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SunnyP4Disney
01-03-2012, 05:44 PM
I'm a CM for WDW that visited DL 20 years ago as a child. My best friend just moved to LA, so I am in the early stages of planning a trip, either for March or June. I can't believe how overwhelming this is! I've been pricing CM rates for GCH, but it's still so much higher than I'm used to. They quoted me $787 a night for concierge level when I just stayed 2 weeks ago at Wilderness Lodge club level for $180 a night!

It seems there are major differences benefits wise also. The Magical Express is not complimentary, I cannot get the dining plan as a CM, there's so much that is confusing me. I know so much of the ins and outs of WDW, but DL is so foreign to me. How many days would you recommend? This would be a once in a decade trip, so we are planning four days at least in the parks, then another three for San Diego and Hollywood. My son and husband have never been.

Is there anything you could suggest to me to help me navigate this new territory? Especially any CMs or former CMs that can get me the low down on
dining discounts and other perks. Thanks!

skiingfast
01-03-2012, 05:50 PM
GCH is not equal to the WL. GCH = GF.

Really you need to read this thread.
A DLR guide for WDW vets (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1162599)

SunnyP4Disney
01-03-2012, 05:58 PM
GCH is not equal to the WL. GCH = GF.

Really you need to read this thread.
A DLR guide for WDW vets (http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1162599)

I am in the process of reading it but it was started in 2006 and is ginormous. I understand GCH is the equivalent of GF, but Ive never seen GF Theme Park View Club Level that high at CM rate. I am wondering if anyone could add anything helpful to me as a CM going as a guest.

Disney Dreams
01-03-2012, 06:02 PM
As you probably tell people at WDW, first thing to remember is the Disneyland and WDW are very different --- as similar as they may also be.

While the Magic Kingdom may seem similar to DL, it is indeed very different.

That said, let's start with the meal plan. At DLR, it's NOTHING like WDW. Most people will tell you just to skip the meal plan at DLR. It's really not at all like what you are familiar with and not much to it.

Next, hotels. The Grand Californian is an amazing hotel. Again, comparing to WDW (and the WL at that) is going to throw you off. Keep in mind that there are only 3 hotels on site at DLR while there are many more at WDW. Additionally, the Club Level is very popular, wanted, and exclusive -- as the price indicates. I just priced out a 4 night stay in the second week of March for four nights for two adults at the GCH for a Concierge Garden standard view room and got $770/night. So my guess is the Cast Member discount you are getting is not much. Also, your dates are popular times. Depending upon when in March you are looking at, you are sneaking up on Spring Break and June puts you right in popular summer time. Also, CarsLand is opening around then so it is expected to be a very popular time to visit.

If you want to stay onsite and want the least expensive, check out Paradise Pier hotel.

As for the Parks, keep in mind that the two parks are a minute walk apart from one another. VERY different than WDW.

In your planning, fight the urge to do things the WDW way. You're coming to DLR. :wizard: Enjoy! It's the original and it's wonderful.

Hope this helps,
Dreams

DisneyBride'03
01-03-2012, 06:32 PM
As you probably tell people at WDW, first thing to remember is the Disneyland and WDW are very different --- as similar as they may also be.

While the Magic Kingdom may seem similar to DL, it is indeed very different.

That said, let's start with the meal plan. At DLR, it's NOTHING like WDW. Most people will tell you just to skip the meal plan at DLR. It's really not at all like what you are familiar with and not much to it.

Next, hotels. The Grand Californian is an amazing hotel. Again, comparing to WDW (and the WL at that) is going to throw you off. Keep in mind that there are only 3 hotels on site at DLR while there are many more at WDW. Additionally, the Club Level is very popular, wanted, and exclusive -- as the price indicates. I just priced out a 4 night stay in the second week of March for four nights for two adults at the GCH for a Concierge Garden standard view room and got $770/night. So my guess is the Cast Member discount you are getting is not much. Also, your dates are popular times. Depending upon when in March you are looking at, you are sneaking up on Spring Break and June puts you right in popular summer time. Also, CarsLand is opening around then so it is expected to be a very popular time to visit.

If you want to stay onsite and want the least expensive, check out Paradise Pier hotel.

As for the Parks, keep in mind that the two parks are a minute walk apart from one another. VERY different than WDW.

In your planning, fight the urge to do things the WDW way. You're coming to DLR. :wizard: Enjoy! It's the original and it's wonderful.

Hope this helps,
Dreams

It helped me! Thanks...saw the thread, thanks OP..I read that thread, (For WDW Vets) or hit the highlights...I am just interested NOW abt resort/hotel cause I do NOT think I can get in at VGC at 7 mths for a studio over DL Half weekend....ok, fingers crossed, but realistic!
Will look into PP myself, as a WDW Vet, and while I have researched Good Neighbor hotels...I am one of those who want to be on property...even if some hotels are across the street:laughing:

kennedyandkailey
01-03-2012, 07:04 PM
Not a CM.... but I just wanted to say I feel for you. We are WDW fans and have come to know the ins and outs of WDW over the past 8 years. We are going to DL next month for the first time and I am stunned at how different things are. I was shocked about the Magical Express vs Disneyland Express AND the WDW Dining credits vs DL dining vouchers. SOOOOO different... both better at WDW! We are excited to experience DL for a change and I love the closer proximity of parks and resorts, but it is all so confusing at times. I will be reading the thread as well to pick up on tips that might apply to non CM. Thanks for starting it!

HydroGuy
01-03-2012, 07:13 PM
I am in the process of reading it but it was started in 2006 and is ginormous. I understand GCH is the equivalent of GF, but Ive never seen GF Theme Park View Club Level that high at CM rate. I am wondering if anyone could add anything helpful to me as a CM going as a guest.The DLR Guide is kept up-to-date. It was last updated in late 2010 and is pretty accurate. You only need to read the first post in the thread. It is long but broken into topics. It will help you better understand the right questions to ask.

:wizard:

Disney Dreams
01-03-2012, 07:23 PM
...I was shocked about the Magical Express vs Disneyland Express AND the WDW Dining credits vs DL dining vouchers. SOOOOO different... both better at WDW!...

Again, I encourage you to view it through the eyes of DIFFERENT vs. better. As a DL veteran, I found so many things about WDW confusing and strange. Meal plans? What? Can't I just buy food? Yes, now I understand how it works, but you have to think of it as different, not better or worse. DL is not WDW so what works at WDW does not necessarily work at DL; therefore, it is not necessarily beter or worse, just different.

Disneyland is wonderful, amazing, and magical... if you allow yourself to enjoy it and not just compare it.

HTH,
Dreams

HydroGuy
01-03-2012, 07:32 PM
Not a CM.... but I just wanted to say I feel for you. We are WDW fans and have come to know the ins and outs of WDW over the past 8 years. We are going to DL next month for the first time and I am stunned at how different things are. I was shocked about the Magical Express vs Disneyland Express AND the WDW Dining credits vs DL dining vouchers. SOOOOO different... both better at WDW! We are excited to experience DL for a change and I love the closer proximity of parks and resorts, but it is all so confusing at times. I will be reading the thread as well to pick up on tips that might apply to non CM. Thanks for starting it!:rotfl2:

You WDW vets have no idea how easy you have it! Here is the situation at DLR...

- No need to make dining ADRs or choose parks 6 months or even one day in advance

- No need to think about transportation from hotels and between parks (if you stay onsite or one of the many good neighbors within walking distance)

- Rarely need to think about weather (I have never even thought about bringing a rain poncho to DLR)

All of the above are big issues at WDW that require considerable effort and/or pre-planning at WDW.

DLR does not have ME. It is not because DLR does not have its act together like WDW does. It is because there are six airports that people use for DLR while WDW has one. Further, WDW is a big fish in the small Orlando pond and has more leverage to negotiate with the city and airport. DLR is a small fish in the big SoCal pond. It has less than half the visitors each year than WDW spread out across all the airports. It does not make sense to have ME even if they could negotiate it with the different California cities impacted.

Dining is just not as big a deal at DLR than it is at WDW and hence a dining plan is in much less demand. There are lots more locals on day trips (even partial day trips for some of the 900,000 AP holders) and they tend to not take as much time for food. There are some good dining options at DLR but it does play the same role as WDW.

Further, a DLR trip does not lend itself to pre-planned dining reservations. It is much more dynamic and, well, flexible. You will love how easy it is at DLR to change just about anything on your trip at the last minute. Stress goes hand-in-hand with a WDW pre-planned trip. Leave the stress in Florida and be ready to relax and enjoy the flexibility DLR offers.

I always get a little concerned by WDW vets who start comparing DLR to WDW too much at the planning stage. If they were the same why would you bother going to DLR? DLR is not WDW and has many areas that are better than WDW. Be ready to be blown away by some of the DLR major entertainment such as Fantasmic, World of Color and Aladdin. And, if it is playing, Remember Dreams Come True.

:)

sonnyjane
01-03-2012, 07:47 PM
I always get a little concerned by WDW vets who start comparing DLR to WDW too much at the planning stage. If they were the same why would you bother going to DLR?

Perfectly said.

RweTHEREyet
01-03-2012, 08:55 PM
:rotfl2:



I always get a little concerned by WDW vets who start comparing DLR to WDW too much at the planning stage. If they were the same why would you bother going to DLR?

:)

WDW is a WDW vets only frame of reference. What are they supposed to do, compare it to Six Flags? I was in the same boat two years ago, and the best place to start is with what you know.

We WDW vets all know it isn't the same, but we know it is similar, and you have to start somewhere. If a person can't come to the DIS Boards and ask their questions without being criticized, then where can they go?

DisneyBride'03
01-03-2012, 09:05 PM
Good thing I am coming to DL to just run the Half in Sept to get my Coast to Coast medal...geez

HydroGuy
01-03-2012, 09:20 PM
WDW is a WDW vets only frame of reference. What are they supposed to do, compare it to Six Flags? I was in the same boat two years ago, and the best place to start is with what you know.

We WDW vets all know it isn't the same, but we know it is similar, and you have to start somewhere. If a person can't come to the DIS Boards and ask their questions without being criticized, then where can they go?I was not aware of any criticism. If I came across as critical then I blew it. Sincerely sorry! :flower3:

In answer to your question, some people (either WDW vets coming to DLR for the first time, or vice versa) set up their home resort as the "perfect" Disney experience and everything that is different is somehow a negative. The problem with this is they can get blinded because some of the differences are actually better - or at least better depending on the circumstance.

Here is an extreme and rare experience as an example. I recall a WDW vet around here maybe six months ago who claimed Disneyland had "zero Disney magic". Excuse me? It is the only theme park in the world designed by Walt Disney personally. If DL lacks Disney magic then Disney magic has no meaning IMO. I could only conclude that in their definition that

Disney Magic = WDW

and anything that was not WDW was not Disney. :confused3

IndayMichelle
01-03-2012, 09:22 PM
DBF is a CM, but here in Seattle. He works for Disney Internet Group (or Media, whatever they keep changing the name of the brand to). I usually go to DLR without him. The time we did go together, we stayed at PPH concierge level. I think it was about half off?

You still get dining discount in the parks, and a merchandise discount. There was also a discount on the tour we took. Just like WDW, you show your pass and your ID at the turnstile and they'll issue you tickets.

RweTHEREyet
01-03-2012, 09:25 PM
I'm a CM for WDW that visited DL 20 years ago as a child. My best friend just moved to LA, so I am in the early stages of planning a trip, either for March or June. I can't believe how overwhelming this is! I've been pricing CM rates for GCH, but it's still so much higher than I'm used to. They quoted me $787 a night for concierge level when I just stayed 2 weeks ago at Wilderness Lodge club level for $180 a night!

It seems there are major differences benefits wise also. The Magical Express is not complimentary, I cannot get the dining plan as a CM, there's so much that is confusing me. I know so much of the ins and outs of WDW, but DL is so foreign to me. How many days would you recommend? This would be a once in a decade trip, so we are planning four days at least in the parks, then another three for San Diego and Hollywood. My son and husband have never been.

Is there anything you could suggest to me to help me navigate this new territory? Especially any CMs or former CMs that can get me the low down on
dining discounts and other perks. Thanks!

As a WDW vet with too many trips to WDW to count, I feel for you. Let me see if I can help a little, not from a CM perspective.

Our first trip to DL was in January 2009. We have DVC, so I did not have to worry about a room, but staying on site at DL is not as big a deal as at WDW. You might consider one of the off-site hotels right outside the DL gates. Some of those hotels are actually closer to the park entrance than the DL hotels are.

Dining--do not worry at all about a dining plan or making advance reservations. Most dining there is outside, no advance reservation necessary. If there is somewhere you really want to try, most of the time you can book it the same day.

Three or four days will give gracious plenty time for an experienced park person to take in all of DL. Make sure you put the attractions we don't have at WDW before anything else. Then do the duplicates that you really like to see which you like better. From experience, I really like Peter Pan, Pirates and Its a Small World better at DL.

Fantasmic at DL is good, but a real hassle unless you book the dessert seating, which is pretty expensive. World of Color is a far better option and worth using some wait time for.

If your friend you are visiting will be with you, and if they are going to purchase an AP, that really gives some good discounts. I think the shipping discount at DL with an AP is still 20%, and the food discount is 15%. Unlike WDW, you get the AP discounts everywhere, an the CMs always ask if you have an AP so they can give you the discount. At WDW, I feel you have to beg for any discounts due.

The best thing you can do is to stay on this discussion board and read all the threads, making notes on what is important to you. I, too, found the thread that everyone tells you to read to be overwhelming.

When you walk into DL, you will feel like someone has rearranged the furniture. Similar enough to be familiar, but just a little "off" in comparison to what you are used to. One of the strangest things to me was not knowing where the restrooms were and having to refer to a park map for the first time in many, many years.

You will love DL, but don't worry if you find yourself comparing--you won't be able to help it.

Have a wonderful trip and don't stress. DL is easier to do than WDW and you really do not have to plan as much.

DisneyBride'03
01-03-2012, 09:32 PM
I was not aware of any criticism. If I came across as critical then I blew it. Sincerely sorry! :flower3:

In answer to your question, some people (either WDW vets coming to DLR for the first time, or vice versa) set up their home resort as the "perfect" Disney experience and everything that is different is somehow a negative. The problem with this is they can get blinded because some of the differences are actually better - or at least better depending on the circumstance.

Here is an extreme and rare experience as an example. I recall a WDW vet around here maybe six months ago who claimed Disneyland had "zero Disney magic". Excuse me? It is the only theme park in the world designed by Walt Disney personally. If DL lacks Disney magic then Disney magic has no meaning IMO. I could only conclude that in their definition that

Disney Magic = WDW

and anything that was not WDW was not Disney. :confused3

As a WDW Vet coming here to the DL experts, I just dont want to feel like we are being :rotfl2: at:)

Sadly, comments can be misunderstood when not spoken and typed in a forum....
I really dont think anyone should attempt to compare WDW and DL..its like oranges and apples almost....Yes there are similarities obviously....

I am happily overwhelmed by everything I want to learn about DL really...I just enjoy hearing from the experts and their experiences.

I just want to find out the best way to increase my chances of a great discount at one of the DLR properties:laughing: Dont think I am getting in at VGC at 7 mths:goodvibes:rolleyes1

RweTHEREyet
01-03-2012, 09:36 PM
I

Here is an extreme and rare experience as an example. I recall a WDW vet around here maybe six months ago who claimed Disneyland had "zero Disney magic". Excuse me? It is the only theme park in the world designed by Walt Disney personally. If DL lacks Disney magic then Disney magic has no meaning IMO. I could only conclude that in their definition that

Disney Magic = WDW

and anything that was not WDW was not Disney. :confused3

If I were the OP, I would have had my feelings hurt with the comparison comment.

On the no magic thing, this WDW vet does not feel that way at all. After all, it all began at DL, and without DL, there never would have been a WDW. I am not sure how anyone could say that DL has no magic. I was at WDW in September and November and then DL in January, and there were things I looked forward to seeing and doing at each Resort. One can't help but compare the two, but there really is no comparison.

HydroGuy
01-03-2012, 09:57 PM
As a WDW Vet coming here to the DL experts, I just dont want to feel like we are being :rotfl2: at:)

Sadly, comments can be misunderstood when not spoken and typed in a forum....
I really dont think anyone should attempt to compare WDW and DL..its like oranges and apples almost....Yes there are similarities obviously....

I am happily overwhelmed by everything I want to learn about DL really...I just enjoy hearing from the experts and their experiences.

I just want to find out the best way to increase my chances of a great discount at one of the DLR properties:laughing: Dont think I am getting in at VGC at 7 mths:goodvibes:rolleyes1If it was the :rotfl2:emoticon that was offensive then I miscommuncicated. It was my first response to a WDW vet that seemed to be saying that planning for DLR was complicated compared to WDW. I just thought it was funny because by any objective measure WDW is much more complicated to plan than DLR.

Don't get me wrong. I am not saying WDW is somehow worse because it takes more planning. Part of the reason is takes more planning is that it offers more.

:wizard:

DisneyBride'03
01-03-2012, 10:04 PM
If it was the :rotfl2:emoticon that was offensive then I miscommuncicated. It was my first response to a WDW vet that seemed to be saying that planning for DLR was complicated compared to WDW. I just thought it was funny because by any objective measure WDW is much more complicated to plan than DLR.

Don't get me wrong. I am not saying WDW is somehow worse because it takes more planning. Part of the reason is takes more planning is that it offers more.

:wizard:

Understood:) Yes, there are folks that plan for a YEAR for WDW...lol..whether its needed or not....
I am looking forward to learning on this forum....:thumbsup2

JonKPest
01-03-2012, 10:05 PM
You might be interested in the Disneyland Resort and Hollywood family vacation from Adventures by Disney. http://www.dreamsunlimitedtravel.com/abd/itin_Backstage.htm

I am saving for this dream vacation!

JonK

SunnyP4Disney
01-03-2012, 10:30 PM
Thank you for the very honest opinions. Yes, I cringed at a few comments, but I understand. I wasn't criticizing DL at all, it's just I work reservations for WDW, so I am well versed in everything we have to offer and know nothing about DL. It's intimidating! My DH is military so we have a very small window to put this trip together and I want to make it perfect for him and DS. I went for my 16th birthday and still have wonderful memories. We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel and I remember it was going through some renovations at the time so they upgraded us. My brother had worked at DL for a while back in the day to help open BTMRR before he was transferred back to WDW. He is an expert, but unfortunately is unable to be my tour guide.

My nephew and his new wife are there right now for their honeymoon. I anticipate getting a lot of advice and tips from them and what are the must dos. I think I just pride myself as having had Disney as a huge part of my life. All my brothers and sisters have worked there (one has for almost 30 years), my nephew is a former CM and I am one now. I want this to be as perfect and magical as it can be! That's why I feel staying at DGCH is a must. Now, if I could only find someone to get me into Club 33, lol!

JonKPest
01-03-2012, 10:38 PM
Sometimes, the Backstage Magic Tour includes Breakfast at Club 33. Read some of the trip reports!

JonK

SunnyP4Disney
01-03-2012, 10:41 PM
Sometimes, the Backstage Magic Tour includes Breakfast at Club 33. Read some of the trip reports!

JonK

Oooo! Thank you! I think my nephew is doing that one along with Walk in Walt's Footsteps...

HydroGuy
01-03-2012, 10:51 PM
Thank you for the very honest opinions. Yes, I cringed at a few comments, but I understand. I wasn't criticizing DL at all, it's just I work reservations for WDW, so I am well versed in everything we have to offer and know nothing about DL. It's intimidating! My DH is military so we have a very small window to put this trip together and I want to make it perfect for him and DS. I went for my 16th birthday and still have wonderful memories. We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel and I remember it was going through some renovations at the time so they upgraded us. My brother had worked at DL for a while back in the day to help open BTMRR before he was transferred back to WDW. He is an expert, but unfortunately is unable to be my tour guide.

My nephew and his new wife are there right now for their honeymoon. I anticipate getting a lot of advice and tips from them and what are the must dos. I think I just pride myself as having had Disney as a huge part of my life. All my brothers and sisters have worked there (one has for almost 30 years), my nephew is a former CM and I am one now. I want this to be as perfect and magical as it can be! That's why I feel staying at DGCH is a must. Now, if I could only find someone to get me into Club 33, lol!I hope you have a great trip full of Disney magic! :goodvibes

YellowMickeyPonchos
01-04-2012, 01:34 AM
I just want to find out the best way to increase my chances of a great discount at one of the DLR properties:laughing: Dont think I am getting in at VGC at 7 mths:goodvibes:rolleyes1

You would be amazed at the ability to get a studio here at 7 months out or LESS! I can usually get one within a month's notice, so I wouldn't stress. The one and two BRs go the quickest since there are so few of them. Just keep in mind, too, that for the same amount of points, it is EXTREMELY easy to get a room at the DLH or PPH. Especially the PPH.

Also, I heartily recommend waitlisting and then calling after the 30-day mark, since that's the holding deadline. Within 7 days is good, too.

Good luck! I need a studio for the night before the Tinkerbell, but with only 3 weeks left, I might have a touch of concern.... (did I mention that I haven't even started trying yet?) ;)

nunzia
01-04-2012, 07:48 AM
I am in the process of reading it but it was started in 2006 and is ginormous. I understand GCH is the equivalent of GF, but Ive never seen GF Theme Park View Club Level that high at CM rate. I am wondering if anyone could add anything helpful to me as a CM going as a guest.

Did you say you were looking at Concierge Suite? That price is not surprising. It seems to me like the hotel rates are really skyrocketing for 2012 and with all the new things coming don't think they'll be much in the way of specials. I was shocked to find DLH at $400 a night in August and although I'll watch prices I've adjusted my savings rate to compensate.
As you probably know, Dining Plan at DLH is nothing like the plan at WDW and is really not a value and not used much. It's easy to decide where you want to eat and when and you'll only need reservations at a very few places.
I think 4 full days would work fine unless you are there during spring break time, then you may want to add a day. If you are doing Sea World in San Diego, consider doing that for 2 days. We did backstage tours and such and would have been very rushed to get it all done in a day. Also, if this is a big hoopla trip, consider the new day trip that is like a mini ABD Backstage Magic trip where you go to the studios, Hollywood, etc.

DisneyBride'03
01-04-2012, 10:58 AM
You would be amazed at the ability to get a studio here at 7 months out or LESS! I can usually get one within a month's notice, so I wouldn't stress. The one and two BRs go the quickest since there are so few of them. Just keep in mind, too, that for the same amount of points, it is EXTREMELY easy to get a room at the DLH or PPH. Especially the PPH.

Also, I heartily recommend waitlisting and then calling after the 30-day mark, since that's the holding deadline. Within 7 days is good, too.

Good luck! I need a studio for the night before the Tinkerbell, but with only 3 weeks left, I might have a touch of concern.... (did I mention that I haven't even started trying yet?) ;)

Thanks for the info and hope! Did you make that call yet?! lol Hope you get it!

starshine514
01-04-2012, 11:20 AM
- Rarely need to think about weather (I have never even thought about bringing a rain poncho to DLR)

I must catch it at strange times. In the 4 trips I made last year (mid-May, early August, early November, mid-December) it rained for at least one day during all of them except the August trip. That's my only experience to draw on, though...my previous trip to the May one was in 1986!

Anyway, bottom line is, we take our ponchos!

LuvLuvLuv
01-04-2012, 11:43 AM
I got a GCV studio at 5 months... it can happen!!! Get on the waitlist too!!

DisneyBride'03
01-04-2012, 11:45 AM
I got a GCV studio at 5 months... it can happen!!! Get on the waitlist too!!

Thanks! Great wedding photo too!!

Huff
01-04-2012, 11:47 AM
I wonder if many way over plan their WDW or DLR trips. The only planning I do for WDW is ADR's because of the need to book so far out or else have few choices. I do a quick check of park hours and show times and plan ADR's such that I have 2 or 3 chances to see each. That allows us some flexibility on where we go each day (we have hoppers).

Disneyland we've been so many times over the decades we do almost no planning and often make last minute trips. We live 6 hours away and have AP's. I do still check here for latest tips and things going on so we don't miss anything new.

familyoffive
01-04-2012, 11:48 AM
Honestly, the pace of the crowds will be one of the first things that is different. It is a little more "laid back" here at DL compared to WDW. Bring lots of sunscreen, since many of the loading areas are outside here. Once you get into DL mode and realize that except for a few dining options, there is no need to overplan, unlike WDW. DL will feel less "Disney" than WDW, in that you don't have to take a monorail or ferry to get to the MK. You have many choices for hotels that are national chains and within walking distance of the front gates of DL and CA. The first thing we like to do at DL is take a ride around the park on the DL Railroad. This will give you perspective about the size of the park and how special DL is.

Huff
01-04-2012, 12:04 PM
DL will feel less "Disney" than WDW, in that you don't have to take a monorail or ferry to get to the MK

Not sure thats what makes it feel 'Disney' or not for us. If staying offsite and parking at Mickey and Friends you will ride the shuttle tram to Downtown Disney. If parking at Toy Story lot you'll ride the Disney buses.

HydroGuy
01-04-2012, 12:44 PM
I wonder if many way over plan their WDW or DLR trips. The only planning I do for WDW is ADR's because of the need to book so far out or else have few choices. I do a quick check of park hours and show times and plan ADR's such that I have 2 or 3 chances to see each. That allows us some flexibility on where we go each day (we have hoppers).

Yah, but WDW kinda forces you into the planning mode. Another dynamic are EMHs and whether you stay onsite and whether your philosophy is to attend or avoid EMHs. So when possible you do need to choose parks and restaurants 6 months in advance. Especially if you have a larger group which makes dining ADRs much harder to get.

FWIW, last March I went to WDW with DS14 for six days and we did not plan it until a month in advance because that is when we decided to go. But that was just two people which made it easier to find canceled ADRs at good time slots. So with a small group you can get away with less advance planning. If I went with the whole crew of 6 (which happened in 2006) it would be really hard to get dining ADRs at that point. For those who do not care about dining then the whole issue is a moot point and advance planning is just not that important at WDW.

:)

familyoffive
01-04-2012, 12:54 PM
Not sure thats what makes it feel 'Disney' or not for us. If staying offsite and parking at Mickey and Friends you will ride the shuttle tram to Downtown Disney. If parking at Toy Story lot you'll ride the Disney buses.

To me it just isn't the same. At WDW, you are on Disney property long before you are near the parks. At DL, you can see the non-Disney area from the monorail. There is just a different vibe about the area surrounding WDW than there is DL.

HydroGuy
01-04-2012, 12:59 PM
To me it just isn't the same. At WDW, you are on Disney property long before you are near the parks. At DL, you can see the non-Disney area from the monorail. There is just a different vibe about the area surrounding WDW than there is DL.I agree with your point but will also point out that there is something specially unique at DLR staying onsite or right across the street on Harbor where you are so close to the parks. Yes you are on Disney property at WDW but you are a lot further from the parks. Taking the monorail to MK or Epcot may be special. But so is walking out the GCH and right into DCA, or staying at BWPPI across the street and being at the DLR gates in five minutes flat.

:wizard:

elaw
01-04-2012, 01:34 PM
To me it just isn't the same. At WDW, you are on Disney property long before you are near the parks. At DL, you can see the non-Disney area from the monorail. There is just a different vibe about the area surrounding WDW than there is DL.

I agree, but .... WDW doesnt offer a hotel room that's literally in the park ... I tooks these pics from our room last Saturday.

http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/j340/elaw1995/76ed3df8.jpg

http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/j340/elaw1995/88f3d7a1.jpg

http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/j340/elaw1995/58f8fa02.jpg

http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/j340/elaw1995/1c8a3257.jpg

elaw
01-04-2012, 01:36 PM
And this one is from Sunday Morning

http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/j340/elaw1995/0d7f8c21.jpg

familyoffive
01-04-2012, 02:22 PM
Nice pics!

My point is that if you experience WDW first and then DL, DL feels like it is packed in to a very small space. The walkways are smaller/narrower, the castle is much smaller, and there is a crowded feel to the surrounding area. At WDW you have more open space and waterways, not the city feel of Anaheim. They are just very different to our family.

HydroGuy
01-04-2012, 04:14 PM
Nice pics!

My point is that if you experience WDW first and then DL, DL feels like it is packed in to a very small space. The walkways are smaller/narrower, the castle is much smaller, and there is a crowded feel to the surrounding area. At WDW you have more open space and waterways, not the city feel of Anaheim. They are just very different to our family.When it comes to Disney lovers it is definitely true that the home resort "feels right" and other resorts do not feel quite right. You are entirely correct about DLR's smaller walkways, smaller castle, and more compact layout. It does not surprise me that a WDW would feel that way.

A DLR vet would put things differently however. The effort involved to get to and from and between the parks at WDW (by bus, boat, monorail, tram or whatever) can feel overwhelming and inconvenient to a DLR vet. And how much time is spent (wasted?) on transportation at WDW which is just not required at DLR (which allows more time inside the parks and for hotel breaks)? Parkhopping at WDW (if you attempt it) is very time consuming as well and it is harder to fit in major entertainment as a result.

My point is not that one resort is better than the other or that anyone's observations or feelings are not valid. It is just that one's home resort naturally shapes how one feels about the non-home resort and things that seem natural to one person may appear to be annoying inconveniences to another.

For me, at WDW I do love the larger layout and walkways but (as you might guess) I am not so excited about the transportation.

At DLR I love the proximity of hotels to the parks and greater ride concentration but I agree that overall it does not have the immersive feel one gets at WDW and can feel more congested.

:wizard:

ColoradoMom!!
01-04-2012, 05:30 PM
Enjoy each for what they are!!!

Obviously I have a long history with DL (see avatar) and so it is my home resort - great way to put it Hydroguy! There is just something so special about the original Fantasyland to me, and I must admit that I said "You've got to be kidding me" when I say the queue line for Small World at WDW - really - just a sign - wow.

But instead of saying what one is lacking over the other - be glad there is two places to enjoy what we love best!

I also like the comment about feeling like someone rearranged the furniture. I love not needing at map at DL - and it has all my favorites in one place - so there are some upsides for DL for me!

I hope you enjoy your visit! Just kick back and have FUN!!

IndayMichelle
01-04-2012, 06:03 PM
I wonder if many way over plan their WDW or DLR trips.

Of course a lot of us over plan! That's why I joined the Disboards in the first place!
:yay:

I have a template spreadsheet for DLR and a separate one for WDW. I don't use them for DLR daytrips or WDW trips with DBF's family. His family already has Disney planners among them.

nunzia
01-05-2012, 08:45 AM
And this one is from Sunday Morning

http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/j340/elaw1995/0d7f8c21.jpg

..and this concludes the reason why I bought VGC DVC :)

PatMcDuck
01-05-2012, 09:09 AM
I'm a CM for WDW that visited DL 20 years ago as a child.

Is there anything you could suggest to me to help me navigate this new territory? Especially any CMs or former CMs that can get me the low down on
dining discounts and other perks. Thanks!


I sent you a PM!

Shakthi
01-05-2012, 01:52 PM
As a WDW vet with too many trips to WDW to count, I feel for you. Let me see if I can help a little, not from a CM perspective.

... Staying on site at DL is not as big a deal as at WDW. You might consider one of the off-site hotels right outside the DL gates. Some of those hotels are actually closer to the park entrance than the DL hotels are...

...Dining--do not worry at all about a dining plan or making advance reservations. Most dining there is outside, no advance reservation necessary. If there is somewhere you really want to try, most of the time you can book it the same day...

Three or four days will give gracious plenty time for an experienced park person to take in all of DL. Make sure you put the attractions we don't have at WDW before anything else. Then do the duplicates that you really like to see which you like better. From experience, I really like Peter Pan, Pirates and Its a Small World better at DL.

Fantasmic at DL is good, but a real hassle unless you book the dessert seating, which is pretty expensive. World of Color is a far better option and worth using some wait time for.

You will love DL, but don't worry if you find yourself comparing--you won't be able to help it.

Have a wonderful trip and don't stress. DL is easier to do than WDW and you really do not have to plan as much.

Totally agree. We are regular DL and just came back from our first WDW trip. We stayed on property at WDW. Still had to walk a lot from our room to the bus stop in the morning and back at night. Then, from the bus stop to the turnstiles in the park was a pretty walk as well. The hotels across the street at DL are not far from that, and some have Entertainment or AP rates. You can pay up to 50% off.

Never needed reservations other than for the Character Dinners and Breakfasts at DL. DL is much easier and relaxed as far as planning goes. Just get a room somewhere across the street, near the entrance, and go have fun.

NO NEED FOR STRESS AT ALL.

DisneyBride'03
01-05-2012, 09:44 PM
Thanks OP for starting this thread! Ive learned alot already...and those photos that were posted...THANK YOU!

quantumottle
01-08-2012, 11:21 AM
OMG HydroGuy, can I steal this quote from you? I am always struggling to explain the differences to WDW friends - and usually do a poor job of it. You have summed it all up so well in this quote.

:rotfl2:

You WDW vets have no idea how easy you have it! Here is the situation at DLR...

- No need to make dining ADRs or choose parks 6 months or even one day in advance

- No need to think about transportation from hotels and between parks (if you stay onsite or one of the many good neighbors within walking distance)

- Rarely need to think about weather (I have never even thought about bringing a rain poncho to DLR)

All of the above are big issues at WDW that require considerable effort and/or pre-planning at WDW.

DLR does not have ME. It is not because DLR does not have its act together like WDW does. It is because there are six airports that people use for DLR while WDW has one. Further, WDW is a big fish in the small Orlando pond and has more leverage to negotiate with the city and airport. DLR is a small fish in the big SoCal pond. It has less than half the visitors each year than WDW spread out across all the airports. It does not make sense to have ME even if they could negotiate it with the different California cities impacted.

Dining is just not as big a deal at DLR than it is at WDW and hence a dining plan is in much less demand. There are lots more locals on day trips (even partial day trips for some of the 900,000 AP holders) and they tend to not take as much time for food. There are some good dining options at DLR but it does play the same role as WDW.

Further, a DLR trip does not lend itself to pre-planned dining reservations. It is much more dynamic and, well, flexible. You will love how easy it is at DLR to change just about anything on your trip at the last minute. Stress goes hand-in-hand with a WDW pre-planned trip. Leave the stress in Florida and be ready to relax and enjoy the flexibility DLR offers.

I always get a little concerned by WDW vets who start comparing DLR to WDW too much at the planning stage. If they were the same why would you bother going to DLR? DLR is not WDW and has many areas that are better than WDW. Be ready to be blown away by some of the DLR major entertainment such as Fantasmic, World of Color and Aladdin. And, if it is playing, Remember Dreams Come True.

:)

quantumottle
01-08-2012, 12:47 PM
I was not aware of any criticism. If I came across as critical then I blew it. Sincerely sorry! <snip>
Do Not Sweat It HydroGuy. I spent a couple years on the WDW side of The Dis and believe me, it is nowhere near as friendly as the DL side. I don't know why, maybe it's in the water, but the WDW boards are choked full of argumentative and condemning posts/threads. That's just the way it is. The post accusing you of being critical is very typical of what you find on the WDW forums at DisBoards, unfortunately..