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Is Disneyland Trying to Copy Walt Disney World?

Disneyland opened a decade and a half before Walt Disney World, and though these two resorts do have plenty of things in common, they have remarkably kept very distinct identities over the years and provide strikingly different experiences for guests. However, Disneyland has been making some sweeping changes over the past few years, and seems to be emulating its east coast cousin in more than a few ways.   

The Disneyland App is getting more like My Disney Experience

Image: Disney 

Though Disneyland’s paid-for version of FastPass+, called MaxPass, has been around for awhile, Disney recently announced that another feature was coming to the Disneyland App that may sound familiar to Walt Disney World fans: mobile order.

Just like at Walt Disney World, this feature will be found right on the app start page, and guests wanting to use this new feature will be able to simply select a participating location, select an arrival time window for pickup, choose items from the menu and then place their order. Guests with an Annual Pass tied to their Disneyland app will also be able to use their discount using this feature as well.  

Image: Disney

Though we don’t have a list of participating restaurants yet, based on the rollout at Walt Disney World, we’d guess that Disneyland will start with half a dozen quick-service locations between its two parks and then spread out gradually with all quick service locations supporting this feature before the end of the year.

More character-based offerings

Image: Disney

Right now Disneyland is heavily under construction, with less than a year to go before the opening of the west coast version of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and construction about to ramp up this summer on the still untitled Marvel Land at Disney California Adventure. With so much going on, Disneyland is pulling out an old Walt Disney World standby and offering additional character experiences to help fill in the gaps while so much of the resort is under construction. In fact in the last month, character greeting opportunities for Black Panther, Edna Mode, and Doctor Strange have all been confirmed.  

While its true that Disneyland has always had a bigger focus on character interactions than Walt Disney World, this new strategy of plugging the holes left by closed attractions during construction is right out of Orlando’s playbook, which has been dramatically increasing character interactions over the past five years  to cover the unprecedented amount of construction currently happening around the resort. 

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