(We may earn a commission via affiliate links in this post. Read our full disclosure policy.)
It’s hard to believe that what began as one park in California would turn into a global obsession with Mickey Mouse and the Disney franchise of theme parks. If you ever wondered about the different Disneyland parks, you are going to be surprised at how many there are and how unique each one is.
How many Disney Parks are there in the World?
There are 12 Disney Parks in the world. Each one is different, but all share some similarities. Here is a brief summary on each Disneyland park:
Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California (California Adventure)
Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955, in Anaheim, California. In 2001, the park expanded with the addition of Disney California Adventure Park.
It is the only theme park designed and completed while Walt Disney was alive.
Disneyland Park consists of nine themed “lands” and its centerpiece is Sleeping Beauty Castle.
Walt Disney World in Kissimmee, Florida
Walt Disney World opened Magic Kingdom theme park in 1971. Eventually, it expanded, adding Epcot in 1982, Disney MGM Studios (Hollywood Studios) and Typhoon Lagoon waterpark in 1989, Blizzard Beach waterpark in 1995, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom in 1998.
The main park in Disney World is Magic Kingdom. It is comprised of six lands: Main Street U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, and Adventureland.
The centerpiece of Magic Kingdom is Cinderella Castle in Fantasyland.
EPCOT is dedicated to the advancements in technology and innovation along with promoting different cultures around the world.
Hollywood Studios, which was formerly Disney MGM Studios, heavily focuses on the arts, through film and plays.
Animal Kingdom is a park that has animal exhibits, rides and attractions with a focus on protecting wildlife and the environment.
There are two sections to the park Future World and World Showcase.
Disneyland Paris in Marne-la-Vallée, France (Walt Disney Studios Park)
When it opened on April 12, 1992 it was called Euro Disney. A second theme park was opened in 2002 named Walt Disney Studios Park and the name of the original park was changed officially to Disneyland Paris.
Disneyland Paris is based on both Disneyland in California and the Magic Kingdom in Florida. It’s centerpiece is Sleeping Beauty castle.
It is the largest Disney theme park outside the United States and the only one that is fully owned and operated by The Walt Disney Company.
Tokyo Disney in Urayasu, Chiba, Japan (Tokyo DisneySea)
Tokyo Disney opened in 1983 and expanded in 2001, adding Tokyo DisneySea.
Designed by Walt Disney Imagineering, the resort is owned and operated by The Oriental Land Company and licensed by The Walt Disney Company.
The park has seven themed areas: the World Bazaar (much like Main Street USA); four traditional Disney lands: Adventureland, Westernland, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland; and two mini-lands: Critter Country and Mickey’s Toontown.
It is based largely off the same rides & attractions featured in Disneyland and Disney World in the United States and features the same Cinderella castle design as in Magic Kingdom.
Tokyo DisneySea theme is nautical exploration and has seven ports of call: \Mediterranean Harbor, American Waterfront, Lost River Delta, Port Discovery, Mermaid Lagoon, Arabian Coast, and Mysterious Island.
Hong Kong Disneyland in Penny’s Bay, Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Disney’s fifth resort opened in September 2005 and is owned and operated by Hong Kong International Theme Parks, an incorporated company jointly owned by The Walt Disney Company and the Government of Hong Kong.
The park consists of seven themed areas: Main Street, U.S.A., Fantasyland, Adventureland, Tomorrowland, Grizzly Gulch, Mystic Point, and Toy Story Land
The main landmark of this park is also Sleeping Beauty castle.
Shanghai Disneyland in Shanghai, China
The most recent Disney theme park in the world was opened in 2016.
It is different than many of the other Disney parks in the world as it takes on more of a traditional Chinese approach to Disney.
Shanghai Disneyland is divided into different these sections Gardens of Imagination, Mickey Avenue, Adventure Isle, Treasure Cove, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland.
There are less rides in this park with more of an emphasis on live shows.
The centerpiece of this Disney park is the largest castle of all the parks, Enchanted Storybook Castle which pays homage to all the Disney princesses.
Out of all the Disney parks in the world, which is your favorite?