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By Undercover Diva

To the untrained eye Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World are very similar. Both Parks open up with Main Street USA leading you straight to a beautiful castle. Both have the lands of Adventureland, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, and Fronteirland. Both have many similar rides like “it’s a small world,” Jungle Cruise, Pirates of the Caribbean and Space Mountain. In fact, on my first trip to Walt Disney World, I didn’t go to the Magic Kingdom at all, because I had just been to Disneyland and I thought I would never get another chance to experience the other parks. But in truth they are very different.


A beautiful shot of Matterhorn thanks to Character Diva!

A beautiful shot of Matterhorn thanks to Character Diva!

Disneyland has Matterhorn and Indiana Jones. This may seem like nothing, but for me one of my favorite things to do at a Disney Park will always be to ride Matterhorn during the fireworks. While Matterhorn may seem like Expedition Everest’s baby brother in thrill comparison, it does have it’s only special qualities. Its much more family friendly, so you don’t have to worry about traumatizing your kids while you get your thrill kick. It also has the history of being the first roller coaster in the world to use a tubular steel track. Any “World” fan may say that they don’t need the Indiana Jones ride because they have the show, but you really don’t know what you are missing. If you don’t know, Indiana Jones is a ride very similar to Animal Kingdom’s ‘Dinosaur’ with cars that move and shake as you go along the track and surprises that jump out you along the way. I’m sure anyone who has ever been on both will agree with me. I definitely missed this ride while I was at Walt Disney World, and the show just doesn’t do quite the same justice.



The Toontown sign right behind Mickey's House

The Toontown sign right behind Mickey’s House

Disneyland still has Toontown. While Walt Disney World did until 2011 it was taken down and eventually replaced by the New Fantasyland expansion. This is a great place to explore Mickey and Minnie’s houses while getting the chance to meet the owners themselves. It is an area aimed at little adventures ready to explore with lots of places to climb and “roller coasters” that are more child friendly. I know from experience that visitors to Walt Disney World miss this little expansion (though I’m sure they appreciate what replaced it) and it will be something that will be missed by those who can remember it. I have a feeling that the Toontown in Disneyland will be sticking around for quite a while.



The Club 33 crest just outside it's enterance

The Club 33 crest just outside it’s entrance

Disneyland has New Orleans Square. Yes, I know Walt Disney World has Liberty Square, which is special in it’s own right, but its hard to explain the excitement that filled the air as you entered New Orleans Square after Princess and the Frog came out. Even before then I loved eating gumbo as I watched Fantasmic or experiencing Pirates of the Caribbean from the Blue Bayou Restaurant or vice versa. And don’t get me started on Blue Bayou! What a dreamy restaurant! Located inside the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, this French Quarter themed restaurant offers a much more romantic and sophisticated setting while still offering the Disney flair. It’s a lot more pricey than most restaurants but it’s a great place to go for a birthday or anniversary. And if the Blue Bayou doesn’t draw your attention, maybe Club 33 will. This exclusive club is located in New Orleans and is a Disney experience unlike any other, if you can pay the $27,500 initiation fee and $10,000 in annual dues. This Diva would LOVE to give a personal review if anyone wants to volunteer to take her as a guest!



Why would you wanna miss seeing this at the Disneyland Hotel

Why would you wanna miss seeing this at the Disneyland Hotel

Disneyland is within walking distance of Downtown Disney, and many of the Disney owned Hotels. While the Monorails are a great way to get around, it’s nice to not have to depend on them. Think of how packed it is at the end of the day as you try to get on a Monorail or a bus to get to your hotel. And you have to take a bus to Downtown Disney no matter where you are. Being able to walk is great especially if you are spending several days in the parks and just want to explore. And while walking even further at the end of the day may not be what your feet want most, it seems much nicer than being squished like a sardine after having waited in lines all day. And who wouldn’t love being able to just wake up and walk to Disneyland or California Adventure?!



Sleeping Beauty's castle, personally designed by Walt

Sleeping Beauty’s castle, personally designed by Walt

Most importantly, Disneyland has Walt’s touch. Disneyland was Walt’s baby, and you can feel that in every breath you take and every step you take. Walt Disney World is just as magical and wonderful and exciting, but Walt died before the Florida Project could really get off the ground. His legacy was carried on by his brother Roy in a beautiful way, even going so far as to name it Walt Disney World, rather than the original Disney World in dedication to Walt. But walking around Disneyland and knowing that Walt Disney had walked on these same streets and stood under the same trees is an experience like no other. I don’t think many guests take the time to appreciate where they are and just exactly what came before them. But I find it hard to not take a moment of silence whenever I am in Disneyland to just thank Walt for living his dream.