Trip Report Back home to the World after traveling the world to other Disney's

So for starters, this was my first trip back to the World in over a year. Years ago me and my dad were annual pass holders from 2004 to about 2012, but stopped once they started to “update and improve” the fast pass system. And we went every year in the 90s, so for me Disney World has always been home and the most familiar Disney resort. Since the last time I went to the world, I’ve been blessed to have gone multiple times to the original Disneyland. I’ve also had the opportunity to experience both Disneyland Paris, and the amazing and unparalleled Tokyo Disney resort, so coming back home to Disney World I’m coming back with a broader perspective more so than ever before. So with giving that prior information, here is my little review of my return trip home.



So I got to see a few of the newer additions like Happily ever After, Frozen, and both Pandora rides. I didn’t get to see Rivers of Light but plan to, hopefully, on the next trip. As far as the new fireworks are concerned, I enjoyed them more than any other Disney fireworks I’ve seen. The 60th celebration fireworks at Disneyland were amazing and technologically better, with a better Tinkerbell flight, better use of projections, Nemo, but I feel that show got lost as it incoherently went from honoring the man who started it all to just playing random Disney songs and movies. So while Disneylands show is more impressive, the pacing was off to me. In comes happily ever after. I will admit I had very low expectations for this show for a few reasons. Wishes had played forever and was great and amazing for me, until my first trip to Disneyland in 2009. During that time they had a fireworks show called Magical during their summer nightastic promotion and it absolutely blew me away. A year later, back in WDW, they had their own version of summer nightastic which also saw the return of the “classic” main street electrical parade. I can’t remember the name of the fireworks playing at the time, but it was essentially the same show that played during the separate ticketed event Pirate and princess party. I was completely underwhelmed after seeing Magical a year before in Disneyland. So with that in mind, I was expecting to be let down by happily ever after but boy was I wrong!! The pacing and story for this show is incredible and very moving!! Hands down my favorite night time castle fireworks display. Before moving on to other things, I will say I saw a similar show to happily ever after in Disneyland Paris. It was in September of last year. Before Paris, the last time I was in Disney World was March of that same year, so happily ever after did not exist. The Paris show was very similar, but I don’t speak French so a lot of the dialogue went over my head. So maybe if I knew all of what was being said, my opinion of the show would change, but even then the overall story and pacing and pyrotechnics of happily ever after blew the Paris show away.



Moving on to the Animal Kingdom and Pandora. Pandora is a very nice land!! A lot of detail! I’ve never seen the movie, but judging the land by itself it is nice and well themed. The problem for me is, I know that Disney is capable of doing way better!! And that is showcased and exists at Tokyo Disney Sea. Before going into my thoughts on the rides and Pandora as a whole, I must first go back to Tokyo Disney Sea!! I’ve read on forums years ago how amazing Tokyo Disney Sea is, and this was during a time for me when my dream was to just get to go to the original Disneyland. I remember people saying how it is the best theme park in the world, and I remember reading how some thought that Animal Kingdom was on the same level. I respectfully disagree. Animal Kingdom definitely has it’s areas that are detailed and themed very well, but a lot of it you have to go search for. It’s there, but to the absent minded tourists, a lot of the “impressiveness” might go overlooked. However, once you step foot through the main gate of Tokyo Disney Sea and hit their re-creation of Venice and see the water and Mt. Promethious(sp) there is just a feeling of awe and amazement that the Animal Kingdom just doesn’t do. You simply can't help but notice how amazing and impressive that place truly is. I’d like to hear more feedback on this discussion though, because for me, Tokyo Disney Sea, made Animal Kingdom feel more like busch gardens. It’s still nice and themed but can't come close to Disney Sea, nothing I've seen does. So while Pandora as a land is nice, I've seen way better. The rides however are amazing!! The boat ride is nice with an amazing realistic animatronic, nice length, decent line. But the real gem here is obviously the flight of passage. This ride was incredible!! I didn't know what to expect at all. I just remember reading how it's kind of like soarin. It is, but way more thrilling. I didn't get to marvel at the detail put in the line but that's ok because we got there early enough that the line just kept on moving. I thoroughly enjoyed this ride and love how they had extra magic hours every night just for pandora. Definitely a nice incentive to stay on property. Ya, you're still gonna have to wait in the long lines, but at least fastpass won't be there to screw it up. Oh, speaking of.......



So I've come back to the world off and on periodically since they first introduced fastpass plus and still much prefer the older system. The main reason I'm no longer an AP holder I will say is because of this new system. With that said, it has grown on me just a tad, and with actual new experiences to do since my last few visits, it's actually worth it to play the “new” fastpass plus game. The only problem I have with it which I guess isn't a problem in the grand scheme of things but a problem with the system is that I won't normally be able to book my ride times 30+ days out. I have a close friend who works there who makes visits to the World much more feasible and I can honestly say if it weren’t for that I would rarely go. While fastpass plus is still playing catch up to my expectations, it works for me now after having not gone for awhile and off and on because there are new things to see and do. I can’t lie though as I was a verbal naysayer and complainer when it came to discussions about fastpass plus but I thoroughly enjoyed sleeping in after a long day and relaxing at the pool knowing that I had a tower of terror fastpass waiting for me at 4. I did notice the day before that the space mt. fastpass appeared to be longer than standby, but I’m just assuming it’s because the ride broke down earlier in the day. So yes, it still has a lot of problems, and still will take a lot of getting used to on my end just because I’m not used to it. Disney World for the longest, was paper fast passes. Disneyland still has them but I noticed this past July they are setting up their system similarly to WDW’s, but both Paris and Tokyo still have paper fast passes. So they just work for me and is what I’m used to. However I loved scanning the app for available fast passes after the one I picked on my “lazy” day was used. Literally once I scanned the second touch point at tower and was waiting for the library doors to open, I scanned the MK, Epcot, MGM, and noticed there was a slot available for Toy Story which I immediately picked. Not my favorite anymore, at least not in Disney World as it’s so much easier to ride in Disneyland, but why not. So like I said, it’s a process but it’s something I could get used to.

Last points I'd like to touch on is overall maintenance. It didn't really seem "bad" but after seeing the other parks, especially Tokyo Disneyland, it is very apparent the difference in upkeep across the resorts. I can tell that the original Disneyland is much older than the Magic Kingdom, however the colors are brighter and the upkeep is way better. The Florida parks as a whole feel like a lot of things could just use a fresh coat of paint. I know the weather/climate is different and harsher there and maybe that's why Disneyland just shines, but Disney World needs to invest in overall maintenance and upkeep. Tokyo Disneyland sets a new standard, as you don't really see a lot of broken or washed out colors there. Dreamlights shine brighter than any other Disney parade I've seen, and everything is just bigger and more impressive over there, maintenance wise and just in general.



And really that’s just about it! Overall it felt great to be back!! Even though I live in Texas, I kind of forgot how annoying the heat and humidity is in Florida. The random afternoon showers are great, but sometimes very inconvenient, but I had a great time. I do feel like even though WDW will always have my heart, I much prefer the California and Disneyland experience as it’s just so convenient, beautiful weather, etc. But it was a fun time and blessing to be back. Oh and Frozen was pretty good, don’t really care to see it again though. Maelstrom obviously was a better “fit” but I can’t say I miss that one either. And I also thoroughly enjoyed Mission: Space green, Orange is pretty much the exact same experience so nothing much has changed there. But ya, had fun and thanks for reading and below is a linked video to my Disney experiences around the world so far.


*edit* And this is my first time uploading a personally shot video to youtube, so clearly the quality isn't the best. Would love to do more in the future but might need a little help. So forgive the poor quality just this once lol.
 
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RedNoseMickey

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I tried to watch your video on YouTube but it says it is not available.
Thank you for sharing your observations and thoughts, it was nice to read.
 

the-reason14

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I tried to watch your video on YouTube but it says it is not available.
Thank you for sharing your observations and thoughts, it was nice to read.


Thank you. I tried fixing the link for people to be able to watch on YouTube. It's unlisted which is why it probably didn't originally work. Give it another try and let me know if it works. Thanks for reading.
 

RedNoseMickey

Well-Known Member
The video is still not working for me probably because I am not in the US. Oh well, I am sure other people will enjoy watching it.
 

the-reason14

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The video is still not working for me probably because I am not in the US. Oh well, I am sure other people will enjoy watching it.

I haven't uploaded a Youtube video in the longest, sorry it's not working for you. There used to be a way to simply click the link but now it adds the video directly to the post. What does it say when you try to watch it?
 
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