Since the original Disneyland theme park opened in Anaheim, California, in 1955, it has been delighting children and adults from around the world with that special Disney magic. Disney’s popularity with Japanese tourists inspired the creation of what is now known as the Tokyo Disney Resort, which includes two theme parks: Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea. Although the Tokyo Disneyland theme park shares many similarities with the original California one, several key differences stand out and are worth considering before planning your trip to either Disney resort destination.

1. Resort Size

The Disneyland Resort in Anaheim spans approximately 500 acres, with the original Disneyland theme park taking up about 100 of those acres. The Tokyo Disney Resort is close to the same size at about 494 acres.

Both parks are accessible for guests of all mobility levels, with electric conveyance vehicles and wheelchairs for rent.

2. Theme Parks

Both the U.S. Disneyland Resort and the Tokyo Disney Resort include two theme parks. Find the original Disneyland and California Adventure Park in Anaheim. In Tokyo, there’s a Disneyland theme park and one called Tokyo DisneySea. The Disneyland parks in both countries are similar, while the second parks have different themes. Disney’s California Adventure celebrates the excitement and history of the Golden State, while Tokyo DisneySea celebrates nautical exploration with its rides and attractions.

3. Rides and Attractions

Several rides in both Disneyland parks are identical or very similar, including:

  • Pirates of the Caribbean,
  • It’s a Small World,
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • and Haunted Mansion.

Cinderella Castle is an icon of Tokyo Disneyland, and it’s very similar to the one in Disney World in Orlando, Florida. However, it’s Sleeping Beauty Castle that is the icon of the original Disneyland in California.

Like the original Disneyland park, Tokyo Disneyland offers guests the chance to visit “lands” such as Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Mickey's Toontown and Critter Country.

Additionally, Disneyland in California has Frontierland and New Orleans Square, while Tokyo Disney has Westernland and World Bazaar.

Enjoy photos with Disney characters at any of the Disney theme parks.

4. Resort Hotel Options

Each resort has onsite accommodations that offer a variety of special perks for guests. California has three onsite resort hotels:

  • the renovated Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa,
  • the classic Disneyland Hotel and
  • the Paradise Pier Hotel.

Tokyo Disney has four onsite hotels:

  • Hotel MiraCosta is situated inside Tokyo DisneySea.
  • The Tokyo Disney Celebration Hotel is budget-friendly.
  • The Tokyo Disneyland Hotel is themed with the fantasy of Disney stories.
  • The Disney Ambassador Hotel offers Disney character rooms.

Magic Key Holder Tips

As someone who regularly goes to Disneyland. The biggest cultural difference between the parks is the parade. The parades are all different in each park; however, Disneyland Tokyo is an event like any other because there are coordinated songs and in our opinion better floats.

Duffy the Disney bear is big in Japan and many places outside of the American parks. You can find Duffy the Disney Bear on Disney cruise lines and Aulani, the Disney resort in Oahu.

See Duffy and Friends below: