I personally dont have a huge desire to go anywhere else. I love Disneyland and the other parks and probobly drop atleast 10 grand a year there, acutally Im sure of it. Its just a great place to go, some people like hawaii some like disneyland. Its interesting how some people could go to say, paris 3 times a year and nobody would look at them wierd, but when you say that your going to disneyland 7 times this year they think your crazy.
I think it all depends on your opinion of what a vacation is.
If a person defines a vacation as a relaxing/educational thing, they'd probably go sightseeing. If a person defines it as a fun thing, they'd most likely go to a Disney park.
As an example, I'm going on a school trip to New York City this year to see the New York Philharmonic and some art museums. Though that's interesting, I could just as easily go there to shop around and go to Playland to have some fun.
Personally, I'd definitely go with a fun vacation.
I had a chance to travel to Italy last year. It was wonderful because of the history, art and general "doce vita" feeling. But at the same time I had to cope with pick-pockets, the language barrier, cheating merchants, low dollar exchange rate, and seat-less toilets. At the end of the trip I felt like a walking wallet. So many people were trying to get me to spend my money or steal it.
Now don't get me wrong. With all the bad, it was a wonderful experience. But having been to WDW and experienced other cultures there, it was far safer and cheaper than real travel abroad.
There is the rub with DCA. Since it does not take you to exotic lands of Europe or Asia, but to fictional places that "typify" California like Grizzly Mountain, Paradise Pier, and Condor Flats (Places that no one has heard of nor want to visit.), there is little appeal for most locals and even tourists.
Westcot would have been a draw because California, in general, loves multicultural experiences. To go to China, Japan, Italy or France without the worry of customs, exchange rates, pick-pockets, jet-lag or language barriers would have been more appealing than DCA.
Jiminy Cricket Fan
As world travel becomes more costly, difficult and uncomfortable for the less adventurous, is a Disney Theme Park now the way to experience The World? I was quite appalled at a friend of mine who took her first vacation ever out of the U.S. and went to France where she spent 3 nights at the Disney Park and 2 nights in Paris. Guess which she liked better. Another is considering a trip to Tokyo to see Disney Seas...has no interest in the Japanese culture or sights.
Disney theme parks could NEVER replace the joy of real world travel. I enjoy Disney parks immensly and have especially enjoyed DLR Paris and Tokyo Disney - but that was because my experience was combined with even more time in the real worlds of Paris and Tokyo. I can't imagine going somewhere and not being interested in the sights, food, or clture of another country. That would make life seem so dull and so void of broad enrichment.
I visit Disney because I'm interested in Disney. But, it usually pales in comparrison to the experiences "off property". Florida would be my one exception to that rule.
Without argument, a Disney Park is a safe destination and a carefully managed , clean environment which recreates the real world in a safe and antiseptic environment.
Sure, Disney is a fantasy. But, fantasy is not the only interesting park of life. The world is not an safe and antiseptic place. It is colorful, unpredictable, exciting, joyous, and absolutely, wonderfully amazing. Why would anyone choose to miss it?
I can't imainge someone so enthralled with the imagination of Disney to be willing to travel around the globe would lack the curiosity to experience the world outside the berm. Good lord, there is so much more out there than Disney you're only short changing yourself by missing it.
Disney parks can never replace the adventure and excitement of seeing the real world. I love doing both things, but you go on vacation to real world places for the experience of being there and knowing that it's more of an adventure. I was a tourism major in college and so this is topic close to my heart. There are different types of tourism and tourists. Some people love just the safe and stick with Disney parks or cruises to private islands where everything is structured. Another group enjoys going on cruises to destinations that are part of the real world, but only see a small part of it since they're only there for a few hours. Some go and fully immerse themselves in the culture of other countries/cities.
I've been to 40 of the 50 US states and how different we all are even as Americans, to see people and places in other regions of the world is all the more amazing. I would never discourage someone from going to a Disney park, but I would most definitely encourage everyone to explore the city and region around the Disney park, Orange County has much to offer, Tokyo, Paris and Hong Kong are all great cities, Orlando...mostly is a tourist destination, but a trip to the Cape is good. There is such an amazing world out there that we are only a small part of, I love seeing everything else out there.
I would love to go to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea, but believe you me, there would be at least three more days tacked on to the Disney parks to explore Tokyo and a lot of good food-- shabu shabu, okonomiyaki, currydon, donburi, oyako, udon, ramen, etc etc.