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Disneyland vs. Disney World: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 26, 2023
Disneyland is a theme park in California; Disney World is a larger resort in Florida.

Key Differences

Disneyland, located in Anaheim, California, was the original vision of Walt Disney. It was the first-ever theme park of its kind and opened its doors in 1955. Disney World, on the other hand, is situated in Orlando, Florida, and is a vast resort complex that opened in 1971.
While Disneyland is composed of two parks, namely Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure, Disney World boasts four theme parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom. Additionally, Disney World has two water parks, Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.
Disneyland's more compact nature offers a cozier experience, emphasizing Walt Disney's original vision. Disney World, with its expansive grounds and more parks, provides a more extensive, varied experience, catering to a broader range of tastes and age groups.
In terms of accommodations, Disneyland has three official hotels, catering mostly to visitors looking for close proximity to the parks. Disney World, given its sprawling size, offers over 25 resort hotels, ranging from budget to luxury, ensuring that visitors can stay within the property for their entire vacation if they choose to.
Disneyland has its iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle as the centerpiece. In contrast, Disney World has the Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, which stands as one of the most recognized structures in theme park history.

Comparison Chart


Anaheim, California
Orlando, Florida

Opening Year


Number of Theme Parks

2 (Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure)
4 (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom)

Iconic Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle
Cinderella Castle


3 official hotels
Over 25 resort hotels

Disneyland and Disney World Definitions


The place where fairy tales come to life.
At Disneyland, you can meet your favorite characters in person.

Disney World

Home to the famous Cinderella Castle.
Many proposals happen in front of the Cinderella Castle at Disney World.


A theme park in Anaheim, California.
We're taking the kids to Disneyland for their summer vacation.

Disney World

The East Coast's larger counterpart to Disneyland.
Compared to Disneyland, Disney World is more extensive and offers more varied attractions.


The first of Disney's parks worldwide.
After the success of Disneyland, more parks were opened internationally.

Disney World

The embodiment of Walt Disney's expanded dream.
Disney World was designed to provide a comprehensive vacation experience.


Walt Disney's original theme park vision.
Disneyland's charm lies in its historic significance.

Disney World

A vast resort complex in Orlando, Florida.
Disney World offers various theme parks for visitors to explore.


Home to the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle.
The fireworks over Disneyland's castle are a sight to behold.

Disney World

A destination with four main theme parks and two water parks.
We need at least a week to explore all that Disney World has to offer.


An amusement park in Anaheim created in 1955 by Walt Disney


Where is Disneyland located?

Disneyland is located in Anaheim, California.

When did Disneyland open?

Disneyland opened in 1955.

Is Disneyland Walt Disney's first theme park?

Yes, Disneyland was Walt Disney's original theme park.

Where is Disney World situated?

Disney World is situated in Orlando, Florida.

How many theme parks are in Disney World?

Disney World has four main theme parks.

How many parks does Disneyland have?

Disneyland comprises two parks.

Can you visit both Disneyland and Disney World in one trip?

While possible, they are on opposite coasts, so it requires more planning.

What year did Disney World open?

Disney World opened in 1971.

Is Disney World bigger than Disneyland?

Yes, Disney World is larger and more expansive than Disneyland.

How many water parks does Disney World have?

Disney World has two water parks.

Which is older, Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle or Disney World's Cinderella Castle?

Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle is older.

Between Disneyland and Disney World, which has more parks?

Disney World has more parks compared to Disneyland.

What's the iconic structure in Disneyland?

Disneyland's iconic structure is the Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Which castle is in Disney World's Magic Kingdom?

The Cinderella Castle is in Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

How many hotels does Disneyland have?

Disneyland has three official hotels.

Is Disney California Adventure part of Disneyland?

Yes, Disney California Adventure is one of the two parks at the Disneyland Resort.

How many resort hotels are in Disney World?

Disney World has over 25 resort hotels.

Which park came first, Disneyland or Disney World?

Disneyland was the first to open.

Is EPCOT a part of Disney World?

Yes, EPCOT is one of the four theme parks at Disney World.

Are the rides the same in Disneyland and Disney World?

While some rides are similar, each location has unique attractions.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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