The Disney parks are in essence cities. The Disney World Resort in Orlando is actually about the same size as San Francisco. Which is better, Disney World or Disneyland? How can you compare Disney World’s scale to Disneyland?

Take a look at the two locations and see what they have to say. See how they differ in size.

Disneyland vs. Disney World Size

What is Disneyland’s size? When Walt Disney bought a 160-acre parcel in Anaheim, California to build his first Disney theme park, the idea began to take shape. It opened in 1955 and was a huge success. This led to Disney’s desire for a bigger theme park.

California is now home to two Disney parks, California Adventure and California Adventure. However, California still has a small footprint compared to Disney World. You might be wondering, “How many acres are Disneyland?” The original 160-acre parcel has grown to encompass 500 acres in a bustling Anaheim.


The shopping and entertainment districts outside of the parks are available at both Disneyland and Disney World. It’s known as Disney Springs in Florida and Downtown Disney in California.

Disney purchased a larger piece of Florida land in 1965, as California’s space was limited by the surrounding cities. Walt Disney World covers 43 square miles (or 27,520 acres) and is significantly larger than its older brother. It now covers 47 miles.

How many Disneyland parks are there?

Disneyland may be small compared to Disney World, but it packs a big punch. There are two separate theme parks on its grounds.


The original park has nine distinct lands and rides. There are also merchandise, character meetings, food, and other attractions. Every land has its own theme, including light fixtures and architecture. These lands include:

  • Adventureland.

  • Critter Country.

  • Fantasyland.

  • Frontierland.

  • Main Street U.S.A.

  • New Orleans Square.

  • Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge.

  • Tomorrowland.

  • ToonTown (temporarily shut down).

Disney California Adventure

California Adventure opened in February 2001, almost 50 years after Disneyland.

The park was originally designed to celebrate California’s highlights. However, it has since been redesigned to include new themes such as the conversion of Paradise Pier to Pixar Pier which is a tribute to California’s beach boardwalks to .

How many parks is Disney World?

It would be a reasonable expectation that Disney could have created a larger theme park in Florida on a larger area of land. Walt Disney World was first opened in 1971. It consists of four different theme parks and two waterparks. These parks are a big tourist attraction, with Magic Kingdom attracting upwards of 17 million visitors annually.

Magic Kingdom

Disneyland’s doppelganger is Magic Kingdom. Magic Kingdom has a similar structure to Disneyland’s original park, and includes many themed lands.


Epcot is shorthand for Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow. It was actually a city that existed as an independent entity. This was Walt Disney’s original vision, but it was reworked to the current form after his death. There are several “worlds” within Epcot, including:

  • World Nature.

  • World Discovery.

  • World Celebration.

  • World Showcase.

Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios houses the newest expansion to Walt Disney World. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opened 2019 to great fanfare.

Hollywood Studios offers a variety of entertainment such as Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.

Animal Kingdom

Animal Kingdom is the newest park to open at Disney World. It was opened in 1998 and has been welcoming guests ever since. The park is centered on animals and offers a range of interactive experiences with them, including an off-road safari. At 580 acres, it is the largest park with a theme. This is more than all of Disneyland Resort combined.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

Typhoon Lagoon was Walt Disney World’s first water park. Although it is currently closed for renovation, it still features a variety of water slides, pools, and rides.

Disney’s Blizzard Beach Waterpark

Blizzard beach is the second water park at Disney World. It features winter-themed attractions like a chairlift and waterslides.

Disney World vs. Disneyland resorts

Disneyland and Disney World have their own hotels. However, you will find many more within the huge Walt Disney World complex than in Disneyland.

Disneyland’s hotels are the Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Paradise Pier and Disneyland Hotel.

Disney World offers a variety of resort options to its guests. These resorts are divided into different tiers according to their luxury and price. Deluxe resorts are the most costly, followed by moderate resorts and then value resorts. These include overwater bungalows as well as a safari-themed lodge.

To compare Disney World and Disneyland size

These two resorts share a lot, but size isn’t one of their commonalities. Disneyland, the original resort complex, is much smaller than Walt Disney World. Disneyland has fewer parks and hotels than Walt Disney World, but both locations offer the Disney magic.

Featured photo courtesy Disneyland Resort.

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