2016 | Ariel and Alder
Every once and awhile I get the v-cool opportunity to share a DIY idea and article on the popular Disney blog, Disney Style! Todays article shows you how to create a one of a kind "small world" hoop ornament for the Disneyland lover in your life. 

All the instructions, supplies, and info can be found on style.disney.com :)

Check out the Disney Style article here, and if you missed my last one it's a super fun toy story hoop trio for your dorm room or home! It too would make a great DIY gift for the holidays.

After a one day gift guide hiatus (there was a fun holiday recipe instead!) I am back with a new theme today!

Who doesn't love the renaissance film Beauty and The Beast? Its super popular for a reason and has some of the most merchandise of any Disney film. I tried to keep things inexpensive for this one, everything pictured is under fifty dollars.

Chip Mug: The cutest gift for any Beauty And The Beast fan, at a great price point!

Mrs Potts Lip Balm: A semi-ridiculous stocking stuffer thats sure to bring a laugh. Not going to lie I would love to see this funny chapstick in my stocking.

Mrs Potts Bag Charm: Another cute stocking stuffer idea! Can we all agree that the talking household tools are the real stars of the show.

Beast Clutch: How funky is this? In the best way of course! I love these character purses and they are really inexpensive for a handbag. Bonus fact that its currently on sale here!

Chip and Mrs Potts Salt And Pepper Shakers: A gift for the hostess or home-decor loving friend! So cute!

Lumiere Ornament: Adorable! Imagine how cute this would look on a tree! If you dont want to treat it as an ornament or don't celebrate christmas, It would look super cute as a mini decoration in a room or at a desk.

Belle Bracelet: I have picked these bracelets for my Little Mermaid gift guide and I seriously think all the princess sayings are adorable reminders to be yourself. These make really great gifts for college students about to go away, a sister, or a coworker who needs a little reminder that they are awesome.

Did you catch yesterdays post with +Tiffany Davis? Its a good one! See you guys tomorrow for another gift guide!


Taking a break from holiday gift guides to bring you a holiday treat....literally!

Today @Tifferently is taking over to share her recipe for perfect peppermint marshmallows, shaped like Mickey Mouse! These are so perfect for the season, and she quite literally mailed me some of the batch pictured so I can attest to the deliciousness of these mouse-shaped-mellows. They are so great in cocoa but would also make a wonderful gift for neighbors, coworkers, and friends.

Enough of me gabbing, lets get to the food! Take it away Tiffany!

Getting into holiday mode makes me want all things peppermint, which is why I am SO excited to share these marshmallows. Nothing smells like the holidays like one of these peppermint marshmallows melting in a cup of hot chocolate.

Homemade marshmallows are pillowy soft and tender, so much better than the store bought version. And, bonus: you can flavor them with different extracts, tint with assorted colors and cut into desired shapes (I had to make mine Mickey shaped, of course). They even store and ship well, so you can package them up as cute little gifts to give to all the people in your life who have yet to taste the magic of a homemade marshmallow.

Have you ever made marshmallows at home before? They’re RIDICULOUSLY easy and surprisingly fun. Yes, you need a candy thermometer, but don’t let that scare you.  I promise it’s not complicated or tricky.  Like, at all. Delicious, pretty, and smells like a peppermint wonderland. You’ve got to try making these marshmallows!

3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3/4 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Nonstick spray
4-5 drops red food coloring

  1. Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
  2. In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
  3. Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the peppermint extract during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.
  4. Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
  5. When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Drop red food coloring onto marshmallows and use a toothpick to swirl the food coloring into the marshmallows. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  6. If you are using cookie cutters dip your cookie cutters into remaining confectioners’ sugar and cornstarch mix and cut out shapes. OR turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown

For more mouse shaped foodie fun make sure to follow +Tiffany Davis on Instagram here! Her creations are so amazing! I linked some Mickey shaped tools in the widget below if you want to try and re-create these marshmallows of another one of her recipes.

See you all tomorrow for a gift guide, but seriously wasn't this way more fun than a boring old gift guide? ;)


My nephew Joey loves monsters! His entire nursery was themed after the film so I have a special knowledge and attachment to todays gift guide. In fact, santa may have already prepared him a few MU gifts for him! ;)

Here are four gift ideas for someone who loves Mike and Sully!

Monsters University Hat: Such a classic Disney thing, you see these all over Disneyland because they are so cute and popular. Perfect for anyone going to college next fall!

Sushi Phone Case: Ok so maybe no one else remembers this motif and its just me....but that scene where mike and his girlfriend go out for sushi always comes to mind when I see sushi themed things! I had to include this fun case in this gift guide.

Mike Coffee Mug: Always Watching. This mug is part of an adorable character series, mugs make the best inexpensive gifts for literally anyone that drinks coffee or tea.

Sully Christmas Ornament: This is just the cutest! Usually I try to not do an ornament on every single gift guide, but this one is a favorite. I saw it in Disneyland and hat to pick it up!

See you tomorrow for another Disney gift guide!


It's about time I do a gift guide based around one of my favorites, The Little Mermaid!

I love this film. Its main character is even in my blog title, so obviously i'm in love with everything on this list and own a few of the items myself. If you know someone who loves this Disney film or even mermaids in general, these things are for them!

Life is the bubbles, am I right?

Follow Your Dreams Bangle: I have this bangle and I love it! Such a cute little token to adorn your wrist with. There is even an itty bitty flounder on it.

Nail Color: this glittery nail polish screams "MERMAID" to me, also nail polish makes the best stocking stuffer.

Mermaid Beanie: I am wearing this hat in the picture below this post and I proudly wear it all winter long! I think its so fun to have such a tropical theme to a winter hat and the color scheme just kills me. Currently the company that makes this hat doesn't have any more of these in stock right now, but they have a ton of other cute Disney items that are worth a gander.

Purple Sneakers/ How fun for a RunDisney marathon or 10K!

Sebastian Pouch/ Sass Master Sebastian makes this pouch so fun, I mean....just look at him. I feel like we can all relate to this little red crab when we get cranky. Ya feel? 

Sea Shell Phone Case/ Sonix cases are my favorite (another great stocking stuffer!) and this shell print one is so fun, plus the shimmery-ness of it makes it extra magical.

See you guys tomorrow for another Disney gift guide! If you aren't caught up, I have all the other ones linked for you below. Happy gift hunting!


Taking a much needed break from holiday gift guides to bring you a post on a very fun topic...

Holiday Cards!

Who else loves to send them but always feels late to the game year after year? Well this year we did it (!!!) and we did on time which is in part thanks to Minted! We took advantage of their pre-printed addressing (it was free!) and it was a major time saver, but I will talk about that later.

Anyways, we have an annual tradition of going to our favorite coffee shop and spending a weekend afternoon preparing our cards for launch and jumped on the chance when a rouge snow day arrived

Here is our final card for 2016, I love how they turned out!

We chose the "merry christmas magic" design style in red, which I think looks so perfect with our minty green photo! I love how the scripting looks with the watercolor and they had both "Happy Holidays" and "Merry Christmas" options available.

One thing that's especially nice if you still havent ordered your families cards is they had a ton of "Happy New Year" card designs available which I think is brilliant! New years cards have become more and more popular in recent years and its a great solution for waiting till after the holiday rush to send greetings. They have an entire section of the website dedicated to just new years cards, check it out if you still need to order.

In terms of getting our photo we surprisingly had the easiest experience ever! 

We picked out some brown/tan clothes to coordinate with our dog and went to the Dollar Tree to snag a wreath for her neck. The while process took about ten minutes and we were thanking our lucky stars that Baloo finally decided to perk up and pose while we were holding her. Most of the pictures prior to this one involved us smiling while she blinked.

To save some time, you can always use a picture from an event or vacation that year instead of taking a whole new picture for your christmas card. But since "getting a dog" was a big thing that happened to us in 2016, we really wanted a great photo with both of us and her in it.

Here are some things to consider if you are ordering your card (or any card!) with Minted:

1) The Address Assistant makes addressing your cards so easy, look so beautiful, and during the holiday season it's free! This saved us so much time because the envelopes were pretty much ready to ship when we got them. They also offer custom stamps which I think are really fun.

2) The find it fast option is also a super helpful tool to find the perfect holiday card design. Simply upload your photo, then watch as it appears in hundreds of different holiday card designs. This saves a lot of time on individually clicking through and uploading photos to holiday card product pages. This quick process was how we found our final card design!

Finally, I have partnered up with Minted today to help a few of you send holiday greetings for free! They were kind enough to offer a giveaway to a few lucky readers. This would be perfect for some new years cards so be sure to enter if that is something you're interested in!

We are giving away two 125$ gift cards to minted.com, all you have to do is enter here, fill out the form, and Minted will contact you if you win :) Winner will be notified on December 23rd.

Seasons Greetings!

This post was crafted in partnership with Minted.com. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Ariel and Alder a possibility.

Today the theme is Toy Story and I couldn't be more excited to share this one. Cameron loves this film series so I come back to this theme for ideas every year! What's great about Toy Story is that there have been multiple sequels, providing a ton of different characters to choose from.

Weather you like Buzz, Woody, The Little Green Men, or Slink you are sure to find something fun below. A lot of these items are inexpensive as well which makes this gift guide excellent for finding a gift under fifty dollars.

Slinky Dog: You guys, this is a real life Slink in retro packaging. How cute would this be on a shelf for the ultimate toy story fan?! The best part? It's under twenty dollars.

Little Green Men Beanie: Adorable! I love the little green men on anything but the pattern on this beanie really makes them extra cute. I love the little pom pom adorning the top.

Toy Story Moleskine Journal: When Moleskine collaborated with Pixar to make these journals, I knew I needed one. The hand drawn element is so adorable and Moleskine journals are super high quality. Such a great stocking stuffer!

Buzz Worthy Tee: This shirt is so great, for so many reasons but the best part is that it's from Forever 21 so its super inexpensive.

Vans Sneakers: Toy Story for Vans is another great product collaboration that happened this year. There are so many great patterns to choose from but the "Woody" one is my favorite. An added little detail is that they say "Andy" on the bottom of one side. So perfect!

See you guys tomorrow for another round!


Peter Pan is the quintessential disney film! Created in 1953 it captured a signature animation style that we think of when "Disney classics" come to mind. Tinkerbell has become a character representation of Disneyland and what the park stands for over the years. Todays gift guide covers gift ideas for the adult who never grew up, which includes many of us who frequent Disneyland ;)

Off to Neverland!

Tinkerbell Bag: This bag is just so beautiful, it's part of a whole collection of near perfect Disney character bags. The price point is super reasonable as well which makes this a great gift that won't break the bank.

Wendy Darling Print: Adam Grayson is an amazing artist and his prints are amazing! The purchase of this Wendy Darling print is a great way to shop small this season :)

Off To Neverland Pin: This pin was also designed by Adam, and is gorgeous in person! I have one in my collection and its one of my favorites. Pin it on the stocking of someone who loves this film, and make their holiday season just a little more magical!

Starburst Earrings: These are so fun and perfect for a new years eve party.

Hunter Boots: Hunter Boots were given to me 5 Christmases ago and they were hands down one of the best gifts I have ever received! I live in Oregon where a pair of great rain boots are essential, but these would be great for anyone going to college or moving to an area that gets inclement weather. The darling Tinkerbell color is just a fun bonus to this uber practical gift!

Tinkerbell Bangle: Such a cute little bracelet for a happy reminder throughout the new year. Alex and Ani bracelets make great gifts for coworkers, sisters, and friends. This Tinkerbell one is so sweet!

See you tomorrow at 6am for another gift guide!


What can I say except you're welcome!

If you loved the new film Moana like I did, then todays gift guide is for you. We loved the movie, loved it! I left the theatre and immediatley stitched a hoop of Disney's latest wayfinding heroine. The soundtrack is amzing, the film istelf is stunning, If you havent seen it you dont know what you're missing.

Hawaiian Shirt: This Moana shirt is at the top of Camerons list for 2016, he wears Hawaiian shirts into the park almost every time we are there. Even though its technically a mens shirt, Disney "dad shirts" are becoming trendy with cutoffs at the park for ladies and personally I think it's cah-ute!

Pua Plush: So cuutttte! For kids or....anyone that likes stuffed pigs.

Moana Makeup Case: Just as cute as the cross body mentioned below but a lot more practical if you don't want to commit to the print and just want something small.

Moana Necklace Pin: This pin is from a new pin store that I love, Fan Flaire! The art is amazing (see how it's done here!) and the pins are super high quality. 

The Youtuber behind the brand (Sarah Snitch) has super helpful Disney videos if you have never seen them! I genuinely think she is one of the most solid sources of Disney content I have ever found so if you are planning a trip, need help pin trading, disney bounding, etc...go check her out!

Ocean Earrings: I spotted these and instantly thought of Moana, the druzy blue crystals look like the ocean! So cute, I'm obsessed with the blue but they do come in pink and gray as well.

Crossbody Bag: So great for traveling, or kids! These Le Sportsac bags are water resistant, light to carry, and easy to wipe. I can't wait to use my bag from this collection the next time I hit up Disneyland. The Moana print and theme is just an adorable bonus. 

Remember that a new gift guide goes live at 6am every day, so check back tomorrow for a new theme. If there is a film you would like to see drop me a note on Tumblr :)

Hey-O, welcome to another gift guide! 

Todays isn't just for people who love the classic Mickey Mouse short "Steamboat Willie" but its for those who love simple, classic style. Black and white films, a great watch to wear every day, shoes that get better with each wear. 

Know someone like that? Great! Here are a few ideas for them, and for those who love some classic mouse.

Black Watch: This is such a great gift, I can't even emphasize that enough. A watch is perfect for anyone...who has a wrist. The black band is so neutral, and worst comes to worst they have good amount (99$) of exchange money if that particular watch doesn't strike their fancy and they would prefer something yellow/green/polka dotted.

Steamboat Willie Statue: for the ultimate fan, this would look so cute in an office!

Mug: Remember me mentioning classics? well mugs are, classic! Everyone likes them, because most people drink coffee/tea.

Ornament: Like the statue, but with a little less commitment ;)

Black And White Stripe Earrings: A little trendy, but so cute and versatile for every season.

Plaid Shirt: I think flannels and plaids are always a good investment (they double as a jacket in certain situations) and a black and white one would go with so many things. If you want something thats black on white instead of the one pictured, they have that too!

Like I said..classic gifts for classic folks.

See you guys tomorrow at 6am (pst) for another Disney gift guide!


Hello again! Today's gift guide theme is Winnie The Pooh and even though I'm not the usually biggest fan of these characters, I would love to receive any of these things as a gift! Pooh is from the Hundred Acre Wood so most of these items involve some level of woodsy "coziness" ;) 

As a reminder there will be a new gift guide post here every day (6am PST) in December so be sure to check back to see what the theme is tomorrow.

Felted Owl Ornament: This is the cutest addition to any woodsy christmas tree, and makes a great stocking stuffer for any "pooh" fan.

Yellow Oxfords: I love these! I think the color is so unique and would look so cute with anything brown or plaid in the fall. 

Pooh Bear Watch: Classic, I love that the band is a deep brown and while this is technically a mens watch I think its pretty gender neutral. I actually prefer wearing mens watches myself due to the larger face size.

Ugg Slippers: So cozy! Durable Ugg slippers are a great gift for literally anyone and the slight honeycomb pattern on these makes them a perfect fit for this gift guide.

Fuzzy Eeyore Sweatshirt: My favorite item on this list, and I don't even traditionally like Eeyore that much. So cute and comfy, perfect for winter.

See you guys tomorrow at 6am (pst) for another gift guide!


What season is it? The season of gift giving! Wave hellooooo to the holidays!

This is my third year doing gift guides and each year prior I never really felt confident making them because I felt grossly unqulaified to tell you guys what to buy for you husband, children, best friends, etc. Relationships are super personal and what works for one person most likely won't work for another, duh!

But if there is one thing I know and know well, its Disney films and Disney fashion. So instead of sorting gift guides by person, this year I'm making suggestions based on films. If you know someone who loves Alice In Wonderland, today is for them! :) My good friend Rachel is deeply obsessed with this classic film and instantly chatted me when she spotted this on my snapchat

NOTE: This guide may here be known casually as Natalie's guide to what Rachel Lind wants for Christmas. Take note Lind family members ;)

I hope you guys like this format and its easier for you to spot something special for the Disney fan in your life. I have some really fun themes coming up, and there will be a new post here every day (6am PST) in December so be sure to check back to see what the theme is tommorrow.

Without further ado, lets take a trip down the rabbit hole for some Alice themed gifts!

Clock Purse: Novelty purses are a great gift because they are truly something the recipient wouldn't go out of their way to buy! Usually people stick to "safe" neutral bags when buying for themselves which makes this clock purse a fun and unexpected gift to recieve.

Mad Hatter Ring: The perfect little stocking stuffer! Attach to a box of the recipients favorite tea to complete the gift. 

Alice In Wonderland Ears: I have seen these in the park 3000+ times and they never stood out to me, until now. I think these would be such a great gift to any park fan, and would look so cute with a colorful sweater.

Glitter Tea Spoons: These are the cutest! I think these acrylic tea spoons are an adorable hostess gift to give even if you don't love Alice :)

Alice and Delilah Flats: How cute! These are for the truly devoted Alice fan!

Doorknob: The perfect gift for someone that loves this film, imagine having one of these on one of the doors in your house!

Cheshire Cat Socks: Another great stocking stuffer, these are perfect.

See you guys tomorrow for another Disney gift guide!


This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to Disneyland...but just for 24 hours! And while I like to consider myself just knowledgeable enough to know what to pack for a trip to Disney, the short time window and limited space presented a challenge. 

Here is what I brought for 6 hours in transit, and two-ish days of park time!

PS. There is a corresponding youtube diary that goes with this post. I have been having so much fun creating and editing videos lately, I hope you guys are loving them as well :) You can follow along by subscribing!


If you pack one thing for any trip to a Disney Park, let it be a flannel in lieu of a full blown jacket or coat. You can tie it around your waist during the day, and quickly put it on in the air conditioning or at night. Every trip that I packed a flannel I was so grateful that I did. 

Old Navy has the best selection!

Jean Shorts:

What more can I say? Bring a pair of comfy denim....or just pack some pants. You know, so you aren't naked.


I feel like this suggestion sparks a debate with some park goers who claim that birks just aren't comfortable enough to wear for the whole day in the park. But for me, they work great! They are easy to take off in security and I never have problems walking in them for hours on end. Just make sure that they are well worn in before you pack them. Super important detail!

Tennis Shoes:

Also very obvious, anything thats not a pair of flat bottom converse will work well.

Giant/Durable Tote Bag:

For this trip, I needed something that was big enough to hold extra space for gifts I picked up in the park since I went during the holidays. This Hayden Reis tote is my go to giant tote bag and its made of sailcloth so its super durable and stain resistant.

I have had it for almost two years and it still looks brand new.

Crossbody Bag:

A small cross body bag that can handle the essentials is key to a great park day. 

You want something light enough to "feel" handsfree but something big enough to carry everything you need. Since I carry around filming equipment in the park, this Harvey's cross body tote is just big enough to meet my needs without being oversized and bulky. If you need something slimmer for just your wallet and phone, they also carry a crossbody wallet that's perfect for that.

Ipad with Keyboard Case:

This keyboard case is a recent acquisition of mine and it is SO superior to traveling with a laptop on quick trips. the keyboard is sturdy but thin, I can't recommend it enough! 

Extra Credit:

Sunglasses/ Duh, the sunshine state. These are my faves.

Baseball Hat/ See above reasoning ;)

Pillow Pet or Stuffed Animal/ doubles as a pillow, but more fun! The cheshire cat one is sold out in the parks but can be found here, and the dumbo tsum-tsum can be found here.

I hope you all have the best Thanksgiving! 
Check back here tommorrow night for Black Friday Sales.


It has been a little while since I've talked about what arrives in the Smugglers Bounty Box each month, and for that I apologize! This box usually has a plethora of fun things that are pretty equal to the cost if you are a Funko Pop fan. 

Here is what was in my box in July and September! You can read about the contents of past boxes here and here.

Early Fall:

This months "theme" was Darth Vader/ Death Star which was super-duper fun. Inside the box was the usual patch and pin, a fun luggage tag, along with a tee, and two (!!) Funko Pops. The luggage tag, although small was probably my favorite thing but per usual Cameron was jazzed about the t-shirt and pops.


This box had a "Jabba's Palace" theme and it was more of a merch centered box. It came with a patch and a pin, Boba Fett plush, ceramic Jabba mug, C-3PO hat, and a very unique R2-D2 pop. I think I liked this box just a little bit more than the July version, but that was mostly due to my obsession with coffee mugs :)

  I mean....c'mon

I promise next month will be closer to on time guys, there was a lot of moving around this summer and it totally threw me off ;)

I always manage to unbox them on Snapchat when they arrive!



The biggest difference between the two is really the size of each resort. In disneyland, you will walk a lot and spend some time getting around but not nearly as much as you will in Disney World. In Disneyland the parks are right across from each other, and the downtown disney district and resort hotels are attached to that main hub. The Grand Californian even offers a direct entrance to California Adventure. In WDW you will take a bus, boat, or monorail to get to the four parks, disney springs, and all the resorts. You will spend a lot of time in transit.

With that said, its really amazing how immersive Walt Disney World is! From the moment you land in MCO and hop on to Mickeys Magical Express its like the outside world doesn't exist. Disneyland is somewhat similar, but you can see outside hotels and Panera Bread from the monorail sometimes.


A difference that is right in your face when you walk in to each park, the castle! The difference between these two american castles is astounding. 

In Disneyland: 

Sleeping Beauty Castle is small, pink, and has a simple walkthrough on the inside. It's particularly beautiful during the holiday season when the top spires are adorned with sparkly snow!

In Magic Kingdom: 

Cinderella Castle is blue, overwhelmingly large, hosts shows on a stage in the front, has a full scale princess restaurant inside, and is home to a Cinderella suite for a a lucky few. My favorite difference, was definitely the show stage! It makes such a great stage for fireworks and the raised height makes it easy to see! Im 5"1" so this is a critical difference :)


Another obvious difference is that Disneyland Resort has two parks (DCA + Disneyland) and The Walt Disney World Resort has four plus two water parks (Hollywood Studios + Epcot + Animal Kingdom + Magic Kingdom). 

In my opinion it feels like the actual amount of attractions are similar, but in Walt Disney World its just more spread out. For example you have so many "big" attractions stuffed into Disneyland (Matterhorn, The Three Mountains, Indiana Jones, Star Tours) and all those same or similar attractions can be found in WDW, just spread out among four parks. Dont get what I'm saying? I have summarized my theory of comprable attractions below. 

In Disneyland:
Three Mountains/ Three Mountains Magic Kingdom
 Matterhorn/ Expedition Everest in Animal Kingdom
Indiana Jones/ Dinosaur in Animal Kingdom
Star Tours/ Star Tours in Hollywood Studios

In California Adventure:
California Screamin/ Rockin Roller Coaster in Hollywood Studios
Goofy's Sky School/ Primeval Whirl in Animal Kingdom
Grizzly River Run/ Kali River Rapids
Soarin/ Soarin in Epcot
Radiator Springs Racers/ Test Track
Tower Of Terror/ TOT in Hollywood Studios

Unique/Incomparable Attractions WDW:
Kilamanjaro Safari
The People Mover
Spaceship Earth 
Mission: SPACE
Seven Dwarves Mine Train
Mickeys Phillharmagic
Stitch Great Escape

Unique/Incomparable Attractions Disneyland:
Mickeys Fun Wheel
Luigi's Rollicking Roadsters
Nemo Submarine Voyage


Space: Space is totally different and which one is "better" seems to be a hot topic among Disney bloggers. Personally I prefer Disneyland's version. The seating arrangements in disneyland allow you to sit side by side with a friend, whereas in disney world the ride car is similar to the toboggans on the matterhorn. The speakers in disneyland are also behind your head in the ride car, so I found the music to be more consistent than in the magic kingdom. With that said the drops are better (faster, higher, more surprising) in the magic kingdom version. I found that there was a huge difference when you sit in the front of the MK version, the drops and turns were more sudden. 

Splash: Imagine that splash is the opposite of space coast to coast. In California its a single log and in Florida its a double log so you can sit with a friend. I prefer splash at Magic Kingdom over disneyland, which is saying a lot because its one of my favorite attractions. You dont get as wet because you sit deeper in the log, which I love! I feel like my pants and shoes always get drenched in Disneyland. I also like the dark drop a lot in the magic kingdom version, although I really have no fact to base my preference on.


The biggest difference? Walt Disney World offers a dining plan with your hotel reservation and Disneyland does not. This makes a huge difference when comparing the cost of visiting the two different parks. Its not that WDW is "cheaper" but in general the dining plan makes it stress free, high value, and more straight forward. Something to note is that the dining plan doesn't include gratuity or souvenir cups...if you're into that sort of thing (me!!)

Below is the cost per day for each WDW Dining Plan in 2016

Now when it comes to dining options Walt Disney World takes the cake, there were so many restaurants of all scales that it was overwhelming for me. Some of my favorite experiences form our last trip were Sanaa, Yak and Yeti, and Be Our Guest Restaurant to just name a few. Now on the west coast, dining is expensive but in my opinion worth every penny. Carthay Circle and Blue Bayou are unparalleled experiences, and Goofys Kitchen is classic. If you are deciding between the two resorts, don't let the dining plan make or break your decision. Disney park food is expensive no matter how you slice it.


To me this seemed like the biggest difference between the two parks, and ultimately the most daunting as a frequent disneyland-er. In Disneyland you pick up a paper fast pass and then wait for the allotted time frame to ride the attraction. In Disney world you plan all your fastpasses for all your days before you even leave. You can also book additional experiences like character meet and greets and shows with the same fast pass + system

In Florida, everything is loaded onto your magic band bracelet. It serves as your tool to get into your hotel room, use fast passes, pay for meals, and take photos. I definitely think that the magic band system makes your WDW vacation seamless, but the Disneyland experience is simpler and a little easier to understand in many ways. 


 The Walt Disney World Resort has 34 resorts on property, Disneyland Resort has 3. What does this mean? It means that Florida offers something for every budget, and California serves the luxury travel consumer. Staying on property in WDW starts at around 80$ a night, Disneyland starts at around 300$ for Paradise Pier. 

Basically, Disneyland is more expensive and has less on propety options.

With that said, I personally like the resorts in Disneyland just a little bit better. We stayed at The Polynesian in WDW and it was amazing. We think that the Disneyland hotel rooms have a luxury vacation vibe and the WDW resorts are great for large groups. There are similarities in every disney hotel room (hide-a-bed, theming) and every resort is unique so the best way to book is to just try one out! :)

Here are some of our favorites in both California and Florida:


Characters In The Park: 

In my experience the interactions with characters at Disneyland were the kind where you can just "stumble upon" one, wait in a brief line, get a picture and an antidote and then say farewell. In Walt Disney World the characters had definite "spots" where you wait in line to approach them and there was always a photopass cast member ready to scan your band and take a photo. These interactions in Florida seemed brief, quick, and the characters took routine breaks.

Character Dining:

Character dining in California also seemed a little more spontaneous. We did a few different character dining experiences at WDW and each one felt a little rushed and uncoordinated. 

BUT (!!!!) with that said we are two 21 year olds with no children, characters should give preference to tables with kiddos and this is probably what we experienced. Also, something I loved at Ohana in Florida was that Stitch came with his own photopass cast member. 


Photographers are literally everywhere in Walt Disney World which was super handy and made the "memory maker" purchase a great value. We had our picture taken in every park, on every enabled ride, and with tons of characters. We do the same thing in Disneyland, the only difference is the number of photographers available and the access to ride photos.


This is just something small, but we noticed that every attraction seemed shorter in WDW. I figure that they want to keep wait times short which is why it felt this way. A great example is Kali River Rapids in Animal Kingdom! It's Disneyland counterpart, Grizzly River Run has a few big hills and drops whereas Kali had just one. Certain attraction times felt the same (like Splash Mountain) but as a trend, the rides felt shorter in Disney World.


This isn't a huge difference but I thought I would add it in as a side note! The parks are in SUCH different climates and what works in Disneyland didn't work so well for me in Walt Disney World. In California, I usually wear a dress, overalls, or shorts and a tee and I always pack a jacket to tie around my waist. It gets hot in Anaheim but its usually a pretty dry heat and cools off big time in the evening. No fuss, no stress. 

In Florida; however, the heat is wet and muggy and you sweat like you are in the middle of a 5k race. It rains on and off, your hair tangles, your makeup slides right off. Its a little bit awful. I thought I was just being an Oregonian wuss until it was confirmed by my insta-friend (and Florida local) Allison that no....it really was that hot outside. I sweat so much and felt so gross by the end of the day, that I quickly realized what does me well in Cali wouldn't cut it in Florida. I wore my lightest shorts and a tank the rest of the trip! Pack your lightest clothes for Orlando and pack layers for Anaheim. 

Good lord what a long post! You made it to the end, congratulations ;)

I hope this helps someone planning a trip! I know I would have loved a post or two like this during the planning stage of our recent jaunt to Walt Disney World. Everything listed above is just one girls opinions and experiences. Im sure I missed a ton of details so if you notice something that I forgot, please leave a helpful tip or note in the comments below. That way someone reading can gain from your knowledge where I lacked to elaborate :)

And as always you can reference all this info (in addition to my some favorites) on my Disney Travel Guide or my Disney Content Tab. Both are places on this blog that are permanently devoted to all things Disney!

Have a magical week, and magical time on your next Disney vacation.

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