All things Disney

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Warks

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Disney does most things really well, but transport is NOT one of them. The buses are not all that frequent, the queues for them (especially at peak times) can be horrendous, and the organisation is appalling.

A lot of the time, you have at least on wheelchair passenger. When this happens, the driver shuts the front door, opens the rear door, lowers the ramp, gets the wheelchair and companions on board and locked down, raises the ramp, shuts the rear door and then opens the front door so remaining passengers can board. All this faffing around usually takes around 10 minutes. The when you do get on board, if the seats are full, people will NOT move down to take up all the space, & you find the average bus leaves half full. I only remember one driver insisting that passengers move down to fill the bus in the 8 days we were there.

At closing time, it seemed that at least half the drivers were at the end of their shift, as nearly every 2nd bus that arrived went out of service although queues were at there longest. We were at Pop Century which has a peak capacity of over 10,000, and since we were there it's twin Art Of Animation has opened. It's a good thing that a lot of the patrons of these don't travel to the theme parks every day or you would never get there.

We stayed at Art of Animation and your post reminded me of the only stuff-up we encountered during our many, many trips on the shuttles. We were at the big fireworks show at the end of the night at Hollywood Studios. We had bought special tickets for good seats as it was my son's birthday. Just as it was about to start this enormous thunderstorm rolled in (it was July - peak season for it) and we thought discretion was the better part of getting struck by lightning or soaked so we headed for the bus. We managed to join the queue under cover but the line quickly grew as the rain started and then bucketed down. A bus pulled in and the scenario listed above played out except with three enormous strollers, not wheelchairs. People stood in the rain while the endless faffing went on until finally we could get on. Would have taken a good ten minutes. With everyone now soaked they made sure they had the bus AC set to about 5C so everyone got a good chilling.

Apart from that incident though the buses from Art of A were quite frequent - we made sure we got the earliest buses each day so we could get there in time for opening. It's always good to get in early so at least you can get to one or two of the high demand rides before needing to use your fast passes.

For all that Disney World seems big we didn't really miss much and could get around all the parks and do the worthwhile rides. There are a lot of rides but many of them are for littlies only (well you can go on them but they are a bit dull) so just concentrate on the main rides. What we could never fathom is why the Seven Dwarfs Mine Ride (whatever it's called) nearly always had a 70 minute wait or more. We only ever did it first thing or with a fast pass. It's not that exciting a ride - Thunder, Splash and Space Mountains are all way better. On those hot days we could do Splash Mountain all day except for the lines.

The WDW app with the wait times is brilliant, by they way. Reasonably accurate and also tells you of the temporary closures.
 

jgm

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We were at WDW in March and the place was absolutely packed. I have previously visited Anaheim many times & the only time the crowds were worse than WDW was on New Years Eve. & even then California Adventure was OK (we did get a fastpass for Space Mountain in the morning which was timed for 2AM). Usually Disneyland has been far less crowded.

At WDW the main business seemed to be in hired mobility scooters, and we were amazed at the size (horizontal) of so many of those using them. They didn't appear to have any physical disability, but appeared just too lazy to walk. Given our experiences, I wouldn't bother with Florida again. The main attractions are largely duplicated, Animal Kingdom is really just a zoo, and Epcot apart form the added restaurants isn't that different from Californai Adventure. And Anaheim has the significant advantage of everything being in close proximity.
 

Timtammi

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Oops.. Posted too soon
I've done every Disney except Paris and WDW is my fave. It's the complete immersion I think and the huge array of things to that are Not in the parks. I'm a planner and find WDW is best planned well, I really hate queuing and have managed 2 trips with minimal queues. It's not cheap, especially if you stay in the deluxe resorts as is my preference but there is nothing else in the world quite like it.
 

Warks

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Anyone find decent food within a Disney park ever? We found one burger place which was pretty good in Magic Kingdom but most of the rest ranged from dire to forgettable. Did have an excellent meal at a resort though. Sana restaurant at one of the resorts near Animal Kingdom (you can watch animals from the outside the restaurant) was very nice if expensive.

Never seen so many fireworks displays either. We were there for 4th July and it was even more over the top than usual. From our hotel (we avoided the parks that day) we could see displays at all three parks (Animal Kingdom doesn't do fireworks - think of the animals!) plus additional ones at Downtown and we could also see a couple more displays in Orlando proper. Amazing night.
 

BAM1748

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Anyone find decent food within a Disney park ever? We found one burger place which was pretty good in Magic Kingdom but most of the rest ranged from dire to forgettable. Did have an excellent meal at a resort though. Sana restaurant at one of the resorts near Animal Kingdom (you can watch animals from the outside the restaurant) was very nice if expensive.

Never seen so many fireworks displays either. We were there for 4th July and it was even more over the top than usual. From our hotel (we avoided the parks that day) we could see displays at all three parks (Animal Kingdom doesn't do fireworks - think of the animals!) plus additional ones at Downtown and we could also see a couple more displays in Orlando proper. Amazing night.

Yes, even had fine dining and glass of Napa Chardy. Nice it was too.
 

straitman

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Anyone find decent food within a Disney park ever?
Many fine dining though they often need to be booked well ahead. There is/was a few places near 'pirates of the Caribbean' that served a mean Taco Salad.

We were at WDW in March and the place was absolutely packed. I have previously visited Anaheim many times & the only time the crowds were worse than WDW was on New Years Eve. & even then California Adventure was OK (we did get a fastpass for Space Mountain in the morning which was timed for 2AM). Usually Disneyland has been far less crowded.
Mid Jan and WDW though not empty is eminently manageable. September is also OK. Without researching it more myself it is suffice to say that they all have times of year that they are and are not packed.

Given our experiences, I wouldn't bother with Florida again. The main attractions are largely duplicated, Animal Kingdom is really just a zoo, and Epcot apart form the added restaurants isn't that different from Californai Adventure. And Anaheim has the significant advantage of everything being in close proximity.
I am the opposite. I would always go to Florida before Anaheim as there are also many more other things to do if Disney does not float you boat. (There is also a lot more to WDW than you have mentioned)
 
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Atleastonce

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I have lost count of the number of times I have been to Disneyland in Anaheim. It has changed heaps from the 1st time I went there in 1991 to my last visit a few years ago. I have only been to WDW in Orlando once, but I found it too spread out to get a lot done in a short period of time (I was only there for 4 days - no where near enough).

My number one tip in terms of accommodation for anyone considering visiting is too stay across the road on South Harbor Blvd so you can walk to the theme park, therefore eliminating the need to pay the overpriced parking fees or having to rely on hotel shuttles. It also means you get get to the park early, head back to your hotel early afternoon for a swim or just to cool down in your room and then head back late afternoon/early evening to do some rides and watch the parade at night. (I have stayed at the Disneyland Hotels and just don't think they are worth the extra money).

Also hiring a car to get around Southern California is a must. It gives you so much freedom in exploring the area, and makes it easy to drive up the I-5 to LA or south to San Diego for day trips. It also allows you to visit the many great shopping malls such as Ontario Mills, South Coast Plaza, The Outlets at Orange, Main Place Santa Ana and Brea Mall. But best of all you can spend a night at the baseball watching the Angels. This is my number one recommendation for anyone visiting the USA - if you want a taste of American culture, go to a baseball game.

Agree with the accommodation and car suggestion. We did this two weeks ago, stayed at the best western right across from the Disney entrance. I actually think it was a closer walk than e Disney hotels. We also had a car, which was great, didn't use it every day, but when we did it saved us using shuttle buses to outlet malls etc.. Also visiting places like Walmart and food for less to stock up on snacks etc.... It is also a great location for angels stadium and the ice hockey stadium.
 
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