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Old 08-28-2000, 08:52 AM   #1
Greg K.
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Why Disneyland Trumps Disney World

Well, I was delighted to make my very first trip to the very first park last week; my wife and I spent four days and three nights at the Disneyland Hotel. Some thoughts and first impressions:

* THE FIRST AND BEST. This park is the real deal. There is an integrity and attention to detail to this place that really puts the Magic Kingdom at WDW to shame. Not only is everything on a smaller, more human scale, but each land is perfectly self-contained, in terms of geography, landscaping and architecture. You don't see the castle in Frontierland, or the spires from the towers of Tomorrowland, and each little area is expertly thought-out.

* THE JOY OF SETS. At the Magic Kingdom, you are definitely aware that the buildings are, to a great extent, facades. Not so in DL. From every angle, even from above, they are designed to look like little villages should look, not like props on a stage.

* CEILINGS, WHOA WHOA WHOA, CEILINGS... Time and again at WDW, when you cruise through the rides (say, "It's a Small World" or "Pirates of the Carribean") you can look up and see the ceilings and the wiring. Not at DL. The darkness and lighting are superb. When you pass through the fog in "Pirates," and that great ship looms large, it's stunning. Look up, and all you see is inky blackness. That's just as it should be.

* SAY WHAT? The sound systems in the attractions at WDW are just awful. Words, lines, lyrics -- all a muddle of noise. But at DL, I heard every syllable perfectly. Even "Small World" -- all the different languages sounded like different languages, and it makes a tremendous difference!

Overall, you get the sense that they cut some corners at the MK, and that's a pity. Also, the size and scope of the place can be daunting. DL feels more like a park -- not an AMUSEMENT park.

(I can't understand why the WDW people don't wise up and make adjustments that would enhance the MK -- better lighting and sound would be an excellent start.)

I still love 'em both. But for my money, right now, DL has the definite edge.

Few more little things: morning crowds were very manageable (Fri, Sat and Sun) but after noon was a chore; food overall was very good (especially the buffet at Goofy's Kitchen at the hotel); Fast Pass is terrific, just as it is at WDW, but I wish they offered it at more attractions; and the park grounds were virtually spotless.

I can't wait to return after they open the California Adventure [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] !

"It's the time of your life, so live it well..."

Greg K.
Forest Hills, NY
GF '96,'97,'99
Disneyland '00

[This message was edited by Greg K. on 08-28-00 at 01:50 PM.]
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Old 08-28-2000, 06:23 PM   #2
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Opinion of Disneyland Hotel?

Hi, Greg!

Glad that you had a great time! How did you like the DL Hotel? I'd appreciate your opinion.
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Old 08-29-2000, 08:31 AM   #3
Greg K.
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The hotel...

We liked the hotel very much. Mind you, it's not the Grand Floridian -- few places are! -- but it was comfortable (if not fancy), well-appointed, and clean. I'm not sure it's worth the price for what is, essentially, a glorified Holiday Inn, but it offers some perks (early mornings, package delivery and such) that we found invaluable.

Some nitpicking: the trip to the monorail, or the tram, was incredibly long. With the monorail only running one way, due to construction, it could take 45 minutes or more to get from our hotel room into the park. Also, it was bit of a a surprise to get out the door around 7 for a 7:30 park opening, spend five or six hours in the park, eat lunch, and return to our room around 2 in the afternoon for a nap, only to find that the room had not yet been cleaned.

Finally, they charge for valet parking. I don't remember how much, but I believe it was about five bucks for a regular visit and ten or more for overnight guests. At WDW, it's free.

Still, to take advantage of the early mornings, it was definitely worth it. We got a lot done between 7:30 and 11. And after that, it was Mob City.

"It's the time of your life, so live it well..."

Greg K.
Forest Hills, NY
GF '96,'97,'99
Disneyland '00
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Old 08-29-2000, 02:37 PM   #4
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Greg, I have been going to Disneyland since I was little and I am now 49. I go at least once a year and go to WDW about every 3 years. But you described the differences perfectly. I always feel so "at home" at DL and it looks attractive and well thought out wherever you look. I love it there. I can see why Walt wanted an apartment there, it seems so much less commercial than WDW.

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Old 09-04-2000, 07:22 PM   #5
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I too think you hit the nail on the head about the differences between DL and WDW. I make it over to DL about twice a year and we were at WDW early this year.

I much prefer DL over the Magic Kingdom anyday because of all the reasons you state, especially the scaled down size and the attention to detail.

As much as I love WDW, DL has always had a much more "magical" feeling to me and will always be my favorite Disney park! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

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Old 09-05-2000, 11:10 AM   #6
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Well Greg,
You put a great big smile on my face this morning. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img] I'm soooo delighted that you enjoyed your first trip to Disneyland. It really is special and I'm glad that others (especially those that have gone to WDW first) think it is special also. I hope you enjoy your next trip even more. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img]


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Old 09-15-2000, 10:56 PM   #7
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You forgot the by far biggest difference: How much nicer it is to walk around in a temperate climate. We were in WDW 8/23 through 8/26, then in Disneyland 9/8 through 9/10. The most incredible difference is how daunting the Orlando heat and humidity is. It was so much nicer to be back in Southern California in the early fall -- a brisk morning and moderate day. That 2-3:00 p.m. stretch in WDW is enough to kill you.
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Old 09-26-2000, 08:06 AM   #8

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You hit the nail on the head. I used to live in CA and have been to DL a million times. Even spent my honeymoon there. I now live in CT and took my first ever trip to WDW a few weeks ago. WDW was good and I enjoyed several parts of it, but I didn't think MK even compared to DL. DL is so much more thought out. "It's a Small World" is a good example. The exterior at DL is very cool, whereas at MK it was just a building with a sign on it. I felt the same way about a lot of the other rides at MK. Epcot, MGM and AK were different stories, I thought they were all pretty cool. I was just let down by MK. We only ended up spending a day and an e-night there and spent the rest of the week in the other parks. Can't wait to visit DL the week before Thanksgiving. We'll be out for my sister's wedding and are very excited to go.

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Old 03-02-2001, 06:52 PM   #9
Marla Hellwig
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Sounds like a great first trip to DL. I too find my self comparing the two parks. Thanks for posting!
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