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Re: Funniest Story of CC's First Impression??

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Open123 wrote:

scenery_guy wrote:

Thanks to all of you who visit Florida and Disney. We can use the money... sorry about the southern obese scooter riders. 


Will be headed there in September, I think.  It'll be my first visit to a Disneyworld of any kind.  Do you think it's better to stay in or out of the Park?

 


I can't believe you've never been to Disney World Open! Where have you been all this time?

 

Disney is an annual event for us, and we've stayed at pretty much all of the hotels there. From my experience, the main difference between staying in an official Disney Property and a non-official one is access to the monorail in your hotel. Not all Disney hotels offer this, but only a few (and these typically are the higher end ones). Disney World is large and you'll need to catch some form of transport to get from one theme park to the next. When you compare it to the alternative modes of transport which are busses, it's much more convenient. For this convenience expect to pay an extra $100-300 per night or more, depending on the hotel and the alternatives. For example the Grand Floridian may run $500-600 per night, while others of similar quality may start at $200-250. Otherwise the busses have routes which will stop at multiple hotels, meaning that you could be waiting 30-45 minutes each direction depending on where you are in the lineup. Non Disney hotels typically run their own busses from the hotel to the theme parks (Hyatt Grand Cypress does this, for example).

 

There are a few other benefits such as the Disney-themed rooms, character breakfast in the hotel restaurant, and access to extra hours to the theme park which are restricted to Disney hotel guests only. That last benefit will get you into the parks an hour earlier than the general public, or an hour later after rides have closed to everyone else. Character dining in-hotel is nice primarily if you have kids.

 

If you're planning to stay at a Disney resort, I'd suggest the Grand Floridian which is elegant and done in a Victorian-theme. The other hotels with access to the monorail are the Polynesian and Contemporary. If you're looking at a non-Disney hotel, I'd suggest the Waldorf Astoria. They run their own private busses that aren't shared with other hotels. The Hyatt Grand Cypress is also another decent option. If you're looking for a SPG option there's the Dolphin and Swan, which are quasi-Disney hotels. They offer some of the perks of Disney hotels, but not all of them since they're officially run by Starwood. They're fairly simplistic and show their age, but they're definitely not bad hotels by any stretch of the imagination. They also offer a boat service to Epcot and back, and it's also walkable in about 10 minutes. There's also the Marriott World Center, but I've never stayed there so I can't comment on it.

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Open123
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Re: Funniest Story of CC's First Impression??


CreditScholar wrote:

I can't believe you've never been to Disney World Open! Where have you been all this time?


LOL...Haven't had much "leisure" time the past 10 years.  

 

For this trip, the Swan or Dolphin will do nicely.  I need the stays for Platinum status, which after this year, should give me liftetime status.  Of course, I've been to Disneyland many times, but never to a Disneyworld. 

 

Actually, really looking forward to it.

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Re: Funniest Story of CC's First Impression??

This thread makes me want to go to the Disneyland in Florida! Have yet to been there as well. Only disneylands I have been to is the one in Hong Kong and SoCal. Both are meh.
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Re: Funniest Story of CC's First Impression??


Open123 wrote:

CreditScholar wrote:

I can't believe you've never been to Disney World Open! Where have you been all this time?


LOL...Haven't had much "leisure" time the past 10 years.  

 

For this trip, the Swan or Dolphin will do nicely.  I need the stays for Platinum status, which after this year, should give me liftetime status.  Of course, I've been to Disneyland many times, but never to a Disneyworld. 

 

Actually, really looking forward to it.


For a minute there I could have sworn you were living under a rock, if you'd never been to either. :smileyhappy: It's fantastic, and much much larger than Disneyland in Anaheim.

 

Have a look at the Swan and Dolphin as they are essentially two "wings" of a hotel located in different buildings, seperated by an outdoor walkway. If you're like us and fancy a midnight snack from time to time, you'll find the Swan's options virtually non-existant at odd hours. The Swan is the nicer of the two IMO, smaller and quieter.

 

The last time we were at the Dolphin they had the gymnastics finals happening. There were kids tumbling all over the floor in the lobby, running around and screaming. It was extremely noisy, and we swapped hotels after only 1 night. Hopefully your experience will be quieter than ours was. One thing we loved though was how the lobby smells like cinamon during Christmas time. When we got back home the first thing my other half did was swap out our old air freshener scent for a cinamon one.

 

 

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Re: Funniest Story of CC's First Impression??


enharu wrote:
This thread makes me want to go to the Disneyland in Florida! Have yet to been there as well. Only disneylands I have been to is the one in Hong Kong and SoCal. Both are meh.

What did you think was so bad about HK Disney?

 

I wouldn't say the one in Anaheim is meh, but instead it's "average Disney". It's the standard by which I judge all other Disney parks against, since it's the one I've been to most often. We'll be going to Disney in Tokyo next year, so I'm curious to see how that is since neither of us have been there yet.

 

The new Cars Land in Anaheim was great. They did a very good job replicating Radiator Springs from the movie.

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Re: Funniest Story of CC's First Impression??

I went to the HK Disneyland during the first week of opening. A lot of things were just too busy or not working as intended, which is somewhat expected since it just opened. But overall its a lot smaller compared to the Anaheim location. I'm not a big fan of Disney and I have no kids though, so my reviews might be tad biased.

Even the Anaheim Disneyland wasn't as fun for me. I was pretty much done in the main park within an hour and spent most of my time in California adventure instead. I went with 3 other guys when we were in college, so that's a big reason why it was that boring. They kept insisting on going since they were in LA for a holiday. But for a typical Disney fan or family, I would say the Anaheim location is better than the HK location, though still kinda an average experience for me. I had more fun in universal studios, sea world, six flags, etc.
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Re: Funniest Story of CC's First Impression??


CreditScholar wrote:

Open123 wrote:

scenery_guy wrote:

Thanks to all of you who visit Florida and Disney. We can use the money... sorry about the southern obese scooter riders. 


Will be headed there in September, I think.  It'll be my first visit to a Disneyworld of any kind.  Do you think it's better to stay in or out of the Park?

 


I can't believe you've never been to Disney World Open! Where have you been all this time?

 

Disney is an annual event for us, and we've stayed at pretty much all of the hotels there. From my experience, the main difference between staying in an official Disney Property and a non-official one is access to the monorail in your hotel. Not all Disney hotels offer this, but only a few (and these typically are the higher end ones). Disney World is large and you'll need to catch some form of transport to get from one theme park to the next. When you compare it to the alternative modes of transport which are busses, it's much more convenient. For this convenience expect to pay an extra $100-300 per night or more, depending on the hotel and the alternatives. For example the Grand Floridian may run $500-600 per night, while others of similar quality may start at $200-250. Otherwise the busses have routes which will stop at multiple hotels, meaning that you could be waiting 30-45 minutes each direction depending on where you are in the lineup. Non Disney hotels typically run their own busses from the hotel to the theme parks (Hyatt Grand Cypress does this, for example).

 

There are a few other benefits such as the Disney-themed rooms, character breakfast in the hotel restaurant, and access to extra hours to the theme park which are restricted to Disney hotel guests only. That last benefit will get you into the parks an hour earlier than the general public, or an hour later after rides have closed to everyone else. Character dining in-hotel is nice primarily if you have kids.

 

If you're planning to stay at a Disney resort, I'd suggest the Grand Floridian which is elegant and done in a Victorian-theme. The other hotels with access to the monorail are the Polynesian and Contemporary. If you're looking at a non-Disney hotel, I'd suggest the Waldorf Astoria. They run their own private busses that aren't shared with other hotels. The Hyatt Grand Cypress is also another decent option. If you're looking for a SPG option there's the Dolphin and Swan, which are quasi-Disney hotels. They offer some of the perks of Disney hotels, but not all of them since they're officially run by Starwood. They're fairly simplistic and show their age, but they're definitely not bad hotels by any stretch of the imagination. They also offer a boat service to Epcot and back, and it's also walkable in about 10 minutes. There's also the Marriott World Center, but I've never stayed there so I can't comment on it.


Thanks for that useful info CS!


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Re: Funniest Story of CC's First Impression??


enharu wrote:
I went to the HK Disneyland during the first week of opening. A lot of things were just too busy or not working as intended, which is somewhat expected since it just opened. But overall its a lot smaller compared to the Anaheim location. I'm not a big fan of Disney and I have no kids though, so my reviews might be tad biased.

Even the Anaheim Disneyland wasn't as fun for me. I was pretty much done in the main park within an hour and spent most of my time in California adventure instead. I went with 3 other guys when we were in college, so that's a big reason why it was that boring. They kept insisting on going since they were in LA for a holiday. But for a typical Disney fan or family, I would say the Anaheim location is better than the HK location, though still kinda an average experience for me. I had more fun in universal studios, sea world, six flags, etc.

It depends on what you're looking for though, I guess. If you're the kind of person who likes "hardcore rides", then you're right Disney won't be the best place for that. You'd be better off going to Six Flags, Universal Studios, etc. Disney is much moreso an "experience", and when compared to other theme parks in creating a complete experience, they seem to get all of the little things right. There are things to watch while you wait in line, shows have smells released that match the performance happening on stage, fireworks that is coreogrpahed to music that can be heard throughout the park, etc. I can't say the same for the others.

 

Even the princesses are great at their role. We were waiting in line to get photos taken, and my financee dared me to ask Cinderella something. One of the photographers heard us, thought what we were saying was funny, and said "Hey Cinderella, this guy's got a question he wants to ask you!" She asked what my question was, so I walked up and said "How do you get your animals to do your laundry and sh*t? We've got a huge pile back home and we've tried training our pets, but they just won't do it!" After a couple of seconds to process what I just said, she laughed a bit, looked slightly embarassed, and then started talking about how she asked them nicely and started with the little things first. She then proceeded to give the rest of her answer that ran 2-3 minutes, even though there was probably 100 people behind us in line. How's that for courage under fire? :smileyhappy:

 

We stopped by Universal Studios in Orlando to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but it just didn't seem very safe to us. There were skinheads everywhere when we went, and hopefully that isn't a normal thing. However some parts of the park were extremely dark, you'd often not see a park employee for huge stretches, and it felt somewhat deserted and downright creepy at times. Compare that to Disney where you can't go 50m without seeing a cast member. I've never felt unsafe in any Disney theme park. Sea World was simply (for lack of a better word) ghetto. I can't even begin to explain how much that sucked in comparison. The beluga and penguin experiences were great, but not much else.

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Re: Funniest Story of CC's First Impression??

I live about an hour and a half from Orlando and all the parks so the girlfriend and many of our friends hold annual passes to both Universal Orlando and Disney World, we will go down for the weekend 6-7 times a year. Sorry to hear about your experience at Universal I have been there probably 100 times in my life and only felt unsafe during there Halloween Horror Nights events(way to many drunk freaks/weirdo's for my taste). Yet beyond that Universal has some of the greatest rides and no bad theming. Hope you give it a second shot, especially if you’re into coasters. 

 

I do agree with you though no park can hold a candle to Disney when it comes to atmosphere. 

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Re: Funniest Story of CC's First Impression??

Never feel unsafe at any of the parks in Orlando. You are on camera pretty much all of the time. Mission control at Universal has so many screens it's ridiculous. The Universal experience is about 180 degrees from the Disney experience but both are fine and safe. I can't stand any of them but that's the industry I work in (sort of) and all I see is flaws and problems. It's not my cup of tea to be surrounded by so many people in that environment. 

 

The rides at Universal are more to my liking for sure. Sometimes when I am on a shoot I slip out and go into the park and ride a few rides. If I don't take my badge off I get noticed and the employees take me to the front of the queue so I get on the ride very fast. Not fair to all those in line but I don't mind. I'm on the clock so I don't have that much time to waste :smileywink:


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