• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

A Spirited 15 Rounds ...

WDWFigment

Well-Known Member
Part of me is simply sad when people recommend the layover visa as it means they really don't have the time/interest (or perhaps the itinerary) to explore beyond SHDL.

The country is too large and amazing to be boiled down to a visa at a Disney park.

I try not to make my actual destination a Disney park - usually that's the case because so many of these parks are at hub airports. It's easy to just wind up there. Shanghai's opening and Orlando are probably two of the bigger exceptions where they were/are the final destination.

Since I know you love to constantly tell your readers too - officially I've scored 400-500 Canadian flights to Paris, China and Hongkong recently... my flight to Orlando in the Spring was legitimately my most expensive flight!

I'm clearly addicted though, my trip to Indonesia next March (via a $465 flight to Beijing) has suddenly tacked on SHDL and HKDL on either side. I swear I actively would have to sleep in KUL to avoid winding up in Shanghai for a day...

In our case, it was for the Grand Opening of SDL and I wasn't interested in dealing with that humidity in order to see more. We'll no doubt be back in the next 2-3 years...assuming a trade war hasn't broken out,

+1 on your comments about flight prices. I've learned not to broach that topic here. People would rather believe flying internationally is cost-prohibitive and Orlando is their only option and will find examples to reinforce said belief. (How does the saying go? GOOD--MORE ROOM FOR ME.) ;)
 

jpeden

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
+1 on your comments about flight prices. I've learned not to broach that topic here. People would rather believe flying internationally is cost-prohibitive and Orlando is their only option and will find examples to reinforce said belief. (How does the saying go? GOOD--MORE ROOM FOR ME.) ;)

I'm glad someone else gets this. The wife and I are going to Paris for 5 days followed by 2 days in Disneyland Paris RT from Atlanta. Flights were $342/person. It literally was $50 more than the average ATL-MCO flight.
 

asianway

Well-Known Member
No, I don't recall ever seeing UoE merchandise, even in the 80s. There likely was something, though.
They had the slide puzzle, logo buttons in the 80s, Ellen had a tshirt, then there was the hideous 99 trading pin that the closing logo was based off of.
 

Travel Junkie

Well-Known Member
Part of me is simply sad when people recommend the layover visa as it means they really don't have the time/interest (or perhaps the itinerary) to explore beyond SHDL.

The country is too large and amazing to be boiled down to a visa at a Disney park.

I try not to make my actual destination a Disney park - usually that's the case because so many of these parks are at hub airports. It's easy to just wind up there. Shanghai's opening and Orlando are probably two of the bigger exceptions where they were/are the final destination.

Since I know you love to constantly tell your readers too - officially I've scored 400-500 Canadian flights to Paris, China and Hongkong recently... my flight to Orlando in the Spring was legitimately my most expensive flight!

I'm clearly addicted though, my trip to Indonesia next March (via a $465 flight to Beijing) has suddenly tacked on SHDL and HKDL on either side. I swear I actively would have to sleep in KUL to avoid winding up in Shanghai for a day...

I agree with you, but you can spend nearly a week in the Shanghai area with that Visa. On my 2 week trip a few months ago I spent a grand total of 2 days in a Disney park (1 each in SDL and HKDL) and the rest exploring Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Macau. I used the transit free visa and still saw plenty. I'll spend a month or more exploring China someday, but a week is plenty to see the greater Shanghai area.

International flights are dirt cheap right now and nearly free if using points. I'm headed off to Thailand and Singapore and trying to squeeze in Malaysia To bring it back to Disney, as you said extremely cheap flights can be had to Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Besides the theme park they are in world class cities.
 

Funmeister

Well-Known Member
No, I don't recall ever seeing UoE merchandise, even in the 80s. There likely was something, though.

And, no, just like EPCOT inspired my love of travel and thirst for knowledge, Disney doesn't care about inspiring anyone. They care about how much alcohol they'll move in September with Food and Wine taking over a month it once didn't exist in. They care about how many SW crap toys will have to be sold at only half price at the outlets because they can only move so many units. They care about how the tenants at their newly expanded lifestyle (and Lifestyler) center are actually harming their own dining locations etc.

Only thing I remember close to that was a Universe of Energy comic book Exxon gave to guests within Communicore featuring Mickey and Goofy (I think).
 

Kman101

Well-Known Member
I'm glad someone else gets this. The wife and I are going to Paris for 5 days followed by 2 days in Disneyland Paris RT from Atlanta. Flights were $342/person. It literally was $50 more than the average ATL-MCO flight.

It really isn't awful right now. I've been going back and forth on a Paris trip for later this year. I also want to get back to Disneyland. Can't do both but looking up flights it surprised me. Although I live in Florida so I don't have to factor in airfare when visiting the parks but someone who travels to Orlando for the parks can see that it's not so bad price wise to travel to other places (who happen to have Disney parks). I personally wouldn't go to any of the places that have a Disney park and NOT see the sights. To me it's just a bonus they have Disney parks. But there are some people who are generally content not traveling out of the country.
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I wouldn't live there (I fear Japanese culture could be isolating in the long term), but I would--and plan on--spend significant time there to get a slice of the local experience. Then again, I'd do the same in Paris, and even Hong Kong (but only during the winter months).

Probably an unpopular opinion, but if I had to choose one place NOT to live near a Disney park, it'd be Orlando. I'd even rather live in Shanghai.

I don't even know how to respond, Tom, because I love all of the cities/regions the Disney parks exist in EXCEPT for Orlando. I loved Orlando as a kid in the 70s and 80s (I need to repeat this because people here think I am 73 and an ex-Disney Imagineer who was treated poorly by management) and somewhat 90s, but the idea of living in such a craphole in the 21st century ... no thanks. Bad enough I live in the same state, just a lot nicer area.

Paris, Hong Kong and Los Angeles are probably my top three cities in the world. Tokyo isn't far behind and Shanghai ...well, I've only had one brief visit, but I did love my time there.

I don't get people moving to Central Florida, an overcrowded, poorly governed swamp with lots of great $10 an hour part time jobs, traffic and bugs the size of Buicks. And moving to be closer to WDW?!? How mentally feeble does one have to be to base a life on being close to a theme park (or parks, but we all know most of the crazies really only care about the MK anyway)?
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Welcome back, @WDW1974 ! Since we are on the topic of Parks and Resorts, how about some DCL info?

We just got done with the most stunning seven night Alaskan on Wonder. It was beyond amazing and top notch as always. View attachment 222635

First, congrats on the cruise. I have been to Alaska, but never cruised there (which I think we have talked about privately) and do want to.

I wish I had DCL info. But I haven't talked to my DCL source in a while and was surprised by the decision to add an extra ship. My gut says they are not going to be able to sell the Wonder and Magic to American audiences at those price points much longer and they know it. Even with their recent enhancements, the ships are very old and will be ancient by industry standards by the time the new ships come online. They are not going to sell them to another line, but they might try stationing them in European or Asian markets if they think they can still pull in those DCL premiums.
 

5thGenTexan

Well-Known Member
It really isn't awful right now. I've been going back and forth on a Paris trip for later this year. I also want to get back to Disneyland. Can't do both but looking up flights it surprised me. Although I live in Florida so I don't have to factor in airfare when visiting the parks but someone who travels to Orlando for the parks can see that it's not so bad price wise to travel to other places (who happen to have Disney parks). I personally wouldn't go to any of the places that have a Disney park and NOT see the sights. To me it's just a bonus they have Disney parks. But there are some people who are generally content not traveling out of the country.

I have no intentions of overseas travel with a 7 and 9 year old, but I just did a quick check from DFW - CDG and for the four of us it was $5800. Just to fly from Dallas to MCO for the 4 of us is more like $1500. Same to go west to DLR. I'd say Disney parks outside of the U.S. is not something we could even consider.
 

Kman101

Well-Known Member
I have no intentions of overseas travel with a 7 and 9 year old, but I just did a quick check from DFW - CDG and for the four of us it was $5800. Just to fly from Dallas to MCO for the 4 of us is more like $1500. Same to go west to DLR. I'd say Disney parks outside of the U.S. is not something we could even consider.

Fair points. Everyone's situation is different and it may not always be feasible for a variety of reasons.
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I get the sentiment here, but I'm not sure I'd go quite this far. Both Japan as a country and the Tokyo parks are aiming to increase their foreign demographics to the greatest extent possible, particularly mid- to long-term. The parks have their hands tied to a degree (I'm sure you know why), and I wouldn't say North Americans are the primary aim anyway, but there's definitely a push to attract foreign tourists.

The Tokyo parks get almost no one from the USA. I will say that unlike my last visit, I didn't go days without seeing another westerner. As a matter of fact, there were likely dozens of Americans in the parks daily, which may not sound like much but is so much different than running into Canadians in the queue for Peter Pan on your third night and being amazed to actually see them. My belief, though, is that many of the Americans were military families based in Japan or Korea taking summer vacations.

We also talked to folks from Australia and Canada. And there were Chinese visitors (mainland) too.

I talked to a few folks when there and there is a change in terms of English speaking CMs (night and day from six years ago) and this is definitely due in part to the leadup to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Long term, because of Japan's population trends I can see them fighting with the Chinese resorts for tourists from Australia and New Zealand as well as India and SE Asia nations etc. Americans and Canadians will not factor into that at all.

I actually credit bloggers like yourself for pushing more Americans to go. But it still is a statistically insignificant group. That said, I miss the place already and would like to go back ... but because of certain life events my only Disney trips in the near term are here in the swamps and back to DLP to get even more value from my $115 AP.
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
We did this and it was incredibly easy...from Los Angeles. I've heard of several others (both that I know and via FlyerTalk) having issues from airports that don't fly regular routes to Shanghai (including Orlando).

If I were flying out of a smaller airport, I'd probably just play it safe and buy the visa.

We did this flying out of a smaller airport in Germany. We called a week out and spoke to a manager. When we arrived (extra early), the Swiss Air representative had no idea what Visa Free travel was and had to call her supervisor, who knew exactly what it was and talked her through the check-in process. The whole thing took 15 minutes when normally it would have taken 5-7. I can deal with that.
 

TinkerBelle8878

Well-Known Member
No, I don't recall ever seeing UoE merchandise, even in the 80s. There likely was something, though..

I've got a Universe of Energy comic book with Mickey and Goofy. I don't know how this was sold/given out but it was the only thing that popped into my mind. As far as 80s merchandise, not many pavillions had it that I remember from my childhood. I know The Land had a whole slew of Kitchen Kabaret stuff (I still have my Mr. Tomato and a place mats) and there were the plush Figments, but nothing like it is today.
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Two quasi-compliments in one thread?! Damn, you're growing soft! ;)

I have no problem admitting that. It's a safe bet that if I take anything seriously, I want to be the best at it. I'm incredibly competitive, even if it's with myself or when it comes to things others deem pointless.

Hey, I pull no punches, but I am fair. Forgetting the fact that I personally like you, I am very impressed by what you have accomplished in a short time. It seems like just yesterday when you were an obnoxious law school student (I say that with love) who was still loving WDW -- and arguing with me here -- while it was stagnating. Hell, I remember your first visit to DL (only what ... seven years ago?) And giving advice on your first visits to DLP and TDR. And your blog has loads of great information on topics that you can't get elsewhere.

I also believe you attempt to present your true feelings in what you write. You clearly don't make the PR spinners in Celebration Place, Anaheim and Burbank happy all the time. That makes me happy.

There are very few bloggers I read regularly ... you are the top ... but that dude Derek Burgan with those outlet store reports keeps me riveted to my seat (I can only hope one day he comes to SoFla and visits the one store in this area they haven't closed and I can watch him work and marvel at a master in action!) too.
 

WDW1974

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Part of me is simply sad when people recommend the layover visa as it means they really don't have the time/interest (or perhaps the itinerary) to explore beyond SHDL.

The country is too large and amazing to be boiled down to a visa at a Disney park.

I absolutely agree. But we are talking on a Disney fan forum. The people who have never been to Asia, but then plan trips to all the Asian parks (something that is somewhat in vogue amongst the monied set) with no time or very little time for any exploration of anything else are crazy to me. I don't get that.

My trip was 60% cities, historical sites, museums etc and 40% theme parks. We only went to SDL because it was new and we hadn't been and because of the visa free deal. HKDL was never in the picture and UNI-Japan was tossed out early in planning.

I try not to make my actual destination a Disney park - usually that's the case because so many of these parks are at hub airports. It's easy to just wind up there. Shanghai's opening and Orlando are probably two of the bigger exceptions where they were/are the final destination.

Since I know you love to constantly tell your readers too - officially I've scored 400-500 Canadian flights to Paris, China and Hongkong recently... my flight to Orlando in the Spring was legitimately my most expensive flight!

I'm clearly addicted though, my trip to Indonesia next March (via a $465 flight to Beijing) has suddenly tacked on SHDL and HKDL on either side. I swear I actively would have to sleep in KUL to avoid winding up in Shanghai for a day...

So, you are adding both Disney resorts to Indonesia?

I am beyond tired of hearing how pricey flights to Europe and Asia are versus flying the family from Cincinnati to O-Town and spending 11 nights at the BW with dining plan etc. If you don't want to go out of the country, just say it. But don't use the "it's too pricey" line because, largely, that isn't the case.
 

Register on WDWMAGIC. This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.

Top Bottom