Most of us are familiar with Disneyland Resort in California, and Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, but do you know Disney how many Disneyland parks there are in the world? With Disney’s huge cultural impact through its famous fairytales, it’s no surprise that it has a global reach. The goal of every Disney park is to bring joy, thrill, and imagination to life for all ages and to create memorable experiences for families and that can mean something different depending on geographic location!
How many Disneyland Parks are there?
Disney has six theme park resorts worldwide, with a total of twelve parks combined. On top of that, each destination has its own set of hotels, as well as a wide range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. What I love about Disney parks is that they’re close to other tourist hot spots, so you can choose to visit for Disney alone, or make it part of a larger trip encompassing other nearby tourist destinations. With locations in Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and more, they’re honestly the perfect places to have on your bucket list anyway!
Many of the worldwide parks feature their own iterations of the same rides … mainly the “classics” like Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and It’s a Small World. While they have many rides in common, the overall atmosphere of each park is entirely different based on culture … which is what makes them so fun to visit! Detail-oriented Disney lovers like me will notice the detail changes in performances, rides, merchandise, and even character costumes between each park. And don’t forget that they have their very own special castle as the park icon. (Any guesses on which is the biggest? We’ll tell you in a bit.) I’m here to give you the lowdown on each Disney Resort so you can get familiar with what Disney has to offer across the globe.
Where are these Disneyland Parks?
Let’s start with the basics…
Disneyland Resort – Anaheim, California
The “original” Disney park, Disneyland Resort first opened in 1955, introducing the world to the fantasy-turned-reality that is a Disney theme park. The resort now features two parks, Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, which both feature impressively immersive areas such as Mickey’s Toontown and Cars Land. Located between the two parks is Downtown Disney, a shopping, entertainment, and dining district that also acts as the “hub” between the three on-site hotels. Disneyland Resort is home to over 80 attractions! While it is the oldest Disney park, it is still always growing and evolving.
The highlights: What makes Disneyland special for my family, and many others, is its history and originality as the first Disney park. Disneyland Park was envisioned and brought to life by Walt Disney himself! The nostalgia and connection to Disney roots gives it an extra sprinkle of magic. We love the combination of classic fairytale scenery in Disneyland Park to the more modern, captivating flair of Disney California Adventure Park.
Walt Disney World Resort – Orlando, Florida
Located in the heart of Central Florida, Walt Disney World Resort is one of the largest tourist destinations in the world. The resort is home to four parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom, each with a full spread of attractions and entertainment. In addition, there are two water parks — Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach — as well as a massive shopping center called Disney Springs, standard and mini-golf courses, and over 30 on-site hotels. Between the six total parks, Walt Disney World Resort has over 150 attractions, and too many entertainment offerings to count!
The highlights: With so much to offer, it’s tough to pinpoint one or two highlights of Disney World. I think that’s what makes it so special – not only is Disney World massive, but there is always something new and always something for everyone. Whether you love learning about animals, other cultures, superheroes, or princesses, there’s a destination for you. And the endless amount of hotel options at every budget has a style fit for every family.
Disneyland Paris – Paris, France
In the midst of a European getaway, what more could you ask for than a day of Disney magic? Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park have a combined total of over 50 delightful attractions to enjoy, in addition to a spectacular line-up of entertainment. There’s no shortage of beautiful lodging here, with six on-site hotels and two nature resorts to choose from. Similar to Downtown Disney at California’s Disneyland, Disneyland Paris has Disney Village, a shopping, dining, and entertainment district that hosts live shows and more. For those who like to hit the links, Disneyland Paris has three 9-hole golf courses to enjoy.
If I’m being honest (and that’s what we’re here for!) Disneyland Paris is known as the “lesser” of the global Disney parks. Because it wasn’t as successful as anticipated, the park doesn’t get quite as much love or upkeep as the others.
The highlights: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show with Mickey and Friends in Disney Village is an amazing time. Locals love the classic American experience of a “Western” arena show while enjoying Tex-Mex classics like chili and cornbread. Another bit of magic you’ll find on rare occasions at Disneyland Paris is snow in the parks! A snow-kissed castle gleans a different kind of sparkle, and some of the characters even have snowball fights!
Shanghai Disney Resort – Shanghai, China
The latest and greatest of Disney parks worldwide, Shanghai Disney Resort had its grand opening in 2016. So far, the resort has two modern, awesome on-site hotels … one of which is Toy Story themed! Shanghai Disney is home to the largest castle out of any Disney park! Shanghai Disney’s aesthetic appeal alone is enough to win you over. From the character costumes to the quality of the shows (like Tarzan: Call of the Jungle) your senses will be flooded with goodness from every angle!
The highlights: If you’re a Pirates of the Caribbean fan, Shanghai Disney’s version of the ride will blow your mind. The technology used in this most new-and-improved attraction, compared to those of the same name at other Disney parks, brings the story to life like you’ve never seen before. Based on how incredible this ride is alone, we can’t wait to see what the future looks like for Disney attractions! We also find the Alice in Wonderland fascinating because it’s such a different visual experience than you’d see in the American Disney parks.
Hong Kong Disneyland – Lantau Island, Hong Kong
On the smaller side, Hong Kong Disneyland only has one park, comparable to Disneyland Park in California or Magic Kingdom in Florida. The park offers over 30 attractions, including fan favorites like Dumbo the Flying Elephant and Mad Hatter Tea Cups. There are three on-site hotels that are all absolutely breathtaking … you truly can’t go wrong! The Kingdom Club Frozen Suites are the newest addition, complete with a sleigh bed. Hong Kong Disneyland goes above and beyond with entertainment, offering Moana: A Homecoming Celebration, Mickey and the Wondrous Book, and tons of awesome character meet-and-greets.
The highlights: Fairy Tale Forest is what many to find to be the most special place at Hong Kong Disneyland. The garden tells a few of the top Disney fairytales through miniature sculptures, including Tangled, Beauty and the Beast, and Cinderella. You might even catch Tinkerbell before she flies away! Fairy Tale Forest’s interactive music, castles, and other scenery can keep kids busy for hours.
Tokyo Disney Resort – Tokyo, Japan
Disneyland and DisneySea. This resort has four on-site hotels, with one even located inside DisneySea. Can you imagine waking up inside of a Disney park? Tokyo Disneyland has many of the attractions we know and love here in the states, such as Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters and Star Tours: The Adventures Continue. Tokyo DisneySea is known as the most beautiful and well-themed Disney park across the world. That’s a pretty bold statement, right? The gorgeous version of Tower of Terror here is enough reason to fall in love, but we’re here for the park-exclusive rides like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Journey to the Center of the Earth.
The highlights: Tokyo Disney’s parades are absolutely incredible. The floats, performers, and artistic vision come to life wows both kids and adults. The daytime “Dreaming Up!” parade and nighttime “Dreamlights” parade showcase your favorite characters in gorgeous celebrations of sight and sound. Be sure to catch both during your visit!
It’s always fun to experience the magic of Disney parks, and especially so in an interesting, new culture. With the seasonal events, holiday celebrations, and constant growth and improvements taking place at each park, there’s good reason to visit time and time again.
Given the tradition and nostalgia of Disney’s stories, it’s amazing to see them in a new light wherever we travel. We’re excited to hear your thoughts on which global Disney park is on your must-do list … or if you’ve already been to one of the more adventurous destinations, what was your favorite part?