first time to wdw--here's what we thought(somewhat disappointing)

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by stwyatt, Dec 7, 2000.

  1. stwyatt

    stwyatt Mouseketeer

    Jun 27, 2000
    this was our first time to wdw(mom,dad,and 5yr. old son). we did all the parks, all the rides, all the shows and here's our impression:

    wdw--after all the hype, all the visits to the dis, and after all of our imaginations ran wild, we were disappointed in the parks. we felt that state of the art rides like they have at IOA were non existant at wdw with the exception of tot and aerosmiths rrrc. for an example--the spiderman ride at IOA was out of this world and when you compare body tours, star tours, alien encounter, with it, the wdw rides are outdated and it was a letdown for us because we went to IOA first(thinking we were saving the best for last) with a 5yr old epcot was a waste with the exception of test trac. ak just did not have enough stuff--its a beautiful zoo with not enough animals and not enough rides.(safari was very good)
    magic kingdom--this was very good because we felt it was perfectly suited to our 5yr old. with the exception of alien encounter he rode everything. but if we come back in 5 yrs. i'm afraid he will think the rides are just not that thrilling. jungle cruise and pirates are a perfect example of how the wdw are outdated--we just couldn't believe how bad they were compared to new rides--for us they were a joke!
    mgm was the best that wdw had to offer in our opinion but how do you compare star tours to spiderman? to be fair tower of terror and the coaster were top notch

    to close, i certainly did not mean to be so negative of wdw--we enjoyed our trip--just not like we thought we would. and this is our opinion--many of you have different opinions(in fact most of you do) so maybe we're off base. but this conflicting trip report might serve as a reminder to not get unrealistic expectation
  2. Jcricket Fan

    Jcricket Fan DIS Veteran

    Apr 15, 2000
    We all are different and can see the same things in different ways! Your thoughts & opinions are as important as those that rave about WDW. Sometimes life in reality doesn't live up to what we anticipated in our minds. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
    Colleen :)
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  4. Gina

    Gina Remembers the Great DIS Board Crash of '99

    Aug 16, 1999
    I can only speak for myself, but I think that most people don't go to WDW for the rides -- we go for the incredible attention to detail, the magic in the air, the way it makes your heart feel just to stand there on Main Street. If I just wanted to ride kick-a** rides, I could stay here in Houston and go to Six Flags. :) And I guess all kids are different, too, because Epcot is my 4 year old's favorite park. Mine too. :)

    Sorry you had a disappointing time! :(


    ASMu, 2/2000

    DxL 12/1/00-12/4/00

    Next stop, ASMo 2/3/01-2/10/01!
  5. k9disney

    k9disney Mouseketeer

    Oct 26, 2000
    It's not about the rides for me - it's about the magic. But I know many people who would prefer the thrill rides to the details and they think I'm nuts for loving WDW like I do and they're entitled to their opinion.
    But I'd take the feeling that I have when I walk down Main Street over the feeling that I have on a 4 minute ride anyday! IMHO... :)
  6. princess angel

    princess angel **If You Can Dream It, You can Do It**

    Jun 28, 2000
    I have to say to that we don't go to wdw for the rides, dh and I go to wdw for the sheer Magic of the place. Just being in disney world is enough for me, everywhere we turn there's something else that's beautiful, or delicious, or just simply magical!!! :) :) :)

    4/97 - offsite
    6/98 - Grand Floridian
    12/99 - Grand Floridian
    9/00 - Grand Floridian
    1/01 - Grand Floridian
    04/01 - BWV
    09/01 - BWV or OKW
    01/02 - running in Disney's 26 mile marathon!!!
  7. nutz4dzny

    nutz4dzny Been there, done that, going back to WDW again!

    Oct 31, 1999
    Please don't take this wrong, but some peope just don't "feel" the magic. And that's okay too! That is why there are so many different flavors of ice-cream! We disliked IOA so much we will never go back. There is no magic and just rides plopped up with no magic. Just look at Tower of Terror! They built a huge Hotel albeit a facade, instead of just putting up an elevator that drops you. The ride revolves around a show with a theme and a story line. The CM's are all in character and the queues are just as interesting as the ride itself. But I agree, if you don't FEEL the magic, you will be disappointed. At least you can go back to IOA and Universal and enjoy.
  8. Big Dude

    Big Dude <font color=red>Tagless in New Jersey<font color=g

    Sep 5, 2000
    WDW isn't for everyone. I, and my children, love thrill rides. Every year we get season passes to a place called Dorney Park and Wild Water Kingdom (about 20 minutes from my house) where thay have tons of rides and water attractions. By the end of the season (September) all of us are all "thrill ride" exhausted. That's when we are off to WDW. The kids know that the "attractions" they are going on are not like the other theme park and we can concentrate on the "different" kinds of rides. Don't get me wrong, RNR and TOT are absoutely awesome, but we don't have to do them 8 times a day. Once is enough then off to Backlot tour or Beauty and the Beast. I have to agree with some of the others on a point. In Magic Kingdom, just being on Main Street gives me a special feeling but when I look at my wife and children and see the expresion's on their faces when they turn the corner and see Cindy's Castle, well, that is where the "magic" is found for me. No thrill ride can ever be worth so much as that feeling.

    Adam aka Big Dude
  9. disny4fun

    disny4fun Mouseketeer

    Jul 21, 2000
    This was me and my family's first visit ever to Disney World. We just got home last week and it was one of the best experiances of my life! I know that the trill ride are not there, but it's the whole picture. The Jungle Cruise and Pirates are classics in the world of disney and I hope they never get replaced. I agree that if you are looking for the thrill rides you need to seek another avenue. Disney is for the magic of the "family" experiance together. The small details, the cleanliness, the scents, the cast members all add to the total picture! I am sorry you were disappointed. For me, I cannot wait to return! :)
  10. Kallison

    Kallison <font color=red>I'm a lab adorer<br><font color=na

    Nov 15, 1999
    I remember riding Haunted Mansion, POC, Jungle Cruise and seeing Swiss Family Treehouse with my parents when I was a little girl. I said to my husband "I hope these rides are here for us to take our grandkids on some day". Some of the lines are better than the rides for me, like Tower of Terror for example. I love walking through the waiting area.
  11. hoosll

    hoosll DIS Veteran

    Aug 23, 2000
    I believe for mnay of us there is a family connection back to Walt ... I can remember him "showing" us the plans for WDW on TV, just like he had shared disneyland and his vision with us earlier. When I go to the world I want to experience those rides I knew as a child - Dumbo, teacups (the missing 20,000 Leagues)... it is my connection with my childhood.

    I can understand that many folks have been weaned on roller coasters not magic.

    You have a couple of important lessons for other first timers:
    1. WDW is not about thrill rides
    2. Save IOA and Universal for later in your trip after you have absorbed some of Walt's vision
    3. Most children under 8 do not appreciate Epcot, it is definitely for older children and adults
    4. Consider your experience with amusement parks and then understand that WDW is a total immersion experience unlike any park I have ever been to.

    Hoosll Do It
    Cont -'84
    Poly - '90
    WL - Dec '00 - Big 5-0
  12. TeresaNJ

    TeresaNJ Full time stay at home crafter!

    Sep 13, 1999
    I'm so sorry your first trip to WDW was not up to your expectations. For me, going to Disney is like coming home. The feeling it gives me in my heart is undescribable. We've been going now for 16 years, since my boys were 4 & 5, and they are now 20 & 21, along with my 15 year old daughter, and they still love it. Whenever someone is in the dumps, or the stresses of life are getting to them, they say, "I wish we were in Disney right now". It has absolutely nothing to do with thrill or action rides. It has to do with the beauty of Epcot during the garden festival, the magic of the Magic Kingdom at night when the lights are twinklilng and the castle is changing colors, the nostalgia of MGM, seeing the reproduction cars, walking down NY street, watching the wonderful stage shows. The TOT and RR are added bonuses, they are not just thrill rides, they tell a story, which is what Disney is about, telling a story to transport you to another time and place. Animal Kingdom, I thought, was so beautiful in it's landscaping that it took my breath away. So if you go to Disney to ride thrill rides, then you will definitely be disappointed. There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving thrill rides, you just won't be satisfied at Disney. Maybe someday you'll try it again when you just want to be immersed in magic and atmosphere
  13. RustManFan

    RustManFan devoted to all things Disney!! Moderator

    Jul 5, 2000
    My family doesn't enjoy thrill rides. We go to WDW for the atmosphere, the landscaping, the magic, the memories and the type of rides they do have there. some people are interested in rides like Universal has .... others wouldn't go near the place!! Splash Mountain, BTM and Test Track are wild enough for me, thank you.

    To each his own....I always say!
  14. quietjohn2k

    quietjohn2k Earning My Ears

    Dec 4, 2000
    Candid responses like yours help round out the influences on a first time visitor like myself. I never even thought much about visiting US & IOA until recently, and we have 8 days. Our 13 year old does not want to "waste" time with character meals or Candlelight Procession - he just wants to get on line time & time again - or so he thinks for now.

    So for now we will get 5 day hopper and 2 day Universal and hope for enough warmth for a water park too.

    This place does a superb job of providing info, thanks.
  15. DisneyMim

    DisneyMim DIS Veteran

    May 31, 2000
    Just had to jump in here too. I'm always sorry to hear someone who doesn't have a good time at Disney, but it does happen. Disney is not for everyone, just like other places. For my famiy Disney is our second home and it has nothing to do with thrill rides. Like everyone else said it is about the magic, the attention to details, etc, etc, etc. We have a Six Flags within a couple of hours drive and don't like it. We have been to Busch Gardens in Tampa and don't like that place either. Different strokes for different folks. Isn't it wonderful that there are so many choices? It sounds like you expected something different than what you got. I have to agree with the post about FEELING the magic. Some of us "get it" and other never will.
  16. LisaRay

    LisaRay DIS Veteran

    Oct 11, 2000
    As others have said its the Magic! The feeling you get when you see the castle and walk down Main street. We like it because there is something for everyone old, young, fearless,and fearful.

    We just can't seem to go on a family vacation anywhere else and not get bored. There is plenty to keep all of us busy for weeks. But mostly its that feeling you get spending time with your loved ones in the happiest place on earth.
    We do have relatives who have gone and just don't get it. So they spend there money on vacations to Vegas. I say hey, makes it less crowded for the rest of us.LOL
  17. baileybrad

    baileybrad and Casey, too!

    Apr 30, 2000
    I have a few questions...Where did you stay while visiting the parks? Did you do anything besides go to the parks? Did you try any of the character meals? Are you fans of the Walt Disney movies? Did your child have any interaction with the characters? Some of the answers to these questions may explain why you did not enjoy a fuller experience visiting WDW. That being said, however, we all do not enjoy the same things. I have friends who will never understand our attraction to Disney. And trust me I keep the giant money sucking machine that is Disney in proper perspective; I just continue to receive more enjoyment for my bucks. Please hope to hear your responses to my questions. And I hope you realize that nobody should feel apologitic just because Disney didn't "wow" them. As I said different ......folks.
  18. baileybrad

    baileybrad and Casey, too!

    Apr 30, 2000
  19. MiJo

    MiJo DIS member since 1999 and DDC Member #335

    Sep 17, 1999
    I'm also sorry to hear that WDW did not live up to your expectations, especially your 5-year old's. Perhaps he didn't enjoy it because his parents didn't. My DW and I just returned from our 2nd trip without our grown kids (3rd altogether) and I'm sure we will be returning again in the not too distant future. This trip, we also stayed at the Portofino Bay Hotel for 2 nights and visited IOA/USF for the first time. We did enjoy many things at those parks: MIB, the water rides, Jurassic Park, Animal Actors and others. I even managed to ride The Hulk coaster, against my better judgement (we aren't coaster people but we do love RNR, BTMRR and SM). I really enjoyed the New York City street set. But, I can honestly say, we just did not feel the ambiance at either of those parks that we feel at WDW. WDW really does have a sense of "Magic" about it. Just watching the faces of the young children of other families is part of the fun of being there. I didn't see that at IOA/USF; seeing Popeye is just not the same as seeing Mickey, Goofy or Cinderella. We don't consider Disney's rides outdated, we consider them "classics". Disney did it first and best; their attention to detail is incredible (just take a good look around the next time you are in the Haunted Mansion). Except for MIB, we probably have no need to return to IOA/USF. I am not saying they are not good parks; they are, especially for thrill seekers. They just don't have the same appeal for us. Someone else mentioned the difference between Dr. Doom and the ToT. That is the Disney Difference: the Disney Attention to Detail. I suggest you go again and take a good look around: maybe you will see the difference.

    Disneyland 1970
    Off site 6/90
    Dixie Landings 9/99
    Coronado Springs 12/1-12/5 and Portofino Bay 12/6-12/8
  20. rickc77

    rickc77 Mouseketeer

    Feb 18, 2000
    I wish that I could add something to everyone else's comments, but I must agree with all of the post in front of me.

    Disney just effects some of us differently then others.

    At least you gave it a good try.

  21. MouseLover

    MouseLover DIS Veteran

    Oct 6, 1999
    We go to WDW for the "Magic" and "details." To me, there's nothing like gazing at the castle. Details like the presidents blinking as they whisper to one another, right down to the hair on the legs of some of the animatronic people make WDW amazing to me. I enjoy the rides too. No, they are not (for the most part) "thrill" rides. We can do thrill rides anytime at Six Flags. We also sometimes visit Busch Gardens during our Florida visits, and intend to go to IOA on our next trip. We do love the thrill coasters and are looking forward to Hulk & Dueling Dragons. But there's still nothing like the "magic"... to us. To each his own! At least there are plenty of parks & activities to choose from in Florida.

    Disneyland 1982
    Aug. 1983, May 1985, May 1987, Oct. 1996
    Polynesian July 1999
    March 2001

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