Disneyland vs California Adventure - Anaheim Forum - Tripadvisor

Disneyland vs California Adventure

Alaska
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
6 helpful votes
Disneyland vs California Adventure
Save

I apologize if this question is asked a million times in this forum. I tried doing a search but couldn't find anything recent, so feel free to link me to past topics rather than rehash here if you'd like.

My husband and I will be in LA for a wedding in December, and we have a free day. It will be a Friday (if that matters). I've done Disneyland when I was a kid. We just did Disneyworld (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach) in 2009. We would love to spend our free day at either Disneyland or the California Adventure park. What is the difference between the two and which would you recommend if you had to pick one? Or would you get the park hopper and squeeze both in one day? We're in our early 30s and won't have our kids with us, so we feel free as a bird. lol. Thank you!

Las Vegas, Nevada
Destination Expert
for Anaheim, St. George
Level Contributor
33,526 posts
88 reviews
80 helpful votes
1. Re: Disneyland vs California Adventure
Save

Usually its suggested to visit just Disneyland Park if you only have 1 day, since it has a Majority of things to do. Really the 2 parks can take about 2 or 3 days to visit.

However, you can visit just for a day of course. Its pretty much up to you which park you may find more interesting that the other, or if you want to get a Parkhopper and just get a "taste" of both Parks.

I would suggest you take a look at the Disneyland.com website with the info and some photos and video on the rides and attractions in both Park to see what you may be more interested in.

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
39,207 posts
61 reviews
51 helpful votes
2. Re: Disneyland vs California Adventure
Save

Personally, while I really enjoyed both parks, on our upcoming trip we have 5 days, and I'm planning 3 DL and 2 CA. CA has, IMO, more thrill rides - things that bounce, bump, toss and jiggle you around, such as roller coasters. DL has these too, but more experiential rides - things like Peter Pan and Its a Small World, where you are immersed in a magical world and just ride through while stuff happens around you. I love that.

If you have the energy for a park hopper, go for it, but there is no way you are going to be able to cover both parks and it will just mean some tough choices about what to see and what to skip. Personally, I would struggle with that and would just feel better if I limited myself to seeing one park and getting as much in as I can.

Anaheim, California
Level Contributor
25,711 posts
13 reviews
52 helpful votes
3. Re: Disneyland vs California Adventure
Save

Another vote from Disneyland Park Only for one day. Let alone you have more rides and attractions, including 4 roller coasters, you also have a lot of entertainment. Disneyland usually offers a daily Parade, and on weekends Fantasmic! and Fireworks. So you get a lot more bang for your buck, and since Disneyland really takes two full days to see and do most attractions and shows, plenty to do, and no need to pay for the ParkHopper for most people.

United States
Level Contributor
2,950 posts
130 reviews
56 helpful votes
4. Re: Disneyland vs California Adventure
Save

I would not suggest park hopping for one day. Last year, before Disney California Adventure (DCA) was upgraded, I would have said go for the parkhopper but it sounds really busy and I think you'd have more crowds to battle trying to get back and forth.

If you are big fans of the movie Cars I'd suggest . Carsland opened this past summer.

Personally I could never go there and not spend a minimum of 3 days, preferably 4. Our next trip we'll have 9!

San Diego
Level Contributor
11 posts
25 reviews
38 helpful votes
5. Re: Disneyland vs California Adventure
Save

If I had only one day, I would definitely choose to go to Disneyland. Disneyland is similar to Magic Kingdom in Orlando, but is much larger and the experience is more engaging. Like the other posts have stated, because there is so many attractions in each park, it is hard to park hop in one day, even though the 2 parks are right next to each other.

The one thing you didn't mention is what time of December you will be visiting. The first two weeks (weekdays) of December are some of the best days of the year to visit the parks. On the other hand, both parks are extremely busy during the last two weeks of the year. Have fun!

SoCal
Level Contributor
5,660 posts
16 reviews
8 helpful votes
6. Re: Disneyland vs California Adventure
Save

As you have been to WDW and visited the 4 parks I would do a hopper. DL and the Magic Kingdom have many similarities so I would focus on the unique aspects of the 2 parks. Some things at DCA can also be found at WDW.

Yucaipa, California
Destination Expert
for Anaheim
Level Contributor
24,252 posts
2 reviews
9 helpful votes
7. Re: Disneyland vs California Adventure
Save

>>>We just did Disneyworld (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Blizzard Beach) in 2009.<<<

Time flies. That was three years ago!

>>>We're in our early 30s and won't have our kids with us, so we feel free as a bird.<<<

I would go with the classic, Disneyland Park. How many times are you going to get to experience that without children?

>>>I've done Disneyland when I was a kid.<<<<

Time to relive your youth!

I really liked the way the differences between DL and DCA were explained in post 2. I think that might help.

I would not recommend park hopping when you only have one day.

I agree with the poster who says you need to look at what day you are going to see what the attendence is like. You will also want to see what the park hours are like and when the cast member party is scheduled.

Let me add that Christmastime is a very special time to visit Disneyland Park. I doubt DCA will have the same magical feeling that DL has, especially at that time. Of course, we don't know what time of year you visited the MK and the rest of WDW. But, I don't think you will want to miss seeing the decorations on Main Street, the carolers, Sleeping Beauty's Castle with the special wintery look to it, and the snow effect.

This year the Candlelight Processional will actually run for 20 nights beginning the 1st of December - two performance a night. This traditiional event that dates back to Walt Disney's time has always been held in Town Square on Main Street, with the choir standing in front of the railroad station. According to the Disney Blog that will still be the location this year. Seating is limited and it sounds like for AP holders only (after the first couple of nights), but there is plenty of standing room. You won't want to miss this, if you are going prior to the 21st, and this is another reason park hopping would be difficult.

Don't forget to get in a ride on the Matterhorn! You can't do that at WDW.

Edited: 8 years ago
Level Contributor
42,920 posts
963 reviews
1,679 helpful votes
8. Re: Disneyland vs California Adventure
Save

Disneyland only! Get there right when the park opens and enjoy a nice, long full day there. A meal at The Blue Bayou would be special. Book advance reservations for this restaurant and request a table by the water. So fun! :)

Alaska
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
6 helpful votes
9. Re: Disneyland vs California Adventure
Save

Thank you everyone for your thoughtful input. I was leaning toward DL at first, then thought for sure CA, now I'm back to thinking DL. You all gave me a lot to think about. We will be there Dec. 14.

@RedlandsRedhead - you had me chuckling when I realized I said we "just" went to WDW in 2009. Time flies. You're right, in the world of theme parks, that was ages ago! haha.

BC
Level Contributor
434 posts
19 reviews
25 helpful votes
10. Re: Disneyland vs California Adventure
Save

We were just at the DL Resort about three weeks ago, I agree with the other posters for one day I would just do Disneyland. For our five days we usually started in DL and then after went to California Adventure because there just isn't enough to do in CA.

$USD
United States

This is the version of our website addressed to speakers of English in the United States. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu.