Does WDW make all other Disney parks pointless?

When I was thinking about booking my December trip I did briefly consider Disneyland in California. I quickly ruled it out because staying on property was vastly more expensive than doing so at WDW.

But I’m not sure I’d want to go anyway. WDW has Epcot and AK. And ADRs and FPPs. And magic bands. And loads of hotels to explore.

It’s just so much better. Is there any point in going anywhere else?

I would argue not, especially when people suggest I should do DLP.

Who is suggesting this? And why?

What does DLP have that WDW doesn’t?

I’ve been there — before my WDW obsession began — and had a perfectly fine time. But it would feel like such a letdown now. It’s so small!

People are always suggesting it to me. No Universal to visit on the side is a big drawback to me. It wouldn’t feel right. And then there’s the (probably) crappy weather, the rude staff, the smoking in lines… It looks beautiful but also, as you said, really small! It’s like half of it is missing.

Disneyland and California Adventure are definitely worth visiting. There is very little planning needed though, so that might be a negative for you since you like to plan. But definitely stay onsite at either the Disneyland Hotel or the Grand Californian, the real world is way too close to the gates there.


I absolutely love Disneyland. I love DCA, I love Cars Land and the pier and world of color. I love staying at the hotels there and just walking through Downtown Disney to the parks. I love California weather. The smaller scale is actually a plus for us (in some ways).


It is very true that DLR (nor any other Disney park) have Epcot and AK- two of my very favorite places at WDW. But what DLR does have far outweighs what it’s missing.

For starters, attractions (like Pirates, IASW, Space Mtn, some even include Buzz Lightyear & BTM in this category) that do exist at WDW in fine & perfectly acceptable forms, are much better on the West coast. If you’re nostalgic (like I am) then Fantasyland is chalk-full of charm with it’s opening day rides including our favorites the Storybook Land Canal Boats and the best Disney dark ride in history: Alice in Wonderland. Peter Pan definitely used to be better (and is still one of my favorite rides, but in DL it’s always a 40 min wait & has no FP so we rarely do it & the refurb for it wasn’t as spectacular as what they were able to do with Alice when they refurbed it). And that’s just on the DL park side.

On the DCA side, there’s so much that’s good there with a mix of some of the best of Epcot/DHS. I prefer Incredicoaster (used to be California Screamin’) to RnR at DHS and there’s nothing like Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout anywhere at WDW. Throw in Carsland and there’s no good reason NOT to come West.

I know flying is a sore point for you, so that alone may prevent you from a trip. But for me & mine Disneyland (small castle & all) are where the original & have my heart completely. WDW is nice, but I need a 6 months break from if after the exercise that it planning starting 200 days in advance & then executing over 7-10 days with 2-3 small children in tow.



As I constantly tell people when they ask about DL vs WDW, you’re going to love whichever place feels like home, and consistently believe that anything else is “lesser”, if you insist upon comparing a new experience to your “home” resort.

If you open up and let the magic flow on its own, each resort has its own charm and Magic. Let the resort be itself, not the “sibling” of your favorite.

Don’t get me wrong, I love WDW, and it’s certainly my most-visited resort - probably 20 times in my life, or more. I’ve lost count. That doesn’t mean that I don’t feel just as much magic at DL (7 visits) and, more recently, during my first ever visit to DLP.

I think next on my list is TDL. Not because there’s anything wrong or even “lesser” about the magic I feel at other places, but because I want to have a greater variety of experiences and to experience the Magic “fresh” again. WDW, for all of its joy, does not feel novel to me anymore.


Only one of these did I experience during my trip in Sept. As you’ve already heard me talk about the weather, so, you can rest assured that neither the staff nor the smoke were concerns for me.

Are people really allowed to smoke in the lines there ?

I don’t think so. If they are, you couldn’t prove it by me. I didn’t experience anyone smoking in line in my presence. And I tend to notice that smell pretty easily.

In the early days of the park, it was one of the troubles that the then EuroDisney dealt with. For some reason, it gets brought out often by people looking for a reason not to go.

I really didn’t have any concerns with it when I was there just 2 months ago.

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They are commonly reported though, including by my friends who love it. I believe it’s better than it used to be though.

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Quantify, please. One or two poor experiences per trip? Can’t get into a single line without smoke upon them?

You have jerks and rule-breakers in every park. I would say the overwhelming reality is that terrible CMs and in-line-smokers are very much the exception, not the rule.

Ok I would say that every single person I know who has been has commented on the smoking if it’s their first time, and my friend Katie who you met usually says that ‘it’s not that bad anymore’ or ‘it’s got a lot better in the last few years’ when she gives advice on the liner FB page. Which she does fairly regularly, as she’s our resident expert. The rude staff have been mentioned less in recent years, but then compared to British staff there’s probably not a big drop down anyway. Customer service over here isn’t as good as over there.

So I guess you don’t know me anymore :wink:

Seriously though, your point is taken. The park is not completely free of smoking in line nor bad CMs, and it’s enough that it’s noticeable at some level even to your first-timer friends.

I would be interested to have Katie take an honest evaluation about smokers the next time she’s there - “not as bad as it used to be” and “it’s got a lot better in the last few years” could be anything from “it was every other ride in the beginning and now it’s only a couple times a day,” to “it was constant back then and now is super rare.”

Honestly, I found the DLP cast members to be way more courteous than “regular” customer service here in the states, and pretty close to on par with CMs at WDW. And right now, my sense of who’s being rude to me is kinda on overdrive. That’s a retrospective evaluation, BTW - I take my own advice about not comparing resorts while I’m taking in the Magic.

I’m accepting of imperfection when the overall experience is Magical - and I would register the resort, as a whole, in that category.

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You’re right, I should say people I know and have met in person - so far, maybe we’ll meet one day. But I’m pretty sure it won’t be at DLP :joy: And I take your point, smoking is banned in a lot of places over here so perhaps we notice it more or would comment on it even if it only happened once or twice. Glad to hear you had good service from the CMs.

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Have you seen videos or even just photos of say Tokyo Seashave only been to DLP and WDW, and DLP was ages ago when it was just one park.

DS however has been recently and also to Shanghai.

What I loved about DLP: the fact that you can go into the castle. Not exactly the same as touring a stately home in the U.K., but you still go in. The park is well laid out, and beautiful too. Big Thunder loading is on the “mainland” so to speak, you then go through a tunnel and the ride itself is on the equivalent of TSI. They had the first coaster with a complete loop in any Disney park, although the ride itself is off the shelf and not great (not that I’d know, not a coaster gal). Also the Downtown area was fun, and the Wild West show was a highlight. Plus the Disneyland Hotel to die for. And an ice rink at the Hotel New York (soon to be “Marvel-ised” -boo, hiss).

The Tokyo park looks amazing.

DS said Shanghai was so open, big wide paths around. Although he said it was a very different vibe and didn’t really feel like Disney.

WDW has (or will have) clones or copies of rides from every other one I believe, maybe not Hong Kong.

But I do get your point. We keep thinking about going to Disneyland CA. But we keep coming back to it’s too small to be worthwhile as the main focus of a trip. Which means adding on California, which means spending a ton of extra money…


You do Disneyland, plus Six Flags Magic Mountain and Knott’s Berry Farm! :slight_smile:


Sounds like a delightful vacation to me!

A little adrenalin, a little Magic.

:smiley: :blush:


Goes together like an Oreo goes with milk!