I wrote a blog post a little while ago about my unbridled love for Disneyland Paris, and on my recent holiday to Florida I was lucky enough to visit the Magic Kingdom, Epcot and Hollywood studios, the Magic Kingdom is the second and last park overseen by Walt Disney himself.
I was always hesitant in visiting these parks, because DLRP means such a great deal to me, and a lot of that is due to its atmosphere and its specific style, that I worried that Walt Disney World couldn’t match up to my high, and rather fussy standards.
So, without further ado, I thought that the Magic Kingdom was kind of disappointing to be honest, Hollywood Studios was fantastic, and Epcot was superb, here’s why.
On the day I went to Magic Kingdom I was alone, it was hot and very crowded. I had to wait up to 40 minutes for 3 rides, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain. Whilst Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain were great rides, mostly identical to the DLRP counterparts, I found Pirates to be short and far less enjoyable.
The rest of the park was lacking in the charm I was looking for, don’t get me wrong, it was still very Disney, but maybe there’s something about going in winter, when the crowds are thinned out and the warm embrace of going into, say, Pirates of the Caribbean is just one of the many joys.
I don’t mind the different layout, nor the long cues, but maybe I disagreed with the crowds and heat, things I’m not good with anyway. Tomorrowland was a bit too higgledy piggledy, unlike the beautiful crafting of the Jules Vernian Discoveryland in DLRP.
In the end, I didn’t think that Magic Kingdom compared favourably to my Disney. I think that the French bring a special touch to the park that has seeped into my mind, it’s now my nostalgia, without that it doesn’t have the same spark. Whereas DLRP feels like an enclosed area, with 2 parks, a small shopping area just outside and the hotels close by. Walt Disney World feels too big and spaced out.
Having said that, it’s still a Disney, and it had alot of great stuff too it.
Then there was Hollywood Studios, which was very similar to DLRP, except it had Star Tours and no Crushes Coaster, which is one of my favourite rides. It was also hot and crowded, but with 3 fast passes in hand, I had a great day going on the practically identical rides.
It wasn’t as small and charming as the other Studios, but the rides were great fun, and there were more shops and fantastic new rides, for me, such as the Great Movie Ride, One Mans Dream, all about Walt Disney, which I loved to walk around in the cool air, with the music of Disney playing.
Then there was Epcot, which I loved. Before you even get to World Showcase, the Future section was incredible, with a ride through time being a personal favourite, as it was the first ride I went onto. The shops, the open spaces and the proximity to a lake gave everything a closer feel to DLRP that I was looking for.
World Showcase was utterly beautiful. Each section of the world was crafted with great care and attention, each individual shop had specialised gifts, which I loved because I expected them all to be the same, like most Disney parks do.
From Mexico to Canada, each land made me want to visit the country, and there was no limit to the wonderful gifts you could buy. My girlfriend and I spent ages in Japan looking at the anime things we could buy, and the style of each culture was beautiful to look at and experience.
We went to the French set area next, where my girlfriend proposed to me, which is another big reason why I love Epcot.
The next day, I took a boat from Hollywood studios, and it dropped me at the back of Epcot, right behind the spot where we got engaged. With its Parisian style and beautiful, well, everything, this was the perfect spot to craft memories.
These reasons and more are why I love Epcot, if any place could come close to being the American version of Disneyland Paris, it is the beautiful and atmospheric world of Epcot. So leaving Florida, having been to 3 of the four main parks, and loving most of it, I’d say that even though I adore DLRP, a lot of the charm can indeed be found across the pond.
I do intend to visit again, albeit I would rather see DLRP again soon, because that is my happy place.