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Old 09-30-2012, 05:32 PM   #16
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Grew up with going to DL every few years, had the magic first injected there in Anaheim.... so naturally worried about the magical feeling we would get our first trip to DW Jan 2000. Well, we weren't disappointed in DW, and I'd sure be surprised, if you open your heart, that you didn't find the great Disney magic in CA.

The differences we saw were the obvious ones, DL vs MK, CA Adventure vs...well, the rest...
So the size difference was night and day, 2-4 days vs 1 week plus, but we used to include Knotts Berry Farm with our DL trip which made it a nice week trip.

Good luck, have fun!!!
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:33 PM   #17
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I traveled to DL last year for my first trip to the park that Walt built. I loved being able to walk from one park to the other and the nostalgia factor is definitely there. While FL has more parks and amusements, i.e. water parks and miniature golf, DL is great too. Go for it and enjoy your trip!
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Old 09-30-2012, 05:51 PM   #18
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I have been to both...WDW several times, and DL just once, 5 years ago. I was afraid I wouldn't like it...afraid that it wouldn't feel as special to me as WDW does. But I loved it! Loved how close everything is...how you can walk from one park to the next, walk to the downtown Disney area (if that's what it is called there). WDW and DL are very different experiences as far as I am concerned, but both a lot of fun. I don't recall feeling less Disney magic or thinking people were crabbier or anything like that. CA is a great park...would love to go back and see Cars Land. But I thought it was great before. Plus I loved the weather...it was April, and a little cool some days, but no humidity, bugs...just a great trip. We stayed offsite. Would love to stay at one of their onsite hotels...they look beautiful. Also took a day trip down to Carlsbad to visit Legoland. Cute park in a beautiful town on the ocean. Overall, loved DL and recommend giving it a try!
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:06 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by KnJ View Post
In my opinion, Pirates, Haunted Mansion, and Tower of Terror are all better at DL.
I'll give you Pirates, but Tower of Terror!? Really?! The DL one just goes up and down? I think there is no comparison there, the DHS is superior!

Overall, I felt like DL was fun and definitely a must-do for a true Disney fan. However, WDW will have a more special place in my heart probably because that's where my Disney memories were built. I also feel it's so much immersive and you can truly spend a couple weeks there and not get bored. I stayed at the Disneyland Hotel while at DL and even so I didn't feel totally disconnected from the real world like I do while at WDW.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:12 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Princess on the Run View Post
I'm glad to hear this as I was pretty disappointed thinking anyplace Disney could be crabby.
Honestly, the only place I've ever seen a crabby Disneyland CM was backstage. I think they do "show" pretty well there. I think that the sheer number of aspiring actors in So-Cal means that there are a lot more cast members that get in to their roles. Some of the best CM interactions I've had have been with cast members who are really "in character" at rides like Tower of Terror, Haunted Mansion or Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It's nice when they really sell it.

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Old 09-30-2012, 06:17 PM   #21
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Our family visited DLR for the first time last summer after numerous WDW trips. Dare I say that we liked it better.. We can only travel during the summer or holidays. The weather was just beautiful. No humidity and we needed a jacket at night. We just loved being able to walk everywhere. We stayed at Grand Californian and Downtown Disney was literally footsteps outside of the resort. Space Mountain was a million times better than the WDW version. Pirates is incredible! We still love WDW, but would definitely travel to DLR more if it weren't so expensive a trip for us.
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:19 PM   #22
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We went to DL in July after 4 trips to WDW. We enjoyed it. People on the DIS recommended 3 days but we only spent 2 at DLR because we had many other activities in San Diego to experience. I think 3 days would have been better, but we just didn't have that many days to spend.

We stayed at HoJo, which I would recommend. The 3 Disney hotels were way out of our price range. I liked being able to walk to the parks and to easily get from one park to the other. I thought DL was kind of hard to navigate and got a little frightened after F! ended and my son and I were separated. He was riding Indy alone and we had a meeting place. People started swarming the FP line and the walk ways were absolutely clogged. My son did not have a phone on him and I was afraid I would never find him. I did though and all was well.

As previously mentioned, if you stay offsite, you are not emmersed in Disney and the feeling isn't quite the same. The area surrounding DLR is nothing special in my opinion, so you will likely want to spend most of your days in the parks.

The weather was much nicer than Florida in July, however, it was still hot and we never needed jackets. I hear they were having some record temperatures while we were there though, so YMMV!
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Old 09-30-2012, 06:54 PM   #23
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We were at DL for a week this summer. DH had a conference so we were at the Grand Californian. I liked how compact everything was. Some of the rides were better too. But the customer service wasn't anywhere near that of Disney World.

I blogged while we were on vacation. This was written while we were there and I was thinking East or West coast.

I was really excited to see Walt's original theme park. I can now see that, in some ways, Disneyland was the trial run. There are some elements that are superior in California but overall I have to say Florida does it best. The actual rides are great in Disneyland/California Adventure but the ques are outdoors, and make everything seem so much more crowded than it actually is.

The Disney magic is differently stronger in Florida. Maybe it is because of the college program which brings people from all over the world to live and work there. They're so happy to be there. Not so much the staff here in California. They're just a little less into things. I've overheard numerous inappropriate for the customer to overhear conversations between staff as they "work" in the quick serve restaurants, the stores, work the rides and even perform cleaning duties. I can't recall that once in Disney World.
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:42 PM   #24
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I'm a WDW vet who went to DL for the first time in 2011. I was NOT disappointed at all!! There are things I like better in both parks, and I will always love WDW more but being in Walt's original park with all the history was so awesome!

My favorite part about DL is that it's not so huge and I can fly to L.A Friday nigh for the weekend and have a great day at Disneyland on Saturday and still see other things in SoCa before I fly home Sunday!

We just bought into DVC and I am excited about planning a trip back to stay in the villas at the Grand Californian!!
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:59 PM   #25
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Another WDW vet here who has also been to DL numerous times. We just don't compare the two. Completely different vibes. Some of the rides are different- some are better in DL, some in WDW. It's all good. Going to the Anaheim parks for us is a little like returning to the mother ship. We really enjoy the experience, but are happy to go back to WDW on our next trip.

As for earthquakes- Pshaw. We lived in California for 3 years and experienced a few quakes. Think of it as a rollercoaster you don't need a fast pass for- kind of rare, and something you can talk to your friends about later. Other than that, not a big deal.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:33 PM   #26
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The food!

We enjoyed DL too. I'm surprised no one mentioned the food! It is so much better than 95% of the places in WDW.

We are food snobs, I'll admit it, but the lunches/dinners we had in DL were wonderful! I rarely like counter service in WDW, but even the counter service in DL was tasty! I was particularly impressed with the kids meals. They offered much healthier options that my kids acually liked. It was nice to eat in a restaurant that had more than just chicken nuggets, mac n cheese and pizza.

We are looking forward to visiting again someday!
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:38 PM   #27
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I lived near Anaheim for 8 years and had a Disneyland AP and went there many times. DL will always have a special place in my heart and I think every big Disney fan should visit at least once. It's a different experience than Disney World--I would call it more intimate and personal. As others said, some things are actually superior there, like Pirates (WAY better than the truncated WDW version). That said, I do like WDW better. It is just so much BIGGER. But I don't think you'd be disappointed with Disneyland!
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:41 PM   #28
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loved disney land but is sorta like you took your arms and put them around MK and hugged it in and made it smaller when you see how huge MK is in Orlando... but love them both and there is a lot to do at DL as well. but more as far as WDW in FL.. but would not refuse a trip to either place....
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:44 PM   #29
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I live in the extreme Northern part of California. I dreamed of going to Disneyland my whole childhood. Didn't get to go until I was married (19 years old). LOVED it! So magical!!!. My FAV place in the whole world UNTIL Dh and I took a second honeymoon to WDW in November of 2003. WDW is so much better than DL to us. We went back once because we only had a couple of days. It was fun, but NOTHING like WDW. We would never choose DL over WDW
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:55 PM   #30
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Dh and I are seasoned WDW veterans!

We are going to DL in May & we are looking forward to it.

I am very excited to walk where Walt walked!
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