As I mentioned before, I spent a week or so down in Kissimmee FL (just outside of Orlando) a month ago (I can’t believe it has been that long!). I couldn’t help but compare Disney and the surrounding area with Niagara Falls. I’ll share those thoughts with you this week. This is NOT meant to be a thorough comparison. These are mostly just impressions that I had as I was down there. In some areas, Niagara Falls certainly holds its own. In other areas, it doesn’t.
Let’s start off with the biggest difference. It might not be a fair comparison, but there isn’t an area of Niagara Falls that can stand up to the Disney machine. Disney is the name that is thrown around all the time, and I think many people would like the area to be like Disney, but it’s a long way away. Let me expand on this and the title of the post a bit… By quality, I don’t mean the quality of the attractions. Niagara Falls has some fantastic attractions. I guess I’m talking about something almost like pride of ownership. Everything at Disney is immaculate. The best example of this is the daily parade they have down Main Street USA. When we got to the park, you would never know there was going to be a parade. Lots of people were walking around freely, and enjoying the park. About half an hour before the parade started, a small rope barrier was put up along the street along with masking tape on the street to indicate where you could stand. About 5 minutes before the parade workers stopped people from walking on the street. The parade started and lasted half an hour. Immediately following the parade, there were workers who took the rope barrier away and pulled up the masking tape. A few minutes later there were several huge vacuum cleaner-type machines that came along and cleaned up any mess left over from the parade participants (things like confetti) or from the viewers (like spilled popcorn). Within about 10-15 minutes after the parade, the park was as clean as always, and you’d never know that there had been a parade.
That sort of thing just doesn’t happen in Niagara Falls. Sure, there are some operators that are better than others at taking pride in their property, but it still isn’t the same. Even the Niagara Parks Commission doesn’t do this right. If you walk along the sidewalk of Queen Victoria Park, you’ll still see lots of streamers and other decorations from the New Year’s Eve party (over 2 months ag0>
I suppose that keeping things as well run as Disney costs money. It requires a lot of workers. But it sure is impressive. As a guest, there was a certain confidence it gave me that everything Disney did was of a high quality. Operators in Niagara Falls just don’t make that kind of money to justify the extra expense. You can’t help but wonder if they did spend the money, would they benefit from the extra or return guests? I’m sure they would, but would it still be enough to justify the extra expense? I just don’t know…
Be sure to check out the rest of the Disney vs Niagara Falls series:
- Disney vs Niagara Falls – Quality
- Disney vs Niagara Falls – Random attractions
- Disney vs Niagara Falls – Dining
- Disney vs Niagara Falls – Accommodations
- Disney vs Niagara Falls – Final thoughts