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Old 10-07-2012, 10:53 PM   #1
korg
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My Disneyland Resort Review

OK, my wife and I just got back from a California trip and I’ve been visiting the Disneyland side of this forum for several months prior to the trip so I thought I owned the forum my review after visiting DLR last week. This is MY opinion and we know what opinions are worth so take it with that in mind. Also I’m a big time WDW fan so my opinion comes from that prospective as well.

Let’s start with California in general. People have stated the weather in CAL. is better than Florida ... I couldn’t agree more, the weather was awesome. That said the traffic and driving in southern California is the worse I’ve seen anyplace and I'm well traveled. Traffic is always backed up and people drive like maniacs. My advice to non-Californian’s who go to DL is to stay AT DL or at a friendly neighbor hotel so you don't have to drive much. We stayed in Indio which is east of Palm Springs and around 120 miles away from DL and the commuting to and from DL was a horror show. Getting around Florida is much easier if you stay off property.

Disneyland ... totally magical!!! It’s small compared to the Magic Kingdom at WDW but it’s full of history and ... well ... magic. Some attractions which are at both parks are better at DL. Pirates is better and Space Mountain and The Haunted Mansion done up for Halloween totally blows away their counterparts at WDW. New Orleans SQ is also wonderful. My only issue with DL is the crowds. We went during a slower time and during mid week and there was still way too many people for such a small park. It felt more crowded than WDW feels during the busy season. If I had to pick which Magic Kingdom is “better” my nod would go to DL in California. DL simply has more heart than the Magic Kingdom in Florida.

The California Adventure ... Sorry but I was disappointed. To me it felt more like a Six Flags or Buch Gardens type park than Disney park. A lot of the “rides” were the type you can find at ANY amusement park and it just didn’t FEEL like Disney. I was also disappointed with Cars Land. The theme was amazing but as far as i’m concerned it really only had ONE real attraction, Radiator Springs Racers. The wife and I got to the park at 10:30 (It opened at 10) and the Fass Passes for RSR were already gone! How does that happen in just a half hour?? Do they only give out 100 for the day? We went on it and it was great but not worth waiting for more than an hour IMO. Also IMO the floating tire ride is a joke and Matter’s Junkyard Jamboree was just a cute looking pre-school age carnival ride. (Little kids will love it though) Also most of the attractions the park shares with WDW, those attractions are as good or better at WDW. TOT is better at WDW, It’s tough to be a bug has better theming in the Tree of life at WDW, The toy story ride has Mr. Potato Head as a “barker” in the WDW cue and he isn’t at DCA, and so on. OH ... the Aladdin show at DCA was AWESOME!!!! That was a huge plus for DCA. Don’t get me wrong, DCA is a nice park but IMO it doesn’t hold a candle to Epcot, The Hollywood Movie Studios or The Animal Kingdom at WDW and I was very disapointed.

So in a nut shell, my opinion (you may not agree with my opinion but you won't change it) is Disneyland's Magic kingdom in and of itself is amazing and better than the Magic Kingdom in WDW in and of itself, but the California Adventure is a Disappointment and it’s not “Disney enough” for my taste. I think ALL WDW fans need to visit DL at least once in their life, Disneyland by itself (not counting DCA) is worth the trip and my wife and i LOVE Disneyland. But for me, because of Epcot, The Hollywood Studios park and The Animal Kingdom, (Not to mention all the Disney resorts and water parks) WDW is still where my heart is.

That’s my review and honest opinion.
Much love DL!!! Thanks for the wonderful magical time.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:23 PM   #2
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Thank you for your review. We will be heading to DLR in June for the first time, we too are WDW vets. I am so excited that I will be able to be in the park that Walt built and ride some of the rides that he had a first hand in making . We will be staying at VGC when we go and we won't be renting a car, however we are toying with the idea of renting a car for 1 day to head to San Diego or take a drive up the coast. We are all very excited about our trip and I have been doing a ton of research on it...even though I am not new to Disney (especially WDW), I am certainly a newbie when it comes to DLR .
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:19 AM   #3
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Thanks for the review. I wish you would have posted this on the other side of the boards so you would got more views.

I personally think Disneyland Resort is my favorite and I use to be a WDW vet. We love DL and consider it our home park now. There is definitely more "magic and nostalgia" in DL compared to MK in WDW. I personally also like DCA and thought Carsland was awesome. Did you get to do World of Color?

Also wondering what you thought of Fantasmic!? Which fireworks show did you get to see? Remember Dreams Come True Fireworks is the ultimate show I've ever seen and I've seen them all. Any chance you got to ride in the Lilly Belle train car? What did you think of It's a Small World and Fantasyland? I really enjoy the dark rides and think DL's Fantasyland is just awesome. I wish WDW would install that many rides/attractions in their new Fantasyland. DL has something like 9 rides. I love Storybook Canal and Casey JR Circus train.

Anyways thanks for the review. Always nice to see another perspective. If you ever get the chance to go back you have to hit San Diego or head up to Monterey and Yosemite National Park. California has so much to offer.
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:22 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoohsFan1 View Post
Thank you for your review. We will be heading to DLR in June for the first time, we too are WDW vets. I am so excited that I will be able to be in the park that Walt built and ride some of the rides that he had a first hand in making . We will be staying at VGC when we go and we won't be renting a car, however we are toying with the idea of renting a car for 1 day to head to San Diego or take a drive up the coast. We are all very excited about our trip and I have been doing a ton of research on it...even though I am not new to Disney (especially WDW), I am certainly a newbie when it comes to DLR .
congrats on making the decision to head to DL. You won't regret it. It won our hearts for sure. We had gone to WDW 10 times and I decided it was time to try something new. The whole family was hesitant. Since we gone back in 2007 we have been back I think 7 times. We love San Diego, Monterey, heading up the PCH/HWY 1 up to Monterey, San Francisco, and the ultimate was Yosemite National Park.

Have fun and make sure you do all the little things the park has to offer.
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Old 10-10-2012, 06:57 PM   #5
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Always interesting to read reviews by first timers. I can't wait to see WDW for the first time in 2014!

120 Miles! Yikes! That's not just off property, that's an entirely different area. I wouldn't stay 120 miles away from WDW either if I was going to visit everyday. Like you said, definately stay walking distance. Saves a lot of time.

I have nothing else to compare DCA to, but you're right about some of those rides. They are just plopped in carnival rides from the "cheap" days. I still don't like them. I am happy with new additions though. I just hope they keep working on some of those areas. Put something more original in. However, did you try Mater's tractor ride? It looks like it wouldn't be much but DH and I actually found it pretty fun. More than you would think.

Glad you had a fun visit overall!
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:33 PM   #6
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Thanks for your review. Yes, I'm a native So. Californian and have been to DLR and WDW and know what you mean about a lot of this. When we go to Orlando, it's strictly for WDW. When we got to DLR we can do a lot of other great vacation things. We are going back home to visit, I have to get psyched up for all of the traffic and that kind of crud, which is why we left in the first place! I'm looking forward to the weather and seeing the Pacific Ocean again. 😀
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Old 10-10-2012, 10:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCmike View Post
Thanks for the review. I wish you would have posted this on the other side of the boards so you would got more views.

I personally think Disneyland Resort is my favorite and I use to be a WDW vet. We love DL and consider it our home park now. There is definitely more "magic and nostalgia" in DL compared to MK in WDW. I personally also like DCA and thought Carsland was awesome. Did you get to do World of Color?

Also wondering what you thought of Fantasmic!? Which fireworks show did you get to see? Remember Dreams Come True Fireworks is the ultimate show I've ever seen and I've seen them all. Any chance you got to ride in the Lilly Belle train car? What did you think of It's a Small World and Fantasyland? I really enjoy the dark rides and think DL's Fantasyland is just awesome. I wish WDW would install that many rides/attractions in their new Fantasyland. DL has something like 9 rides. I love Storybook Canal and Casey JR Circus train.

Anyways thanks for the review. Always nice to see another perspective. If you ever get the chance to go back you have to hit San Diego or head up to Monterey and Yosemite National Park. California has so much to offer.
Honestly we didn't see any of the fireworks shows or Fantasmic because we stayed so far away we wanted to hit the road before they came on. Also I believe those shows weren't on many of the nights we were there, remember we went last week and it's off season. As far as dark rides we did do Small world and i like it better than at WDW. I think Splash Mountian however is better at WDW. The Storybook Canal and Casey Jr. were both closed when we were there and Winnie the Poo was broken down. I did the Canal a decade ago though. Sweet but definately a minor attraction mainly for the little ones. And as far as San Diego, we actually flew in and out of there and spent our last night there. We did Sea World while we were there. It was an OK park but it's showing it's age for sure, I like Seaworld better in Orlando. We also went to Hollywood and spent a day at Universal Studios and except for the TRAFFIC I was pleasantly surprised by Universal Hollywood. Universal in Orlando has 2 great theme parks but Universal in Hollywood has honest to god movie history. I didn't mention it in my original review because after all this is a Disneyland forum.

I would gladly go back to Disneyland if we stayed close by but I don't know if i'd spend the money on the California Adventure again, that's how much it disapointed me. In response to the person who asked if we rode Matter's Junk Yard Jam ... we did but i admit we didn't ride the tires. We watched people BARELY MOVING sitting on the tires and couldn't believe people were willing to wait over an hour to do it. They mostly looked bored or confused. They had that "is that all there is" look on their faces. Regardless of nastalga for the Flying Saucer ride of years past and regardless how cool it LOOKS that attraction is a dud. Disney took a lot of attractions from WDW's other parks and placed versions in DCA. I think they could have used some other ideas from WDW attractions and created better Car's Land rides. Maybe use the Starwars ride platform to create a virtual 3D Car's ride? RSR is a version of test track and they changed that into a great Car's atraction, they could have used other technologies they already own and made more interesting attractions for Cars Land. I suspect budget played a role in their decisions. Of course this is just my opinion.

OH ... I may actually copy and paste my review on the WDW forum, that's a good idea. And i appreciate people not slamming me for not liking DCA. I realize sometimes forum members get protective of their home Disney parks. I mean no disrespect to people who disagree with me but again these are my honest opinions. take them for what they're worth.
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Last edited by korg; 10-11-2012 at 12:05 AM.
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Old 10-11-2012, 06:17 PM   #8
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If you do get the chance you should visit Northern California. It's really amazing to say the least. Monterey, San Fran, and Yosemite are worth a visit in their own right.

Again thanks for the review. Take care.
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:30 PM   #9
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If you do get the chance you should visit Northern California. It's really amazing to say the least. Monterey, San Fran, and Yosemite are worth a visit in their own right.

Again thanks for the review. Take care.
I've already mentioned taking a northern CAL trip to my wife and I'm sure it'll happen some time down the road. California is so huge it really demands several week long vacations to be explored.
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Old 10-17-2012, 07:50 PM   #10
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The toy story ride has Mr. Potato Head as a “barker” in the WDW cue and he isn’t at DCA,
DCA does indeed have him in the queue. Not sure how you missed him?
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Old 10-18-2012, 12:48 AM   #11
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DCA does indeed have him in the queue. Not sure how you missed him?
Really?? Wow i wonder how i missed him? But OK ... I do stand corrected.
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Old 10-18-2012, 01:10 PM   #12
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Well I'm sorry you were disappointed with DCA but man, I have to disagree with you on that thought 100% lol We've always loved DCA and now with CL it's just so amazing!! Loved RSR, didn't ride the tires (lines were 60-90 minutes and I just don't feel it's worth that wait) but we loved TMJJ...OMG that ride cracks me up so much, I just laugh and laugh and laugh on that ride. lol In the queue, on the ride, it's just so funny to me. And yes, there's a Potato Head in the DCA queue as well, sometimes the CM who works him is on break so his curtain is closed but he is there and he is hilarious.
come again, stay closer, watch the shows, I think you'll have more fun if you stay closer.
And yes, plan a visit to Nor Cal as well, we are very different up here. lol
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:04 AM   #13
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Well I'm sorry you were disappointed with DCA but man, I have to disagree with you on that thought 100% lol We've always loved DCA and now with CL it's just so amazing!! Loved RSR, didn't ride the tires (lines were 60-90 minutes and I just don't feel it's worth that wait) but we loved TMJJ...OMG that ride cracks me up so much, I just laugh and laugh and laugh on that ride. lol In the queue, on the ride, it's just so funny to me. And yes, there's a Potato Head in the DCA queue as well, sometimes the CM who works him is on break so his curtain is closed but he is there and he is hilarious.
come again, stay closer, watch the shows, I think you'll have more fun if you stay closer.
And yes, plan a visit to Nor Cal as well, we are very different up here. lol
Yeah they must have had Mr Potato Head on break when i was there! I did look for him because I knew he was there in Florida and was disapointed he wasn't there because he's so cool! If i ever come back to Disneyland I'll no doubt do DCA again just because it's there but ... well you read my feelings. But i LOVED Disneyland!!
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:55 PM   #14
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Nice review!

I found it interesting you stayed in Indio and drove to Anaheim to DL.

We are going to DL in February and I have planned it directly around our anniversary, but firstly around a Frankie Valli concert in Indio on the 24th, as he is my favorite. I didn't realize it was quite that far away, so your indication of distance prompted me to actually LOOK, lol.
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Old 10-28-2012, 11:21 PM   #15
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Nice review!

I found it interesting you stayed in Indio and drove to Anaheim to DL.

We are going to DL in February and I have planned it directly around our anniversary, but firstly around a Frankie Valli concert in Indio on the 24th, as he is my favorite. I didn't realize it was quite that far away, so your indication of distance prompted me to actually LOOK, lol.
We stayed there because my wife planned the trip and simply LOOKED at a map and thought it's "in the middle" between San Diego and Disney / Universal. She never actually looked it up in regard to distance or we would have stayed more west. So yes, if you're staying in Indio expect to drive for over 2 hours "in each direction" when you go to Disneyland. (5 hours just in driving time for one trip to and from Indio to Disney and back) On the plus side, Indio is a decent town, it's close to Palm Springs (It's actually around 30 miles east of Palm Springs) and at least for my wife and me being from the north east, the desert was amazing. If you like dry HEAT you'll love it! OH plan to put a lot of gas in your car if you go to Disneyland, Universal Hollywood or San Diego. And California gas is expensive, we put $30 worth of gas in our rental car each and every DAY! Wow $210 just in gas during that trip, I didn't realize we spent that much in gas until just now. I DID realize the hours we wasted driving though. We'll NEVEr make that mistake again! ;-)
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