CP regulars headed to Disney

So my family (myself, the wife, and our 5 year old son) love CP and have been platinum pass holders for the past 3 years. We booked our first trip to Disney World for this coming January, ( my son's Christmas present - he's big on Toy Story and Star Wars). We have park hopper passes and a Dining plan. In that we are used to and enjoy CP, looking for any thoughts, recommendations on how things stack up, etc. from folks who have experience in both parks? How do the Disney rides/ coasters compare to CP?

Last edited by AndyG,

If you’re expecting Disney to be anything like Cedar Point or even comparable...then brace yourself. It’s a whole different ball park.

You won’t ride an attraction at Disney and Universal without an immersive theme or story. There are no big thrill coasters like Cedar Point and the other concrete jungles of Cedar Fair and Six Flags have. There are rollercoasters, yes, but nothing you’d find in a typical amusement park.

It’s better.
So, so much better.

And this is coming from an aspiring Disney imagineer. Not trying to sound too biased, but you and your family are going to love Walt Disney World. Definitely an experience and not a typical amusement park. If you have any more questions about the Disney parks or rides, feel free to message me- I’m extremely familiar with the Orlando theme parks and would be happy to provide further insight.


Disney is nothing like CP.

CP has much better roller coasters and thrill rides than anything you will find at Disney. But the entire park experience is better at Disney, especially with kids. Seeing their faces light up with excitement when they see Mickey, or Woody, or a princess is absolutely priceless.

Personally my favorite thrill ride at Disney is Tower of Terror. The best coaster is probably Expedition Everest.

MaxDK said:

It’s better.
So, so much better.

I'd just say it's different. So, so different.

A Disney or Universal park in Orlando isn't even comparable to Cedar Point, save for Hulk at Universal.

If you are looking for CP style thrills, you may be a bit let down. If you're able to enjoy the theming and storylines of milder, yet extremely immersive attractions, you'll like it.

Folks that have no interest in coasters and amusement parks are often times the biggest fans of WDW. And those that love nothing more than Open-Close days at a Cedar Fair or Six Flags park power riding coasters are often a bit let down by the Orlando parks.

1000 years of force's avatar

Everything at WDW is just so amazingly different.

It is the world of fantasy placed under a magnifier. Everything is bigger and more colorful.

I have a few recommendations:

1. Right now, without delaying, book a dinner at Ohana in the Polynesian resort. If you don't do it now, you may be out of luck... Seriously... This is worth it!

2. Eat lunch at '50s Prime Time Cafe in the WDW studios. You will be glad you did, so will your kid.

You can make reservations (do this!!!) at both places online or by calling 407-WDW-DINE

3. Make as priority rides:

a. Space Mountain in MK, ride both sides. They are different.

b. Thunder Mountain railroad in MK. Do this at night.

c. Mission: Space in EPCOT. This is a moral necessity. This is an amazing ride!!!

d. Tower of Terror in WDW Studios.

e. Rock N Rollercoaster at Studios.

f. Haunted Mansion in MK. A/C in the heat of the day...and a classic.

g Pirates of the Caribbean in MK. A/C and the way a boat-ride should be done.

h. Tiki Room in MK. Do this near the end so that the kid won't be singing the songs forever...

All other rides are pretty amazing. I like to eat inside the Mexico pavillion at EPCOT and then take the boat ride there.

Stuff to skip: Slinkey Dog coaster unless the line is unexpectedly less that 1 hour long... It is not worth more of your time than that. (or do it right as the studios open.)

Last edited by 1000 years of force,

"Your persiflage does not amuse. " - Ralph (from Around the world in 80 days)

SuperS0nicSam's avatar

I'd agree except for Space Mountain. No real need to ride both sides since they are the same. It's just a mirrored track, although the Omega side is slightly longer.

1000 years of force said:

Ohana in the Contemporary resort. If you don't do it now, you may be out of luck... Seriously... This is worth it!

O'Hana is in the Polynesian, not the Contempory. I personally think there are better resturants unless you're into mass quantities of food and like to fight for a reservation. Sanaa is one of them.

And do not miss Flight of Passage.

To being an "us" for once - instead of a "them"

e x i t english's avatar

You guys are all wrong. Flying Fish is where it’s at.

Sana’a is actually really good, but it’s hard to get to, comparatively.

Flying Fish is outstanding. But it's a Signature and will use 2 credits...

To being an "us" for once - instead of a "them"

e x i t english's avatar

Oh, I forgot about the dining plan. We have Tables in Wonderland, and just pay out of pocket because the dining plan is so much food

Thanks for all of the feedback! I have made our dining reservations and did book O'Hana, as well as a handful of the character meals (so hopefully we can kill 2 birds with one stone and meet while we eat, and don't then have to wait in line in the park for characters).

We still have a while before our fastpass reservations become available (dining can be booked 180 days out, fastpass is only 60). Good to know about the expectation levels re: thrills, and which rides to be sure not to miss. Thanks again!

Kevinj's avatar

You're going in January, and the new space-themed restaurant in EPCOT is supposedly opening in late 2019. Did you see that option? Definitely booking that for our trip in May.

Promoter of fog.

The space restaurant looks really cool. It doesn't seem to be available in the reservation system yet, but I totally will try to get a table there once it does.

e x i t english said:

Oh, I forgot about the dining plan. We have Tables in Wonderland, and just pay out of pocket because the dining plan is so much food

Agreed but I'm guessing since this is OP's first trip he's neither an AP holder nor DVC member so I don't think Table in Wonderland is an option. Normally I would recommend against any dining plans unless getting Deluxe and splitting it across two rooms but in this case with a child and him mentioning character meals he'll probably get his money's worth.

OP, to answer your initial questions your family will absolutely love Disney. And this is coming from someone who has always been a coaster/thrill junkie and never had much of an interest to go anywhere but CP or somewhere similar that's known for thrill rides and coasters. Now we go to Disney at least twice per year and look forward to it over everywhere else.

I'm sure you've already found it if your planning a Disney trip but there is a wealth of great information at disboards. It's basically forums like this one but for Disney. As someone else mentioned, I could talk Disney all day so if you have any questions or want to discuss further don't hesitate to PM me.

Jeff's avatar

I don't think the standard dining plan, 1 table, 1 counter 1 snack, is too much, especially if you do eat breakfast. It's a pretty solid value, though I think the desserts are kind of unnecessary and may feel like "too much."

I live next door to WDW. I can see Magic Kingdom fireworks from my house, including the stuff coming off of the castle, to give you an idea of how close I am. CP and WDW are two different kinds of experience, but the thing that I will always come back to is that Disney operates like no one else can. It's the fastest, most efficient and safest operation you'll see anywhere in the industry. I mean, they can run a Vekoma roller skater with two trains and not stack them. That's amazing. For the first time, I have passes to the big three (the other being Universal and SeaWorld/Busch Gardens), and I'm always a little disappointed in the way they run things in the non-Disney parks.

Just take it easy and enjoy what you can. If you are hell bent on trying to do "everything," I don't think you'll have as much fun.

Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

Kevinj's avatar

About 5 years ago we were in a similar situation, and we got a lot of great advice, but that last bit from Jeff was probably one of the best. While I actually enjoyed the planning (and I'm not a planner), it did feel at times a bit overwhelming trying to 1) get all the dining reservations when and where we wanted them, 2) then trying to coordinate the fast-passes at each park with where we thought we might be, while 3) trying to get "it all in". And this is before Pandora even opened, much less Galaxy's Edge. We did what we absolutely wanted to do, and just let the days play out like they did.

One thing (I'm assuming) you won't have to deal with is all the princess meet and greets and princess dining, so that frees up some Fastpass and dining options; just be prepared for some really good food, especially if Cedar Point is your base-line of expectations for park food. Sounds like you have that part of it down.

As crazy as it might sound, I would be online at the stroke of midnight when your Fastpasses become available to select, with some sort of game-plan. Just a look at each park and decide what your "OK, we absolutely have to do this" rides are, and go from there.

Last edited by Kevinj,

Promoter of fog.

Fastpass reservations start at 7: 00 AM EST for that day.

Big Al beat me to it I actually logged in to say the same thing. Fastpass reservations open 60 days out (plus length of stay) from your arrival date at 7AM. I think they made that change a couple of years ago.

I will add that Jeff's advice above is probably the best thing to keep in mind: Do not even attempt or expect to see everything in one trip. I tried that my first time a few years ago and it was hectic. We still had a great time but I realized it's just not possible. Heck, I've been there 7 times since then and still haven't even come close to seeing everything.

I also echo what Jeff says about their operations. Hands down the best, it's not even close.

Great advice about taking it as it comes and experiencing what we can as we go. My personality definitely wants to "go-go-go" and see everything, and I can see where that would cause us to miss the little things if we push too hard. Marathon not sprint. I'm also thinking there's a good chance we'll do a mid-day break since my boy is only 5 - go back to the resort (Caribbean Beach) to rest and be ready to hit the parks again in the evening. We are there for a week, so we've got 6 days in-park. My tentative plan is one day each at Epcot and Animal Kingdom, 2 days each at Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios - though we do have park hoppers, so we can mix that up a bit if we want to.

I am relieved we don't have to do the princess meet and greets, but anticipate I'll be waiting in line to meet Buzz, Woody, and Chewbacca (and I'm okay with that), and will probably do the build-a-lightsaber and build-a-droid experiences too. I do have my fast pass reservation date starred on the calendar, and am working on the plan for what/how to book those - seeking input for that was part of the reason for the original post. All good feedback. Thanks again!

If it is in your wheelhouse the VIP tour is a great experience. I have also read that the Droid Depot and Savi’s Workshop take reservations.

Last edited by Chihawk2,

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