New to Walt Disney World or just need help with where to start? Click here for a simple flowchart to help you navigate the planning process.
The average guest walks a half marathon each day at a Disney World park.
WiFi is available and free at all the Disney parks and resorts.
Click here for a map of the entire resort with transit times.
Both Jenn and Nicolette are WDW specialists. Contact either about your WDW vacation.
The Disneyland Experience
When asked about Disneyland, the most common question is, "If I have been to Walt Disney World, will I be disappointed with Disneyland?" My answer is always ABSOLUTELY NOT! It is The Happiest Place on Earth!! Disneyland is where all the magic began, Walt's dream! While some of the attractions may be similar, they are not the same and there are some options that are only available at Disneyland. The small nature of Disneyland is also very appealing because you can cover a lot more ground in a shorter time frame. The lack of planning and nostalgic qualities of the parks there make it an absolute MUST DO for any Disney fan or anyone that believes in magic & fantasy.
Walt Disney World Planning vs. Disneyland Planning
Disneyland is definitely a much more "old school" way to do Disney. It has yet to adopt the Fast Pass+ system or the magic bands (although there are talks that may be changing soon) so you will receive the credit card type tickets. You will then need to visit kiosks throughout the parks to obtain your fast passes. MaxPass is available now for $10/day and you can select 1 fast pass at a time via the app, but this is something that cannot be added onto a package and must be purchased once you are there. Dining is made available only 60 days prior to check-in instead of 180 days, and the options are much more limited. Blue Bayou is the biggest request for an Advanced Dining Reservation and there are a few others, but otherwise, it is mainly counter service options. This means that it is a lot less pressure to book everything in advance and a lot more flexibility to make your vacation what you want it to be that day. There is a My Disney Experience type website for Disneyland as well and it uses the same login information as the one for Disney World. Since there is so little actual planning involved though, it is more for information and less for storing any data.
Tickets and Passes
I typically recommend a 3-4 day park hopper pass to guests that are visiting Disneyland with a minimum of 2 day tickets if you are short on time. I find park hopper to be a great option, especially in Disneyland, because the parks are literally across the street from each other, so traveling between them takes only a matter of minutes. A full day at each park is needed and then the 3rd and/or 4th day is great to hop between the parks to revisit any favorite attractions or to enjoy any that were missed.
Much like Walt Disney World, Disneyland also offers shuttle service from the airport to the resorts and back. For Disneyland, however, there is a fee to use the Disneyland Express service (can be added to the package) and it is available to both guests staying at one of the 3 resorts on property as well as the guests that are staying at the good neighbor hotels. The Disneyland Express travels to and from both LAX and Orange County Airport (John Wayne), and the fees are different for each. The Disneyland Express is handicap accessible with a lift for guests that cannot get out of their wheelchair/scooter, or a large storage area under the bus to store if guests can transfer to a seat instead. It also only runs from 5am until 7pm; otherwise, a shuttle is required to get back and forth.
Staying On-property vs. Good Neighbor Resort
As far as the benefits to staying on versus off...the only 2 real differences I have been able to find is that the on-property resorts are comparable to the deluxe resorts at Walt Disney World (think monorail resort convenience) while the off-property ones are more moderate level or lower and that the on-property ones get the extra magic hours. The good neighbors do not unless you are there 3 or more days and then you get 1 early morning day. Many of the good neighbor resorts are still within walking distance to the parks, but if not, they offer a shuttle to/from the parks for a fee.
Our Disneyland specialist is Nicolette. You'll want to contact her regarding Disneyland vacations.
The WDW Planning Process/Flow
Reserve dining one day at a time at 180 days from arrival
Schedule Fastpasses 30 days from arrival
Arrange private transportation if flying
Staying on Disney property?
Reserve up to 10 days of dining at 180 days from arrival
Schedule Fastpasses 60 days from arrival
Schedule Magical Express
Click here to find out more about FREE assistance with planning your Disney vacation,
or click here to request a quote.