don’t ask me to choose between resorts – you’ll never see me express favouritism either way. However, for an authentic Disney experience, on your terms, come talk to me. I’ll make the case for Disneyland Resort, California.
*DEAL ALERT* Now, it’s the perfect time to book! Enjoy it all and so much more when you take advantage of seasonal prices with this special offer –
Disneyland Resort Good Neighbor Room and Ticket Package
Starting at US $1,416, a family of 4 can enjoy a package that includes:
– 4-Day/1 Park Per Day Disneyland Resort Theme Park Tickets for admission to either Disneyland Park or Disney California Adventure Park
– 3 nights at a conveniently located Disneyland Resort Good Neighbor Hotel
That’s just US$89 per person per day! Package price is valid for most arrival dates between September 19 through October 9, 2014 and November 2 through November 16, 2014.