My two favorite things on earth are traveling and Disney so it’s fair to say that visiting every Disney Park around the world was at the very top of my bucket list. After a lot of miles, quite a bit of money, and a whole lot of magic, I checked “Visiting Every Disney Park Around the World” off my bucket list…and I just keep going back to them all!
While Disney World in Florida, USA, and Disneyland in California, USA, may be the two most well-known Disney Parks, especially for anyone from North America or Europe, there are actually a total of twelve Disney Parks located all around the World!
If this is new information for you, you probably have a lot of questions. If this isn’t new information for you, you are probably doing some trip-planning research. Either way, you have come to the right place – The Best List Ranking Every Disney Park Around the World!
Why trust me? Not only am I a Disney-obsessed traveler, but my list is based on first-hand knowledge about my multiple visits to every Disney around the world. Since Disney is constantly evolving and improving, my ranking is based on multiple trips to each Disney Park at various times of year and has been updated to reflect the 2019 and 2020 Disney Park upgrades! These rankings also apply a strict scoring system and complex calculations….just kidding!
These are just MY definite rankings of every Disney Park around the world, but I hope that my insight, tips, and notes will help you plan your Disney adventure no matter which continent your Disney travels take you!
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Ranking Every Disney Park Around the World!
How Many Disney Parks Are There?
There are twelve (12) Disney Parks located at six (6) Disney Resort locations spread across Europe, North America, and Asia! While technically Disney World includes two water parks, I have not included the water parks in my list or rankings.
Each Disney Resort includes one “Castle Park,” also known as a park with a Castle in it! But most Disney Resorts around the world have more than just a Castle Park!
How Many Disneylands Are There?
There are five (5) Disneylands spread across the world. A Disneyland is distinguished as it is a Castle Park (it literally has a Castle in it) and has the title of Disneyland. What this means is that Magic Kingdom, located at Disney World, while a Castle Park, is not a Disneyland. Some people will call Magic Kingdom a Disneyland, but I think that does a disservice to Magic Kingdom so I will not consider it a “Disneyland.”
The Disneylands around the world include – Disneyland California; Hong Kong Disneyland; Disneyland Paris; Tokyo Disneyland; and Shanghai Disneyland.
List and Locations of Disney Parks Around The World
Ok, let’s talk about all the magical Disney Parks around the world now! Below is a list of all Disney Parks separated by Disney Resort.
Disney World Resort, Florida, United States
Disneyland Resort, California, United States
Disneyland Paris Resort, Paris, France
Tokyo Disney Resort, Tokyo, Japan
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Shanghai Disney Resort, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China
Ranking Factors For The Disney Parks Around The World
In order to rank the Disney Parks around the world, I evaluated the parks on numerous factors. While I did not weigh each factor evenly, I did take each factor into account for these rankings. Also, this list is not a ranking of Disney Resorts, just the parks! This means I did not take into account hotels, out-of-park dining, resort amenities, out-of-park shopping, or resort-wide transportation.
Will my biases come through? Most likely! Will the fact that I love Japan and travel there often sway the rankings? Most definitely! Will growing up with Disney World being my “home resort” and living as an adult with Disneyland California Resort be my “home resort” affect the results? You bet it will! But I promise I won’t steer you wrong and you will learn plenty of fun tips and insight from my rankings!
Now onto the factors! Here are the factors I took into account to create my master ranking for all Disney Parks around the world!
When evaluating all of the Disney Parks around the world, one smaller factor I took into account was accessibility. For accessibility, I took into account how easy it is to actually get to the park itself, how easy is it to navigate around the park, and to the extent I could, how accessible the park is for individuals with disabilities. There is no question there are some Disney Parks around the world that are very easy to access and others that will take a bit more work.
While I myself am able-bodied, and I am sure have so much more to learn about accessibility for individuals with disabilities, there is no question that certain parks are more accessible for those with physical limitations and/or sensory issues.
I have not seen other Disney Park rankings use this factor, but since I think it is important, it is part of my rankings! And if you know more about the Disney Parks accessibility, I hope you will share that information with us in Comments so we can take that information into account! Also check out a great guide to using the Disney Disability Pass here!
This is an important factor for me, because Disney is expensive! While the Disney Parks located in the United States and Paris are owned by the Walt Disney Company, the other Disney Parks located throughout Asia are not! The only huge difference between the Disney Parks owned by the Walt Disney Company and the Disney Parks owned by other entities is the cost! Not only does park admission differ drastically, but the food, beverages, and souvenirs are also much more affordable at the Disney Parks that are not owned by the Walt Disney Company.
I believe a more-affordable Disney Park directly equates to the Disney Park being more accessible for all people and for my rankings, affordability of the ticket and affordability inside the Disney Parks is definitely an important factor.
Don’t worry about the Disney Parks being owned, and operated by different companies, I promise you won’t even notice except for the lower price tag! Oh, and you might notice that many rides in the Disney Parks of Asia are sponsored rides, just like the original Disneyland rides in the 1970’s and 1980’s – who remembers the Kodak sponsorships?!
Lines/Queues and Wait Times
In the USA, we tend to use the term line, and elsewhere we tend to see the word queue, but they mean the same thing and come with the same question – how long are the waits!? This is a big factor for my rankings. But let me be very honest, you will be waiting in queues at all Disney Parks, no matter where I rank the park, that is just life! Although certain Disney Parks around the world have more Fastpass options, and now virtual queues, wait times are always something that will be a stressor during a Disney Park day.
When examining the queues at the various Disney Parks, I also took into account how the Disney Park, and cast/crew members, handle the queues and how accurate the posted wait times tend to be. Some parks are just better than others with having reliable wait times posted whether it is on the Park App or on the boards above the ride/attraction.
What you need to know – the Fastpass system is in fact NOT universal. Or even close to it. Oddly enough, some Disney Parks around the world still have only paper Fastpasses, while Walt Disney World Parks has been running for a long time on the electronic Fastpass system. Since each Disney Resort, and therefore the parks at those resorts, have all different systems – when you can get Fastpasses, how you can get Fastpasses, how many Fastpasses you can get, how to use the Fastpasses, and whether or not you have to pay for Fastpasses all vary by the Disney Park/Resort.
I would consider Fastpasses as a smaller factor in my rankings for every Disney around the world! Don’t miss this breakdown of the cost for Fastpass at every Disney Park around the world:
Food – including food options for those with a limited diet (vegetarian here!)
When ranking the Disney Parks around the world, food, including sit down meals, character meals, and quick service meals, was a huge factor! One thing I quickly learned while exploring all of the Disney Parks around the world is that the food can be extremely different throughout the parks. If you are familiar with the Disney Parks in the US, you are probably used to seeing “American park food” (except Epcot of course), but once you cross the Pacific Ocean, that all changes!
In addition to the types, quality, and cost of the food at the parks (snacks have their own section below!), I also took into account food options for those with restricted diet. As a lifelong vegetarian, food choices are important to me, especially when I am spending the day walking 15 miles, running around like a child, and/or drinking alcohol!
In order to avoid limiting my ability to rank the parks around the world in this category, my secret weapon, aka my life partner, is a carnivore and weighed in heavily on this factor and the snack factor! I got you!
For example, Disneyland Paris had very few vegetarian items, while Walt Disney World Parks have rolled out an entire guide and system for plant-based dining!
Disney Snacks!! If you are anything like me, even those two words will trigger extreme excitement! Disney snacks have a cult-like following and I am not ashamed to be a follower. Disney snacks deserve to be a stand-alone factor when ranking the Disney Parks around the world. The snacks are really different at the various parks around the world and some are just so good they really deserve their very own post.
If you are thinking popcorn and pretzels, while both absolutely key Disney snacks and delicious, trust me when I say there is SO much more out there at the Disney Parks! When evaluating the Disney Parks around the world, snack quality, variety, and affordability was a huge factor for me. Bring on the steam buns, curry popcorn, chocolate madeleines, and the turkey legs (which are very different sizes depending on the country you are in)!
Drinks – alcoholic and non-alcoholic
Of course all Disney Parks around the world have soda, water, tea, and coffee, but what you may not realize is that not all Disney Parks are created equally when it comes to “fancy” non-alcoholic drinks (also known commonly as mocktails) or alcoholic drinks. As you may know, there are several Disney Parks around the world that do not sell alcohol at all (Walt Disney Studios and Disneyland Hong Kong) and others that serve very limited alcohol (Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Paris).
When ranking all of the Disney Parks around the world, a somewhat big factor was what, if any, alcohol or mocktails are sold at the park, the variety, the quality, and the affordability of those beverages.
This is a huge factor for my Disney Park rankings! Let me start with this mind-blowing fact…I love Disney, but I am terrified of coasters! I do not go upside down or backwards, unless I don’t know it’s coming and accidentally get on and then cry and throw up (oh hey Crush’s Coaster…). But do not worry!!
I have taken into account every single coaster at every single Disney Park around the world because my partner happens to LOVE massive coasters and has been to every park with me! This means for the few coasters I have not ridden more than once, given I have ridden most on accident at least once, I have incorporated a completely unbiased, roller-coaster loving opinion into my rankings.
Now for the fun stuff. The rollercoasters at the Disney Parks around the world are actually REALLY different. Just because you see a familiar name, like Space Mountain, do not be so naive as to think Disney just dropped them all over the world. One Space Mountain has a full indoor inversion (meaning it goes completely upside down…inside…in the dark) – any guesses on which park?
For this reason, the coasters in the park are a huge factor in my rankings! I have taken into account how many coasters are in the park, how great the coasters are, how unique the coasters are, and of course, how much the coasters match the theme of the Park or area.
Now rides are my jam! For my rankings I have separated coasters from rides so if it is not a coaster, it is a ride! Of course, rides are one of the huge reasons for a Disney Park visit. Whether it is an old school classic, like It’s a Small World; a family friendly favorite, like Buzz Lightyear; or an International favorite, like Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, I have placed a huge amount of weight on the rides at each Disney Park around the world.
When evaluating the rides factor I have looked at the number of rides, the quality of those rides, and the unique, or park specific, rides in each park. There is no question that my coaster and rides factors are two of the most significant in my rankings!
Disney Parks, no matter where in the world it is located, cannot completely control the guests or the crowd size. While each park as a “capacity” which will trigger gate closures, which exist for the safety of everyone, Disney can only do so much to control the volume or people or how those people act. For those reasons, while I did not want to ignore this factor, it is a smaller factor.
When applying this factor to each Disney Park around the world, I attempted to take into account how often the Disney Park hits capacity, how the crowds in the Park are handled, and my overall experiences with the guests in the Disney Park.
I have been to several of these Disney Parks upwards of 40 times, during different seasons, over various years, and with a varying number of people in my group, but of course there is no way I can speak for every Disney Park, Disney crowd, or Disney guest. That being said, I think it would be disservice to the rankings to ignore this factor. Of course, all Disney Parks all over the world are going to be packed on local holidays, but what about a random Tuesday? Those are the questions I asked myself when applying this factor.
Shows and Parades
This is a fun one! While I am not personally a “parade person,” (but it is super fun if you are!) I do not travel to a Disney Park anywhere in the world without checking out a few parades. I also never miss a Disney show! I have made this a significant factor in my rankings because I know that there are so many Disney lovers who are parade and show people!
Although this factor did not really move any Disney Parks up or down on my list, it is mostly because Disney really puts on a great parade and knows how to perfectly create and execute a show!
Why tell you about this factor if it didn’t change my list much? Because I am about to drop some fun shows into my rankings that I recommend checking out around the world and I want all you parade people to know, I see you! Also, if you do love parades and shows, be sure to check out the special events at the various Disney Parks around the world, because that is definitely where you can find the best of the best!
Cast and Crew Members – aka Customer Service
Before I traveled to a Disney Park outside of the USA, I was under the impression that Disney, specifically Disney World and Disneyland Resort, provided the best customer service on earth. Then I went to a Disney in Asia and my mind was blown! While I do believe that all Disney Parks, no matter what continent or country, provides some of the best customer service, and have a history of phenomenal cast and crew members, there is a difference between the Parks.
I guess what I am saying is that the Cast, or Crew, at each Disney around the world can range from good to exceptional so I factored that into my rankings!
One smaller factor in my rankings of all of the Disney Parks around the world are the special events. Since this is a bit unfair to certain Disney Parks, as some Parks have more limited capacities, space surrounding the parks, etc., this is not a huge factor in my rankings. In addition, since Disney Park special events are an additional ticket and usually come with certain differences/limitations/changes to the Park, I did not want to allow some of the great special events I have been to at various Disney Parks to cloud my judgment!
When comparing Disney Park events, I recommend you focus on the events! Usually a Disney special event will result in certain attractions, rides, restaurants, etc., being closed or altered in the park and usually comes with a limited capacity ticket so it’s hard to compare Mickey pretzels to Mikey ice cream.
These final factors for my rankings of every Disney Park around the world are all very overlapping – theme, immersion, and correlation between attractions and themes. They are also tied for most important factor, with Disney Snacks, Coasters, and Attractions, for my amazing rankings of every Disney Park around the world.
Disney Parks are theme parks and for good reason. The purpose of the park is not just to provide attractions or rides, but to fully immerse you into a themed world that is different from the world beyond the gate. I believe that what makes Disney Parks what they are, and why we keep going back and paying the big bucks, is because a great Disney Park takes us to an alternative world, even if it’s just for the day.
Every Disney Park has two layers of themes. Not only does every Disney Park have a specific theme, but each Disney Park is also broken down into several areas, lands, or ports, each with their own theme. When applying the theme factor to each Disney Park, I looked at the overall theme of the Park and the theme of the areas, lands, and ports and how well ALL of the areas, even the blank spaces and walls, fit into the theme.
Immersion and theme go hand-in-hand, but they are not the same. I think it is important for the Disney Park to not only have a great theme, with attractions that match the rides and great touches from the design Imagineers, if you do not feel fully immersed into that theme, it’s not as great. For the purposes of my rankings, immersion includes how separated from the outside world you feel and how immersed you feel exploring and experiencing Disney’s created areas, lands, or ports.
Correlation between Attractions and Lands/Park Themes
When applying the factors of theme and immersion to all Disney Parks around the world, the correlation between attractions and the themes is key! One factor that makes all Disney Parks the best theme parks in the world is that nothing is by accident. Disney’s hardworking Imagineers work to create attractions that are not only great at immersing guests, giving you a scare, or telling you a story, but there is so much thought put into how the ride correlates to the themes.
Of course, some Disney Parks are better than others. I believe some of this is related to when the Disney Park was built and how often, or recently, the Disney Park has been updated, but no matter the actual reason, not all Disney Parks are themed, immersed, or correlated equally!
It is not by accident that as Disney creates new lands, like Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land, and the highly anticipated Avengers Campus, that the rides match the theme, which align with the characters and stories from the movies/media, and that you feel like you are truly in Batuu when standing in Galaxy’s Edge. This is because Disney knows people keep coming back for the full themed immersion experience.
Ranking Every Disney Park Around The World
Walt Disney Studios Park is located at the Disney Paris Resort, alongside Disneyland Paris, and, unfortunately, is a bit of an after-thought Disney Park. Walt Disney Studios Park ends up in last place because it ranks low in most of the factors. Walt Disney Studios Park is a small park, but so is Disneyland Hong Kong, with limited attractions, food, and a somewhat lackluster theme. With a lackluster theme, correlation between the attractions and themes and immersion take quite a hit. So here is why i rank Walt Disney Studios Park at the bottom of my rankings for every Disney Park around the world.
Walt Disney Studios Park, like Disneyland Paris, needs an upgrade. Thankfully, the Walt Disney Company purchased these Disney Parks a few years ago and rumor has it, they are about to get a whole bunch of money for updates and renovations. In applying my ranking factors, Walt Disney Studios Park scores low in the food, snack, and beverage categories as the options are very limited (think mediocre American style theme park food), no alcohol is served in the park, no special treats or beverages are unique, and the cost is high for the quality.
Walt Disney Studios Park (formerly known as Disney MGM Studios Paris) is Paris’ version of Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM) at Walt Disney World Resort (which just so happens to be its sister park). The theme for Walt Disney Studios Park is a look “behind-the-scenes” of movies and production and accordingly, this Disney Park is divided into “Lots.” While some of the lots are standard Disney-quality themed areas, such as Toon Studio (by far the best themed area in this park), a lot of Walt Disney Studios Park right now is vacant space and blank Disney walls.
When it comes to overall attractions, Walt Disney Studios Park also scores low in the ratings as it is only home to about 24 attractions – including rides, shows, and interactive experiences. While it is home to Crush’s Coaster, an awesome indoor thrill coaster, and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, arguably the best park at the Disneyland Paris Resort, the remainder of the attractions are not very unique and you can easily finish this park in just a few hours so I don’t consider it an all-day park.
Both parks at Disneyland Paris Resort score low for the accessibility factor as Disneyland Paris is a bit difficult to access and we did not observe many options for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing or physically limited. If you are thinking about visiting the Disneyland Paris Resort, be sure to check out the best guide how to get to Disneyland Paris Resort from Paris if you are planning to head out to the Parks from the city!
When it comes to affordability, Walt Disney Studios Parks is priced in line with the Walt Disney World Resort Parks and Disneyland California Resort Parks, keeping it on the high end of the ticket price list and more affordable than the Disney Parks in Asia. When it comes to Cast Member and customer service, this park did not stand out at all.
That said, as English speakers we did not have any issue communicating, which was great for us as we do not know any French!
During our visits to Walt Disney Studios Park the park was pretty empty, had no crowd at rope drop, and stayed somewhat empty throughout the day so it scores high in the crowds and queue/line categories. That being said, it always seems like Walt Disney Studios Park feels a bit empty because there is just not too much to do after a few hours.
When it comes to Fastpass, Walt Disney Studios Park scores pretty low. As a disclaimer, Disneyland Paris has a few Fastpass options. Some are free and some are not. When evaluating the Fastpass factor for all Disney around the world, I mostly focused on the free option(s).
For the free system, Disneyland Paris is still using a pretty old format so you can only obtain a Fastpass when you enter the Park, so no pre-planning, and you can only have one at a time. Not only is that very limiting, especially compared to the Walt Disney World Resort Parks, but Walt Disney Studios Park only has two rides that have Fastpass! Tower of Terror and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure are the only attractions accepting Fastpass at this time.
After evaluating Walt Disney Studios Park with all of my key Disney factors, I rank Walt Disney Studios at number 12. But! Check back in a few years because word on the Disney streets is that Walt Disney Studios Park is undergoing major upgrades to bring Paris its very own Galaxy’s Edge, Avengers Campus, and Arendelle: World of Frozen!
It looks like while Walt Disney Studios Park ranks in last place on my current rankings of the best Disney Parks around the world, it seems like the 2020’s are going to be big for this park!
11. Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris the Castle Park at the Disneyland Paris Resort and the first Disney Park in Paris! Similar to Walt Disney Studios Park, it is in need of some money and love. Similar to Walt Disney Studios Park, Disneyland Paris is not very conveniently located, it is priced on the higher end of the Disney Parks around the world, and did not have any standout reasons to excel in the categories of accessibility, Cast Members, or Fastpass.
When it comes to dining, beverages, and snacks, I wish so badly that I could give Disneyland Paris lots of points. It is just outside Paris after all! But I cannot. Disneyland Paris’ food is just like its neighboring park, mediocre and expensive “park food.” You can grab a burger, mozzarella sticks, a Mickey pretzel, and popcorn all day, but nothing stands out as being so good I just want to go back or dream about eating it between visits.
In order to work with the Parisian way of life, you can actually purchase alcohol in Disneyland Paris; however, you can only order alcohol with the purchase of food. This is still really unique as most Castle Parks do not allow alcohol sales. Similar to Walt Disney Studios Park, nothing at Disneyland Paris stood out when it came to Cast Members.
As for guests and wait times, my experiences have been that Disneyland Paris is one of the less crowded parks with more reasonable wait times than most on an average day.
When it comes to special events, both Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Park got points for the runDisney events and being the first Disney in the world to host a Pride event! Both Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney Studios Park both score a few points for having a Park Hopper Option – allowing you to purchase a day ticket for both parks so you can go back and forth.
Disneyland Paris scores high on the theme, immersion, and correlation categories as it is set up like most Disney Castle Parks. What does this mean exactly? Disneyland Paris, like all Castle Parks, is comprised of “Lands.” Similar to most other Disney Castle Parks, Disneyland Paris starts off with a Main Street and surrounding the Castle are various Lands – Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland, and Discoveryland.
Once you enter Disneyland Paris and approach Le Château de la Belle au Bois Dormant (or Sleeping Beauty’s Castle), you will definitely feel like you are totally immersed in the magical world of traditional Disney! Disneyland Paris Fastpass which is included in your ticket and involves no pre-booking, but we elected to upgrade to the Ultimate Fastpass for a small fee in order to ensure we could cover everything in both parks in one day. We got fun little bracelets and it worked great!
Now for the absolute best part of Disneyland Paris – the coasters! Disneyland Paris is what happens when you take all of the classic Castle Park coasters and ramp them up by 100% and if you are a fan of coasters, you should get excited. Remember that upside down, full inversion Space Mountain? Well you can find that thriller at Disneyland Paris.
Not only are Disneyland Paris coasters some of the most thrilling Disney coasters in the world, Disneyland Paris is also home to Phantom Manor, Paris’ version of the Haunted Mansion. I would say this is the best version of a Haunted Mansion, but I would be lying because Disneyland Hong Kong blows them all out of the water! Anyway, back to Disneyland Paris.
While these are the great highlights for the Disneyland Paris coasters and rides, the rest of the attractions are the standard Disney Castle Park rides. Also, no Jungle Cruise or Splash Mountain and that is just sad.
If this was a list where the only factors are coasters, Disneyland Paris would be way higher on the list. But when I take into account of the factors, especially the food, overall attractions, uniqueness, cost, and location, I have no choice but to put Disneyland Paris towards the bottom of my list ranking all of the Disney Parks around the world!
Hollywood Studios is my lowest ranking park from the Walt Disney World Resort on my rankings of all of the Disney Parks around the world. That is not to say it does not have its highlights, but I think the more Hollywood Studios has shifted away from its original concept – the backlot and the Golden Age of Hollywood, the more this park has dropped on my list.
As this is the first Walt Disney World Resort Park I am talking about on this list, I will note a few factors that are overarching for all four parks located at Walt Disney World Resort, located in Florida, USA. First, affordability. Walt Disney World Resort parks, including Hollywood Studios, are the most expensive parks so major low score for affordability on these ones. In addition, all of these parks are located on the same massive property – accessible by private vehicle or Disney Transportation.
Walt Disney World is not public transit friendly, although Disney transport is growing constantly, so that makes them less accessible for the average person. Hollywood Studios is a stop on the new Disney Skyliner!
All Walt Disney World Resort parks, including Hollywood Studios, use the best Fastpass system of all the Disney’s around the world. You book your Fastpasses in advance, online, they are included in the ticket price, and you can hack your way to unlimited Fastpasses! For these reasons, all Walt Disney World Resort Parks score high when it comes to Fastpasses!
Now to Hollywood Studios! Hollywood Studios is actually a huge park and the second biggest at Walt Disney World Resort. Unfortunately, the number of attractions does not measure up. Hollywood Studios is home to a few big hits, but other than those big ones, you will find very few things to do in the park and a whole lot of shows. When it comes to queues, with the exception of Star Wars Land, you can usually find minimal waits around Hollywood Studios.
Hollywood Studios is home to one of Disney’s third fastest coaster – Rock ‘N’ Rollercoaster! This ride, plus Tower of Terror, which is the fastest ride at the Walt Disney World Resort, make Hollywood Studios stand out for the thrill seekers. The new Slinky Dog Dash addition which finally expanded Toy Story Land is pretty great, but of course, the real jewel is Galaxy’s Edge, specifically Rise of the Resistance!
Even though I think Hollywood Studios is struggling to find its own overarching theme and identity, it gets a lot of points for Star Wars Land which is so fully immersive, even with the Cast Members never breaking character, and everything from the bathrooms to the gift shops correlate so well. I believe it feels like you have dropped in Batuu! It feels like Disney has taken a page from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (gasp! A Universal reference!).
Hollywood Studios snacks are very standard Disney snacks with nothing that stands out that I could not get elsewhere. The same goes for drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Hollywood Studios does have some unique and fun dining like the Sci-Fi Drive In and the 50’s Prime Time Cafe – but the food is just okay even at those restaurants. So, needless to say, Hollywood Studios scores an “okay” when it comes to snacks, drinks, and food.
Hollywood Studios scores higher than other parks on my ranking of every Disney around the world because of the great rides, new Star Wars land, and Toy Story Land expansion, but it still is on the bottom of my list, especially when it comes to my original home resort – Walt Disney World Resort.
Disney California Adventure is one of the two Disney Parks located at the Disneyland California Resort and is the non-Castle Park at that Resort. I look at Disney California Adventure as what would happen if Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom had a baby. Disney California Adventure takes a few of the best rides from Walt Disney World Resort and drops them in one place.
Unfortunately, crowd issues and guests, limited attractions, and a lot of empty space puts Disney California Adventure at number 9 on my rankings of every Disney around the world!
Disney California Adventure scores pretty low in the crowd and guest factors. Due in part to its location, and quick accessibility for locals, both parks at Disneyland California Resort, including Disney California Adventure tend to always be very crowded, especially weekends and after school hours.
There is a very high volume of season passholders and it always seems that by 5 pm or so, this park is packed with locals who hit up the park for a few hours before closure making it so crowded during that window. Be sure to check out the crowd calendar before a visit to this park!
When it comes to theme, Disney California Adventure as a park feels as if it has no comprehensive theme. That said, Cars Land is awesome and very immersive, with perfectly correlating rides. Unfortunately, the rest of the park’s areas seem too disjointed. In my opinion, both Disneyland California Parks feel somewhat immersive once you walk in and from many places it is hard to tell you are surrounded by a small city and suburbs.
Disney California Adventure recently updated the Pier to Pixar Pier, but this was a very surface level update and most of the Pier still feels like wasted space with boardwalk games and snack stands. When it comes to correlation, the Pixar Pier update killed it and everything is very Pixar-y, even the ice cream shop and hot dog stand. Cars Land feels as if you are walking down Route 66 in the Cars movie, even with a full size Flo’s Cafe.
As for rides and attractions, Disney California Adventure has a few really great rides, including one of Disney’s biggest coasters, Incredicoaster! Disney California Adventure is also home to the new, and WAY more fun, Guardians of the Galaxy (formerly known as the Tower of Terror). Disney California Adventure is also home to Radiator Springs Racers and Soarin’ Around the World, both super fun!
When evaluating Disney California Adventure for my rankings of the best Disney around the world, Disney California Adventure scores right in the middle when it comes to Fastpass (no pre-booking, costs money) and on the higher end for cost (like all of the USA parks). Depending on the time of day you hit up Disney California Adventure, your wait times may be really different.
As I mentioned, after 5 pm at Disney California Adventure and you are probably in for a wait and Fastpasses will be long gone, but get there at rope drop and you could fly through the park!
Disney California Adventure is by far the better park in Disneyland California Resort when it comes to food, snacks, and beverages. Disney California Adventure sells alcohol, including fun drinks and cocktails, and has a wide variety of delicious full service and quick service restaurants serving everything from delicious tacos to homemade Italian. Disney California Adventure also has a great parade, with a fun parade route which allows you to sit down and eat a great meal as the parade strolls by you!
Recently, Disney California Adventure has stepped up its game when it comes to special events. It has also been home to the (west coast) Food and Wine Festival and Lunar New Year, but it recently added the Oogy Boogy Bash to the list and what a win! Disney California Adventure’s Cast Members are average Disney Cast Members, nothing to write home about, but always good because it is Disney!
Hong Kong Disneyland’s spot on my list does it an accidental disservice! Although I have ranked Hong Kong Disneyland as number 8 on my rankings of all Disney Parks around the world, it is just a result of applying all of my factors! Hong Kong Disneyland is the only park located at Hong Kong Disney Resort and the second smallest Disney Park in the world. It is also a really fun day trip and is probably the least crowded park, especially in Asia, at least in recent years.
Hong Kong Disneyland’s castle is undergoing a big, and much needed, upgrade. Once the new castle is done, I think it will really round out this park and make it a much more immersive and grand experience. Hong Kong Disneyland scores high in accessibility and affordability. You can get to Hong Kong Disneyland via public transportation or a short taxi ride from central Hong Kong and ticket prices are very affordable. While not as cheap as Tokyo Disney Resort, it is far more affordable than the USA Disney Parks.
Hong Kong Disneyland also caters to various languages – the only park that does this! Given the location, and history, of Hong Kong Disneyland it would only make sense that the park would cater to three main languages – yes three! – English, Mandarin, and Cantonese. This was another reason that Hong Kong Disneyland ranked high in accessibility.
Hong Kong Disneyland scores super high when it comes to food and snacks, but very low when it comes to drinks. Although no alcohol is sold in Hong Kong Disneyland, making it a more typical Castle Park, you can find some really great food throughout the park.
When it comes to the food and snacks in Hong Kong Disneyland, you can find most of your Disney favorites, but exploring more of the locally inspired snacks which run at great prices! We ate a lot of snacks in this Disney Park and not one was disappointing. While not in the park itself, so not playing a role in my rankings, be sure to check out the dim sum at the Disneyland Hotel for an awesome experience!
Lunch is the coolest part of Hong Kong Disneyland, and similar to what you will find in Shanghai Disneyland, with guests using massive dim sum carts at the quick service restaurants, speeding around and filling up on the endless options! Also, the milk tea is BOMB.
The Cast Members at Hong Kong Disneyland are amazing! This is definitely one factor where Hong Kong Disneyland scores super high. In my experience, the Cast Members are extremely friendly, will not hesitate to assist even with a language barrier, but Hong Kong queues tend to be a bit disorganized and Hong Kong Disneyland is no exception. Offering free Fastpass with all tickets, but no pre-arrival online booking so nothing too great, so Hong Kong Disneyland scores low with respect for Fastpasses.
Another high score for Hong Kong Disney is for the crowd factors. Hong Kong Disneyland has historically been the least crowded Disney Park we have been too. That being said, even when going on a holiday weekend, it was empty compared to other Disney Parks around the world. With the smaller crowds, the wait times do tend to be a bit shorter, but since Hong Kong Disneyland is a smaller park, you generally do face some longer waits throughout the day.
Hong Kong Disneyland currently scores moderately low when it comes to theme and immersion. I think the bigger castle coming soon, and other planned upgrades, could bring it further up the list, but we shall see! Hong Kong Disneyland is a “typical” Castle Park with the center point, down Main Street, for this park – Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. Unfortunately, the massive mountain behind it makes the castle look quite small…upgrade coming soon!
Hong Kong Disneyland contains a few common Disney Lands, including Tomorrowland, Adventureland, and Fantasyland, but it is also home to Toy Storyland, Grizzly Gulch, and most importantly, Mystic Point. These unique lands are really fun and do a great job with correlation between the land and the attractions so Hong Kong Disneyland gets extra points for that! Grizzly Gulch and Mystic Point are great, really immersive, super cool themes, and great with correlation.
Now for the coasters and the rides! The pros – Jungle Cruise can be done in three languages and if you are smart, you will ride three times and once in each language! Two words: Mystic Manor! Mystic Manor is the best “haunted mansion” type ride in the world! It seems this secret is not so much a secret, so this ride could have a wait! Another huge hit – Grizzly Mountain – which is a bigger, scarier, drop you backwards version of Big Thunder Mountain!
I realize those are three great rides (one being a big coaster), but Hong Kong Disneyland scores in the middle when it comes to rides, coasters, and attractions overall because those three are the exception, not the rule. The other rides at Hong Kong Disneyland are the “common” Disney Park rides and due to the size of the park, there are only about 24 rides and attractions in the park. This is one reason that Hong Kong Disneyland ended up at the lower end of my rankings of every Disney Park around the world.
Like many Disney Parks around the world, Hong Kong Disneyland has an expansion coming! I wonder what the additions of Arendelle – World of Frozen and Stark Expo will do for Hong Kong Disneyland in my rankings in the future?!
Animal Kingdom comes in at number 7 on my rankings of all of the Disney Parks around the world! Animal Kingdom is actually the biggest Disney Park in the world – coming in at 403 acres, over 100 acres bigger than the second biggest park – Epcot! Despite how massive this park is, it has the least amount of rides of any Disney Park anywhere in the world. Given how heavily I weighed rides and attractions, it was hard to put Animal Kingdom above the number 7 spot.
Since this is another Walt Disney World Resort Park, there are a few other factors that overlap with the other parks at that Resort (Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Magic Kingdom) – you can purchase a Park Hopper ticket to hop between all four of the parks – making them all more accessible and allowing so much flexibility to guests. Also, while Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Magic Kingdom are accessible via monorail and/or Skyliner, Animal Kingdom is only accessible via car or bus.
Animal Kingdom takes the cake for the best theme, immersion, and correlation for any Disney Park located at Walt Disney World and, arguably, is one of the best in the world! The Disney Imagineers did an unbelievable job with the areas of Animal Kingdom – which are the Oasis, Pandora, Dinoland, Discovery Island, Africa, and Asia. Each area is so well done, beautiful, and every detail goes above and beyond. The rides of course match the theme, but they didn’t stop there and the food, drinks, and even snacks also go along with the theme of each area.
Animal Kingdom also did a great job with the overall theme – there is no question the purpose of this park is to unite people and animals and you can feel that from the moment see you the Tree of Life until you walk through the winding paths of Pandora. Pandora! If you asked me a few weeks before Star Wars Land opened (on either USA coast), I would have said that Pandora is Disney’s best themed land and immersion ever. Pandora is unbelievable, so beautiful, and so fully immersive!
Not only is Pandora fully immersive and magical, but the rides, which perfectly link up to Pandora and Avatar, are also really immersive experiences! I had the privilege to run a runDisney race through Pandora shortly after it opened and in the dark and it was truly magical! Animal Kingdom finally expanded the park hours in the last few years and that has really helped move this park up the ranks.
Since the only USA located parks that are still having runDisney events are the parks at Walt Disney World Resort, they all got a few points for that in the special event category. I also believe the Walt Disney World Resort Parks have some of the best, and by far the most, special events out of all of the Disney’s around the world!
Now for the rides! Animal Kingdom is home to the tallest coaster with the longest drop – Expedition Everest! There are also a few smaller attractions that one could relate to coasters, including Dinosaur and Primeval Whirl (seasonal operation). While these are super fun rides, and the Kilimanjaro Safari is not to be missed, there are so few in Animal Kingdom that it’s hard to give it a really high score when it comes to rides and coasters. Due to the limited amount to do in Animal Kingdom, we consider it a half day park.
Animal Kingdom excels at the shows – I would say some of the best in the USA parks. Lion King and Nemo are done so well that we find ourselves even using Fastpasses to check them out. I wouldn’t miss them and I give this park points for great shows! Be sure to take advantage of this guide to master the Animal Kingdom Fastpasses!
Like I mentioned, the food in Animal Kingdom is really good. It is home to what many call the best table service park restaurant – Tiffins! It is also home to some of the best snacks and drinks – check out the Night Blossom, Pongu Lumpia, and a Dole Whip..with rum!
Shanghai Disneyland is the newest Disney Park in the world, but is one of the most visited theme parks on earth! Shanghai Disneyland is also the only park at Shanghai Disney Resort and a Castle Park. Shanghai Disney is also by far the most unique Castle Park around the world!
One place Shanghai Disney scores high is affordability! Shanghai Disneyland’s ticket prices are approximately half of the price of the Disney Parks in the USA and Paris. In fact, Shanghai Disneyland is the second cheapest only being beat out by the parks located at the Tokyo Disney Resort. It is also super easy to access Shanghai Disney, thanks to Shanghai’s impressive public transportation infrastructure and English signage.
Shanghai Disney scores more points than other Castle Parks because of how unique the park is. When it comes to theme, immersion, and correlation, Shanghai Disney goes above and beyond the other Castle Parks! Unlike all other Castle Parks, Shanghai Disneyland does not have a Main Street, but instead it has Mickey Avenue! Another super unique part of Shanghai Disneyland is the huge (11 acre) Chinese garden – Gardens of the Imagination.
I love that Disney took the excitement of a Disney theme park, but layered in the peaceful beauty of nature. It is something extremely unique to Shanghai Disney and goes a long way when applying the theme and immersion factors.
While Shanghai Disneyland has a Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Toy Storyland, and Adventureisle, all somewhat familiar to the average Disney goer, it also has Treasure Cove, a fully immersive 18th-century Spanish harbor town located in the Caribbean. Think a way bigger version of the Pirates of the Caribbean queue! Also unlike most other Castle Parks, you can purchase alcohol in Disneyland Shanghai!
Shanghai Disneyland is one of the most crowded Disney Parks in the world, but the Cast Members are ready and have systems in place to try to reduce crowding, spread out the guests, and make queues go faster (thankfully, most of China is cashless already and Shanghai Disneyland is no exception). Shanghai Disneyland has a decent Fastpass system. While you do not get to book them far in advance, you can snag your Fastpasses on your App once you enter the park and can use the App for your entire visit to keep getting Fastpasses as you use them and until they are gone!
Now for the food and snacks! Shanghai Disneyland caters heavily to the local population and serves 70% Chinese cuisine! This means that you will most definitely find so many delicious, unique, and very affordable, food and snack options throughout Shanghai Disneyland. Delicious dumplings at a Disney Park – Yup! Steamed buns – You Bet! Mickey Mooncakes – Oh Yes! The amazing food does not end at the snacks either, Shanghai Disney scores super high on the meals too.
Shanghai Disney takes Disney Park food up a huge notch and you can score some scrumptious food during your visit. From peking duck pizza to laksa, you will find really good, high quality, and beautiful food all over Shanghai Disneyland! Don’t worry if you want fun Disney Park food that is a bit more Western – the massive waffles (they really put the original Mickey waffle to shame), giant Mickey donuts, and Mickey crepes are ready for you!
Now for the coasters, rides, and parades! This is the section where Shanghai Disneyland struggles a bit. Shanghai Disneyland is similar to most Castle Parks with most of the standard family-friendly rides found around the world at all of the Disney Parks. Shanghai Disneyland has a few standout attractions – TRON is a huge one with a big fan base! But I don’t think there is any debate that the Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure is the best ride (and coaster…yea it’s a coaster!) at Shanghai Disneyland!
For the English speakers, while Mandarin is the language of this Disney Park, most people will speak enough English to communicate and have no issues when you rely on an Translator App to help especially if you are polite and thank them in Mandarin (it’s not hard to learn and you should know how to say thank you in the local language anywhere you go)! I have heard rumors about bad behavior at Shanghai Disneyland, but did not experience any. Do be aware that many bathrooms will be eastern-style bathrooms so if you are not comfortable with an eastern toilet, check the App to find a western style bathroom.
When applying all of my factors to Shanghai Disney, the newest Disney Park in the world, Shanghai Disneyland scores right in the middle at number 6!
Disneyland California is the first Disney Park in the world and opened in 1955! Disneyland California is also the Castle Park at the Disneyland California Resort. It all started here, so there is so much that could be said about the theme, the history, and the impression this park, but when I apply ALL of my factors, Disneyland California sits at number 5 in my ranking of every Disney Park in the world!
Overall, Disneyland California Resort Parks score the same when it comes to accessibility (limited) and affordability (not great except for locals). Disneyland California pulls ahead of California Adventure because of the themes, immersion, number of attractions, and classic Disney food and snacks. Disneyland California’s theme is imagination and magic and includes nine magical lands! Disneyland California Resort offers a Park Hopper so you can go back and forth between the parks, but it does cost more.
Disneyland California is home to some of the best attractions! From the ORIGINAL It’s a Small World from the World’s Fair to the Matterhorn (big coaster points given here) to the best Pirates of the Caribbean in the USA (yea…I said it. Disneyland California’s Pirates is better than Magic Kingdoms Pirates!) Disneyland California has over 30 attractions including family friendly rides, shows, and great coasters! Disneyland California’s (aka in our household as West Coast Splash) Splash Mountain is WAY scarier than Magic Kingdom’s (aka East Coast Splash)!
Disneyland California had the highest cumulative attendance than any other Disney Park (or theme park) in the world! So yes, it is fair to say it is always crowded. For some odd reason, Disneyland still does not have MagicBands or pre-booked Fastpasses even for on-property guests. When it comes to crowds and Fastpasses, Disneyland California does not come out near the top. Do not forget to use this amazing Crowd Calendar when planning your Disneyland California trip:
One factor that puts Disneyland California near the top of my list ranking every Disney in the world is the theme! Disneyland California instantly feels magical the moment you enter the park and as you enter each land you feel completely immersed. Given that downtown Anaheim is just a few minutes away, this is impressive. Disneyland California has what are now the common lands (since they all started here!), but it also has New Orleans Square, home to the famous Club 33, and Critter Country (also found at the Tokyo Disney Resort). Most importantly, it is home to the new Galaxy’s Edge!
Even without having Rise of the Resistance (so soon!), Galaxy’s Edge is exceptional. Even though both existing Galaxy’s Edge’s are the same size, the Disneyland California location just felt bigger like it had less “empty” space. This could change once Rise of the Resistance FINALLY opens on the west coast!
One of my biggest factors when ranking every Disney Park in the world was definitely food and snacks! At Disneyland California you can find every classic Western Disney snack, but this park also has quite a few good restaurants. Some of the good restaurants at Disneyland California remind me of some of the better restaurants you find scattered around Walt Disney World Resort and so it feels like Disneyland California mushed together some of the better ones.
Disneyland California holds a strong hold on number 5 on my rankings of every Disney Park around the world! Can’t wait to see what more they do with the new additions!
I love Epcot! There..I said it! Epcot has historically been my favorite Disney Park, especially before I explored the Disney Parks outside of the USA. In my attempts to be slightly less biased in my rankings of every Disney Park around the world, I applied all of my factors to Epcot fairly and it came it at a surprising number 4!
So why number 4?! Well, like all other Disney World Resort Parks it scores high for Fastpasses, moderate for accessibility, and low for affordability. But what makes Epcot stand out is the World Showcase! While I write these rankings Epcot is undergoing a massive, huge, and kind of crazy upgrade. The whole front of Epcot, aka Future World, is currently under construction.
Soon we will have World Discovery, World Celebration, World Nature, and of course, World Showcase! You will have to check out my rankings after we finally get to see the unveiling to see how it changes Epcot’s spot on my list!
When looking at the food, beverage, and snack factors to each Disney Park around the world, I look to the whole park. For Epcot, it means that the whole park will benefit from the fabulous World Showcase! Epcot’s theme cannot be missed anywhere in the park, even now, which is human achievement, specifically technological innovation and international culture. Epcot carries that theme throughout the entire park.
Moreover, once you get to the World Showcase, consisting of 11 different countries, you become completely immersed in that country. That is because Disney did its research, even working with the Moroccan government to design Morocco’s Pavilion. Each Pavilion (or country) is filled with phenomenal food from that country, shops and stores selling items made in that country, and fully staffed with individuals from the actual country – who are always so happy to teach you something from their home land! World Showcase gives Epcot so many points in the Cast Member and customer service factor and food and snacks!
If you have been to the Walt Disney World Resort, you have at least heard about Drinking Around the World. That great concept and fun activity (note you can use snacks and/or non-alcoholic drinks if you don’t drink alcohol) takes place at Epcot – in the World Showcase! You can even stop in each country and grab a sticker at Kid Cot or pick up a cute passport and travel all around the world without a single flight delay!
Now for rides. I will admit Epcot does not have many rides right now, but the updates to both Future World and the World Showcase will change this. That said, Epcot is home to Test Track, Frozen Ever After, Soarin, and Mission Space! Epcot is also home to the best Disney events – International Food and Wine Festival, International Festival of the Arts, International Flower and Garden Festival, to name a few. These festivals are so exceptional that Epcot definitely gets points in the special event category.
Epcot is also super accessible for a Walt Disney World Resort Park since you can get there by car, monorail, or Skyliner. It also has a lot of shows – not just the big shows you are used to when you have to gather closely in a giant room, but also live bands and street performers spread out all across the World Showcase!
Epcot is also a great park for character visits and character photos – which works out great since the number of rides is fairly low right now.
Epcot currently holds a strong grip on the number 4 spot on my rankings of every Disney Park around the world! Be sure to check out the nighttime show at Epcot when you visit, it is always one of the best in the world!
Tokyo Disneyland is the Castle Park located at the Tokyo Disney Resort and is the first Disney Park built in Japan! Tokyo Disneyland has some common Castle Park features – it is based around a beautiful castle with several lands all around it, it does not serve alcohol, and it is home to many of the Disney favorites – teacups, the Mountains, It’s a Small World, etc.
Tokyo Disneyland, and the other park located at Tokyo Disney Resort – DisneySea, score so high on my rankings for a few overlapping reasons – Customer Service! Affordability! Accessibility! Rides! Coasters! Food! Snacks!
Let me start with the weaker factors before I get too excited! First, Tokyo Disney Resort does not have any Park Hopper option. This is annoying, but since the tickets are so cheap (including special evening hour tickets), you can just buy two tickets for the same day and invent your own hopper. Tokyo Disney Resort Parks also are mostly in Japanese. I mean they are in fact in Japan so this makes sense, but we found that Hong Kong, Paris, and Shanghai had more English subtitles/listening devices. Lastly, Tokyo Disney Resort does not have too many events – although the New Year’s Eve event is huge and if you can snag tickets, do it!!
Affordability wise – Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea are the cheapest Disney Parks in the world! Tickets will run you about $80 USD (this is a big price increase from 2019 and still very affordable). Accessibility wise – Tokyo Disneyland and DisneySea are located on the JR line – making it so easy, quick, and cheap to get to from Tokyo.
Ok those are literally all the bad things I could possibly say about Tokyo Disney Resort. As for Tokyo Disneyland, which scores the number 3 spot on my rankings of every Disney Park around the world, many of the rides can be found elsewhere, no alcohol is served, and it can get crowded! When it comes to crowds, Tokyo Disneyland struggles a bit. It can hit capacity quickly and even when you arrive 45 minutes before rope drop, you will be FAR back in line to get in. That all said, because of how phenomenal the Cast Members are and how unbelievably organized everything, queues included, is around the Tokyo Disney Resort, you almost don’t notice.
Tokyo Disney Resort has a great guide for first time visitors, in English, on the website, so if you plan to go – check it out here!
Comparing a visit to Tokyo Disneyland during the Japanese New Year holiday (yea, we did that!) to a typical Spring Break Saturday at Walt Disney World made us realize that the crowds are actually about even during peak times. Because of the Tokyo Disneyland Cast Members and systems in place, we were not as unhappy about waiting for two hours to get on a ride. The Tokyo Disney Resort has also recently upgraded the Fastpass system allowing guests to book on the App! This is a game changer! That said, crowds are rough at this park and Fastpasses sell out quickly.
If you stay on-property, you get Fastpasses with no set return times! Staying at Tokyo Disney Resort is really amazing since two of the hotels overlook the Parks, but this is a huge perk! If you are planning a visit to Tokyo Disney Resort, be sure to check out more information here!
Tokyo Disneyland Cast Members are some of the best Disney Cast Members in the world. The standard for customer service is extremely high and you will never see a Cast Member without a smile and a double hand wave! Something that is so cool about Tokyo Disneyland is that rides do not end in gift shops – crazy right? Instead, the shops are all over the park and all contain unique and different souvenirs. For this reason, if you see something you love, buy it! You won’t find another 16 stores around the park with the same stuff.
Tokyo Disneyland kills it when it comes to rides! It is home to all of the favorites – Pirates, Jungle Cruise, Thunder Mountain, Splash Mountain (in the cutest place called Critter Country), Haunted Mansion, and so many more. I think Tokyo Disneyland does an amazing job when it comes to theme, even compared to other Castle Parks, because of the unique shops and snacks in each Land and the correlation between the rides and Lands. You can find Big Thunder Mountain in Westernland and Tokyo Disneyland is still home to a full Toon Town!
Now on to the food and snacks. The delicious, scrumptious, food and snacks! Tokyo Disneyland tickets are not only affordable, but the food and snacks are so reasonable! You can easily eat your way around Tokyo Disneyland all day and spend very little – a Mickey waffle will run you about $4 USD while even a chicken pao meal (with fries and a drink) will only cost you about $8.50 USD! Trust me you will be grateful for the prices since EVERY snack and food item is delicious!
I could go on for days about the Tokyo Disneyland snacks and food, but that is for another time. What you need to know is that you should not miss the ice cream mochi, the buns, the tapioca drink, or the crazy popcorn flavors! Popcorn flavors are huge at Tokyo Disney Resort Parks. They change frequently and you will have to locate the special flavors during your visit using the App or a park map. Don’t be surprised when every guest has a popcorn bucket around their neck – it’s a Disney way of life when you have options like honey popcorn, curry popcorn, strawberry popcorn, and shrimp popcorn…to name just a few!
Tokyo Disneyland slides into my number 3 Disney Park in my rankings for every Disney Park around the world thanks to it’s large number of rides and attractions, outstanding food and snack choices, affordability, accessibility, theme, immersion, and Cast Members!
Magic Kingdom is the Castle Park, and the first park, at the Walt Disney World Resort! Magic Kingdom is very similar to other Castle Parks, but it just does everything a tad better and is so fully immersive, it has earned the number 2 spot in my ranking of every Disney Park around the World!
Magic Kingdom has quite a few of the same pro’s and con’s as other parks located at Walt Disney World Resort – including being expensive, having a great Fastpass system, having MagicBands, and having great Cast Members. Magic Kingdom is accessible via car, boat, bus, and monorail so it is only of the most accessible parks at the Walt Disney World Resort. Magic Kingdom is known for crowds and long queues, as it is the most “young kid” friendly park in Disney World.
What puts Magic Kingdom at the top are the attractions, dining options, snacks, unique experiences, special events, coasters, and the feeling you get of being completely immersed in Disney magic! Magic Kingdom has the benefit of being located at the Walt Disney World Resort, which is massive! For this reason, you feel as if you are a completely different world when in the Disney Parks. Magic Kingdom does such a great job of incorporating the smells, sounds, and backdrops into every facet of the park, making you feel as if you are living in a different (and magical) world.
Magic Kingdom is home to all of the classic Disney Castle Park rides too! The three most famous mountains can be found if they are calling you – Thunder, Space, and Splash! You can also find Jungle Cruise, It’s a Small World, Peter Pan’s Flight, and SO many more! Magic Kingdom, like all Castle Parks, is divided into Lands and each Land does a great job incorporating the theme of each land into the rides, attractions, fun Disney walls, restaurants, and shops!
Magic Kingdom does not serve alcohol except at one restaurant and only for dinner, but there are still so many food, snack, and drink options all around the park! Magic Kingdom embodies everything that goes into a perfect Castle Park – Mickey Ear ice creams, churros, Mickey pretzels, GIANT turkey legs, Mickey candy or caramel apples, and some really good all-you-can-enjoy restaurants.
When people tell me they are going to Walt Disney World Resort, but can only visit one park – I always tell them they need to go to Magic Kingdom. While Epcot is so unique, and a must if drinking around the world is a high priority, Magic Kingdom is just SO Disney! It is impossible to walk into Magic Kingdom and not feel immediately like a kid again, with no worries in the world, and spend all day riding the rides and falling in love with the shows!
As for special events, Magic Kingdom is home to quite a few! You can attend Not So Scary Halloween and Very Merry Christmas Party at this park and run through it when you run the runDisney Half or Full Marathons! Magic Kingdom also has some amazing parades!
Magic Kingdom is by far the most kid-friendly, and even toddler-friendly, park, and in my opinion, that is one reason the park tends to be very crowded. Fastpasses go quickly and queues can be long, especially for the most famous rides. Since I gave way more weight to rides, coasters, snacks, and theme/immersion, the wait times and large crowds did not outweigh all of the greatness in this park!
Coming in at number 1 for my rankings of all the Disney Parks around the world is DisneySea! DisneySea is located at the Tokyo Disney Resort and is the newer park at the Resort. DisneySea wins by a landslide because it takes everything amazing about Disney, everything great about the other Disney Parks around the world, and puts a completely nautical spin on it! The moment I walked into DisneySea my mouth dropped and I was in awe. Every time I go back, I feel the same way!
DisneySea has a huge overarching theme, which it NAILS, which is nautical exploration! The theme at DisneySea is interwoven into every single element in the park! At DisneySea you will Crew Members, not Cast Members, and while you will not find “lands,” you will find Ports of Call! Of course, every one of the seven Ports of Call is nautical themed – Mermaid Lagoon, American Waterfront, Lost River Delta, and more!
When you enter each Port of Call, every single attraction, store, stand, and piece of decor perfectly matches the theme of that port. It is unbelievable how well they rebuilt a mini Mediterranean Harbor and right next door the Arabian Coast! You could easily take photographs all over this park and pretend you recently traveled around the world! The rides all correlate with their location – Mermaid Lagoon is home to all things Little Mermaid and you even go “under the sea” since the space is almost exclusive indoors, under the “water!”
It does not stop there either. American Waterfront is home to the most beautiful, and fun, Tower of Terror! This Tower is super unique because it is not linked to the Twilight Zone! I won’t spoil anything, but you will see some familiar faces on this ride if you have been to Mystic Manor! What always blows my mind is that not only does the whole park really fit together, by far the best when compared to every Disney Park in the world, but how every detail down to the snacks also matches! Curry popcorn in Arabian Coast, Italian panini in Mediterranean Harbor, and of course, a big Mickey pretzel in the American Waterfront!
DisneySea scores really high when it comes to accessibility and affordability for the same reasons at Tokyo Disneyland. DisneySea and Tokyo Disneyland also score at the very top of the list for customer service. The Crew Members at DisneySea have always been more I could have imagined. From Crew Members opening a ride earlier to let a few people on, to the nonstop double hand waves and smiles, to the perfect queue guidance and politeness, you just cannot beat it!
When it comes to crowds, DisneySea can definitely be crowded. It can have long queues and you definitely need to take advantage of the Fastpass system. But so many of the guests are so fun it’s hard to care. I have done matching shirts at Disney Parks for every trip for the last ten years or so, but the guests at DisneySea put us to shame! Think full matching outfits head to toe, an obsession with fun and big hats, and more popcorn buckets worn than I knew existed. It adds so much to the atmosphere and doesn’t hurt that (almost) everyone is polite!
If you love matching shirts or Disneybounding, oh my, would you LOVE DisneySea (and Tokyo Disneyland)!
So why does DisneySea take the number 1 spot?! Rides, Coasters, and Snacks, oh my! Oh yea, and the Parades, Shows, and Drinks too! There are entire blogs dedicated solely to DisneySea snacks, which you can find in multiple languages, so I could not possibly do them all justice here. What I must say is – Toy Store ice cream mochi, steam buns, sausage rolls, sea salt ice cream monaka, and gyoza dog. And of course…the crazy popcorns! Love the black pepper one! You can find all the popcorn varieties available on your park map!
In addition to the best Disney snacks ever, DisneySea is also home to quite a few really good quick service and sit down restaurants and sells alcohol! In order to buy alcohol you pay for a cute token at the normal queue and then take it over to a cheerful Cast Member who serves you the beverage. The best part of all of the snacks, food, and drinks at DisneySea is they are SO cheap! I find myself just eating all day all of the snacks and still spending less money than I would have in Tokyo.
One of my favorite sit down stops is the Teddy Roosevelt Lounge onboard the USS Columbia. Felt as if we stepped out of DisneySea and it’s a whole bar dedicated to Teddy Roosevelt…in Japan. I always stop here for a drink, including a fun cocktail, but usually I am too full of snacks for a meal! Don’t miss a sit down meal at DisneySea, even if it’s quick service, because all of the food is just so so good!
Another huge reason DisneySea is number one on my list ranking every Disney Park around the world are the RIDES! DisneySea is home to on my favorite rides at any Disney in the world, Journey to the Center of the Earth! It is also home to Toy Story Mania, Indiana Jones Adventure (another big coaster!), and a special Soarin! DisneySea has an amazing show at the Mermaid Lagoon Theater and a fun Sinbad show – note, they are in Japanese but you can get a subtitle device for Sinbad!
Parades are HUGE at the Tokyo Disney Resort! The first time we went to DisneySea, at rope drop, so many people ran to get a spot for the parade – four hours later. For this reason, the parades are exceptional! DisneySea has a water show/parade as well right in the middle of the park and it is great! If you get to DisneySea on a clear day, you can watch the show with super cool DisneySea atmosphere around it and Mt. Fuji behind it!
DisneySea also has the best shops and shopping for any Disney Park around the world! The coolest thing are the very cheap snacks you can buy in the stores. They range from candy in tins, to rice crackers and cakes, to ramen kits! They are so affordable so it is no surprise you will see people (it’s me…you’ll see me) filling up huge baskets of these goodies to bring home! Just like Tokyo Disneyland, rides tend not to end in gift shops and every store has differing items so it makes each shop feel like an extra attraction!
When applying all of my factors to every Disney Park around the world, DisneySea takes the number 1 spot by a landslide! I can’t even imagine how they will improve DisneySea, but I am really excited to see! For now, I will continue to proudly carry around my DisneySea charm and ramen bowl keychain repping my favorite Disney Park in the world!
I hope you love my ranking of every Disney Park Around the World as much as I loved sharing this all with you! What are your favorite Disney Parks around the world? What Disney Parks are you most excited to visit? Drop your answers, and favorite Disney Parks tips, in the Comments!