Why Do UK and Irish People Always Go to Walt Disney World Instead of Disneyland California?

BadPinkTink

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
This is something that has bugged me for years and years. When I tell friends, family, work colleagues I am going to Disney, they automatically assume Florida. I went to a book shop and looked for a travel guide for Disneyland California and the shop assistant pointed me to the Walt Disney World Florida books. Here on DIS, its always UK and Irish people trip planning for Florida.

Even though Disneyland California was Walts first park, no one in UK and Ireland knows it exists.
 

starrysky

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
I’ve been three times to Disneyland and we loved it. That being said it’s much smaller than the Florida resort. It’s two parks and again both smaller than WDW. Overall we would not plan more than say three days max at DL. The DTD area in DL is also much smaller.
Plus distance and travel time is also key for some people to get to LA it’s just too far and also there’s plenty to fill the two weeks most take for WDW holidays.
If you are planning on going to DL as I said it’s great and they have rides that they don’t have at WDW so that’s cool to see them (Mr Toad and Snow White for example) We have always factored DL into longer trips to the LA area. Keep in mind that DL is around an hour (or more) with traffic from the rest of the sights of LA. So we tend to stay a couple of nights in Anaheim and then move up into LA
 

eeyorefanuk

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 6, 2009
I am from the UK and I think for some it is once in a lifetime holiday as we thought. We went for Florida as more Disney parks and more to do like that

I have been to Cali and loved it too but for me if someone said which one and loved theme parks I would say Florida. Also as most is within close area
 
  • wifey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2005
    This is something that has bugged me for years and years. When I tell friends, family, work colleagues I am going to Disney, they automatically assume Florida. I went to a book shop and looked for a travel guide for Disneyland California and the shop assistant pointed me to the Walt Disney World Florida books. Here on DIS, its always UK and Irish people trip planning for Florida.

    Even though Disneyland California was Walts first park, no one in UK and Ireland knows it exists.
    We know it exists and have done for decades. It’s purely down to these facts that (a) flights out there can be expensive and (b) it’s a long way to travel for most of us ( but not all) and takes its toll when we don’t all have easy access to vacation time from work. Personally it takes my family a day to drop the pets off and leave instructions for the house sitter and then travel to the airport have an overnight stay and then board a plane. Now factor in indirect flights can be cheaper than direct they also can as a longer time to the journey over. Add on the queues at Customs and Border Control and then transport to the resorts sometimes another entire day has past by and that’s just getting to WDW. Yes we have often taken an entire day before we arrived where we were headed. As much as we’d love to go to the original park great rides and wonderful history and fab resorts, logistically it’s not an attractive prospect for my family. Now we’ve been to DLP and that was ok but not as good at the time as WDW and it was winter. I’m not as blown away by their setup. That said we may go back in the future.
     

    Pooh's-Honey-Pot

    Secretly prefers Tangled to Frozen...
    Joined
    May 31, 2007
    I’ve been three times so it’s a bit sweeping to say none of us know it exists!! However the reasons probably are that Disneyland is a longer and therefore more expensive flight, and it’s really only a 3-4 day trip, rather than a whole holiday (unless you are adding extra areas in California in).
     
  • finchy3

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Jan 30, 2014
    We always go to Anaheim having been to WDW only once.

    With DL being Walt’s park means a lot to us :love:
     

    alanandline

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2019
    You weren’t watching very hard then if you didn’t see any for DLP!
    I think the advertising for WDW is far clearer and creates a better ‘you really want to come here’ or at least it did. I think DLP advertising has improved a bit lately.

    This is something that has bugged me for years and years. When I tell friends, family, work colleagues I am going to Disney, they automatically assume Florida. I went to a book shop and looked for a travel guide for Disneyland California and the shop assistant pointed me to the Walt Disney World Florida books. Here on DIS, its always UK and Irish people trip planning for Florida.

    Even though Disneyland California was Walts first park, no one in UK and Ireland knows it exists.
    As all said before.

    Also we have lots of package holiday companies that go to WDW but not Cali.
     

    peajay18

    Diamond In The Rough
    Joined
    Jan 23, 2007
    As others have said, it's a combination of flight length and things to do outside of Disney when you arrive that make WDW the easy choice for a 2 week holiday (and if we're travelling that far, it tends to be for a longer trip)
    I've been to Cali and DL a couple of times, and I love it, but almost feel like I've done everything if I'm there more than a week.
    2 weeks in Florida at WDW can be very relaxing if that's what you're after.
     

    tinkerbell1991

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 12, 2011
    I agree with some comments above regarding the flight length and amount of parks in the Orlando area including Universal, SeaWorld, Discovery Cove.

    I realise there is other stuff to do in California but I'd much rather stick with parks and Orlando offers more of these.

    I'm fully aware that California exists but Disney themselves don't advertise it a lot over here whether through billboard, tv adverts, radio adverts etc so I naturally sway towards WDW.
     
  • Chrisizzle

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 9, 2019
    I don’t think it’s a “UK” or “Irish” thing. If you listen to The Dis Unplugged podcasts or on YouTube, they are always saying that Disneyland is a “locals” park. Meaning, something like 80% of guests are people from within a 200km drive. Versus Disneyworld where 80% of guests are not from Florida.
     

    wayneg

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 24, 2003
    We have been to Disneyland CA 3 times, we love History and the Walt Disney story so somewhere we had to visit. But as a holiday destination it struggles for us, Flight times longer, hotels more expensive, last visit August 2017 basic room at Castle Inn cost just over £100/nt. This year Grand Villas, LBV, 2 bed suite £45/nt. I also struggle with traffic and distances between attractions in Cali, not as enjoyable as driving in Florida.
    Most we have spent at DLR is 9 nights, more than enough, WDW area we go for 3+ weeks and could stay longer.
    So lots of us know it exists, most of us just prefer Florida.
     

    marcgiu

    Marcgiu
    Joined
    Oct 14, 2007
    I think for most it's a distance and options thing. Orlando has a wider range of parks, hotels and it's around 2-3 hours closer.
    For us we are DVC members and love OKW in Orlando so couldn't imagine going anywhere else
     

    Jkarrows

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2012
    We have been as a family but there are many factors to Disneyland,

    There is only two parks where as Florida has Six if you include the two water parks.
    Everything in Florida is close so if you want to do more then Disney it is easier, we did Sea world San Diego and we did Universal Studios Hollywood and both are a long drive, Universal is close but the road network is appalling and take hours to do a few miles.
    You get free Disney travel from Florida Airport which you do not in California.
    You can easily spend two weeks in Florida and not see or do everything but in California 3-4 days and your done.

    Now do not get me wrong we loved Disneyland but it's not a two week holiday you have to do other things, if you can make it a multi destination trip then i would say go for it, we stayed in Anaheim only a couple of miles for Disneyland.

    As stated it is also cheaper to go to Florida.
     

    iHEARTflorida

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 18, 2006
    Disneyland isn't a 2 week holiday destination, unless you visit other places in CA.

    WDW is a much more simpler 2 week holiday destination - no need to change hotels, to even have to drive etc...

    Brits know Disneyland exists
     

    pigby

    <font color=66CC33>This one might be a little more
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2000
    I have been to Orlando many times and California 5 or 6 times now. We don't hire a car as we spend a week in Anaheim - 6 day ticket for parks which you walk to plus a day at Knotts Berry Farm (short bus ride) then get a taxi to LA to spend a week in Hollywood/SantaMonica - use the metro a lot. Perfectly do-able. Disney don't promote Disneyland to the Brits but do to the Australians and vice versa for Florida which is a bit of a bugbear. Also we got Thomas Cook flights for Los Angeles for less than £500 each last September which was cheaper than Orlando plus climate in LA is a lot better than Florida at that time of year.
     

    pahoben

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2013
    Good decision making ability. If you are going to invest a relatively large amount for tickets then WDW/Orlando offers much more.
     

    pigby

    <font color=66CC33>This one might be a little more
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2000
    Re tickets - WDW are quite a bit more expensive - and rightly so as more attractions but do believe its worth trying both WDW and DLR as they have their own unique qualities. Nothing beats Walts original park in my opinion.
     

    pahoben

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2013
    Re tickets - WDW are quite a bit more expensive - and rightly so as more attractions but do believe its worth trying both WDW and DLR as they have their own unique qualities. Nothing beats Walts original park in my opinion.
    Respect your preference and Disneyland was his first but in my view WDW was his magnum opus. :)

    Again I agree with you that each has its individual charm.
     

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