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  1. #1

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    First Trip to WDW: Impressions

    So I got the chance to finally get down to WDW for a week, I went with my friend and his mum. I've been going to Disneyland every year of my life, so I was pretty excited to have a little change of pace.

    We stayed in the Old Key West Resort (what a resort!) and we instantly fell in love with the extra 3 hours we got for staying at a Disney resort.

    Magic Kingdom wasn't really notable in that it isn't exactly different from Disneyland. I didn't get much of a chance to really check out Fantasyland or Toon Town thoroughly as my friend just wanted to stick to the big rides, but I was pretty impressed in what I saw.

    I prefer the Disneyland Splash Mountain because they don't have that water shoot up and come crashing down on the boat when you're about to go up that lift hill right past the drop every time a log goes down the drop. I don't really like getting soaked on rides, but even though it did have that element of suspense going up to it, I didn't really like it. BTM pretty much the same deal, pretty much the same.

    Jungle Cruise I really liked though, I liked that it was longer than the one in Disneyland and we had a hilarious British skipper. Kid says "Look look! Gorillas!" and he says "Yes, I know, I've been on this ride before", no one does deadpan humour like the Brits.

    Pirates is better in Disneyland, enough said.

    Space Mountain was sorta painful as it was jerky like the Matterhorn. I liked the left side though, and the line always moved really quickly.

    Cinderella's Castle is great, its my favourite one out there so far.

    Not gonna dwell too much on MK though, as its pretty much exactly the same as Disneyland sans Indy and Star Tours.

    Animal Kingdom was easily my favourite one. Themed to perfection. Looking out from the bridge next to Expedition Everest to the Tree of Life over the water is easily one of the best views I've seen in a Disney park. Absolutely gorgeous. Speaking of which, I'd have to say that Expedition Everest is the best Disney ride out there right now. In terms of innovation, theming, surprises, animatronics, and just general fun, it has it all. I didn't really know what to expect when I first rode it, but instantly fell in love with it. The Yeti at the end is incredible. Same goes for Dinosaur, I hadn't really read too much about it, so wasn't really sure what to expect from it. Really well done, the carnotaurus really freaked me out the first time, we got a hilarious picture out of it. Enjoyed the Safari, pretty much what I expected it to be. Kali River Rapids could have been a bit longer, but still fun. Other than Dinoland its just an amazing park. I love the way its themed, and the vegetation and plant life is amazing. Can't wait to go back.

    Hollywood Studios I knew virtually nothing about before going. I knew Tower of Terror and Rock 'n Roller Coaster was there... and that was pretty much it. Not much to say about ToT, pretty much exactly the same as the one in DCA. Really liked that there was different drop sequences each time. Rock 'n Roller Coaster... I think I was expecting too much. I liked the launch, but I thought it was sort of pathetically themed and was just a bunch of inversions. I prefer speed and big drops over going upside down over and over, so I wasn't too bothered with it. Definitely not worth the three hour wait that there always seemed to be. My favourite part of Hollywood Studios was definitely the shows. First saw the Indy Stunts Show, and really liked it. The chick who was introducing it had the most annoying voice in the world though. The car show was INCREDIBLE! Wow those guys can drive, it was really entertaining, haven't ever seen anything like it. Lots of explosions, fast cars, cool chases, motorcycles, guns, people falling off of buildings, the show really had everything a guy needs to have a good time. Interesting to find out how they do those chase scenes in movies too. Fantasmic was incredible, surprisingly I had never taken the time to go see it in Disneyland and I never knew quite what I was missing out on. Really great show, love the water effects. Mickey rules.

    Epcot was different, and for that reason I really liked it. Test Track I was unimpressed with the first time, we had waited so long for a ride that had essentially 15 seconds of fun, the rest was just going up steep hills and driving past hot lamps. But the second time I really appreciated it a bit more, realized how innovative and different it is from anything else really, and that 15 seconds of acceleration is pretty intense. Still not worth longer than an hour of waiting. Mission Space I also liked simply because I've never experienced anything like it. Soarin' exactly the same, still an amazing ride though. What I really enjoyed about Epcot was World Showcase. I could've spent all day just going to each different little pavilion and talking to the people that worked there from all those different countries. They were all so friendly, and were really keen to answer questions about their homeland, of which I was full of. I also liked that they included countries like Morocco and Norway. Maelstrom was a bit of a laugh, wasn't expecting much though so I wasn't exactly let down. We went to Canada last, and I thought they did a good job with it. I thought the movie was really well done, I dunno how many of you have gone out to see O Canada but I think it does an amazing job of showing what Canada is really like. Plus when they showed Calgary, I was able to see my apartment building because it was 360 degrees. I had never heard the song they played at the end of it before, and really liked it. Martin Short was a good choice as well. The French movie was good too, but a little dry. The views and chateaus they showed were beautiful, but half the theatre was dozing off by the end of it. Definitely planning on looking into going to work at the Canadian pavilion.

    Above all, what I loved about WDW was that it truly is the ultimate escape from reality. Not even from the top of ToT or Expedition Everest can you ever see signs of life outside of Disneyworld. You spend all day in parks, travelling between them in buses through the forests, and then return home to your resort without once catching a glimpse of the outside world. As Walt intended, I'm sure. This is what sets it apart, in my eyes at least, from the other parks. Its the ultimate getaway.

    Anyway, just some thoughts from a first timer!

  2. #2

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    Re: First Trip to WDW: Impressions

    First off, glad you had a great first trip to WDW.

    I'm also very glad you enjoyed EPCOT. I've noticed alot of Disneyland veterans don't seem to "Get it", especially World Showcase. EPCOT is probably my favorite park EVER and I could spend so much time there.


  3. #3

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    Re: First Trip to WDW: Impressions

    I am surprised that you favor the Disneyland version of Splash Mountain, because I actually prefer the Magic Kingdom one. I also think that for pure nostalgia, Disneyland has the edge over the Magic Kingdom. However, I love both destinations. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. Will we be seeing any photographs from your trip?

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    Re: First Trip to WDW: Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbaraann View Post
    I am surprised that you favor the Disneyland version of Splash Mountain, because I actually prefer the Magic Kingdom one. I also think that for pure nostalgia, Disneyland has the edge over the Magic Kingdom. However, I love both destinations. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. Will we be seeing any photographs from your trip?
    I just didn't like that water that soaks you if you're in the wrong place at the wrong time...

    I have somee photos, but since my parents were in Vancouver over Spring Break (I went with my friend and his mum) I didn't have a digital camera. Just a crummy disposable. I'll post them when they're developed.

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    Re: First Trip to WDW: Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    First off, glad you had a great first trip to WDW.

    I'm also very glad you enjoyed EPCOT. I've noticed alot of Disneyland veterans don't seem to "Get it", especially World Showcase. EPCOT is probably my favorite park EVER and I could spend so much time there.
    Well, like I said, it was different. At first I was a bit wary of it, but eventually fell in love with it. Especially World Showcase.

    And I completely forgot about the show that they have there, the reflections of earth one. Really great, a bit sappy, but a good message. Synchronized really well with the music, the right fireworks at the right times. Also, so much more space to get a good spot!

    And I forgot to mention my favourite CM ever. His name is Patrick, and works at ToT. I've never laughed so much in a Disney park in my life, he was absolutely hysterical.

  6. #6

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    Re: First Trip to WDW: Impressions

    Great TR. I'm glad you had a good time. Why you liked WDW so much is the same reason I do - the separation from the outside world. I love that part about our vacations there. Even though the outside world keeps creeping in with chain restaurants and stores, it's still pretty "unique".

    I was a little surprised you didn't have more to say about ToT. My experience was that the attractions are very different. The part that bothered me the most about DCA's was the load area where you go through the elevator "door" into a hallway. Plus, the whole lack of a "4th dimension" when the car moves forward. But, it's definitely interesting to read other people's impressions of rides and see how they are alike or different. So, thanks for taking the time to tell us about your experiences.

    Again, glad you had a great time.

    edit: Did you go on a hot day? Those water sprays on Splash are only turned on when it's hot. I have a love/hate relationship with the water jets. On one hand, I don't like getting soaked. But, on the other, I love the anticipation on whether or not they'll go off when the boat is passing in front of them. he he!!
    -Tim

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    Re: First Trip to WDW: Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by halltd View Post
    Great TR. I'm glad you had a good time. Why you liked WDW so much is the same reason I do - the separation from the outside world. I love that part about our vacations there. Even though the outside world keeps creeping in with chain restaurants and stores, it's still pretty "unique".

    I was a little surprised you didn't have more to say about ToT. My experience was that the attractions are very different. The part that bothered me the most about DCA's was the load area where you go through the elevator "door" into a hallway. Plus, the whole lack of a "4th dimension" when the car moves forward. But, it's definitely interesting to read other people's impressions of rides and see how they are alike or different. So, thanks for taking the time to tell us about your experiences.

    Again, glad you had a great time.
    Ah yes, I forgot that DCA didn't have the 4th dimension thing! I liked that part. Also, the view when the doors open is fantastic. I was sort of irritated to have the "Hollywood Tower Hotel" sign in the way though. That part they could've designed a little better I think.

    ED: As for the water jets, yeah we went on hot days. They were alright during the day, because we dried off really quickly. But at night, it was just annoying. I'd have to agree with the love/hate thing though, the anticipation was fun... when we actually got soaked it wasn't haha

  8. #8

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    Re: First Trip to WDW: Impressions

    When I rode Splash Mountain at Christmastime, we got soaked at the very beginning of the ride. Of course, I found it to be very funny, and I don't like getting wet either. I just like the longer version, that is the WDW ride. The logs are more comfortable. Then again, my body shape probably has something to do with why I prefer the Magic Kingdom logs.

    Epcot is a wonderful Park. I always spend a few days there. I am not a roller coaster fan, and so I didn't experience Everest. I have ridden their Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, just to say that I did it. I do not like the Dinosaur ride. It is too noisy, and it just makes me tense up too much, so I find myself, burying my head, instead of looking at the dinosaurs, and I love dinosaurs.

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    Re: First Trip to WDW: Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbaraann View Post
    When I rode Splash Mountain at Christmastime, we got soaked at the very beginning of the ride. Of course, I found it to be very funny, and I don't like getting wet either. I just like the longer version, that is the WDW ride. The logs are more comfortable. Then again, my body shape probably has something to do with why I prefer the Magic Kingdom logs.

    Epcot is a wonderful Park. I always spend a few days there. I am not a roller coaster fan, and so I didn't experience Everest. I have ridden their Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, just to say that I did it. I do not like the Dinosaur ride. It is too noisy, and it just makes me tense up too much, so I find myself, burying my head, instead of looking at the dinosaurs, and I love dinosaurs.
    I'm a bit of a coaster junkie. I see one, and I need to ride it. I couldn't say enough about Everest, its gonna be a Disney classic in years to come. One of the best rides they've ever built. Same goes for Dinosaur I think, but its definitely really intense, they did a great job with the dinosaurs. Not for those who don't like loud, jerky rides with things popping out at them though, so definitely not for a lot of people.

  10. #10

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    Re: First Trip to WDW: Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Barbaraann View Post
    I do not like the Dinosaur ride. It is too noisy, and it just makes me tense up too much, so I find myself, burying my head, instead of looking at the dinosaurs, and I love dinosaurs.
    I bet you get some cool pictures if you bury your head during the ride. I drug my mom on the ride and she was terrified the whole time. But, the picture we got was priceless. It's the only picture we've ever purchased from a ride - anywhere. Deep down though, I think she liked it. Last time we went to WDW, she hinted at wanting to go back on it.
    -Tim

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    Re: First Trip to WDW: Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    First off, glad you had a great first trip to WDW.

    I'm also very glad you enjoyed EPCOT. I've noticed alot of Disneyland veterans don't seem to "Get it", especially World Showcase. EPCOT is probably my favorite park EVER and I could spend so much time there.
    It's not that they 'don't get' EPCOT, it's just that shopping, dining, and watching movies about other countries isn't what they like to do on vacation. I have never been a fan of World Showcase, except the Malestrom, but I use to love Future World, until it was dumbed down to pre-school level. I rather be in DCA than the modern EPCOT, and I am a huge DCA basher.

  12. #12

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    Re: First Trip to WDW: Impressions

    This is a very well-written trip report. Informative and interesting.

    There's really nothing I find myself disagreeing with. You did a good job conveying just how unique and amazing the WDW resort is. There's nothing else like it on Earth.

  13. #13

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    Re: First Trip to WDW: Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by GhostHost2 View Post
    It's not that they 'don't get' EPCOT, it's just that shopping, dining, and watching movies about other countries isn't what they like to do on vacation. I have never been a fan of World Showcase, except the Malestrom, but I use to love Future World, until it was dumbed down to pre-school level. I rather be in DCA than the modern EPCOT, and I am a huge DCA basher.
    Well that makes sense, if Epcot's core offerings aren't your thing, I can see why you dislike it. I can respect that, although I think you'll find that the majority of the people prefer Epcot for those very same reasons you list you don't like it.

    Great trip report, I sincerely appreciate that you tackled the parks with an open mind and made the most of your vacation.

    Comparisons are inevitable, but I appreciate the way you saw each attraction and the positive influences you took from each.

    Can't wait to see the photos.

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    Re: First Trip to WDW: Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by GhostHost2 View Post
    It's not that they 'don't get' EPCOT, it's just that shopping, dining, and watching movies about other countries isn't what they like to do on vacation. I have never been a fan of World Showcase, except the Malestrom, but I use to love Future World, until it was dumbed down to pre-school level. I rather be in DCA than the modern EPCOT, and I am a huge DCA basher.
    Well, EPCOT definitely isn't for everybody. My friend didn't like it very much because there weren't as many thrill rides. It depends on who you are, I absolutely love traveling to different countries and learning about their culture and talking to locals. With World Showcase, I can pretty much do 10 all at once. I could spend days there. If thats not your thing, well thats why there's other parks.

  15. #15

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    Re: First Trip to WDW: Impressions

    Taking pictures at Epcot was one of my favorite past times on my last vacation there. I wish I was better at identifying, however when I came home. I knew the France one, of course, because of the Eiffel tower. Some of the others were a little harder to figure out. With that said. Epcot is one of those parks, that you can just do things spontaneously. Vacations, don't always have to be about thrill rides.

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