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Dodie
04-02-2001, 08:16 AM
Part 2 of 3: Our Disneyland experience:

As I mentioned in my first post, we spent two half days and one full day at the Magic Kingdom.

We had been warned by several people that we would be disappointed in Disneyland because we had been to WDW so many times. "It's so small." "The castle is tiny." "It's older." That was TOTALLY NOT THE CASE!!!! We LOVED everything about it!

The difference in the details is amazing. Little things like more details in the graveyard scene in the Haunted Mansion, more critters on Big Thunder Mountain, and the amazing architectural details on Main Street really jumped out at us. The landscaping is so lush, the trees that form the berm around the park are so large and beautiful, the pathways (although narrow in places) are so charming! I could go on and on!

We did the "Walk in Walt's Footsteps Tour," which I would recommend if you are a first-timer. This was one of the options with our Disney Travel Co. package. DH and I are both 40 years old, so we grew up watching Walt talk about Disneyland on TV, but the tour was a great introduction. The only comment I would make is that it is advertised as a two-hour tour, but the guide told us up front that it would be 3 to 3 hours - and it was. That was fine, but may be more of a time commitment than some people are willing to make. We really enjoyed it though!

Although the park seemed pretty crowded, we did almost everything at Disneyland during our stay. We made good use of Fast Pass, so our longest wait was one trip on Thunder Mountain after dark (without Fast Pass) that took about 25 minutes in line. Park hours were extended to 10:00 p.m. on two nights when we were there. I think that's because there were a lot of college-aged kids in the park (spring break?), which really added to the crowds.

We were amazed that we actually enjoyed every ride we went on that we had been on in Florida better at Disneyland. Thunder Mountain was longer-with more dark parts and detail. The Haunted Mansion had more details and the audio was much better. Space Mountain was darker and (although a little rougher) more fun. I could go on, but you get the idea.

Disneyland is beautiful at night. The walkways seem darker than at WDW, and the landscaping and lighting is just wonderful. It was very romantic. :)

We ate at the Carnation Cafe on Main Street twice. The chicken caesar salad is wonderful, and enough to share. We also had pasta and pizza at Redd Rocket's (sp?) in Tomorrowland. That was shareable and very good too.

We didn't watch the parade, although it was running twice daily during our visit. We used that time to get on some of the larger rides.

DH was very disappointed that Pirates was down, although I had warned him in advance. (I guess that will be our excuse to return someday!)

One final thing: We have tried for years to get in the front car on the monorail at WDW, but they always pick families with young children - and not us. We got to ride in the front on a trip from Disneyland to Downtown Disney. It was great fun! The "kids" who were driving the monorail (I'm 40, they were 20 = "kids") were great. They showed us how the computerized system worked and everything. There was a brake fault that kept us in the station for about 10 minutes, while they powered down and back up a couple of times to correct it, so we had a lot of time to chat. It was great!

I'll add more about Disneyland if I think of it. If not, watch for my third (final) installment about DCA, coming soon!

Greg K.
04-02-2001, 11:04 AM
Loved your reports -- my wife and I are also about your age, no kiddies, (but kiddies at heart!) and couldn't agree more with your assessment of Disneyland vs. the Magic Kingdom at WDW.

You can sense Walt's touch everywhere, can't you? The intimate scale, the lush landscaping, the loving attention to detail...and so many of the attractions, even the ones that are reproduced at WDW, are just much better at DL, aren't they? Little things -- like NOT being able to see the ceiling pipes and wires on "Pirates" or "Small World," or hearing the great sound systems on the rides, so you can actually understand the lyrics! -- really make a difference. To visit DL after WDW is a real eye-opener. THIS, you tell yourself, is what it's all about!

We're looking forward to making our second trip to Anaheim next month -- and seeing, first hand, the new park.

Thanks for your reports!

<font color=blue>
<font face="Alaska">"It's the time of your life, so live it well..."

Greg K.
Forest Hills, NY
<font color=maroon>
Grand Floridian: '96,'97,'99
Disneyland Hotel: '00
Paradise Pier Hotel: '01
</font>

BetsyAnn
04-02-2001, 11:38 AM
I just love to read reports of people going to DL for the first time. While I love Epcot, Disney Studios and Animal Kingdom, MK has always been a disppointment to me. I grew up at DL. As stated above, Walt's touch is just every where at DL. I am glad you had a great time at DL. Too bad about Pirates - You'll just have to come again! LOL


:) BAS

Marla Hellwig
04-09-2001, 05:40 PM
I know what you mean about DL seeming to be "more" magical than WDW. A great Disney time was had by all. Thanks for posting!

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