I stayed in Orlando from September 8-16 and I am going to say WOW- I have never had so much fun in my life! I thought I liked Disneyland but now I like Disney World MUCH, MUCH better.
First of all, I wasn't prepared for how BIG WDW is compared to Disneyland. I arrived in Florida with the intention of doing multiple things- WDW, Universal, Discovery Cove, etc. But WDW and it's 6 parks (including the water parks) kept me plenty entertained that I ended up not making it to Universal Studios. My friend (who was with me for part of the trip) and I opted to spend our non-disney day together visiting Cocoa Beach and doing an airboat ride on the way instead (she had been to WDW before so 2 days of park hopping was enough for her). For the time I was by myself, I spent 4 days park hopping and one day at Clearwater Beach and took a speed boat ride with the dolphins for 2 hours and spent the rest of the afternoon swimming in the warm, warm, happy waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
I ended up spending 6 of my 8 full days in Florida at WDW during the off season (September is supposed to be the least crowded) and STILL didn't do all the rides. Magic Kingdom is much like DL which I've been going to every year since I was 2 so I only spend one afternoon and evening there. I ended up spending 2 mornings and early afternoons at Typhoon Lagoon and 2 at Blizzard Beach- I just LOVED the waterparks. I spent 2 early mornings and afternoons at Animal Kingdom. I spent 2 two late afternoons and evenings at Epcot and 2 late afternoons and evenings at Hollywood Studios.
My favorite rides at WDW- Animal Kingdom's African Safari ride went FAR beyond all my expectations. LOVED seeing the animals so close up so rode multiple times both times I was there. I was totally WOWed by how the giraffes came right up to the car and how close I saw the elephants, zebras, okapis, flamingos, and buffalos. I also liked walking around and looking at the animals as well. The Dinosaur ride was pretty much like the Indiana Jones ride at WDL in terms of motion with different scenery. The Himalaya ride was like the Matterhorn. The Kali Rapid ride was WAY better than the Grizzly Rapids equivilant at Disneyland and because I had my waterproof bag I bought for the WDW trip, I didn't have to worry about my phone getting wet.
Hollywood Studios- my favorite was still Toy Story Mania but lines were still long despite being off season and I got there too late to get the fast pass so only did this once- it was exactly like the one in California anyway. I really enjoyed watching the American Idol show as it was a sit down activity that provided both rest and entertainment at the same time. I enjoyed watching the guests perform and voting for them. Enjoyed the Aerosmith coaster and Tower of Terror as well (both practically walk on for single rider's line).
Epcot- I liked both the countries of the world and the rides at future world. Loved Mission Space and Ellen's Energy ride (nice sit down right for rest and entertainment at the same time). Spaceship earth was literally walk on so I did it twice as well. California Soarin was the same so I skipped it. I liked the eco boat ride as well. Didn't get to innovations east due to getting there later in the afternoon.
Magic Kingdom- only did Small World, Space Mountain, Pirates, Splash Mountain, Peter Pan, Big Thunder Railroad, and the Haunted Mansion. All the same as DL so wanted to focus on the other parks.
Blizzard Beach- LOVED IT, LOVED IT, LOVED IT. Chairlift was very convenient so I could get to the top without walking on all those steps. Summit Plummet was AWESOME and so were the other slides. Liked the Toboggan Racers, Run Off Rapids, Slusher Gusher, Teamboat Springs as well. Did all the slides multiple times and spent some time after lunch floating in the lazy river.
You're gonna laugh at this one, but my favorite part of Blizzard Beach was when they evacuated the pools and slides cuz a thunderstorm was approaching. Having lived in California my whole life, I NEVER experienced a close up thunderstorm so I was excited about getting to experience one. While most of the people were grumbling about the slides being closed and having to take cover (many left the park), I was actually enjoying the sights, sounds, and smell of the thunder and lightning. I have to admit that I was quite startled at how LOUD the thunder was as I was under cover but not indoors. I actually laughed out loud when the thunder and lightning was close up. After the storm, the crowds were virtually nil and I could get on all the slides multiple times with less than 5 minute wait time even though the park was only open for about an hour and half after reopening. Glad I stayed.
Typhoon Lagoon- LOVED the wave pool, Crusher n Gusher water coaster, and Snorkeling with the sharks. Loved all the raft slides and one body slide as well. Did all 3 multiple times and enjoyed floating around in the lazy river for a break. Loved the tropical theme and the sandy beaches (not quite as nice as the REAL Clearwater Beach though).
I am already planning to visit Florida again next year- October 2014!. This time, I'm gonna save and plan on 2 FULL WEEKS so I can do all the parks at WDW multiple times AND Universal's 2 day park hopper, a day at Discovery Cove, and add on 3 days in Miami including one day at the Everglades. I told one of my girlfriend's to save up so she can come with me so I can have company the whole time and not just part of the time (she's motivated now after hearing about my trip experience).
BTW- lines were pretty low and with the exception of Toy Story Mania, I NEVER had to wait longer than 30 minutes for ANY ride even without the fast pass. Most lines were 10-15 minutes. Early September was great. I hope next October will also be as slow in terms of lines (am choosing October because I want to be there for the food and wine festival and the mid day heat hopefully won't be as intense).
I'm not sure if I EVER want to go to Disneyland again after seeing how much bigger and better Disney World is.
One amazed Californian here!