Disneyland Paris vs Disney World: 2024 Comparisons

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Trying to decide between Disneyland Paris vs Disney World? Wondering which park delivers more value for your long-awaited vacation?

I visited both parks within three weeks of each other in May 2023. The differences are fresh in my mind and were quite obvious. Can you guess which is my favorite?

Key Takeaways:

  • Disneyland Paris – The clear winner for rides, cost and weather.
  • Disney World – Tops for resort hotels and size.

Read on because we’re pitting Disneyland Paris against Disney World, and you won’t believe which one takes the crown!

Fairytale Sleeping Beauty Castle at Paris Disneyland
Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris vs Disney World: Which is Better?

The exact same rides at Disneyland Paris vs Disney World are definitely better in Paris. They are faster and more intense. However, the sheer enormity of the Disney World Resort cannot be beaten for a week-long vacation.

There are so many factors to consider before deciding on Disneyland Paris vs Walt Disney World in Orlando. These include the weather, the relative size of each Disney resort, which is best for rides and resorts, and the difference between Disneyland Paris and Disney World in terms of popularity.  

Let’s dive in!

Woman standing in front of an Etch a Sketch and potato head figures at Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris
Me at the entrance to Walt Disney Studios Toy Story Land in Paris

Which is better for rides: Disneyland Paris or Disney World?

So – Disneyland Paris vs Disney World rides? This is tough. Not least because Disney World has four parks, compared to two in Paris. However, if we compare the exact same rides at each park, we as a family prefer the versions at the Paris parks. 

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates of the Caribbean ride flag at the ride entrance at Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris Pirates of the Caribbean

For example, the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Walt Disney in Paris is hands down ten times better than the equivalent at the Disney World resort in Florida.

Personally, I have never liked the Disney World version because it is very dark and pretty boring. However, at the Paris park, I was, quite frankly, floored. 

In addition to the three dramatic drops on this ride, the theming was so much better. I even wanted to go on this ride again. This is saying a lot since I don’t really care for this ride at the Magic Kingdom.

Space Mountain

Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain ride at Disneyland Paris vs Disney World has a tube that launches you into space
Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain at Disneyland Paris

The same holds true for Space Mountain. Called Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain at Paris Disney, this ride is smooth and includes a thrilling inversion that its Disney World counterpart does not.

In addition, you blast off upon launch in Paris – an exciting component that is completely missing in Orlando.

However, no matter where you ride it, Space Mountain is still scary.

It’s a Small World

Outside of It's A Small World ride at Disneyland Paris - definitely better vs Disney World's same ride
Disneyland Paris’s It’s A Small World

Love it or hate it, this ride has a cult following.

Again, I prefer the version in Paris. The 300 dolls recently were repainted to make their original color pop. They were beautiful and not old and scary looking as the ones at Disney World.

The final room on the Paris ride is absolutely breathtaking. Small white lights outline each decoration which amplifies the majestic look overall. It’s just stunning. My picture does not do it justice.

In addition, the ride layout in Paris is more interesting: you start and end outside under a covered overhang. It really adds to the beauty of this ride.

Unique Rides at Each Park

In the past several years, Disney World in Orlando has added some amazing rides – namely the Guardians of the Galaxy at Epcot, Tron Lightcycle in the Magic Kingdom and Rise of the Resistance in Hollywood Studios. None of these are found at Paris Disneyland which is unfortunate as these are some of Disney’s most popular rides.

Plus, coasters such as Expedition Everest (Animal Kingdom) and Aerosmith’s Rock ‘n Roller Coaster (Hollywood Studios) are unique to the Orlando parks and some of the fastest rides at Disney World.

Roller coaster with tracks going up into a mountain and then showing the coaster coming back down - Expedition Everest - something they have at Disney World compared to Paris Disneyland
Expedition Everest at Disney World
Entrance to the Tron Lightcycle ride at Disney World
Tron Lightcycle at Disney World

On the other hand, Disneyland Paris also has a few unique additions: Crush’s Coaster (which is awesome), Avengers Assemble: Flight Force and Indiana Jones Temple of Peril which are all high-speed roller coasters.

In addition, there is Cars Road Trip which is a fun adventure for the whole family. One of the new experiences in Paris is the Spider-Man W.E.B Adventure where you use your hands to throw off webs to catch the spider bots Peter Parker accidentally created.

Ride vehicle on the outside part of Crush's Coaster at Disneyland Paris
Crush’s Coaster at Disneyland Paris
Three cars on display from the Disney Cars movie at Disneyland Paris
Cars Road Trip at Disneyland Paris

Similar Rides at Both Parks

Of course, there are also rides that are pretty much exactly the same at both parks such as:

  • Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin (Disney World) and Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast (Disneyland Paris)
  • Magic Carpets of Aladdin (Disney World) and Flying Carpets over Agrabah (Disneyland Paris)
  • Dumbo
  • Ratatouille’s Adventure

Winner: Disneyland Paris

Which is better for resorts: Disney World vs Disneyland Paris?

Disney World

Walt Disney World in Orlando comprises 26 Disney resorts, along with hundreds of hotels and resorts that lie within a 10 miles radius of the parks. Disneyland Paris consists of seven Disney resorts, plus a handful of affiliated hotels.

Walt Disney World resorts are divided into Value, Moderate and Deluxe Resorts.

There are even Deluxe Villas to book if you want kitchen facilities. Here, there are varying price points.

Grand, white Victorian hotel by water - the Grand Floridian - at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL
Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort

These range from just over $100 a night to a whopping $1,000 a night, depending on the season. All of these include free Disney transportation to all of Disney World: the parks, the water parks and Disney Springs.

The range of resort types at Disney World is just so vast. Some are large convention hotels like Coronado Springs, and yet some are so much smaller and cozier – such as Port Orleans French Quarter Disney hotel. There really is something for everyone.

Disneyland Paris

Disneyland Paris has only one five-star hotel – the Disneyland Hotel right at the main entrance.

The other six Disney resorts are two to four-star hotels at varying price points. Davy Crockett’s Ranch, for instance, has a fun nature theme and offers log cabin rentals.

However, let’s not forget that Disneyland Paris is only a 40-minute train ride from one of the most breathtaking cities in the world – Paris. Here, you will find any kind of accommodation you want.

We made this train trip in the past, and while it’s great for spending one day at Paris Disneyland, a holiday when you have more time and days to spend does definitely benefit from staying on-site. 

Winner: Walt Disney World

Which Disney park is cheaper?

So is a Disneyland Paris Parks ticket cheaper, or is Disney World a better bet in terms of affordability? This really depends on whether you’re adding transportation into the equation – and where you are coming from. 

Disney World

As of 2023, Disney increased the price of the Magic Kingdom’s one-day ticket to a minimum of $159. This price hike only affects Florida’s most popular park – so not Hollywood Studios or any of the others. It’s the first time Disney has differentiated prices between its Orlando parks.

Disneyland Paris

For the purposes of comparison, Disneyland Paris offers a one-day dated ticket to the main park for a minimum of $73 (as of May 2023). The exact sum depends on the season.

You can purchase either dated or undated tickets for Disneyland Paris. Undated tickets can be used anytime (and therefore are more expensive), although you do need to make a park reservation. Currently, a one-day undated ticket is $126 – meaning that’s the most you would pay. 

Purchasing a dated ticket, even for the day after Christmas, rings up at $117. That’s a big difference between Disney World’s Magic Kingdom ticket prices, especially when you’re buying for a family.

Yes, you can – and should – purchase multiple-day tickets if you will be visiting either location for more than a single day. For the purposes of simple comparison, though, looking at one-day tickets for the main park is a useful exercise. 

Winner: Disneyland Paris

Which park is easier to get to: Disneyland Paris or Disney World?

Another factor in the Disneyland Paris vs Orlando debate concerns getting there.

Obviously, how affordable and fast this is comes down to where you’re starting from. If you live in the USA, it is much easier to get to Florida than it is to France. Plus, many airlines have a hub at Orlando Airport home due to the huge influx of tourists to all the theme parks. 

Many people in the US live near airports with low-cost airlines flying nonstop to Orlando. This makes it inherently easier for those in North America to visit Disney World.

Getting to Disney World

After landing at Orlando International Airport, you do have to make the 20-mile trek to Disney World. As the Magical Express service ended a couple of years ago, you now have to pay for your own transportation. 

Options include shuttle buses, Uber, Lyft, rental cars, taxis or private vehicles. In addition, the new Brightline train serving Orlando Airport will offer a station close to Disney soon.

Getting to Paris Disneyland

If you live on the other side of the Atlantic, somewhere in Europe, then Disney World in France is the clear winner.

Thanks to Europe’s wide-ranging and efficient train transportation networks, you can get to Disneyland Paris from anywhere. Just head to the Marne la Vallee Chessy train station, which is just steps away from the theme park.

If you are flying into Paris CDG (Charles de Gaulle) international airport, you can take the Disneyland Express TGV train to reach the park in just 10 minutes.

Need to stop at your hotel? Hire a driver that will transport you and your luggage to your final Disneyland destination.

Wherever you’re based in Europe, you’ll find it easy to make your way to the Mouse!

But, what if you are not living in either North America or Europe? Then, it’s really a toss-up over which one is easier to get to for you.

Both have excellent airline connections. My advice would be to see what airfares and flight times work best for you.

Winner: tie

Which Disney park and resort is bigger?

Hands down, Disney World is much bigger than Disneyland Paris. In fact, Disney World is comparable in size to the city of San Francisco. Disney World is 43 square miles and Disneyland Paris is eight square miles – more than five times smaller.

Walt and Mickey bronze statues with flowers underneath at the entrance to Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris
Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris

That’s not to say that bigger is always better. In Europe, you can walk between Walt Disney Studios Park and Disneyland Park – exactly like you can at Disneyland in California. That is not the case in Florida unless you count the 25-minute walk between Epcot and Hollywood Studios.

In all other cases, you need to take some type of Disney transportation in Orlando to travel between parks. Whether that’s the bus, the monorail, the Skyliner or the Friendship boats.

Regarding the theme parks at both resorts, check out the details of what they offer.

Walt Disney World Resort:

  • Magic Kingdom
  • Epcot
  • Hollywood Studios
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Blizzard Beach Waterpark
  • Typhoon Lagoon Waterpark
  • Disney Springs

Disneyland Paris Resort:

  • Disneyland
  • Walt Disney Studios
  • Disney Village

The Disney Village shopping area is quite small and in no way compares to the vast selection of shopping, entertainment and other fun things to do at Disney Springs.

Winner: Walt Disney World

Which destination has the best weather: Florida or Paris?

Another factor in the Disneyland Paris vs the Magic Kingdom and other Florida parks conundrum might be the weather.

It really depends on what is meant by ‘best’. Some people, myself included, cannot stand the heat and humidity of Orlando. 

For us, it really is no fun to be standing in an hour-long line under the blazing Florida sun during the summer months.

The humidity level here is so high that it hits you in the face as soon as you walk outside. On the other hand, cold days in Orlando are mercifully few and far between.

I did spend a few days at Disney World when we needed to purchase gloves, hats and blankets at Walgreens because it was so cold. So definitely check the weather forecast in the winter.

Young girl with fan in the heat at Disney World
It can be hot and humid in Florida…..
Young girl dressed for winter posing next to Donald Duck
…but check the weather in winter because it can get cold!

More often than not, though, it will be quite toasty in Orlando. Though yes, you do have to watch out for extreme weather such as strong storms and hurricanes. We rode out Hurricane Ivan at Disney World in 2022. Although the parks were closed for two days, we felt completely safe with their strict building codes.

Paris weather, however, is a little more manageable in my opinion. While winter temperatures are colder, isn’t that what you want when you are visiting during the holiday season and drinking hot chocolate?

Paris does see some snowfall at times, but it is pretty rare and it does not stick around for too long. Nor does it come down in any measurable quantity.

Winner: Disneyland Paris 

Disneyland Paris Castle vs Disney World Castle

Each of Disney’s castle parks has its own nod to a great Disney princess. Let’s check out the differences between these two.

Disneyland Paris Castle

Sleeping Beauty Castle at Paris Disney - how do the castles compare at Disneyland Paris vs Disney World
Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland Paris

Modeled after the first castle in Anaheim, the Disneyland Paris castle, or Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant in French, is dedicated to Sleeping Beauty.

Walk around the second level and gaze at the beautiful stained glass windows that depict the story of Sleeping Beauty, her prince and Malificent.

Stained glass depicting the story of Sleeping Beauty at her castle in Disneyland Paris
The Sleeping Beauty story in stained glass

Then, make your way to the dungeon where Malificent roars her head in a darkened moat that is sure to scare some of the young ones.

I absolutely love the accessibility that Disney provided within this castle. I mean, it’s not often you get to enter a castle like this!

Malificent's dragon at the bottom of Sleeping Beauty castle in Disneyland Paris
Watch Maleficent roar her head!

Disney World Castle

Twenty-two feet taller than its counterpart in Paris, Disney World’s castle is dedicated to Cinderella. While larger and grander, it doesn’t have the intimate grandeur of EuroDisney’s castle nor does it have the accessibility.

Yes, you can walk through the castle from one side to another looking at the colored mosaics of Cinderella, but it does not have the story details behind it like Sleeping Beauty’s castle. And it definitely doesn’t have a dragon!

Cinderella's castle at Disney World
Cinderella’s castle at Disney World

However, you can enjoy a character meal at Cinderella’s Table. But, make your reservations early as it does sell out.

Let’s not forget about the ‘dream suite’ at the top of the castle. Most people will never get to see this immaculate area that is only for a few invited guests.

In my opinion, Sleeping Beauty’s castle is the clear winner as it’s open to all parkgoers. Something you don’t want to miss.

Winner: Disneyland Paris and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

Which park do Disney-goers like the most?

We did some research into this one, since the question doesn’t beg a subjective opinion. From reading a number of websites, Disney fans seem to prefer Disneyland Paris as the overall favorite. 

Why? This preference for Euro Disney vs Disneyland in Orlando seems to be based on the rides.

Disneyland Paris has updated versions of Pirates, Space Mountain and Phantom Manor (which is known as the Haunted Mansion at Walt Disney World).

In addition, the Big Thunder Mountain ride is rated as one of the best among all of the parks. I can completely attest to this. Big Thunder Mountain at Paris Disney seems to go faster than at Disney World, plus it has a couple of areas completely in darkness.

Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster ride which is faster at Disneyland Paris vs Disney World
Paris’s version of Big Thunder Mountain is amazing!

That only applies to the individual ‘castle’ park, however. When it comes to the whole of the Disney Resort, Disney World in Florida wins. As it’s so much bigger, there is simply so much more to do and see in Orlando. 

The Animal Kingdom’s Avatar-themed land, for instance, is incredible and a total must-see. It’s not available at any other Disney park. Plus, where else can you take an African Safari and see wild animals up close?

Bison on the Kilamanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom at Disney World
Get close to the animals on Kilimanjaro Safari at Animal Kingdom

Hollywood Studios also has the Rise of the Resistance, which has been voted the best ride among all the Disney parks’ rides. Epcot’s World Showcase is not to be missed either.

Which Disney park worldwide is the fan favorite?

On all of the websites we researched, Tokyo DisneySea and Tokyo Disneyland were the clear winners. My family and I do disagree, incidentally, but it seems we are in the minority. 

While Tokyo was beautiful and extremely clean when we visited a couple of months ago, the lines were so long.

Nor is there an all-day pass available, such as Genie+ or Premier Access. Plus, the ride speeds seemed slower to us on big-ticket attractions such as both Thunder and Space Mountains.

Winner: Walt Disney World

Which Disney park is busier: Paris or Orlando?

It might be a small world in comparison to Orlando, but Disneyland Paris received 10 to 12 million visitors annually, pre-pandemic. According to Statista.com, the French Disney park is the most visited place in Europe.

By contrast, the Orlando parks receive 58 million visitors annually. Again, according to Statista, the parks are the most visited attraction in the world. 

It’s impossible to pick a winner here. The answer could depend on the sheer popularity of the parks, or it can be calculated according to the number of visitors as compared to each park’s capacity.

Winner: a tie

Disneyland Paris vs Disney World: Overall Winner

If you are looking for a week-long theme park experience, the overall winner has to be Disney World. There is just so much to see and do, even during a whole week there.

If you want to visit for a long weekend, choose Disneyland Paris.

Which location wins for you depends on how much time and money is involved in getting there – and, in the case of the latter – buying tickets. Other key factors include the resorts you can stay at, the rides you want to go on, the weather and how long you’ll be visiting for.  

Winner: Disneyland Paris for a long weekend or less, and Walt Disney World for a week or longer.

Visiting Disney: FAQs

Before you start dreaming of seeing the Sleeping Beauty castle, Crush’s Coaster, Mickey Mouse or other cast members with your own eyes, here are some Disneyland tips for Paris and Disney World facts for Florida.

Is Disneyland Paris worth it?

If you’re asking, should I go to Disneyland Paris, then we’d say that Disneyland, just like Paris, is always worth it.

But is Disney Paris worth it as compared to Walt Disney World in Florida? The Paris parks are a better choice if you live closer, and/or have less time to spend.

For a week plus, there’s more to do at Walt Disney World in Florida. 

Is Disney World worth it?

It’s not an inexpensive vacation. But it is one you will find impossible to forget.

This applies whether you travel as a family, or are a fully grown-up fan of the Disney characters and movies.

Though it’s not cheap, Walt Disney World is a bucket-list experience for many people. There’s also enough to do to keep you busy for a week or more. 

What is the best time of year to visit Disneyland Paris?

For Disneyland Paris off-peak times, fall (or autumn as it’s known in Europe) is when the weather is turning colder and kids are back in school.

Yet it’s still pleasantly warm and far less crowded than in July and August. Christmas is also a great time if you love the holiday season. 

What is the best time of year to visit Disney World?

January through to the beginning of March is great – though do avoid holiday weekends. The Florida weather is cooler then, and there are no hurricanes at this time of the year. It’s also quieter because the kids are in school.

Epcot’s Festival of the Arts is on during the first few months of the year as well, which is one of Disney’s best events.

If you love the Christmas holidays, the beginning of November or the first two weeks of December are perfect for visiting. All the decorations are up, and the park isn’t as crowded as at Thanksgiving or during the Christmas holidays.

Where should I stay at Disneyland Paris?

Marriott’s Village d’ile-de-France is our preferred Disneyland Paris hotel to stay at. It’s only four miles from the park in the French countryside.

This four-star resort has villas for up to eight guests, plus indoor and outdoor pools, gardens, a gym, a bar and restaurant.  

The Disney Davy Crockett Ranch is also a good bet. It’s a bungalow resort with a kids’ playground, an indoor pool and a hot tub for the adults.

Fully equipped kitchenettes and BBQs with each unit mean you can self-cater and save money. There are also grocery shops, a buffet restaurant, a bar, tennis courts and mini golf. 

Is one day enough for Disneyland Paris?

One day at Disneyland Paris is definitely more feasible than a day at Disney in Florida.

This is because the park is over five times smaller, so you can see and do more in a shorter time frame.

A long weekend is ideal, but it’s doable in a day if you arrive early, plan carefully and prioritize. 

The Paris Disney hours are generally from around 9.30 am to about 10 or 11 pm, so get there as it opens to maximize a single day’s visit.  

Where should I stay at Disney World?

We love the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress and the Disney Dolphin hotels, and have stayed at both of those as a family.

For more options, check out the top 15-suite hotels near Disney and the best Disney Springs places to stay with shuttle services. 

Is Disneyland Paris bigger than Disneyland California?

So Disneyland Paris vs Disneyland California – which is bigger?

At about 8.5 square miles, the Paris park is bigger than the original in Anaheim. The latter is less than a single square mile. 

Summary: Disneyland Paris vs Disney World

If you want to visit a Disney village in North America or Europe, we hope this post has helped you to make up your mind!

For me, the Disneyland Paris castle park is the best park overall. However, the Walt Disney World Resort as a whole is the winner for a weeklong vacation.

Which to pick depends on what you want to do, where you’re coming from, how much you want to pay, where you’d like to stay and more.

When you visit can also be important, due to the less predictable and humid Florida weather – plus the chilly Parisian winters. 

Wherever you go, a Disney vacation will leave you with treasured memories that last a lifetime!

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