A trip to WDW, then versus now

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by lugnut33, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. lugnut33

    lugnut33 DIS Veteran

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    Reading all the FP+ threads got me thinking how a trip to WDW has changed over the years. If you compare a trip in the 80's to now it sure has changed a lot.

    Back in the day very few people had to set up their travel more than 6 months in advance. Looking through early WDW brochures it was encouraged that people just show up and stay without a reservation.

    You could just walk up to restaurants and get a table. No need to get up at 12 a.m. exactly 180 days from arrival to make ADR's at the popular restaurants. You didn't need a credit card to hold reservations. If you wanted to make a reservation at an Epcot restaurant back in the day, you could do it the day of at a special video communications kiosk inside the park.

    When you got to the park, you just waited in line to ride the attractions you wanted to see. You got up, decided which park you wanted to visit, and that's where you went. You didn't need to get up at 12 a.m. exactly 60 days in advance to make your Fastpass selections or you'd be out of luck in seeing one of the E-ticket attractions. No need to consult the crowd calendars 60 days out and determine which park you wanted to visit. Or look at what dining reservations you made 4 months earlier to know which park to make your FP+ selections.

    I should also add, that many times you would randomly run into Disney characters out wandering the park, but now you need to stand in line or use one of your Fastpasses in order to see them.

    I know I'm forgetting other things that have changed. Some of the changes are no big deal and some have been for the better. I just know that a WDW vacation has gotten much more difficult to plan for.
     
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  3. rebbyparker

    rebbyparker DIS Veteran

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    I'm just saying...cable cars! It was my very first ride at the Magic Kingdom.

    :cloud9:
     
  4. ArwenMarie

    ArwenMarie DIS Veteran

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    There are still parks like that. Our next trip is going to be a Universal-only trip and there is zero planning to do other than the hotel. Nothing. On a smaller scale, we went to Busch Gardens Williamsburg (which is a great park BTW!) and all we did is book the hotel room, drive down, and go to the park. We had a blast. No planning.

    Disney is just very special, for better or for worse :)
     
  5. Carbonfiber07

    Carbonfiber07 Mouseketeer

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    Crowds. Its all crowds now. All the issues you listed as being changed by Disney are to handle larger crowds.

    From a business perspective, Disney is loving the larger crowds (obviously), but many of us remember the late 70s and 80s at Disney when the throngs of people were just not as prevalent. Dont' get me wrong, there were times when we waited a while for BTMRR and Space, but those were usually during holiday periods.
     
  6. momof2n2

    momof2n2 VacationDreamer<><

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    There was also a lot less to do.

    Remember Boardwalk & Baseball? Yeah. Most don't. But we went there a day for something to do. :)
     
  7. Carbonfiber07

    Carbonfiber07 Mouseketeer

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    Was Circus World before B&B.
     
  8. ShayBells

    ShayBells Ding-a-ling-a-ling

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    The character thing still happens just not as much as it use too. I swear they use to be everywhere. And now it's random and hardly ever

    When I went in 2011 I got chip and dale a lot and Donald out once. A couple more. This September 2013 I got none. It was raining every day though so I chalked it up to that.

    Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
     
  9. wiigirl

    wiigirl DIS Veteran

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    :thumbsup2
     
  10. Granny square

    Granny square Always planning a trip!

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    You had to do something with the "a" tickets!
     
  11. Granny square

    Granny square Always planning a trip!

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    I miss the wandering characters. The pictures of my kids dancing with Mary popping and Burt are my favorite!

    The living statues in Italy:) scared the crap out of another son.

    Our kids will tell of the candy lady making them a wolf, a lion and a flamingo.

    We'd always go to the Movieland Wax Museum:) and still love gatorland.

    MGM listening to the piano played back in the restaurant by the backlot tour. He asked me out

    Backlot tour and the Golden Girls house and other homes on the tour.
     
  12. NYDisneyKid

    NYDisneyKid Expedition Everest Record Holder

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    "THEN"= less money. "NOW"= more money
     
  13. sonofanarchy

    sonofanarchy DIS Veteran

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    Universal is MUCH less stressful than WDW in terms of planning, and we make no ADR's, but this is only true if staying on site. If staying off-site and going to Universal, a bit of planning would be involved. Universal just makes it so easy for it's resort guests. That's why we spend half our vacation there every year now.
     
  14. ShayBells

    ShayBells Ding-a-ling-a-ling

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    Oh man! I went on back lot your this trip and haven't been on it in probably ten years or so and I couldn't decide what was different.

    Thanks for the memories :)

    Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
     
  15. Granny square

    Granny square Always planning a trip!

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    And if you go off season to universal it is still doable without a lot of hassle. We went in January for only one day. Hit both parks, all the rides that interested us, stood in two 40 minute lines (fj and dm) and had a ball.

    Universal is always just the kids and I because my husband gets sick on most of their rides. So without dad and grandma, we can cover tons more territory!

    Universal doesn't have pins (minimal anyway) and aside from Fiona and the minions not any character we want pics of. They have fun shows though. All the way back to my original universal days I have loved their shows.
     
  16. Viva Las Disney

    Viva Las Disney DIS Veteran

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    I recently did this for my first trip to DL, I'd been planning my WDW trip for months and after a bad week at work I decided I needed a break and should just drive down to DL, I booked the hotel and drove down the next day. With all my WDW planning I was worried I didn't have any plans, didn't know the park, and didn't know what I was going to do but I had a blast.

    There is something incredibly relaxing about just going with no plans and no expectations. I didn't worry about riding everything or worry about seeing everything, I was just immersed in the experience and happy I was there.
     
  17. redsbe

    redsbe Mouseketeer

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    Off season trip to WDW also requires minimum advanced planning, can go without FP or ADR (of course the windows in the off season at WDW are much smaller than Universal!)
     
  18. redsbe

    redsbe Mouseketeer

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    In the 1990s we started alternating our visits between DL and WDW, and yes being able to walk from a nearby hotel (no Disney Buses!) and no ADRs six months out and less need for FPs at DL made for a better Disney experience in many ways.
     
  19. Granny square

    Granny square Always planning a trip!

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    True. We were at Disney for the rest of that trip. More lines this year than last but still reasonable.

    I think Disney takes more planning just because if size and the 4 parks and far more dining possibilities:) but touring off season makes everything better.

    I've never gone in November. Hoping the crowds in a couple of weeks aren't too bad.
     
  20. catherines_mama

    catherines_mama DIS Veteran

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    Grew up in Polk Co, FL. Remember and LOVED Boardwalk & Baseball!
     
  21. skriegerjr

    skriegerjr Monorail Maven

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    Yeah, I remember waiting 2 hours in line to ride BTMRR, that was awesome spending that big of a percentage of your total park hours, vs. my last trip in November 2011, with FP, never waiting for ANY ride more than 20 minutes, and most rides just walking right on. Oh, how I pine, for the good old days.

    Some people thrive on planning their trip. Not everyone wants to fly by the seat of their pants and just see what happens. Some people want to make sure they're getting their money's worth, and frankly, standing in line, for hours, doesn't sound appealing to me.
     

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