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bianchi10
08-01-2017, 12:37 PM
If there's one thing in this world I know, it's that Disneyland truly is the happiest place in the world. Out of a crowd, you may find a handful of people who just don't get it or who have never been. I feel bad for those lol

For me, I'm an absolute fanatic!!! I've been to Disneyland 8 times now and Disneyworld once. I personally prefer Disneyland over Disneyworld all day long, but I wouldn't cry about forcing myself to have the time of my life if I was at either place. Since I'm in Oregon, it's not that accessible unless we plan a family vacation. Our entire family is all on the same page with it, so while others vacate to Hawaii or other tourist destinations, we find ourselves going back to where the magic happens.

There's simply a magic that happens when you walk through the gates. The smells, the sounds and the interaction all around you. Can make even the oldest visitors feel like an innocent child.

All my friends that go come to me months in advance to help develop an itinerary for their trip. I could talk all day long about Disneyland! Every time I go, I leave filling my Disney fix. Usually get home and say to myself, "I think I'll be good for a couple years now" and within months, I'm ready to head back for more! My wife and 2 kids get together on the couch every month to watch home videos from our vacations there. My wife and I have talked about retiring to Anaheim one day and working at Disneyland.

I follow a lot of you on Instagram and have seen your trips to Disneyland or Disneyworld.

I can't wait to go back!

Here's a video I made from our visit this last year with my wife, 2 kids, brother and parents


Trying to figure out how to post the actual video instead of the link but it's not working....

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=x8SOaILTE1w

Michael Maddox
08-01-2017, 01:18 PM
Ugh.

I'm glad you enjoy it, but the thought of those places makes me retch.

With all sincerity, please help me understand its appeal. I know LOTS of people who feel just as you do, but I simply don't get it.

Henrythewound
08-01-2017, 01:23 PM
I don't see the appeal. Spend a ton of $$ to fight through crowds and wait in long lines for rides and expensive food. Admittedly the rides are cool but the rest of the experience far outweighs the good bits for me. Luckily I can let the grandparents and aunts and uncles take the kids.

Nooch
08-01-2017, 01:25 PM
We're DVC members -- have been since before the kids came around, to boot -- the buy in was a wedding gift and the annual dues are a christmas gift from my father, so it's at zero cost to me. We know we'll always have a room -- the harder part for us (at this point in our lives) is swinging the park tickets.

We feel the same way. Nothing beats an ice cream cookie sandwich from the Sleepy Hollow Inn at Liberty Square in Magic Kingdom.

Now, with kids, seeing how excited they get meeting the princesses and all -- just renews the love.

At the end of the day, strip it all down, I love WDW because I know exactly what kind of vacation I'm going to have. I know it's going to be clean, the food will be consistent, the cast members will be accommodating. And while variety is the spice of life, if I only get one week to do a big vacation every year, I want to know what I'm getting into.

Also: Paging TheGunner :)

Michael Maddox
08-01-2017, 01:32 PM
I don't see the appeal. Spend a ton of $$ to fight through crowds and wait in long lines for rides and expensive food. Admittedly the rides are cool but the rest of the experience far outweighs the good bits for me. Luckily I can let the grandparents and aunts and uncles take the kids.

The rides seem sub-par compared to Busch Gardens, Six Flags, or even Sea World. Without the tie-ins to popular Disney properties and characters, are they really that good? And compared to descending Unicoi Gap into Helen, Georgia at 55 mph on a road bike or doing power-on stalls in an Aerobat, are they really anything at all?

The atmosphere seems too contrived, too sterile and antiseptic...a vision of an American "happy place," that never really existed. There's so much REAL magic in the world, how could a cartoon ever really compete?

And I'm not even talking about Disney as a corporation, the crowds, and the expense.

Maybe I'm just a cynic.

thegunner
08-01-2017, 01:34 PM
you misspelled disneyworld

At the end of the day, strip it all down, I love WDW because I know exactly what kind of vacation I'm going to have. I know it's going to be clean, the food will be consistent, the cast members will be accommodating. And while variety is the spice of life, if I only get one week to do a big vacation every year, I want to know what I'm getting into.

Also: Paging TheGunner :)

also DVC members (two different resorts, sigh). i like that i can just turn off. i don't think about anything, everything is taken care of, and forgive me for being cheesy, but it's pretty magical. also, something drew didn't mention is that coming from NYC, where people are kind of jerks on default setting, having that happiness all around you is really disarming.

Nooch
08-01-2017, 01:43 PM
I get the rides aren't going to satiate any thrill seekers -- but that's not what it's about. The rides are an experience, story telling, etc... The animatronics are incredibly impressive -- take the Mickey at the town hall, for instance. Yes, we all know it's a dude in a suit -- but he talks, his mouth moves, he blinks, the facial expressions change. Mr. Potato Head at the Toy Story midway, calling people out by what they're wearing, interacting with the crowd. It's all pretty fun.

Sure, it's a small world isn't all it's cracked up to be, but it brings you back to the beginning, where you can appreciate what went into it when the park was opened.

bianchi10
08-01-2017, 01:50 PM
Ugh.

I'm glad you enjoy it, but the thought of those places makes me retch.

With all sincerity, please help me understand its appeal. I know LOTS of people who feel just as you do, but I simply don't get it.

Sure thing! I'll try to paint a picture for ya, but I think a big prerequisite of falling in love with disneyland as an adult is that you had been there as a child. For me, I get hit with nostalgia as soon as I walk in. The magic I was drawn into as a child comes back to me all over again. I can understand why some adults who go for the first time may not enjoy it as much.

First off its the environment. The smells of caramel corn, ice creek and elephant ears. The music up main street or while walking through place to place. It's literally a step into a world of imagination. The attractions sometimes defy reality and pull you into this imaginary surrounding.

I'm not HUGE on roller coaster or heights so that takes out a lot of attractions that I don't even do. People often ask me why I love a disneyland so much if I don't even do half the rides. To me that speaks even more highly about how it's more about the environment and simply pulling back the disbelief in whatever and allowing myself to enjoy the fun.

I sure the lines can get long and when it's hot out, it can really suck at the moment, BUT I've been there when it wasn't busy and honestly, I felt like it took away from the experience. I enjoy the crowd and watching families have such a good time.

I remember one time sitting in line and watching the mad hatter walk down main street. He was being rushed to another part of the park where he was supposed to have an appearance. He stopped near this child that was 7 or 8 years old and interacted with him and his family for maybe 2 minutes. To see the excitement on that kids face was priceless and I guarantee you, that kid has grown up remembering that moment. Back when you're a kid, you aren't influenced by anything, you simply believe in the stories and movies you watch. Being at Disneyland where those very same movies come to life is special.

I've always had a great imagination and I've always been a huge kid at heart. Maybe that has something something to do with the fact of why I love it there so much. I'm able to be a kid and do away with the everyday stress that comes along with being an adult.

bianchi10
08-01-2017, 01:52 PM
The rides seem sub-par compared to Busch Gardens, Six Flags, or even Sea World. Without the tie-ins to popular Disney properties and characters, are they really that good? And compared to descending Unicoi Gap into Helen, Georgia at 55 mph on a road bike or doing power-on stalls in an Aerobat, are they really anything at all?

The atmosphere seems too contrived, too sterile and antiseptic...a vision of an American "happy place," that never really existed. There's so much REAL magic in the world, how could a cartoon ever really compete?

And I'm not even talking about Disney as a corporation, the crowds, and the expense.

Maybe I'm just a cynic.


I would venture to argue, how could real current day ever compete with the imagination of being in a cartoon!?

I TOTALLY get that REAL thrill sealers that love fast and extreme roller coasters may not get much out of what Disneyland offers, but my entire love for Disneyland as I mentioned above is based more in the feeling of being there with all the surroundings that fulfill all the other senses that create memories that can be awakened from any little thought or smell you may come across even when away from the park

Michael Maddox
08-01-2017, 02:03 PM
See, I don't think we really differ that much in personality.

I went to Disney World in 1976, for the first time. I had just turned 7 years old and had grown up on classic Disney films and cartoons, though I always had a preference for Warner Brothers. (I'm still an animation and cartoon nut.) I was mostly enamored with the Contemporary Hotel (though we stayed in the Polynesian Village) and the monorail.

I definitely am imaginative and creative; I draw, paint, and write, but I spend most of my time composing and playing music.

My favorite Disney films are probably The Little Mermaid and Enchanted (mmmm...Amy Adams). Outside of those, I'd credit Pixar for most of the actual movie magic in their best films.

I understand the desire of people to find magic in the world, but the version of it that Disney offers just seems too antiseptic for me, too narrow, and too small. There's something off-putting about it. It's syrupy-sweet and without substance. And the spin that Disney puts on characters from classic literature (Winnie the Pooh, for instance), removes the humanity from them. CLASSIC Disney shorts are still wonderful (Goofy's "Smoking" cartoon, or In Der Fuhrer's Face).

I'm going to shut up, now, because I'm afraid that I sound like a confrontational ass. I'll keep reading, though.

weaponsgrade
08-01-2017, 02:03 PM
My in-laws are an hour away from Disneyland. I've been there twice with my little ones. They love it, I hate it. I get motion sickness on a lot of the rides, it's hot, expensive, and just sensory overload for me. The whole setup is designed to suck money from your pockets. On one of the days of our stay we went into one of the restaurants for breakfast before hitting the rides. We had been there the day before, but I didn't notice it was now during the time where the characters sit with you to eat. It wasn't until we were seated that I noticed the price was something like $50 per person. I spied Snow White coming over and quickly shooed the kids out before they saw. Crisis averted.

The kids expected Disney again this year, but I felt I needed to nip this thing in the bud least they expect this is the default summer thing. I took them to Legoland this year and they loved it even more than Disney. Legoland has a big waterpark. It was their first time to a real water park and they had an awesome time. Legoland is also closer to the coast and much cooler. The park is a lot smaller than Disney, but much less crowded (at least when I went a few weeks ago).

I'm hoping that next summer we can try a national park or camping. I'd like to get them into the outdoors more.

bianchi10
08-01-2017, 02:24 PM
See, I don't think we really differ that much in personality.

I went to Disney World in 1976, for the first time. I had just turned 7 years old and had grown up on classic Disney films and cartoons, though I always had a preference for Warner Brothers. (I'm still an animation and cartoon nut.) I was mostly enamored with the Contemporary Hotel (though we stayed in the Polynesian Village) and the monorail.

I definitely am imaginative and creative; I draw, paint, and write, but I spend most of my time composing and playing music.

My favorite Disney films are probably The Little Mermaid and Enchanted (mmmm...Amy Adams). Outside of those, I'd credit Pixar for most of the actual movie magic in their best films.

I understand the desire of people to find magic in the world, but the version of it that Disney offers just seems too antiseptic for me, too narrow, and too small. There's something off-putting about it. It's syrupy-sweet and without substance. And the spin that Disney puts on characters from classic literature (Winnie the Pooh, for instance), removes the humanity from them. CLASSIC Disney shorts are still wonderful (Goofy's "Smoking" cartoon, or In Der Fuhrer's Face).

I'm going to shut up, now, because I'm afraid that I sound like a confrontational ass. I'll keep reading, though.


For sure and feel there is a fair amount of validity. It's all personal opinion of course so I don't want to come across like I'm saying you or anyone else is wrong by any means.

Also want to clarify that I'm not suggesting that you had to have had a killer imagination with imaginary friends and watched disney movies all day to appreciate and love Disneyland.

And, Enchanted......Bravo! Love that movie. Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey were perfectly casted for that.

cdn_bacon
08-01-2017, 02:54 PM
I will say this. As someone who went as a child, and traveled back last year, (36 years later) with family and mother's in tow. This was a very expensive trip for my wife and I as we footed the bill for everyone's flight and accommodations. Mainly it was a treat for our eldest daughter who's younger sister suffers from disability and she has to be tended to more frequently. ( apologies, not meant to draw sympathy, just one of the reason's why we went)

We rented a house of a friend in Kissimmee which accommodated 12 and was very close to Disney World. We stayed for 5 days 2 of which were actually in Disney World, the others in Disney Studio's (making my daughter up as a princess) and various other Floridian attractions. The two days at Disney were super long, in the sun, ride after ride and watched the parades. We attempted to ride every ride we could, and even stayed for the fireworks.

Two 11 hour days later, watching the fireworks/show on the castle show with my daughter on my shoulders completely burnt out. I finally "Got" what Disney was trying to achieve by making a place so fantastic for his family and friends to visit. I've been to other parks including the one local to us that has fireworks etc, but there is just "something" about it.

I however wont be going back anytime soon. It is costly, and once you've seen it I'm ok with not revisiting for awhile. Although I have a friend that goes yearly.

just my two cents. it's an amusement park. take it for what it is.

oldpotatoe
08-01-2017, 03:16 PM
The rides seem sub-par compared to Busch Gardens, Six Flags, or even Sea World. Without the tie-ins to popular Disney properties and characters, are they really that good? And compared to descending Unicoi Gap into Helen, Georgia at 55 mph on a road bike or doing power-on stalls in an Aerobat, are they really anything at all?

The atmosphere seems too contrived, too sterile and antiseptic...a vision of an American "happy place," that never really existed. There's so much REAL magic in the world, how could a cartoon ever really compete?

And I'm not even talking about Disney as a corporation, the crowds, and the expense.

Maybe I'm just a cynic.

Disneyland compared to power on stalls in an Aerobat...sorry, I think my 6 and 4 year old grand daughters would rather go to the magic kingdom.

BTW-power on stalls? Kinda tame, considering. Get you buddy up in another one. 1000 feet abeam, 'fight's on'...see who ends up behind who's wingline. Stalls, might as well shoot approaches...yawn.:)

BTW I'm taking both grand daughters, their parents, to DW next summer, it's for the kids and me...I've been to both plus Tokyo Disneyland.. really like them all.

thegunner
08-01-2017, 03:17 PM
i do think part of the problem is, people who go once in a blue moon try to do everything, and then bemoan that the experience is exhausting, that it costs too much (i don't disagree with this part, my wife and i spend a lot of money at disney, but relative to multiple custom frames? eh, not so much), but part of what's nice is to just go and take in the sights and experiences. i honestly like going to people watch - which i think is something nooch and i might take for granted with DVC.

i get it, people who aren't going to like it aren't going to like it, but there's definitely another side to it, so it makes sense that this is always going to sound polarizing to the other half.

azrider
08-01-2017, 03:52 PM
wow, what a bunch of misanthropes

But to the OP, you have it all wrong. DisneyWORLD is where it's at! We went down to DisneyWorld all the time and spent a week in the campground that's on the actual DisneyWorld grounds. The campground was amazing: horse rides, bike rides, pools, games, other kids running around, and if you were as tall as the Mickey Mouse sign, you got to rent little 10 or 15 horsepower boats and ride around Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon. For a 6 year old...that was about as good as it gets. Throw in the fact that we hadn't even stepped foot in the Magic Kingdom yet and it was sensory overload.

When our family gets together, my parents still talk about how those vacations were so Magical to us kids and they couldn't help but share in the excitement with/for us.

Sad other people can't wrap their head around that concept.

Different fokes i 'spose.

Nooch
08-01-2017, 03:58 PM
wow, what a bunch of misanthropes

But to the OP, you have it all wrong. DisneyWORLD is where it's at! We went down to DisneyWorld all the time and spent a week in the campground that's on the actual DisneyWorld grounds. The campground was amazing: horse rides, bike rides, pools, games, other kids running around, and if you were as tall as the Mickey Mouse sign, you got to rent little 10 or 15 horsepower boats and ride around Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon. For a 6 year old...that was about as good as it gets. Throw in the fact that we hadn't even stepped foot in the Magic Kingdom yet and it was sensory overload.

When our family gets together, my parents still talk about how those vacations were so Magical to us kids and they couldn't help but share in the excitement with/for us.

Sad other people can't wrap their head around that concept.

Different fokes i 'spose.

I've been giving so much thought to the purchase of an RV to cruise down in and stay at Fort Wilderness lately, LOL.

azrider
08-01-2017, 04:04 PM
I've been giving so much thought to the purchase of an RV to cruise down in and stay at Fort Wilderness lately, LOL.

We always took our summer vacations in our Grandparents motorhome. They would always ask us kids where WE wanted to go and i think after that first year at Fort Wilderness, we went back to the same exact place another 2 or 3 years in a row, and that right there is saying something....the campground is somewhat confined (not like we were going to ride off into bad neighborhood or something) and because there were so many activities to do from sunup to sundown we were just constantly go, go, go......and my parents said we would fall asleep eating dinner which gave them all night to sit and relax....WIN WIN

bicycletricycle
08-01-2017, 04:12 PM
I like Disney, I am from California and have been to Disneyland 10 or so times. Now I am on the east coast, I have been to Disney world twice but for about 6 days in total.

It doesn't make me super excited or extra happy or anything. At this point I think that I am just amazed at the production.

Matthew
08-01-2017, 04:12 PM
Loved it as a kid. Not so much as an adult. But I get the allure. Nothing wrong with escaping the real world for a day or two. And the looks on the kids faces while there is worth the price of admission.

joosttx
08-01-2017, 04:34 PM
First experience in America was going to Dinseyland when I was 4. We flew from Singapore straight to Disneyland, at least thats how I remember it. Pretty awesome.


With that said we went there this year with the kids as well as Legoland. We felt (to our suprise) Legoland was better. Disney was better organized and cleaner however......Best way we can sum it up is Disneyland enterains you in a passive way while Legoland is more interactive.

ORMojo
08-01-2017, 04:47 PM
Until age 8, we lived about 30 miles from Disneyland, in Pasadena.

Even better, from the summer Disneyland opened, throughout our time living there, every summer the company my dad worked for rented the entire park for a full day for just the company employees and families - no lines, no tickets, just childhood bliss. We also went to Disneyland several other times per year. So my childhood memories of Disneyland are somewhat idyllic, and wonderful.

Since we moved away 51 years ago, I've only been back twice (3rd time likely in the next couple of years). I haven't minded the return visits, but neither my wife nor I particularly look forward to them - we both despise crowds. But we love the children's time there . . . except, interestingly, for months after the last So. CA visit, the children talked much more about Sea World and Legoland than they did Disneyland.

Drmojo
08-01-2017, 05:21 PM
Ugh.

I'm glad you enjoy it, but the thought of those places makes me retch.

With all sincerity, please help me understand its appeal. I know LOTS of people who feel just as you do, but I simply don't get it.

I went in 1970
once was more than enough
never brought my kids
nver will
but some people love the evil mouse empire
to each his or her own I spose

PeregrineA1
08-01-2017, 05:23 PM
Born and raised in So Cal. From our deck we can see (and hear) the fireworks at Disneyland every night. We are ~10 miles as the crow flies, can't imagine living next door and hearing that every night....

Anyway, been dozens of times. The best times when as a child, I got to go with my grandparents on Rockwell International night. Short lines, no tickets, super fun. On days when it is open to the public....you can have the crowds. Best times as an adult, I worked there as a contractor doing ride renovations/updates and they had contractor appreciation night. Great time, a good meal, and again no crowds.

I haven't been since 1993 and have no plans to go anytime soon. No grand kids yet though.

Seems a ton of money as well. For what a day for my cousins and their kids spent last summer I could go on quite the trip...

Scuzzer
08-01-2017, 05:24 PM
When the Colts won the SuperBowl in 2007 my father in law got a full share of the championship bonus (plus a ring!) and wanted to do something special with it. He decided to take his three daughters and their families to Disneyworld for 4 days at the parks and a three day cruise. I'm not big on crowds and I'd never pay a nickel to take a cruise but I'd have to be insane not to accept that trip especially for my 8 and 5 year old kids.

It was awesome! I can't imagine being at those parks without kids but with them everything was so fun living it through them. We had cousins who were "princess" girls loving that part, other cousins who were cartoon kids loving the interaction with those characters. My kids enjoyed the "scariest" rides even though the worst of them couldn't actually scare anyone since the parks seem designed around your average 8 year old.

Best part: If you're on the silly dumbo ride when the fireworks start going off they leave you on the ride for the full fireworks show. Didn't know it when we got in the very minimal line, was surprised when it happened and I'd actually pay money to relive that sequence with my kids.

Worst part: Hanging out with extended family is tough sometimes so I volunteered to run around with everyone's (15!) tickets and get ez-passes or whatever they called them so we didn't have to wait in line. It gave me a chance to escape the group while also giving me a chance to get a little exercise in by jogging around the park.

Anyways, worst part was we planned poorly and ended up standing in line at the stupid Pirates of the Caribbean ride for over an hour. We stood in line once and only once that trip.

Last night of the trip I had 15 line passes to the best roller coaster so four of us rode it three times in a row with people standing in line getting slightly pissed at us walking past them multiple times in 20 minutes. I gave the last 3 passes to a nice looking father and two kids at the back of the line when we left to even out the kharma.

Sorry to type so much, Disney does that to you.

bianchi10
08-01-2017, 05:33 PM
wow, what a bunch of misanthropes

But to the OP, you have it all wrong. DisneyWORLD is where it's at! We went down to DisneyWorld all the time and spent a week in the campground that's on the actual DisneyWorld grounds. The campground was amazing: horse rides, bike rides, pools, games, other kids running around, and if you were as tall as the Mickey Mouse sign, you got to rent little 10 or 15 horsepower boats and ride around Bay Lake and Seven Seas Lagoon. For a 6 year old...that was about as good as it gets. Throw in the fact that we hadn't even stepped foot in the Magic Kingdom yet and it was sensory overload.

When our family gets together, my parents still talk about how those vacations were so Magical to us kids and they couldn't help but share in the excitement with/for us.

Sad other people can't wrap their head around that concept.

Different fokes i 'spose.


I never did that but I can imagine how much fun that would be as a kid! My wife and I went to DW after we had both gone to DL a couple of times. We went to DW before we had kids. It was still fun, but I didn't like how spread out each land was from one another. Taking the trams fro one land to the next took so much extra time. Maybe there was a better way to coordinate the transfers and we just didn't know about it at the time. The other part we didn't like (Which is nobody's fault) was the weather. It was humid as heck and 3 out of the 5 days we were there monsoon'ed on us. several of the attractions were closed down because of the rain, which really sucked. The distance and cost to travel to Florida is a consideration for us as well. I hate flying because I get bored no matter what I bring with me on the plane and that is a long freaking flight.

I still like Disneyworld because I can still get myself lost in the Disney magic, I just prefer Disneyland.

Seramount
08-01-2017, 05:38 PM
went to Disneyland and Six Flags as a teenager in the 60s..they were ok, but seemed a bit tame for my tastes at that age.

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was fun tho.

you'd have to pay me LARGE amounts of money to go to either venue now.

standing in line, massive crowds...yuk.

rePhil
08-01-2017, 06:18 PM
The company I retired from is a long time vendor at WDW. I have spent a fair bit of time there and have to say the best part is the unseen parts. The underground tunnels, cafeteria, mechanical and service areas. In that regard Disney is an interesting company.

christian
08-02-2017, 07:50 AM
I still like Disneyworld because I can still get myself lost in the Disney magic, I just prefer Disneyland.
Agree. I love Disneyland for its manageable size and nostalgia. Disneyland is great.

Even though we live in NY, my wife and I have taken the kids to Disneyland each of the last three years. My wife grew up in Los Angeles, and my folks now live about an hour away, so we combine it with visiting the grand parents and eating tacos.

One thing that has made it work for us is that we've nailed the logistics. We get two-day parkhopper passes and we drive down about 5am on the first day, and check in to the Disneyland hotel. That gives you Magic Hour access to either Disneyland or California Adventure and off to the park you go, beating the crowds. Then you can stay at the parks until about 3, return to the hotel, let the kids go swimming and relax, and head back to the park for dinner and fireworks. The second day, your one night at the Disneyland hotel gives you an additional Magic Hour at the other park, so you beat the crowds then too. Spend until about 4pm at the parks, and the kids are cooked, load them in the car, and head back up the 5. It's not cheap, but early entrance to the parks on both days and a place to let the kids chill mid-afternoon really makes it worthwhile.

It's not super-cheap, but the kids have fun every time (they're now 9 and almost 7). The last time we went, we were on line to go into California Adventure and we were picked as the family to "Open the Park." Stuff like that is pure magic. I figure it's only good for another year or two, but for now, the kids love it, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy Big Thunder Mountain, the Jungle Cruise, Matterhorn and Pirates!

Bradford
08-02-2017, 08:06 AM
I've always loved Disney and continue to even more now that I have kids. I've also stopped trying to convince people who don't...if it isn't someone's thing they nothing can be said to change their mind.

About crowds and lines, if you are waiting in long lines you aren't doing it right. Their are pretty easy strategies for avoiding lines that are well documented on the internet, so a little research well before you go will help you maximize the visit. (Start about 18 months before you go because somethings should be done a year in advance). We usually go when crowd levels are 3 and 4, which makes avoiding lines pretty easy, but last spring our visit time was set by other commitments so we were at Disneyland for crowd level 7 days. Even at a 7, and at times it seemed more like and 8, we really didn't have to wait much at all. The same applies to cost. It is hard to save on park tickets, but there are plenty of ways to save on other costs, it just takes some planning ahead.

AngryScientist
08-02-2017, 08:12 AM
we've been to Olrando a few times and are taking the kids for the first time to california disney this fall.

i enjoy disney for what it is, which is a manufactured experience. they literally think of everything there, things are spotlessly clean and the customer service attitudes are shockingly happy, all the time.

what i hate about Orlando is the effect of being stuck in a compound. there isnt much "real world" worth doing or seeing outside the theme parks so if you're there for x amount of days, you're immersed in disney only for that amount of days.

i'm looking forward to California because there is so much else not in disney itself. actually, the disney stop is only part of the family vacation, and i'm, bringing a bike for some good socal miles while the family does other stuff.

you could never do that in Orlando.

also - the humidity in Orlando is freaking miserable.

Ralph
08-02-2017, 08:31 AM
Interesting. I live on N side of Orlando. We don't even consider Disney area Orlando. Next time you come with a bike, can show you a year around cycling paradise. Can't f ix summer heat, but will take our winters.

ergott
08-02-2017, 09:16 AM
I would venture to argue, how could real current day ever compete with the imagination of being in a cartoon!?


Sitting on the aft sun deck of a cruise ship watching the entirety of a cloudy sunset is something that can't be matched on any sized screen. Watching multiple lightning storms all a dozen or so miles away was breath taking.

I think my problem with Disney (or similar theme park) is it's someone else telling me how to be entertained. It's someone else's imagination, not mine.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

El Chaba
08-02-2017, 09:33 AM
We took our daughter to Disneyworld two years ago and are planning on taking her again this winter. We had a great time before. I wouldn't do it for myself, but to be part of the experience for a 5 year old was great. We were far from being Disney "experts" when we went, but a little research and a smart phone allowed us to schedule certain busy activities and partake in others by chance along the way. In one case we went into a boutique where they transform the little girls into princesses and they happened to have an open appointment about an hour later...We came back for the appointment and our little one loved being transformed into a princess. Instead of feeling out of place or awkward being in costume at that point, she became part of the show so to speak. A little while later we happened upon the actress portraying the same princess character for which my daughter had been made up. Without missing a beat, the character took my daughter by the hand and asked if she had a few minutes to "help" as she had quite a few people to meet and greet. Ours spent the next 10 minutes or so shaking hands and curtseying with other guests. For a little girl it was pure magic and an experience I doubt she will ever forget. The window for that sort of thing closes fast, and it is the reason that we are going back two years later in hope that the magic hasn't gone for her.

El Chaba
08-02-2017, 09:36 AM
P.S....Incidentally, I tried a number of times to make some of the characters break character by innuendo etc. They won't. They are incredibly well trained.

tuxbailey
08-02-2017, 10:01 AM
I have been to Disney World a few times and couple times to Disneyland. I have always had fun in it even though I didn't go as a child.

It is all a manufactured reality. But they are very consistent in the production and like someone else wrote, you kind of know exactly what you will get. Plus they have been trying to improve the experience over time with such thing as Fast Pass so it helps.

we've been to Olrando a few times and are taking the kids for the first time to california disney this fall.

i enjoy disney for what it is, which is a manufactured experience. they literally think of everything there, things are spotlessly clean and the customer service attitudes are shockingly happy, all the time.

what i hate about Orlando is the effect of being stuck in a compound. there isnt much "real world" worth doing or seeing outside the theme parks so if you're there for x amount of days, you're immersed in disney only for that amount of days.

i'm looking forward to California because there is so much else not in disney itself. actually, the disney stop is only part of the family vacation, and i'm, bringing a bike for some good socal miles while the family does other stuff.

you could never do that in Orlando.

also - the humidity in Orlando is freaking miserable.

thegunner
08-02-2017, 10:26 AM
P.S....Incidentally, I tried a number of times to make some of the characters break character by innuendo etc. They won't. They are incredibly well trained.

the princesses will get fired if they break character, there was an interesting AMA on reddit about this.

shovelhd
08-02-2017, 10:48 AM
I'm not a fan of Disneyland, but WDW, I get it. We've gone three times, either with DVC members or by purchasing points from a DVC member. Staying in the park is the only way I'd go. The public transit is very good, and I need a break by the poolside with a cold frosty. We go to the parks 2-3 times a day depending on which park and which resort. We don't always eat in the park but there are a few restaurants that we always make sure to go to each time. For the rest of the time, we take advantage of the restaurant specials near the park and either take it to go or get away for a bit.

The magic for me are the little kids. Mine are grown, so I get my kicks watching everyone else's kids eyes light up.

benb
08-02-2017, 10:53 AM
Bunch of precious/cynical/too cool for school adults here eh?

The magic of Disney is when you are either a kid or you are taking your kids.

I went in 8th grade, I come from a big family so Disney was stupid expensive, so we only went once. My youngest brother was like 6, I was 13. So I was a little bit "this is for kids", and I had been to Busch Gardens quite a few times when we lived in VA, I definitely thought the roller coasters at Disney were not as exciting.

My B-I-L is in stage management and has worked at Disney, Universal, and now works at a European park. My wife and I went once to Disney land with him before we had our son, he knew all the ins and outs and trivia and had lots of friends "in the biz" in LA so it was a pretty neat trip. (We only went 1 day out of a week + trip.)

The thing with Disney, and I really only "got" this from hearing it from my B-I-L is they are just 100% more professional in the way they run things and they get every little detail right. They really do make it a step above.

I am not really sure I get how Disney gets complained for cost on a forum like this that is full of talk of huge fleets of user-expensive bikes and all kinds of other conspicuous consumption like sports cars which cost enough to take your kid to Disney once a year for their entire childhood and watches which cost enough for a family to go to Disney for a week. (And I'm not really any better here as I have 3 bikes)

Anyway though.. we took my son when he was 2, we're going to take him again this coming winter when he's 5, it's pretty great when you're taking a little kid because they just love every little bit of it. It's about showing your kid a great time. We've been to Hawaii twice with our kid, overall I like Hawaii better but Disney is about 1/3 the cost and about 1/10th the airline PITA.

If they had built DW somewhere other than Florida I'd have preferred that. I get that Orlando gives them the most days/year they have good weather or something but it's a pretty terrible destination otherwise. If they'd put it somewhere near mountains us cyclists could take our kids to Disney a few days of a trip and enjoy some good cycling some of the days too.

Waiting in lines is a thing of the past.. you get an electronic wristband these days and you get to schedule your ride times on your smartphone. Then you just walk up at the right time and scan your wristband and you're in. It's a great system, again one of those things I haven't seen at any other park that makes Disney more fun.

JonB
08-02-2017, 11:28 AM
Living in Central Florida, we've practically raised our kids at Walt Disney World. We've been passholders many many years and I have to be approaching 75 visits.

What I've found is what so many people have mentioned - the professionalism and the cleanliness. It really is amazing to see no litter, no filth, no crappy employees, etc.

The fact that we go so much means that we're never rushed to try and see so much at one time. If a line is too long, we'll do the ride next time. Plus, there's no reason for us to be at the parks during the heat of the day.

For example, we're headed there this weekend. We'll get to Animal Kingdom around 7pm, do the safari and then stay for the fireworks show. Saturday will be spent lounging by the pool at the hotel (Hilton @ Disney Springs) and then head to the Magic Kingdom for dinner, the Haunted Mansion and the fireworks / lights show.

The two areas that I've found not to my liking - food in the Magic Kingdom. There are a few places to get an okay lunch, but really nothing like at Epcot where we can have a nice, albeit expensive family meal. The other is the hotels. While the top tier hotels (Contemporary, Wildnerness Lodge, Grand Floridian, Boardwalk Inn) have nice amenities, the rooms are on par with a Motel 6. We've found the Hiltons at Bonnet Creek and Disney Springs are great for a weekend getaway. The kids enjoy the pools and the wife and I enjoy the poolside bars. They're a whole lot less expensive than the on-site hotels too while still being very close. Finally, being passholders, we get free Disney parking, so we just drive instead of taking the slow Disney public transit.

At times, I get tired of doing the parks but the wife and boys still look forward to it everytime we go.

benb
08-02-2017, 01:36 PM
Funny you mention the hotels.

When I was a kid we stayed offsite to save money. Last time I went 2 years ago we stayed in the Saratoga Springs themed resort.

It was kind of hilarious having grown up in New England and gone to college 20 miles from Saratoga Springs, and then having spent some time up there again when I got my Serotta.

They had imported New England vegetation for the resort, and some of the landscaping just didn't like Florida... things like Maple trees that didn't know what the hell to do with themselves since there was no winter.

We're going to stay offsite next time.. although I would really love to stay in the Contemporary resort some day.. I bet it looks dated but as a kid it always looked so futuristic, and it'd be cool to just roll out of your room and get on the monorail.

thegunner
08-02-2017, 02:13 PM
We're going to stay offsite next time.. although I would really love to stay in the Contemporary resort some day.. I bet it looks dated but as a kid it always looked so futuristic, and it'd be cool to just roll out of your room and get on the monorail.

my wife and i (no kids) have done contemporary, poly, grand floridian, saratoga, old key west, animal kingdom, and at some point a few of the moderates.

they've actually renovated a bunch of them, poly was incredible, as was animal kingdom. so they're not terribly dated (although contemporary weirdly enough is probably the least themed / interesting)

bikingshearer
08-02-2017, 02:36 PM
For the Disneyland/Disney World haters, hate away. For the lovers, love away.


I don't mean that in a snarky way, just that how you feel about them is how you feel about them. My Mom enjoyed DL and was happy to go with the kids. My Dad thought it was one of Dante's circles of Hell - he went once, and swore never to go again. And I understand both of their takes.

sg8357
08-02-2017, 07:08 PM
[snip]
At the end of the day, strip it all down, I love WDW because I know exactly what kind of vacation I'm going to have. I know it's going to be clean, the food will be consistent, the cast members will be accommodating. [snip]

Also: Paging TheGunner :)

If you like WDW, try Switzerland, just like WDW, but cleaner and better run.

unterhausen
08-02-2017, 10:44 PM
It's funny that the OP mentions the smells, they are fake. Ok, fake may be too strong of a word, but they artificially augment the smells.

We had fun, took the car train down. Not sure I would go back.

Elefantino
08-02-2017, 10:50 PM
In some parts of the world, "Disneyland" (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/world/europe/venice-italy-tourist-invasion.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0) is seen in a different light.

sfghbiker
08-03-2017, 12:04 AM
Echo what has been said above. If you're standing in long lines you're doing it wrong. Plan for me and 6 year old daughter:
1. Get there early at rope drop. Go on a bunch of the rides while the park is just opening.
2. Take a break for coffee/brain refresh
3. Meet some characters or go on less popular rides
4. Lunch either in park or hotel
5. Retreat to hotel to swim/nap/afternoon drinks for adults
6. Return to park for dinner, evening ride or two and watching the parade/fireworks if that's your thing.

make reservations for food in the park. keep hydrated and kids fed.

repeat each day of trip and see happiest kid on earth while dad still has a good time.

Also. Halloween. Disney Halloween is the best thing ever for younger kids looking to do something fun in the fall.

Louis
08-03-2017, 12:08 AM
https://static01.nyt.com/images/2013/04/09/arts/09funicello1_cnd/09funicello1_cnd-videoLarge.jpg

Nooch
08-03-2017, 10:03 AM
Just as a side note for those planning on going -- I just carry a 2L hydration bladder in my Osprey light backpacking pack. In the bag are snacks, changes of clothes, typical kid needs etc. my family shares the germs of the bladder. Start the day full to the brim of ice, add water, and refill along the way. keeps me cool (bladder is on my back) and I don't mind being the mule for the family.

bikingshearer
08-04-2017, 01:02 PM
Echo what has been said above. If you're standing in long lines you're doing it wrong. Plan for me and 6 year old daughter:
1. Get there early at rope drop. Go on a bunch of the rides while the park is just opening.
2. Take a break for coffee/brain refresh
3. Meet some characters or go on less popular rides
4. Lunch either in park or hotel
5. Retreat to hotel to swim/nap/afternoon drinks for adults
6. Return to park for dinner, evening ride or two and watching the parade/fireworks if that's your thing.

make reservations for food in the park. keep hydrated and kids fed.

repeat each day of trip and see happiest kid on earth while dad still has a good time.

Also. Halloween. Disney Halloween is the best thing ever for younger kids looking to do something fun in the fall.

This, or a variation of it, is the best way to have a good time. The basic drill is:go early, take a break in the afternoon, go back for late afternoon/evening. Stay fed, stay hydrated and, at least as important, stay rested.

Also, unless you are a real Disney pro with oodles of trips under your belt, I highly recommend that you get the current edition of "The Unofficial Guide to" Disneyland or WDW, as appropriate. Great books. Tons of very useful tips, plans, recommendations, things to watch out for (good and less good) and generally getting the most out of your visit. If you are a Disney rookie, it will make you, if not a Pro, than a Cat 1.

bianchi10
08-04-2017, 03:11 PM
It's funny that the OP mentions the smells, they are fake. Ok, fake may be too strong of a word, but they artificially augment the smells.

We had fun, took the car train down. Not sure I would go back.

Im aware of that. Still smells good and ignites a memory when I think of it.

JonB
08-05-2017, 09:49 AM
We're going to stay offsite next time.. although I would really love to stay in the Contemporary resort some day.. I bet it looks dated but as a kid it always looked so futuristic, and it'd be cool to just roll out of your room and get on the monorail.

Insider tip of thr day: ;)
For convenience, the Contemporary is not the best choice for the monorail system. The hotel trains run clockwise meaning that if you're going to the Magic Kingdom from the Contemporary, it'll make stops at the ticketing center, Polynesian and Grand Floridian before dropping you off at the park.

A better bet for transport convenience is the Grand Floridian. It's 1 stop on the monorail to the MK. On the way back take the local boat (not the big ticketing center ferry). The hotel boats run counter-clockwise so the first stop after leaving the Magic kingdom is the Grand Floridian.

However, our favorite top-tier resort for the family is the Wilderness Lodge. It has a dedicated boat back and forth from the Magic Kingdom and has a best pool to keep the kids having fun during the mid-day pool break. It has a small water slide and has plenty of families for the kids to make friends.

seric
08-05-2017, 06:09 PM
For those with the correct disposition for gaming credit card rewards, I thought this post on Disney was worth forwarding to my sister (who with my niece and nephew certainly qualify as a Disney family).

https://www.reddit.com/r/churning/comments/6lgr8s/churning_for_disney_walt_disney_world_megathread/