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  1. #1

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    Disneylander in WDW!

    I am working on a more comprehensive TR, but thought I would write something up on how I reacted to and felt about WDW after being a DLR AP holder for the past few years. Keep in mind, I was a WDW nut before Disneyland. I was from the midwest and my trips were to WDW. 9 years ago I moved to San Diego and DL became my new "home base." I hadn't been to WDW in over 10 years. My trip was from 4/30-5/07.

    When I first moved here, there were things I missed about WDW....mostly Epcot. So that was my first stop.

    --I couldn't tell much of a difference in my memory on Spaceship Earth. I'd read about a rehab, but other than Judi Dench doing the narration and the computer future stuff on the descent, the ride seemed exactly the same to me. I always loved it. I still love it.

    --Illuminations did not really blow me away or impress me too much at all. I'd remembered thinking it was just the cat's meow.....but was searching for reasons why I thought that this time around.

    --WS is amazing and I love it!

    --American Adventure-- I love AAs and I love this show. The Mark Twain and Ben Franklin on this ride are freakin great. AA's fascinate me....my heart is always half full of delight and half full of terror when I am around them. It's the perfect combination.

    --Journey Into Imagination-----holy cow, what happened??? It made my stomach turn. Why would they do this? Huge empty portions. Lack of any magic or theme or wow, imagination, in a ride that is supposed to be about just that. They took what was probably Disney's most perfect ride and completely destroyed it.

    --Mission: Space-- OK, this was still Horizons last time I was here. I was disappointed b/c that ride was gone. I loved it a lot. I mostly love rides with high AA ratio, they fascinate me. So I was wanting to hate this ride. But it turned out to be the one ride that truly blew me away. From reading reports I was expecting to feel like I was hanging out on the gravitron at the fair when I was 10. No way. I got off this thing feeling like I'd totally been in space and still feeling scared that my heart might explode. Talk about G forces!

    --Ellen's Energy Adventure-- This thing was broken down everytime I tried to go on it. Until the final day of my trip, FINALLY we got to ride it. Exactly the same. The Ellen AA is way more scary than any dinosaur. What the hell is up with this thing?? The ripped the face off of some old AA that got an upgrade and put a crappy wig that looks like straw on it and called it Ellen. I don't expect this ride to be here much longer, but if it is, they need to do something about that Ellen. It's truly startling.

    --The Seas with Nemo and Friends-- Exactly like the one at DLR, except you are in a clamshell rather than underwater in the old subs looking at it through a porthole. For comfort alone, I prefer the Epcot. However, I miss the old sea base alpha and being able to ride through the tanks and have fishes all around me. That was a really enchanting experience. It's dumb that they took that away for this.

    --Test Track-- Eh, it's alright. It was the new hot thing last time I was there, and still seems to be the hot thing. Always had the longest waits in the park. I hate that just when you are loving the wind in your face and your adrenaline is rushing, the damn thing slows down. Do you even get a full lap??

    --Soarin'-- I didn't even bother. I've ridden this countless times at DCA so I could save that stress and time for something else. This definitely is right up there with Test Track in popularity. Looong waits. Good for Soarin, it's a great ride.

    --Living with The Land-- I don't remember ANY of the stuff leading up to the greenhouses. Weird. This is a really cool little ride. Never had a wait. People should check it out. Very interesting. Something happened to the Mickey pumpkin, you could see they were starting a new one though. A baby pumpkin was in a plastic case shaped like mickey head. You could see little bits on the sides starting to grow out into the ear bubbles. Pretty cool. I'd always thought that thing was fake.

    Moving on to Magic Kingdom.

    When we got there it was before opening and something I loved that they did was they held us all out in front of the train station and had a big opening ceremony. Very very exciting and cool. It brought tears to my eyes. Mayor comes out with dancers and welcomes you, tells you Mickey is coming on the train any minute to open the park...then sure enough here comes the train! Mickey and the usuals, but also Snow White and Mary Poppins and the family of the day. It was very cool. They don't do this at Disneyland. If they do, I have never seen it. They just let you wonder Main Street before open and rope off the hub, then at park open some audio about welcoming you, the audio clip of Walt reminding us it was all started with a mouse and then you are in.

    So, I am glad that it started off on that positive and emotional note b/c the rest of MK really mostly let me down and really helped me appreciate DL so much more.

    --I know there are complaints that MK is stuck in time, but those were actually the things I appreciated. It was absolutely excellent to see CoP and Country Bears again. I'd forgotten just how entertaining and fun Country Bears are. How in the HELL Disneyland ripped this out to put in the inferior Pooh ride, just blows me away. So it felt like a blessing to see the Bears again. I ended up going to see them 5 times during the trip.

    --Pirates-- Oops! Forgot half the ride! Won't say what's already been said, except, you'd think when they are installing a newer version of an existing ride it would be better, souped up...not dumbed down. But almost always, the newer version of things in other parks are always cheaper and cut things out. Which is sad.

    --Tiki Room-- Why? Just do something completely new if you want, but why crap out on a classic and literally crap ON a classic? Ridiculous. It's a shame though, b/c that Uh'oa AA is wonderufl.

    --Alladin's Carpets-- I actually rode this b/c I went for EMH and there was no line. I wouldn't have otherwise. It was a fun little jaunt, but unnecessary. It just crowds Adventureland and seems tacky.

    --Splash-- It's better than the one at Disneyland. Extra drop with the little bunny hills at the end. More comfy ride vehicles. Nicer AAs. MK, I give you this one.

    --BTMRR-- While I think the theme of the ride at DL is more rich, I actually liked some of the ride elements on this one. The little side to side switchbacky things when you go by the pigs is great and the nearly full circle you whip around, excellent!

    -----I'd like to add, it's odd to have Splash and BTMRR right next to each other. It was great that during the first hour of the park we went again and again on them both without wasting time, but still. So much goodness shouldn't be sitting right next to each other. It made this whole area a hellacious mass of humanity frying in the sun during the afternoons. Yer trapped back in there with all those people, about to have heat stroke and it's one way in and one way out. Sucks.

    --HM-- This one is tough. I liked the staircase room, very very cool. It was odd to ride through the parts you walk through at DL. I'd forgotten you even do that it had been so long. The feel at MK is somehow a little more spooky and a little less whimsical. I also like the outside at DL better, how you can walk right up to the house and into it. You don't really get that sense at MK by walking up the side under awnings and into the doors. The Leota tombstone however, made me giddy. We need that at DL.

    --Liberty Square-- Is the total suck compared to New Orleans Square. Adding to this trauma was the fact that Hall of Presidents wasn't even open b/c I guess they are putting in Obama. Even though, could they not have done more with this area? It's just so.....nothing.

    --Tom Sawyer Island-- It was a delight. I have not even been on the Island at Disneyland since they put a Pirates theme on it, b/c it just made me feel as though it would be disappointing. I should try it, b/c being on TSI at MK felt magical and I felt like a kid again. It's a little gem.

    --Fantasyland-- I'm gonna be general on this one.....the land needs help. How is MK so much bigger and Fantasyland contains half the fun and magic of DL? It just looks trashy! That said it looks like they are trying to fix it up. Walls were put up in front of IASW our last day and the entire time we were there walls were up around Pinocchio Village Haus. Let's hope they are doing something about the mess! And if yer gonna rip out the subs, seriously all you are doing with all that space is this Pooh meet and greet? For Pete's sake! I will give it this, their Snow White and Pooh rides are great. The Snow White is so much more complete than at DL. Pooh at DL is just bad news so the MK version is better and it better had be to have ripped out Toady. Which was such a joyous little ride with two different tracks!

    --Tomorrowland-- I will try to get more general about this too since Space is in refurb and b/c of that TTA is down too. Which broke my heart as it was the #2 thing behind Epcot that I was looking forward too. Wierd how the simple things at the parks are sometimes the very things that bring us the most enjoyment. Thrill me and chill me all you want.....but give me a place to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds and you've given me the true joy in my experience. This is the part of the report where I realize I've gotten old.

    --The Stitch Encounter--, is probably fun for kids. But last time I was here it was ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter and that thing was GREAT! It was probably not fun for kids. I wish they could have found a happy medium though b/c I really don't think there was one adult in there that thought it was just precious to be burped on by Stitch. Speaking of Stitch...why did they make him like this? It seemed out of character to me somewhat.

    --Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor-- was really fun!!! If they must just reuse things, I wouldn't mind them taking away HISTA and putting this in. It was just amazing to see how magical this was to some people, and so simple. But when you involve the audience in a real way, it makes things more special. I will admit, I was singled out on camera and it made it memorable and magical to me.

    --Buzz Lightyear-- Here is an example of the newer copy at DL being better than the original, which doesn't normally happen. It's the same thing, and still fun. But man did they make the right move by realizing it would be better to be able to hold your gun and point where you want, rather than fighting with your carmate over which way to spin. It seemed to make it harder to play, but that said, my score here was higher than I have ever gotten at DL. I must have accidentally hit one of the secret targets a few times or something. I don't know where they are on this version, but it's the only explanation I have for my score being 500,000+ when I'd just given up on the game altogether and was just aimlessly shooting around.

    --MKRR-- They only have 3 stops and of course no Grand Canyon or Primeval World. The only nice thing was that you not only see the Indian Village on this one, but it's on both side of you. Nice touch. Otherwise, this one is inferior. They don't even have the conductor voice track that yells, "Boooooooaaard" and announces you are making a grand circle trip! I need that booming voice. Not the actual conductor on a PA mumbling a bunch of crap I can't understand.

    I realize this is getting long....so I will leave Animal Kingdom and The Studios for another sitting. Feel free to discuss, argue with me, agree with me or just plain let me know what you think!

  2. #2

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    Re: Disneylander in WDW!

    Great report, Mel! I agree with you mostly on things that let you down and also things that stuck out. I too very much agree that having Big Thunder right next to Splash is too much of a good thing put together. Especially for a park as large as MK, they can easily spread things around if they tried to.

    I'm in the Illuminations is really meh camp too.


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  3. #3

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    Re: Disneylander in WDW!

    I agree pretty much with everything you said, except that I love IllumiNations. I liked it more than Fantasmic (WDW version has way too long water screen sequences), and Wishes (cute, but didn't pull my heartstrings like I thought it would!).
    I don't know, maybe I just like that it's the story of Earth...

    I'm glad you liked seeing CoP again, and I'm sorry that the Hall of Presidents was closed- that's one of our favorites!
    I also love how well done the American Adventure show is.

    Great TR can't wait to read your Animal Kingdom reviews.

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  4. #4

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    Re: Disneylander in WDW!

    Yep, I don't get Illuminations. Maybe I thought it was great back then b/c I'd never seen F! at DL There's only so long a spinning globe with graphics I can't discern on it will entertain me.

    Also, my overall questions or feelings about MK was just, WHY? Why is it so huge, yet so much less than DL? It just lacked the intimacy and charm....too much open space. Though it was a trip having that lagoon on the right at the end of Main Street. I'd completely forgotten about that one too. Very pretty. I just couldn't get over how huge it was but had so much less. I'd never really thought about it before. I definitely can't wait to get back to DL now and just appreciate it even more, which I didn't think I could do.

    We were walking into Adventureland and b/c of the hub being so huge and the walkways to lands so much longer, we hadn't even made it out of the hub yet really and I remarked that at Disneyland we'd already be standing in front of the Dole Whip stand! And we would have.

    I forgot to mention how much I enjoyed Sonny Eclipse at Cosmic Ray's though. He's definitely something special in the MK.
    Last edited by Mel-; 05-10-2009 at 03:52 PM.

  5. #5

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    Re: Disneylander in WDW!

    Thanks! You totally reminded me that I forgot to talk about Wishes and Spectromagic!

    --Wishes-- So....underwhelming. Believe at DL was just so over the top fantastic though. I can't blame Wishes.

    --Spectro-- I love this much more than MSEP and I'd rather they brought this to DCA than MSEP. I just think it's a real delight and never gets boring, as MSEP tends to imho.

    Also, I did not waste time to see F! at the Studios. I saw it when it was brand new 10 years ago and it was horribly boring and I felt like I'd wasted quality time I could have spent on something more special. It's another case of head scratches. I mean, they created a lagoon just for it! It should be WAY BETTER than the one at DL and it's not only inferior, it just sucks period. Total snoozefest.

    Quote Originally Posted by HalloweentownAlice View Post
    I agree pretty much with everything you said, except that I love IllumiNations. I liked it more than Fantasmic (WDW version has way too long water screen sequences), and Wishes (cute, but didn't pull my heartstrings like I thought it would!).
    I don't know, maybe I just like that it's the story of Earth...

    I'm glad you liked seeing CoP again, and I'm sorry that the Hall of Presidents was closed- that's one of our favorites!
    I also love how well done the American Adventure show is.

    Great TR can't wait to read your Animal Kingdom reviews.

  6. #6

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    Re: Disneylander in WDW!

    I only liked Wishes after I saw it from the top of the Contemporary, I felt like it was *almost* there, but not quite good enough.

    I like Spectro's energy, but I can't really compare MSEP with it, because I love MSEP too. I don't blame you for not seeing F!, I mean, I like it and all, but it's really excessive with water screen sequences.

    If they put the money to build an entire auditorium for it, you'd think they'd spend money for an updated, plussed F!, but nope!

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    Re: Disneylander in WDW!

    Quote Originally Posted by HalloweentownAlice View Post
    I don't blame you for not seeing F!, I mean, I like it and all, but it's really excessive with water screen sequences.

    If they put the money to build an entire auditorium for it, you'd think they'd spend money for an updated, plussed F!, but nope!
    For real. I just can't get over it. Or maybe I can, however, I just will never GET it. I think the huge diff is that at DL we have the Mark Twain and the Columbia already there. So you get the kickin Peter Pan segment along with the huge Columbia covered in characters at the end......that little thing they pull through at the end in Florida is giggle-worthy. And I can't get why you would choose Poca-freakin-hontas for a segment! That movie is a dang bore! I'm guessing when they were creating this thing, that was the new movie. Time to let her go though!

  8. #8

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    Re: Disneylander in WDW!

    Oh, if anyone is interested in pics I have uploaded some to my Flickr account. Photography is my hobby and I have taken over 700 during the trip. I'm wading through and putting my best on Flickr. I have about 35 up now, more to come. Here is the album: Walt Disney World - a set on Flickr

  9. #9

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    Re: Disneylander in WDW!

    F! in WDW is alright if you've never seen anything like it. But they did try a little too hard to cram as many characters as they could into it. And when we're not watching a bubble sequence, the live action doesn't satisfy either. The order is also way off, pushing Jafar the Snake too close to the climax of Maleficent.

    There's also way too many villians. at Disneyland, they include only the ones that have some sort of power or magic. What is Frollo doing in Fantasmic? Or Scar? The death of all those villains at WDW is also unbearably long.

    So, there's plenty of reasons you don't like the F! there. And when you're sitting in an auditorium and the action is really far away, there's something lost there too. It's no longer magic. It's a show.


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  10. #10

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    Re: Disneylander in WDW!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel- View Post
    --Monsters, Inc Laugh Floor-- was really fun!!! If they must just reuse things, I wouldn't mind them taking away HISTA and putting this in. It was just amazing to see how magical this was to some people, and so simple. But when you involve the audience in a real way, it makes things more special. I will admit, I was singled out on camera and it made it memorable and magical to me.
    Interesting... So someone from Disneyland actually loves/loved MILF. Very interesting...

    I can't wait to bring my new group of people I'll be traveling to the parks with this October to this attraction. I've been singled out before and it really is pretty good.

    I remember actually being singled out twice in one night. I guess whoever was operating the machine to single out people recognized me.

    Me thinks someone there that night had a little wuvable crush on me.

    And why aren't we allowed to use your photos as wallpaper for our PC's, meaning the larger sizes of your Flickr photos.
    Last edited by Micoofy Duck; 05-10-2009 at 11:06 PM.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Disneylander in WDW!

    Really great report. I was just there over Spring Break and did a report that is on this page. I so agree with you on a lot of what you've said. I have a video of Sonny Eclipse that I've yet to put up on YouTube and post with my report, but I will.

    Absolutely love your photos. You have a great camera and a real gift.

    OK, now I just realized and looked at my photos of the Leota headstone and didn't know that her eyes opened. Shoot. I wished I'd seen that but we were rushed by her. Yes, we need her out here! And so very much agree with you about that ride with Figment.
    Last edited by Wendygirl; 05-10-2009 at 08:52 PM. Reason: added material

  12. #12

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    Re: Disneylander in WDW!

    Quote Originally Posted by Micoofy Duck View Post
    And why aren't we allowed to use your photos as wallpaper for our PC's, meaning the larger sizes of your Flickr photos.
    If you have a Flickr account, add me and then you can download my pics in any size. Or send me a PM here and let me know which one you want and I can email it to you. I'm glad you like them!

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    Re: Disneylander in WDW!

    Oh you missed it! She opens them and looks side to side and then right at you! It's very creepy/cool. She seems to do it every 30 seconds or so.


    Quote Originally Posted by Wendygirl View Post
    Really great report. I was just there over Spring Break and did a report that is on this page. I so agree with you on a lot of what you've said. I have a video of Sonny Eclipse that I've yet to put up on YouTube and post with my report, but I will.

    Absolutely love your photos. You have a great camera and a real gift.

    OK, now I just realized and looked at my photos of the Leota headstone and didn't know that her eyes opened. Shoot. I wished I'd seen that but we were rushed by her. Yes, we need her out here! And so very much agree with you about that ride with Figment.

  14. #14

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    Re: Disneylander in WDW!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel- View Post
    --The Stitch Encounter--, is probably fun for kids. But last time I was here it was ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter and that thing was GREAT! It was probably not fun for kids. I wish they could have found a happy medium though b/c I really don't think there was one adult in there that thought it was just precious to be burped on by Stitch. Speaking of Stitch...why did they make him like this? It seemed out of character to me somewhat.
    I could not agree with you more!!!

    The Stitch encounter is just an abysmal ride/show. Why they removed the old and more superior Alien Encounter still boggles my mind. I understand that they wanted it to be better for kids, but come on, they have Fantasyland for that. Give us Adults something to enjoy. I went on the Stitch thing once, and I have never been on it since. I actually tell people when I see them getting in line for it to not bother as it is a complete waste of time. Just doing my part to keep people from wasting precious minutes on a ride that should not even be in operation.

  15. #15

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    Re: Disneylander in WDW!

    A very interesting report, Mel-. I agreed with most of it, except about IllumiNations - I still really love it. But to be fair, there used to be far more fireworks in the show than they use now. And even I have to admit that the segment with video on the globe while it's moving to the center of the lagoon gets a bit long.

    And I've always thought Florida's Fantasmic! was timed very poorly. Way too much emphasis on the filmed segments, way too many quick cuts back & forth between film and live, and the "grand finale" of the Steamboat Willy boat, when compared to the mighty Mark Twain, was simply laughable right from my first viewing. F! in DL is pure perfection, but I rarely bother with the East Coast version any more, especially since they went to only 2 nights a week!

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