I have planned many Walt Disney World vacations in my time but recently I began to think that it’s time for us to visit Disneyland in Anaheim California! My husband has never been to Disneyland, and I was seven years old when I last visited, and for two big Disney addicts, I thought it was time to finally visit the original Disney park!
You hear people talk about how different the parks are, and that’s totally to be expected. Walt Disney World is massive! Disneyland isn’t exactly tiny but it is considerably smaller than Walt Disney World, not to mention the differences in the various parks. What I wasn’t prepared for is the difference in planning.
When you’re used to planning for one coast and you’re new to planning for the other coast, the task can become a bit daunting or at least a bit unnerving as was with my vacation. You get used to doing things one particular way at one particular time and when you need to do things completely differently, it can mess with your mind just a bit.
With Walt Disney World, I’m used to booking dining reservations at the 180 day mark and FastPasses at the 60 day mark; knowing our schedule precisely from one park to another. It’s really just second nature to me. Then I go to plan our Disneyland vacation and I can’t even see park hours until about 30 some days out from my vacation? I can’t get dining reservations until the 60 day mark? I can’t get FastPasses until I arrive… in the park!? What!?! At this point I have practically every stop planned for a Walt Disney World vacation! Heck, I even have leisurely unplanned time planned. So my anxiety is working over time because I am 20-30 days out and I feel SO unprepared for a trip that will take me to the opposite side of the country into the one original park that Walt Disney built and was able to actually enjoy himself.
But you know what, I’m going to have to take my own advice here and tell myself (and you for that matter) “don’t stress it”. The planning for one park is different from the other because they are different. There’s a reason planning is structured this way. So in reality, I just need to plan what I can, the best way I can, and just let the rest fall where ever it falls. It’s going to be fine. It’s going to be more than fine because I’m going to be at Disneyland!
But you really can take that same advice at Walt Disney World as well. While you may need to plan a little more and a bit more in advance, there’s really no reason to stress about it because you’re going to be on a Disney vacation to the happiest (or most magical) place on earth! Just to clarify, Disneyland is the “happiest place on earth” while Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World is “the most magical place on earth”. True Disney fans would want me to keep that straight!
Anyhow, this is just the beginning stages of a Walt Disney World pro planning a first (as an adult) trip to Disneyland. I’m sure there’s much more to compare down the road as we get closer to our trip! So look for Part 2 or even more in the future!
Sleeping Beauty Castle photos courtesy of Disney Magic Diva!
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