I think this is the most common question I get… “I still haven’t taken the kids to Disneyland or Disney World! Which one do you recommend?”.
The short answer: Disneyland.
Controversial, I know. Disney World is the biggest and, in many people’s opinion, the best. I used to think so too, until I had kids and discovered the awesome on-property hotels at Disneyland.
Disney World is huge, and has everything a family might need – 4 theme parks, water parks, mini golf, full golf courses, and tons of resorts. But in my opinion, it’s too big, often too hot (in the summer, anyway) and very spread out. It can be very tiring, and overwhelming, and a huge logistical problem. No matter where you stay, you’re going to have to travel, either by car, or by shuttle. Disneyland, on the other hand, is all within a very manageable walking distance. We like to stay on property, either at the Disneyland Hotel (more on that later) or at the Grand Californian hotel, and take leisurely strolls to the parks when we feel like it. This is particularly nice for a short stay (we often do long weekends or special occasions in Disneyland) or for a first visit.
Don’t get me wrong, we love Disney World and have done it many times. We enjoy hitting Universal Studios, outlet shopping, and some of the more unique Disney offerings that are only in Orlando. But for a relaxing vacation, I pick Disneyland.