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What Do "Average Guests" Think About Each Park?

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
So my parents are coming with my family and my brothers family this summer. They have been once before about 30 years ago.

MK- this is where all the rides are at right?
Epcot - What do we do here? Its the one with all the countries right?
HS- there isn't anything there right i would like right? (they aren't thrill ride people)
AK - its like a zoo so we can do a half day there.
:D😄
And this is where you make a suggestion to pick up either a guide book or tell them to visit a website.
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
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A coaster enthusiasts guide to Disney World:

MK: This is the place to pick up the credits for both sides of Space Mountain (the forums say I need to get a FP+ and do standby to guarantee that I get on both sides, get the credit for Big Thunder, begrudgingly wait in line for three hours to get the credit for 7 Dwarfs, and quickly get the credit for Barnstormer. Sooo many annoying kids! Shouldn't they be in school on a random Wednesday in February?

EPCOT: No coasters, no way jose. Next!

Hollywood Studios: Pick up the credit at Rock n Roller Coaster (should have gotten an Intamin or Premier Rides, boo Vekoma!), ride Tower of Tower, begrudgingly wait two lines to pick up the credit at Slinky Dog and oggle the Guardians construction the whole time, and maybe do one or other two rides to justify the day. Yeah, Star Wars is cool and all, but let me know when there's a coaster for it.

Animal Kingom: Spam re-rides on Expedition Everest's single rider line (what's with all the mine trains BTW?), pick up both sides of Premieval Whirl for the credits, and ride Flight of Passage which is deemed to be "not bad for a non-coaster."


I appreciate Disney World, so these thoughts don't completely describe me... but I understand the argument in many instances. This completely describes how pure coaster addicts think of the park.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
Now, that's an unusual situation. Is an average guest someone with money as no object with a monorail hotel?
Or is an average guest someone who budgets with an all star hotel or off site and treks in each day, and deals with buses or parking fees each day? That's another situation.

The family did go to all four parks and did enjoy all, but MK was the runaway favorite.
Somewhere in between and all over.

I know folks who hate the value hotels and would rather stay off site than do a value. so they budget for what they want and they save for how they want to vacation.

I think (and granted my collection of friends isn't huge) most folks have things that they consider important and things they don't. I have a friend Tim who is an executive here and easily makes a salary to match but he and his family are park commandoes. they go from opening to close, so for them a value is great because they truly only sleep and shower in the room.

My family? we go to the world when it's Africa, surface of the sun, nuclear detonation hot outside, so room and location is important so we stay in a deluxe. the pool and ability to go back to the room is really important to us. now we also knew early on that we wanted to come back annually so we hedged our cost and purchased into dvc.

My assistant and her husband go for the festivals. they save up, get the deluxe dining package and stay concierge at the Yacht club.
None of us is what I would call rich. I don't ever think I'll get to the point where money is no object. I look at it more of, am I getting what I feel is a worthwhile return on my money.
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
Somewhere in between and all over.

I know folks who hate the value hotels and would rather stay off site than do a value. so they budget for what they want and they save for how they want to vacation.

I think (and granted my collection of friends isn't huge) most folks have things that they consider important and things they don't. I have a friend Tim who is an executive here and easily makes a salary to match but he and his family are park commandoes. they go from opening to close, so for them a value is great because they truly only sleep and shower in the room.

My family? we go to the world when it's Africa, surface of the sun, nuclear detonation hot outside, so room and location is important so we stay in a deluxe. the pool and ability to go back to the room is really important to us. now we also knew early on that we wanted to come back annually so we hedged our cost and purchased into dvc.

My assistant and her husband go for the festivals. they save up, get the deluxe dining package and stay concierge at the Yacht club.
None of us is what I would call rich. I don't ever think I'll get to the point where money is no object. I look at it more of, am I getting what I feel is a worthwhile return on my money.
Yeah, for me personally, I would never "save up" for one vacation. Granted, I live very close to Disney now, so going is just a 80-90 minute drive for me -- not even a day trip, I usually go a few hours at a time. But even if I was visiting, I'd rather do trips as cheaply as possible, and just get in more travel and more trips. I'm really into Airbnb, and I'll often plan my trips around when the cheapest plane tickets are available. Biggest costs are probably food and alcohol, but that's something I've been trying to get down too. Really, the only thing I spend my money on at WDW other than my cheap AP is alcohol -- and that's something most people don't even think to do there.
 

disneyworlddad

Well-Known Member
You are a genuis!! ;)
LOL we will see after they go how genius we are. My mom still tells a story about my dad when they took me (4 months old at the time) and my two brothers (4 at the time) to DIsneyworld. They got on pirates because they expected it to be like small world. Then she says that something said something to the effect of "Look out matees there are scrolls ahead' and my dad yelled "O S**t!"

So now my brother and I can't wait to take him on Frozen because he little grandkids have all ridden it! Youngest one being under 2.
 

MickeyLuv'r

Active Member
In my experience, most people either can't or don't really think thorough what an experience will be like until they actually experience it for themselves.

I've talked to a number of folks who aren't regular WDW visitors, and often something like the perks of staying onsite just isn't something they value. If they decide to stay onsite for any perk, it is most often ME that draws them. (a way to save $). Either that or they really like the theme of a particular hotel.

They are often focused on the cost/perceived value of WDW. They also often see WDW through the lens of other experiences they have had. They will often approach WDW as they have done other vacations. Like if they generally prefer to stay in vacation homes/condos, they will often look to stay in a vacation home/condo. If they always cook on their vacations, they will want a kitchen while visiting WDW.
As for the parks, MK is usually the park they know. They often ask if MK is A.) all kiddie rides, or B.) all "roller coasters.". Most see AK as a zoo with a few rides; and they like their local zoo just fine. Epcot is partly equated with a world's fair or theme parks that have an array of nation-themed gift shops. HS is a bit of an unknown, but sometimes confused with Universal Studios, or at least elements of Universal- like HP and Minions; rides that are featured in the Universal commercials.

Many are turned off by WDW prices and un-expected charges, like the cost of bottled water, shirts, sunscreen, and burger combos. Many do not understand FP at all. CM's often try to help folks who don't have ADR's, park tickets, or FP. Many are upset that the characters and QS dining have (long) lines. Some ignore rides with long lines.

I think many first timers also have little understanding of FL weather. They often picture Orlando as sunny, perfect 75 degrees all year or exaggerate FL summer heat.

They also often don't quite realize that holiday weeks are very busy and expensive, except those who regularly book air travel. They often don't realize WDW hotel prices are variable by season.

Oh, and they also rarely understand how big WDW property is, or how far it is from MCO. They sometimes imagine walking from their hotel to all the parks, or that every bus ride bus will only be 5minutes.
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
In my experience, most people either can't or don't really think thorough what an experience will be like until they actually experience it for themselves.

I've talked to a number of folks who aren't regular WDW visitors, and often something like the perks of staying onsite just isn't something they value. If they decide to stay onsite for any perk, it is most often ME that draws them. (a way to save $). Either that or they really like the theme of a particular hotel.

They are often focused on the cost/perceived value of WDW. They also often see WDW through the lens of other experiences they have had. They will often approach WDW as they have done other vacations. Like if they generally prefer to stay in vacation homes/condos, they will often look to stay in a vacation home/condo. If they always cook on their vacations, they will want a kitchen while visiting WDW.
As for the parks, MK is usually the park they know. They often ask if MK is A.) all kiddie rides, or B.) all "roller coasters.". Most see AK as a zoo with a few rides; and they like their local zoo just fine. Epcot is partly equated with a world's fair or theme parks that have an array of nation-themed gift shops. HS is a bit of an unknown, but sometimes confused with Universal Studios, or at least elements of Universal- like HP and Minions; rides that are featured in the Universal commercials.

Many are turned off by WDW prices and un-expected charges, like the cost of bottled water, shirts, sunscreen, and burger combos. Many do not understand FP at all. CM's often try to help folks who don't have ADR's, park tickets, or FP. Many are upset that the characters and QS dining have (long) lines. Some ignore rides with long lines.

I think many first timers also have little understanding of FL weather. They often picture Orlando as sunny, perfect 75 degrees all year or exaggerate FL summer heat.

They also often don't quite realize that holiday weeks are very busy and expensive, except those who regularly book air travel. They often don't realize WDW hotel prices are variable by season.

Oh, and they also rarely understand how big WDW property is, or how far it is from MCO. They sometimes imagine walking from their hotel to all the parks, or that every bus ride bus will only be 5minutes.
This pretty much sums up what it is like for a lot of first timers. I wish people would put a bit more effort into doing some research before they go places. My first trip back in the early 90's, we had no idea what to expect because there was no internet, so no way to really do much research. Now there is zero excuse to not know the lay of the land. I mean, you can go to google earth and actually see the size of the place. It is a very big expense to go in almost blind to.
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
In my experience, most people either can't or don't really think thorough what an experience will be like until they actually experience it for themselves.

I've talked to a number of folks who aren't regular WDW visitors, and often something like the perks of staying onsite just isn't something they value. If they decide to stay onsite for any perk, it is most often ME that draws them. (a way to save $). Either that or they really like the theme of a particular hotel.

They are often focused on the cost/perceived value of WDW. They also often see WDW through the lens of other experiences they have had. They will often approach WDW as they have done other vacations. Like if they generally prefer to stay in vacation homes/condos, they will often look to stay in a vacation home/condo. If they always cook on their vacations, they will want a kitchen while visiting WDW.
As for the parks, MK is usually the park they know. They often ask if MK is A.) all kiddie rides, or B.) all "roller coasters.". Most see AK as a zoo with a few rides; and they like their local zoo just fine. Epcot is partly equated with a world's fair or theme parks that have an array of nation-themed gift shops. HS is a bit of an unknown, but sometimes confused with Universal Studios, or at least elements of Universal- like HP and Minions; rides that are featured in the Universal commercials.

Many are turned off by WDW prices and un-expected charges, like the cost of bottled water, shirts, sunscreen, and burger combos. Many do not understand FP at all. CM's often try to help folks who don't have ADR's, park tickets, or FP. Many are upset that the characters and QS dining have (long) lines. Some ignore rides with long lines.

I think many first timers also have little understanding of FL weather. They often picture Orlando as sunny, perfect 75 degrees all year or exaggerate FL summer heat.

They also often don't quite realize that holiday weeks are very busy and expensive, except those who regularly book air travel. They often don't realize WDW hotel prices are variable by season.

Oh, and they also rarely understand how big WDW property is, or how far it is from MCO. They sometimes imagine walking from their hotel to all the parks, or that every bus ride bus will only be 5minutes.
The big lesson that you have to learn about going to Disney or any theme park that gets busy:

If its a convenient time for you to go, you'll probably get there and it will be jam-packed full of people -- you won't be able to get on any rides, get any food, see shows, and possibly able to walk in the Midways (well this is a Disney problem, not so common at other parks). To have a good time, you have to go at times of the year that are inconvenient. Families love going to warm, sunny, 365 day parks during the holidays. Well, guess what? Everyone else does too. You know when they don't go? In September when school is starting back up. That's probably a great time to go.
 

MickeyLuv'r

Active Member
This pretty much sums up what it is like for a lot of first timers. I wish people would put a bit more effort into doing some research before they go places. My first trip back in the early 90's, we had no idea what to expect because there was no internet, so no way to really do much research. Now there is zero excuse to not know the lay of the land. I mean, you can go to google earth and actually see the size of the place. It is a very big expense to go in almost blind to.
My take is a bit different, I don't think it is ever a great practice to blame the customer if they don't know all the ins and outs of a product(that is overly complicated to use).

Apple made a mint on the idea that computing should be more user-friendly. Simple is good.

IMO, WDW would be better if it was more user-friendly. Sure, it is fine and great to offer insiders some special treats - like lunch in the castle - reserved for folks who know to do research, book ahead, or even discounts for passholders, etc. but basic park touring should be relatively simple.

I've taken a number of spontaneous day trips in my life. If I go to say, a major US city, like LA or NYC, I don't expect to get a 7pm seating at the most-selective restaurant in that city, but buying a day-pass for the subway ought to be a no-brainer. Most places, it is. If a place is fun, I return. If a place is frustrating, I don't.

The current WDW ticketing is completely absurd. It is SO complicated that even WDW's own employees don't comprehend it, and they are actually PAID to learn it. It just isn't good.

WDW is kind of a monopoly, so they enjoy the benefits of that, at least for the time being.
 

MickeyLuv'r

Active Member
The big lesson that you have to learn about going to Disney or any theme park that gets busy:

If its a convenient time for you to go, you'll probably get there and it will be jam-packed full of people -- you won't be able to get on any rides, get any food, see shows, and possibly able to walk in the Midways (well this is a Disney problem, not so common at other parks). To have a good time, you have to go at times of the year that are inconvenient. Families love going to warm, sunny, 365 day parks during the holidays. Well, guess what? Everyone else does too. You know when they don't go? In September when school is starting back up. That's probably a great time to go.
Alas, I have learned quite a bit from my WDW experiences.
It isn't just school that impacts September, it is also hurricane season, folks who don't like/fear hot weather, and even some of us that have experienced some of the other downsides of September. I've gone to WDW in September quite a few times. It isn't actually my favorite month: the parks close too early, too often afternoon storms disrupt our plans in significant ways: no pool, no EE, no shuttle boat.

I've also gone to Orlando over major vacation weeks quite a few times. I don't expect BTMRR to be empty at 11am, but well, there's always ways to zig when the crowd zags, even over major holidays. Funny thing, even on major holiday weeks, the QS places are nearly empty at 11:30am!

I get your point. IMO, it is dumb to eat out at a fancy place today (Valentine's day). The same exact food will cost half as much tomorrow, and the service will be much better. Just as many folks get - IMO- oddly hung up on the idea of eating lunch at exactly noon. So WDW has taught me much about how to zig, no matter where I go. It has also taught me the value of how to avoid peak afternoon crowds, how to find a bargain in low season, how to eat cheap, etc.

What I have learned is never turn your brain off. Do not mindlessly follow the herd. Always be aware of your surroundings.
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
I don't think it is ever a great practice to blame the customer if they don't know all the ins and outs of a product
If a person is spending thousands( sometimes 10s of thousands) of dollars on your dream family vacation, why wouldn't you do as much research as possible before you go. I am not saying that someone would become a Disney expert on their first trip. But knowing that there is the FP system and that you should make dining reservations is a simple google search. If you want to take the risk and have a "spontaneous" vacation, that is great. But then you can't complain when you do not get to do everything that you want to do. You can't have it both ways.
 

MickeyLuv'r

Active Member
If you want to take the risk and have a "spontaneous" vacation, that is great. But then you can't complain when you do not get to do everything that you want to do. You can't have it both ways.
Sure you can. It is 2019. Whining is a high art in 2019.
Pretty much, no opinion is off the table in 2019, no matter how absurd. All you have to do is shout it very loudly!

Or have lots of money!

Wealthy folks don't have to follow peasant rules.
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
My take is a bit different, I don't think it is ever a great practice to blame the customer if they don't know all the ins and outs of a product(that is overly complicated to use).
See I have to politely disagree.

How is it overly complicated? even with the new pricing structure. .

First, I'm sorry in today's day and age when every single conversations ends with "let's google that". How hard is it to find out information on any vacation destination.
I mean if you google "food prices at Disneyworld" you get 103 MILLION results in 0.56 seconds. most folks when they are looking for some place to eat out at, know how to pull up the menu. all of a sudden, it's complicated to find out the price of a soda at Disneyworld?

How do people book their trips? if they do it on line then the choose not to read because simply going to Disneyworld.com will tell you about fp's and you quickly find out that there are 4 parks.


Seriously, I'm really scared of a family that would kick out at minimum 2000 bucks, and take their kids some where without knowing basic information. How hard is it to look up operating hours, how hard is it to look up how to make reservations?
 

eliza61nyc

Well-Known Member
Obviously WE all know one needs to research and plan a WDW trip to the Nth degree...

But the average person has NO idea. Why would they? It's a theme park, right? "This is where we stay - this is where we play. Done!"

lol, then it's really hard for me to gather up some sympathy. seriously. you (not you personally) for the most part get on a plane with kids in tow without any clue as to what you are going to do, where you're going to eat and what's available as entertainment?

Heck, I know more information than that going to Coney Island.
 

MickeyLuv'r

Active Member
Obviously WE all know one needs to research and plan a WDW trip to the Nth degree...

But the average person has NO idea. Why would they? It's a theme park, right? "This is where we stay - this is where we play. Done!"
More or less, it is still possible to tour Universal this way. Now personally, I know Universal quite well, so sure I know some little inside tips.

But when casual friend ask about going to Orlando, telling them how to successfully navigate Universal is a much shorter conversation. I can tell them everything they need to know about US in less time than it takes just to explain FP.

"Staying at HRH, Portofino, or RP includes Express Pass. EP = minimal waits for almost every ride, all day. Sure RP costs about $150 more than most area hotels, but that $150 works out to be $37.50 per person and saves hours of your time."

versus

"WDW has Fastpass.
You get short lines to 3 rides, and maybe you can get another after you use your first 3.
and there are tiers...
and if you want a FP for 7d or FoP, more or less you'll have to book them 60 days before you go.
and you have to log in at 7am.
and you'll need to create an MDE account.
and you have to enter everyone's name.
and you have to know what rides you want,
and if your kids are tall enough.
and what time you want to ride them.

and then maybe you can refresh if you don't get offered what you want.
and make sure you know how to get to each ride inside of the 1 hour time window.
and if you miss your time window.
and you should probably have a smart phone.
and use both the webpage and the ap."

At this point, their eyes get that glazed look, or else they don't believe me or think maybe I should be on meds or something.
 

MickeyLuv'r

Active Member
See I have to politely disagree.

How is it overly complicated? even with the new pricing structure. .

First, I'm sorry in today's day and age when every single conversations ends with "let's google that". How hard is it to find out information on any vacation destination.
I mean if you google "food prices at Disneyworld" you get 103 MILLION results in 0.56 seconds. most folks when they are looking for some place to eat out at, know how to pull up the menu. all of a sudden, it's complicated to find out the price of a soda at Disneyworld?

How do people book their trips? if they do it on line then the choose not to read because simply going to Disneyworld.com will tell you about fp's and you quickly find out that there are 4 parks.


Seriously, I'm really scared of a family that would kick out at minimum 2000 bucks, and take their kids some where without knowing basic information. How hard is it to look up operating hours, how hard is it to look up how to make reservations?
Last year, I had an annual pass. I also booked a package trip, so I couldn't use the package ticket. It expired. When I bought it, I was told I'd be able to use it in 2019, (pay the difference) or use the price I paid to buy a 2019 AP. Last month, I spent two hours waiting and finally talking to a CM in GS, who didn't know how to do either.

Now I know WDw ,so maybe I'm not eh best person to answer for like everyone's reason for why they don't research all the tings you list, but here's a few thoughts on the subject:

Where I live, most folks just don't have that much free time. Many folks can't plan vacations six months out because they have to request vacation, or they don't know the date of their kids' tournament games. So when they get a few days, they have to make a quick decision.

I just talked to a friend yesterday who is caring for her elderly dad. Gosh, did she give me an earful about all his medical appointments, and how the home health aides often just don't show up, and she keeps missing her kids' activities. She can't even find two hours to get her hair done.

I helped her plan a trip to WDW a few years back, as it happens. She said she can't imagine finding time to go back now.

Consider yourself very lucky if you have time and the mental capacity to go, let alone research all the details.
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
More or less, it is still possible to tour Universal this way. Now personally, I know Universal quite well, so sure I know some little inside tips.

But when casual friend ask about going to Orlando, telling them how to successfully navigate Universal is a much shorter conversation. I can tell them everything they need to know about US in less time than it takes just to explain FP.

"Staying at HRH, Portofino, or RP includes Express Pass. EP = minimal waits for almost every ride, all day. Sure RP costs about $150 more than most area hotels, but that $150 works out to be $37.50 per person and saves hours of your time."

versus

"WDW has Fastpass.
You get short lines to 3 rides, and maybe you can get another after you use your first 3.
and there are tiers...
and if you want a FP for 7d or FoP, more or less you'll have to book them 60 days before you go.
and you have to log in at 7am.
and you'll need to create an MDE account.
and you have to enter everyone's name.
and you have to know what rides you want,
and if your kids are tall enough.
and what time you want to ride them.

and then maybe you can refresh if you don't get offered what you want.
and make sure you know how to get to each ride inside of the 1 hour time window.
and if you miss your time window.
and you should probably have a smart phone.
and use both the webpage and the ap."

At this point, their eyes get that glazed look, or else they don't believe me or think maybe I should be on meds or something.
Yeah, but you pay all that money to stay on site, and really all that the 60 days gets you is a crack at Slinky Dog, Flight of Passage, or 7 Dwarfs. You can get FP+ for anything else if you try 30 days out (and if you can't... well that's telling you something, don't bother going, you won't be able to get on anything). And if its 4/10 or less, you can get FP+ for anything other than the Big Three within a week. Its funny how you pay all that money just a crack at one extra ride. If Disney really wanted to give a leg up to the hotel guests, they'd juice their rides after they scan their initial three in. That's what I've found is the hard part. The first three are easy to get, but you get stuck with some pretty lame FP+'s after the first three.
 
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