5 Reasons I Fell In Love with Disneyland

On my first trip to Disneyland last year, I didn’t understand the love everyone had for the place.  Yes, it is Walt’s park, the original, but there was no “bubble” feeling like you get in Walt Disney World.  Oh man I love that bubble.  But on my most recent trip, that completely changed.  I think being more familiar with the parks played a big part in that, but there were some specific things I really came to appreciate and love.  Sigh…


1. The Disneyland Hotel

I had always heard that because of how small the resort is, staying at an off-property hotel really won’t make a difference and you will end up saving money.  This is what we did on our first trip.  Nope.  Bad idea.  Yes we saved money, but the experience of having to leave the resort just put a bad taste in my mouth.  So this trip I knew I had to stay at a Disney hotel.  Yes, it was significantly more expensive, but staying on Disney property makes ALL the difference.


We were lucky to stay in the Adventure Tower which is the closest to Downtown Disney and the parks, but it is also just upstairs from Trader Sam’s and the pool.  Everything was right outside our door!


And the room was so wonderful!  We were able to get a King room that overlooked Downtown Disney.  The details in the room were so fun.  From the light fixtures, the faucets, and all the classic Disneyland photos that adorned the walls.



On our first night, we were able to watch the firework show Magical! from our room.  Plus, you can access the music from all of the nighttime shows right on your TV!

But did you know that there is a fireworks surprise in all of the Disneyland Hotel rooms?!  Yup…right there in the headboard!


2. Everything In Close Proximity

Being able to walk everywhere is wonderful!  No waiting for buses or other transportation.  Nothing took more than 10 minutes to get to by foot!  And I love how the 2 parks are right across the Esplanade from each other, which makes park hopping a breeze!  Plus having Downtown Disney right outside our hotel made it easy to grab a coffee at Starbucks or get some quick shopping in.


However sometimes we didn’t feel like walking and were able to jump on the Monorail for an express trip right into Tomorrowland!


3. Details, Nooks & Crannies

Disney is know for detail in the parks.  Everything tells a story.  There is something charming about all of these details in Disneyland compared to those in Walt Disney World.  Many can be found in all of these little nooks & crannies though out he parks.  Here are some of my favorites:

New Orleans Square


Pixie Hollow


Snow White’s Grotto


The Popcorn Cart Turners


Heimlich Hiding in the Candy Corn Bushes


In Fantasyland alone, I could’ve spent hours just looking at every detail.  And don’t even get me started on Main Street USA!

4. The Attractions

Since Walt Disney World is basically my second home, I hate to say it but hands down Disneyland has superior attractions.  Ok…got that off my chest.  But really whether it’s versions of the same attraction like Space Mountain or Big Thunder Mountain.



Or the abundance of dark rides.




Or the charming family friendly attractions.





Or the stellar original attractions that can only be found at Disneyland.



Disneyland-Love-AladdinOr Heimlich


Everything just seems to be well…better.  I can’t believe I just said that…who am I?!?

5. Nighttime

Something magical happens at night in Disneyland.  This was something I hardly experienced on my first trip because I had to get up so early in the morning to race, so I made sure to take it all in this trip.  And I’m not even talking about the nighttime shows…however Fantasmic! along the Rivers of America blew my mind!



There is just an added sense of magic in the air when the sky gets dark and the lights come on.  Just look at all that neon in Carsland!


The trolley coming down Buena Vista Street just screams old Hollywood!


All of the tiki torches around the Disneyland Hotel completely transport you to the islands!


Sleeping Beauty Castle…no explanation needed.


But my favorite thing to see at night was definitely the Mad Tea Party.  I just stood there and watched because it was so whimsically beautiful!  LOVE!


So there you have it…why I am now madly in love with Disneyland.  Walt Disney World will always be my one true love, but sometimes you just can’t help the charms of its older and wiser counterpart.  Now…when can I go back??

Share your thoughts!!  What do you love (or not love) about Disneyland?

RAD Signature 100x75



More from Running at Disney

Friday Feast: The Green Cabin Room at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort

I recently visited Disney’s Vero Beach Resort for the first time and...
Read More


  • I’m always glad to hear a WDW lover show Disneyland some love. Personally, I love BOTH places for different reasons. Disneyland is the park I grew up with. So, it will always be my favorite. I wish there were more people who could love and appreciate the Disney parks on both coasts (even with continuing to favor one over the other).

    I’m staying at the Disneyland Hotel for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend and can’t wait! It’s the first time I’ve stayed at a Disney owned hotel out here on the west coast. I dreamed of staying at the Disneyland hotel for a good portion of my life. When you live 20 minutes from Disneyland, you just don’t need to stay at a hotel when you go to Disneyland. However, my family would talk for years about going to the hotel to stay. Even if it was for one night. We never got there. So, I’m super excited about staying there later this month! It’s going to be a life long dream come true! Glad you enjoyed staying there.

  • I completely agree! When I went to Disneyland I fell in love, too! I think it has something to do with the fact that I know WDW like the back of my hand but DL just felt special!I hope to go back in the future & I’ll take your advice & stay on property. I didn’t my first time either but hopefully it will be in the budget for the future.

  • I love Disneyland! One of my very favorite things about it when I went was that characters were all over the place just walking around…and with almost no line for pics! WDW lines for character pics are usually ridiculous and seeing them just walking around is pretty rare!

  • oh my goodness, I think staying on property makes all the difference in the world! I know there are plenty of other less expensive hotels, but it’s worth the splurge to me to be in that “bubble”.

    And World of Color…oh my goodness. I plan on seeing it every night I am there! So glad you had a different experience this time, I just LOVE Disneyland!

  • Yay!!! I’m glad you fell in love with the “original” park. 🙂 I have never stayed on property (yes, too expensive) but like the above commenter I have always wanted to. Maybe one year my husband will take me for an anniversary… it would make sense because he proposed in front of sleeping beauty’s castle!
    Hopefully you make it back soon!

  • I agree! I love love love WDW! But to my family DLR is home. Just the fact that Walt Disney himself built this park and walked around is amazing! You can feel the love that he put into it!

    As for the rides, I agree, they pack quite a punch in a smaller area! When my family went to WDW and rode Pirates afterwords we were a bit let down. The version in DLR is better hands down. And of course the Indiana Jones ride!

    Both WDW and DLR have many reasons to be the favorite, however I think many overlook DLR because of it’s size. It may be small, but it is mighty! 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.