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expectations vs. reality

Forums > Carthay Lounge > expectations vs. reality
We just got back from our first DW vacation. I too am a DL super fan. I have spent my life loving all things Disney. I have been to Disneyland many times over the years. My adult son who lives with autism learned to speak because of the Lion King and it's how we connected. Going to DW was always a thought but I just knew it would never compare to DL so I put it in the back of my mind for years. We finally decided to go for it and I'm so glad we did. We have heard of the comparisons but decided to go in with no expectations. I think that in part is what made this such a magical experience. I still get teary eyed just thinking about this trip. This is my experience and my view.....you simply can not compare DW to DL. There are 4 major parks and 2 water parks and Disney Springs and over 20 resorts just to name a few things at DW. Yes you can compare Magic Kingdom to Disneyland and DL is still my favorite. Going to DW if you have never been or going to DL if you have never been will only enhance your Disney experience. I mean isn't being a Disney lover about experiencing all that Disney has to offer? The grounds, the parks, the many many experiences were fabulous. The reality for us was coming to terms with the idea that cast members are only human. I can only imagine dealing with thousands of individuals day after day all day long. It must be exhausting and overwhelming. We rarely got exceptional service but it was what we expected. Never bad though. DW can be overwhelming but we had a plan and we did a ton of homework and used the MPT Disney planner. We were prepared and DW has the free Magical Express airport service and the transportation throughout the property was outstanding. We had an opportunity to be fully immersed in the experience because we could afford to stay on property with so many choices which is a bit harder at DL. DL I still my favorite. Both castles are magical but with Sleeping Beauty you can go right up and in it. I thought the walkways were wider at DW which made the flow better and the ride queues had much more interactive things which help with long lines but the rides like Pirates and The haunted house are better at DL. I also thought at DL the lands are more defined like while in Adventure Land you don't really see the other lands etc. But I really think there are so many differences and having experienced both just made me love Disney so much more. I love DW and DL for eveything they have to offer and they both have so much to offer. I'm better for having both of them.
That is an amazing review, I have been scared to partake in a Disney world trip, so many options. I will definitely check in with MPT when we go. I went years ago in 88, and it has grown tenfold. You have inspired me to consider DW. Thank you again, so glad you had a great time!
We too have been to Disneyland many times but have been hesitant about going to DW. It just seems so big!
Our experience is that you must approach WDW with a plan. At DL you can be more spontaneous; much more difficult to do that at WDW.
If staying on property at DW you can reserve 3 FP 60 days out for each park so you really do need a plan. You can't be so spontaneous. We researched everything including maps of each park so we knew where everything was, what the rides were like, what foods wer.e in each restaurants, early entry magic hours, transportation times, etc. We were there for 8 days so we built in a free day which was key to our success so we didn't get overloaded and too tired. I think half the fun was in the planning and details. This trip allowed me to experience a new adventure.
heffurtink I am so happy you had an awesome experience
I am happy you had a great experience. My experience with DW wasn't that magical. We stayed at Fort Wilderness for 15 days. We felt it was too crowded, rude guests, and was stuck on a DW bus that was involved in an accident for 2 1/2 hours. My daughter was slightly injured as she was thrown off the seat, but never received and concern from DW. I'm not saying we didn't enjoy it but it wasn't magical. When we arrived home we all looked at each other and decided we needed to have a magical experience so 2 weeks later we went to Disneyland!
Senior Mickey
we used to go to WDW all the time when living in Connecticut. since moving to Hawaii in 2012, we now go to DL. made a return trip to WDW in 2015 as part of a cruise package. Very disappointed. Rude tourists, we are used to here in Hawaii. But rude cast members, no way am I tolerating that. when we got home, I wrote pages to WDW about our experience and I was called after they got my letter. we sent copies of our tickets, and based on our FP use, they were able to track down every cast member, take them out for retraining. I also had a lot of nice things to say about the people who truly went out of their way to be helpful, but it seemed they were the exception. we have never had an experience like that at DL. I would much rather spend my time and money at Disneyland now. I make it a point now to know the names of cast members at Disneyland and let the powers that be know how they make a magical.
I too have been to both parks and agree very highly with the first poster of this thread. There's just no way to really compare the parks. They both are magical and are very different yet still much the same. Lol! (If that makes sense). I have 4 small children and prob wouldn't take them to WDW for a awhile since we live on the opposite coast so DL will do just fine for us for now. :) Both parks are jus incredible. As far as CM's, a previous post mentioned that they, too, are human and can also get overwhelmed at times which is soo true. Disney is magical but unfortunately it's ran by humans and to be human is to err at times. :)

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