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Old 08-26-2012, 04:42 PM   #1
Katems
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WDW Vet Does Six Days in LAND For First Time!

Hello All~ We go to World just about every summer and this year we began to seriously think about going to LAND! We went back and forth a hundred times trying to decide if the trip from upstate NY was worth it or not, especially as Land has so few hotels and no free dining. We have always done World at the end of August and had the wonderful free dining. I scoured these boards, both the World and Land ones, trying to decide whether or not to take the plunge. I have a stellar Land DVD that came in a six pack from BJs on several of the Disney parks and that really sold me. So we did it!! I thought my comments would help others trying to decide whether or not to go to Cali.

So, planning was stressful. I am a pro at planning World and making a schedule six months in advance and booking those dining ADRs and all that jazz. With Land there's none of that, so that really freaked me out and made me convinced I was doing something wrong. Turns out I wasn't. Choosing a hotel was very stressful. Land's hotels are all deluxes and there are only three. We couldn't afford them plus the Cali airfare, so we stayed in one of the little motels up and down Harbor Blvd. right outside the gates of Land. We usually stay at Wilderness Lodge, but have also stayed at the Poly and Contemporary, so a tiny no name motel was frightening.

I worried for nothing. We chose Candy Cane Inn with free breakfast and parking and shuttle every half hour. It was great! Room was as big as the WL, breakfast was good, and while we used the shuttle a few times, it was a joy to just WALK down the street and be there in less than ten minutes. We wait for buses and boats at WL for longer than that... Cars Land, specifically Radiator Springs Racers was DIRECTLY behind us. We could see it and hear the tires screeching. That was cool. If we could have hopped the fence we'd have had quite the advantage on the other guests, LOL!

We LOVED Land. We loved convenience of the two parks side by side and just walking to and fro with no waiting for transport. Anyone who goes there and doesn't park hop is crazy! You can go back and forth all day long and the two parks are disconnected as far as FPs go, so you can have FP at both parks for the same times. Downtown Disney is right there, too, but I don't care about a bunch of restaurants and shops, personally, so we only went there once for dinner at Rainforest Cafe.

What we liked best about Land attraction wise was the following: Pirates is longer and better, Space is AMAZING!! World's Space is an absolute travesty and should be torn down and redone like Land. It is BEAUTIFUL inside...exactly like a galaxy and SO dark you can't see ANY track and you just see stars and hear awesome music and it's SMOOTH and the cars are COMFORTABLE and there's no jerking. It's awesome. We loved Indiana Jones, too. Toontown is a real town and adorable and worthwhile, unlike the now defunct World's. Small World is beautiful, although I haven't been to World since they redid theirs.

What we didn't like about Land was the Matterhorn was just jerky and horrible sleds, much like World's Space Mountain. Splash Mountain was DARK inside...not an actual dark ride, but it was kinda dim and not the brightly lit adorable ride it is at World. Pooh is not as nice as World. You don't BOUNCE with Tigger...you just ride through with your car staying smooth. They have the original Tiki Room which is better than that awful Iago, but it's still not good.

As for California Adventure, it's great! Screamin' is smooth and super fun and long! The Monsters Inc. and Ariel rides are well done. Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land was okay but I prefer Test Track. The scenery is gorgeous though. Mator's Junkyard Jamboree was fun, but the seats are TINY, really only fitting two people. We hated the Fun Wheel....it took forever and you can't even feel yourself going up and down because it's so slow and you only get one revolution. Looks cool, but is NOT. Grizzly Peak was better than Kali, but I'm not a fan of wet rides anyway. Soarin' was the same, but Tower in World is better with a much better queue and MUCH better boiler room.

Ride queues at Land are not as wide and the turnstiles are particularly small. Pooh sized people may have issues with that. The iron exit gates are HEAVY and they were almost impossible for me to push some of them open. Some rides were really jerky, like Peter Pan! And Toy Story Mania was really jerky, too, which is odd because it's newer. The bar on the doom buggies comes SLAMMING down hard so watch out! I was disappointed that all the rides in Fantasyland that World doesn't have were just boring dark rides like Snow White. There was nothing special about them and they weren't at all exciting.

Land is filled with locals and tons of older teens and young twenty somethings. There are far fewer families there. Everyone was very nice though, and there were fewer screaming kids having meltdowns and fewer frazzled parents yelling at their kids and spanking them. I actually didn't see any of that at all, which was lovely.

We greatly missed the free dining and spent a fortune on food, although we spent much less on Candy Cane Inn than Wilderness Lodge so it probably evened out. Two of us, me and my sixteen year old daughter, now prefer Land. My husband and eleven year old daughter prefer World, but they both greatly enjoyed Land, too. We also REALLY missed Magical Express. We took the Disneyland Express for $99 round trip for four people but we had to get our own luggage and it was hard to find the bus and it's just complicated!

We had to buy five day hoppers as they don't sell six, and when we tried to add a day we ended up having to actually buy a whole new one day pass for each of us. Not at all pleased you can't buy as many days as you want.

Anyway, those are my thoughts!! If you've never been, I highly advise Land. It has a LOT to offer and it's easy to play hard all day. They were open from 8:00 AM to midnight each night, except California Adventure closed at 11:00.

OH~Land REALLY knows how to handle crowds!! They let you cross the street between parade floats!!! You are no longer trapped like you are at World! And they create roped off lines along the sidewalks for people to stand and watch, and leave a huge area behind for people who aren't watching and just need to get through. It's awesome. On that same note, however, I don't care about Fantasmic or parades or World of Color....I wish if Disney was going to do them they would have a whole extra park for them so they didn't affect the touring so much. At California Adventure they actually SHUT DOWN Paradise Pier rides for HOURS so World of Color can go on. That's just wrong! Then they open up for FIFTEEN MINUTES before closing for good. On nights when the park closes earlier than 11:00 they don't reopen at all.

Okay, I'm done now, although I'm sure I left stuff out!
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Old 08-26-2012, 05:10 PM   #2
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Just popping this over to the DL trip reports board.
There is a re-direct from Theme Park Attractions and Strategies so the folks there will see your post as I am sure you wanted to share
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Old 09-09-2012, 03:05 PM   #3
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Thanks!

Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with your trip. We are going next week . Our daughter is 5 so I have a good feel on some rides we can probably avoid now.... although with my daughter there will be no avoiding Peter Pan. Again thanks for all the info!!
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:34 PM   #4
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Thanks for your report, it was exactly what i was looking for! We are considering our 1st trip to DL next fall after 5 trips to Dw the last 7 years. This was so helpful as many of your concerns were ours. I'm pretty sure we'll be headed west next year. Thanks so much!
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