Posts on Mix In Some Magic may contain affiliate links, which I earn a small commission from. These are provided for your convenience at no price increase to you and help me provide you with great content.

Posts on Mix In Some Magic may contain affiliate links, which I earn a small commission from. These are provided for your convenience at no price increase to you and help me provide you with great content.

If you’re planning your first visit to the Disneyland theme parks, you may be a little confused about the difference between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park. They are two separate parks right across from each other. When most people talk about Disneyland they are usually referencing both parks. It can be a bit confusing. So, this guide to the difference between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure will give you some clarity. Disneyland resort is 40 square miles and includes Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, Downtown Disney District, and the three on-site hotels(Disneyland Hotel, Paradise Pier, and Grand Californian).

Difference Between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure

In this post, I’ll talk about the difference between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park. We’ll go over some of the attractions you’ll find at each park and talk about using a park hopper ticket to visit both parks in one day.

Each of these parks has amazing themed lands, wonderful attractions, great shopping, and incredible entertainment! You’ll be able to visit with your favorite characters and enjoy iconic major attractions. You really need to plan to visit both parks on your visit. Let’s chat about the difference between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park.

If you need help planning your Disneyland vacation, I have a complete guide to planning for Disneyland that will walk you through a step-by-step planning process for Disneyland. Also, check out my top tips for visiting the Disneyland resort here.

Disneyland Planning Call

I also have a planning phone call that’s super popular! In this phone call, I can answer all of your Disneyland vacation questions and give you lots of tips and info tailored just to you and your group.

Discount Park Tickets and Hotels

Discount Disney Tickets

Please be aware, that Disney theme parks all require park tickets and reservations. Make sure you have both! Please don’t pay full price for your Disney tickets or hotel. My partners at Get Away Today have the very best deals on tickets and hotels. Their customer service is top-notch and they even have layaway plans. If you book a package with park tickets and a hotel room you can use my code MIX10 to save an extra $10. That’s more churro money, friends! You can book online here. Or, give them a call at 1-855-GET-AWAY and tell them Mix In Some Magic sent you for the very best deals!

I have a bunch of hotel reviews that might be helpful for you if you’re still trying to decide where you’d like to stay. I prefer to stay at a hotel within walking distance of the Disney parks. This is a great option for our family because I love being able to just walk over to the parks and walk back to the hotel when the day is over.

Disneyland Park

Here’s some information about Disneyland Park.

Overview

Disneyland opened on July 17th, 1955. It was created by Walt Disney and took approximately one year to construct. I have a whole episode on my podcast about opening day at Disneyland that’s really interesting! You can find it here. Disneyland is special because it is the original Disney park. It’s full of so much history and nostalgia. Walt Disney himself had a hand in creating many of the attractions that are still in the park today!

Themed Lands

The theming at Disneyland is unmatched! You’ll be able to explore Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Toontown, Frontierland, Galaxy’s Edge, Critter Country, New Orleans Square, and Adventureland. There’s so much to see and do in each land. Make sure you keep an eye out for the little details that are all around you!

Top Rides

Here are a few of the most famous and most popular rides at Disneyland! You can find a full guide with height requirements and ride descriptions here.

  • Haunted Mansion
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Rise of the Resistance

Don’t Miss At Disneyland

There are a few things you don’t want to miss when visiting Disneyland! Shopping on Main Street U.S. A. is always so fun! Pictures in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle, and eating a dole whip in the Tiki Room are a must! Make sure you check out the nighttime entertainment. It’s incredible!

Disney’s California Adventure Park

Here’s some information about California Adventure Park.

Overview

California Adventure is a 55-acre park that opened on February 9, 2001. It’s gone through quite a few changes over the years. This park has so much to offer and is considered by many to have more thrill rides than Disneyland Park.

Themed Lands

California Adventure has some great themed lands! It’s the home to Cars Land, which many consider to be the best themed areas in any of the Disney parks worldwide! You’ll also find Hollywood land, Grizzly Peak, Paradise Gardens Park, Pixar Pier, and Avengers Campus. There’s so much to see and do in all of the different lands!

Top Rides

Here are a few of the most famous and most popular rides at California Adventure! You can find a full guide with height requirements and ride descriptions here.

  • Radiator Springs Racers
  • Grizzly River Run
  • Incredicoaster
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Soarin Around the Worlds
  • Web Slingers: A Spiderman Adventure
  • Toy Story Midway Mania

Don’t Miss At California Adventure

Here are a few things you won’t want to miss when visiting California Adventure! Shopping on Buena Vista Street is always fun, and eating at Pym’s test kitchen in Avengers Campus is a great idea! Make sure you check out Carsland at night and during the day. The nighttime entertainment show, World of Color is pretty impressive! Don’t miss it if you have time!

Park Hopper Vs Single Park Per Day Tickets

Disneyland offers two types of tickets. There’s a park hopper ticket and a single park per day ticket option. If you buy a park hopper, you’ll be able to visit both parks on the same day. The parks are across from each other and only take a few minutes to walk from one to the other. You cannot hope to your second park until 1 pm.

Many people absolutely love the park hopper option. I think it’s great if you only have one day to visit and want to experience both parks. But, because it’s so much more expensive I usually recommend the single-day tickets option.

There’s so much to see and do in each park. You don’t need to park hop. I prefer to spend an entire day(or two) in each park so I can really experience each park fully.

I hope this helped you understand the difference between Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Park. They are both so different and both worth a visit when you’re in Southern California. The Disneyland Resort is such a magical place. It really is the happiest place on earth!

Make sure you’re following me on Instagram for more Disney planning tips and lots of Disney fun!

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