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  1. #1

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    A Dedicated WDWer's First Time in Disneyland

    Hello all! I'm sure that it's bad form to make one's first post a plea for help, but my situation is an urgent and one I'm sure you'll all have quite a few opinions about.

    My fiancee and I have been making a yearly trip down to Walt Disney World for as long as we've been a couple and we each went with our families when we were children. We love the parks to death to an insane degree, but neither of us had ever been to Disneyland. My fiancee's a travelling ultrasound technician, and her latest job took her out to Sacramento, California. As soon as we found out where she was going, we swore that we would make a trip out to Disneyland as soon as she got some time off work. Last week we found out she has a three day weekend over Easter, and we immediately bought tickets and booked a stay from Saturday to Monday at the Disneyland Hotel. We're extremely excited about the trip, but we'd like you guys and gals to dispel some of the things we've heard about Disneyland and give us some sage advice so we can make the most of it...

    1) Although I've never been down to Disneyland, my parents have. When I asked them about it, they echoed the same sentiment that I've heard time and time again from others we've met during out travels to WDW: "It's too small!". Everyone says the nostalgia of being at "the original" wears off quickly and you're left wanting. On the other side of things, I read the Comparing Disneyland and WDW's Magic Kingdom thread, and, if I didn't know better, I'd think that the Magic Kingdom was a vast, barren wasteland in comparison to the Xanadu that is Disneyland. So how does a long-time WDW-er adjust to Disneyland? What does the park offer that I just won't get at the Magic Kingdom? What's not to be missed?

    2) Is DCA as bad as it's made out to be? We've set aside a half-day for the park as many a Mice Age column has put me off the park. I even sought out a ride-thru video of Superstar Limo just to see if it was as horrendous as everyone said (it was). Should we give it more time or are we just fine?

    3) We've been spoiled by the incredible food down at WDW and we want to taste Disneyland's finest. I've gathered that the Blue Bayou is not to be missed, and we're intrigued by the Napa Rose. What restaurants should we not pass up?

    Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

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    ive never been to wdw but im guessing if u just forgot all about wdw while u were in DL you could enjoy it. ive been a bagillion times and yes its semi tiny but it never gets boring. as long as you have the 'im in disneyland' state of mind youll be ok. DCA can be done in a few hours. i dont hate it but i go there first everytime i visit because it makes u more excited for disneyland itself. and where did u get the superstar limo vid? i never even knew it existed until i read about it being closed.

  3. #3

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    Although DL is the best and most awesome place in the world, it will suck so badly if you go during Easter. It will be so jammed pack. If you can you truly want to enjoy DL when the least people are there. But really no matter what you'll love it as much if not more than WDW.

  4. #4

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    I am a DL regular but I have been to WDW a couple of times. I always say that DL and WDW shouldn't be compared. You can love them both for different reasons. WDW is a vast resort, with lot's of different things, you need at least a week to see it all. DL is a magical, nolstalgic place. There is lot's to see and do, but you can do it all in a few days. I personally think that Disneyland Park is much prettier than The Magic Kingdom - especially Fantasyland. The biggest thing I hear from 1st timers that are used to WDW is how small DL's castle is - so be prepared for that. Remember in 1955 nothing like it had been built before!

    As for DCA, I am in the minority here at Micechat. I really like it. It is a beautiful park and there are plenty of "not to be missed" attractions (Soarin', Screamin', The Animation Building) .

    My favorite place for lunch is Wine Country Trattoria in DCA. It has great Italian meals, a casual atmosphere and I love sitting outside on the patio on a beautiful Southern California day.

    Have a great time, you will love visiting the Park That Walt Built!

  5. #5

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    sure DL is small.. but that doesn't mean it is small...

    They have less space for good rides... (minus pooh..) their Fantasyland is not to be missed... TRide all those rides.... compait and see who got the better end...

    skip like half of TL.. you been on it.. Though ride Buzz....

    The park is original.. and thought some are clones.. it is still great.. why else a FLA native like myself go through the trouble of getting a room at the resort for 4 days.... (and one extra night..) around the anniversary...

  6. #6

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    Disneyland is better for the following reasons:

    - Indiana Jones Adventure
    - Matterhorn Mountain
    - Mr.Toad's Wild Road
    - Vasty superior Fantasyland
    - WDWs Its a Small World PALES in comparission to Disneylands
    - Star Tours is in Tommorrowland where it belongs
    - Its the park Walt Disney built and designed
    - Floridas Pirates of the Caribean is a joke compared to disneylands
    - Slightly superior Buzz Lightyear
    - Upgraded Haunted Mansion

    I'll think of more later.

  7. #7

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    Thanks everyone for the advice so far! We've extended our trip by a day just to make up for the Easter crowds.

  8. #8

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    [QUOTE=Ghostbuster626]Disneyland is better for the following reasons:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostbuster626
    - Indiana Jones Adventure
    Hell yes....(better the dinosour anyday..)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostbuster626
    - Matterhorn Mountain
    Hell Yes... (I love it..)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostbuster626
    - Mr.Toad's Wild Road
    You have it still.. and 2 twacks..

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostbuster626
    - Vasty superior Fantasyland
    Thanks to the rehab in the 80s and a big budget...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostbuster626
    - WDWs Its a Small World PALES in comparission to Disneylands
    Only slightly now.... we have an indoor version of the clock...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostbuster626
    - Star Tours is in Tommorrowland where it belongs
    Wrong.. It works at MGM as well.. a movie set was themed around it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostbuster626
    - Its the park Walt Disney built and designed
    Too True... wins hands down...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostbuster626
    - Floridas Pirates of the Caribean is a joke compared to disneylands
    I perfer Clif notes missing a chapter....

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostbuster626
    - Slightly superior Buzz Lightyear
    Slightly yes...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostbuster626
    - Upgraded Haunted Mansion
    Not for long... rumors say upgrades for WDWs comming soon...

  9. #9

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    You said you only set aside a hlaf of a day for DCA.

    As much as us APs dislike DCA, I'd reccomend going for a full day. I've taken many of my friends to DCA for their first time and as much as they love Disneyland, they always enjoy spending more time there on a first visit. I've noticed, however, that interest quickly falters and drops steeply a second, third and fourth visit.

    A friend that spent their first time at DCA with me went with me to DLR earlier this month and we went to DCA for two rides and then left. Yet, on her first visit we stayed there at least 70% of our two-day visit to the DLR.

    I'd highly reccomend considering a full day for DCA... just leave your options open and if it does only take you a half-day then head back over to Disneyland, but be sure not to make reservations or whatnot and not be able to spend as much time as you'd like at DCA because of that...

    Photos, news, and commentary every week from Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom!

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  10. #10

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    Don't forget to catch our Fantasmic! It's far more superior in my honest opinion.
    I lurk.

  11. #11

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    Disneyland & DCA

    Ahoy all,

    Wow, to be a first time DLR-er! I have grown up around Disneyland and I go at least twice a month now. Pirates and Haunted Mansion are the best! I hear there's no Matterhorn at WDW and as everbody else said do not miss it! Indiana Jones is my favorite "New" ride. Absolutely get fastpasses! Big Thunder Mounatin is always fun! I like on the train The Grand Canyon & PRIMEVAL(sp?) WORLD! Remember is was built for the 64 NY World's Fair!

    Favorite eateries: Try Storytellers in the Grand Califonrian Hotel if you can. I think the food there is great! I used to love Rancho de Zocalo in Frontierland at DL until they changed their steak tacos :-( Blue Bayou is really good too. The Carnation Cafe is good too.

    Don't listen to all these micechat people about DCA. It is not nearly as horrible as they say! Don't miss Soarin' and California Screamin'. Check out A Bug's Land for all the very cool design details(even the bathroom!) and plants. The animation building is good for first-timers. I really like Mulholland Madness and scream my head off everytime! It might look like a kiddy ride. But I love it! My 71 year old Dad and I always ride the Orange Stinger too :-)

    Have a great time!

    Aprille :-)

  12. #12

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    I loved the FL version of Space mountain, but in comparison to Disneyland, it just doesnt hold the mustard. Even though MK is a little bigger, there is alot more places for you to explore and walk around at DL

  13. #13

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    I would HIGHLY recommend Napa Rose one night for dinner. It WILL be expensive (my bill, alone, was $80, with soup, appetizer, entre, dessert, and wine) but I can say it was the most unique meal I have ever had.

    DCA is good for half to 3/4 of a day. Do not miss the Aladdin show, for one. Screamin' Soaring, and GRR are a blast there as well. If you are having a "kiddy" feeling I would suggest seeing a show in the Disneyland Playhouse (I do mean a "kiddy" feeling, though. It IS a show for children.). I wish they still had the stunt shows in the Hollywood Backlot...

    Disneyland...have fun! If you want to go to the Blue Bayou I would call 714-781-3463 ASAP and make your "Priority Seating Arrangements". I made mine earlier today and it sounds like they were near booked for Easter (Yes, I am going on Easter...and going alone...again. <sighs> I hate that.).

    You may also want to call and schedule "Walking in Walt's Footsteps" tour and see if you can get balcony seating for Fantasmic (I did this over New Years. $50/seat, you get dessert and drinks, and, if you set tickets for the 9 pm showing you can watch the fireworks from there as well.)

    Hmm...The Snow White show is kind of cute. Just go and not make comparisons. You will have a lot of fun!
    <cries> I want someone to go with!

  14. #14

    • Minion FOREVER!
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    Enchanted Tiki Room IMHO is better as well.... And after the rehab, MUCH better.

    Couple of other unique stuff...

    * Still have Alice in Wonderland (which is one of my favorites)
    * Roger Rabbit
    * Nicer Toontown esp after the rehab

    Have fun in DL!

  15. #15

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    When you walk down main street, you will know Walt walked that street.
    Think about the awe of the entire world when Disneyland opened, look at the window over the fire station, and imagine the greatest imagineer of all looking out at his dreams made real. Soak up some history before you visit, to put you in the mood.
    I like to think of Disneyland as the more intimate of the parks, you can really get to know it. Try not to dwell on crowd problems, you will encounter it at times.
    When you put into its historical perspective, I don't see how you couldn't love it.

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