Things really start to get confusing, however, when you try to explain distinct, specific differences. For instance, Pirates of the Caribbean is much nicer in California. It's longer, has additional scenes, an extra drop, and is overall just, better. The Autopia on the other side of the park is sort of similar when you compare it with the Tomorrowland Speedway in Florida. The Autopia is definitely longer, adds in an extra "off-road" section, and is just a fair bit more interesting than the shortened, little Tomorrowland Speedway. Even it's a small world is nicer out in California, and let's not forget the attractions we all wish we had in Florida but don't, like the Matterhorn or Indiana Jones.
But as I tried to explain all of this to my friends back home, they kept getting confused. Disneyland is smaller, right? It's true, Disneyland Park is only made up of 160 acres, with the entirety of the Disneyland Resort consisting of a mere 510 acres. Meanwhile, Epcot is a huge 305 acres and Animal Kingdom is 500 if yu include the parking lots. That means that all of Disneyland could virtually fit into Animal Kingdom. As a whole, the Walt Disney World Resort is 25,000 acres. To give you a bit of a better representation, that means that the Disneyland Resort could almost fit into the Walt Disney World Resort 50 times over. Think about that for a second. Of course, much of Walt Disney World is undeveloped, but it's still an odd thing to think about. But as I adventured through Disneyland Park and DCA, I told my friends time and time again how much bigger or longer or better all of these attractions are.
Smaller Park = Less Space = Bigger Attractions?
Something doesn't equal here, and to be completely honest I'm still not sure how it works out. How can all of these attractions be so much more awesome than their Disney World counterparts but somehow exist in much less space?
The answer is the distance between them. At Walt Disney World, Walt always said they had something in Florida they never had in California, The Blessing of Size. It takes you a solid ten minutes to walk all the way across Epcot, if not more, but somehow in California I made it from Indiana Jones all the way to the Paradise Pier hotel in about that same amount of time. Granted, I was half running, but the point is that everything is just closer together. It's more compact, and somehow, it works.
Disneyland and Walt Disney World are vastly difference places, that's to be certain, and I can't help but miss them both for very different reasons. Disney World is home to me. It's where I grew up and where I learned to embrace the magic. But Disneyland is the original, and it's loyal to it's regulars in that respect. There are people there who have been there since the opening, people who wouldn't even think of leaving. And that's amazing. Disney World is the popular tourist spot, and I wouldn't trade it for anything...except for maybe another Matterhorn Macaroon.
Have a magical day!
(Note: This blog post was written on September 8 due to the Disney Trip and College).