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  1. #1

    • Disneyland Dreamin'
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    I don't think I should be concerned... or should I?

    I am new to this wonderful site and have gotten ALOT of info and answers to questions I had about an upcoming visit and for that I give many thanks!

    I have a question, not meant to offend or start a war, regarding what seems to be an overwhelming number of negative or concerned posts regarding the state of the parks and how they are standing up over the years. Should I be concerned?

    A little about why I ask... A short while ago, the thought of returning to Disneyland anytime soon was about as likely as me going to the moon tomorrow. Wasn't gonna happen. Family, money and priorities other than expensive leisure time continued to get in the way. In other words, life in general! As a kid in Canada, we always watched Disney on Sunday nights, knew all of the characters but the idea of going to where they LIVED was a pipe dream. Then one year, during our annual summer camping trip, we drove to California and were treated to the sight of the big Disneyland sign before we pulled into the Vacationland campground. Once we realized where we were, we went nuts. I was about 9 or 10 at the time, maybe around 1979-80 and my brothers were 6 and 2. It was magical.

    Over the years, we moved alot and we ended up living in Atlanta for 4 years, from 1981-85. For 3 of those we were spoiled, getting to go WDW, twice in the summers and once at Christmastime. It was magical.

    We ended up moving back to Canada and that was the last ofthe Disney trips for awhile (and as a kid). Fast forward to June of 2000 and my next trip, this time with my girlfriend (now wife) and my first trip to Disney as an adult. I was as excited as a little kid and was able to "leave my worries at the door" and forget about life for a few days. We were able to see the first signs of constructionin the parking lot for DCA and hoped to come back the next year to see the new park. We had a blast. The park was awesome, clean and full. It was magical.

    We didn't end up getting back to California but we did travel around a bit (no kids! haha) and in late 2002, spent 10 days in and around Walt Disney World. Once again, we loved it, every part. We even went into and had lunch in Celebration. It was cool. And it was still magical.

    Fast-forward 12 years and here we are, on the verge of a visit in April, now with 3 kids, daughter 9 and twin 8 year old boys. We have 4 days in the Disneyland Resort and I couldn't be more excited! (Like a 10 year old kid with and extra 32 years on the clock). It WILL be magical!

    I think.

    I see so many trip reports that are just amazing and I can see the excitement bubbling through every one (Barbaraann and mre200200 come to mind right away although there are many others). On the other hand, there are a lot of people that don't seem to have much good to say. Deterioration, crowding and poor Cast Member attitudes are common themes.

    I wonder if folks who visit every few years (to several years in my case!) have a different perception than those with annual passes that can visit pretty much whenever they want? I can't pretend to know what the AP experience is like but can it lead to overload? Can people become jaded if they visit too much? Or has it really changed THAT much in the last 10 years?

    Although I don't expect perfection (what ever is really?), I fully expect to enjoy our visit to the fullest and be enchanted all over again and introducing my kids to it will be part of that. I guess I don't want to believe the naysayers and as long as the kids enjoy it and it brings back a little of the magic for me from whenever I visited, I suppose that's all that matters.

    Any insight is welcome.

    Bottom line is, I suppose if there is anything to take away from reading these forums, it's to take everything with a grain of salt? Or a spoonful of sugar!

  2. #2

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    • Chicago Gal
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    Re: I don't think I should be concerned... or should I?

    Don't believe every thing that you read.

    By that, I mean that everyone here at MiceChat has a different spin on things, and is certainly entitled to their opinion.

    If you approach your vacation to Disneyland with an open mind, and open up your heart to the endless possibilities for magic, you will be just fine.

  3. #3

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    Re: I don't think I should be concerned... or should I?

    I can't say I have noticed any decline in Disneyland, and while its been a year and a half or so since I was there last, I cannot imagine its declined so horribly since then. I think at times some people are too picky, and look for ways to find something to complain about.

    I have never seen huge crowds on any of my visits, however I do avoid weekends and peak season, and I would say overall the wait times are less now then they were in the 90's. I remember non-stop lines when I was a teenager, and on all my visits in the past 10 years, other then Peter Pan, never waited longer then 1/2 hour for a ride.

    Maybe lines seemed longer as a teenager I don't know, but i know now when I visit, I find the crowds no worse then in the past, and customer service, never had an issue myself, always find people friendly and helpful as ever.

  4. #4

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    Re: I don't think I should be concerned... or should I?

    Disneyland is still wonderful.

  5. #5

    • i believe in faeries.
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    Re: I don't think I should be concerned... or should I?

    welcome to micechat!
    i think in regards to threads on the site that maybe seen as 'negative,' perhaps it's just venting? or someone noticed something and was curious if others did as well. i know when i come home, sometimes i want to just vent about work, and i really do love my job, but sometimes it's good to vent with someone who feels the same way.
    *shrugs* i don't know. i do understand your point as well, though... i live in Canada as well (and trips are usually few and far between), as it is kinda a bummer to read ppl complaining about all things disney, when i, myself have always found it to be amazing.
    it's like everything else... ignore the threads u don't wish to participate in, and focus on the ones celebrating the happiest place on earth!

  6. #6

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    Re: I don't think I should be concerned... or should I?

    No worries. DCA is all new and wonderful now. More people sometimes in there more than Disneyland. I am a devote Disneyland fan and have found myself spending more time in Carsland and Buena Vista Street (and other areas in DCA) than in Disneyland. There is a lot of construction going on in Disneyland so it looks a little "Off" if you know what I mean. But, and this is important, the Magic is still there and just as strong as it was when you where there as a kid. There is lot to do in both Parks for both adults and kids. Just go and have fun. Don't worry about things and it will be fine. The Magic will find you.
    Peter Pan Forever!!! I Will Never Grow Up.

    Thank You Poisonedapples

  7. #7

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    Re: I don't think I should be concerned... or should I?

    No need to be concerned. You'll have a great time.

  8. #8

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    Talking Re: I don't think I should be concerned... or should I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Avaren View Post
    welcome to micechat!
    i think in regards to threads on the site that maybe seen as 'negative,' perhaps it's just venting? or someone noticed something and was curious if others did as well. i know when i come home, sometimes i want to just vent about work, and i really do love my job, but sometimes it's good to vent with someone who feels the same way.
    *shrugs* i don't know. i do understand your point as well, though... i live in Canada as well (and trips are usually few and far between), as it is kinda a bummer to read ppl complaining about all things disney, when i, myself have always found it to be amazing.
    it's like everything else... ignore the threads u don't wish to participate in, and focus on the ones celebrating the happiest place on earth!

    We live in Canada as well, and we LOVE visiting Disneyland. w/o kids my dh and I have visited DL 8 times since 2008! If it was a bad experience we wouldn't be going back, now would we? We dont expect to go back for 7 years as we are now expecting our first child, but I guarantee its always a great experience. Sure, we have had the usual frustrations when the park is packed and its really hot, but those moments are to be expected. Look forward to your trip and enjoy!

  9. #9

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    Re: I don't think I should be concerned... or should I?

    The only time I've ever felt truly uncomfortable with crowding was when I went on days I knew would be incredibly crowded: New Year's Eve and One More Disney Day. It was also quite congested on Main Street at times when they were holding The Candlelight Processional right up against the Main Street train station. Luckily, these were all special events. Spring break is busy, but manageable, and so is summer. I would use Fast Pass and remember to take time off the beaten path to see the shows and appreciate the little things that others may not.

    I agree with jsmith11618; the lines do feel shorter than in the 90s (of course, when I was a kid we only visited during spring break). I remember two hour lines back then...

    Is it because of the Fast Pass system? Is it because a higher percentage of visitors on a given day are APers who see that Space Mountain has a 45 minute wait and decide 45 minutes is too much and they'd rather ride it another day when the wait is only 20 minutes? Is it just my perception based on the fact that I can now visit the park on days other than spring break? Is it because I'm an adult now and perceive time as running faster than when I was a child? Is it because we can now pass the time in line with eyes fixated on our smart phones (lol I try not to do this)? I don't know.

    I do know that Disneyland is still magical to me, and I still have a wonderful time with my family when we go. And I say this as an AP holder.

    As for CMs, it does seem like over the years there are fewer and fewer who go the extra mile but there are still plenty who do go above and beyond the bare minimum. There have been topics on here about CMs who did special things for people on this board. There are a few bad apples, I'm sure, but I've only had one negative experience, and that was with an off-duty CM (he was talking poorly about guests while being surrounded by guests in line). There have been plenty of others who went out of their way to help us, or who get into character at their rides.

    Grain of salt: I've only been going to Disneyland on a regular basis for about 6 years now. It was slow when I first got my AP, but the economy was in a major downturn, and I expected the crowds to return when everyone's personal finances improved. When I was a kid, I only cared about the rides, so I don't remember what the ambiance was like back then. And I never got to see the park in the 50s, 60s, 70s, or 80s, so I never saw it during its golden era.

  10. #10

    • The doctor is in
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    Re: I don't think I should be concerned... or should I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbaraann View Post
    Don't believe every thing that you read.
    This.

    Also bear in mind that not everyone has the same feedback or experiences. I could be at the park the same day as another person and we could have two completely different experiences.
    Please... put Guardians of the Galaxy in Tomorrowland.








  11. #11

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    Re: I don't think I should be concerned... or should I?

    You'll have a great time because you have the right attitude.

    I grew up at the park through the 60s and 70s, was a CM through the 80s and into the early 90s, and now I still go and visit the park regularly.

    I have my opinions on certain things, sure, but they are just that....opinions.

    As many have said here, for those of us who visit the park regularly, we'll see the changes, both subtle and major. We'll develop opinions about those changes.

    I really don't think your opinion of the park will be negative though.
    Last edited by CASurfer65; 03-03-2013 at 04:21 PM.

  12. #12

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    Re: I don't think I should be concerned... or should I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbaraann View Post
    Don't believe every thing that you read.

    By that, I mean that everyone here at MiceChat has a different spin on things, and is certainly entitled to their opinion.

    If you approach your vacation to Disneyland with an open mind, and open up your heart to the endless possibilities for magic, you will be just fine.
    ^This!!!!!

    Just remember, this is a fan(atic) site with people that are very passionate about the parks. It's simply the die hard fans see the parks differently, because as you stated they are exposed to the parks a lot more than the casual visitor. Take a good movie for example, you sit down, watch it and love it. Love it so much that you watch it again, then again, then again.....Then one day you start analyzing it and finding little things that don't add up. There's a car in the background that is a 1985 model, but the movie took place in 1983, etc.... If you go to a restaurant 100 times you are bound to have at least one server that didn't impress you.

    Have a fun trip!
    Stalking is when two people go for a long romantic walk together but only one of them knows about it.

  13. #13

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    Re: I don't think I should be concerned... or should I?

    Quote Originally Posted by SaabR View Post

    I wonder if folks who visit every few years (to several years in my case!) have a different perception than those with annual passes that can visit pretty much whenever they want? I can't pretend to know what the AP experience is like but can it lead to overload? Can people become jaded if they visit too much? Or has it really changed THAT much in the last 10 years?

    I don't think that it is overload as much as having more experience with the hours spent at the parks. If you spend a hundred hours or so per year, you are going to have those moments that are not filled with pixie dust. For us, those less than stellar times have usually involved inexplicably boneheaded decisions by Disney management. At times, things are handled so well (WOC special AP show) that it bewilders me that some events (certain unmentioned book signing) can be handled so poorly.

    Those with APs tend to go more often to get value for their pass. That is the purpose of it in the first place. You tend to notice every small change. Some changes are for the better, some are not. Disney has made a concerted effort to improve their menus & have done well for the most part. The revamped Carnation Cafe & the Jolly Holiday Bakery are proof of that. The Matterhorn sled refurb has been a disaster for many visitors including Morticia & myself.

    Compared to ten years ago, Disney has offered a mixed bag of changes. California Adventure has improved but that's not saying much since just about anything would be an improvement. I get the feeling that the maintenance schedule has been ramped up compared to a decade ago. They are willing to make changes to fix certain things like Little Mermaid & Mater's very shortly after initial installation. The problem here is that these errors probably shouldn't have seen the light of day in the first place.

    Disney has the reputation for doing things very well for which they expect to be paid top dollar plus. When they don't deliver, the guests can get a bit testy. When you have 60,000 guests at any one time, you have a very tall order. Since the parks are now open for 16 hours a day, quality staffing can pose a problem.

    One can still have a wonderful time at the resort. Expect it to be crowded. Expect it to be expensive. If you go with those expectations then you may be surprised when you get a lighter than normal crowd. Getting there at rope drop & hitting the "E" tickets first is always a smart idea. Judicious use of the fast pass is best. Don't eat lunch at Noon. Take a break in the mid afternoon when it gets very crowded. The lobby at the Grand Californian is a nice little haven.

    The APs on this site tend to be avid fans. I can be very critical of TDA, but it is only because Disneyland is a very special place to me. There are times when TDA just doesn't seem to care as much as the guests. I get the business part of the argument very well, but there is also a responsibility to maintain a cherished part of the American heritage that has been entrusted to TDA. That part of the job seems to elude them at times.
    Skiddley Whiffers is a cruel mistress; cold and unforgiving.

  14. #14

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    Re: I don't think I should be concerned... or should I?

    Best way to enjoy your trip is to leave these forums as soon as possible, and have your own experience with the park
    There is no right or wrong in this debate. It is simply a matter of perspective.
    -Dr. Strange

  15. #15

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    Re: I don't think I should be concerned... or should I?

    As an APer, I can definitely tell it is more crowded in off season than it used to be, it seems to reach capacity more, and cars land and expansion has definitely been what I see as the cause of this. However, I still don't find it horribly bad.

    I recommend that you go early and hit the big rides like space, indiana jones, Radiator Springs (Get a fast pass right when california adventure opens.)

    I also noticed the later on in the day the more crowded. Its not terrible though.

    I have learned a lot about disneyland in my 10 years as an APer, and know almost every trick and tip to ensure that even in one day you could fit everything in if you really wanted to, so if you have any questions let me know!(:

    I know in the summer and spring break it is super crowded, Jan. - March, Sept. - Oct. seem like the times I would go if I weren't from around here.

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