Thumbing through Parade Magazine today I couldn’t help but read the feature on Disneyland. In July the park will turn 60 years old and the magazine pointed out a few interesting facts about its very successful run. Reading about it brought up a semi-serious debate I have with Sidney from time to time.
Sidney will tell you that she has visited Disney World around 8 times. I have visited Disney World twice. I have also visited Disneyland. We will go back and forth on which park is better. It gets pretty serious.
Maybe it is my west coast bias, but I think Disneyland is better. Although I made that trip with my family when I was in fourth grade, I remember it very fondly. In fact, it goes down in the Reser history books as the best family vacation we ever went on. In the past five years, I have made the trip to Orlando twice. Both times I stayed at a Disney resort property and of course visited Disney World. Perhaps it was my old age, but I just didn’t think it was all that great. A little more on this in just a little bit.
Sidney uses her veteran Disney World status as reason on why that park trumps Disneyland. She has had numerous fabulous experiences going as a young girl with her family and then with her young niece as well. To her, there isn’t a better place on the planet so it must top the similar park in California. She also uses arguments that I can’t deny…Disney World is newer and bigger.
But in my opinion, newer and bigger isn’t always better. Disneyland is more intimate. In comparing my experiences in both parks, it just felt like Walt Disney’s spirit was hovering around me closer in Anaheim than it was in Orlando. Disneyland is just more magical, more historical, and more original. You can’t deny the originality aspect, Disney World is an east coast replica of the place that was built 16 years before it.
I think Disneyland wins on the intangibles as well. The consistent and pleasant sunny conditions that characterize life in southern California contrast with the unpredictable and stormy weather that plagues Orlando. While Disney World definitely receives many gorgeous days, it also is prone to nasty days as well. Trust me, I know. Yes, I already alluded to it but Disneyland will also always come first. It was the prototype and Disney World will simply never catch up to Disneyland in terms of nostalgia and pop culture references. Finally, Walt Disney practically built Disneyland with his own hands. He was five years dead before the Florida park opened.
Okay, there you have it. Once again I give you a heavy dose of my opinion. If I ever win a professional sports championship and they shove the microphone in my face I am telling them that I am going to Disneyland. Now it is your turn. What park do you feel is superior…Disneyland or Disney World? I am curious to know. Don’t Blink.