I had no idea really. Clearly this was because I had never seen the other side. But man oh man there is quite the rivalry.
But the bottom line is, all logic aside really there is only reason that the majority of people prefer the Land or the World. The prefer what they know. Even before I started writing you could guess what I would say. But it’s because it’s true. Disney World might be good, it might be great, it might be better. But the bottom line is, Disney is about the innocence of childhood. That is one of the major parts that makes Disney so magical. It takes us back to our childhood. So of course no matter what Disneyworld is I will always prefer Disneyland. And honestly being at Disneyworld just made me miss Disneyland more. (Yes I fully recognize there might be something seriously wrong with me.)
That being said. I’d like to tell you about Disney World. I won’t be doing any comparison other than as a description because clearly we know my bias is quite strong. So I went to a 4 day conference at the Swan and Dolphin Resorts located in Disney World right next to Epcot, The Boardwalk, The Yaht Club, and Hollywood Studios.
The Swan and Dolphin Resorts were pretty nice…. But I found out while talking to the bell boys when I was trying to find somewhere to run that the resorts aren’t owned by Disney. This resolved my deep concern with the lack of Mickey’s anywhere around the resort. (He gave me a Mickey sticker to help me get over it)
Views of Tower of Terror and Thunder Mountain from my balcony.
The Boardwalk was pretty fun. It was very similar to the boardwalk at California Adventure but bigger and no rides. There were shops, restaurants, and fun street vendors doing entertainment. I’m assuming there would be even more entertainment during peak season seeing how we were definitely not there during peak season. (The Boardwalk is free)
The Yacht Club was a perfect New England Dream with a light house, shipwrecked pirate ship, and beautiful Nautical style architecture. My favorite thing I didn’t take advantage of was a campfire Disney sing-a-long! I would have loved that. Sadly I was busy every night during that time.
I just ran by Hollywood Studios every day. I clearly saw Tower of Terror which definitely looked bigger than in California Adventure. The entrance looks exactly like California Adventure but I hear there are very few things similar to CA there.
I was planning on going to “Mickey’s not so scary” trick or treat at Magic Kingdom from 7-12 the only night I was free. It is only $57 rather than $97. But I wanted to feel things out with my group before I bought my ticket…. Which of course you know where this is headed……. They sold out. I was so so so disappointed. Kinda like when I was headed to Florence and found out the tours/tickets to see the David were sold out. As soon as you know you can’t have something you want it so so so much more. I was almost in tears. We went down to the Consire and asked if there was any possible way to get a ticket. I thought maybe because we were staying on the resort there could be some type of Christmakah miracle. Nope. But then the lady goes, “But wouldn't you rather go to the Wine Festival at Epcot anyways?” I had to smile. I have loved seeing the reaction over and over again as we turned away free booze. Anyway, I found out there was a convention discount and I could get a ticket to Epcot for $57 for 5 hours. Perfect.
Sadly I still wish I could have gone to Magic Kingdom but Epcot was good to see.
How I would sell Epcot to anyone interested in going: “Ever wanted to go on a Mediterranean Cruise but hate flying, get sea sick, or are really just going for the pictures, food, or shopping?” then this is the park for you!
The Food: I ate a shrimp taco in the Mexican section just because I was starving. But then I wasn’t really hungry the rest of the time which was a TOTAL bummer. My group decided on eating dinner in Morocco which definitely wouldn’t have been my choice but it was fun watching the belly dancers and I tasted some of the hummus and a delicious peach/orange/pineapple drink. Then after dinner as I was wondering around I really wanted a treat. I looked at the French desserts but they were huge and honestly didn’t look like anything I really wanted. So I was wondering around and I saw a kiosk in Italy with 3 works and no line. (Unusual at any Disney park but especially at this festival, it seems everyone was there just to eat and drink. Well mainly just drink.) So I went up and chatted with these 3 Italians working at Disney World. It was really fun talking to them. I hadn’t even noticed I was wearing my Venice sweatshirt so we started by talking about how they were from near Venice. They all loved America and were trying their hardest to stay longer. (They had been working at Disney World for 14 months.) The interesting/depressing part was when I asked them why they loved America so much you should have seen them both get bright eyed and say almost in unison, “Starbucks!” “Surely there is a Starbucks in Venice.” Both shook their head, “No…. it won’t get there for another 10 months.” I laughed, “Really? There is no other reason you love America?” “Subway!” So so so sad.
The Rides: Pretty uneventful. I was so excited to ride “Soarin’” thinking it’d be Soarin’ over the entire world. How cool would that be??? But no it’s the same ride as Soarin’ over California. The Norway ride I thought was kinda fun. It’s like unto Pirate… but then all of the sudden you get scared by a troll and start riding backwards down a little water fall. Kinda fun.
The Firework Show: it was in the middle of the park in the “pond” as they call it. (We’d call it a significant lake.) I liked the location because it was easily seen by everyone in the park without cramming into small section. It wasn’t magical but it was fun.
But really if you want to know the hightlight of my entire time in Epcot. It was my date for the evening. I spent most of my time with my “father-in-law”. His last name is the same as mine so you can imagine the weird looks we got at this conference with such an unusual name. He is really related to my husband and also my blood relative. But man oh man he was so much fun. Just a little bit of his background, he graduated from Cedar High, went to SUU, got a PHD from MIT, then an MBA from Harvard, then worked in business sector traveling the world, then spent the rest of his career as the head of admissions at Harvard Business School. The stories he had to tell were enough to keep me entertained for days.
As we were walking around I got the best idea for a quiz for my students for tomorrow. He took a picture of me outside every single “country” in Epcot. Tomorrow I’ll post the quiz on here to see how well you can do. J
Anyway, over all it was a wonderful trip. I read two books on the plane rides. (Finally read Edenbrook, HIGHLY recommend it to anyone that wants an easy fun Jane Austen-esk read) and Variant. Made some fun new friends, and most important I got some great ideas on what I can do to be a better teacher. (Remember I’m trying to be the best teacher ever this year?)