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  1. #16

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by HydroGuy View Post

    Overall Conclusion

    I was surprised at how well DCA compared to the WDW parks. If I had to rank the six Disney parks at DLR and WDW, they would come out as follows:

    1. DL - hands down
    2. MK
    3. MGM
    4. DCA
    5. Epcot
    6. AK

    DCA has problems that Disney needs to solve. But even with its checkered history, budget cuts and the much maligned Paradise Pier and Bugs Land rides - which seem to bother DL vets so much - DCA does not fall short of Disney parks when measured against the ones in Florida.

    All agreements and disagreements are welcome, but please keep the emotional mud slinging down and give thoughtful and well reasoned responses.
    I am in the same situation as you. I have visited DL many times in my life and visited WDW for 8 days in June 2006.

    I do agree with you for the most part. I think in time DCA will be a good to great park. The theme is kinda bad but it is definately workable. The thing that upsets me the most is the lagoon. If they hadnt been so cheap they would have made the lagoon bigger and ready for a water show. This and other areas of short-sightedness do really hurt DCA in the long run. If the right amount of money had been spent in the first place the park ould have been in much better shape and even have more potiential than it does now. Personally I hate the theming of the Route 66 area of DCA the most, but everything else is ok. (PP could use some changes though, the Victorian theme sounds nice.)

    I disagree with you about your assesment of Epcot. The World Showcase is a great place for people that dont like rides to walk around and check out the pavilions. It also has some of the best Disney Dining in the world. It is a diefferent type of park and in a down period (give it a couple years and it will be kicking again). I think the tacky rides are on the way out (JIYI is a horrible ride, they need to redo it, you got that right!) and then you will see Epcot live up to its full potiential. I can see how you like DCA better than Epcot, but I don't agree with it personally. Give Epcot 2-3 years and it will blow DCA out of the water just because there is so much potential and alot of the pavilions in FW are either old or unused. Id take: EPCOT

    I really do disagree with you about MGM. I feel it is even more of a mish-mashed park than DCA and I believe it doesn't even come close to measuring up to DCA's quality, even though MGM has the better TOT. Besides RRC and Tower there isn't much to do. Indy is good, LMA disappointed me as did Fantasmic! (although at least it is a night show...see lagoon comment above.) GMR was good but needs an update. I think that would help a lot. This park needs new attractions and "placemaking" to make a more immersive envionment. Sunset (RRC, F!, and TOT) and hollywood Blvds are good, but the rest of the park needs LOTS of help. I actually think this is the worst Disney park in America and may be for a good portion of the future. (DCA, imho has more potiential.)
    I'd take: DCA

    I think AK is a better park than lots of people think. The theming in this park is excellent, and in my opinion the only park that comes close to the quality of the Disneylands and TDS. While there are not as many rides, Safaris is excellent, Everest is ok, Dinosaur is pretty good, and Kali Rapids does it job. It is a small park, but in the setting of Walt Disney World I think they did the right thing. They got the theming right and let the park grow around the theme. At MGM and DCA (less so than MGM) everything is a hodgepodge and while the theming is decent it isnt EXCELLENT like I feel AK's theming is. I feel AK will eventually blow past DCA in quality. The theming is there it just needs the attractions. I'd take: even, DCA for the attractions and AK for the theming and uniqueness.

    My Rankings:
    1. DL
    2. MK
    3. Epcot
    4. DCA
    4. AK
    6. MGM

  2. #17

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Disneylandrocks55 View Post
    What's interesting is that DCA beats Universal Studios California in attendance. DCA is obviously doing well enough to keep people away from it's competitors.

    Great thread, HydroGuy.
    This is no meant as a DCA bash...but I think that this statement is just a little misleading, because USH does not have another theme park, which many consider the best of all time, just a few steps away - drawing millions of people each year, who visit DCA as part of a park-hopper, 2-for-1 or AP deal. If the above quote means that it can be shown DCA outdraws USH all by itself, meaning tickets bought for DCA only, then I will stand corrected.

    --Barry
    God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

  3. #18

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Now, I've never been to DCA, but how can you say that it has more attractions than AK. comparing big attractions, DCA has only 2 big, well themed rides (ToT, grizzly), AK has near-flawless theming (except for DinoRama) and 4 well themed E-tickets (Everest, Kali RR, Dinosaur, Kilimanjaro Safaris) and Animals of course.

    I'd say, out of the america parks

    1. DL (looks fantastic)
    2. MK
    3. AK
    4. Epcot
    5. MGMS
    6. DCA

  4. #19

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    DCA I agree it does need help, but on the hand it really is a good park. If you compare the park to DL yes it is a failure. If you start comparing DCA to other park's in SO-CAL or anywhere else it will beat them every time. NO its not Cedar Point or a SIX FLAGS clone, but it is pretty cool place to go. I like the California theme maybe I am biased (like ESPN is with the East Coast) because I am from there.
    Jason

  5. #20

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Unfortunately, I have never been to any parks besides at the DLR. Maybe when the kids get a tad bit older we will have our dream WDW vacation. But on the DCA note, we love DCA. From the Animation building to the McDonald's, it's an awesome park. I mean, when we walk out towards CS it feels as though we are in San Francisco walking down Pier 39, or it feels like we are down the road in Santa Monica or up in the Wine Country. DCA does have a great atmosphere. Now, we go only for CS, Monster's Inc, Aladdin, Muppets and Flik's, or to buy pins, but we enjoy walking around and enjoying the scenery everytime we go. I hate Universal Studios and the only time I love Knott's is during the 1-2 times we go during Haunt or the "$10 Toy Gets You In Free" drive at Christmas (lol). Personally, I think the DCA haters should just stay at DL =P....but then again my opinion might just change in a year or two. =D



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  6. #21

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Here's a take from the "other" side. DCA has all the perks the other parks don't. Hopper passes, location (So. Cal) location (next door to DL).
    Biggest complaint is that Disney could have done much better and we expected it to be much better.

    Comparing it to DL when it DL first opened is just plain silly. 3 months and DL celebrated it's 1,000,000 guest. Check out the population back in 1955 compared to today.

    Watching Disney pour money into DCA at the expense of DL, didn't go over well either.

    In conclusion, we have come to trust in Disney to give us a great product. Many of us were let down, and the attendance figures minus the hoppers or two-fers reflect it.


    This has been a Filmways presentation dahling.

  7. #22

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by socaljoeyb View Post
    I disagree with you about your assesment of Epcot. The World Showcase is a great place for people that dont like rides to walk around and check out the pavilions. It also has some of the best Disney Dining in the world. It is a diefferent type of park and in a down period (give it a couple years and it will be kicking again). I think the tacky rides are on the way out (JIYI is a horrible ride, they need to redo it, you got that right!) and then you will see Epcot live up to its full potiential. I can see how you like DCA better than Epcot, but I don't agree with it personally. Give Epcot 2-3 years and it will blow DCA out of the water just because there is so much potential and alot of the pavilions in FW are either old or unused. Id take: EPCOT
    Thanks for your thoughtful input. I only spent one day at WS and it is clear one could spend many days there and still not really see everything. The only dining we experienced there was in Italy. Alfredo's is supposedly one of the better ethnic restaurants at WS but it did not overly impress us. The various entertainment offerings are great.

    But I still left wondering what was "Disney" about WS. And I still cannot think of anything that struck me as Disney except for Illuminations and the American Experience. That is one of the reasons I ranked Epcot so low.

    On the other hand, WDW vets seem to be much more into dining than DLR vets, which is partly because WDW has so much to offer by way of dining. To me, visiting Disney parks has very little to do with dining.

    In any case, your alternate point of view on Epcot is appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by socaljoeyb View Post
    I really do disagree with you about MGM. I feel it is even more of a mish-mashed park than DCA and I believe it doesn't even come close to measuring up to DCA's quality, even though MGM has the better TOT. Besides RRC and Tower there isn't much to do. Indy is good, LMA disappointed me as did Fantasmic! (although at least it is a night show...see lagoon comment above.) GMR was good but needs an update. I think that would help a lot. This park needs new attractions and "placemaking" to make a more immersive envionment. Sunset (RRC, F!, and TOT) and hollywood Blvds are good, but the rest of the park needs LOTS of help. I actually think this is the worst Disney park in America and may be for a good portion of the future. (DCA, imho has more potiential.)
    I'd take: DCA
    I can see how someone might think the way you do about MGM. I don't know quite what it was, but MGM made me want to go back there and Epcot and AK really didn't. My DS11 rated LMA as his favorite attraction of the whole trip, with RnR second. For my part, LMA was much better that I was expecting based on what I had read from others. And after coming across Mulch, Sweat and Shears on our first day (a street band), on the second MGM day I actually sought them out to hear them again - something I have never done with any music group at DL or DCA. I could not imagine going back to MGM without hearing them - they were just tons of fun.

    MGM is low on quality rides - though as you mentioned they do have some good ones - but their shows and entertainment worked for me.

    We had lunch at the SciFi Diner one day. Wow! DCA needs to build something like that! It was very popular with my family. If DLR had places like SciFi we would be more into the dining experience there.

    Quote Originally Posted by socaljoeyb View Post
    I think AK is a better park than lots of people think. The theming in this park is excellent, and in my opinion the only park that comes close to the quality of the Disneylands and TDS. While there are not as many rides, Safaris is excellent, Everest is ok, Dinosaur is pretty good, and Kali Rapids does it job. It is a small park, but in the setting of Walt Disney World I think they did the right thing. They got the theming right and let the park grow around the theme. At MGM and DCA (less so than MGM) everything is a hodgepodge and while the theming is decent it isnt EXCELLENT like I feel AK's theming is. I feel AK will eventually blow past DCA in quality. The theming is there it just needs the attractions. I'd take: even, DCA for the attractions and AK for the theming and uniqueness.
    As I said originally, we liked AK but so much of it is just a zoo. The Safari ride was pretty cool, but reminded me a lot of the Wild Animal Park in your backyard there in Escondido. And while being cool, it was not very Disney to me. Expedition Everest and Dinosaur were definitely Disney. Kali River Rapids was OK but not as good as GRR at DCA. We liked the Lion King show - which definitely felt Disney - and the Flights of Wonder bird show was the best bird show I had ever seen - but the Disney connection again was not obvious.

    The other thing about AK that was bothersome was the narrow walkways. What were the park designers thinking? Why force everyone into these narrow areas?

    In any case, my DS10 really liked AK and it was his favorite of all four WDW parks, with MGM being #2.
    Last edited by HydroGuy; 08-27-2006 at 02:13 PM. Reason: typo fix

  8. #23

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scorchio View Post
    Now, I've never been to DCA, but how can you say that it has more attractions than AK. comparing big attractions, DCA has only 2 big, well themed rides (ToT, grizzly), AK has near-flawless theming (except for DinoRama) and 4 well themed E-tickets (Everest, Kali RR, Dinosaur, Kilimanjaro Safaris) and Animals of course.

    I'd say, out of the america parks

    1. DL (looks fantastic)
    2. MK
    3. AK
    4. Epcot
    5. MGMS
    6. DCA
    As discussed in post #7, in total AK has 11 rides and DCA has 25. You have your opinion, but I would rate the following DCA attractions as very strong:

    - Soarin Over California (one of the best rides ever developed by Disney IMO)
    - GRR
    - California Screamin (although I agree with others that its theming is not that strong as compared to other Disney coasters)
    - ToT
    - Turtle Talk With Crush (Disney magic at its best)

    At AK you have

    - Expedition Everest (another Disney masterpiece)
    - Dinosaur (much better than I was expecting)
    - Kali River Rapids (too short and not as good as GRR)
    - Kilimanjaro Safari (a neat ride but the link to Disney is weak IMO)

    Disney of course has a history of animal themed entertainment (think Bambi, Lion King, Nemo) and I was surprised they took more of a zoo tack with AK rather than linking more strongly to their animal-themed history. I think this was in response to the Florida competition.

    One of the biggest reasons they built Expedition Everest at AK was to draw more people there who had decided AK had low visit and revisit value.

  9. #24

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    It's a good theme park on it's own. It's a bad park on Disney standards. It just doesn't have a lot of theming. The theme can be good in spots, it's just not as deep as it could be or the theme itself is too simple. It has some great attractions and some plain ones as well. DCA has a lot of potential, but it will take a lot of big steps to fix it. It's a better second gate than WDS, obviously and it's almost as good as MGM studios. With that said, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and DisneySea kick it's trash, especially DisneySea.

  10. #25

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    The only reason i go to DCA is to park hop the main attractions.

  11. #26

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    I don't hate DCA, but I also don't love it. Let me just say that my DL to DCA ratio is about 4:1. If I had to rank Disney theme parks, this is how my list would go:

    1. Disneyland - how can you beat the original?
    2. Epcot
    3. Magic Kingdom
    4. Animal Kingdom
    5. DCA
    6. Studios

  12. #27

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scorchio View Post
    Now, I've never been to DCA, but how can you say that it has more attractions than AK. comparing big attractions, DCA has only 2 big, well themed rides (ToT, grizzly)
    You've forgotten Soarin' and one of the finest riding roller coasters ever, California Screamin'
    IMO - YMMV - FYIGM


  13. #28

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by HydroGuy View Post
    We had lunch at the SciFi Diner one day. Wow! DCA needs to build something like that! It was very popular with my family. If DLR had places like SciFi we would be more into the dining experience there.
    I haven't been, but the concept art for the SciFi diner totally makes me want to eat there. It looks like loads of fun, as long as the food is even marginally acceptable. I too wish they would build one at DCA.

  14. #29

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    If I had to rank the all the Disney parks based on all factors (attractions, service, theming, etc), it would be like this:

    NOTE: I haven't been to Hong Kong Disneyland or Walt Disney Studios, so I can't pass judgement on those.

    1. Tokyo DisneySea
    2. Tokyo Disneyland
    3. Disneyland
    4. Disneyland Parc (Paris)
    5. Magic Kingdom
    6. Epcot
    7. Disney's California Adventure
    8. Disney's Animal Kingdom
    9. Disney-MGM Studios
    ~ Tokyo DisneySea’s Arabian Coast at nighttime ~


  15. #30

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by RenMan View Post
    It looks like loads of fun, as long as the food is even marginally acceptable.
    The mini-dining review of SciFi Diner from our family of six was that the burgers were really good and the chili was really bad. The other mini-criticism was that the film loop was too short, as we had to watch about 10 minutes of repeat film.

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