Disney Parks

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Disney Parks

Postby James » April 7th, 2015, 2:19 pm

Thought I'd start a new thread for news and discussion about Disney theme parks.

And here's a great story to kick it off with: Woman Denied Entry At Disney’s Magic Kingdom For Trying To Bring In Baby Bengal Tiger

http://www.inquisitr.com/1988264/woman- ... gal-tiger/

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Re: Disney Parks

Postby Meg » April 7th, 2015, 2:52 pm

Geeze, that's bonkers! Wish I was still working on Main Street for that, woulda been a sight to see! :P

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Re: Disney Parks

Postby GeorgeC » April 7th, 2015, 7:39 pm

Ticket price is cheaper in Tokyo Disneyland... Which IS weird but true...

I looked it up a couple of days ago after hearing they raised the US prices to over $100 per day = insane to me. But that's true for amusement parks in the US in general. The parks I went to in the 1980s were way, way cheaper to enter. Everything now is $50 or more and inflation hasn't been THAT bad!

Heard the lines overseas (Tokyo-Disney) are horrendous... Worse than you usually see in the American parks on average day.

Otherwise, Disney officially priced itself out of my pocketbook!

Unless AAA has fantastic discounts on ticket-price/entry into the US parks, I doubt I would ever bother with them again unless I had children!
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Re: Disney Parks

Postby Randall » April 7th, 2015, 11:00 pm

I lived in Orlando for a few years in the 1990s. Annual passes when I first arrived were $199--- a steal of a deal, especially looking at it from today's perspective.

I've been to all the Disney parks in Anaheim (2008), Orlando (most recently in 2012), and Paris (last summer). Tokyo is next on the list! (My wife was born in the South Pacific, and we hope to do an Asian tour some day.)

One of my favourite park memories is being chosen to officially open Mickey's Restaurant at Downtown Disney in Orlando on Christmas morning, 1995.

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Re: Disney Parks

Postby Ben » April 8th, 2015, 1:52 am

Best. Christmas. Ever. :)

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Re: Disney Parks

Postby James » April 8th, 2015, 10:03 am

Disney's ticket prices are made to encourage you to stay longer -- and not go to other parks! For example, if you want to go for one day the ticket price is $105. If you go for five days you just pay $63 a day. And if you go for ten days, that daily ticket price drops to $36. So for your total price the difference between a five day ticket and a ten day ticket is just $50!

That's a huge reason not to go to Universal for a day during your Disney trip. For a family of four on a 5 day trip spending 4 days at Disney ($1300) it would cost an extra $408 to spend the last day at Universal. Spending that last day at Disney would just cost an extra $40 total for the whole family.

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Re: Disney Parks

Postby GeorgeC » April 8th, 2015, 11:43 am

All right... I see your point, James. Honestly, I do!

IF you have a family, that's great...

However, if you're on a date or just mildly interested, the one day prices are ridiculous! :lol: :shock: :cry: :roll: :evil:

Also, not everybody can take the sugar rush of going into a Disney park for an entire week! :lol:

I guess you have to measure that one-day cost against hotel costs, eating out, the extra gas you have to put in a car if you're traveling to the park from an outside hotel (the park's own hotels are generally much more expensive than the outer-lying hotels) over an entire week. After that, ticket discount basically amounts to squat, honestly. Sure, I agree with the philosophy that any amount of money saved is a VERY good thing BUT it's still one heck of an expensive vacation!

I have to admit my priorities HAVE changed... If I had kids, I probably WOULD give in to the little brats (term of affection) just for peace of mind and actually go back if I could make the budget work but in the meantime ---! :wink:

I'm honestly NOT trying to insult anybody here... I'm just looking at it from a personal POV and with my own logic. I'm sorry if it doesn't match up with yours but honestly no two people think absolutely alike...

And honestly, for the millionth time, I am NOT trying to pick a fight or insult anybody here! :oops: :|

My family DID stay in one of the Disney hotels that DID have a monorail running through it around 1980 I think... It was before EPCOT opened. There was a nice restaurant in that hotel, too. Of course, I think my family (parents + siblings + me) was in the park for at least 5 days. None of us have ever spent that much time in a Disney park since! :mrgreen:

Yeah, I did go back a couple of times... 1987, I saw Disney/MGM Studios shortly after it happened. It probably became my favorite part of the park... although I DID become partially hooked on EPCOT later on after they opened the SEGA videogame exhibition in the 1990s.
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(It was one of the better-stocked arcades I've ever visited. At least as far as one company's home and arcade video games are concerned. Definitely a great time to be a SEGA fan! And they had that wonderful 8-person/linked version of Virtua Racing there, too. One of the best racing games I ever played... I think I maybe only like Daytona USA better... which is also SEGA. You had to pay $2-$4 to play but I thought it was worth it! I hear some Dave & Busters have that version of Virtua Racing as well.)
I also went to EPCOT in 1987.

1997 -- definitely went to EPCOT and Disney/MGM again. SEGA obsession satisfied!

1999 -- briefly picked up the idea of employment there... DID NOT work out... It was NOT a good fit for me.

2000/2001 -- fairly certain I went back to Disney/MGM and EPCOT during one of those two years.

Honestly, unless something changes, I think I can be happy with just the Disney films! I've had my fill of the parks.
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Re: Disney Parks

Postby EricJ » April 8th, 2015, 12:12 pm

GeorgeC wrote:Also, not everybody can take the sugar rush of going into a Disney park for an entire week! :lol: .


But some of us can, and often do. As James points out, the ticket prices are designed for week stays, and start getting cheaper per day after 5-6 days.
Even despite my well-known movie sentiments, after a seven-year absence, and not being the kind of person characters usually come close to, I glowed the entire trip home that I'd gotten spontaneous hugs last September from both Queen Elsa AND Vanellope. :mrgreen: And some nice tablet-video footage with Talking Mickey. (And first-night reservations for dinner in the Beast's ballroom.)

As for gas and hotel, I'd learned a long time ago to surf the deals for Disney's own hotels--I live in the city, so I'm too used to just hopping on buses here and there, so using Disney's own free network of park<->hotel and even airport buses is half the navigation fun of the trip for me. YOU drive, I'm on vacation.
Although I still :roll: at the fact that Disney still pumps the iconography of their $500/nt. hotels around the lake (yes, the "one with the monorail running through it"), and doesn't give the bus-distance All-Star Movies or French Quarter as much humble credit as they deserve. I grew up on staying at Holiday Inns on long trips, so motels with doors that open out onto the world have always been part of the get-up-and-do-exciting-stuff mentality of the trip for me.
(Not to say I haven't splurged once in a while, for that nice boat ride to the park from Wilderness Lodge, or even lucking out at Animal Kingdom Lodge with a view of giraffes from my window.)

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Re: Disney Parks

Postby James » April 8th, 2015, 2:27 pm

GeorgeC wrote:All right... I see your point, James. Honestly, I do!

...I'm honestly NOT trying to insult anybody here... I'm just looking at it from a personal POV and with my own logic. I'm sorry if it doesn't match up with yours but honestly no two people think absolutely alike...

And honestly, for the millionth time, I am NOT trying to pick a fight or insult anybody here! :oops: :|


Sorry! Didn't mean to seem like I was upset about your post! I really was just providing extra info for people that might not know. I'm in the middle of planning a trip in December and just happened to have the information at hand!

(And yes, I am already planning for a trip even though it's not until December! You can start making restaurant reservations 180 days in advance so you need to be ready!)

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Re: Disney Parks

Postby Meg » April 8th, 2015, 7:47 pm

Were you planning on staying on or off property, James?

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Re: Disney Parks

Postby Randall » April 8th, 2015, 10:11 pm

I plan my vacations a good 6-8 months in advance, so I certainly get it! :)

Single day prices are extremely daunting. But we did get 10-day passes in 2012, and used up 9 days of them. As James said, the difference in price between 5 days and 10 days isn't all that great, so one might as well be prepared. Some days, we spent minimal time in the parks while we did other things, but that's okay, considering the "low" expense per day. But of course, one must have money to spend. Not everyone can afford this.

Many people don't realize just how economical it can be to stay in the Park. Many people are eager to check out condo deals in Kissimmee (and are very proud of themselves for being so clever), but staying in the Park can be a great deal, too. The All Star resorts were under $100/night when we visited (even in my home town, staying in a downtown hotel can easily cost twice as much), and even staying at the Caribbean Beach resort like we did was not much more. Having in-Park transportation means you don't need to rent a vehicle. Being close to the theme parks saves tons of time per day, as well. And some resorts (like CB) have inexpensive food courts, e.g. a nice plate of lasagna and some bread & veggies for under 8 bucks ain't bad at all. Or you can get a nice sandwich for just a few dollars there.

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Re: Disney Parks

Postby GeorgeC » April 8th, 2015, 11:03 pm

James wrote:
GeorgeC wrote:All right... I see your point, James. Honestly, I do!

...I'm honestly NOT trying to insult anybody here... I'm just looking at it from a personal POV and with my own logic. I'm sorry if it doesn't match up with yours but honestly no two people think absolutely alike...

And honestly, for the millionth time, I am NOT trying to pick a fight or insult anybody here! :oops: :|


Sorry! Didn't mean to seem like I was upset about your post! I really was just providing extra info for people that might not know. I'm in the middle of planning a trip in December and just happened to have the information at hand!

(And yes, I am already planning for a trip even though it's not until December! You can start making restaurant reservations 180 days in advance so you need to be ready!)


This is a WARNING to everybody -----

Don't mean to be negative BUT forewarned is forearmed

I lived in Florida for a while --- late 1999-mid 2002...

Honestly, you DO NOT want to go to these parks June-August or November/December/Christmas or springbreak ... That's when they get swamped with people! Lines are longer, you have to wait more, and the experience in the sun = not fun! You're much better off going off-season and this is not just for Disney... it's any park in Orlando. The other big one in the area is Universal Studios. (There's also Sea World but the other two parks are way, way bigger... Disney World itself is practically its own small kingdom... It's basically a large town. Might be bigger than the Vatican! Dunno to be honest.) In some ways, the Florida Universal Studios park is better than the original California park. (It's also the only theme park where I forgot where I parked... Oh well, at least I got some good exercise that day!) It's easier to get to travel-wise (than the California park) and if you want, there's a very good amusement park (Islands of Adventure) next door with excellent rides -- rollercoasters and a fantastic Spider-Man ride that recently got upgraded. They don't have an Islands of Adventure in the original Universal Studios California park...

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(It is a safe bet that after Universal's license deal with Marvel lapses, that Spider-Man ride will be gone! [Disney should really just transplant the whole thing to the Disney World resort... it's a worthwhile attraction to save and relocate! Most likely, they won't do that! It'll probably be torn down for good...] Heck, the entire Marvel Super Hero Island that's been there since 1999 will vanish,period... Disney has already talked about creating Marvel sections within the existing US and Hong Kong Disneyland parks. They also used to have a Star Trek attraction in the movie section/Studios area at Universal [California? I don't know if the Florida park ever had that Star Trek attraction... I've been to both US locations and they ARE a bit different] but that has been gone for a long, long time. These parks -- both Disney and Universal -- evolve and unfortunately they sometimes remove attraction/rides that many people enjoy. Those are generally tied to movies/TV shows the park's main owners don't own the copyright to and license from another studio/corporation.)
I never figured out WHY people would want to go to Florida in the summer anyway... Florida is freakin' hot and muggy during those three months! I personally think it's nuts to go on vacation to Florida during the summer... You're better off going in springtime or mid-September/October when it's a lot more pleasant... The temperature is 70ish/80ish at most during those months and the mugginess/humidity is generally gone after August.


But avoid springbreak if you can... you have a bunch of drunk vacationing college kids going to the beach towns and families going during elementary/jr high/high school breaks to the parks... The traffic in Florida is horrendous in a lot of the bigger cities/resort areas. (Miami's probably one of the worst cities in the country to drive through. The car insurance is way higher in Florida than say Ohio. You can easily pay, in Ohio, only 25% of the car insurance cost in Miami alone! Orlando is ONLY 2X as expensive for car insurance. I lived fairly close to one of the major roads that ran through Orlando and there was at least one car accident on that road virtually every day. I consider myself very, very lucky that I never got into an accident in Florida!

In my last trip to Orlando --- to visit cousins --- I was struck by how much worse the traffic in Orlando had gotten since I left in 2002... That last visit was on a Sunday, late 2014! I would say it was at least 2 times worse than it was when I left, maybe even 3 or 4. I've driven through LA and Chicago. I would rather deal with the traffic in those cities than what I saw most recently in Orlando!
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(The drivers in Florida are just nuts! Doesn't matter what ethnicity, sex, or age group they are. Very, very aggressive in areas. The only traffic area that's scared me worse is the Long Island Expressway in New York. That was easily the scariest driving experience I've lived through.)
September/October isn't bad, either. When I say not bad I'm talking about both the crowds AND the weather... Getting into mid-April/May is when the crowds start picking up again but it's at its worst in Summer --- again, I have NO CLUE why people would vacation in Florida during the summer!

I do remember during one of the 1980s trips my family made that we DID go in July or August and it was just a bear to stand in line in that heat and humidity!
The other times that I went, I went off-season (1997 and '99/2000/2001) and it was a much more pleasant experience as far as dealing with the weather and crowds were concerned.
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(I could talk about tour groups cutting lines but that's another thing... You can tell who's in the tour groups by the fact that practically everybody in those groups wears the same color shirt... At least they did the times I paid attention when I was in the parks. I could mention continents these guys came from but I don't want to start a flame war. I will give you a hint -- it's not North America, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, Antarctica! :lol: )


Another tidbit: Summer months in Central Florida -- July(?) -- have the worst lightning activity that I have ever seen or lived through. I have never experienced lightning like that before or since! Electrical storms are very violent in Central Florida. If you have a kid or animal that's upset by thunderstorms/lightning storms, they're going to be frightened for at least a few days when those storms hit. The monsoon/heavy rain I could deal with... I was always careful when there were electrical storms. Not a lot of people actually got killed by lightning but it DID happen occasionally and it usually happened to people who were in the water (beach, swimming pool) and didn't have the common sense to get out... Then again, I have encountered complacent attitudes towards weather in Ohio.
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(Trivia: I am the only person in my family who HASN'T lived through a tornado or hurricane. I was out of town on both occasions when storms hit. I left Orlando when the getting was good... the hurricanes that went through that town twice happened roughly a year, year-and-a-half after I left. As I understand it, the roof on the house I lived in Orlando was at least mildly damaged... but that was true with many, many homes and there were a lot of phone lines, trees, and power lines knocked down. It was a mess, and like I said, they got hit twice even though Orlando is over an hour away from the Atlantic Ocean!)
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Re: Disney Parks

Postby Randall » April 8th, 2015, 11:32 pm

Funny, George and I just missed living in Orlando at the came time. I left in Feb. 1999, and he came later that year.

Were you right in Orlando, George? I lived on Curry Ford Road initially, then Kirkman Road (a couple of miles from Universal, near Metro West), and finally in Hunter's Creek. No hurricanes in the 6 years I was there, but 8 tornadoes tore through one night, killing over 30 people, mostly in Kissimmee and St. Cloud (where I was working).

Yeah, summer's are too hot to be stranded in line for too long. I like the parks best when they're moderately busy. If it's too quiet, it's not as fun either.

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Re: Disney Parks

Postby GeorgeC » April 9th, 2015, 1:07 am

My parents had a house where I lived for a while that was near Curry Ford. It was in a gated development... They sold that house a long time ago... early 2003 I think.

My mother and youngest sister actually stayed in that house through a hurricane that passed through the area in 1998(?) I think. Like I said, I just missed the storms that came through a few years later. I probably WILL be on the maiden voyage of the next Titanic, though, with my luck... my luck can't hold out forever! :lol:

(My father, on the other hand, has the luck of the devil. Given how he drives, he definitely has an angel sitting next to him in the passenger's seat... :shock: )

It was a decent/not-so-great area depending on your POV. My mother didn't think the area was that great but I dunno... I never felt I was in danger or anything like that! I think I was very fortunate not to get into an auto accident the entire time I was there.

My problem with Orlando is that the city is very focused on the resorts/theme parks and conventions and there's not really much culture there otherwise. IF I had lived there 10-12 years earlier and they had the same cons they did back then I probably would have appreciated it better. I DID go to two Megacons (when the con was still relatively medium-sized and not crazy big like I hear it is now) and that's where I met a few Golden Age comic book creators/artists. I met Martin Nodell (the original GL creator) and Harry Lampert (the original Flash artist) years before they died and got their signatures in one of my favorite hardcover comic book reprint collections. (Jules Feiffer's "The Great Comic Book Heroes." Great book, great collection of Golden Age superhero comics... a lot of them were reprints of the origin stories.) I wish I had my copy of Feiffer's book with me because I also DID meet Sheldon Moldoff in 2000 or 2001. I would have liked to have gotten his signature in that book, too. I would have had a Golden Age Batman artist signature! Dick Sprang, himself, only died like a year or so around that time, too but I don't think he was living in Florida like the other gentlemen were.

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(Speaking of culture... Funny thing about Orlando. It was HARD to find a lot of anime titles there. There was one decent shop that sold anime called Florida Oriental Trading... It's been out of business for at least 4-5 years now but that was the place to buy anime DVDs and soundtracks in Orlando. [The soundtracks were bootlegs... Bootleg DVDs and legitimate DVDs were about half-and-half. Colosseum of Comics sold mostly bootleg anime DVDs but the manager at the local CoC lied about that fact and got upset at me when I called him on it... We did not get along after that! He knew he couldn't fool me. Honestly, that guy was shifty... not very honest to begin with, IMHO. I had no problems with FOT. I got along with those guys fine!] I guess the owner of FOT closed up because the anime business in the North America collapsed around 2007 and has never completely recovered although they say it's healthier now than it was 3-4 years ago. The licensing companies like Funimation are getting more money from pay-to-view streaming sites... It's partially making up for lower sales on DVD. Blu ray is niche product although you have a lot of anime snobs prefer Blu ray to DVD; there's still a lot of stuff that doesn't get released on Blu ray... After I came back to Ohio, it was much, much easier to find a lot of anime on home video. I don't know what it was about Orlando... maybe the local anime scene wasn't big enough, who knows? I thought that was cock-eyed because there are actually quite a few colleges and fair-sized university in Orlando. Conspiracy theorists said it was the Disney influence but honestly I think that's ridiculous! You can get every comic book published but forget about anime! Of course, it doesn't matter now. Only about a quarter at best of the anime DVDs and Blu rays published these days in North America make it to brick-and-mortar retail stores... you have to buy most of it online now.)


But yeah, pretty much by the time I arrived in Orlando the whole pop culture thing was starting to drain out of me. There's also a point of environmental saturation for me and I'm NOT terribly comfortable at large cons... Too many people, too much noise! My head was swimming at the Chicago Con in 1999 and I was surprised I didn't freak out or pass out there! I couldn't do San Diego Comic Con-- that's too much!


UPDATE:
And speak of the devil => news that MegaCon has been sold to a Canadian company!
http://www.newsarama.com/24058-orlando- ... forma.html

They said they had 80,000 people there last year.

I don't think there was QUITE that many people when I went my two times...

It's amazing how some cons have exploded in attendance!
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Re: Disney Parks

Postby Randall » April 9th, 2015, 1:17 am

I agree--- not much real culture in Orlando. It was hard to even find a used book store. And no local theatre that I recall, just stuff like Medieval Feast. It's really a tourist town.

I was a regular at Coliseum of Comics!

Curry Ford was okay, but not very upscale. I was glad to move closer to Metro West.

I went to MegaCon a couple of times--- met George Perez for the first time, and got Moldoff and Nodell to both sign All Star Archives Vol. 1! Very cool. (I wish I'd seen Lampert!!!!) Mrs. Moldoff was not a Nodell fan--- and said so loudly enough for Mr. Nodell to hear her! I do have a signed Sprang book (World's Finest Archives Vol. 1), but I never met him. (I did also got Mark Waid and Gil Kane to sign their Flash hardcover.) The show I really loved is defunct now: the F/X Collectibles Supershow, where I met Julie Newmar and others.

Anyhoo.... back to the Parks talk...