The appeal of Disney parks

Monday, June 13, 2011 3:08 PM

What constitutes a thrill ride is very relative. I talked with some people while waiting in line for RnR coaster about the coasters at Cedar Point and they thought I was making up height and speed stats. None of them had ever been to CP and the Disney coasters were what they were used to riding.

Some people find the Dumbo ride to be thrilling. Others don't. All relative.

My daughter, who has maxed out on the Mine Ride and Iron Dragon for CP coasters and refuses to go on Maxair or Sky Hawk and who says she will go on Windseeker though we shall see, went on all of the above listed Disney rides other than the RnR coaster and Tower of Terror. I think RnR is pretty mild but she doesn't do upside down rides.

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Monday, June 13, 2011 4:19 PM

Space Mountain is the bomb. To see how much of a thrill ride it is, just go look where I rank it in my Track Record: -------------------------------->

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Monday, June 13, 2011 6:17 PM

To throw another angle in there, I was a child of the "Disney Decade" the movie I most looked forward to every year was the new Disney movie, most of my favorite cartoons were on the Disney Afternoon. My family used to all watch TGIF. In short Disney reminds me of my childhood, synergy at work. I still well up a little making that turn onto Main Street and seeing the castle for the first time every trip and when When You Wish Upon A Star swells during the Goodnight Kiss.

Also my very first trip there when I was 5 I went with my grandfather, who I was very close with, right after he was diagnosed with cancer. In florida I have my last memories of him not sick. Everytime I go (especially on certain rides) I always think of him.

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Monday, June 13, 2011 6:42 PM

Thanks for that, Touchdown. It was nice and I enjoyed reading that.

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Monday, June 13, 2011 8:41 PM

Touchdown said:
To throw another angle in there, I was a child of the "Disney Decade" the movie I most looked forward to every year was the new Disney movie, most of my favorite cartoons were on the Disney Afternoon. My family used to all watch TGIF. In short Disney reminds me of my childhood, synergy at work. I still well up a little making that turn onto Main Street and seeing the castle for the first time every trip and when When You Wish Upon A Star swells during the Goodnight Kiss.

This to a certain point as well. I grew up with Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King, and the older Classics. I don't really know why that part of my memory was so strongly triggered about 3 years ago, but it was, and Wishes grabs me every time I even listen to the soundtrack. I have started grabbing every movie that gets re-released, and I think the parks just resonate so strongly with that part of my mind/emotions, even when they're not related to characters. I would much rather watch a Disney classic than most any of the movies that have been released in the last 10 years.

And to the rides, whoever mentioned BTM, that is actually just a really fun coaster, especially in the back. There are 2 hills I can think of right away that have whipped me almost to standing when I sit in the back on an exceptionally fast running ride. But even anywhere else it is just plain fun. Space Mountain...not actually that big of a fan, although I do really enjoy what the new soundtrack did to the ride experience.

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Monday, June 13, 2011 9:14 PM

My first trip was when my daughter turned 8. We've since made it an annual family getaway. We were there last month with her, now 17, and the 19 year old nephew we usually take with us. We also had 2 younger nephews and a niece on their first visit.

It has been 11 visits now, and the 17 and 19 year olds still dig it. They were showing the younger ones how it’s done, interacting and even dancing with characters, singing along with shows and Splash Mountain. Just taking it in and enjoying the fantasy world that is WDW. We all even pretended to not know what was happening on Expedition Everest, another fun coaster which gets a lot of screams from riders.

If you go in with the willingness to let go and immerse yourself in the"magic", it can be one of the most relaxing and enjoyable places you’ll ever go, or even “The Happiest Place on Earth”

Last edited by WhyBoblo, Monday, June 13, 2011 9:16 PM
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011 10:01 AM

I'm not buying the "relaxing" angle. Hell, planning a Disney vacation is a huge production.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011 10:09 AM

Your mindset will determine how "relaxing" a Disney vacation is. If you go with the intent to hit every park, ride every ride and so forth then you are screwed. If you plan on going anytime between June and September or during a major holiday, you are screwed.

But, I have had plenty of stress free trips to WDW. If you stay on property then getting out of the parks during peak times and hitting the resort pool helps. If you use Fastpass effectively then that will help. If you don't have to be at the main gate right at the opening hour then that will help.

It can be done, but not if you prefer quantity over quality.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011 10:23 AM

f you plan on going anytime between June and September or during a major holiday, you are screwed.

Not necessarily. I've done both peak summer and President's Week. If you are sensible about what you are doing, it can be perfectly fine. (Sensible: getting to the parks before they open, hitting the bottlenecks/headliners first, making full use of FASTPASS, and taking a mid-day break during the worst of the crowds.)

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011 11:58 AM

From this thread it seems like there are two types of people who will enjoy Disney:
1) kids
2) adults who are willing to let themselves be kids

i.e. willing to miss some rides or experiences, willing to indulge, willing to suspend disbelief or eye rolling for the cheesy stories...

I'm not making a judgement on anything, just observing a trend.

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Tuesday, June 14, 2011 11:59 AM
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011 12:03 PM

We were there in late June two years ago and didn't have any problems. We did what Professor Noble noted and never waited more than 30 mins for anything and vast majority of waits were less then 15 mins (other than one Peter Pan disaster). Fastpass worked very well. We didn't see and do everything but we did see and do everything that we wanted.

I think you do need to plan (unless you go there year after year after year). Without some planning, you will just be lost wondering around all of the parks likely frustrated along the way. Too much to see and do without some type of plan. But there is a balance because you also need some flexibility. Some things you will want to see again. Some lines may be too long at a given point in the day. You may just decide you don't want to do something that was in your plan. And there will be somethings that you never thought you would want to do that you will when you get there.

What constitutes a relaxing vacation is in the eyes of the beholder. To me, a relaxing vacation involves a place on a nice beach. I wouldn't call my Disney trip relaxing but it was enjoyable. Others would call it relaxing. Anyway you look at it, it beats a week in the office.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011 12:18 PM

We're going in November (wed 9th to mon 14th) this happens to be Jersey Week, but I heard it's not that bad. There is a small blip in attendance but it's still fairly light.

I'm thinking Sunday is going to be very light because it's a "turn around" day. We should be able to get on a lot of stuff that day. We changed our plans from Tuesday to Sunday to get a cheaper flight back.

Last edited by billb7581, Tuesday, June 14, 2011 12:26 PM
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011 12:44 PM

My last visit ('09 week after Thanksgiving) was with a pregnant woman, and we stayed at Pop Century, which isn't close to anything. We still had a very relaxing time, and enjoyed ourselves. We got to ride everything we wanted (some things I did twice, since Diana obviously wasn't riding Space Mountain). I honestly believe that anyone who finds that going to WDW is a stressful experience is doing it wrong.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011 1:22 PM

Heck, just visiting Kings Island or Cedar Point is stressfull enough for me.

Every time I've been to Disney, I had very limited time, and wanted to do everything I could. I have done everything I wanted to do at all four parks in one day before, but that was during the slow season, and during a time when abusing flastpass was enabled.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011 1:27 PM

Jeff said:
I honestly believe that anyone who finds that going to WDW is a stressful experience is doing it wrong.

I'd say that's true for people who visit repeatedly.

But for the family dropping a few grand on the once-for-the-family trip, I imagine there's lots of pressure to see as much as possible and/or get as much out of the experience for the money as possible.

I did a good deal of planning for our visit (knowing we'll probably only get one more in before the kids aren't kids anymore) and feel like it paid off in knowing what to expect and how to approach it in order to make the visit what we wanted it to be.

I don't know that I'd call it stressful, but I did put in an effort. But I can certainly see how under the right circumstances planning and doing a trip to WDW could be a stressful experience.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011 1:36 PM

My last major Disney vacation got a little stressful, but that was because I lost $120.

In all actuality, though, WDW is as vacation as vacation gets for me. It's that one place I know I can always go where I genuinely feel like I have escaped reality. It's the whole atmosphere and experience that keeps me interested. I get bored with the rides alone pretty quickly, but I find even walking around the resorts to be pretty fun in and of itself.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011 1:41 PM

I imagine there's lots of pressure to see as much as possible and/or get as much out of the experience for the money as possible.

I see this a lot on Disneyana boards. Many people who are newish to the parks build the experience up into this Great Big Thing That Will Be Perfect. And, of course, it never is. (My favorite example: the people who complain about not getting towel animals in their room after they told their kids all about them before the trip.)

There is another way to Do Disney Wrong. My brother did this his first trip. He and his family (two preschool boys at the time) went to Disneyland between Christmas and New Years (aka Hell Week). He arrived at the parks at 11AM. He had no plan.

That's something that none of us would ever even contemplate, because we know the basic "flow" of an amusement park, and generally how they work.

He was there for about 5-6 hours, did three "attractions" (one of which was a Pooh meet-n-greet), had lunch, and saw the parade. To his credit, he still had a good enough time that he went back the next year---but, this time, with a plan.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011 1:50 PM

But for the family dropping a few grand on the once-for-the-family trip, I imagine there's lots of pressure to see as much as possible and/or get as much out of the experience for the money as possible

This is where I am coming from. I highly doubt we'll be going back anytime soon barring an unforseen windfall. This trip is costing 3x what a normal vacation costs, I just dont see the fun/$ benefit to it.

Last edited by billb7581, Tuesday, June 14, 2011 1:52 PM
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011 1:53 PM

Lord Gonchar said:
But for the family dropping a few grand on the once-for-the-family trip

And who is going to spend a few grand without some research/planning?

Even going every year, we still do a little bit of planning. If you search, some of the Disney focused boards have Excel templates that are way over the top. We do a simple spreadsheet with park hours for each day we are there, and note any shows that might not run on a given night, and any planned attraction closures.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011 1:55 PM

billb7581 said:
This trip is costing 3x what a normal vacation costs, I just dont see the fun/$ benefit to it.

Then why are you doing it?

Self-inflicted pressure for any vacation, regardless of the reason, is doing it wrong. Making some plans and doing a little research seems normal for any vacation, so I don't see why that would cause stress. Sure, you find out the what, where and how, but I do that for a beach in Hawaii too.

But several of you also tap into the real problem, and that's heightened expectations. The parks are massive, and there's a lot to do. It's not realistic to do it all, in my opinion. So you prioritize, do your best to hit those priorities, and just enjoy yourself in the moment. That's what vacations are supposed to be. There was a waterfall I wanted to see last time in Kauai, but we never got there. That didn't invalidate standing on the edge of Waimea Canyon and taking it in.

Last edited by Jeff, Tuesday, June 14, 2011 1:55 PM
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