I would also add
It’s horribly expensive to get through the gate and I doubt I’ll return any time soon.
I would also add
It’s horribly expensive to get through the gate and I doubt I’ll return any time soon.
Disney World is my spiritual home and I make pilgrimages as often as I can. My first visit was in 1973, when I was 7, and the magic has never let go of me. My grandparents moved to Florida at some point and so we made a number of trips to Orlando as a side thing over the years, and then I started traveling to WDW with my best friend. We just had our 8th trip there this past June. I’ve gone with my kids and husband, too, but there’s great pleasure to be had in not being tied to a child’s attention span and energy level.
I have an Annual Pass in my purse, and every so often, when I’m having a stressful day, I’ll think to myself, ‘I could be at Disney World right now!’
There is nothing, nothing, like coming through the train station and getting that first view down Main Street USA to Cinderella Castle.
I have been one time, and I hated it. It probably didn’t help that I had a broken toe.
I went with my second husband and our 3 kids. This would have been around 1995. Everything was incredibly expensive - a Tylenol, for example, one Tylenol in a gift shop was $4. One pill.
Florida has nothing on Mississippi as far as being hot and humid, but I don’t usually walk around all day in that heat/humidity in a sea of concrete either.
I know that large numbers of people love the place, and I’m happy for them. I don’t make fun of anybody who loves it, really, that’s great for you. It’s just not my cup of tea. I hate crowds and I hate spending gobs of money.
Meh. I’m more a fan of traditional parks like Knoebels Grove more than theme parks. Not against them at all but they aren’t my first choice. Cost is some but I also don’t like my park experience being that controlled and pre-planned by the management.
It’s for kids, and I went as an adult. I couldn’t stand that every ride ended with you walking through a gift shop, with little kids crying that they couldn’t have a souvenir from each place. I found it incredibly commercial, tacky, and was amazed at how overpriced it was. I don’t understand how the average family with a few kids can even afford the place.
Also, EPCOT was closed when I went (WTF?) so I have no idea what the hoopla over that silver golf ball is all about.
I voted ‘meh’. My second visit was to Epcot when I was 18, and it was okay - had my sister not really wanted to go, gotten a big discount, and then paid for me I probably wouldn’t have gone, and unless I get another free trip I won’t be going again.
My first visit was to Magic Kingdom when I was 14, and I absolutely loathed it. Part of it was that it was the one “fun” thing on the family vacation from hell - we drove around the deep south going on admissions tours of engineering schools my sister was applying to. I had no interest in Disney World, because I was 14, and Disney World is not enticing to a 14-year-old [then] vegan who considers herself not only way too mature for Disney crap, but also an anti-corporate anarchist. My parents insisted I go (I would have been perfectly happy to stay in the hotel all day), and tried to insist I have a good time. Of course I didn’t, and it was pretty much awful.
I still maintain that it’s for kids with either rich or financially irresponsible parents, and possibly for the obnoxiously immature.
Been there twice, most recently this past September, and loved it.
Yes, it’s tacky and kitschy. Yes, you line up for everything. Yes, everything is planned and regimented. And yes, I love it. It’s entertaining, immersive, and unforgettable. If it wasn’t thousands of miles and a very expensive plane ticket away, I’d go more often.
British. I went there with a friend around Easter of 2008. In four consecutive days we visited all of the four main parks. We stayed at one of the hotels (Dolphin) within the complex itself.
Even though Easter is reckoned to be one of the worst times in terms of over-crowding, I didn’t think it was too bad, and I thought the organisation did a great job of managing the crowds and coping with the dizzying logistics of it all.
I can see that for some people it would constitute a kind of hell on Earth and seem obnoxiously commercial, even by the standards of obnoxiously commercial organisations.
However, I was very impressed and would happily go back there again. I gave them ten out of ten for attention to detail, customer service and professionalism. Everything is clean, everything does what it says it does, nothing ever runs out, nothing is ever left with an ‘Out of order’ sign on it, everything runs on schedule, everyone does their job well, and they cope with the vast numbers exceptionally well.
It wasn’t too expensive from my point of view, but then again I really don’t mind what I pay if I get good service and a good attitude. I can see that for families and groups it gets insanely expensive, but no worse than any other large theme park.
I did too.
That was the year I graduated from high school and I flew there from Colorado with a friend. We had a good time. Illegal substances may have been involved.
My feelings about the Mouse have changed a lot since 1972.
In 1989 we went to Disney World when my Florida in-laws flew us out. We only went for the sake of our (then) 6 year old. I was 5 months pregnant, and by the end of the day, feeling extremely cynical about the way I was being ‘managed’ by the park. I did not believe in the Magic, let alone want to participate.
When the second kid turned 5, the in-laws happily took him to Disney World while we just as happily did something else.
I was glad that I did not have to do it again.
But now we live in Florida.
If I ever become a grandma, it might become my turn to shoulder the Disney burden, and I will try to adjust my attitude.
I agree that staying on the property helps. We spent one day just hanging out at the pool. That was fine.
I am non-us and I loved it. It is expensive, but I don’t care. The Magic of the Mouse worked on me.
I will say though that I cracked up the first time someone told me to “Have a magical day…”
Since they took out “If You Had Wings” there’s no reason to go.
Could you elaborate on this? I’ve been there several times, had a mostly enjoyable time (my kids were the problem, not the park) but never felt “managed”, and I’m having a hard time understanding what people mean by this. Several posters have used the term, and I truly don’t get it.
I fall on the spectrum between Tacky and Magical, too. I really enjoyed the visit, don’t care for roller coasters (and I live near Cedar Point, so I know…sacrilige!) so I enjoyed the rides and the technology (bear in mind, the last time I was there was about 1990!) and the days we went, the crowds were not horrible. Lots of great stuff to see and do, and cheesy music playing from hidden speakers to make fun of!
When I talk about managed (or in my case, being a cynic, and yet a fan), I talk about the way the park uses music and scenery to get an emotional response. Or more crassly, how they put a gift shop at the exit to a ride to get you to spend money. How a line twists and turns so there isn’t an easy “honest” look at how long it is - but at the same time how they usually underestimate the wait so you end up feeling good that your 40 minute wait was ONLY 35 minutes. There is almost always a gift shop/restroom/trash can nearly right there when you need it - of course, you never NEED a gift shop.
On the Disney cruise ships there are three pools - a Mickey Pool for the little kids, a family pool and an adult pool. There isn’t a lot of space between the pools (its the upper deck of a cruise ship), but they’ve managed through music and decoration to make each pool feel different without any jarring transitions. Its the sort of thing that once I started looking for it, I couldn’t help but admire.
My sentiments exactly. I loved that ride and made my parents go on it about six times when we were there in 1972.
Meh. But they still got my money. They own everything down there.
We went (pre-kids) in 1987 and had a blast. Then again, we went in October - the BEST time of year to go (cheap, and ZERO lines).
We’ve been twice with the kids and though they like it, the times we can go, what with school, are NIGHTMARISHLY crowded.
Moon Unit (our youngest) starts college in 2015.
We’re going to Disney in October 2015.
Re “Magical”: in 2002, we went to Disneyland (the one in California). Brought my son’s friend C along - he was just turned 7 at the time. At one point, he and I were separated from Typo Knig and my two kids, and C. and I watched the parade. C’s face just utterly lit up and it was glorious watching him enjoy the parade.
THAT… was magical
I too fall in between “tacky is the point” (my vote) and “it’s wunnerfully magical!”
I have been there about 8 times, from childhood through my kids being 5 and 8 months. Honestly, the most fun was probably when my husband and I went pre-kids. I see people hating on it because it’s made for kids, but trust me, if you’re a goofball adult, it’s freakin sweet.
Now, going with the baby - that was kind of a nightmare. And when our older daughter was going on 3, it was a bit tough too. My general recommendation is not to go with children who still need diapers and/or naps. But in three years or so, I think well be in that golden kid zone - 9 and 4.
We own a Vacation Club interest, which really makes all the difference, by the way. We stay in a suite with one or two (if Granny and Auntie come) separate bedrooms, a living room, and a full kitchen. That means our food costs for our vacation week are only slightly more than when we’re home: a week’s worth of groceries and a couple nice meals out, maybe some snacks in the park. That makes a HUGE difference to us.
The Unofficial Guide also mentions that technically picnic meals aren’t allowed in the parks, but in practice the security people don’t bat an eye at a backpack full of sandwiches. I don’t think we’ve done a whole meal, but we’ve certainly packed some heavy snacks with no problem.
Our philosophy of Disney is this: maybe it’s not “authentic” and it is expensive and manipulative, but you’re pretty much guaranteed excellent, consistent quality,* and that makes it worth it.
*With the exception of the food, which in recent years has generally been lower quality for pretty bad prices - hence my obsession with having a kitchen.
Disney parks are warzones. The factions are the people who care only about money and the faction that genuinely wants to give the world a magical experience. I’d say that last time I went (1993) I had a magical experience.
Since then, they have taken out both the 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea ride and Mr Toad’s Wild Ride and the park is dead to me.
Both are still at Disneyland - though 20,000 Leagues is now Nemo themed…which may be worse than closing it. My own “unforgiveable” is the rework of the Tiki Birds (also still in its original form at Disneyland).
I hated it. Way too manipulative.
I wrote a mildly comical screed entitled: “Abandon All Funds, Ye Who Enter Here” and passed it around among my workmates. It wasn’t Sampiro quality, but it was entertaining, nonetheless. I overheard my kids whispering among themselves that they should enjoy it, 'cause they could tell Dad wasn’t coming back. It took 5 days of booze, sunshine, and fishing in the keys to wash the mouse-stink off of me.
Curiously, I like the smaller version in Anaheim, I think it’s sorta quaint. Been there 4 times.