What are the differences between Disneyland® vs LEGOLAND® California?
Both are amusement parks with themes that are geared towards kids (though there’s arguably just as much fun – if not more – to be had by adults at each park, too); which each theme park owns exclusive rights to represent.
You won’t see LEGO® characters or content at Disneyland and you won’t see Disney movie characters and content at LEGOLAND® California.
- General Admission Price
- Park Themes
- Location of the Parks
- Attractions and Rides
- Skip the Line Options
- Conclusion: an At-a-Glance Comparison
Thinking about visiting Disneyland or LEGOLAND® California?
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Please note, tickets to Disneyland are separately ticketed and not included on the Go San Diego Card.
Price of General Admission:
- LEGOLAND® California: General Admission is $93-$99.
- Disneyland: General Admission ranges from $97-$124, depending on the day.
Both parks feature fun for the whole family with rides, shows, and attractions that are specifically designed for young kids, teens, and adults. But, depending on the main purpose of your trip, one park might be better suited to your travel group than the other.
LEGOLAND® California: LEGOLAND® California features attractions and activities that are an entirely new and unique way to experience the popular LEGO® franchise. From the original LEGO® bricks, to more popular building sets, and even the latest blockbuster movies–it’s all at LEGOLAND® California and it’s all AWESOME.
Disneyland: Disneyland themes exclusively revolve around characters and storylines from the Disney movie franchise with a large emphasis on their animated films, Mickey, and Minnie Mouse.
Location of the Parks:
Both parks are located in Southern California, but not in the same area. In fact, the two parks are 1.25-hours apart by car.
LEGOLAND® California: is located north of San Diego in Carlsbad, CA.
Universal Studios Hollywood is located south of Los Angeles in Anaheim, CA.
Recommended Time Spent at Park:
Both parks require about a full day to experience all of the attractions, especially if visiting during a peak time or on the weekend when wait times for popular rides and shows might be longer.
Park Attractions & Rides:
LEGOLAND® California is arranged around its major attractions, which can be themed areas, rides, or activities.
- LEGO CITY: Deep Sea Adventure: part treasure hunt, part deep-sea expedition, this submarine ride takes you into the depths of the ocean where you’ll see real sea creatures like rays and sharks.
- LEGO NINJAGO: jump on the LEGO NINJAGO ride to practice your ninja skills in a LEGO world in this 3D experience like none other. Next, be sure to watch the latest featured film: LEGO NINJAGO – Master of the 4th Dimension, a 4D interactive movie experience.
- Miniland USA: this section features LEGO® recreations of American cities and landmarks at 1/20th scale, Miniland is both fascinating and educational.
- Imagination Zone: a favorite for those with an engineering-wired mind, head here to build LEGO-based creations like programmable robots
- LEGO Friends Heartlake City: hang out and interact with all your favorite LEGO Friends characters from Heartlake City, you can even get an autograph when you meet n’ greet your favorites
- DUPLO® Playtown: geared towards the youngest visitors, this area is made up of the larger DUPLO bricks and complete with kid-friendly rides, play areas, and activities.
Disneyland features a central ‘kingdom’ that the park revolves around with 8 themed areas: Main Street, U.S.A, Adventureland, New Orleans Square, Critter Country, Frontierland, Fantasyland, Mickey’s Toontown, and Tomorrowland. Some of the popular rides and attractions are listed below:
- Indiana Jones™ Adventure: follow Indiana Jones through a cursed tempo on this fast-paced thrill ride
- Haunted Mansion: this spooky ride features a slow-moving coaster that takes you on a tour of a haunted mansion full of paranormal activity
- Splash Mountain: follow the mischievous Br’er Rabbit as he tries to throw off the Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox who are chasing him – the ride culminates with a 5-story drop and a big splash
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: travel through cursed southwestern mines in search for gold on this high-speed roller coaster ride
- It’s a Small World: one of the most famous rides, this boat ride style tour takes you around the world to see various cultures and traditions demonstrated by animatronic dolls and catchy tunes
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters: practice shooting at moving targets on this space-themed ride
- Hyperspace Mountain: this high-speed thrill ride darts around in outer space dodging dangerous extraterrestrial elements
Skip the Line Options:
LEGOLAND® California: option to upgrade Reserve ‘N’ Ride electronic ride reservation system for $35/day.
Disneyland: select rides and attractions feature FASTPASS on a first come, first serve basis at no additional cost, though quantities are limited. Look for the FASTPASS kiosks near main entrances of popular rides and attractions.
Conclusion & Comparison At-a-Glance:
Both parks are similar in that they offer family-friendly fun and entertainment with rides, shows, and interactive experiences, but the experience at each park can be quite different.
If you have to choose just one park to visit, narrow your choice down to the following deciding factors:
- Price: Admission to each park is pretty comparable, but you can save on to LEGOLAND® California tickets with the Go San Diego Card which includes admission to LEGOLAND® California plus admission to as many other included attractions as you want, like the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld San Diego (on select passes), San Diego Zoo Safari Park, USS Midway Museum, Belmont Park, and lots more.
- Location: Disneyland is located close to Los Angeles while LEGOLAND® California is close to San Diego – so consider other attractions and landmarks you might want to see on your trip as well.
- Experience: If you’ve visited each respective park’s sister park in Florida or another location; they’re arguably very similar, perhaps you prefer a new theme park experience.
- Theme: Disneyland features Disney’s beloved characters, like Mickey Mouse and popular Disney Princesses, and stories while LEGOLAND® California features LEGO characters and LEGO franchised characters (like STAR WARS™ or characters from The LEGO Movie)
Save on Admission at LEGOLAND® California
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If you do go to LEGOLAND® California, be sure to check out our insider’s guide to make the most of your visit.