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Disneyland/world - is it really THAT great??? - Page 2

post #21 of 75
Originally Posted by mahogny
... It's not just the rides, but the whole atmosphere! There's nothing like it in the world!
That's it, exactly. The cleanliness, the friendly (almost always) cast members, the way you are catered to and treated like a guest, the way every single tiny detail from color and placement of trash cans, to the landscaping, to the music in each area and even the smells are designed to enhance the experience. From the lights in the sidewalk at Epcot to the way the crown above Cinderella's fountain appears to be on her head when seen from a young child's point of view. The way a cast member went out of his way to drive us to our resort when we missed the bus. The way one cast member we spoke to not only happily answered our question but gave us fastpasses to Big Thunder Mountain. The way the people at lost and found were so helpful when my parents lost a backpack. The way the characters REMEMBERED us from earlier in the week! It's just so magical!

It's my happy place! My face gets tired from smiling so much when I'm there, and I tear up when I walk under the train station and see the castle for the first time each trip. :

I'm glad I'm not the only person here who loves WDW. I was kinda afraid I'd get kicked out if I admitted it... :

We go every year by staying in our camper at Ft. Wilderness and by paying in to the family accountant (my sister) monthly so it's not just one big expenditure. If we pay ahead of time we can do character meals and tours without worrying about the cost - it's all already paid for. We just enjoy the magic.
post #22 of 75
Thread Starter 
Well now you guys are sort of talking me into it! However, it sounds like going off season and taking it slow are the keys to enjoyment.

I still don't know that I'll be initiating a Disneyland (yes, we'd go to DLand) trip myself anytime soon, but if the inlaws do propose it I'll be more open to it now.

post #23 of 75
Personally I can't stand the place, it's definitely not my "thing".

But I took DD there because it is something that I did for her. It was not my ideal family vacation but I knew that she would love it.

She does not watch a lot of Disney, in fact I had to educate her so that she would know who some of the characters were. She's not into the whole princess thing by a longshot.

That said, she loved it, loved it, loved it. Loved it. It meant so much to her to go and she was very grateful and happy that we did it. My pleasure came from watching my DD in absolute delight at the amazing fantasy of Disney World.

THere's no place like it on earth - for the good and the bad.

You only live this life once. Enjoy everything life offers if you can afford it.
I agree.
post #24 of 75
I love Disneyworld. We have gone on many trips with our daughters and they have absolutly adored it each and every time. They know all the Disney characters and who Mickey and Minnie are and that made it all the more exciting for them. My husband loves everything Disney (he collects the pins) and Disney is one thing he loves to share with our daughters. The parks are clean (big thing for me!), friendly, and everyone there just seems so happy. The people that work there, especially the people in the character suits are so friendly and wonderful with children. I've never had a bad experiance at Disney. The one thing that made me love the whole Disney park experiance was that one year when my DD was 11 she had broken her leg and had to have an enourmous cast. We almost didn't go but figured, hey, its paid for, and there are still things she could do. The entire Disney staff went above and beyond the call of duty when they saw that she was in a wheelchair. The characters all signed her cast and Mickey Mouse drove her wheelchair around the park to a ride that she could go on. One thing about Disney is that in all of my experiances and people who've talked to me is that they are really great with children who are handicapped or special needs or who have a broken leg like my DD! Its really hard to find an amusement park that will accomundate any type of special needs and Disney really does that (from what I've found). Simply for that I love love Disneyworld and would recommend it to anyone with kids!
post #25 of 75
No, it's not that great. I wasn't that impressed, but I could see how kids would get excited about it. Overpriced, overhyped, I think....

Just my opinion, but I think 3.5 is a little young to make the trip worth while. I think the attention span required for a long trip/day like that is better suited for a 7-10 yo. They would have more anticipation build up as well.
post #26 of 75
We LOVE disneyworld, if you have the chance, I would say go. It really is a magical place for the kids. There is so much more than just the rides. My kids love the characters, the princess stuff, getting autographs, the whole thing. My almost 3 has been there twice and talks about going back all the time. He absolutely loves Mickey Mouse!

The park itself is very well run. Very clean, lots and lots of security, mostly friendly staff, etc. My 6 year old dresses in her Cinderella dress and all day, the staff refers to her as cinderella or the princess, she is in heaven.

There are some great websites to learn alot before you go so you can make the most of the trip. (off the top of my head, mousesavers.com, but google them!) There also are great guidebooks, I would highly recommend investing in one or getting it at the library and TAKE IT ALONG! Using all the info we had collected, we avoided the lines and really made the most of our time. We took afternoon breaks to sleep, packed our own healthy snacks and took it easy and still managed to ride most rides more than once. There was stuff we decided to skip altogether after reading all the info so as not to waste our time and we split up throughout the day (see below, big age differences).

Can't wait to go again, probably next fall when our new baby will be one!
post #27 of 75
And here I was thinking I was the only one on MDC who loves WDW! I first went when I was 11, and I remember just loving everything, but it was much smaller then. When our kids were 3 and 5, we did the whole Disney thing, and I was actually prepared to not have much fun -- all that commercialization, the cheapy toys, etc. I had a BLAST!!! The kids loved the rides (and we could ride with them), the whole magical atmosphere, the feeling of really being away from it all. We've since gone two more times, one as my dd's Make-a-Wish trip, and I can tell you that it really can be a magical experience.

It can also be awful, depending on your attitude. The second time we went, it was HOT and the middle of a drought in FL. There were parents dragging their sweaty, crying toddlers into long lines for rides the kids obviously didn't want to go on. One mom was screaming at her kid, "You WILL get Tigger's autograph RIGHT NOW -- do you know how much I spent for this vacation?" You get the idea. My ds, about 4 at the time, said, "Mommy, if this is the happiest place on earth, why are so many of the kids crying?"

My advice -- if you go, take it easy. Let your child set the pace, take lots of breaks, bring lots of healthy snacks. Don't make it the "vacation of a lifetime" thing -- that's too much pressure for kids and parents. Enjoy the magic!
post #28 of 75
We went to Disney (DW in Orlando) for the first time ever in Oct. I was attending a conference in Orlando and we decided to make a vacation of it. My kids were 16, 9, 7, and 16 mos when we went. I was prepared to be miserable, but count me in as one of those who just loved Disney! We had a ball. Even my little dd could go on many of the rides, and the bigger rides were tame enough for my mom. They also have a thing called baby swap on many rides were you can take an older child on a ride while one parent holds the baby, then when the ride stops, the parents swap, with the one on the ride getting out to hold the baby and the baby-holder going on the ride again with the older child. That way the older child gets an extra turn, and you don't have to wait in line twice.
We brought our own drinks and snacks. We rented a double stroller, and even the 7 and 9 year olds rode some when they were tired. We had no set agenda, and just went where the kids wanted to go - which meant the boys at one point (including dh) went on Buzz Lightyear 10 times in a row.
There were a bunch of those gift stores at the ends of rides, but we didn't have much trouble setting limits. I did have to get the picture of my little dd nursing in the sling on Buzz Lightyear, while dh and I zapped aliens!
We were there at an off time, too, though and it was very uncrowded. We also started later in the mornings, because my kids are not morning people.
Overall, we had a very good time - and it was almost worth the price of admission to hear my mom laughing her head off on Space Mountain!
post #29 of 75
Originally Posted by gethane

And it was THE MOST FUN. I literally had more fun than I had on my honeymoon . I really was ready to hate it and I loved it.
My dh and I went to Walt Disney World FOR our honeymoon. : (It was a gift.) We loved it!

I can't wait until my kids are old enough to take them, but that will be a good 6 years or more from now. I want them to be old enough to really enjoy it and remember it.

I can totally understand why some people wouldn't like it and have no interest in it. As others have said here, I just love the atmosphere, the rides, the shows, the fireworks, the parades - ok, I love it all. I really love Epcot and the World Showcase.

I don't think anybody's life will be less fulfilled if they don't go to a Disney theme park.
post #30 of 75
I live near Orlando, and so WDW has always been there to do....I loved Fantasyland as a child and Epcot as 10 yr old (It's not as good now...JMO) and couldn't wait until I could take my kids...but wait I did. Don't go until your child is at least 3, better 4. I think between 4-9 they get the most bang out of Disney (Magic Kingdom). The slightly older set will like Epcot and MGM a bit more I think. Animal Kingdom has a little for everyone but it's not the most fun park.

My other big tips: Early December thru late February. Excellent in terms of lines and weather, which IME are everything. The infernal heat of summer in central FL coupled with the lines and the teeming throngs really drives parents to the brink of child abuse, I think. : As long as you skip Christmas vacation, the winter is the time to go.

And, give the kids spending money if they're old enough, so they can decide if that $18 light up sword is worth it; or if they're little, buy them one small thing at the beginning and one small thing at the end. Yes there is a LOT of merchandise there, if you are prepared for it it's less annoying. Some of the stuff is unique and worth buying, but it can be overwhelming.

And finally, if your child is under 6, definitely stay somewhere close by (preferably connected to the Monorail, but that might not make the budget) and arrive at the park early, then go to the hotel for lunch/nap/unwind, and return for the evening, especially the Light Parade and the awesome fireworks. They really do have kick ass fireworks at the Magic Kingdom.

Overall...I think it's a great place to go and the kids will love you for it. My husband's parents never took him to DW when he was small, and I felt sorry for him when I found out :LOL
post #31 of 75

Forgot to mention

I see the OP has a younger child, I wanted to tell you that the nursing mom's area is a must-go. It's sponsored by some yucky formula company, but it's cool, dark, and quietly relaxing--perfect place to nurse or calm down an overtired baby. The nursing room is a good place to meet kindred spirits, too. It's tucked away toward the end of "Main Street USA"
post #32 of 75
I don't know anything about Disney Land, but I have been to disney world many times, most recently last year w my then 2.5 yo. He did love it.

But I wanted to say about the lines, at dw they have a little machine near the front of the ride where you can out in your ticket and get a ride ticket for a specific time. That time might be 3 hours away, but at least you don't have to stand in line. We used these and never waited more than 10 or maybe 20 minutes for anything.

Also, on souvenirs. We had gotten ds a pressed penny at the zoo and when we first arrived at Disney he saw a penny press machine. We used those for souvenirs and we did spend a lot of quarters getting those pennies, but they are real souvenirs and were the beginnings of a collection (when friends or relatives travel they know that is what ds would like them to bring back for him and we usually feed those machines when we see them). This is a totally unnecessary expenditure, but it is not expensive, and ds really enjoys collecting them. I would rather have this collection than have him clamoring to make expensive purchases for plastic or other crap. I have found that most places that have a gift store (museums, zoos, aquariums, etc) also have one of these.
post #33 of 75
I grew up going to Disneyland. It was a fun place to hang out with friends.

Now that I'm a parent, the crowds do worry me. I can't take my eyes off of my kids for a second. So, I find it more fun to go to the park in a group, with other friends and relatives.

I've been planning my first trip to Disney World. I'm going with immediate family, incl. g-parents, in-laws, neices, and nephews.

It's looking like it'll be a great time for everyone. Disney World is a place that all of the family(all ages ans special needs) can enjoy. Disney really has thought of everything. We can all be on vacation together, so I'm looking forward to it.

....so, IMO, it seems like Disney World is worth it and (I hope) it will be all kinds of fun.
post #34 of 75
Originally Posted by mamamillie
But I wanted to say about the lines, at dw they have a little machine near the front of the ride where you can out in your ticket and get a ride ticket for a specific time. That time might be 3 hours away, but at least you don't have to stand in line. We used these and never waited more than 10 or maybe 20 minutes for anything.
Fastpass! It's a great thing. Just make sure you have everyone's park ticket when you go to get the passes, and know you can usually only have one fastpass at a time per ticket (no getting a fastpass for Space Mountain, then getting one for Pooh before you've used the Space Mountain ones, for example). There's a sign above the machine telling when the return time will be, and cast members nearby to help if you need it.

I get pressed pennies too, to put in my scrapbook of the trip. My mom collects them. If you are really into it, guest services at the parks can give you a list of all the pressed penny machines on property. It can be like a scavenger hunt! Books to keep the pennies in are available in most stores on property. We save up shiny pennies and quarters through the year, so we have plenty when we get there. At 51 cents per, they add up, but it's easy to save change through the year for them. They usually look the best if the penny is facing toward the right when you put it in the machine, I've found.
post #35 of 75

How about other amusement parks??

We are not big Disney fans and although I'm not completely opposed to ever taking dd (3 yrs. 4 mos.) to a Disney park, at this age we really love going to the amusement parks we have close-by. They are smaller, the lines are probably shorter and we all have a good time.

I've never been to Disney, but it seems to me that small amusement parks are just as thrilling at a fraction of the cost. We love them!!
post #36 of 75
Love Disney World. In the planning stages of a Disney World/Disney Cruise trip for DS right now...

It really is the "happiest place on earth"

post #37 of 75
We love Disney, it is our favorite place to take out family. We have gone 4 times in the last 4 years. We have been lucky that we were able to get military discounts, we also went in Dec, which is the slowest month and the weather was perfect every time we have gone. I have always loved Disney and watching my kids meet the "stars" was so much fun for me. There we no lines at all when we went, it was cool enough to not be hot but warm enough to go swimming. So add me the JUNKIE crowd as well as my kids, they say they miss Mickey :LOL We are going for our 5th trip this December!
post #38 of 75
Any Dis'ers out there?
post #39 of 75
Originally Posted by newmommy
Any Dis'ers out there?
I am! I started posting over there back in 1998, while researching our trip to WDW in 2000. In fact, I was one of the very first who had their trip planned by Dreams Unlimited, back when they were still "test driving" it.

I wore my lime green, and DH and I met a whole bunch of other Dis'ers for an Illuminations Cruise! So much fun!!!

I haven't posted there in a LOOOONG time, but I do lurk occasionally.
post #40 of 75
Originally Posted by mahogny
I am! I started posting over there back in 1998, while researching our trip to WDW in 2000. In fact, I was one of the very first who had their trip planned by Dreams Unlimited, back when they were still "test driving" it.

I wore my lime green, and DH and I met a whole bunch of other Dis'ers for an Illuminations Cruise! So much fun!!!

I haven't posted there in a LOOOONG time, but I do lurk occasionally.
Hello Fello Dis'er I've been a posting maniac since I started planning our Land/Cruise trip. I can honestly say we are die hard Disney Fans and DS will soon be one too

I have learned so much from those boards. Well, hope to "see" you soon again over there!
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