Attractions – Disneyland Park
With over 60 attractions, Disneyland Park blows the Magic Kingdom out of the water with only about 45 attractions. The Magic Kingdom is also notably missing attractions like the Matterhorn Bobsleds, Indiana Jones Adventure, and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Overall, the attractions in Disneyland Park have been better maintained, and most of the classic attractions in Disneyland have had major refurbishments to keep them up to date with modern technology.
Beauty – Disneyland Park
There is a beauty and charm in the Disneyland Park that the Magic Kingdom lacks. The large pink Tabebuia trees in the hub of the Disneyland Park make that area feel extraordinary. Between the trees and the blossoming flowers, guests are blown away standing in the hub of the Disneyland Park. In 1983 Disneyland’s Fantasyland had a beautiful refurbishment that brought that area of the park to the next level, and while the Magic Kingdom’s latest Fantasyland expansion is on the level of Disneyland’s Fantasyland, the rest of the land is not.
Castle – Magic Kingdom
Sorry Disneyland Park fans, but this one was easy. The Magic Kingdom hosts Cinderella’s Castle, which at 183 feet towers over Sleeping Beauty’s Castle, which stands at a cute 77 feet. Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is the original Disney parks castle, and it does score some points for that, but overall it doesn’t compare to Cinderella’s Castle. The Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough is a small touch to the castle, but that small experience doesn’t equate it with Cinderella’s Royal Table, the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique, and Cinderella’s Castle Suite.
Crowds – Tie
Before I ran the numbers I thought for sure that Disneyland was less crowded than the Magic Kingdom, and technically less people do visit Disneyland Park than the Magic Kingdom, but the Magic Kingdom is also bigger in size. I calculated how many guests visit each park per-day per-acre to find out how packed-in guests really are to both of these parks. According to data from 2014, the average attendance at Disneyland Park was about 45,942 guests, so being that the Disneyland Park is 85 acres it comes out to be that there are about 540 guests per-acre per-day. Over in the Magic Kingdom there is an average attendance of about 52,964 guests, so with 107 acres there are about 495 guests per-acre per-day. Purely looking at those numbers it looks like the Magic Kingdom should have won. The reason I left it as a tie is that with Disneyland Park hosting so many more attractions, the guests actually fill into the queues opening up the rest of the park. It was hard to determine beyond this point which park was truly more crowded.
Food – Disneyland Park
While the Magic Kingdom holds arguably the best restaurant in either of the two park in the Be Our Guest Restaurant, the rest of the Magic Kingdom falls flat compared to Disneyland Park’s food. Between the Plaza Inn, Jolly Holiday Bakery, Café Orleans, and even a lot of their basic quick service restaurants like Galactic Grill, the Magic Kingdom restaurants are blown out of the water compared to Disneyland. The quality of the food is simply better at Disneyland Park.
Location – Magic Kingdom
The Magic Kingdom is tucked away in the back of the Walt Disney World property just the way Walt Disney wanted it. When Walt Disney built Disneyland he never envisioned the huge amount of restaurants, stores, and hotels that would build up right outside Disneyland Park. Yes, it is harder to get to the Magic Kingdom than it is to walk right into Disneyland Park, but that is sort of the beauty behind it. In the Magic Kingdom you truly get to escape to a land that is untouched by the outside world.