Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Trip Planning Forums > Disney Trip Reports > Completed Trip Reports
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS UpdatesDIS email updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read





 
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 04-16-2013, 10:54 AM   #1
Maddysdaddy
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 710

DL vets quick thoughts on his 1st trip to WDW

Hi all. DL vet (5 trips in the last 4 years) who recently returned from my first trip with my family (me-40, DW-36, DD-9) to WDW, and thought I would share my thoughts on my likes and dislikes about WDW for those west coasters thinking about taking a trip out east.

While I liked many things about WDW, there was much I found disappointing. I know that people are very passionate about WDW and I'm not trying to poke the bear - I'm simply sharing 'my personal opinions'.

If there is something similar between DL and WDW that I don't mention, it either means that I have no preference or am having a 'moment' and simply forgot to write about it.

Likes - General:
- Once you get past the 4 parks themselves, there is much more to do at WDW - waterparks, golfing, mini golf, etc. - such that you never feel like you have to go outside of the property to find an activity.
- The Magical Express service was convenient and very much appreciated.
- Even though we had very few ADR's, and despite that it was the two week period before and during Easter, there were always dining options available to us as walk-ups.
- Earl of Sandwich (especially the Holiday Turkey). For $5.99, by far the best food value that we found, and the sandwiches there are awesome!!!
- Loved the fact that there were pool side activities for my daughter. Rather than being bored sitting by a pool all day, she kept herself busy with the games and dance contests that Disney put on. Big thumbs up from me. Wish they did that at DL.

Dislikes/Disappointments - General:
- The size of WDW. Once you have been accustomed to walking out of your room at the DL Hotel or the Grand Californian and immediately being in the parks (DL/DCA), it's hard to wrap your head around having to spend 20+ minutes driving everywhere, parking, taking a shuttle/boat just to get into a park. We're the type of people that like to go for 3-4 hours in the morning, come back to the hotel to swim for a few hours, and then go back to the park in the evening. This was just not feasable at WDW (we spent a week at AKL and a week at Saratoga) with the driving/parking time involved both coming and going.
- 180 days for ADR's. It's bad enough that it's 30/60 at DL, but having to plan what park you're in and what you plan on eating six months in advance? It's madness I tell you, madness...

Likes - Magic Kingdom
- We only rode it once, but the Haunted Mansion at MK just seemed better than the one at DL, and I can't really pinpoint why (and we really love the version of the ride at DL as well).
- The Tomorrowland Terrace fireworks/dessert party. Very much appreciated not having to cram ourselves into the crowds on Main Street to see the fireworks.
- The kids dance party in Tomorrowland. My daughter loved this and had a blast every time.
- The Peoplemover. No matter how crazy the parks were, this ride was always a walk-on and was a good way to rest aching feet and get out of the sun.
- Astro Orbiters. This is just a much better experience having it elevated, as opposed to being on the ground at DL.
- Monsters Inc. Laugh Factory. This was fun. Once.
- Jungle Cruise. Love this ride and like how it's longer at WDW.
- Mickey's Philharmagic. Surprisingly, I loved this attraction and for me, it has repeat value.

Dislikes/Disappointments - Magic Kingdom
- Pirates of the Caribbean. Ummm hello, where's the other half of the ride????
- Buzz Lightyear. So much better at DL with the removable blasters and the different shapes and targets to shoot at.
- The railroad. Where's the announcements at the station? I know it's a small thing, but sometimes it's the small things that make the difference.
- A standby wait of any kind for the Ariel ride. This ride has always been a walk on for us at DCA no matter what time of year, and for good reason, it's just not a good ride. We stood in line for 45 minutes hoping that something, anything might have been improved on the ride, but nope. I wanted to yell out, why are you people waiting in a long line for this, but Star Tours at Hollywood is virtually a walk on? I just don't get it.
- Maybe I just missed them, but where are the Fantasyland staples of Mr. Toad, Snow White and Alice? It's awesome that WDW built a shiny new castle - it's too bad that all it has in it is bathrooms. It seems like a whole lot of money was spent to put in a second Dumbo ride and to create a shiny new gift shop.
- The fireworks. Again this is personal preference, but Remember is a much better show than Wishes (not that it's a bad show - I just like the theming of Remember much better).

Likes - Animal Kingdom
- Expedition Everest. It's sacrilige to say, but if we call this the WDW equivalent of the Matterhorn, I like it better.
- Kilimanjaro Safari. Reasonably interesting and a nice way to get off of your feet for 20 minutes.
- Dinosaur. I know it takes some flak for not being Indiana Jones (and if Indy is a 10, this is a 6.5), but I was pleasantly surprised.

Dislikes/Disappointments - Animal Kingdom
- Once you get past these three rides, there just isn't that much to do at the park.
- Kali River Rapids - Keeping in mind that Grizzly at DCA is my family's favorite ride, this was just a huge disappointment. Much like Pirates, we rode Kali and then asked ourselves where the other half of the ride was?

Likes - Hollywood Studios
- Star Tours. No matter how busy the parks were, this was never more than a 10 minute standby to get on (wondering if it's because it's in a out of the way location?). Given that we normally wait 30+ minutes at DL, this was a pleasant surprise. Have to say that we've now ridden Star Tours at both parks 30+ times and still haven't seen Naboo - beginning to think that it's just an urban legend.
- Beauty and the Beast show. My family loves this movie and the show was very well done - not quite Aladdin at DCA, but we enjoyed it.
- The hot dog stand across from the BatB show and its mac & cheese covered hot dogs. Didn't get to eat one, but they looked great.
- The Indiana Jones and stunt car shows. A fun break. Not much repeat value.

Dislikes/Disappointments - Hollywood Studios
- Much like Animal Kingdom, there are a few highlights (see above, plus TSMM and the Animation Academy), but unless you are looking to do the same activities over and over again, it's a half day park.
- Fantasmic at WDW is quite simply not as good a show as it is at DL.

Likes - Epcot
- The Flower and Garden Festival was nice. Considering we were coming from (and going back to) snow, green grass and flowers were nice to see.
- My daughter loved the Agent P game in the World Showcase.
- Test Track was fun (it's no Radiator Springs Racers), but we liked it.

Dislikes/Disappointments - Epcot
- Thought that the World Showcase might have some educational value for my daughter. Turns out that for the most part, it's basically a series of internationally themed gift shops and restaurants.

All is all, we had a good time on our trip and enjoyed ourselves at WDW. My biggest disappointment was that I had assumed that there would be a huge "wow" factor that would make us want to spend all day on planes and in airports to get to WDW, rather than the 3 hour flight to L.A., and there just wasn't. Thanks WDW, we'll see you every 5 years - but for us, DL is still tops.
Maddysdaddy is offline  
Old 04-16-2013, 11:09 AM   #2
ttintagel
DIS Veteran
 
ttintagel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 3,299

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddysdaddy View Post
hoot at.
- The railroad. Where's the announcements at the station? I know it's a small thing, but sometimes it's the small things that make the difference.
Not sure - they've always been there when I've ridden.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddysdaddy View Post
hoot at.
- Maybe I just missed them, but where are the Fantasyland staples of Mr. Toad, Snow White and Alice?
WDW's far superior Mr. Toad was closed in 1998 to make room for Winnie the Pooh, and Snow White was closed last year to make way for WDW's version of Fantasy Faire (still under construction).
ttintagel is offline  
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 04-16-2013, 11:10 AM   #3
kbelle8995
DIS Veteran
 
kbelle8995's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Tallahassee, Fla
Posts: 1,481

Red face

I have to say as a WDW vet/lover, I was prepared for the worst and was pleasantly surprised by your review. I guess I expect that WDW will not stand up well to the DL comparisons. I grew up on WDW so my views of it are quite different from most I guess. I love Spaceship earth so much I want to hug it same with Cinderella's castle but I put that up to nostalgia.

I have to say about reservation. I have heard much about 180 days reservation but unless it's Christmas week or another really busy holiday such as July 4th or Easter, I don't really make them 180 days out. If I was there Christmas weeks I did make them 180 days out but otherwise no. I have even made adr on the day I went. I think if you are flexible about time and location you can do this. Just not at certain times or certain restaurants (Character meals, Be our Guest, Le Cellier).

Oh and we never had Alice the ride. I actually really enjoy World showcase. There are several movies and a few rides but it is not everyone's cup of tea.

Last edited by kbelle8995; 04-16-2013 at 11:16 AM.
kbelle8995 is offline  
Old 04-16-2013, 11:13 AM   #4
jackemail
DIS Veteran
 
jackemail's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Memphis
Posts: 1,871

Well written, thoughtful, and interesting post. Enjoyed reading it....even though I am the complete opposite, prefer WDW, and will see DL every 5 years.
__________________
Alzheimer's.....the "long good-bye"
jackemail is offline  
Old 04-16-2013, 11:29 AM   #5
disneynanacat
Lovin' Disney Too!
 
disneynanacat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Lexington, Kentucky
Posts: 672

Haha. I guess it's what your used to. I went to DL and and it felt like a cheap knockoff. But I did like DL potc better and the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay at the haunted mansion. Otherwise, no way DL is better.
__________________
disneynanacat is offline  
Old 04-16-2013, 11:33 AM   #6
Herbie
DIS Veteran
 
Herbie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: South Florida
Posts: 694

Now i really want to go ride POTC in Cali..........

I agree with the ADR/whole dining thing....its just crazy
Herbie is offline  
Old 04-16-2013, 11:45 AM   #7
Maddysdaddy
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
Posts: 710

Quote:
Originally Posted by disneynanacat View Post
Haha. I guess it's what your used to. I went to DL and and it felt like a cheap knockoff. But I did like DL potc better and the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay at the haunted mansion. Otherwise, no way DL is better.
Not sure how the original can be a "knockoff", but other than that - as I tried to convey in my original post - these are just my thoughts and nothing more.
Maddysdaddy is offline  
Old 04-16-2013, 11:53 AM   #8
mesaboy2
Using a certain word brings out a special kind of cray-cray

 
mesaboy2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 26,646

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maddysdaddy View Post
Not sure how the original can be a "knockoff", but other than that - as I tried to convey in my original post - these are just my thoughts and nothing more.
Thanks for taking the time to put together such a detailed comparison. I enjoyed reading your thoughts and impressions. I'm a grizzled WDW veteran but a total noob when it comes to DL, which I hope to fix in a couple of years. Posts like yours help alot.

And glad you had a great time!

ETA: Naboo is not just an urban legend--I've seen it at HS. I saw Hoth for the first time my last visit, so hang in there and be patient....
__________________
WDW: 46 visits (5 MNSSHPs, 1 MVMCP, and 400+ M&Gs);
DLR: 1 visit DLH; Tokyo: 1 visit; DCL: 1 5-night Dream; Universal Orlando: 12 visits
The Six-Park Six-Pack: 6 parks, 14 rides, 1 day -- 11/06/11

FastPass+ Basic Information, Suggested Priorities, And Strategies--Part II
MyMagic & FastPass+ Official Information & FAQ (courtesy andyman8)
Magic Bands 101 (courtesy MouseMomx2)
mesaboy2 is offline  
Old 04-16-2013, 11:53 AM   #9
grimley1968
DIS Veteran
Obedient Man
 
grimley1968's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 5,473

I agree totally with the annoyance at 180+10 for ADRs. I have no idea what we will be in the culinary mood for 6 months from now. But we have to participate in that if we wish to eat at Le Cellier, Be Our Guest, etc. We'll just have to make sure our culinary moods are flexible for our vacation.

- Ariel ride: it's new. Once the novelty wears off of this, I'd imagine it will be a walk-on someday.

- Star Tours has been at DHS for many years, so there's no novelty for a simulator ride (I don't care for simulators). It's better than it used to be with the change of the film to one featuring Darth Vader, but it's still not a must-do ride for us.

- I agree that Fantasmic, and the way it is seen, at DL is far better than the experience at WDW.

- The vastness of WDW with its 4 parks, 2 waterparks, many resorts, etc. may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it was planned from the mid-60's to be that way. Disney bought all that land specifically to get away from the urban sprawl that surrounded DL even by the early 60's. It is one of the aspects of WDW I prefer to DL, and from Disney's perspective it is easier to control the guests' experience this way.

- I like Astro Orbiters itself, but the loading mechanism for it is outdated and takes seemingly forever to get on. My thinking about that ride often is "this took 30 minutes to get on while POTC is a walk on?" We always do it, but it's more because of tradition than actually clamoring to ride it.

- I too, love, the Peoplemover. I was very disappointed DL removed it.

- Disney didn't spend a lot of money just to update Dumbo (although I do like that we no longer have to stand in line 20-30 minutes for it) and put in a shiny gift shop. They're not finished with what will be an e-ticket ride, the Mine Train, which will be Snow White themed, and will be a far better ride than what was closed. As for Alice, that is covered by the Teacups ride and by numerous characters from the movie in the park. I do miss Mr. Toad, but my kids always loved the Pooh ride that replaced it. I also like that there are more restrooms. They're needed. If Disney wants to dress them up on the outside, I have no problem with that. Better than some rectangular box in the middle of the park.

- I'm sorry you thought EPCOT's World Showcase was "basically a series of internationally themed gift shops and restaurants." I disagree, and we find plenty of educational things for our girls. The movies in a few of the pavilions can be boring to some, but we find them somewhat educational. The Maelstrom ride in Norway, I think, is educational as to Norwegian culture. The restaurants themselves can also be somewhat educational, as well as pretty tasty. We don't enjoy the food in the Germany restaurant, but love listening to the oompah band. Maybe it's a shallow introduction to German culture, but it's better than none at all, IMHO.

- I can't remember if there are announcements at the MK railroad station, but there are announcements seemingly non-stop during the ride itself. I actually wish they'd tone the announcements down.

All in all, I enjoyed your post because it's interesting to read the viewpoint of someone who's more of a DL vet. But, having been to DL myself and stayed at the Grand Californian, I come to almost 180-degree opposite opinions about DL versus WDW. I do enjoy, for one trip, being able to literally walk to everything in DL and California Adventure. WDW gives us much more of an escape than DL, in our experience. We'll probably go back someday if we happen to be in SoCal, but we won't go there again just for DL. WDW is more of a vacation destination unto itself, IMHO.
__________________
John

Last edited by grimley1968; 04-16-2013 at 02:40 PM. Reason: removing some un-called for snarkiness
grimley1968 is offline  
Old 04-16-2013, 11:59 AM   #10
okienick
Mouseketeer
 
okienick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 123

I enjoyed your post, too. I am a fan of both DL and WDW for completely different reasons, and as Grimley1968 hinted at, it kind of depends on what I'm in the mood for on each trip or how much I can spend. DL can be cheaper if you need your Disney fix. DL is actually my favorite park, but I prefer WDW as a whole, just because of the depth of things to do. IMHO, Pirates, Splash, Buzz, Small World, Fantasyland (prior to new FL at WDW), and Pirates are SOOO much better at DL. DL just has more of an intimate feel, for lack of a better term. But really, I love them both, and I frequent both as much as possible.
okienick is offline  
Old 04-16-2013, 12:05 PM   #11
grimley1968
DIS Veteran
Obedient Man
 
grimley1968's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 5,473

Quote:
Originally Posted by okienick View Post
I enjoyed your post, too. I am a fan of both DL and WDW for completely different reasons, and as Grimley1968 hinted at, it kind of depends on what I'm in the mood for on each trip or how much I can spend. DL can be cheaper if you need your Disney fix. DL is actually my favorite park, but I prefer WDW as a whole, just because of the depth of things to do. IMHO, Pirates, Splash, Buzz, Small World, Fantasyland (prior to new FL at WDW), and Pirates are SOOO much better at DL. DL just has more of an intimate feel, for lack of a better term. But really, I love them both, and I frequent both as much as possible.
ITA about Small World. The queue area, and the ride itself, is way superior at DL than at WDW.

One thing I like about Fantasyland at DL is that it has that Storybookland next to it, which MK simply has no answer for. Those are definitely kiddy rides in Storybookland, but our family really enjoyed them. With the Fantasyland expansion at MK, it will be even more different from DL's Fantasyland than before. But it makes us want to go to both parks to experience each.
__________________
John
grimley1968 is offline  
Old 04-16-2013, 12:06 PM   #12
emacat
Polishing up my ears
 
emacat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Illinois
Posts: 423

Thank you so much for posting your review! We are also a DL family, coming up on our first WDW trip, and I think you did a wonderful job of comparing it, and giving me a good idea of the differences for our upcoming trip so we are prepared.
__________________
June 8th-14th, 2008 Hojo
June 22nd-28th, 2010 Hojo
December 15th-20th, 2011 Paradise Pier
First WDW trip June 21-28 2013 at Port Orleans Riverside

December 22nd-28th, 2015 Ayres Hotel

Mom Emilie
[
emacat is offline  
Old 04-16-2013, 12:11 PM   #13
heidijanesmith
DIS Veteran
 
heidijanesmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,669

Thanks for the comparison of DL and WDW in your eyes. We are WDW fans and would like to try DL someday as our son is a Marine stationed in California.

I always try to go into new experiences with out huge expectations, like our trip to BG in Tampa. I tell myself that I will keep an open mind and find things to enjoy no matter where we are.
__________________


May 2005 AKL Pool view
July 2010 Poly Standard view- WDW and US
Aug 2012 YC Pool view- WDW, US and BG
Oct 2013 Poly Cl Lagoon view- WDW and US
Oct 2014 BW CL BW View- WDW and US

The Smith's take on the Poly- TR
heidijanesmith is offline  
Old 04-16-2013, 12:15 PM   #14
mikedoyleblogger
DIS Veteran
 
mikedoyleblogger's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,323

Thanks for a great assessment! This is news I can use as my partner and I decide whether to switch our upcoming Memorial Day trip from DLR to WDW. This is kind of how I wonder whether we'd experience the Florida resort, having a good time but with reservations.
__________________
WDW 1973 Poly | WDW Jul 1977 offsite | DLR Jul 1988 offsite | DLP Apr 2000 offsite | DLR Apr 2002 PPH | DLR Sep 2002 HoJo | DLR Dec 2002 HoJo (HolidayTime!) | DLR Apr 2003 HoJo | DLR Dec 2005 HoJo | DLR Mar 2013 HoJo | WDW May 2013 Pop | DLR Oct 2013 HoJo (HalloweenTime!) | DLR Aug 2014 GCH | DLR Sep 2014 DLH for the first time! (HalloweenTime!) | DLR Dec 2014 TBD (HolidayTime!) | Moving to L.A. 2015!
mikedoyleblogger is offline  
Old 04-16-2013, 09:38 PM   #15
emmysmommy
DIS Veteran

 
emmysmommy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Near Disneyland
Posts: 4,956

I completely enjoyed reading your observations. In my opinion...

What DL does better:
You mentioned it briefly, but I find the line for TSMM at DHS crazy... typically, the line is no longer than 45 minutes at DCA.

For Buzz Lightyear, the laser guns are so much better at DL since you can pick them up and aim versus swiveling the guns.

I agree, Test Track is no RSR!!

Roger Rabbit - great theming and cute ride. Of course, DL still has a Toontown for this ride!

What WDW does better:
If they had Carousel of Progress and the People Move at DL I'd be happy but WDW owns that one!

EE - awesome! Better than the rough track of the Matterhorn.

Going on a limb here but saying that DCA needs a Malestrom!

I like the amphitheater seating for Fantasmic but I like the DL show better so that's a wash.

And finally... CINDERELLA'S Castle is so much more glorious and impressive.
emmysmommy is offline  
 



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:09 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.