If you’re a Disney fan, perhaps you have gone to Disneyland at least one time in your life. It’s known as the happiest place on earth, and experiencing the world of Disney for yourself is something one shouldn’t miss in a person’s lifetime.
Walt Disney began his theme park entourage in 1955 with the grand opening of Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The Disney World in Florida was built shortly after, and in the years since, this animated theme park has secured several locations around the world. Kids and adults alike get a chance to meet their favorite characters and relive their childhood.
1. Disneyland – California
One of the largest, oldest and most enchanted theme parks, Disneyland Anaheim, was the first to be built by Walt Disney himself. This park was unveiled on July 17, 1955, and now, it has nine different themed zones. It’s by far one of Disney’s most immaculate parks as the grounds, flowers, and paint are flawless. Attractions are continually being refreshed and refurbished. This is the only Disneyland where Walt Disney actually walked down Main St. USA. This park will always have a special claim as the original Disney theme park.
One day to explore this big park isn’t enough. You can have a great time in Adventureland, Mickey’s Toontown. Watch a musical at the Little Mermaid and take a bakery tour. Get onboard the Finding Nemo Submarine. It’s best to check in one of the luxurious Disney hotels and resorts for the whole Disney experience.
2. Magic Kingdom – Florida
The Magic Kingdom is a castle park and one of the four theme parks that are part of Walt Disney World. This castle is bigger than the original Disneyland, and the layout stays more faithful to the original theme. Cinderella’s castle serves as the park’s flagship feature and is surrounded by a luscious lagoon. Many travelers find the Magic Kingdom as the pinnacle of magic when you consider all Disney Parks. The park is always kept in pristine condition, and the atmosphere glows much with Disney pride.
The Magic Kingdom has a set of attractions like the Country Bear Jamboree, Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress, Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room, Hall of Presidents, and the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover, which you can all enjoy.
3. Animal Kingdom – Florida
For some, Animal Kingdom is the best Disney Park, while some add it to the list of their “Disney parks to never visit again.” It belongs to one of the four main parks in Disney World in Florida. While the opinions about this park are varied, it has its own strength – it excels so much in the design and beauty department. Everything is wonderfully created and showcases the natural with the artificial beauty on display.
Much of the attractions in this theme park is written with Animal Kingdom theme in mind. It’s all about the beautiful relationship between humans and nature.
4. EPCOT – Florida
Another one from Florida, EPCOT is a cultural experience that offers little in terms of rides. It provides more of a festival feel. When EPCOT was constructed in 1982, the design was way ahead of its time. It had an ambitious theme showcasing progress while adding a little more whimsy.
EPCOT comes with both old and modern attractions. One of the best is the World Showcase, which comes with eleven themed lands celebrating a different country. It offers food, shopping, design, and of course, Disney characters, making it an immersive place to be.
5. Tokyo Disneyland – Japan
Tokyo Disneyland is the place where the classic even gets better. Disney outdid itself with this theme park. It combines the best features of the original Disneyland in Anaheim, and the highlights of Disney World in Florida so you can have an epic experience in Japan. It’s the first Disney park to be built outside the US.
In Tokyo Disneyland, you can find a lineup of about 24 attractions that mirrors the other castle parks with the added bonus of improved Winnie the Pooh Ride, Monsters Inc. Ride and Go Seek, and Pooh’s Honey Hunt. There are also a couple of rides best experienced at night, such as the Jungle Cruise and the Western River Railroad, where it’s surrounded with a spectacular show of lights. And speaking of lights, you can enjoy Electric Parade Dreamlights, which is a grand themed float parade with vibrant LED lights – and this is unique to Tokyo Disneyland only.
6. Tokyo DisneySea – Japan
As part of Tokyo Disney Resort, Tokyo DisneySea highlights nautical exploration where guests can come in seven different ports of call. The ambiance inside the park gives in to the theme, making you escape reality for a while. The ports replace the traditional “lands,” and each one reflects the complex relationships between humans and the sea.
Tokyo DisneySea is a big, beautiful, and wildly entertaining place to be. It comes with around 20 rides, but it’s much more than that. It can compete with the Animal Kingdom and EPCOT in terms of beauty, theme design, and awe inspiration. The aesthetics of the place already wins itself.
7. Disneyland Paris – France
Besides the Eiffel Tower, Disneyland Paris is one of the most visited attractions in the city of love. It’s one of the best Disneyland parks in the world. It borrows heavily from the attractions in the American parks. The castle in this Disneyland is a standout as it is unique and rich in design. Their castle has a Dragon’s Lair under and makes the best use of castle space in a Disney park.
When you get in here, get ready to be serenaded by the Disney characters. Immerse yourself in the 19th-century America at Main St. USA. Ride on horse carts and vintage cars, or visit Sleeping Beauty in her castle. You can enjoy the views of Alice’s Curious Labyrinth and the Swiss Family Treehouse. Adventure Isle is also a joy to explore.
8. Hollywood Studios – Florida
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a part of Disney World in Florida. The theme of this park is to show off the Hollywood culture and give guests a behind-the-scenes peek into creating Disney movies. This theme park only has nine rides, but since much of the park is designed around Hollywood as a city and the studios, the heart of the park is to transition the visitors about putting them in the films.
It’s one of the best-themed lands in the world, and the rides are among the best in the world, such as Rise of the Resistance and Tower of Terror. The park also has a strong lineup of non-ride attractions, like the Frozen Sing-Along, Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, and Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy.
9. California Adventure – California
California Adventure Park is where some Disney, Pixar, and Super Hero stories come alive. Since its grand opening in 2001, Disney’s California Adventure was known as a letdown compared to the other Disneylands and Parks. People have been consistently disappointed and unimpressed with their attractions like Toy Story Lands and Pixar Pier.
One standout is Cars Land, and it’s one of the finest spaces that Disney has created inside the park. It gives you an immersive Pixar experience, and it’s stunning. Other standouts include Grizzly Peak and World of Color, which brings one of the best nighttime shows.
10. Shanghai Disneyland – China
Having just opened in 2016, Shanghai Disneyland is the newest park addition. It’s massive, and it offers many thrill rides than any other Disney park. It offers TRON Lightcycle Power Run, Battle for Sunken Treasure, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Challenge Trails – which is one of Disney’s best attractions worldwide. Shanghai Disneyland features a hyper modernized Tomorrowland and a new land called Treasure Cove. It’s different from other castle parks in the world.
Overall, the park has a tasteful atmosphere, and many parts are absolutely stunning. The park also celebrates Chinese culture. There are bits of Chinese-themed architecture throughout the park.
11. Hong Kong Disneyland – Hong Kong
Hong Kong Disneyland is a small, magical kingdom inspired by fairy-tale dreams. It’s the least popular Disney park around the globe, and it’s also the smallest. You can fully experience this park in a day, making it unique among the castle parks.
The standout attractions in Hong Kong Disneyland include the Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars and the Mystic Manor. The park has less than 20 rides, but it’s constantly improving. By 2021, the construction of Arendelle: World of Frozen is expected to be finished. In 2023, there will be a Marvel Land that celebrates our favorite superheroes.
12. Walt Disney Studios Park – France
Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris is basically an interpretation of Hollywood Studios. It has a limited ride count, and it’s small enough to be a half-day park. It offers excellent and unique parks such as Ratatouille: L’Adventure L’Aventure Totalement Toquée de Rémy, and Crush’s Coaster.
The park lacks popularity, but the good news is Disney is committed to improving this park. In 2021, Disney will unveil an Avengers Campus, which is an ongoing development.