Disneyland was AWFUL!

Status
Not open for further replies.

skyp4WDW

Mouseketeer
Joined
Feb 25, 2008
We went to Disneyland (and California Adventure) last week to soak up a little Christmas ambiance. It was not what we expected... Let me preface my comments by saying we are huge Disney fans. I've probably been to WDW a hundred times in the past 25 years. However now that we live on the western side of the country, I thought it would be nice to check out DisneyLAND this December. The first problem is Anaheim itself. It is seedy and dangerous, and unpleasant to walk through...and Disneyland is right in the middle of it. The next problem is that Disney is packing people in those parks like sardines. (We went on a Tuesday and Wednesday hoping for low crowds. No such luck.) The crowds were so thick that you couldn't enjoy anything. I barely noticed the decorations because I was so busy trying not to be bowled over by the masses. We gave up on trying to ride any rides but tried hard to at least see the parade. However we missed that too because there were people about 10 thick in front of us. (I'm short) The only thing left to do was eat. We could not find anything edible. I have never seen so much "carnival style" junk-food in one place. It was disgusting. So I went to Guest Services to ask if I could have a partial refund on the "Magic Key" I purchased for this trip/year. (I have no desire to ever return). They were uncaring and rude about it and simply said "Nope". Absolutely no part of this experience felt like the "Disney" I know and love. (It very much reminded me of how Six Flags took a bad turn 20 years ago! Yikes!). No thanks.
 

BrianL

Doom Buggy Driver
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
Hey, sorry to hear that it didn't go well for you, but I hope you give it another chance. You went during a particularly busy time and they are still having issues with bandwidth and staffing. Anaheim is actually pretty nice, at least the area right around the parks. There are some issues, sure, but it's not particularly dangerous. Dinseyland does have crowding issues because the walkways are smaller and it just wasn't built for today's crowds. WDW has so much more space so it's not as apparent. I will say that I found ride wait times to be greatly exaggerated with the actual waits being much lower, mostly due to there being no form of fast pass at the moment I believe. Junk food is a part of going to a theme park of course, but they have some great options if you know where to look - bao buns from Tropical Hideaway, soup in a bread bowl from Pacific Wharf Cafe. It's around for sure. If a CM was rude, you should contact guest services, but do understand that they may not ahve many options in regards to your passes. I do hope you decide to try again, maybe when it's less crowded. It requires some different planning and mindset than WDW does, but DLR great in it's own way.
 
  • Steven G

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 7, 2016
    Where were you staying? I have stayed offsite many times, and I wouldn’t call it seedy. I have not explored Anaheim as a whole, but the are around DLR is not that bad. Hollywood walk of fame is 100 times seedier.

    as far as your experience in the park, that is not great, but it’s been that way for a while during the holiday season.
     

    BadPinkTink

    Republic of Ireland is not part of UK
    Joined
    Mar 13, 2015
    We went to Disneyland (and California Adventure) last week to soak up a little Christmas ambiance. It was not what we expected... Let me preface my comments by saying we are huge Disney fans. I've probably been to WDW a hundred times in the past 25 years.
    This is the problem. You expected a smaller version of Walt Disney World. These two sentences to me cancel out ALL of your complaints.

    It is you who had the problem, not Disneyland.
     

    Astylla

    Disney Fanatic
    Joined
    Oct 27, 2011
    It's unfortunate to hear you didn't enjoy these parks but I do have to say that often WDW regulars and fans are often disappointed due to not having full knowledge of the Disneyland and Anaheim area.
    We lack the " resort bubble" many come to expect due to the fact that assumptions are made. I'm not saying this is true of you just a general observation.
    It may seem more packed because when Disneyland especially was built it didn't have the luxury of all the land Walt did in Florida. In addition now there are 4 parks and Disney Springs which could be considered a 5th quesdo park because of how large and spread out it is.

    The festival of holidays is going on and as a Disneyland local for the last 11 years , I find it one of the best times for food options. Plaza Inn counter service is also considered one of the local and tourist favorites for their fried chicken. There definitely is a lot of "junk food" , but I've never had an issue finding something I liked so kind of sad to hear that wasn't the same for you.
    Right now it was also the week after Thanksgiving which is actually usually busier around here due to multiple states around us having fall breaks and the CA state as well.
    I always say it's good to experience things for yourself and it's good to share upfront honest feedback and reviews for others.

    I will say that it is surprising to me anyone would purchase a magic key before ever visiting the parks and I have to stand by them on that due to the fact it clearly states in the terms and conditions we all have to agree to yet most glance over before purchasing. However that said with all of your comments and experiences I highly recommend reaching out via email to disneyland guest services. They have always responded to me regardless of how minor a concern I had.
     

    twitch

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 20, 2007
    I remember my first visit to DL, after being an East Coaster and having memorized every detail for a couple of WDW trips.

    I found DL to be crowded... I got lost... things weren't where I expected... the castle was tiny... and I couldn't even find the end of the POTC line... (I couldn't imagine that the line stretched down the public walkway, instead of simply being at the entrance. The concept of overflow queueing was very foreign!)

    But then I discovered how easily it was to get around... how beautiful the IASW facade is... the ease of parkhopping, and the flexibility of only needing 10 minutes to get from one end of the park to the other. And the things that were initially bugs, I soon discovered to be features.

    I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy your time. I hope you give it another try -- it's different than WDW, but I've come to appreciate it on an entirely different level. I'd encourage you to let it stand on its own, instead of comparing it to WDW.
     

    JC1984

    DisDad #875
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2008
    It cracks me up to hear people label Anaheim as “seedy”. While Anaheim is not perfect take a trip to some place like San Fran, South Central, or Inglewood and maybe you will truly understand seedy. This really sounds like a bunch of first world problems to me.
     
  • DizMe

    Here we gooooo...
    Joined
    Jun 4, 2007
    A couple of things to consider.

    First, I think it's very difficult to judge Disneyland, or any park, by one short visit. You probably did hit a poor time for a first impression, but crowds often go with the territory during the holidays but also bear in mind that it is especially difficult to predict ANYTHING post-pandemic. We are all adjusting to the constant changes, new roll-outs of rules, operational procedures, ride structure, etc. It's going to take some time for things to level out and give us a better view of what the new normal will be. In the mean time, we're all kind of stumbling along and making the best of an ever-changing platform, and there are going to be less than stellar experiences as things get worked through.

    The second thing is that you are coming in with a WDW expectation. I understand that very well, as the same thing happened to me in reverse. When I went to MK, after having grown up with Disneyland, it felt grossly off to me. It was like Disneyland through the looking glass--kind of the same but not. It threw off my perspective and I have to admit that I didn't like it because it felt like a Twilight Zone Disneyland to me. I'm sure you experienced something similar. You walk in and everything's smaller. It seems more crowded because of that. The castle looks tiny and you sort of feel like you're in MK but all of a sudden you see something you don't recognize, like the HM, and it throws you off because it doesn't fit your picture and so on. When you have a very established love for something and you go to its sister property, it's hard not to make a negative comparison with the one you've known and loved.

    The best advice I can give is to try again when you're not so likely to have guaranteed large crowds. There are some charming differences which could be better appreciated when the parks aren't bursting with holiday park goers. If you do return, try to adjust your expectations and perspective so that you appreciate what DL has to offer rather than find negative comparisons to MK. As I said, I was in your shoes in reverse and it made a huge difference when I stopped viewing MK as a weird version of DL and enjoyed what it had to offer.
     
  • JC1984

    DisDad #875
    Joined
    Oct 15, 2008
    RIght, but in Orlando people more often stay "in the bubble." They don't see the city proper at all really. I wouldn't label Anaheim as "seedy" by a long shot, but it is definitely different for people who have never been in that kind of environment.
    And I think people love to assume that Disney somehow has a God like control over what happens in Anaheim and off property.
     

    DizMe

    Here we gooooo...
    Joined
    Jun 4, 2007
    One other comment I forgot to put in my comments above: please realize that you are likely to get a lot of negative feedback on your post because of the way you titled it, "Disneyland was AWFUL!". You also made a disparaging remark about Anaheim, which is not what I would consider seedy by any means, though it was many years ago. Did you explore the town at all? There are some beautiful areas well worth exploring. I'm sorry you didn't care for DL, but to call it AWFUL in all caps feels insulting to many on this DL board. It would have been better to say your experience was awful.
     

    cruisehopeful

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 25, 2015
    Sorry that it was such a bust! It's been very crazy the past couple months. Not sure what to expect going forward, but hoping it will get better.

    I suggest trying to stay onsite as that will keep you out of the city if you really don't like the city. I am aware of all the problems with Anaheim and surrounding areas as a whole. People just staying with a mile or so of the resort may not have a clue, but the area is a major hub of human trafficking. The drug trade is everywhere. So, no surprise that it's there, too. At any rate, it's easy to avoid those parts.

    Even if you don't stay onsite and only drive over for the day, stick to the freeways and those take you directly to the touristy part of the city. Yes, there will be homeless people there. I'm sorry if being homeless is disturbing to others. It has to be a lot worse for the homeless person, but I digress.

    I always visit on severely busy days, but have read over and over again by people who frequent WDW that WDW is always way busier than Disneyland. So, your post is very different and gives me hope for my future visits to WDW if I should luck out and go when it's less busy than Disneyland.

    By all means, try again. Looks like you went during one of the busier weeks. Try visiting when it isn't a holiday layover or after DL gets their stuff together. They really messed up bigtime with the Magic Key program and not having Fast Passes and mobile ordering. For good food, go eat at The Grand Californian. You can get quick service at the Craftsman and also easy find a seat at Hearthstone. The gross carnival food is a thing I prefer to avoid, too. It takes some work, but you can find real food here and there. Ask for suggestions on this board right before your next visit.
     

    mom2rtk

    Invented the term "Characterpalooza"
    Joined
    Aug 23, 2008
    I'm so sorry you had a disappointing experience, OP. We were WDW regulars but headed west for our first visit in 2005 and fell in love with it. I think that many who visit now have happy pleasant trips behind them and know how great it can be. Visiting in this sub-par time at least connects them with the nostalgia of their prior trips. And you don't have that to lean on right now.

    I hope you have a chance to visit again when things are closer to normal.
     

    skyp4WDW

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Feb 25, 2008
    One other comment I forgot to put in my comments above: please realize that you are likely to get a lot of negative feedback on your post because of the way you titled it, "Disneyland was AWFUL!". You also made a disparaging remark about Anaheim, which is not what I would consider seedy by any means, though it was many years ago. Did you explore the town at all? There are some beautiful areas well worth exploring. I'm sorry you didn't care for DL, but to call it AWFUL in all caps feels insulting to many on this DL board. It would have been better to say your experience was awful.
    It was not my intention to hurt the feelings of anyone who likes it there. I was simply trying to be real and give an honest review of my personal experience.
     
    Status
    Not open for further replies.


    Connect

    TODAY'S HEADLINES

    Top