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Tips for longtime DLR AP holder going to WDW for 1st time in 15+ years

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  • [Question] Tips for longtime DLR AP holder going to WDW for 1st time in 15+ years

    Hi all,
    I'm a longtime Disneyland guest and know the park like the back of my hand (which isn't saying much) but in about six months or so (Jan or Feb 2013) I'll be visiting WDW for the first time in 15+ years.

    I'll be there for about 4-6 days depending on how much PTO I have for work by then, and how much I've saved up for the trip.

    What I'm looking for is what attractions is absolutely must visit while I'm there, and what I should try to check out if I have extra time. I don't think I'm doing a park hopper so that will definitely change things. And I'm not staying at the resort as I'm staying at a friend's house about 45 minutes away.

    I wasn't legally able to drink when I went to Epcot so I will definitely spend a whole day there eating and drinking!

    I'm willing to check out the newer Haunted Mansion as well as attractions that aren't available on the West Coast. But I wasn't going to spend time going on ones like most of the Fantasyland rides, Big Thunder, or anything that is a near clone from the West Coast. I WILL go on ToT because I remember it being so much better than DCA's!

    I do remember not being impressed with the Indiana Jones Stuntshow despite being a huge Indy fan (I have prop replicas from most of the movies!), but will definitely check out the car stunt show.

    That being said, thank you ahead of time for any tips!

  • #2
    Re: Tips for longtime DLR AP holder going to WDW for 1st time in 15+ years

    Not sure if you are into the sit and watch type shows or not, If not then you will have one big thing to consider if you don't get a park hopper - Animal Kingdom is probably the lamest part of Disney World. My family goes to WDW much more often than Disneyland and often will completely skip AK because it just isn't that great. Some people like the roller coaster there, but honestly that is really the only thing they have going for them ride wise, the other rides at AK are weak. If you could get the park hopper then I would say set aside half a day for AK, arrive early get to the roller coaster and then maybe wander about for an hour or so and then go to any other park, even Disney Quest at Downtown Disney.

    As for rides, the only ones that WDW wins at hands down are the Jungle Cruise and the monorails (though you can only snag a ride in the front at Disneyland now after the crash at WDW). If you are looking for things that only exist at WDW I think it would be Stitch's Great Escape, Monster Inc, Tomorrowland Transit and Carousal of Progress.

    To be honest I think what you get at WDW isn't really better rides, it better atmosphere outside the rides. The fact that they have more space to play with allows WDW to put a little more into the packaging than Disneyland.

    Probably non-ride entertainment will be something you might consider... depending on how much of Pirates of the Caribbean fan you are there is Captain Jack's Pirate tutorial (like the Jedi training but probably more entertaining) which kind of makes up for the fact that the ride at WDW is shorter than at Land... in Studios you might consider Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast they are both shows, the Mermaid is about 15 minutes long the Beauty and the Beast was more like a half hour both are good if you are into the stage show things.... at Epcot you should plan on seeing Illuminations one evening, its worth it... at MK you have the Electric Light Parade which I think has long since left Disneyland, so if you long for some cheesy Moog sounds you can get a flash back there...If you are glutton for punishment then you could also hit the Lion King and Finding Nemo shows at AK, frankly they are not something I would ever do more than once and if I had known how bad they were would have skipped them the first time.

    there you have a few things... which I'm sure some will disagree with but everyone has there own opinion.

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    • #3
      Re: Tips for longtime DLR AP holder going to WDW for 1st time in 15+ years

      In the MK, be sure to check out the Carousel of Progress, Swiss Family Treehouse, Peoplemover, and Country Bear Jamboree. Our version of PotC isn't as good as yours, but you should check out the queue; it's pretty cool.

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      • #4
        Re: Tips for longtime DLR AP holder going to WDW for 1st time in 15+ years

        WDW beats DL hands down for food, so make sure you go to a good variety of sit down restaurants. So budget for a good $100/person/per day food allowance, so you can take in good eats.

        For shows, I really enjoyed the Lion King show at AK. It's a good reason to go to AK. For EPCOT, figure out the times for the performances in World Showcase. Most are pretty enjoyable.

        For rides, you really have to venture over to Universal. I don't remember any ride at WDW as earth shattering compared to DL. Though, I did enjoy the 3D Mickey movie over at MK. However, with the Spider-man ride redone and the Forbidden Journey Ride over at Universal, I recommend both of those rides if you venture out.

        If I had to plan out a WDW vacation today, I would wait for the Harry Potter expansion to be finished, which would also mean all the Fantasyland expansion would also be finished. Then, I would venture out to FL. But for now with the new Carsland open, I'd go to DL/DCA.

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        • #5
          Re: Tips for longtime DLR AP holder going to WDW for 1st time in 15+ years

          Originally posted by Wreckless Abrandon View Post
          Hi all,
          I'm a longtime Disneyland guest and know the park like the back of my hand (which isn't saying much) but in about six months or so (Jan or Feb 2013) I'll be visiting WDW for the first time in 15+ years.

          I'll be there for about 4-6 days depending on how much PTO I have for work by then, and how much I've saved up for the trip.

          What I'm looking for is what attractions is absolutely must visit while I'm there, and what I should try to check out if I have extra time. I don't think I'm doing a park hopper so that will definitely change things. And I'm not staying at the resort as I'm staying at a friend's house about 45 minutes away.

          I wasn't legally able to drink when I went to Epcot so I will definitely spend a whole day there eating and drinking!

          I'm willing to check out the newer Haunted Mansion as well as attractions that aren't available on the West Coast. But I wasn't going to spend time going on ones like most of the Fantasyland rides, Big Thunder, or anything that is a near clone from the West Coast. I WILL go on ToT because I remember it being so much better than DCA's!

          I do remember not being impressed with the Indiana Jones Stuntshow despite being a huge Indy fan (I have prop replicas from most of the movies!), but will definitely check out the car stunt show.

          That being said, thank you ahead of time for any tips!
          I'm in the same boat as you. I'm a DLR regular and will be going to WDW for the first time in 14+ years this December for 5 days! I'm very excited and would also like to hear from WDW parkgoers of any advice. Dining seems to be a big part of the WDW experience so I have already booked reservations at Jiko, Bistro de Paris and Sci-Fi Dine In! I'm looking forward to seeing the Country Bears and the Electrical Parade again.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Tips for longtime DLR AP holder going to WDW for 1st time in 15+ years

            Originally posted by earthfirst View Post
            I'm in the same boat as you. I'm a DLR regular and will be going to WDW for the first time in 14+ years this December for 5 days! I'm very excited and would also like to hear from WDW parkgoers of any advice. Dining seems to be a big part of the WDW experience so I have already booked reservations at Jiko, Bistro de Paris and Sci-Fi Dine In! I'm looking forward to seeing the Country Bears and the Electrical Parade again.
            If your trip in December allows, I suggest you do the special ticket Christmas Party. Being a foodie you wont be impressed by the free cookies and hot coco... but it does provide a better chance at riding the popular rides without standing in line forever... be warned if you are into the meet and greet photo ops, they have some special Christmas costumed characters around but you need to hit them early because the lines for them can become very long as the party goes on.

            Some will tell you to do the Osborne lights, while you might take them in if you are in Studios at night I wouldn't make any special effort to see them. I love lights as much as the next person, but they are really a little overboard and beyond pretty into the realm of over the top.

            You might also check the timing of your trip with the Candlelight Processional I have no idea who the narrators will be this year but if you are into that type of Christmas stuff you might try to check it out.

            Also if you haven't made your actual reservations yet, if you are planning on using a car when you are there I highly recommend you make your trip arrangements through your local AAA office. You wont get any great price, pretty much the same as the price if you booked from Disney... but you will get a special parking pass that will allow you parking that is much closer to the gates so that you wont need to bother with riding those blasted parking lot trains.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Tips for longtime DLR AP holder going to WDW for 1st time in 15+ years

              This was exactly me about two years ago - longtime Disneyland visitor but first time to WDW in about 10 years. We managed to do just about everything in all four parks in four full days, although it was the week after Thanksgiving and the crowds were very low.

              Here is what we did:
              1. Epcot: For me, this is the best park out of all the CA/FL Disney parks. I would ride Spaceship Earth and Test Track at least twice each. Spend a good 10 hours at Epcot if you can, and do absolutely every ride/attraction possible, even if it looks lame.

              2. Animal Kingdom: I'm not sure I would call it the "lamest" Disney park, but it is a little low on actual rides. You should definitely do the Safari, Everest, and Dinosaur - people bash Dinosaur but I think it's quite good. Those are really the only three "rides" but there are several shows including the Lion King, Nemo, and a live bird show, all of which are decent but you won't regret it if you don't make time for them. Overall, you could possibly spend half a day here and the remainder of the day doing something else (Downtown Disney, miniature golf). We spent about 7 hours but really took our time and did just about everything (including multiple rides on Everest and Dinosaur).

              3. Hollywood Studios: I personally liked this park a lot - Tower of Terror is better than the Anaheim version and Aerosmith is really fun as well. We skipped Midway Mania because it's basically the same as the Anaheim version. The Mermaid show is decent but if you're low on time probably can be skipped. The Great Movie Ride was awesome and unlike anything at DL or DCA. You should also plan for the American Idol show if you're a fan of the show, otherwise you probably won't care for it.

              4. MK: Just do as much of the non-DL rides as you can (People Mover, Philharmagic, Hall of Presidents). Splash Mountain, Jungle Cruise, and Pooh also worth your time, as they are marginally better than the DL versions.
              Last edited by rhonkt; 07-07-2012, 01:35 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Tips for longtime DLR AP holder going to WDW for 1st time in 15+ years

                Go to universal studios Orlando instead.
                Get the latest and greatest theme park news by

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                • #9
                  Re: Tips for longtime DLR AP holder going to WDW for 1st time in 15+ years

                  Magic Kingdom:
                  Mickey's PhilharMagic
                  Dumbo the Flying Elephant
                  PeopleMover
                  Astro Orbitor
                  Stitch's Great Escape
                  Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
                  Carousel of Progress
                  Jungle Cruise
                  Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse
                  Country Bear Jamboree
                  Hall of Presidents

                  Epcot:
                  Mission: Space
                  Test Track
                  Ellen's Energy Adventure
                  The Seas with Nemo and Friends

                  Hollywood Studios:
                  Tower of Terror
                  Rock 'N' Roller Coaster
                  The American Idol Experience
                  Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage
                  Walt Disney: One Man's Dream
                  Voyage of The Little Mermaid
                  The Great Movie Ride

                  Animal Kingdom:
                  Expedition Everest
                  Kali River Rapids
                  Festival of The Lion King
                  Dinosaur
                  Finding Nemo: The Musical

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Tips for longtime DLR AP holder going to WDW for 1st time in 15+ years

                    Big tip:
                    If you want to eat well in epcot and your going in january february go to disneyworld.com and reserve your dining as son as possible (system is 180 days in advance)...
                    If you are traveling with kids i recommend... Coral reef, teppan edo, o arkeshaus royal banquet (only one with characters)
                    if you are going with your couple i recommend... San angel and le cellier (best restaurant in epcot ..reserve now).
                    If you are interesed in good quality food i recommend bistro de paris an le cellier...
                    But most important
                    reserveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Tips for longtime DLR AP holder going to WDW for 1st time in 15+ years

                      Thanks for all of the suggestions! Keep them coming!

                      To be honest, I actually like animals and could just sit and watch animals/people so I don't have to be on a ride all the time. I'll skip the Lion King as I've seen the Broadway Musical which is phenomenal. I've been told that this Lion King show is different, but not at the same level. I may check out the Nemo one as that's one of my favorite Pixar films. Plus I think the day I visit AK will be also when I go do non-Disney things at night.

                      I'll probably visit Universal another time, but this trip is for WDW. I'm not as big of a fan of Universal's quality and direction for rides as they've been traditionally about thrills and being edgy rather than theme details (except for HP and Transformers), but that's a different thread.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Tips for longtime DLR AP holder going to WDW for 1st time in 15+ years

                        Maybe add on Sea World to your trip, assuming that you haven't watched the movie The Cove.

                        I just returned from San Diego's Sea World, and I was blown away by how much that park has improved since I last visited it a couple of years ago. Sea World has really stepped up their game. If they're as good on the east coast as on the west coast, I'd add Sea World to your list of places to see.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Tips for longtime DLR AP holder going to WDW for 1st time in 15+ years

                          Originally posted by thedude76 View Post
                          Maybe add on Sea World to your trip, assuming that you haven't watched the movie The Cove.

                          I just returned from San Diego's Sea World, and I was blown away by how much that park has improved since I last visited it a couple of years ago. Sea World has really stepped up their game. If they're as good on the east coast as on the west coast, I'd add Sea World to your list of places to see.
                          Nice! The East Coast version of Manta blows away the West Coast version from what I've been told. Sad considering San Diego's park blew it with Atlantis... they tripped up again with Manta... it's still a great ride, but since it's not flying, it's "missing something" according to friends that have been to both.

                          I've seen The Cove, but as with all documentaries, I take them with a grain of salt.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Tips for longtime DLR AP holder going to WDW for 1st time in 15+ years

                            Originally posted by Santana View Post
                            Magic Kingdom:
                            Mickey's PhilharMagic
                            Dumbo the Flying Elephant
                            PeopleMover
                            Astro Orbitor
                            Stitch's Great Escape
                            Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor
                            Carousel of Progress
                            Jungle Cruise
                            Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse
                            Country Bear Jamboree
                            Hall of Presidents

                            Epcot:
                            Mission: Space
                            Test Track
                            Ellen's Energy Adventure
                            The Seas with Nemo and Friends

                            Hollywood Studios:
                            Tower of Terror
                            Rock 'N' Roller Coaster
                            The American Idol Experience
                            Beauty and the Beast: Live on Stage
                            Walt Disney: One Man's Dream
                            Voyage of The Little Mermaid
                            The Great Movie Ride

                            Animal Kingdom:
                            Expedition Everest
                            Kali River Rapids
                            Festival of The Lion King
                            Dinosaur
                            Finding Nemo: The Musical

                            Exactly what he said, but please add Spaceship Earth to the Epcot list.
                            Please consider the environment before printing useless emails

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                            • #15
                              Re: Tips for longtime DLR AP holder going to WDW for 1st time in 15+ years

                              For the American Idol Experience go to the last showing of the day because they feature the winners of the shows from the entire day so you should be hearing the best singers the park has to offer.

                              Also for TSMM, get a Fastpass as soon as you get in the park because there is always a mad rush to get them and they sell out before noon.

                              At Animal Kingdom I heard Kilimanjaro Safaris is better in the morning because the animals are more lively and not as tired since they just woke up.

                              Also try the Flame Tree BBQ, very delicious, fresh food, and a unique setting in the forests where animals leisurely roam through the tables (but don't worry, they won't bother you or take your food).

                              The Electrical Water Pageant takes place on the Sevens Seas Lagoon at night and I find the best place to watch it at the Polynesian's Beach (it's free too).

                              Try resort hopping, WDW offers so many great pieces of architecture that are fun to just walk around and adsorb the detail, especially the deluxe ones. Animal Kingdom Lodge offers a safari that is free to view, Wilderness Lodge has a cool geyser and it feels like you are really in the northwest, their lobby is also very awesome. Boardwalk Resort is cool to walk along the boardwalk and feel like your in Atlantic City and the Yacht and Beach Club have this cool ice cream place called Beaches and Cream. Grand Floridian is also cool to walk around since it is supposedly Disney's best hotel on the planet. Also Coronado SPrings and Caribbean BEach offer paddle boat rentals.

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