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What Do "Average Guests" Think About Each Park?

Trackmaster

Active Member
Sadly if you are new and treated it like any other amusement park you are going to be frustrated and confused. You have to do research and planning well ahead nowadays. Most parks you show up and you are on an even playing field. So you’d probably be awed by the castle, the ball, the theming. Get a feeling of nostalgia from seeing things you saw in books your whole life. Then totally confused and irritated that you should have had reservations and fast passes months ago and studied which rides you should do first. Because six flag doesn’t do that lol
Different people have different preferences. Off the bat -- I think that most casual park goers are OK with what they want to ride once, and calling it a day on rides. They wouldn't even ride the rides 5-10 times each if the park was a ghost town. And, they can enjoy looking at the sights, going out to eat (can probably find a reservation somewhere, even it has to be at the resorts, and EPCOT you can usually get something same day), seeing the fireworks, etc.

Its only select groups of people (like me and probably a lot of people on this board) who would even take advantage of getting 5-10 rides in on their choice of rides if given the chance.

So I think that's how casual park goers can justify going at busy times of the year sans a plan.
 

Trackmaster

Active Member
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I was never talking about adult vs kids, I was saying the WDW is a family focused theme park. So they focus on rides that the whole family can enjoy together and not just big thrill rides.
I don't think that the family aspect has anything to do with it. I've seen young kids who barely meet the height requirements go on anything and everything, and I've seen adults sit to the side and watch their kids on the big coasters more times than I can count. If anything, I think that very young kids like what you call the "big thrill rides" even more than call adults of people "not in a family."

Maybe the concept that you're referring to is "Least Common Denominator" type attractions.
 

jaklgreen

Well-Known Member
I don't think that the family aspect has anything to do with it. I've seen young kids who barely meet the height requirements go on anything and everything, and I've seen adults sit to the side and watch their kids on the big coasters more times than I can count. If anything, I think that very young kids like what you call the "big thrill rides" even more than call adults of people "not in a family."

Maybe the concept that you're referring to is "Least Common Denominator" type attractions.
I think you have completely lost the train of what we were talking about. We were not discussing individual's likes, but Disney parks as a whole. I was saying the Disney is unique in that it has a majority of it's rides that anyone can ride, as opposed to many amusement parks where they focus on the big thrill rides. Which is what people obviously want since WDW is the biggest, and the busiest theme park in this country.
 

Trackmaster

Active Member
I think you have completely lost the train of what we were talking about. We were not discussing individual's likes, but Disney parks as a whole. I was saying the Disney is unique in that it has a majority of it's rides that anyone can ride, as opposed to many amusement parks where they focus on the big thrill rides. Which is what people obviously want since WDW is the biggest, and the busiest theme park in this country.
Yeah, hence the "Least Common Denominator" mentality. You're just trying to make it polite and use the euphemism of "family" for some reason. Tons of parks try to make rides for people who are boring and have nothing interesting about them so that nobody will be turned away. Disney is only unique in the sense that they spend tons of money, have top notch IPs, and do a very good job at what they do.
 

LaughingGravy

Well-Known Member
We had a first hand account of a family with 2 kids, aged 6 and 4, who went as a family for the first time.
DD grew up going to WDW as a kid. DW had never been.
I'll call this the average family from the OP, keeping in mind they never went on any forums and just wanted some suggestions.

They were blown away. Well. DW and the kids were. DH had a good time, but he knew to book the proper hotel.
Good for them (yes, I'm jealous) money wasn't an object. They stayed in the Contemporary tower, park view.

They were not overwhelmed with the planning process. They did get fast passes and enjoyed them when available. They took in what they could and really appreciated the hotel ( ya think?) as a place to take a time out in the day. DD was six and was scared by something, and a castmember brought them to a quiet one on one meeting with Chewbacca. It was described simply as Disney magic to us. They will be back.

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.
 

Trackmaster

Active Member
We had a first hand account of a family with 2 kids, aged 6 and 4, who went as a family for the first time.
DD grew up going to WDW as a kid. DW had never been.
I'll call this the average family from the OP, keeping in mind they never went on any forums and just wanted some suggestions.

They were blown away. Well. DW and the kids were. DH had a good time, but he knew to book the proper hotel.
Good for them (yes, I'm jealous) money wasn't an object. They stayed in the Contemporary tower, park view.

They were not overwhelmed with the planning process. They did get fast passes and enjoyed them when available. They took in what they could and really appreciated the hotel ( ya think?) as a place to take a time out in the day. DD was six and was scared by something, and a castmember brought them to a quiet one on one meeting with Chewbacca. It was described simply as Disney magic to us. They will be back.

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.
It doesn't matter to Disney. They can charge whatever they want and do whatever they want, and the park will be nearly filled to capacity either way. For as much as people complain about it, they keep coming back.
 

LaughingGravy

Well-Known Member
We are coming back, but it's not to WDW anytime soon, unless things change, which is why the forums are frequented.
DL and DCA is next. TDA>TDO. More available park hours per dollar, no or minimal up charges or get kicked out, closer walks. more trees, shade, and places to sit down.
 

po1998

Well-Known Member
We are coming back, but it's not to WDW anytime soon, unless things change, which is why the forums are frequented.
DL and DCA is next. TDA>TDO. More available park hours per dollar, no or minimal up charges or get kicked out, closer walks. more trees, shade, and places to sit down.
...and paper FP's! 👍
 

disneyworlddad

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.
 

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

Active Member
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

Active 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

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.
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.
 
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