This is the thread to discuss your thoughts on Walt Disney World (the Florida location).
I went in the summer of 2001. It was too crowded, hot and humid. And very expensive. The kids liked it okay, but we have a great amusement park nearby so it didn’t have the magic factor to it.
I much, much preferred “Discovery Cove” and “Sea World.”
I live just outside Orlando and have been to the Magic Kingdom about 26 times, Epcot probably 12 times, MGM maybe 5 times, so that’s the primary reason for my “meh” vote. (I rarely pay because a family member is connected to Disney.) I used to enjoy it a lot when I was in my teens, but nowadays it’s just okay. I think it would still be fun to go with young kids, though, if it wasn’t too crowded.
If you are a Disney fan, it is awesome.
If you looking for a theme park with great, thrilling rides, you should go someplace else.
I hate to admit it, but I love it. The only thing I dislike is the fact that you are trapped in the park with crappy food and drink selling for high prices. Give me good expensive food, or cheap crappy food, but not expensive crappy food.
I went in 1974. It was amazing. I’m sure it hasn’t changed since.
My in-laws want to plan this big family trip there. And there’s only one kid in the family, mine – who’s too tiny to go on any ride or remember anything. I went when I was a kid, and meh. There’s better amusement parks closer to home that could be a weekend getaway rather than waste all the money on a full week of long distance vacation - like Cedar Point in Ohio or just about any Six Flags.
I pretty much refuse to go along with those plans at this point in time. For the time and money, I would MUCH rather take my family to Yosemite or Yellowstone. To me, we’d have experiences and build memories that actually mean something - not tied into all the commercialism and dawdling around a paved “wonderland”.
I was lucky enough to go on vacation just about every summer when I was a kid, and it’s the outdoor ones (like national parks) or city-wide destinations (like taking in New Orleans) that form lasting memories. My amusement park memories are an unimportant jumble of recollecting being hot, with very tired feet, bad food, a little dehydrated, epic line standing, and the brief moments of fun on a ride, followed by more lines.
Best vacations of my life.
I think very highly of DisneyWorld and have been four or five times since Lady Chance and I started having kids.
It’s easy to focus on the kitschiness of it all, certainly, but it’s really a world class resort in which the staff go WAY the hell past reason to ensure the guests have a good and relaxing time. Friendly, courteous, and willing to be creative in problem solving and providing entertainment.
Really, if you go make sure you stay on Disney property at one of the resorts. Even the two-star places make you feel comfortable and happy.
It is NOT the sort of resort that caters to the young singles looking to get laid crowd. That’s not its gig. It’s for families with kids who want to have a resort where you can golf, hit the parks, fine dining (you’d be amazed at how good some of the restaurants are), some evening entertainment, and to be catered to by enthusiastic staff.
So it’s in my sweet spot.
I voted for “wonderful magical awesome place,” but that’s based on my recollections as a third grader, so there might be so memory inflation at work there. On the other hand, I’ve been to Disneyland a few times as an adult, and had a lot of fun. I wouldn’t put it in as glowing terms as found in the poll, but I was have entirely non-ironic fun, so the “tacky and kitschy” answer doesn’t really apply.
I’m actually a third type of Disney fan - between tacky and kitchy and that’s the beauty and magical and wonderful. I’m the “Disney cynic” type of fan. I love watching Disney separate people from their money and make them feel good about it.
But we are regulars too. And for us its an easy vacation to take. Some people go to the same ski resort every year, they know the hills and get used to them and look forward to them. Some people stay at the same beach. We’ve been to Disney often enough that its easy, and that makes it pleasant. But its easy to be overwhelmed. For instance, I know where to get “reasonable decent food” instead of “cheap crappy food” and “good expensive food.” Therefore, we seldom eat “cheap crappy food” at Disney - maybe twice a trip we resort to the ubiquitous not very good and overpriced burger.
I went in 1986 with my then-girlfriend. We had an okay time. We felt each other up on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, so that was nice. I think I would have enjoyed it more if we could’ve gone to EPCOT.
I fall between the tacky/kitschy and the beautiful/magical views. Disneyworld is all artificially designed to entertain you but it’s well designed and it does the job. It’s like a well-made summer blockbuster movie or a two thousand dollar prostitute - the experience may not be “real” but it’s fun.
I took a friend who values “authentic” experiences and he wasn’t getting it. Until I said “its interactive theatre.” Aha! The light went off and he was suddenly onboard. It isn’t authentic, its being pulled out of someone’s imagination.
I went to Disneyland in 1972, and again last year. They put some plastic clown fish in the submarine lagoon and called it “Nemo’s Adventure”, or something, but much of it was the same.
And much of it wasn’t. I finally got to ride Space Mountain.
My snowbird mom lives near Cedar Point in Ohio, so, when I have vacation dollars to spend and a hankering for an amusement park, I’d prefer to go there than haul on down to Orlando. The rides are so much better it isn’t funny.
I’d say more “manipulative” than tacky – it’s clear how everything is designed to make you do what they want you to do. But it’s still a lot of fun and you go along with it anyway.
I visited as a 14-year-old high school student, back in 1991 or so. I voted “meh” - I was too old to really be into the magic and wonder of it all, so for me it was a bunch of kinda lame rides, a not-very-exciting roller coaster, and a lot of opportunities to buy overpriced kitschy souvenirs.
If I went back now with my three kids in tow, I suspect my experience might be somewhat different. A too-cool-for-school 14-year-old is pretty much exactly the wrong audience for Disney World.
I voted Non-US Tacky and Kitschy. I’m from Australia but I’ve lived in the States for ten years.
I found it tacky but in an utterly charming, ‘hey, we built a castle! In a swamp!’ way. The whole time I was there I was thinking, “One day, lad, all this will be yours.”
We vacationed there earlier this fall. I had a lovely time and would definitely go back. I recognize that I am being sold someone else’s idea of a wonderful time, but every detail was handled so that it wasn’t my problem, and I actually felt relaxed pretty much as soon as we arrived. I have nothing to compare it to, though, as I’ve only really vacationed in cities, so it was my first attempt at the whole resort/destination thing.
Also, I was completely baffled but nevertheless charmed by the majority of Magical Kingdom rides. I’d never been on anything fancier than bumper cars. I still haven’t been on a ferris wheel. So I was sort of expecting the roller-coasters and the ones where you fly around in a circle, but the ones where you sit sedately in a carriage or boat and look at stuff were just odd. Mr. Wild made me go on the Haunted Mansion three times. Some things may not translate if you didn’t go there as a kid, I guess.
After growing up way far away from Disney World and seeing Disney Land on the telly every Sunday night, standing in front of any kind of Disney castle was like standing on Mars or something though. Viewing such an iconic part of one of the dominant cultural paradigms of my childhood was weird. So we got our pictures taken in front of it. With ears on.
Spring of 1986. That year, college choirs from all over were performing there at various times, and our chorale and handbell choir got to perform during our spring tour. I had so much fun! We sang and rang during the first part of the morning, and got to explore for the rest of the day. I would love to take my kids there, but haven’t as yet been able to afford it.