Comparing Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort and Disneyland Paris - Part 2

This series of blog posts analyses the difference between the three Disney resorts I've visited - Disneyland Paris, Walt Disney World in Florida, and Disneyland Resort in California. Come explore the similarities, differences and quirks in all three resorts.

In this series I'll analyse the parks in terms of their atmosphere, offerings, attractions, accommodation, resort size, entertainment, food, the magic and their cast members. As well as giving them all a score for each category.

In the second part of this series, the spotlight is on accommodation, resort size and entertainment. To read the first part of the series click here

Walt Disney World has the biggest variety of resort hotels with more than can be counted on your fingers and toes. Deluxe hotels, in particular, have a transportational quality making you forget you're in Central Florida and immersing you in a different environment - you can be taken to a campsite, to the wilderness, the Polynesian, Africa, the Victorian Era, the world of Pixar, New Orleans and much more. The theming at the hotels is second to none, as are the amenities on offer. The variety of prices is also very appealing. The Art of Animation resort recently showed that exceptional theming is provided in all categories of hotel - not just the deluxe resorts!
Score: 5/5

Disneyland Resort - Only one of the hotels, the Grand Californian, really has the transportational quality at Disneyland Resort. The others seem like a Hilton with Disney branding, unfortunately. There are only three hotels too and they are all very, very expensive. Especially when you can get a much cheaper non-Disney hotel ten minutes' walk away.
Score: 2/5

Disneyland Paris has seven incredibly American-themed hotels and campsite which do immerse you in their environments though not quite to the extent of Disney World, but certainly a lot more than those at the Disneyland Resort. These hotels are significantly more expensive than those at Disney World though not quite on the scale of the Disneyland Resort.
Score: 3.5/5

Resort size:
Walt Disney World - The resort is huge, spanning 47 square miles (twice the size of Manhattan). That means Disney has lots of room to build things like lakes to cross by boat, all its resort hotels and a race track for example - it also has room to still double in size. Sometimes though, the resort seems almost two big - I spent three months there working and I still didn't manage to see everything. Things seem unnecessarily spaced out and when it takes 20-minutes on a bus to get from your hotel to the Magic Kingdom you know there's something wrong with the size of the resort. Image: Google Maps.
Score: 3/5

Disneyland Resort - A tiny resort with a very intimate feel though the main Disneyland park does feel a little small and cramped. Everything is within walking distance including the two parks which are literally opposite each other. Due to its location Disneyland doesn't really have room for expansion.
Score: 3/5

Disneyland Paris - At the moment the resort is still relatively small, though it is already larger than Disneyland Resort, and six times smaller than Disney World. Everything is walkable though it is a 20-minute stroll to the further on-site hotel and shuttle buses are provided. The size allows a good amount of exploration that the Disneyland Resort doesn't allow. Disneyland Paris has space to quadruple in size and the idea is that one day it will become a more compact Disney World.
Score: 5/5

Entertainment - Shows, Parades and Characters:
Walt Disney World - Magic Kingdom provides a wealth of entertainment in its park with dozens of character meet and greats. Unfortunately, there is only one real live 'stage show' which takes place up to five time a day in front of the castle. Magic Kingdom offers a few sit-down recorded shows such as Mickey's Philharmagic, Monster's Inc, Stitch, Carousel of Progress, Hall of Presidents, Country Bear Jamboree and the Tiki Room, most of which feel vastly out of date. Animal Kingdom offers the most incredible shows, followed by Hollywood Studios. EPCOT's world showcase is filled with street-mosphere (as is Hollywood Studios) and cinema-style shows too. The Magic Kingdom day parade is lacklustre, Animal kingdom's is slightly better, and EPCOT and Hollywood Studios do not offer parades.

Nighttime entertainment is widespread throughout the parks. Though none is offered at Animal Kingdom, in the evening EPCOT presents Illuminations, Magic Kingdom presents the wonderful Main Street Electrical ParadeCelebrate the Magic and Wishes and Hollywood Studios presents the magical Fantasmic.

Characters can be found throughout the parks but not 'randomly', usually being scheduled meet and greets.
Furthermore there are little touches the Magic Kingdom has such as the Welcome Show, the Trolley Show in the morning which is a magical start to the day, and the unadvertised Kiss Goodnight at the end of the day.

All that's needed to raise this score is more stage shows at the Magic Kingdom, parades at the other parks, a better MK parade (on it's way), more random meet and greets, and nighttime entertainment at Animal Kingdom (which is coming soon!).
Score: 4/5

Disneyland Resort has many more random character appearances, incredible casting with characters who are exceptionally true to life and are prepared to spend a long time chatting to guests, three nighttime shows despite there being only two parks and many many more stage shows. The parades at the two parks are also the most creative and fun parades I have ever seen too. It is a shame Disneyland does not have a nighttime parade but both Fantasmic and a fireworks show on the same night make up for it. Plus with luck and careful timing you can see World of Color too! I was not a fan of the castle fireworks show, Magical, in the slightest though the flying Dumbo was a cool addition.
Score: 4.5/5

Disneyland Paris - The day parades are as good as ever in Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park though they have now been running in one form or another for several years, though the floats still look very good. The music in Disneyland Park's parade is getting tiresome now though. There are no live stage shows at Disneyland Park or a nighttime parade. There are both scheduled and random character meet and greets at the parks which is a great variety. The stage shows at Walt Disney Studios Park are unique and well worth the watch. Disney Dreams is the premiere nighttime show and I can't quite work out if I have it tied with, or beating, World of Color in my all-time favourite nighttime show. I think it gets the edge.
Score: 2.5/5

Agree? Disagree? Think I've missed things? Let me know in the comments below.


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