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Old 05-16-2014, 10:50 AM   #1
Mommy2PrincessAbby
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1st time wdw, dl vet... Why we wont be going back to wdw for a long time

I know, this is the DL board... There are always so many posts from wdw vets wanting to know why come to DL. Well, we are back from 10 days in wdw, and I had heard from so many people said once we go wdw we won't go back to DL. I wanted to write you guys and tell you it isn't true!

We all know how easy it is to park hop, or go back to the hotel to rest... I can not stress how impossible it is at wdw. It is miles and miles between the hotels and parks. We drove a car, and it took 15 minutes to drive from the onsite hotel to a park... Then the parking lots are like the Sahara desert... Even getting there 30 minutes before rope drop in supposedly level 4 "quieter" days, we had a hike to the gates. Yes, the busses drop you off closer, but I was loathe to ride a bus with 50 of my stinkiest new friends on a 92 degree day.

Magic bands were kinda awesome... Actually liked prebooking my fast passes, and you can now add another one once you've used your 3. So I did FPs starting at 10 am (parks opened at 9), and did one an hour. The thing is, there are so few rides per park, you won't need more than 4 or 5 in a park anyway. MK alone has like 8 less rides than DL, and they are so spread out, you have to walk and walk from one ride to the next... Can't swoop in and do FL in an hour because they are so spread out, and FL is missing half it's rides!

The heat... Holy crap was it hot... Now I know there are hot days in the summer and occasional freak heat wave at DL. But we have been over two other mothers days, and it was lovely, warm enough to wear capris (and like it), but not scorching. There was no rain... Just heat, lots and lots of heat, and did I mention the long walks between rides? And then yes, the rides are a/c, but so short, you are back out in the heat in no time. We preferred epcot because of the 30 minute rides and shows... I would do anything to get out of the heat!

Food... Everyone says the wdw food is so amazing, and it was good. We did no signature dining. There were tons of sit down places to choose from... But you know why? They need all those places to eat because of the sheer quantity of people. DL food is just as good, and there is no stress about scoring your adr 6 months out!

The rides... Pirates, small world, space, tiki room, splash... All of them are better at DL. In fact if you look at all the rides in all the parks, we agreed TOT is better at wdw, haunted mansion is maybe a slight edge to wdw which doesn't get the nbc treatment I love, Everest is like Matterhorn on steroids. But everything else... I give the win to DL. Kali wants to be grizzly when it grows up. Rocking roller coaster was a blast, and different enough from screamin you can't compare them. But so many rides are missing it is crazy, and wdw doesn't have anything DL doesn't have really... They might have a different theme but same platform or whatever (Dino vs Indy). We did love test track, but missed Carsland and Bugsland. Mission space was a good ride (orange about killed my hubby), and some "rides" are called that because you are moving, but they are really just nap time (Ellen, spaceship earth, living with the land.)

The waterparks were amazing, we did both on the same day... DL needs a waterpark Animal kingdom was also pretty cool, but it's just a big zoo with some rides.

The resorts... We stayed at coronado springs which is a moderate for half the trip, and animal kingdom lodge which is a delux in the savannah view room for half. Both were very nice, and well themed... I liked them both. We have stayed at all three onsite DL hotels... And I think all three could fit in well at wdw, they just have more resorts to choose from, not necessarily better ones. Their pools are better though as a whole.

All in all it was a good trip, glad to have experienced how the other half live. But I don't need to go back... Except maybe to spend more time at universal which was amazing... But that's another report
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Walt's Park:Two trips as a kid, stayed off-site. Oct '07, 4 days @ DLH, dh, dd & I. May '08, 5 days "girls only trip" @ GCH dm, dd & I. May '09, 6 days @ DLH, dh, dd & I. October '10, 5 day trip, dd and I @ PPH. Dec '12, 6 days @ PPH, dh, dd &I. Can't stand it anymore--DLH here we come Oct 25-29, 2015!

OMG--dare I say it? We went to the World!! Split Stay! CSR May 6-10 and AKL Savannah View May 10-13, 2014 (with a dash of the Darkside thrown in for good measure the 13th & 14th.)

Last edited by Mommy2PrincessAbby; 05-16-2014 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 05-16-2014, 10:59 AM   #2
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Seconded.

When these threads pop up on the WDW boards, my standard response is that my family will do WDW when we fly to Florida to go on a Disney cruise, and when we need to use our DVC points and can't get into the VGC, but 100 times out of 100, we would pick DL over WDW.
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:02 AM   #3
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Sounds like you had a great trip!
We are looking forward to our first Disneyland trip in the fall so glad to read your post. Cannot wait!
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:05 AM   #4
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Sounds like you had a great trip! We are looking forward to our first Disneyland trip in the fall so glad to read your post. Cannot wait!
You will love DL! The ride to park ratio can't be beat...
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Walt's Park:Two trips as a kid, stayed off-site. Oct '07, 4 days @ DLH, dh, dd & I. May '08, 5 days "girls only trip" @ GCH dm, dd & I. May '09, 6 days @ DLH, dh, dd & I. October '10, 5 day trip, dd and I @ PPH. Dec '12, 6 days @ PPH, dh, dd &I. Can't stand it anymore--DLH here we come Oct 25-29, 2015!

OMG--dare I say it? We went to the World!! Split Stay! CSR May 6-10 and AKL Savannah View May 10-13, 2014 (with a dash of the Darkside thrown in for good measure the 13th & 14th.)
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:12 AM   #5
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We just got back from DL and definitely love the smaller space. But that is a double edge sword, the small space makes the park (DL) get crowded in an instant.

I agree some of the rides are better at DL. PP, Indy, PoTC, BTMR, SW are totally better at DL.
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:20 AM   #6
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Thanks for the report! I have never been to WDW. Actually, the thought kinda scares me because it is SO big and I won't know it like the back of my hand like DL. I know one day I will get there.....ad it's nice to read a report from a different perspective!
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:21 AM   #7
Mommy2PrincessAbby
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Originally Posted by crystal1313 View Post
Thanks for the report! I have never been to WDW. Actually, the thought kinda scares me because it is SO big and I won't know it like the back of my hand like DL. I know one day I will get there.....ad it's nice to read a report from a different perspective!
Omg! Yes! We got so lost a few times in MK! It was easier to navigate the other parks because it was all new... But MK... I kept thinking, but this should be right here, and it wasn't lol!
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Walt's Park:Two trips as a kid, stayed off-site. Oct '07, 4 days @ DLH, dh, dd & I. May '08, 5 days "girls only trip" @ GCH dm, dd & I. May '09, 6 days @ DLH, dh, dd & I. October '10, 5 day trip, dd and I @ PPH. Dec '12, 6 days @ PPH, dh, dd &I. Can't stand it anymore--DLH here we come Oct 25-29, 2015!

OMG--dare I say it? We went to the World!! Split Stay! CSR May 6-10 and AKL Savannah View May 10-13, 2014 (with a dash of the Darkside thrown in for good measure the 13th & 14th.)
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:35 AM   #8
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Funny I prefer DL's HM & TOT, however wdw crt has DAC's Ag beat by a mile.
I also love wdws extra's Pirates league is year round, the pirates a pals cruise, the campfire with chip & Dale, a much better range of character meals, the nightlife entertainment is nightly all year, the watermarks, the mini putts....and their Calendar is available months earlier!
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Old 05-16-2014, 11:41 AM   #9
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Funny I prefer DL's HM & TOT, however wdw crt has DAC's Ag beat by a mile. I also love wdws extra's Pirates league is year round, the pirates a pals cruise, the campfire with chip & Dale, a much better range of character meals, the nightlife entertainment is nightly all year, the watermarks, the mini putts....and their Calendar is available months earlier!
How do you think the character meals are a better range? From what I saw at wdw the only two with unique characters were 1900 park fare and ohana... The rest were the fab 5, chip & dale or princesses. We missed the character dining at the GCH with the unique woodsy characters especially!

I really don't mind the calendar not being out so gosh darned early, there is no real need to plan your days so far out at DL. You have two parks that are easily hoppable (or not), I felt way over planned on the wdw trip... And I am a crazy planner! Lol

There is a lot of extra non-park related stuff at wdw... You could go for two weeks, do a ton of stuff and never set foot in the parks. But the parks and rides are what I want to do in disney. The other stuff is icing on the cake I guess...
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hubby and I & princess Abby (10 y.o.)


Walt's Park:Two trips as a kid, stayed off-site. Oct '07, 4 days @ DLH, dh, dd & I. May '08, 5 days "girls only trip" @ GCH dm, dd & I. May '09, 6 days @ DLH, dh, dd & I. October '10, 5 day trip, dd and I @ PPH. Dec '12, 6 days @ PPH, dh, dd &I. Can't stand it anymore--DLH here we come Oct 25-29, 2015!

OMG--dare I say it? We went to the World!! Split Stay! CSR May 6-10 and AKL Savannah View May 10-13, 2014 (with a dash of the Darkside thrown in for good measure the 13th & 14th.)
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:07 PM   #10
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Your points are well made, and we too prefer DLR, I mean you just can't beat the original, but we also love WDW. I think you just have to look at it in different way, I.E. comparing DL to the MK, it's hands down DL is better. But if you take the whole WDW experience on it's own merit, it is awesome. To us it's just a different type of vacation. Slower, more drawn out and diverse. We especially enjoyed it last time (2012), since the DDs are grown now and we went on our own. We have been to WDW three times and the have never purchased hopper tickets for the very reason you brought up, that it takes time. We just take it easy, eat leisurely meals, and try not to wear ourselves out. We try to pick a good weather season as well. Last time we went in late March. The flower festival was on Epcot, and it was just beautiful. 80 degrees everyday and didn't rain once! At EPCOT world showcase we "eat" our way around the lake, sampling food from each country as we go. We are in the PNW area, so WDW is quite a bit farther to get to or we'd probably go more. We do wish they'd put a Rockin Rollercoaster in DCA though!
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Old 05-16-2014, 12:22 PM   #11
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Your points are well made, and we too prefer DLR, I mean you just can't beat the original, but we also love WDW. I think you just have to look at it in different way, I.E. comparing DL to the MK, it's hands down DL is better. But if you take the whole WDW experience on it's own merit, it is awesome. To us it's just a different type of vacation. Slower, more drawn out and diverse. We especially enjoyed it last time (2012), since the DDs are grown now and we went on our own. We have been to WDW three times and the have never purchased hopper tickets for the very reason you brought up, that it takes time. We just take it easy, eat leisurely meals, and try not to wear ourselves out. We try to pick a good weather season as well. Last time we went in late March. The flower festival was on Epcot, and it was just beautiful. 80 degrees everyday and didn't rain once! At EPCOT world showcase we "eat" our way around the lake, sampling food from each country as we go. We are in the PNW area, so WDW is quite a bit farther to get to or we'd probably go more. We do wish they'd put a Rockin Rollercoaster in DCA though!
We did the same as you... One park per day from rope drop til close or nearly close... We had a pool day and a waterpark day too to just relax... Which we never do at DL... Take a day off from the parks?! Sit down lunches and dinners... I knew I would need this to rest and get out of the heat. We were trying to avoid spring break, and also Star Wars days, which is why we went in early May... I was hoping for 80 degree weather, not 90 plus... But you can't control that! Lol we did enjoy the flower and garden festival... It was just too hot to be out there looking around much.

Oh! I forgot to mention... Fantasmic was not as bad as I had heard it would be (comparing the two)... We quite enjoyed it! Illuminations was rather blah though, and made me miss WOC!
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hubby and I & princess Abby (10 y.o.)


Walt's Park:Two trips as a kid, stayed off-site. Oct '07, 4 days @ DLH, dh, dd & I. May '08, 5 days "girls only trip" @ GCH dm, dd & I. May '09, 6 days @ DLH, dh, dd & I. October '10, 5 day trip, dd and I @ PPH. Dec '12, 6 days @ PPH, dh, dd &I. Can't stand it anymore--DLH here we come Oct 25-29, 2015!

OMG--dare I say it? We went to the World!! Split Stay! CSR May 6-10 and AKL Savannah View May 10-13, 2014 (with a dash of the Darkside thrown in for good measure the 13th & 14th.)
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:08 PM   #12
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I love both places for different reasons and different experiences.

WDW has an edge on some things (onsite hotels are actually affordable, extra experiences outside parks, feels less crowded even at high times because there is more space, more signature dining, EPCOT), and DLR has an edge on some things (park hopping is a snap, can walk from offsite hotels so no silly and time consuming bussing, it's the original, better CS and TS options, characters are more accessible, regular FP).

Then they both have their downfalls. WDW can feel too big, making getting to parks from hotels/offsite or trying to park hop just too frustrating. The weather is not great, especially in the summer. I would go at Christmas (and have) before going to WDW in the summer. Some parts of the park feel like filler to me because DL and DCA have so much. I am NOT a scheduler, and I hate the FP+ system as well needing to make dining reservations six months out. It makes me grouchy, and it makes my DH really irritated that I'm planning details so far in advance, which in turn makes me even grouchier. That last bit alone is enough to make me prefer DLR over WDW.

DLR can feel super crowded, especially DL, because of the smaller footprint. I refuse to pay several hundred dollars a night for an on site hotel that we only sleep in, but I like staying on site at WDW, so it's frustrating to not have more affordable options at DLR like they do at WDW (and yes, I completely understand why this is the case so no one needs to chime in. I live in Cali, and I get it. ). I wish there were more character meal options, especially one with the Disney Junior characters like at H&V. The food (we do mostly CS) is much better, and I really love being able to make ADRs just a couple weeks or months in advance rather than 6 months.

So, for me, I love both places, and there are some things I don't like about both places. If forced to rank or decide, I would give the edge to DLR over WDW, but I'm quite happy visiting both places and enjoy going again and again. And again.
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:17 PM   #13
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Agree about Illuminations. So So, but when we saw it we hadn't seen WoC yet. We choose our week carefully last time. Right at the end if not after the college spring breaks, but before most public school spring breaks. Crowds weren't bad, weather perfect. you wanna talk about bad timing? We were in WDW on Sept. 11, 2001. It was terrible. They closed all parks telling us it was a national emergency. Gave us a free one day pass that never expired. They did open back up the next day, but after that it just wasn't the same. Kinda like a black cloud over us the rest of the week. That was our first time there too. On the flight back I promised DW and DD's we'd go back soon to make up for it, and we did, three years later.
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Old 05-16-2014, 01:26 PM   #14
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I appreciate the thoughts in the OP but am often amused about how WDW vets see DLR and vice versa.

WDW vets will say that WDW is an all encompassing resort and DLR is too small.

DLR vets will say that DLR is easy to navigate and has a higher ride concentration, and that WDW is too spread out and it is too hard to get around.

Both views are totally true.

What I have learned to do is put on my "DLR hat" at DLR and my "WDW hat" when at WDW.

At WDW I know it will take forever to get places. Usually I only use the bus, boat and monorail system at WDW. But while at WDW I embrace the resort feeling, the largeness, the "immersion" factor and the rain LOL. I have been fortunate to have never been to WDW when it was miserably hot and humid. My trip last May at this exact time of year was utterly delightful for weather.

We tend to not take breaks or as many breaks at WDW. It depends which park that day and which hotel we are at.

I for one prefer the dining at WDW. The food may or may not be that much better, but the dining experience is. The themed dining is is just much more powerful and engaging at WDW.

At DLR I know we can get to the parks quickly as I always stay at a nearby walking distance hotel. We take breaks usually every day. We stay out late. We go with much less structure and much less of a plan. Since I usually go in the summer we never even think about rain.

I tend to enjoy different things about WDW than DLR offers. Hoop-Dee-Doo Review. The Boardwalk. The boats to MK, DHS and Epcot. The World Showcase. The live music especially at Epcot and DHS. The Streetmosphere characters at DHS.

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Old 05-16-2014, 01:33 PM   #15
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What I have learned to do is put on my "DLR hat" at DLR and my "WDW hat" when at WDW.
This.
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