Travel to Every Disney Park in the World
Over the past month and a half my family and I did something that will at the same time feel really cool to some people and really stupid to others. Our goal was to travel to every Disney park in the world over the course of six weeks and we did it! Was it cool? Was it stupid? I don’t know, but I can say we had a blast!
For those of you who don’t follow Disney religiously here are the 6 Disney resorts listed in the order we visited them as part of this trip:
- Hong Kong Disneyland Resort
- Shanghai Disney Resort
- Tokyo Disney Resort
- Disneyland Resort
- Walt Disney World Resort
- Disneyland Paris Resort
Contained within those 6 resorts are 12 theme parks along with 2 highly themed water parks. We visited ALL OF THEM as a family over the course of 6 weeks. Sound like fun?!?
While we didn’t have any hard rules for this trip, I wanted to make sure we were actually enjoying the resorts and not just stopping there to say we had visited. This meant that we made sure to have multiple days at any resorts with two parks or more and even spent 9 days at Walt Disney World to simulate a normal family vacation. We didn’t just want to visit, but we really wanted to have the time to experience the best and worst that each resort had to offer.
Disney Around the World Touring Strategy
As you can probably tell, the three Asian Disney resorts aren’t terribly far from each other. While we visited the parks as part of a larger trip which involved being elsewhere as well, when it comes to Disney we started in Hong Kong before taking a 2+ hour flight on Cathay Pacific to Shanghai then another 2+ hour flight from Shanghai to Tokyo. The flying really is the easy part.
Since the Asian park visits were grouped together, I made the decision to group the other 3 together as well. For the second batch we started at Disneyland in Anaheim before flying to Orlando for Walt Disney World and then on to Paris to complete the full tour. Purely by coincidence we “commuted” between resorts using only direct flights.
Why Go To Every Disney Park?
I grew up less than an hour from Disneyland and spent much of my childhood at the “Happiest Place on Earth”. Since then as part of my travels I have visited every Disney resort worldwide multiple times. For this trip I thought it would be fun to visit them all in a short amount of time in order to have a nice base for comparison.
While I haven’t written a ton about Disney here, the plan is for there to a be a lot more useful Disney content on both Miles to Memories and a sister site that is launching. To sum it up, I already have the travel hacking and Disney experience and knowledge, so it became time to put it to the test.
Our 2019 Travel to Every Disney Park in the World
I will have full guides and details of each of my visits coming very soon, but in an effort to fill this post with useful information, I thought I would give you an overview of our time at each resort along with some juicy tidbits I felt worth sharing.
Hong Kong Disneyland
I have now been to Hong Kong Disneyland 7 times and honestly it feels like a second Disney home to me. The park is reached via the cities MTR subway system making it among the easiest of the Disney parks to reach.
Quick Take: Hong Kong Disneyland is quickly becoming an underdog when it comes to Disney parks. Their last few expansions have brought unique lands and attractions that most likely won’t be duplicated elsewhere. With competition from Shanghai now strong, I think we will continue to see Hong Kong Disneyland carving out its own unique brand of Disney nostalgia in the Chinese market.
Despite having only opened in 2016, I have already been to Shanghai Disneyland three times and have very much enjoyed it each visit. While Hong Kong Disneyland is adding unique rides onto a classic Disney frame, Shanghai Disneyland is completely doing its own thing. The best way I can describe it is “Disneyland for the 21st Century”.
Quick Take: As you can probably tell I really enjoy Shanghai Disneyland. This park is a great mix of Disney magic with local flavor. Of course the best part of Shanghai Disneyland is Pirates of the Caribbean which is a completely new and unique ride compared to the others. It quickly rose to the top of my Disney ride rankings back in 2016 and I’m not sure it has seen a worthy competitor yet. Not even in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Tokyo Disney Resort
Tokyo Disneyland is one of the most complete Disney resorts when it comes to quality and selection of rides. Yes, Walt Disney World has more parks and Disneyland has more nostalgia, but Tokyo Disney Resort gets it right from the rides to the friendliness of the cast members. This is Disney as it should be.
Quick Take: I have now been to Tokyo Disney a few times and continue to be impressed. Our visit this time was during a busy period which meant CROWDS, but thankfully we managed to get on everything we wanted. Tokyo DisneySea continues to take my breath away every time I enter the park.
Disneyland Resort Anaheim
Disneyland is an experience unlike any other when it comes to nostalgia. Not only is Disneyland Park packed with a ton of unique rides and offerings dating back to the beginning, but California Adventure has come into its own after a huge refresh. This resort is what Disney is all about.
Quick Take: I’ve been to Disneyland resort at least 100 times and it never gets old for me. If you are a Walt Disney World regular then you are missing out if you don’t come to the left coast. Disneyland and Walt Disney World are such different beasts and I think many/most people who aren’t Disney World diehards will prefer the experience in California over that in Florida. Now that Disneyland Park has Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, I also believe it is the single most complete Disney park in the world.
Walt Disney World
I’m going to be honest. I am a Disney fan and thus do enjoy Walt Disney World, however it is not among my favorite resorts. The Magic Kingdom just doesn’t compare to its counterparts elsewhere and the crowds, waiting for transportation and sheer scale of it can detract from the magic. Of course those can all be positives for some people as well.
Quick Take: In order to properly judge Walt Disney World on this trip I wanted to stay for a typical vacation. This meant we spent 9 days at Walt Disney World and visited all of the parks and water parks as well. I didn’t select any fastpasses before we arrived. I learned a lot that I will share in future posts, because planning a WDW visit is like a job! In the end I think Disney World isn’t the best of Disney, but its getting better.
Disneyland Paris Resort
Home to one of the most beautiful Disney parks (Disneyland Park Paris) and the absolute worst Disney park (Walt Disney Studios), Disneyland Paris is quite an interesting case. This resort seems to be in transition and I hope it will continue to improve.
Quick Take: Disneyland Paris is often referred to as the least popular of the Disney resorts and I can certainly understand why. There is Disney magic of course, but an overall lack of maintenance plus the results of decades of cost cutting have left it feeling a bit less shiny than its competitors elsewhere.
As you can imagine it was quite exhausting to travel to every Disney Park in the world, but it left me with a ton of content to create. I do feel at this point when you merge the worlds of travel hacking and Disney that you won’t be able to find this kind of content and experience anywhere else. Stay tuned for more in-depth information on our family trip around the globe with Disney!
By the time I’m done you’ll be able to learn how to save money and travel to any of the Disney resorts worldwide as family or solo. Does that sound good? Great! 😉
What is your favorite Disney park and/or resort? Share in the comments and don’t forget to join our free Disney Hacks Facebook group!