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  • How should I prepare a first time visitor?

    medium rare?


    But seriously folks,
    I'm excited to take a friend of mine to Disneyland soon who, despite living in California his whole life, has never been to the park. I'm pretty sure he'll enjoy it, because he really is a kid at heart (he worked at Build-a-bear and currently at Toys R Us).
    I was curious if anyone had any suggestions on how I should prepare him for his first visit. I tried to explain what it was like once, but it's hard to do! Should I just let him be surprised? Should I educate him on Walt Disney? or the History of the park? of course, I don't want to overload the poor fellow, or raise his expectations too high. Does anyone have any helpful suggestions?

    Thanks a bunch!




  • #2
    Re: How should I prepare a first time visitor?

    make sure he's seen as many as possible of the disney movies associated with the rides, then he'll enjoy and be familiar with them all? that's what i plan to do when i have kids and i'm taking them for their first time.

    maybe a few interesting facts as you're visiting, but history overload is for people AFTER they fall in love with the park and have to know everything about it.

    and certainly don't give him any spoilers or behind the scenes type stuff until after he's done or seen the activity in question, to preserve the magic.

    (OT: yay for last.fm! i love that you're listening to a mighty wind sountrack, lol)
    "And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by" (John Masefield)


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    • #3
      Re: How should I prepare a first time visitor?

      [quote=twobluestripes;2336075]make sure he's seen as many as possible of the disney movies associated with the rides, then he'll enjoy and be familiar with them all? that's what i plan to do when i have kids and i'm taking them for their first time.quote]

      I have to agree with this. As far as Disney movies go, i'm not an expert, except for Mary Poppins. After going to the park more times than i can count over 20 years, i still find myself asking my girlfriend what is this music from? What fairy is this movie from? I am pretty clueless when it comes to a lot of that stuff, but, i know my DL trivia.

      Weird...i've often thought so

      "The moose say's you're closed, i say you're open" Clark W. Griswold

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      • #4
        Re: How should I prepare a first time visitor?

        Taking a first time visitor sounds like a lot of fun! My best advice would be don't overwhelm him with too much information. Don't try to drag him on the most rides possible. Just try to go with the flow and make sure you take time to pay attention to all the details of the park.
        The Armenian Genocide

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        • #5
          Re: How should I prepare a first time visitor?

          Rent or buy Walt Disney: The Man Behind the Myth

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          • #6
            Re: How should I prepare a first time visitor?

            This is simple. Do nothing at all.

            But this is very important no matter what you do, do NOT ignore the entrance plaques before you enter the park.

            Stand there and have him read it, "Here you leave the world of today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy."

            That is all you need to do in order to help him understand just what it is that makes Disneyland different than any amusement park in the world.

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            • #7
              Re: How should I prepare a first time visitor?

              For a kid of heart, you really don't need to do anything. I think while you're there you can describe some cool fun facts along the way and just have fun (like the Matterhorn Bobsleds being the first coaster of its kind... and debut in 1959!!!! Pirates was the last attraction overseen by Walt and opening in 1967 and wow does it hold up). They'll appreciate all the attention to detail I assure you.


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              • #8
                Re: How should I prepare a first time visitor?

                Originally posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
                This is simple. Do nothing at all.

                But this is very important no matter what you do, do NOT ignore the entrance plaques before you enter the park.

                Stand there and have him read it, "Here you leave the world of today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy."

                That is all you need to do in order to help him understand just what it is that makes Disneyland different than any amusement park in the world.
                This is absolutely the best advice I have ever seen on these boards - almost made me tear up.
                "Remember 'Old Yeller'? We shot the dog." - Roy E. Disney

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                • #9
                  Re: How should I prepare a first time visitor?

                  Wow, these are all great perspectives, thanks guys!

                  I wasn't really planning on overloading him with info, but I was curious to see what sorts of ideas people had, since I'm not sure what it's like to have grown up without memories of the park. He is pretty familiar with Disney movies and such, so I don't think he'll be too lost with all the characters.

                  Dirton, that documentary The Man Behind The Myth sounds very interesting, thanks for recommending it! The details and atmosphere are what I enjoy most about Disneyland, so i'll make sure he's able to take it easy and soak it all in.

                  Also, thanks DisneyIPresume, since I go pretty often I absolutely didn't want to overlook or take for granted something like the main enterance plaques. I was worried I'd miss those sorts of things.

                  We'll take it easy and hopefully he enjoys himself!
                  Thanks again, everyone!

                  (Twobluestripes: I love the music from A Mighty Wind!)



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                  • #10
                    Re: How should I prepare a first time visitor?

                    I suggest you make sure he lines his wallet with copious amounts of legal tender before going in...and...make sure he has no expectations of having any left by the time he leaves.

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                    • #11
                      Re: How should I prepare a first time visitor?

                      I second DisneyIPresume--don't do a thing. Just let them experience it, and as someone who has been there already, do your part to push along the magic so they have a great experience. I love watching people whose first time it is in the park[s] because it's like reliving the first time through them. Watching their face in things like Turtle Talk, dragging them on Tower and promising them that it isn't as bad as it looks, showing them Storybook land and watching even adult faces turn to complete childlike wonder....
                      I hope both you and your first timer friend have a truly good day.
                      dreams. come. true.

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                      • #12
                        Re: How should I prepare a first time visitor?

                        The Man Behind The Myth is awesome. It creates a connection with Walt. What he was trying to do, what he did, and how he never let anything get in his way. It brilliantly shows the feelings and ideas behind Walt and his park which is just a reflection of they way he saw the world.
                        Last edited by Dirton; 11-16-2007, 02:46 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Re: How should I prepare a first time visitor?

                          Originally posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
                          This is simple. Do nothing at all.
                          QFT

                          It's a natural tendency for people who visit often to rush first timers or start yammering off every disney fact that pops into their head. This is way overwhelming to someone first stepping into the park. We all know Disneyland is a great place, but they don't yet. You'll get more converts by letting the park speak for itself than by any other way.

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                          • #14
                            Re: How should I prepare a first time visitor?

                            What great pieces of advice. I have brought a number of people for the first time to the park. I have a hard time containing my knowledge of minutia, but it is better that way.

                            If you know this person has a particular interest in something, you might take them to see that at the park. For instance... I have an Uncle who is a huge fan of Roy Rogers and country pickin' music. We took him to see Billy Hill the first day of the 2 day trip. He couldn't stop talking about it and went back another time that day and once more the next. We also took him to see the Miner 49'rs at DCA and he loved that as well. So those aspects really were great for him. He wasn't so hot on the faster rides, but really got a kick from the singing and live entertainment around the park.

                            Another first timer was very into roller coasters so we only went on the big rides (starting at DCA actually) we skipped the shows because that wasn't his idea of a good time.

                            Let the person dictate what you will see. Tell them what is there, but take the time just to walk around and see it.

                            Just looking at the Christmas decor is fun right now!

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                            • #15
                              Re: How should I prepare a first time visitor?

                              Originally posted by DisneyIPresume View Post
                              This is simple. Do nothing at all.

                              But this is very important no matter what you do, do NOT ignore the entrance plaques before you enter the park.

                              Stand there and have him read it, "Here you leave the world of today and enter the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy."

                              That is all you need to do in order to help him understand just what it is that makes Disneyland different than any amusement park in the world.
                              I could not agree more.

                              If you can, take a picture of him and his first look down Main Street when he sees the castle.

                              IMO: Priceless
                              Check out my flickr photos!

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