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jca's avatar

When is the last time (if ever) that you went to Disney World/Disney Land, and how did you like it?

Asked by jca (28462 points ) February 24th, 2013

I am going to Orlando in less than a week, and will do the Disney World thing – a few days there, plus Sea World. I was there last around 15 years ago. From what I am finding, it’s changed a lot in that time.

In doing research and talking to coworkers, I find some people are really, really into when they went, what parks they went to, where they stayed, and the whole experience.

On some blogs, people put in their profiles the years they went and it’s like a badge for them. I have been also looking on Trip Advisor, and they have forums with Q&A like Fluther, except it’s all travel tips about Orlando and the parks. There are a ton of blog sites on the subject, the parks, the food, how to save money, etc.

Have you ever been do Disney World/Disney Land, and if so, when was it and how did you like it?

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58 Answers

Coloma's avatar

I have never been a fan of Disneyland, amusement parks do nothing for me.
My exes grandfather was a major developer of the original Disneyland in Los Angeles and had free, lifetime passes when he retired. He was co-creator of the “It’s a small world” attraction. I went to Disneyland once as a child, around age 8, and was not impressed.

I got stuck up in the air on the flying Dumbo the Elephant ride and was terrified for a half hour, sitting in this stupid fiberglass Elephant and thinking I was going to fall to the ground. lol
The Matterhorn roller coaster was terrifying to me too.
No thanks, I’ll stick to Marine World and the Wild Animal parks if I want to go to an amusement park ever again, which is doubtful.
Noisy, overcrowded, overpriced, and unless you are wanting to take young kids just to give them the experience not worth it at all IMO. lol

ragingloli's avatar

Paris, when I was 10 or so. Hated it. Bored to tears.

blueiiznh's avatar

I enjoyed both Disney Land and Disney World but it was a very long time ago so I can’t give you anything current.

I however am going with my daughter at the end of April, so I will be keeping an eye on this question. We however already know our focus in Orlando is not on Disney but more Epcot, Sea World, Busch Garden type places.

Argonon's avatar

I’ve been to Disney World for a Christmas concert when I was in chorus.
We got to stay for two days, one day to do the concert and another to just have fun.
I didn’t have much fun. I was nervous about the concert, my roommates took up all the hot water in the shower and watched the most annoying tv shows at full volume all night long, and Disney World wasn’t all that fun. I suppose it would have been fun if I were younger..

Ron_C's avatar

We have a timeshare in Orlando and have been to Epcott Center and, alternately, to Universal Park. We like them both but I like the roller coasters in Universal better.

JLeslie's avatar

Disney World about 3 years ago. I have been many many times, at least 10 if not more. My favorite ride is Soarin’ in The Land in EPCOT.

I can give you all sorts of tips about DW if you are interested? Are you going to all 4 parks? Any of the water parks?

Judi was there a few weeks ago, so she knows about anything that is very new.

nikipedia's avatar

I went to Disneyland around Christmas. Honestly I don’t see how anyone finds these parks to be an enjoyable experience. There was nothing that in any way justified the prices or hours of standing in line. The rides are fine, I guess? I don’t get it at all.

filmfann's avatar

At the risk of pissing off the Lord, Disneyland is the promised land! I love that place.
When I retire, I would love to buy a passport to the park for a year, just so I could sit on Main Street and watch people walk in. It is my happy place.
I was there a year ago, and was supposed to be there again this week, but we had to cancel due to money problems. I hope to be there again next year.

JLeslie's avatar

Remember to check the weather before you go. Bring at least one warm hooded sweatshirt or cardigan, restaurants are usually freezing. Something even warmer if the weather report calls for it. We sell a lot of sweaters to tourists in FL. LOL.

jonsblond's avatar

I was 2 when I made my first visit to Disneyland. We had just moved to Whittier, CA and we took advantage of our proximity to the park several times when we lived there. The last time I visited Disneyland was during a band trip my freshman year of high school. That was in 1986. I visited Disneyland many times in between those two visits. I have nothing but fond memories, but of course that was many years ago.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’ve gone to many, many amusement parks throughout my life, including Disneyland dozens of times. My favorite of all time was Epcot Center in Orlando.

I am an amusement park fan.

jordym84's avatar

I’m in Disney World every day – I work there – and I LOVE it! I’m not big on theme parks and rides, but I do love the whole atmosphere here and I can’t help but feel like a kid whenever I visit the parks as a guest and, even though I’ve been to them countless times, it just never gets old. And as someone who works for Disney, I can honestly tell you that it’s a very safe place to be. Feel free to PM me if you’d like some tips :)

@blueiiznh Epcot is one of the Disney parks :)

bkcunningham's avatar

We are season pass holders to Disney World. We go all the time. I enjoy all of the parks. The fireworks at each of the parks is truly spectacular. Epcot is my personal favorite of all of the parks. My husband says he likes Hollywood Studios best. We were just at Magic Kingdom with my stepdaughter, son-in-law and our 3-year old granddaughter. Of course, Magic Kingdom is our granddaughter’s favorite park. We had a blast. It was crowded and is only going to get more crowded as the days tick by leading up to Easter break.

I’d be glad to try and answer any of your questions. @jordym84, I didn’t know you work at Disney. What park?

jordym84's avatar

@bkcunningham I work in one of the resorts, but I have worked at Epcot in photography. I love all of the parks, but Epcot is my personal favorite, too, and I can’t seem to get enough of it lol

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I’ve been to disneyland twice and Disney world once. Honestly, both places were not as great as most people make them out to be. I was more impressed when I saw the Tian Tan Buddha in Hong Kong.

susanc's avatar

My dad took me to the California one when I was 15. I remember mostly standing in line and my father getting madder and madder. We laughed, but it was essentially draining. What we DID like was going to some movie studio commissary and seeing movie stars eating salad, and sets in production. That was great. Do that too.

jordym84's avatar

@nikipedia Christmas (or any other major holiday season, for that matter) is one of the worst times to visit any of the Disney parks, unless you enjoy huge crowds and long waits. February and September are usually the best months to go, not only because it’s less crowded, but also because the weather (at least here in FL) is just right to enjoy the parks – neither too hot, nor too cold.

Sunny2's avatar

20 years ago was the last time. They had made it much more pleasant to stand in line by having things to do or look at along the way. I’d go again if the opportunity presented itself.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m not a Disney person. I’m not a theme park person. Up until I was 45 or so, I had never even ridden a roller coaster and never been to a theme park. I’ve been to one now. I have no desire ever to ride another roller coaster or go to another theme park. They aren’t fun for me. I hate lines. I am instantly tired as soon as I walk in. And the pleasures are boring to me. Not intellectually stimulating. It’s not like going to a zoo or theater or visiting another country where you can actually learn something.

So I’ve never been. I’ll probably never go. It’s not something I would be willing to spend money on.

bkcunningham's avatar

You are one of the photographers at a Disney park, @jordym84? That must be a load of fun.

jordym84's avatar

I work in concierge now, but last year I did part of my internship in PhotoPass. And yup, it was a blast, definitely one of my favorite roles so far.

mangeons's avatar

The last (and only) time that I went to Disney World in Florida was when I was about five years old. I don’t remember much of it, only bits and pieces, but I had a good time, from what I remember. I don’t know if I’d think it was fun if I went now, though.

Judi's avatar

I just got back from Disney World 2 weeks ago. I LOVE it.
My best advice is to make your meal reservations NOW. The meals are part of the magic into opinion.
If its not already booked Be Our Guest in Beast Castle is amazing. Ask for the West Wing when you make your reservations.
Cinderellas Castle is great too.
Narcocisis at The Grand Floridian is expensive but has a great view of the fireworks.
The best meal we has (also expensive) was the steak house at the Yacht Club.
We didn’t do it this time but the very formal Victoria and Alberts at the Grand Floridian was great.
If you are a certified Scuba diver you can dive in the Epcot tank but you have to make arrangements ahead of time. Just google Dive Quest Disney.
We did the Wild Africa Trek and it was ok but I don’t think worth the money. It doesn’t even compare to the VIP tour at Busch Gardens in Tampa.
We stayed at the Yacht Club because we figured that would be the most adult place to stay.
There really is something for everyone. Have fun!!
Edit: Maybe @jordym84 could help you get into Be Our Guest since she’s a concerege. :-)

hearkat's avatar

I never went as a child, although I desperately longed to because I always loved Disney movies and The Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday evenings. However, we did have a ride-oriented amusement park with a drive-through safari about 10 miles from us.

I was ~23 the first time I went to Walt Disney World in FL, and it was OK. Epcot wasn’t built yet, I don’t think. When I went back with my 7-year-old son, it was OK. Animal Kingdom was new, they had recently acquired The Muppets, and I enjoyed Epcot. But all-in-all, the man-made spectacle of animatronics and artificial landscape does not appeal to me (just as I have no interest in going to Las Vegas, ever). I can’t quite grasp the appeal to those who go every year, if not multiple times a year, because it doesn’t change much.

muppetish's avatar

My family is quite populated with Disney-fans, and since I live in Southern California I have been to Disneyland many times as a result. The last time that I went was a year ago. I had a great time, but the fireworks were delayed due to wind problems or something and I had to exit without watching the show.

The last time I went to Disney World was in 2003, I think… so a decade ago? It was lovely and I met up with an online friend and she gave me a toy Mickey and bracelet to commemorate the event. I picked up a few mementos at Epcott, too. At the time, though, my favourite haunt was Animal Kingdom.

We have never stayed at the Disney hotels themselves. We’re only an hours drive at peak traffic away from Disneyland and saved money by renting a car while at Disney World.

cookieman's avatar

I was last at Disney World in 1994. It was my third time there. I really liked Epcot Center. Problem is, I really hate Florida – specifically the weather.

We’re planning to take our daughter to Disney Land this Spring. I love the weather in California.

ucme's avatar

A family holiday back in the late 90’s to what was then hilariously named “EuroDisney.”
The whole place screamed sloppy seconds to me & Mickey Mouse stank of garlic, still…my son loved it.

Ela's avatar

I’ve never been to either park, but I think for the most part I’d like it… especially the fireworks at night (if the still do them) and Epcot. There are a lot of Disney characters I don’t like, though (Mickey & Minnie mouse are tied for number one followed very closely by Tinkerbell)
There are a lot of other places I’d be much more into and excited about visiting.

Hope you have a wonderful time!

Pachy's avatar

I went to Disneyland for the first (and last) time when I was in my 40s, while on a business trip. The only thing I liked was seeing Sleeping Beauty castle from a distance, as I remembr having seen it on TV all through my childhood. I didn’t like much else. One of the rides made me sick and I spent far too much money on junk. I had grown up on Disney but this visit pretty much killed my interest. The final straw for me was when they merged with Pixar and Marvel. I can’t imagine odl’ Walt would have been happy with that.

JLeslie's avatar

To add about the restaurants the restaurant in Norway in Epcot has many princesses come out during dinner for a photo op. They only pose with those who are eating there that evening, you definitely need reservations for that. Ask specifically what time the princesses will be there. The food was good. Right next door to Norway is Mexico which has a very nice ride that you and your daughter will enjoy. If you ony have ine day in Epcot know that is very big and difficult to do everything in one day even if you are a young healthy adult running to everything one after another. If you ony see a few countries, whether you eat in a country or not, focus on the Mexico and Norway end, because I believe your daughter will enjoy that most. On the other end is Canada, which is just a movie not a ride and I can even remember everything right now, but the fun, younger oriented countries are on the MX end.

Animal Kingdom is a short day.

Magic Kingdom will likely be very full if you are going during spring break time. It is a long day also. It will be magical for her though. It’s a Small World, Peter Pan, kids love those.

MGM/Holywood studios is medium in legnth and I think the least thrilling for young children if you don’t have time for al the parks.

jca's avatar

OP here – we have 5 days in the parks, so we will do one day at Sea World (purchased thru AAA) and four days at Disney, which we’ll divide by 2 days at Magic Kingdom, 1 day at Animal Kingdom and 1 day at Epcot. We got the 4 day Disney pass thru AAA also. The 4 day pass is only $15 more than the 3 day pass, so it’s really worth it. We made 1 dining reservation- with the Princesses at Cinderella’s Castle. Other than that, I think we’ll probably do casual meals and keep our schedules flexible.

JLeslie's avatar

Do they still have those signature books? Most kids really love them, moms give me mixed reviews.

jca's avatar

Yes, @JLeslie, according to what I am reading, they still do the autograph book thing. I guess I’ll buy my daughter one. I also read another tip, which is that Walmart has cheap Disney souvenirs…...

JLeslie's avatar

I’m so excited for you. She will love Disney. Don’t stress out trying to see everything, she won’t know if she missed a particular ride, only you will. For Epcot you might want to take a nap in the middle of the day. If you are staying on Disney property go to the extended hours day for Epcot.

bkcunningham's avatar

How old is your daughter, @jca?

jca's avatar

@bkcunningham: She’s almost 6.

bkcunningham's avatar

You see little girls wearing princess outfits of all sorts and shapes at the parks. My granddaughter is Belle. LOL If your daughter has anything that she wears, even if it isn’t the authentic Disney manufactured princess outfit, I say bring it and let her wear it to her imagination’s content. Oh, what fun you are going to have. You are allowed to bring water and snacks into the park. You can bring single serving sizes, not picnic sizes. I think that is good so you aren’t nickel and diming yourself to death on snacks for the little ones.

JLeslie's avatar

I absolutely agree with @bkcunningham, princess costumes, tiaras, if she has any of it, bring it. You see little girls dressed up all over the park.

Judi's avatar

I took my grand daughters to the Bippity Boppity Botique at Disneyland. They have one at Disneyworld too.
I had them bring their own princess outfits but they do their hair and makeup. All the hair dressers are “fairy godmothers.” They talk about Cinderella and make it really magic. They have a magic mirror for the grand reveal. If she is really into princesses you might want to consider it. I think it was about $40–50. You can spend lots more with clothes and photos but you can take your own pictures and bring your own princess clothes.

jca's avatar

@Judi: I had looked into Bippity Boppity Boutique- there are two at Disney World – one in Disney itself and one in Downtown Disney. The prices start at $55 and go up to $200. I would have done it except I figured it’s one more thing that we’d have to stop whatever we’re doing and rush to, and since we only have two days in the Magic Kingdom, I didn’t want to dedicate a few hours between getting there, waiting, and the whole occasion.

bkcunningham's avatar

Oh, and another thing that I just tbought to tell you. Anytime you see the photographers, stand and let them take your photo. You do not have to purchase the photos unless you want to. You get a code to view them. They can be posted on Facebook or viewed by others with the code. Disney does a great job of adding additional photos of scenes from around whatever park you are in to make a really nice photo album for your viewing pleasure.

JLeslie's avatar

Well, that does it, as soon as I get my FL driver’s license I am going to Disney. This discussion makes me miss the place. LOL.

bkcunningham's avatar

Look up the concerts at Epcot, @JLeslie. It is a lot of fun to just go to Disney for dinner and a concert. If you play golf, you cannot beat the courses. Or an afternoon chilling at the waterpark. It is well worth the resident annual pass.

jca's avatar

We’ll be in Epcot for the Flower and Garden Festival. In the autumn, they have a Food and Wine Festival. I learned last night that there are also a ton of marathons that take place in the Disney parks, and there’s at least one where the marathon takes place at night, when the parks close, and it ends in the middle of the night and then they have food and wine for the runners and they get to go on rides for free. I’m not a marathon runner but it sounds like a good thing.

jca's avatar

Disney Marathon list: http://www.rundisney.com/

bkcunningham's avatar

If you stay in the park, you get extra hours when the park is only opened for hotel guests. Magic hours. An hour before and an hour after the parks open for other guests.

jca's avatar

@bkcunningham: I had looked into staying at one of the Park resorts, but they are hundreds of dollars per night, and then you have to do the Disney Dining Plan which adds on more to the cost, versus staying in an off-site hotel that may include free breakfast. Granted, it seems like the Disney resorts are destinations in themselves, they are more convenient to the parks as they’re just a quick monorail or boat ride away, and they seem really beautiful. One day when we’re rich we’ll stay in a Disney resort!

bkcunningham's avatar

Did you price the campground where you rent a camping trailing sort of accomadation? Comes complete with a kitchen so you can cook your own meals. The prices are not bad.

JLeslie's avatar

I had not thought about the concerts. Thanks. When I lived in south FL I wasn’t inclined to drive that far unless it was to meet up with friends I had not seen in a long time. When they would come down from the north with their kids, we would drive up for a couple days and meet them.

We love the water parks. I like Typhoon Lagoon best.

A friend of mine used to go for Soap Opera weekend, I don’t know of she still does. And, some of my friends used to go during gay week, but I have no idea if they still do. Once I get down there I can start sorting that all out.

My husband wants to go to Bush Gardens first, it’s just 20 minutes away from the corporate apartment they gave us, we haven’t been there in over 10 years. I think they have some sort of water park also? Since it is spring break now we probably will wait a couple months. Plus, I am not down there yet permanently, so I can’t get the FL discounts only he can.

bkcunningham's avatar

Adventure Island. A thirty acre water park!

Judi's avatar

@JLeslie, the VIP tour at Busch Gardens is SOOOO worth it!

JLeslie's avatar

Thanks.

jordym84's avatar

@Judi Be Our Guest has been pretty much impossible to book at the concierge desks…I’ve yet to find an availability for any of my guests lol Anyone who does have a reservation is because they booked it way far in advance. It certainly doesn’t hurt to try every so often, though; you never know, someone might cancel!

@jca Just to clarify, the dining plan is not mandatory if you’re staying in a Disney resort, but it does save you a considerable amount of money on meals, especially at the sit-down restaurants.

Judi's avatar

@jordym84, I made my reservation through the concierge at the Yacht Club (Concierge level) about a week before they opened reservations to the general public. We were told how lucky we were to get reservations! It was amazing.

jordym84's avatar

I haven’t felt the urge to eat there, but my family might come visit during fall break so I’m thinking about making reservations there for when they come. We’ll see how I feel about it lol

P.s. How was your time at Disney?? And how did you like the New Fantasyland?

JLeslie's avatar

I have never bought a meal plan when I stayed at a Disney hotel.

Judi's avatar

@jordym84, it was great. I got to scuba in the Epcot tank.
I didn’t spend a whole lot of time in fantasy land. Small world sure was different from Disneyland!! I’m sure ill be back in a few years.

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