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  1. #61

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    Re: Walt Disney World - Seriously, what's your beef?

    grnflash, What an absolutely wonderful first post.

    I, for one, am shaking my head in agreement with your entire post.

  2. #62

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    Re: Walt Disney World - Seriously, what's your beef?

    grnflash, you had me until Pirates. I was with you on Fantasyland and a lot of your points were things that the Magic Kingdom used to have. It frustrates me to no end that entertainment has taken over the front of the castle. It is so incredibly stupid that everything that has been built south of the castle is designed to make you walk toward the castle, then when you get there you can't go in. It runs so counter to the design that it treats guests like they are charlie brown running down Main Street to kick the football only to pull it away at the last second. They do this with all their hubs, like the big ugly stage at Hollywood Studios and the fountain stage now showing nothing for about a decade at Epcot. For some reason the entertainment division in Florida is allowed to stomp over whatever they want. I guess dancing college students are cheaper than making new rides.

    Fantasyland is falling apart. The new areas look very nice but don't add very much to do, especially for the 3/4 of park guests who aren't kids. Florida too used to have a wicked queen peering through the window, though that one was on the ride, not overlooking the street. They don't have a Snow White ride anymore, so there's not much use in debating which worked better. The Small World facade will forever be a head scratcher. I know that it, like the tea cups, had to be under a roof because it rains a lot, but why the tournament tent facade? This was an E-ticket attraction and its exterior got the same treatment as all the other C-ticket dark rides in the land. Was it because a more fitting facade would ruin the transition to Liberty Square? Was there no room to put it on the other side of Pinocchios without hitting the 20,000 leagues lagoon? I just don't get it. The old parts of Fantasyland need an 83 makeover of their own. I hoped it was coming with new Fantasyland, but it looks like they just tried to justify the tournament tents better (or tear out the rides that use them) instead of updating the exteriors.

    Pirates though, say what you will about the ride itself, but the build up in Florida is much stronger than at Disneyland. In fact I think you have it backwards. Disneyland is just a building with the ride's name on the front. Magic Kingdom has the cave. Back in the old days you could hear pirates before you could see it. The cannon fire from the fort could be heard from almost as far away as the Tiki Room and by the time you got to Caribbean Plaza the battle for the fort was clearly in full swing. As you walked up the long dark tunnel into that fort you could hear the soldiers sounding the alarm in preparation for the pirate invasion. It still plays now, but you have to strain to hear it over the music they pipe in as well. As you go through the fort you see the cannons you heard outside. You see the skeletons of pirates left to rot in the jail. Just before you board your boat you even pass a cave where you can hear a couple buccaneers conversing as they bury their treasure. It doesn't get much more atmospheric than that. At Disneyland, you just go in the building, round the corner, and there's the loading dock at Lafitte's Landing.

    There's really only lack of spontaneity when it comes to dining. The dining plan and the way they handle reservations have completely ruined any spontaneity when it comes to table service unless you are a party of 2 or less and very lucky. I don't really see park hopping as a big deal. When I was down there in November there was only 1 day where we spent the entire day in a single park. The other days we hit 2-3 and it never bothered us. Of course, I see the monorails and boats as attractions in themselves, so It's not like I think I'm losing riding time while I'm on a ride. Dining though is a mess. Sure only guests staying onsite can make dining reservations in advance, but there are so many hotel rooms that it doesn't really help much. I shudder to think what will happen when attractions go the same way.

    Disneyland has more than just 1 bad land. Tomorrowland is a mess, Frontierland is tiny and only has 2 rides and a Tom Sawyer Island that has pirates for some reason, and Critter Country was only created to explain why New Orleans Square broke Frontierland into 2 unconnected pieces. Though now it seems Critter country is trying to be a woodsy Fantasyland with only 2 attractions. Toontown also has very few attractions. Sure Disneyland has a lot going on but it's all in Fantasyland.
    It bothers me when people selectively edit quotes to support whatever point they are trying to prove.

  3. #63

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    Re: Walt Disney World - Seriously, what's your beef?

    I'm glad Dapper Dan mentioned the Pirates comparison. The exterior in Florida exceeds Disneyland's in so many ways and the build up to the ride as you navigate the queue is magnificent.

    As for the castle I too agree with the fact that they should remove the stage out front. That being said however, I disagree with comments regarding its size and that it is too large. My view is that a castle is supposed to be majestic. You should look up and gaze at it in awe. Castles aren't meant to be as small as a cottage.

    As for spontaneity my wife and I visit several times per year and rarely do we go with a plan of attack so to speak. We find many things to do without reserving dining or using fast passes. Of course this is just our experience but sometimes to us the fun is just in walking around, taking in the sites and sounds, people watching, etc. without even riding a ride. I guess it's all subjective as to one's experience and how it can be skewed in one direction or the other.

  4. #64

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    Re: Walt Disney World - Seriously, what's your beef?

    Quote Originally Posted by grnflash View Post
    Hi. When planning our first WDW trip last summer, I became a little jealous actually that “my” park wasn’t the “best” park. We were there for a week, loved our hotel and had a wonderful vacation….and unexpectantly came away with an even greater love for DL. So while I don’t have any beef with WDW, bigger didn’t mean better and DLR is definitely better to me. The parks, the crown jewel and epicenter of every Disney resort, just didn’t measure up at WDW - all that big space was filled with less magic.

    The castle is the best example I can give why bigger doesn’t win me over as better. The MK castle is awesome to see and the murals are beautiful. But my gosh, there’s a big concrete stage and chains in front. The DL castle is not just a centerpiece to look at. You enter straight ahead, over a real drawbridge, you can relax in the bench alcoves over the water, and it’s almost always open. Everyone can go up into the castle, not just those paying for a princess meal. And the wishing well echoes back, with Snow White there singing to the dwarves, complete with waterfall and another little bridge. It’s all sweet and wonderful and magical. My point I guess is that while the DL castle is much smaller and visually less impressive, your personal experience with it is so much bigger.

    Dumbo’s another good example. The DL Dumbo is out in the open with wonderful sightlines, it feels magical as though you are soaring over Fantasyland. On the new double Dumbo at MK, the ride is contained by the queue building, with limited sightlines. It’s just a colorful spinner ride.

    DL’s Fantasyland as a whole is just amazing. Who doesn’t love seeing the witch peek out from the window. Float through the whale’s mouth. Ride in the animal cage. Ride count aside (and all WDW parks need more attractions), it’s these touches that make DL so special. Where are they at MK? And at DL, you feel the charm and magic of many attractions without even riding them. Small World with the awesome façade and outdoor canal. Tea Cups spinning under the lanterns at night. Obviously there’s the Matterhorn. The tunnel-like entrance to DL’s Pirates is alluring. At MK, the entrance is just a building with the ride name on the front. At DL, Haunted Mansion and Big Thunder exude atmosphere well beyond the boundaries of the rides. At MK, those rides are just as great but there’s little peripheral experience. They’re distant and not an intimate part of the atmosphere of the land.

    There’s also a lack of spontaneity at WDW, it’s like you need to reserve every experience and plan every moment, and do it 6 months in advance. I don’t want to micromanage my vacation. If you don’t have a solid plan for DLR, you will not see/do all you want – but you will do a lot of it. From running into characters to easy parkhopping to flexible ride plans to last minute meals to seeing better shows, there is still some spontaneity at DL –where you can find magic without reserving a slot to get some of it.

    And all the magical nuances aside, the other WDW parks are disappointing. DHS is a hot mess, Epcot is deteriorated, DAK is stunning…until you come upon Dinoland which may be the worst land at any Disney park. DLR has one bad land (Tomorrowland) and another that needs a big overhaul (Hollywood at DCA.) I for one hope nothing is spent to add a 3rd gate until Tomorrowland is fixed. I’ll take better over more.

    Sorry for the length, but the question asked for specifics and these are mine which can be encapsulated by saying the DLR parks, particularly DL itself, are more magical. FL has amazing details in the hotels and activities, perhaps at the expense of the parks. And I do think Walt building DL himself made a big difference. Nothing to be done about that. But how Disney spends their money now speaks volumes. In CA they spent a billion dollars fixing a park. In FL, they’re spending a billion implementing a new ride reservation and purchase payment system. I hope Disney follows through with an amazing Star Wars Land and builds it with magic 1st in mind, not size. And moves the actual parks to top priority in their FL project budget.



    Great post and I think it's important to note that it really is about ALL the little details that you don't realize until they're gone. If you go to WDW first, there's still so much to take in that it's overwhelming... you won't realize anything that's missing. It is exactly what it is and to many, that's great and fantastic.

    But if you've been to Disneyland and want an equally great experience at WDW, you'll be saddened that so much isn't there... and even if it isn't there, there's no other alternative or replacement for it. Fantasyland especially is the land with the most differences where Disneyland wins hands down on the attraction count and the look of the European village. At least WDW is finally getting a well needed E-Ticket in Fantasyland after closing down their 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.


    I do agree that spontaneity isn't as strong as WDW because of how they treat their guests like the cattle that they are. Magic Mornings, Extended Evenings, nighttime shows.... these are all programmed so that everyone staying at the resort ends up doing the exact same thing at all times. If one park closes, it's not like you can just go to any other park that you want.. you have to go to the only park that's still open... and it's because they have a nighttime show.

    Want to take advantage of people watching a night time show to go on rides? Sorry... the park is closed so that EVERYONE can watch Fantasmic.

    WDW's schedule is just frustrating.



    But responding to other posts about Pirates of the Caribbean, Florida's definitely has a more captivating queue leading up to the ride. But there is something special about the New Orleans version... entering in a standard facade only to escape into a thrilling adventure. They all have their pros and cons but Disneyland's ride through is certainly better overall.

    WDW's Tomorrowland is currently in better working order having the People Mover and also Astro Orbiter up top, but it also have a bigger flaw in Stitch, an outdated Speedway, and a really out of place Monsters Laugh Floor. Disneyland needs to move Astro Orbitor up top and add something to the People Mover tracks and it will be in 100% working order.

    Disneyland's Frontierland is truly magical, something that many underappreciate. I love that Big Thunder is not so close to Splash Mountain, giving different lands their own purpose. Song of the South is NOT the Frontier. I love the Mark Twain so much more than WDW's steam boat. I love the Columbia Sailing Ship. I love the Canoes (technically critter country)!!! I love that the Golden Horseshoe saloon doesn't have a cartoon layover (Pecos Bill). I love that serene walkway behind Big Thunder into Fantasyland.

    Sure WDW has both Big Thunder and Splash in their frontierland but... there's so little activity in the river that it feels like a ghost town.


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  5. #65

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    Re: Walt Disney World - Seriously, what's your beef?

    Quote Originally Posted by grnflash View Post

    DL’s Fantasyland as a whole is just amazing. Who doesn’t love seeing the witch peek out from the window. Float through the whale’s mouth. Ride in the animal cage. Ride count aside (and all WDW parks need more attractions), it’s these touches that make DL so special. Where are they at MK? And at DL, you feel the charm and magic of many attractions without even riding them. Small World with the awesome façade and outdoor canal. Tea Cups spinning under the lanterns at night. Obviously there’s the Matterhorn. The tunnel-like entrance to DL’s Pirates is alluring. At MK, the entrance is just a building with the ride name on the front. At DL, Haunted Mansion and Big Thunder exude atmosphere well beyond the boundaries of the rides. At MK, those rides are just as great but there’s little peripheral experience. They’re distant and not an intimate part of the atmosphere of the land.

    There’s also a lack of spontaneity at WDW, it’s like you need to reserve every experience and plan every moment, and do it 6 months in advance. I don’t want to micromanage my vacation. If you don’t have a solid plan for DLR, you will not see/do all you want – but you will do a lot of it. From running into characters to easy parkhopping to flexible ride plans to last minute meals to seeing better shows, there is still some spontaneity at DL –where you can find magic without reserving a slot to get some of it.
    Absolutely agree with both these points.
    Disneyland's Fantasyland, which even as Walt said was the most special land of all, has always been far superior than it's counterpart at Magic Kingdom. Again, this makes no sense to me seeing as usually version 2.0 of something is is either equal in quality but more often better. The recent addition of the New Fantasyland portion of MK is nice, but nothing spectacular. I really hope the Seven Dwarves Mine Ride blows us all away the way most of us are anticipating it will. Otherwise, New Fantasyland is just a TON of Beauty and the Beast and some change.

    And as for all the great restaurants at both the parks and hotels at WDW, it really pisses me off that you have to book soooo many months in advance. For my most recent trip in May, I had reservations at two different restaurants at Magic Kingdom and at Hollywood Studios but I had to make them like three months in advance and still didn't get the times I wanted. That is INSANE!

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