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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Sarasota, FL
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    Talking Our Disneyland thoughts!

    Where do I begin....I guess I will start on saying what my impression was of Disneyland before we came here. First, I kept telling myself not to be disappointed by the size, not to laugh at the tiny castle, to remember the CMs may not be as nice as the ones at WDW, and that the magic may not be as believable because the real world was just beyond the gates. We said to ourselves that we would have a good time and just be happy to see Walt's original park and to be able to say we had been there but in the back of our mind never imagined that Disneyland could have the potential to make us feel like something was missing at WDW and we found it here. Well, we have to say that that is exactly what happened. Being locals and going to WDW so often, you start to notice things more than someone who only visits a few times their lifetime or even an annual visitor. In our opinion, we have seen maintenance issues, cleanliness issues (not always Disney's fault but sometimes at the fault of guests), unfriendly to even rude CMs, and other things as well. Now please do not get me wrong....we still love WDW and will continue to go, but Disneyland has opened our eyes to the potential WDW could have. We have come to the conclusion that as a company, it makes sense that if Disney is going to choose which park to drop the most money in up-keeping that it would be Disneyland. The reason is because unlike WDW, Disneyland is mainly visited by locals and these locals come all the time! They will notice if quality slips and their voice will be louder compared to that of WDW's locals since they are such a small percentage compared to Disneyland's visitors. Also, there is a sense of pride and care from not only the CMs here but from the guests as well. Working from the outside in, here is what we think: Yes, Disneyland is obviously smaller compared to WDW. It is located in one central area and not spread out. You can walk to EVERYTHING! Personally, I loved this. I thought it was so cool to stand in the middle and look to my left and see CA, look straight ahead and see DTD, and to the right Disneyland. As for the city outside, we never once felt like there was a city while inside the Disneyland property. I think we also saw the surrounding city as being a part of Disneyland and that helped. We also found it neat that people could live so close and just walk to an escape from the real world. Time was not wasted by waiting for buses or traveling long distances. Now, obviously it is not fair to compare all of WDW to Disneyland. But, I will say that I feel like if you have never been to Disneyland, you will find enough here to keep you busy and happy for 5 days and maybe even more. I wish we had at least one more day here. So I will first say our general comments of CA. We loved this park. We felt it was comparable to Hollywood Studios in basic design but was larger and better thought out. The boardwalk area reminded us of the Boardwalk hotel and again, we felt it was better thought out. Yes, a lot of rides are basic fair rides, but they are fun! They have enough unique rides to appeal to everyone as well. Screamin' was awesome, Mermaid was adorable and made us anxious to see the one at WDW, Monsters was cute, we thought the Muppets was in much better condition than WDW, the Aladdin show was just like watching a Broadway show, and we appreciated the shorter wait for Soarin'. As for Carsland....amazing! It is beautiful and we are looking forward to taking a stroll down Route 66 tonight. Radiator Springs was simply a great ride. Our lunch at Flo's was really great and the pretzel bites we had from Cozy Cone were fresh and tasty! So, now it's Magic Kingdom vs Disneyland. So I will quickly get out the things that we notice were more an annoyance than worse than MK. Yes, the pathways are more narrow and because it is the summer, it was hot and crowded and sometimes that was annoying. However, I think the pathways are better in a way as well. When you first walk into Disneyland, the layout of the park seems to be the same, but it is actually quite different. There are pathways everywhere instead of just around in a circle like at MK. This adds to the charm that is Disneyland. I really don't know how to explain it, but it is just different. I felt this made the park feel larger than MK even though I know it really isn't. Also, nothing is spread out. There is something to do every step of the way. Also, due to the heat here, the waiting can be exhausting because most waiting areas are outside and offer little to no cover. However, this would only be an issue in the daytime during the summer. The nights were comfortable and even a little chilly for us Floridians. I am trying so hard to describe why I found the magic to be here so much more than at WDW and all I can say is you can see the love put into this park. WDW seems like a dish that someone cooked up because they had to. Yes, it is very good but something is missing. Disneyland is made with love and it shows in everything. It is your grandmother's famous warm chocolate chip cookies. Welcoming and comforting. Every CM we came in contact with was beyond nice and you could tell they had pride working here. Even the guests were friendly. I didn't see guest leaving trash behind all over the place and to us, it shows they care about this special place and want to keep it special. Things that we really liked about Disneyland were that we went the whole trip so far without eating a burger or hot dog. There are so many other options for food besides deep fried fast food. The food is much better quality to us, as we have seen the food quality slip at WDW. Most places give you real plates and silverware to eat with at counter service which makes it nice. Portions are also huge here! As for the castle.....I didn't laugh...not one bit. In fact I thought it was beautiful and seemed larger than what I thought it would seem. I found it to be something out of a storybook and just like everything else, it was warm and welcoming. I am sure there is so much more I have to say but I will end here. Please ask me any questions!!! We will miss Disneyland and will be sad that it will be a few years until we can come back. But, we will enjoying knowing such a special place exists here in Anaheim. Thanks for reading!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    Florida
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    Disneyland certainly is a special place. You captured the feel quite nicely. Thanks for your reports.
    Linda aka: Faline
    INTERCOT Staff: Vacation Planning,Trip Reports and Disney Camping
    faline@intercot.com

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    Virginia
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    You GOT it!

    Great report - thanks!!!

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Sarasota, FL
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    Oh one more thing....I just want to say that Magical was a great firework show and is way better than Wishes!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    Morristown NJ
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    I've had the opportunity to visit DL twice when H was commuting out there a long time ago. I've always said I want to go back because there is something special about it and now reading you're post I'm convinced I need to go back.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your perspective, really enjoyed reading your reports.
    - Lynn -
    INTERCOT Staff: Theme Parks, DVC

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 1999
    Location
    California
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    Excellent way to describe Disneyland! You really captured it's charm perfectly.

    I was one of those locals for almost 12 years. It's true what you say about the pride and commitment that the locals have to keeping Disneyland at its best. It felt like a second home to me and my family, and every time we went there, felt like it "belonged" to us a little bit. My kids all but grew up there (from newborns to grade school age) and we all have a sentimental attachment to it now.

    I always get my feathers ruffled up when people criticize Disneyland (especially when they say the CMs are rude, the food is not good, and there is less to do there). Those things couldn't be further from the truth, and I'm glad to hear that your experience jives with what I came to know over a decade of regular visits there.

    Sorry your trip was so short, but now you can start planning an even longer one for next time!
    Natalie
    INTERCOT Staff: Disneyland Resort-California, The Water Cooler

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Lafayette, Louisiana
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    Thanks for the detailed report. I WILL get there one day!

    The complaint I see most often is that it's "too small". Of course it's being compared to the size of WDW. Oddly enough, the size of DL is the thing I'm most looking forward to. After visiting the Universal resort I knew that I'd probably love DL. I loved that at the Universal resort there were just 2 parks, 3 resorts, and one shopping/dining district. I loved that you were able to walk to everything and not wait on buses and travel far. I actually look forward to the smaller size of DL!
    Denise

    Resorts we've stayed at in 20+ trips: ASMo, ASMu, ASSp, PC, CSR, CBR, POR, POFQ, WL, AKL Jambo, AKL Kidani, Poly, Contemporary, BC, YC, BWV, OKW, SSR, Swan, Shades of Green, Vero Beach, Disneyland Resort

    Next Trip: ???

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    I too was one of those locals. It has been a while, about 20 years, but I probably went about 2 times a year from age 2 to 20. I appreciate the trip report. It reminded me of a lot of the good times I had.

    DL for me was always a day trip; I would never think of staying there overnight since it was only a 40 minute drive from my home. Now I have to fly to get to DL or WDW.

    Some friends of mine own the 7-11 at Harbor & Katella and I worked there for 2 summers. I was kind of immersed in the scuzzy side of Anaheim for a while. Walt was understating when he talked about the area around the park with its cheap motels, etc. WDW gave him much more control.

    DCA was opened after I moved away, so I really never bonded with it. I am really interested to get back there soon and spend a few days checking it out. I do miss DL; I really need to get back there some time soon.
    Past Visits:
    1984 & 85 Off Site
    1999 CBR
    2003 BW/GF
    2009 WL
    2011 Poly
    2013 YC, WL, CR (good year!)
    2014 AKL
    2015 GF, CS , Poly, SSR
    2016 YC, Universal Portofino, GF, Waldorf


    "Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must live." - Bukowski

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
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    91.5 miles from Disneyland
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    I'm so glad you enjoyed your Disneyland Resort visit. Did you spend much time in Downtown Disney or visit any of the Resort hotels?

    I still need to get over to Cars Land. Waiting for the daytime weather to cool down a bit. I was encouraged to hear that your Radiator Springs Racers FastPasses got you through the line fairly quickly.
    Linda aka tinkwest
    INTERCOT Staff ~ Disneyland Resort


    Come On Everybody - Here We Go!!

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  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Location
    Dallas, TX (1424.06 miles from the Disneyland Resort)
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    I am so glad to hear that you enjoyed Walt's Park. I grew up going to Disneyland and consider it my "home" park. I enjoy WDW, but DLR is just plain magic!

    Any Disney fan who has not visited the Original is doing themselves a disservice.

    I haven't be able to go for nearly 5 years and I am returning in two weeks!

    Thanks for posting this, it should be required reading for all Disney Fans!

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
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    I'm so glad to read this trip report! I am a month away from my first trip to DLR and even though some people have given me lots of great information about DLR - I still keep thinking in the back of my head - is 6 days too much? Will I get bored? So glad to hear that someone out there does not think you can "do it all" in 2-3 days! Like some of the other posters, I am very excited about the ability to walk to everything. Over the past several visits to WDW, I find myself getting more and more annoyed with the bus system. But I just can't make myself pay 300-400 dollars for a rental car! We will be renting a car for a day trip when we are out there, but I'm glad that it will be easy to run over to DTD and pick it up and be on our way - and then when we are done at the end of the day we'll just drop it off again and walk back to our hotel. I love that DTD is so close as well! DTD in WDW just always seems like such a hike and a hassle to get to for us.

    Now if the trip would just hurry up and get here!
    Nov 2003 - Off -site
    Nov 2004 - POFQ
    Nov 2005 - AS Movies
    Nov/Dec 2007 - CSR
    Nov/Dec 2008 - CBR
    2009- 2011 Trips - CSR
    2012 - DLR
    2013 - CSR
    2014 - CSR
    2015 - AS Sports
    2016 - Universal (Royal Pacific)
    Next up - Beach Club!

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    19,195
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    Talking

    Thanks for the Report!
    o David, Lisa, Aaron and Allison
    98-PO
    00-CB & ASMo
    01-Swan
    02-CS
    03-POR
    04-POP
    05-PO / CR
    07-PO / CR
    08-ASMu
    09-AKL
    10-CR, CS & PP DL
    11-NB DLP & SSR
    12-BLT & BLT
    13-GC DL & BLT
    15-Aulani & BLT
    16-ASMu & GC DL
    17-BWI, THV, CSR, BLT
    18-BLT, OKW, OKW, CBR, GF & BLT

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    78
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    awesome report thanks
    '87 offsite,'86 offsite,'00 offsite, '01 Contemporary, 2003 Grand Tour of Iraqi Wilderness, Dec '03 Boardwalk Villas, July '04 Disneyland offsite, Aug '05 Boardwalk, Aug '06 Disneyland offsite, Dec '07 Saratoga Springs, Aug '11 Saratoga Springs, May '12 Honeymoon in Aulani, Dec '12 Grand Calafornian

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