LEGOLAND vs Disneyland: Which Is Better? Honest Comparison 2023

LEGOLAND vs Disneyland? Are you struggling to choose the perfect theme park for your family vacation?

In this post, we will compare these two popular Southern California theme parks to help you better decide which is the perfect one for your family!

So what will it be, LEGOLAND or Disneyland? Let’s go!!

Which One Is Better: Disneyland or LEGOLAND?

Which park I think is better might not be the park that you think is better. That’s why in this post I’m going to give you all the information you need to decide which one is the best choice for YOUR family.

However, let me just go ahead and say there’s no place like Disney! And nobody does it like Disney!

A beautiful picture of Sleeping Beauty Castle at nightime at Disneyland Park.

There’s a reason it’s called The Happiest Place on Earth after all!

Disneyland has been entertaining families since 1955 and draws in over 18 million visitors every year! It’s also the second most visited theme park in the world after Walt Disney World.

Taking their child to Disney is a bucket-list item for most families before their child grows up. There’s a sense of nostalgia that Disney brings that is passed down from generation to generation. Parents and grandparents want to take their kids to see the castle and of course Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

Key Differences: LEGOLAND vs Disneyland

LEGOLAND and Disneyland are both theme parks located in Southern California that are excellent for families with kids. But, they are also quite different!

Let’s dive into the key differences between LEGOLAND and Disneyland, so you can decide which one is the better fit for your family.

General Admission Prices

LEGOLAND California Ticket Prices

1-Day LEGOLAND– $112
2-Day SEA LIFE Hopper(LEGOLAND & SEA LIFE)- $127
2-Day RESORT Hopper(LEGOLAND, SEA LIFE & WATER PARK)- $137

NOTE: Children ages 2 and under are free.

Disneyland Ticket Prices

1-Day Disneyland Park or Disney’s California Adventure – 1 Day tickets differ from multi-day tickets. The price depends on the date of your visit; with Tier 1 dates being the cheapest and Tier 6 dates being the most expensive.

Tier 1 dates are $108 for Children Ages 3-9; $114 for Adults
Tier 6 dates are $169 for Children Ages 3-9; $179 for Adults
Park Hopper is an additional $65/per day

2-Day Ticket with 1 Park Per Day – Children Ages 3-9- $270; Adults(Ages 10 and up)- $285
2-Day Ticket with Park Hopper– Children Ages 3-9- $330; Adults(Ages 10 and up)-$345
3-Day Ticket-Children Ages 3-9-$340; Adults(Ages 10 and up)-$360
3-Day Ticket with Park Hopper-Children Ages 3-9- $400; Adults(Ages 10 and up)- $420

NOTE: Children ages 2 and under are free.

Book Your LEGOLAND or Disneyland Family Vacation

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Getting There

LEGOLAND and Disneyland are both located in beautiful Southern California.

Disneyland is located in Orange County, California in the city of Anaheim, while LEGOLAND is located in Carlsbad, California just north of San Diego.

These two parks are approximately 64 miles away from each other and about a 1.5-hour drive.

LEGOLAND vs Disneyland.  A map of the location of these 2 parks shows their location in Southern California.

Flying to Disneyland

If flying to Disneyland, you have quite a few airports to choose from.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) will most likely be the most affordable and direct airport to fly into. LAX is approximately 33 miles from Disneyland.

However, the closest airport to Disneyland is John Wayne Airport(SNA) in Santa Ana. It is approximately 13 miles from Disneyland.

Another great option is Long Beach Airport (LGB). Long Beach Airport is approximately 18 miles from Disneyland.

Flying to LEGOLAND

If visiting LEGOLAND you could choose from any of the above airports, but the following two airports will be the closest airports to LEGOLAND California.

McClellan–Palomar Airport (CLD), located in Carlsbad is the closest airport to LEGOLAND. In fact, it is only 3 miles away from LEGOLAND California.

Your second closest airport to LEGOLAND California, is San Diego Airport (SAN). It is approximately 33 miles from LEGOLAND California.

Target Audience

There is a pretty big difference between the target audience of LEGOLAND vs Disneyland.

LEGOLAND is geared for families with young kids; specifically ages 2-12. Because of this specific age bracket, there is a short time frame in a child’s life that is good to take them to LEGOLAND.

Disneyland, however, is great for families of all ages. Toddlers, young kids, tweens, teens, parents, and grandparents will all enjoy Disneyland.

Crowds

Crowd levels at both of these parks depend on the time of the year.

The busiest times of the year are when the kids are out of school. For example, Spring Break can get pretty crowded at both parks.

However, Disneyland will almost always be more crowded than LEGOLAND because it is a more visited and popular park.

If you’re looking for a more laid-back theme park experience, then LEGOLAND might be the better park for you.

Rides, Shows & Attractions

Both Disneyland and LEGOLAND have many rides and attractions for young kids.

However, since LEGOLAND is a park geared solely towards younger kids you will not find any thrill rides here. They do however have more than 60 rides, shows, and attractions to keep your toddler and young kids entertained!

The fun Driving School ride at LEGOLAND California.

Since Disney Parks are geared toward the entire family, you’ll find rides, shows, and attractions for the whole family and even thrill rides for the thrill-seeker. Disneyland Park and Disneyland California Adventure have more than 90 rides, shows, and attractions to enjoy!

The famous teacup ride at Disneyland California.

Character Meet and Greets

Character meet and greets are a fun part of the theme park experience for kids. And both Disneyland and LEGOLAND offer character meet and greets. However, character meet and greets are a much bigger deal at Disneyland versus LEGOLAND.

At LEGOLAND California, your LEGO-loving kid can meet one of their favorite LEGO characters from LEGO-NINJAGO or The LEGO Movie.

LEGOLAND vs Disneyland when it comes to character meet and greets?  At LEGOLAND, your kid can meet one of their favorite LEGO characters.

At Disneyland, you’ll find characters not only at meet and greets but in parades and even at character dining meals!

Some but definitely not all of the characters you’ll find at Disneyland include Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and their gang, Winnie the Pooh and Friends, the Disney Princesses, Star Wars characters, Disney Junior characters, and many many more!

At Goofy's Kitchen at Disneyland Park, you can enjoy a fun meal with characters.

Theming

Both LEGOLAND and Disneyland do an incredible job with theming! But let’s talk about the differences between each park’s theming.

LEGOLAND is divided up into different themed lands; Explore Island, The LEGO Movie World, Fun Town, Pirate Shores, LEGO City Deep Sea Adventure, Castle Hill, Miniland USA, Land of Adventure, and LEGO Ninjago World.

LEGOLAND vs Disneyland for theming?  LEGOLAND does a great job with keeping their LEGO theming going throughout the park.

Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure are also divided up into incredible themed lands. At Disneyland Park, there is Main Street, USA, Adventureland, New Orleans Square, Critter Country, Frontierland, Mickey’s Toontown, Fantasyland, and Tomorrowland.

At Disney California Adventure there is Buena Vista Street, Pixar Pier, Paradise Gardens, Pacific Wharf, Grizzly Peak, Hollywood Land, Avengers Campus, and Cars Land.

Cars Land at Disney California Adventure is an incredible example of how well Disney does its theming.

Shopping

If shopping is a must on your vacation, then Disneyland Resort is the park for you.

LEGOLAND has a few souvenir shops here and there, but nothing like Disneyland Resort does.

Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure have shops at every turn and you can’t leave a ride without walking through a souvenir shop.

But where Disneyland really differs from LEGOLAND is in its Downtown Disney area.

Downtown Disney is a promenade at Disneyland Resort with shops, restaurants, and entertainment.

LEGOLAND vs Disneyland when it comes to shopping?  Disneyland definitely wins the shopping category.

Here you’ll find a wide variety of shops including apparel, accessories, makeup, art, and collectibles. Some of these stores at Downtown Disney include California Sole, Curl Surf, The Disney Dress Shop, Disney Home, The LEGO Store, Lovepop, PANDORA Jewelry, Pelé Soccer, Sephora, Star Wars Trading Post, Sunglass Icon, WonderGround Gallery, and World of Disney.

Food

You will never go hungry at LEGOLAND or Disneyland. There are quite a few quick-service restaurants at both of these theme parks to keep the whole family satisfied.

However, no doubt Disneyland wins the food category for the number of restaurants and the variety of restaurants.

You’ll also find many character dining experiences at Disneyland Resort, like the fun and colorful Goofy’s Kitchen at Disneyland Hotel. There are also many amazing sit-down restaurants with fabulous food and views like Blue Bayou Restaurant and Lamplight Lounge.

Plus, Disneyland has lots of delicious must-eat snacks including the Dole Whip, churros, Mickey Ice Cream Bars, and Mickey Beignets.

Mickey-shaped beignets at Disneyland are a must-eat at Disneyland Resort.

LEGOLAND vs Disneyland: Which is Better For the Family?

My kids in front of the LEGOLAND California entrance.

LEGOLAND and Disneyland are both excellent theme parks for families! They were both created with families in mind and as a place for families to spend time together.

Here, I’m going to answer some of your most frequently asked questions to help you better decide which is the best theme park for your family!

Which one is better for toddlers: LEGOLAND or Disneyland?

Both LEGOLAND and Disneyland are excellent for toddlers! You cannot go wrong with either of these parks with toddlers in tow.

At both LEGOLAND and Disneyland, you’ll find many toddler-friendly rides and attractions and character meet-and-greets.

Also, located at both LEGOLAND AND Disneyland are Baby Care Centers. These are inside, air-conditioned rooms great for moms with infants and toddlers. Here you will find a baby changing area, rocking chairs, and a microwave.

Which is better on a budget: LEGOLAND or Disneyland?

For those on a budget, LEGOLAND is going to be the more affordable of the two.

I’m not saying LEGOLAND is cheap because it definitely is not! But it will be the more affordable of the two.

Ticket prices at LEGOLAND California are cheaper than tickets for Disneyland. Plus at Disneyland, you will encounter SO many tempting food, snack, and merchandise options that it might be hard to stick to a budget here.

However, that being said if you are on a tight budget you can definitely still go to Disneyland. A great tip for those visiting Disneyland on a budget is to bring your own food into the parks. Food at Disney can be very pricy and this is an excellent way to save a lot of money.

Which is more fun: LEGOLAND or Disneyland?

Let’s first talk about the kids! Which theme park is more fun for kids, depends on the kid.

Do you have a kid that absolutely loves playing with LEGOS, or loves watching The LEGO Movie, LEGO Ninjago, or LEGO City Adventures? Or do you have a kid whose dream is to swim with giant-size LEGO bricks? 🏊‍♂️ 🧱 (Well maybe not, but this was my kid! 🤣).

If either of these is the case, then LEGOLAND might be more fun than Disneyland for your kid!

Let me tell you just how much fun my youngest kid had when we went! We went to LEGOLAND California when my youngest had just turned 6. He had been asking to go for a while and his dream was to swim in the pool with the giant-size LEGOS at the LEGOLAND Hotel. He had such an amazing time at LEGOLAND Resort that he was in tears when it was time to leave.

There is definitely a right time for LEGOLAND and if you go at that right time, your kid will definitely have a lot of fun!

However, if your kid is into anything Disney like Mickey, Minnie, the Disney Princesses, Disney Junior, Star Wars, or a lover of Disney movies, then Disneyland most likely will be the most fun option for your kid!

Now let’s talk about adults! There’s no doubt, most adults are going to say Disneyland is more fun because LEGOLAND is definitely geared toward younger kids ages 2-12.

While LEGOLAND California is a park for younger kids, Disneyland is a park for everyone! The whole family from toddlers to seniors will have fun at Disneyland. And if you’re a thrill ride lover, you’ll find your fun at Disneyland!

Which is bigger: LEGOLAND or Disneyland?

Even though LEGOLAND has a theme park, a waterpark, and an aquarium, the feel of LEGOLAND is definitely much smaller.

Disneyland Resort’s two parks, Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure cover 500 acres. You will be doing miles and miles of walking around Disneyland and you will definitely feel exhausted after walking around a day at Disneyland.

Disneyland: Best Things To Do

Best things to do at Disneyland? Wow, there are SO many, I could write an entire book.

But lucky for you, I’m going to give you a quick synopsis here of the best things to do at Disneyland Resort.

✔️Rides & Attractions

It's a small word at Disneyland Park is one of Disneyland's most popular rides.

Disneyland Park opened in 1955 and many of its original rides are still there including Jungle Cruise, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Peter Pan’s Flight, Mad Tea Party, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Disneyland Railroad, and King Arthur Carrousel.

Other popular rides here include “it’s a small word”, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Star War’s Rise of the Resistance, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean, the Disneyland Monorail, and the Disneyland Railroad.

And the most famous attraction at Disneyland Park is Sleeping Beauty Castle!

Disney California Adventure is the newer park at Disneyland Resort. Some of the popular rides at this park include Radiator Springs Racers, The Little Mermaid-Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, Incredicoaster, Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, Toy Story Midway Mania, and WEB SLINGERS: A Spiderman Adventure.

✔️Parades & Nighttime Shows

LEGOLAND vs Disneyland when it comes to nighttime shows?  No doubt, Disneyland wins this category.  The World of Color at Disney California Adventure is a must-see nighttime show at Disneyland.

Disney is known all over the world for its incredible parades and nighttime shows.

During the day, you can catch your favorite Disney characters riding down Main Street USA.

At night, Disneyland Park has its incredible projections and fireworks show at Sleeping Beauty Castle. They also have Fantasmic, an amazing nighttime show with special effects and beautiful art projections.

At Disney California Adventure, you’ll find a kaleidoscope of color, lights, fire, water, and music at Pixar Pier during the World of Color show. This incredible show features scenes and music from some of your favorite Disney and Pixar films.

✔️Character Dining

LEGOLAND vs Disneyland when it comes to character dining?  Character dining is one of the best things to do at Disneyland.

Character dining at Disneyland is one of the best things to do at Disneyland. This is a fun way to meet your favorite character and give them a hug without having to wait in line.

Some great options for character dining at Disneyland include Goofy’s Kitchen at Disneyland Hotel featuring Goofy, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and Chip ‘n’ Dale.

Plaza Inn in Disneyland Park has a character breakfast featuring Minnie Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Chip n Dale, and Donald Duck.

Storytellers Cafe at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa features Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse Pluto, and Chip ‘n’ Dale.

Disney Princess lovers will love Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand California Hotel & Spa. Princesses seen here include Belle, Tiana, Pocahontas, Aurora, Rapunzel, Jasmine, Ariel, and Mulan.

✔️ Downtown Disney

Visiting Downtown Disney is another one of the best things to do at Disneyland. Downtown Disney is Disneyland’s destination for incredible food, shopping, and entertainment. It is located directly next to the entrance of both Disneyland Parks.

When at Downtown Disney with kids go to World of Disney, The LEGO Store, Star Wars Trading Post, and Splitsville Luxury Lanes. Pick up a delicious treat from Marceline’s Confectionery or Salt and Straw.

LEGOLAND: Best Things To Do

LEGOLAND California has lots of fun things for the little LEGO lover in your life. Here are the best things to do at LEGOLAND California!

✔️Rides & Attractions

Some of the best rides and attractions at LEGOLAND California include Lost Kingdom Adventure, Ninjago the Ride, Coastersaurus, Dragon Coaster, Technic Coaster, Driving School, LEGO CITY: Deep Sea Adventure, and Fun Town Fire and Police Academy.

LEGO lovers have to take the LEGO factory tour to see how a LEGO brick is made. 🧱 Also, LEGO lovers will enjoy all the LEGO creations throughout the park, especially at MINILAND USA. This is an area where you’ll find millions of LEGO bricks put together to form scenes of the cities of San Diego, New York City, Washington D.C., and Las Vegas.

MINILAND USA is a land at LEGOLAND with scenes from cities all over the U.S built out of LEGOS.

✔️Waterpark

LEGOLAND Resort also has a waterpark! So, if you’re looking for a waterpark in Southern California to take your younger kids, then LEGOLAND Waterpark is an excellent choice!

LEGOLAND Waterpark has a lazy river, waterslides, a water flume ride, and a splash pad area for the littlest ones.

✔️Aquarium

Not only does LEGOLAND California have a theme park and a waterpark, but they also have an aquarium!

This is the perfect aquarium for kids to learn and observe underwater sea life. At SEA LIFE Aquarium you’ll see all kinds of fish, sharks, octopi, and rays!

✔️Stay at a LEGOLAND Resort Hotel

My boys in the bunkbed at The LEGOLAND Hotel.

When visiting LEGOLAND, staying at one of the LEGOLAND hotels is a must! These hotels are pure fun for kids and no doubt staying here is one of the best things to do at LEGOLAND California!

There are 2 hotels on the property at LEGOLAND, California; LEGOLAND Hotel and LEGOLAND Castle Hotel.

Both of these hotels include a fun scavenger hunt for the kids in the hotel room, a separate kid’s sleeping area in every room, a free hot breakfast buffet, and nightly-themed kid’s entertainment.

Themed rooms at LEGOLAND Resort include your choice of Pirate, Kingdom, Adventure, LEGO NINJAGO, or LEGO Friends.

Themed rooms at LEGOLAND Castle Hotel include your choice of Knights & Dragons, Royal Princess, or Magic Wizard.

The Wrap-Up: LEGOLAND vs Disneyland

LEGOLAND and Disneyland are two popular theme parks in Southern California for families with kids. While Disneyland is closer to Los Angeles, LEGOLAND is closer to San Diego.

LEGOLAND is geared towards younger kids ages 2-12, while Disneyland is great for all ages.

LEGOLAND has a theme park, a waterpark, and an aquarium, while Disneyland Resort has Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure, and Downtown Disney.

Which park is best for your family depends on your children’s interests, your children’s ages, and your budget.

Can’t decide between Disneyland and LEGOLAND? Why not do both? You could easily combine both of these into a Southern California family vacation!

I hope you have found this post helpful: LEGOLAND vs Disneyland: Which Is Better? Honest Comparison 2023. Whatever you decide to do, one thing is for sure, you will have the most amazing time!

And if you need any help planning your vacation, contact me, and let’s get started!!

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