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  1. #1

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    Smile Disneyland for Walt Disney World veterans

    Iíve been to Disney World twice, once as a child, and once as a parent. We wanted to go back, but I wanted to try something a little different Ö so instead we went to Disneyland. I had read some comparisons prior to our trip, and frankly I donít think they told the whole story.

    If youíve been to Disney World a bunch of times already, here are some reasons to give Disneyland a try:

    1. There are a number of excellent rides not found at WDW, as well as some variations on your favorites;
    2. You can WALK to Disneyland from your hotel;
    3. Right across the way is a second park, all within walking distance;
    4. The water actually tastes OK (no swamp water here).

    Now, true, there are some drawbacks. I had read how Disneyland was smaller and more crowded, how the castle was smaller, etc. Yes, the walkways in each Land are narrower in comparison, more like corridors than the open spaces in WDW. However, this is not a problem unless crowd levels are high. And frankly, it made it easier to navigate since I could more easily see where I was. And yes, the castle is smaller, but so what? It really is a beautiful castle, and it has a real-looking drawbridge that you cross over to enter into Fantasyland, rather than the stone ramp one finds in WDW. If you go during the holiday season, the castle is lit at night with thousands of icicle lights Ė truly stunning.

    Once in Fantasyland, the difference is amazing. Buildings look like buildings, instead of the goofy tent theming found in WDW. You actually enter the castle for Snow White. You go into Toad Hall for Mr. Toadís Wild Ride (which sadly is no more at WDW). You get the idea.

    While itís easy to find lists of the differences between the two resorts, there are some real gems youíll find only at Disneyland. Some outstanding rides are Alice in Wonderland and Indiana Jones. Over in Disneyís California Adventure youíll also find a wonderful Monsters, Inc. ride and the spectacular Aladdin show which is head & shoulders above anything youíll find in WDW. For a bit of nostalgia, back in Disneyland Park you can ride the aforementioned Toad or the new Finding Nemo subs (I know itís not the same as 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea but at least you can ride a sub again!). You also get the original version of the Tiki Room. Letís also add to that list a much longer Pirates of the Caribbean, which starts its voyage slipping quietly past the diners on the veranda of the Blue Bayou restaurant, under cover of darkness Ė how cool is that?

    Sure, there are a lot of other differences, but my intent was to point out a few important ones, and to mention that regardless of which resort you visit, you will have a good time.
    Last edited by PA*; 12-28-2008 at 06:42 PM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Disneyland for Walt Disney World veterans

    I'm glad to hear that you find some good in the smaller park. I also thought that was important that Disneyland was smaller when I compared the parks. It may seem crowded but it is easier to navigate. Thanks for your comparison

  3. #3

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    Re: Disneyland for Walt Disney World veterans

    Thanks for sharing, very good thoughts. I have been to both parks and personally love them both the same. They have their own qualities.

  4. #4

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    Re: Disneyland for Walt Disney World veterans

    Great post. It is important to note you'll have fun at either place.

  5. #5

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    Re: Disneyland for Walt Disney World veterans

    Psst! Not real looking drawbridge, real drawbridge. Of course they've only closed and opened it a couple of times, but the point is that it can be done.

    Disneyland has Cast Members that want to be there, WDW has Employees that want to pick up their paycheck and go home - not everyone, but it's a subtle attitude difference that you pick up on if you are used to one park and go to the other.

    And another big difference is that you can be more free-form. You don't have to regiment your schedule and call exactly 90 days out for Priority Seating for every meal.

    --<< Bruce >>--
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  6. #6

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    Re: Disneyland for Walt Disney World veterans

    I visited WDW in 1997 with my husband, and my grandson. Quite frankly, I never thought that I would get the opportunity to travel across the country to the other park that I watched as a kid on television.

    Well in 2005, I did come. So did a lot of other people. I came, I saw, and I fell in love with it.

    I still have a great time, at WDW, and I am planning an August vacation there.

    Disneyland has the edge, in my heart, however.
    My Next WDW Vacation is Aug 18, 2014 - Aug 23, 2014
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  7. #7

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    Re: Disneyland for Walt Disney World veterans

    Quote Originally Posted by PA* View Post
    4. The water actually tastes OK (no swamp water here).
    Bruce already covered the drawbridge...

    I am so surprised that you liked the water here. Most people say Southern California water is the worst they have ever tasted. The primary sources of Anaheim tap water come from the Colorado River, a natural aquifer located hundreds of feet below the northern 1/3 of Orange County, and -- yikes! -- reclaimed waste water. A small portion may also come from Northern Cal.

    Most people do not like the water here because it is very hard. Colorado River water contains lots of salts and minerals, as does the ground water. But I guess swamp water is just as bad, so I'd say it's a draw.

    Very interesting comparison overall, though!

  8. #8

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    Re: Disneyland for Walt Disney World veterans

    Great comparisons!!! I, personaly, like Disneyland better in my book. You can go on a ton of rides and always notice new things. And at the end of the day, your feet are not nearly as tired as they are in Walt Disney World!!! Just my opinion though!!!

  9. #9

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    Re: Disneyland for Walt Disney World veterans

    Quote Originally Posted by PA* View Post
    II had read how Disneyland was smaller and more crowded, how the castle was smaller, etc.
    The smallness of Disneyland, for me, makes it a much more inviting, cozy and intimate kind of park. It's more personal when it is smaller.

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  10. #10

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    Re: Disneyland for Walt Disney World veterans

    As a WDW vet, I prefer Disneyland over Magic Kingdom BECAUSE it's smaller and more intimate.

    I prefer WDW as a whole however, Epcot has so many events that take the win for me. If you are just counting the resorts as a whole of course.


  11. #11

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    Re: Disneyland for Walt Disney World veterans

    It's interesting to read your perspective- particularly as it relates to the intimacy of DL. As a DLR vet who's visited WDW a few times in recent years, it's a notion I've overlooked.

    I find the crowds at DL (which are exacerbated by the narrow walkways and an overall space deficiency) almost unbearable, so I find MK's size and open spaces extremely refreshing.

    IMO, MK's location and surroundings help me overlook the fact that it is a thematic mess in some places and an arguably less authentic incarnation of Walt's original park (I discussed MK's surroundings re: the Disney Zone in more detail in this thread).

    The experience of getting to MK from the outside versus getting to DLP from the outside to me is stark, and now that I've been to WDW I'm always somewhat disappointed with that aspect of DLP. If the intimacy of DLP being smaller is something that struck you while there, maybe I'll give that some consideration the next time I go, and maybe that will temper my disappointment a bit.

  12. #12

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    Re: Disneyland for Walt Disney World veterans

    I basically grew up at Disneyland.... as a child, and then as an attractions CM for 10 years.
    The first time I went to WDW, I thought I might return and find something about Disneyland that paled in comparison.
    While I think the the WDW complex is quite awesome, my vote still goes for Disneyland.
    It's the original, it's the park where Walt walked, and the intimacy that many people speak of here is very important.
    As discussed on another thread, the berm at Disneyland is comparatively (to WDW) a very small separation between the park and the outside world, but it has an amazing ability to keep that real world out.
    I have always felt I was in a different world when I was at Disneyland, and this hasn't changed, even after visiting the WDW complex.
    Last edited by CASurfer65; 12-28-2008 at 11:42 PM. Reason: err

  13. #13

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    Re: Disneyland for Walt Disney World veterans

    A few P.S.'s:

    A REAL drawbridge? That is too cool!

    I actually didn't say I thought Disneyland was smaller, only that I had read that it was smaller. Although I did notice the relative lack of open space in the Lands, by the end of the day my feet felt it was about the same size!

    Well, hopefully no Floridians will take offense to my swamp water comment (I don't know what else to call it). For those who don't know, when you're sitting at the restaurant, you're wondering what's that smell until you realize it's coming from your glass of water. Likewise when you're taking a shower in the motel. And when it comes to drinking it ... just gulp it down as fast as you can and try to pretend it doesn't taste like what tastes like. So yes, in comparison, the water at Disneyland is fine!

  14. #14

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    Re: Disneyland for Walt Disney World veterans

    Excellent thoughts and comparisons. One thing I want to add: Disneyland CA has the Canal Boats, which, IMO, is the most beautiful attraction in any of the Disney theme parks.


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  15. #15

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    Re: Disneyland for Walt Disney World veterans

    Quote Originally Posted by PA* View Post
    A few P.S.'s:

    A REAL drawbridge? That is too cool!

    I actually didn't say I thought Disneyland was smaller, only that I had read that it was smaller. Although I did notice the relative lack of open space in the Lands, by the end of the day my feet felt it was about the same size!
    Physically, Disneyland is MUCH smaller than the Magic Kingdom, DL is 60-ish acres and WDW is several hundred. But at DL they consciously planned to maximize the land use without making it LOOK cramped. You have to know the place to realize that right behind that stand of trees is the back side of another land. And they play the same tricks with buildings that are themed differently on each side to create the illusion of a lot more space.
    Quote Originally Posted by PA* View Post
    Well, hopefully no Floridians will take offense to my swamp water comment (I don't know what else to call it). For those who don't know, when you're sitting at the restaurant, you're wondering what's that smell until you realize it's coming from your glass of water. Likewise when you're taking a shower in the motel. And when it comes to drinking it ... just gulp it down as fast as you can and try to pretend it doesn't taste like what tastes like. So yes, in comparison, the water at Disneyland is fine!
    It doesn't take much sulphur and certain other dissolved minerals in the water in the water to make it smell and taste "swampy", and it's a real pain to get it out. It can't be done with a simple filter cartridge, you need to do full water plant treatment or Reverse Osmosis to get it out.

    The water at DL can be rather hard if they are using mostly Colorado River water in the mix, if they use mostly well water or Aqueduct water it isn't so bad. But while the DL water can be crunchy, the minerals don't have objectionable taste or odor problems.

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