5 Things Different About Disneyland Than Disney World That No One Tells You

Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle

Disney Parks all have their unique characteristics that people like to talk about and compare. But there are some differences people just seem not to talk about, even some that can greatly impact your next trip if you are unaware of them.

Here are 5 things that are different about the Disneyland Resort than the Walt Disney World Resort that no one will tell you.

You Watch the Fireworks Differently

At the Magic Kingdom, you watch the fireworks from the hub. The show is special from there as its where the projections are. But at Disneyland, you can see the fireworks from numerous places throughout the park, from It's a Small World to the Rivers of America and get the same projections. I tend to prefer seeing them on Main Street USA for a center view of the fireworks framed by the projections, and I truly wish the Magic Kingdom would add Main Street projections to Happily Ever After.

Minor Different Aspects of Classic Attractions

Splash Mountain Drop Disneyland Critter Country

Its well known that Pirates of the Caribbean is much better in Disneyland, but no one talks about a lot of the minor differences between rides are overlooked. I'm talking about things like the ride vehicles for Splash Mountain that can be more difficult for families, or the different preshow for the Enchanted Tiki Room, or the massively superior scoring system for Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters. The park is different and you should be prepared for it. Don't get me wrong, its a good thing that things are different. But some things can be shocking if you aren't prepared for them when you first visit.

The Monorail Requires a Park Ticket

Disneyland Monorail Downtown Disney Station

The monorail, despite serving as transportation between Disneyland and Downtown Disney, requires a park ticket to use. It drops you right in Tomorrowland, not at the entrance of the park and serves as an attraction first and transportation second. This is the opposite approach Disney World took with their monorail, serving primarily as a transportation method, despite also going inside a park, Epcot. There all the stations are just outside the park, as opposed to Disneyland where only one of the stations is outside the park.

Reservations Not Required

Lamplight Lounge Luxo Jr. Tile Mosaic

Because they don't have as sizeable of a dining plan, you can get a reservation to pretty much any table service restaurant at the Disneyland Resort the day of your visit. This isn't Disney World where you need reservations six months in advance to get Cinderella's Royal Table. All restaurants will even take walk-ups, usually for no more than a fifteen-minute wait. Even for character meals. It's just such a strange and wonderful feeling being able to spontaneously choose your restaurant in the spur of the moment. Now there are some exceptions to this, but really just for dining packages for fireworks or other shows, as these still have a tendency to sell out, but other than that walk up to any restaurant and you'll usually be allowed in with little to no wait and no reservation (major holidays excluded).

Practicality of Parkhopping

Grizzly River Run Disney California Adventure Lift Hill

At Disney World, park hopping is possible, and sometimes practical, but nowhere near on the level, it is at the Disneyland Resort. The two parks are visible from one another, and not in a Tower of Terror in Morocco kind of way, but in a there practically on top of each other kind of way. It is very easy to switch between the parks multiple times a day based on crowd level and Fastpasses. You are not wasting hours on a bus like at Disney World, but instead, just a few minutes walking on the Esplanade. It is almost impractical to not park hop, especially if you have limited time.