Thursday, March 7, 2013

DL vs. WDW

My parents had joined a timeshare type vacation program a little while back. With the program they get a week of condo rental for a very low price (something like $165 a week – which is what you would pay for a NIGHT in a hotel, so it is a pretty good deal). When I was trying to talk them into coming down to Orlando to watch me run the Princess Half Marathon (and trying my darndest to get them both signed up for the Royal Family 5K) I thought I would remind them about their timeshare thingy that they could use for lodging – that way they would really only be covering airfare down. They looked into it and their program had condos right near Walt Disney World (I think we were like 6 miles away).

With their program it was a week rental – so they decided to book it Friday to Friday (we were shooting to go to the Tiger’s Spring Training opener game at Disney, which was Friday afternoon). When I mentioned it to Ryan he told me that I should stay longer (he only could get a very limited amount of time off).  I decided that I would stay for an extra day – Ryan flying out Monday morning (so that he really only took off a half day on Friday and a half day on Monday) and me flying out Tuesday afternoon.  Once we figured out our flights, my mom suggested that we do Disney on Monday. She said that with saving all the money on the lodging that we could splurge on park tickets. As I am sure you can guess, I was NOT going to turn down a day at Disney!

Now mind you, although Ryan and I have Disneyland annual passes (for the past 3 years or so) I haven’t been to Walt Disney World in probably 20+ years. [Ryan and I are hoping for one of our upcoming McClurg family trips, when the nephews are old enough, that we will be able to hit it up again though.] I had asked Megan, who is a Walt Disney World pro, which park she would suggest if we were only going to go to one for one day (if you didn’t know Walt Disney World has like 93 parks [okay, okay, I am exaggerating, but it is much more spread out and divided into different parks, unlike Disneyland which is just 2 parks right across the plaza form each other]). She suggested Magic Kingdom – a classic!

I feel like most of the day I was comparing Magic Kingdom to ‘my’ Disneyland  (my dad kept laughing at me because I would say things like ‘At our Disney…’ like it belonged to me). Anyway, with that being said, I thought it would be a fun idea to list a few of my comparisons. [PS Although I brought our ‘nice’ camera with me, I took all of the pictures on my iPhone, so excuse the blur on some of them.]

Monorail/ Ferryboat – It was interesting that Magic Kingdom is out on its own little island. You have to take the monorail or a ferryboat over to the park. My mom mentioned that she wanted to take the ferryboat at some boat (either on the way there or back) since they took the monorail the day before to watch me run. Our decision was made for us when the monorail was down, which forced us to take the ferryboat. It was quite a wait (I am sure normally with folks using both modes of transportation it isn’t too bad), especially before even getting into the park (waiting in lines to wait in lines - what Disney does best). It looked like if you stayed at some of the surrounding hotels there were boats (much faster than a large ferryboat) that would speed you over to the entrance. Also, when we stayed at Disney YEARS ago we stayed at one of the hotels that the monorail came though, which was also nice and a way to avoid some of the longer lines and wait times. At Disneyland, you can either walk or take a tram form the parking lot to the park entrances (much faster, but hey, it was like a ride before the rides, right? Or at least that is what we kept telling ourselves).

Castle/ Pictures – I loved that at the Magic Kingdom they had cast members set up on the way to Tomorrowland that could take your picture with the castle. We stopped early in the morning for a picture near a little greenery area (with Mickey and Minnie made out of bushes) and then in the afternoon on the bridge to Tomorrowland (after the downpour had caught us and we had been sweating all day – not as cute as the morning shot, but memories nonetheless). At Disneyland I feel like they are very limited with space (and possibly photographers) that they have very specific spots you can take pictures – most of which have large lines.

Oh yeah, and the guy switched it to Video when he was using my iPhone, so we have a short video of us standing in front of the castle :)

Rides (Space Mountain) – My mom and I LOVE this ride. When we got into the park that morning the line was short (maybe like 10 minutes) so we decided to just walk on and also grab fast passes for later that afternoon. The ride itself is pretty standard and the same as Disneyland. There were a few differences though. First, the camera was at the beginning of the ride and on the side of the car. At Disneyland, the camera is towards the end of the ride and you can look forward for your picture (not a big difference, but when you aren’t expecting it you can’t get a great photo opt). Also, the pictures at the end of the ride have watermarks on them (saying something like ‘Buy your pictures in the gift shop’). At Disneyland, the pictures are just on the TV screens and you can take a picture of the picture (not the best quality, but still a way to save the memory). I really don’t know how many people buy the pictures, and since the technology is already there, it seems silly for them to not allow you to grab the shot (if you want the high quality shot you can always buy it).

Rides (Stitch’s Great Escape) – We don’t have this ride at Disneyland (see how I used we, hehe), so why not try it out?! DON’T. We all hated it. You walk through a little story-telling scene, and then sit in chairs around this tube. The room doesn’t really do anything, the seat ‘harnesses’ come up and down (really hurting your shoulders), it is pitch dark for some of the parts – which leads to screaming, scared children, etc. I would opt OUT of this one – even if you like the move Lilo and Stitch.

Rides (Laugh Floor) – Okay, this is more of a show than a ride, but I thought I would keep it in this section. We probably wouldn’t have gone into this show normally, but there was a downpour going on outside, so it was a way to stay out of the rain and dry for a few minutes. We don’t have this show at Disneyland (see how I used we, hehe) either. In the lobby/ waiting area there were screens saying if you wanted to submit a joke that the monsters may use in their routines you could text it to a certain number. Of course I had to try. I used my go-to joke [What is a pirate’s favorite letter? You’d think it’s the arrrrrrr (R) but it’s the sea (C). ] AND THEY USED IT. They even did a shout out to me (my name and city). The show was very interactive (the monsters on the screen would call out people in the audience – all in fun though, nothing rude). It reminded me of Turtle Talk with Crush at Disneyland. Maybe a little childish, but still cute and a great retreat from the rain and heat.

Rides (PeopleMover) – Another ride that we don’t have at Disneyland. Just like the Laugh House, this was something we jumped in line for while it was raining to try and stay out of the wetness. It is a little train like ride that is on the second level of most buildings in Tomorrowland. It is a great ride for people watching. The other cool thing is that it actually takes you through portions of some of the rides in Tomorrowland. You actually get to go through part of Space Mountain (obviously not as quickly as on the actual ride, but still pretty cool). It was a nice little break from the weather, and fun to see things from a different perspective.

Rides (Mad Tea Party) – Always a fun time. This was mostly the same as the ride at Disneyland, but mom and I REALLY got the tea cup going. I took a couple pictures (obviously blurry due to the speed at which we were spinning). Dad figured he would sit the ride out (he didn’t want to lose his lunch). – so he ended up being the bag holder for a short time period.

Rides (Prince Charming Regal Carrousel) – This was mostly the same as the one at Disneyland. I can’t believe I forgot to take a picture of us on it. Yes, three adults rode the carousel and had a BLAST doing it. Again, making memories that will last a lifetime!

Stores (Glass Blowing) – On the way out of the park my mom wanted to look for a little gift for the boy she babysits for. Like Disneyland, many of the stores are connected along Main Street, which is nice, especially when it is rainy outside and you don’t want to have to keep going out in the drips. In the back of one of the shops we actually found a glassblower. It was so cool. We stood there for probably 15-20 minutes and watched him make this super awesome Donald Duck vase. I thought this was pretty cool. There weren’t very many people there, so maybe it is just a little secret gem. We were able to ask questions and really learn about the process. I don’t remember which shop it was, but it was the back of one of them – on the right hand side of Main Street when you are looking towards the castle.

Overall it was a GREAT time! The threat of rain kept the lines down for the most part (I think the longest we waited was around 30 minutes). There were a bunch of ladies and families there with their Princess and Royal Family gear on, so I would assume that they made it a racecation out of their trip, just like we did. I think I am just spoiled living about 40 minutes away form Disneyland and being able to go monthly (if I had it my way I would probably go weekly, hehe), but even with the differences my padres and I had an AWESOME time!!

1 comment:

Megan said...

I LOVE your comparisons! (Side note: I could have told you to skip the Stitch ride. It was WORSE when it was the alien encounter. I think I still have nightmares...) I'm glad you all had such a great time!