Disneyland is to Walt Disney World as Snow White is to Cinderella – review

Disney Rollercoaster

Disney Rollercoaster

In saying Disneyland is to Walt Disney World (WDW) as Snow White is to Cinderella, I’m essentially saying they’re both wonderful and a fun family vacation can be had in both places.

Disneyland and WDW are similar in many ways and even have some duplications but there are distinct differences as well.

Location and limited space

Located in Anaheim, California, Disneyland is the result of Walt Disney’s dream to have a place to go where adults could have as much fun as their kids doing the same things. In other words, he wanted a place to go where kids of all ages could have fun together. Though popular from the beginning, it was quickly apparent Disneyland didn’t have the necessary scope to contain Walt’s ever growing and evolving vision for the future. After an initial attempt to locate Walt Disney World in St. Louis, Missouri, Walt chose Orlando, Florida.

Why was space needed?

If you’ve never been to Walt Disney World, there is simply no way to prepare you for the sheer size of the place. I’ll never forget as a child watching the Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday evenings and asking to go to Disneyland. My Dad, a regular tightwad, always said “not this year.” As an adult, my husband and I visited Disneyland once but have taken our family to Walt Disney World many times. Why one over the other? Frankly, we live a lot closer to WDW than Disneyland. Florida is a half day’s drive for us versus costly plane tickets to California. One year, we took my Mum and Dad. Upon arrival to our luxury hotel in Orlando within a stone’s throw of the WDW property, my dad looked around and asked, “How far to the rides?” He had no idea what he was in for.

Walt Disney World is the king of theme park land. It’s so much more than a couple of theme parks. It’s four; Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, which stands for (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom are all part of WDW. Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach are exciting heavily themed water parks. For shopping, there’s Downtown Disney and we can’t leave out ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex, also part of Walt Disney World. It’s simply huge. You could stay a month and still not begin to see and experience all there is to see and do at WDW. The theme parks are incredible and maintain classic favourites, such as The Teacups and Space Mountain, while constantly adding new attractions and wonders.

Does size count?

Disney Princess

Disney Princess

I’ve been asked many times if WDW is better than Disneyland because of its size. The answer isn’t as simple as yes or no. Like the two animated princess movies, Snow White and Cinderella, each is wonderful but each has its own distinct flavour. Simply basing your like or dislike of either based on one being small and one being large does them both a disservice.

Disneyland, like Snow White was the first attempt. Snow White was released to thrilled audiences in 1937. It was the first full length animated film. Young and old alike were absolutely captivated. The animated Cinderella movie, released later with new and improved techniques, didn’t detract in any way from Snow White. Each film is a classic wonder and are enjoyed as much today as ever.

Disneyland and California Adventure

Disneyland boasts two theme parks with Magic Kingdom being the original. Magic Kingdom was somewhat duplicated at WDW, although larger and with a different castle style. But Disneyland has that touch of nostalgia that only an original can have. The other Disneyland theme park is California Adventure and is specifically themed to all things wonderful about California. Although a few attractions from Disneyland’s California Adventure have found their way to WDW, Soarin’ Over California to name one, the theme park itself will not be duplicated in Florida making it forever distinct to Disneyland.

Favourite?

I can’t say I have an absolute favourite. Certainly, we’ve visited Walt Disney World more often and love it. But when we visited Disneyland, we felt the same joy. Frankly, like comparing Snow White to Cinderella, I find I love them both!

disneyAuthor Bio Michelle Rise is a homemaker and Mother of 5 and Disney enthusiast. With over 20 years of experience trekking through the Disney parks with her Family, Michelle has become an expert on navigating families through Disney. When not writing or teaching her children to drive, Michelle can be found chasing the family dog up Rainbow Mountain with her husband of over 25 years, Ben. Follow Michelle on Twitter, @Rise7up, for her latest blogs and writing!

Fascinating and Fun Theme Parks for Kids

If you’re like me, then you probably scour the internet looking for fun and exciting places to visit when you’re next travelling the globe. And what’s more exciting for the little ones than fantasy theme parks, roller coasters, and exciting rides? Well, nothing of course! So keep your kids happy by taking them to these exciting theme parks around the world.

Moomin World (Wikipedia)

Moomin World, Finland

The Moomin Theme Park, located in Kailo, is a unique attraction based on the Moomin books by Tove Johnson. Although not a traditional theme park in the sense that it has no rides, Moomin World keeps kids entertained with unique activities and fantasy trails to explore, such as Toffle’s Path with Witch’s Labyrinth, the Hattifattener’s Cave, and The Groke’s House.

Both kids and parents will enjoy exploring all 5 storeys of the blueberry coloured Moomin House, which is the main attraction of the park.

Other features include Hemulen’s yellow house, Moominmama’s Kitchen, the Fire Station, Snufkin’s Camp, Moominpappa’s Boat, and much more. Moomin characters parade the park – watch out for the witch in her cottage!

Gold Reef City

Gold Reef City, South Africa

Situated in Ormonde, Johannesburg, Gold Reef City Theme Park is an exciting theme park that features over 30 rides consisting of roller coasters, water rides, swings, and Ferris wheels to suit thrill-seekers, families, and children of all ages. In keeping with its name, this entertainment wonderland is themed around the gold rush on the Witswatersrand. Staff members wander around the park dressed in period costumes of the 1880s and the buildings are designed to mimic architecture of the same era.

Visitors can expect a day full of entertainment with shows at the amphitheatre, an opportunity to see how real gold is poured into barrels at the museum, as well as a chance to pan your own gold. Other features include an animal farmyard, 4D movie theatre, and a kids section with Cups and Saucers, a Jungle Train, Turtle Creek Putt-Putt, a Shongololo Coaster, and more.

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, USA

Hogwarts Castle at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Wikipedia)

This theme park is a fantastic amusement park based on the Harry Potter novels by JK Rowling. The themed area spans two theme parks in the Universal Orlando Resort in Florida. The park has been designed to launch in two phases, with the first phase having opened in 2010. The park features the Islands of Adventure which includes Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, a new attraction inside Hogwarts Castle. This ride simulates a tour of the castle and its grounds, with interactive characters and props, including a speech from Dumbledore, directions from Harry, Hermione, and Ron, and realistic animatronic versions of the Whomping Willow, a horde of dementors, giant spiders, the Hungarian Horntail Dragon, and a Quidditch match.

Honeydukes at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Wikipedia)

Other attractions include Dragon Challenge, a pair of inverted rollercoasters built to overlap and intertwine with one another. The queue for this ride features many props, including the Goblet of Fire, Triwizard Cup, the flying car featured in the second film, and Hagrid’s hut.

Visitors will also enjoy the family ride, Flight of the HippoGriff, and exploring Hogsmeade with many gift shops and restaurants from the books such as Dervish and Banges, Honeydukes, Ollivanders, Zonko’s Joke Shop, The Three Broomsticks, and The Hog’s Head. Attractions set to open in 2014 include a replica of Hogwarts Express that will take visitors between the two lands, Gringott’s Wizarding Bank, and Diagon Alley.

What exciting fun parks have you located around the world?

Author Bio: Lauren Morling is a content writer for TravelGround.  She loves reading fantasy novels, exploring real life film sets, and learning about what goes on behind-the-scenes of her favourite movies. On weekends, you’ll likely find her hanging out with friends and drinking Coca-Cola.

Top 5 destinations for cruising with your kids

Voyager of the Seas

Cruises aren’t just for honeymooners and retirees anymore. More cruise lines are creating very family friendly amenities to their ships, such as family suites and child-oriented activities. Below are five of the top destinations for cruising with your kids.

1. Alaska

The wild state of Alaska still has that frontier feel that will expose your children to animals, nature, and the outdoors in the most exciting way possible. The ships will typically have nature experts on board who can provide fun and educational experiences for your children as they learn about the true wilderness. On shore activities will generally include hiking on glaciers, kayaking, and other ways to explore Alaska’s treasures up close.

2. Hawaii

If you prefer warmer climes, then Hawaii might be the natural choice for you family. The breadth and beauty of the nature you’ll all see while cruising around the Hawaiian islands is another terrific experience. Here, the type of flora and fauna will be completely different from the Alaskan cold, but not less impressive. The massive waterfalls and beaches provide a variety of physical outings, like surfing, swimming, and hiking, that kids will love.

3. United States

Most Cruise Ships have great Kids Activities

There are loads of cruising options around the United States. Whether you find a new way to see New England, follow in the footsteps of Mark Twain down the Mississippi, or soak up the sun in the Gulf Coast. You can keep an international flavor as well by finding a cruise deals that will also take the family along the coasts of Canada or Mexico, depending on where your U.S. starting point is.

4. Australia

Cruising around Australia is a great option and can provide both an outdoors and city experience. Having this range of variety of places to see and activities can be particularly helpful if your children (and perhaps your spouse) have varying interests. This way, everyone has something to get excited about. Visiting Australia by cruise ship will also give you a fascinating way to see the Great Barrier Reef, along with on-board experts.

5. Galapagos Islands

For the family that does want a deep wildlife experience and wants to visit foreign, exotic lands, then the Galapagos Islands may be the perfect fit. The cruise ships visiting this area tend to be smaller, which creates a more personal experience. The animals on the islands (with some of its creatures existing no where else in the world) have no fear of humans, which allows children a truly personal interaction with them. The ships will have naturist experts leading the educational activities. There is also generally a good range of leisure activities, such as snorkeling, diving, and glass bottom boating.

A few travel tips from our family trip to the USA

Mimi Mouse and the Family

The following post is courtesy of Hailee Meehan who has recently returned from an overseas trip with her family. She wrote a few tips about how they managed to get through the long flights during a trip to the USA with their 3 kids.

I thought I would drop you a line to say thanks for all the handy stuff I bought from you just before my holiday to the USA with my three kids. Jacob (6), Zara (5) and Tom (1) all had a great time and the products made my life so much easier.

I had the anti-bacterial wipes as well as the swipes case strapped to the outside of my nappy/day bag (AKA battle bag) and it was so convenient. The kids didn’t mind me wiping their hands with the anti-bacterial wipes, as opposed to the gels sold in the supermarket, as they didn’t leave a smell or funny taste. The envirosax bags were a godsend for storing jackets as we jumped states and climates. I even used the stuffed bag as a pillow on the flight home from LA!

Skiing in AmericaThe flight coming home was a nightmare with cancelled connection flights, snow delays and lost baggage. 30 hours of travel with three young kids is never easy. But we were able to keep our cool with good team work between myself and my husband and a tube of vegemite for our fussy eaters! I also took a lot of the ‘Rafferty’s Garden’ squeezy tubes of baby food as well. Tom was happy to suck the food straight out of the sachet without the need to carry around a messy spoon and bowl. It was also a lot lighter to transport and reseal than the cans or bottles of baby food, and I can report can also be convenient when feeding in the dark! (Sometimes I just can’t make sense of the food service times).

With having to go through several screening points coming home, I thought the baby sling from you guys was indispensible to keep wiggly, but not quite walking, Tom secure and off the dirty airport floor. Because we were travelling with baby food, we were required to submit to extra screening and testing of the food. I kept all items for testing in one large clip seal bag, so that I could pull all items out in one go and not have to rummage through the bag time after time. I learnt this through trial and error on the way over!!!

Family in AmericaThe older kids were mostly able to organise themselves for screening by learning to get their own tray and placing their ‘bobble art’ luggage trolley’s (also purchased from you!) up on the conveyor belt. I had packed in each bag; toys, a spare set of clothes, snacks and sticker books. This freed up space in the nappy bag, gave the kids independence and responsibility and saved me from having to constantly rummage through the bottomless nappy bag. The kids loved the option of carrying and pulling the bags when they felt they needed to.

All in all we had a great time, but I couldn’t say it was easy! But some organising, good gadgets and a willingness to give it a go made it possible. I’d do it again anytime, because at the end of the day, it was a fabulous experience. In fact we are going to the UK next year, with an extra one – will see you before then for some more shopping!

Hailee

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