The Ultimate Six Park Comparison

I’m not gonna lie, the fact that I visited all six of the world’s Disney parks within a 13 month period is probably one of my greatest life achievements, and I’m fully aware of how lucky I am to be able to have visited them at all! That said, there is a question that comes with this achievement which I hate: ‘what’s your favourite park?’.

I hate picking favourites, end of, but this is one I will never ever be able to answer, because every park is different and there’s no way they can be judged on the same level, so instead I’m gonna break down the park pros and cons, and hopefully give a proper and fair analysis!

Disneyland, California

Disneyland California

  • Number of parks: 2
  • Park yays:
    • Compact area – its only about 100m between the two parks, with Downtown Disney right outside
    • Lots of nearby offsite hotels, and easily accessible on foot
    • Plenty of random character interaction opportunities
    • Large Downtown Disney area including branded stores like Sephora and Lego Store
    • While temperatures can vary, rain is very rare!
    • Current shows and parades include: Mickey and the Magical Map, Frozen the musical and Fantasy Faire, Soundsational Parade
    • Parades and nighttime shows in both parks
  • Park nays:
    • Not many direct transportation options from LAX
    • No dining plan
    • During off-peak times, some performances and parades get cut-back to weekends only
  • Why this park is special to me:
    • Disneyland was the first park I visited as an adult, so with the exception of vague early childhood images, all my first proper Disney memories were made in Disneyland. It also makes me so happy knowing that this was Walt’s park, and this is where he walked and where the whole Disney park legacy began.

Walt Disney World, Florida

Walt Disney World

  • Number of parks: 4 plus 2 water parks
  • Park yays:
    • The most advanced Disney parks, with features like Magic Bands, Fastpass+ and My Disney Experience
    • So many entertainment options – something for everyone!
    • Amazing transportation links, including Magical Express to airport
    • Dining plan is great value for money
    • Current shows and parades include: Festival of the Lion King, Finding Nemo the Musical, Beauty and the Beast, Fantasmic, Festival of Fantasy
    • So many resort options!
  • Park nays:
    • Parks can get really packed during busy periods
    • So many strollers..
  • Why this park is special to me:
    • WDW is the ultimate Disney experience. If you stay onsite, you are completely encased in the magic, and reality and problems disappear!

Tokyo Disneyland, Japan

Tokyo Disneyland

  • Number of parks: 2
  • Park yays:
    • Local guests are so polite and considerate
    • Hardly any strollers or scooters
    • So many unique areas (basically the whole of DisneySea!)
    • Best merchandise of any Disney park!
    • Designated train station for transportation into Tokyo
    • Everything is clean and well kept
    • Current shows and parades include: Happiness is Here, Electrical Parade Dreamlights, Fantasmic
    • No Downtown area, but has Ikspiari, a large shopping centre with restaurants and Disney Store
    • Monorail link between the two parks
    • Lots of rare character meeting opportunities
  • Park nays:
    • Not many cast members speak English, and most shows are done in Japanese
    • Rather than Extra Magic Hours, guests staying in Disney hotels only get to enter the parks 15 minutes before other guests
  • Why this park is special to me:
    • Tokyo was my first Eastern Disney park, and I was just blown away with how much I loved it. DisneySea is just such a unique park, definitely one of  my favourite parks of all time, and I live for the merchandise!

Disneyland Paris, France

Disneyland Paris Spring 2016

  • Number of parks: 2
  • Park yays:
    • Designated train station for links to airport and Eurostar
    • Good range of hotel options, both on and offsite
    • Current shows and parades include: Mickey and the Magician, Frozen Singalong, Disney Magic on Parade
    • Lots of seasonal events eg. Swing into Spring and Halloween
  • Park nays:
    • Guests don’t stick to designated smoking areas
    • Walt Disney Studios park doesn’t have as much going on as Disneyland
  • Why this park is special to me:
    • DLP is my local park, I’m an annual pass holder, and I’ve made so many recent memories here, including my 21st birthday and my first Disney trip without my family back in April. I think the park has come such a long way in recent years and I can’t wait to celebrate the 25th anniversary next year!

Hong Kong Disneyland

Hong Kong Disneyland

  • Number of parks: 1 (for now!)
  • Park yays:
    • Designated train station for easy access from the city
    • While still being fairly close to the city centre, the area feels very secluded
    • Most cast members speak English really well
    • Current shows and parades include: Paint the Night parade, Festival of the Lion King, Mickey and the Wondrous Book, Flights of Fantasy
    • Fun twists on classic rides
    • Depending on the time of year and day of the week, the park can be really empty!
  • Park nays:
    • No offsite hotels nearby
    • Local guests use umbrellas for shade, so it can be hard to watch parades
    • No Downtown Disney area
    • Fastpasses only available for a few rides
    • Merchandise was quite expensive compared to other Asian parks
  • Why this park is special to me:
    • Hong Kong was the last Disney park I visit on my six park adventure, and I fell in love with it. I love how similar the park is to Disneyland California; its so pretty and classic!

Shanghai Disneyland, China

Shanghai Disneyland castle

  • Number of parks: 1
  • Park yays:
    • So many incredible new rides
    • Located really close to Pudong Airport, and also has a designated station on the city’s underground tube system
    • Disneytown is ride next to the park, and you can use the second entrance at the end to re-enter the park by Tomorrowland
    • Current shows and parades include: Tarzan the musical, Mickey’s Storybook Express, Captain Jack Stunt Show Spectacular
    • Just the most beautiful castle!
  • Park nays:
    • Local guests aren’t very into queuing, and lots will push past
    • Quite a bit of rubbish around the parks
    • Queues for Fastpasses can be longer than queues for some rides at times!
    • Currently still very much in a trial stage, with some technical problems still occuring
  • Why this park is special for me:
    • Being able to visit a brand new park within a month of opening was so special for me, and the experience was totally magical.

Wow, I really struggled writing this; I hate finding negatives in things! I’ll probably come back to this a million times and change and add things when they spring to mind!

What do you love about the parks you’ve visited?

Twitter / Bloglovin / Instagram

4 thoughts on “The Ultimate Six Park Comparison

  1. I have only been to Walt Disney World, and Disneyland, CA! Disneyland Paris is the one I want to go to next. It’s a part of my bucket list to visit all the Disney Parks someday! I personally prefer Walt Disney World over Disneyland, but Disneyland is still very special to me since Walt made Disneyland\ spent a lot of time in it!

    • Yeah, I think it depends a lot on the experience you want. WDW is amazing and a perfect holiday destination but Disneyland is just a special place to me x

  2. We’ve been to California and Paris.
    As you say, you can’t really have a favourite, more favourite bits of each park that may work better for you.
    California was good, but I think as a family we were a bit overwhelmed .
    We met piglet, so I was happy.
    The big let down for us was the special assistance pass.
    ANYONE can go to city hall and get one. They say they cannot discriminate, but just because you fell a bit tired that day, or think it’s your due to get one isn’t really fair on people who really need it.
    And even with the pass, they don’t let you get to meet characters when they are put. Because, I was told, it was discrimination to people who don’t get the pass.
    Paris was the first park we went to, the pass works well and is reasonably fair. We have had tons of pixie dust, which has always been nice. It’s easier to get to, you can go for 3or 4 days and don’t get jet lagged.
    So, on bail, Paris wins

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s