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

csimon

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
I've been to California once on my own (in 2017) and going again this November. The main reason why I think it's off the radar is that Disney UK doesn't push it. It's only Florida and Paris that they give you on the UK site. You have to specifically go loking for California, and they do not provide flight and accommodation packages for the UK so you have to do it all yourself. But to be honest, the California site is more of a locals park - they don't really need to advertise for it internationally. I'd been to Florida several times and really wanted to visit California but honestly I didn't know how to go about it as an inexperienced solo traveller. I have to say it was quite scary putting it all together for the first time! There is indeed also an awareness problem due to Florida and Paris being pushed so much in the UK - I was talking to soem people in work abpout my upcoming tips and there were a couple of people who didn't actually realise that there was a California site and that it was the original from 1955. They thought Disney was Florida. BTW I prefer California Disneyland and Paris Disneyland over Magic Kingdom!
 

Jkarrows

Mouseketeer
Joined
Apr 6, 2012
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.
If you do not hire a car how did get from the Airport to Anaheim as it is quite some distance?

Interested as when we went the only viable option was car hire and then you had to leave the airport by bus to collect the car from Alamo which after a long flight added around an hour before we sat in our car.

The taxi from Anaheim to LA must have been expensive, when we travelled to LA we left super early to miss all the traffic and it still took us two and a half hours to travel the 26 miles.

I know they are doing a lot of work to upgrade the I-5 N road so may be it has improved now.
 

csimon

Earning My Ears
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
If you do not hire a car how did get from the Airport to Anaheim as it is quite some distance?
I've used Disneyland Resort Express (dre.coachusa.com) - picks up directly outside the LAX terminal doors every hour or so and has routes to all Disney hotels and hotels in the immediate vicinity of Disneyland. I think its around $50 round trip. Super Shuttle is another similar service, slightly cheaper and runs later at night, although a slightly more awkward booking and check-in process - so I went for simplicity! I'm sure there are others, and individual hotels may also run their own shuttles.

I won't drive overseas so I depend on services like this. If visiting Disney only, you don't need further transport. Getting to other places thought like Universal, Magic Mountain (and other non-theme park places!) etc is very difficult if not hiring a car. Obviously, getting to Knotts is very easy - just pick up an ART bus at the Disney bus loop for a nominal fee.
 
  • pigby

    <font color=66CC33>This one might be a little more
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2000
    If you do not hire a car how did get from the Airport to Anaheim as it is quite some distance?

    Interested as when we went the only viable option was car hire and then you had to leave the airport by bus to collect the car from Alamo which after a long flight added around an hour before we sat in our car.

    The taxi from Anaheim to LA must have been expensive, when we travelled to LA we left super early to miss all the traffic and it still took us two and a half hours to travel the 26 miles.

    I know they are doing a lot of work to upgrade the I-5 N road so may be it has improved now.
    We always get a three way town car booked in advance - ie airport to Anaheim then Anaheim to LA and finally LA back to airport. You were super unlucky with the journey from Anaheim to LA - normally only takes an hour tops - this last time we left in the evening as we wanted to spend our last day in the park. We used Lansky - cant remember how much now but they have a website if you wanted a quote - much preferred to attempting to drive especially around Hollywood. We have used Supershuttle in the past also which is a bit cheaper for a shared ride but then you are waiting around at the kerbside outside arrivals at the airport instead of having someone to greet with a sign with your name on it. Universal is not difficult if you are staying near Hollywood Boulevard (one stop on the Metro red line for us) but a different matter if you are just staying in Anaheim.
    Another place worth going is Santa Monica (accessible on the Metro from LA/Hollywood areas) and Warner Bros Studios (on the bus from Hollywood Boulevard) - in addition to Warner Bros tour, you can put your name down for a live taping - we saw Big Bang Theory this time and have seen Two and a half Men in the past. Magic Mountain is doable without a car via Metro and dedicated bus but doesn't leave you a massive amount of time in the park and we weren't mega impressed. Again you would struggle if staying in Anaheim - thats why we split our stay.
    Incidentally, the max park pass ticket is 5 days but there are other things to do in the area if you stayed for 2 weeks in Anaheim - and we have done in the past - on that occasion we bought an Annual pass and went back again within the year. These days we prefer to do the split stay as so much to do in LA/Hollywood.

    If anyone needs any specific info (links to timetables for buses etc) let me know.
     
    Last edited:

    Jkarrows

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2012
    I've used Disneyland Resort Express (dre.coachusa.com) - picks up directly outside the LAX terminal doors every hour or so and has routes to all Disney hotels and hotels in the immediate vicinity of Disneyland. I think its around $50 round trip. Super Shuttle is another similar service, slightly cheaper and runs later at night, although a slightly more awkward booking and check-in process - so I went for simplicity! I'm sure there are others, and individual hotels may also run their own shuttles.

    I won't drive overseas so I depend on services like this. If visiting Disney only, you don't need further transport. Getting to other places thought like Universal, Magic Mountain (and other non-theme park places!) etc is very difficult if not hiring a car. Obviously, getting to Knotts is very easy - just pick up an ART bus at the Disney bus loop for a nominal fee.
    This must be something new as was not around when we last visited back in 2016 otherwise we would 100% have used the Disney service, perhaps they realised how difficult it could be for people like yourself who has no intention on driving.
     

    Jkarrows

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2012
    We always get a three way town car booked in advance - ie airport to Anaheim then Anaheim to LA and finally LA back to airport. You were super unlucky with the journey from Anaheim to LA - normally only takes an hour tops - this last time we left in the evening as we wanted to spend our last day in the park. We used Lansky - cant remember how much now but they have a website if you wanted a quote - much preferred to attempting to drive especially around Hollywood. We have used Supershuttle in the past also which is a bit cheaper for a shared ride but then you are waiting around at the kerbside outside arrivals at the airport instead of having someone to greet with a sign with your name on it. Universal is not difficult if you are staying near Hollywood Boulevard (one stop on the Metro red line for us) but a different matter if you are just staying in Anaheim.
    Another place worth going is Santa Monica (accessible on the Metro from LA/Hollywood areas) and Warner Bros Studios (on the bus from Hollywood Boulevard) - in addition to Warner Bros tour, you can put your name down for a live taping - we saw Big Bang Theory this time and have seen Two and a half Men in the past. Magic Mountain is doable without a car via Metro and dedicated bus but doesn't leave you a massive amount of time in the park and we weren't mega impressed. Again you would struggle if staying in Anaheim - thats why we split our stay.
    Incidentally, the max park pass ticket is 5 days but there are other things to do in the area if you stayed for 2 weeks in Anaheim - and we have done in the past - on that occasion we bought an Annual pass and went back again within the year. These days we prefer to do the split stay as so much to do in LA/Hollywood.

    If anyone needs any specific info (links to timetables for buses etc) let me know.
    No was like it every single day, if you left after 7am you would expect a 3-4 hour drive, even the hotel told us when we went to LA to leave no later then 6am.

    This was 2016 so may have changed but the roads were grid locked.
     

    pigby

    <font color=66CC33>This one might be a little more
    Joined
    Dec 11, 2000
    No was like it every single day, if you left after 7am you would expect a 3-4 hour drive, even the hotel told us when we went to LA to leave no later then 6am.

    This was 2016 so may have changed but the roads were grid locked.
    Oh Ok - we were last there this last September 2018 - we were stuck in a bit of traffic from the airport to Anaheim and the journey took longer than expected but Anaheim to LA was fine (but it was around 7pm when we left). Maybe the situation has improved in these last couple of years?
     
  • Jkarrows

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2012
    This is what it was like, not our picture but gives you an idea from 7am till 9am and then from 4pm till 8pm.

    Next time we go were stay 5 nights in Anaheim and then stay in LA near to Universal and spend so time there, never again doing that traffic jam.
     

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    BadPinkTink

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    If you do not hire a car how did get from the Airport to Anaheim as it is quite some distance?

    Interested as when we went the only viable option was car hire and then you had to leave the airport by bus to collect the car from Alamo which after a long flight added around an hour before we sat in our car.

    The taxi from Anaheim to LA must have been expensive, when we travelled to LA we left super early to miss all the traffic and it still took us two and a half hours to travel the 26 miles.

    I know they are doing a lot of work to upgrade the I-5 N road so may be it has improved now.
    I dont drive and I have been going to LA and Disneyland every year since 2010.

    I use www.supershuttle.com shared ride van approx$17 per person each way between the airport LAX and Disneyland. The travel time is usally 1 hour once you leave LAX.

    I spend 1 week in LA / Hollywood area and then I get the train from Union Station in LA to Anaheim. In Anaheim I use the ART local bus network.

    While in LA / Hollywood I use the bus and underground system to get around. They have a prepaid travel card system similar to The Oyster Card in London. Its called TAP card and I top up online and use it on the bus and underground networks.

    Over the years I have been to Universal Studios, Paramount Studio Tour, Warner Bros Studio Tour, Hollywood Boulevard / Hollywood Sign, saw a film at The Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, Madame Tousards Hollywood Boulevard, La Brea Tar Pits, Santa Monica Pier, The Grove / Farmers Market, Old Town Pasadena, and a Hop on Hop Off Open Top Bus Tour.
     

    Jkarrows

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Apr 6, 2012
    I dont drive and I have been going to LA and Disneyland every year since 2010.

    I use www.supershuttle.com shared ride van approx$17 per person each way between the airport LAX and Disneyland. The travel time is usally 1 hour once you leave LAX.

    I spend 1 week in LA / Hollywood area and then I get the train from Union Station in LA to Anaheim. In Anaheim I use the ART local bus network.

    While in LA / Hollywood I use the bus and underground system to get around. They have a prepaid travel card system similar to The Oyster Card in London. Its called TAP card and I top up online and use it on the bus and underground networks.

    Over the years I have been to Universal Studios, Paramount Studio Tour, Warner Bros Studio Tour, Hollywood Boulevard / Hollywood Sign, saw a film at The Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard, Madame Tousards Hollywood Boulevard, La Brea Tar Pits, Santa Monica Pier, The Grove / Farmers Market, Old Town Pasadena, and a Hop on Hop Off Open Top Bus Tour.
    Thank you for sharing.
     

    Mrs Doubtfire

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 27, 2006
    I'm not sure why it bugs you, each to their own. Less people who go means it will be better for you to visit. Most people only think of London when coming to the UK.

    I've been to Disneyland. DLP and WDW, but have returned more frequently to WDW as we prefer it, and it provides the family holiday we are looking for.
     
  • Obi Wan Kenobi

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 30, 2004
    i think there are a few factors,
    First is the distance and flying time, plus the jet lag is much worse
    Second us more choice of airlines flying into Florida
    Third is that most UK people go for a two week stay and the choice of things to do are greater in Florida
    The sheer size of WDW makes people think that California is a poor chouce
    Many people go for more than just Disney in Florida
    Marketing
    Perceptions. There is a feeling that California is full of fake people and gangs,
     

    jackieleanne

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 17, 2008
    To make a sweeping statement and say that everyone doesn't know it exists is wrong. I'm from the UK and went once in 2003 with my parents, I've also looked at going since then as we love the history etc and I want to take my fiance. I actually looked into it as a honeymoon but it is far more expensive for hotels than WDW especially as we want to go all out with our accommodation. I couldn't justify the prices of the Grand etc, even Paradise Pier is astronomical and a few days offsite can be more than a 2 week break in Orlando accommodation wise.

    Also with UK tickets being available for Disney World that cover the full amount of your stay they are a lot better value money wise. In addition to this they have only just introduced direct flights to LA from Manchester where I live, an even then it's only in the Summer Months. The flight time, the additional flight costs plus other factors make LA a more once in a life time trip.

    In addition to this, Disneyland Park itself is similar to Disneyland Paris for the most part, where I can go for £40 a day at the moment or £60 for a 2 park 1 day hopper ticket. An annual passes are great value.

    Everyone can do as chooses and we love Disney World for the amount of parks and the ease to get around on property.

    Another point for us is the jetlag which is much harder to deal with than the distance especially when arriving back in the UK. For instance after visiting my friend in Vancouver it took me over a week to get my pattern back, an despite having a full weekend off before back at work I ended up taking another two days off work due to jetlag and getting no sleep.
     

    Smoomoo

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    May 8, 2018
    I love Disneyland and I also love Disneyworld. They are two different experiences.
    DL is a little harder to organise as there are not so many options and you pretty much have to plan it yourself, but, once there to me DL is very laid back no mega planning required which is lovely.
    WDW is totally different as it so easy to book but there's a lot of planning that's required to get the most of your stay, but, I love the planning and there are a lot of resources to help with that.
    I am sure that UK and Ireland people know about DL, but, WDW is so much easier to book here.
     

    wifey

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    May 7, 2005
    Remember too that whilst DL was the original park Walt himself wasn’t happy with the spa e restrictions he had there. He had big plans and wanted desperately to expand to incorporate those plans. That’s why he looked for another location and went to Florida where there was so much potential for his grand plan for the future. He had his share of obstacles there too but he worked them through and secured the purchase of that property and started work with Roy's help of course. There are lots of photos and plans in D23 about all that and I’m sure those of you who do visit DL will have read about this surely. It makes me think what he would think now and Roy too about WDW it’s changed so much since those early days where as DL is pretty much how he built it with a few changes to keep it current.
    Both parks have their merits and maybe if travel isn’t a problem in the future more of us will get the option of an easier visit to DL ( probably when I’m an OAP) and they developed something to combat the jet lag we can only wait until that day comes around.
     

    Jon84

    wdwaddictuk
    Joined
    Jun 30, 2015
    We've been twice, mixed it in with other trips.

    First was in the middle of a Vegas trip, second was in the middle of a WDW Trip :)

    The main thing has to be the Distance, it's why you see more Japanese tourists in DLR than you do WDW.

    I love all the parks, just need to get out to the Asia ones now!
     
    Joined
    Oct 23, 2015
    When I was traveling in the UK a few years ago? I saw lots of advertising for WDW on TV, no DLP or DLR
    Even in the U.S. this is the case (well..no adverts at all that I've seen for DLP).

    Outside of the CA region (maybe a bit up northwest) you'll see things for WDW not DLR. In fact I've only seen 1 commercial that showed images of DLR and that was a state of California commercial.

    Universal on the other hand has a lot of their advertisements at least mention Hollywood (even if it's just in the logo) even when talking about Orlando.
     

    Relishy57

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 14, 2019
    I’ve been to Disneyland 3 times and WDW numerous times but I haven’t been to DLParis yet.
     

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