Conquering Disneyland - Finding Nemo Submarines 6/29/07

Associated parks:
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Monday, July 2, 2007 11:12 PM
I'm a Disney park geek....a pretty big one too....sorry!

There, now that's established, I don't get to the parks very much. But, I do go to a conference in the L.A. area every summer so I can usually grab a day at the DLR.

So, what can one do on a crowded summer day? A lot. I'm not going to review every ride, but here's what I managed to pull off....over 25 different rides and more....

Nemo Submarines - Twice, Space Mountain, Buzz Lightyear, Matterhorn, Alice in Wonderland, Pinnochio, Snow White, Roger Rabbit, Small World, Big Thunder, Pooh, Splash Mt., Pirates (3 times), Tiki Room, Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones, Haunted Mansion (twice), a complete circuit on the train, a cruise on the Mark Twain, a sit down lunch at the Blue Bayou, Fantasmic, Remember Dreams come True fireworks, Monsters Inc., Muppets 3d, California Screamin, Tower of Terror, Mullholland Madness, and Soarin over Ca.

How? I got there very freaking early (6:45) and stayed till Midnight. In addition, I used single rider lines where available and made smart use of fastpass. I moved at a pretty quick pace and have the sore legs to prove it.

So....what about the subs? I've already admitted I'm a Disney Geek but despite that, I think it's a great attraction. I never got to ride the old subs in either park before they were shut down so I can't compare. But, this new version is done with combining real underwater sets/props/animatronics with some sort of way to project video underwater (to do the primary characters). I thought video projections would be totally lame, but they way they were seemlessly combined with all the real stuff was VERY impressive and pretty damn convincing. Example...a projected nemo bounces on a real life animatronic jellyfish that appropriately bounces/reacts with each hit. Quite honestly, a few days later and I'm still wondering how they made many parts of it work.

Pros - After tons of crap being built by Disney in the last few years (with obvious exceptions like Everest) this is a return to form in most ways....quality of show, story, execution, etc. This is thanks to the Pixar aquisition. In his new position, Pixar's John Lassiter got the budget for this thing from 40 mil to over 100. As a result, it's the biggest thing since 1995's Indiana Jones Adventure. Another plus is it's length....over 14 minutes!

Cons - Capacity. The subs are the original 1959 subs and can only push about 900pph. But, they had to use them......if they built new ones they would have had to make them A.D.A. compliant apparently, and that would have taken an insane chunk of cash. Lines are 2-3 hours most days, but move fairly well. Disney even provides games and stuff to play while in line. My other complaint.....based on video of the old version, it contained a lot more animatronic firgures...I would have loved to seen more in this one.

Anyway, there you go. The subs are a winner in my book, and I totally killed the 2 parks in one day. Sure beats the conference! :)

*** Edited 7/3/2007 3:14:52 AM UTC by Peabody***

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007 9:45 AM
I am very jealous! I too am a Disney freak. Unfortunately, it will be a while before we end up out in Cali again to see the subs. I will have to "make do" with the Epcot Nemo when I go to the World in September.

I remember riding the subs at WDW back in the 70s so I am very excited to get out there and ride them again even if it is at another park. I always remember the subs as one of my favorite rides of my childhood.

As far as knocking down two parks in a day, it is easy when you are running solo. You have the single rider lines and the lines you do wait in are usually significantly shorter because you can always skip ahead when they are looking for singles to fill out a ride vehicle. You also don't have others in your group that have their own needs or wants that will slow you down :) I like soloing parks once in a while, but I don't think I could ever solo a Disney park. The rides there are all about experiencing things as a family or with a group of close friends. Disney to me is really about slowing down and trying to feel the magic.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007 10:24 AM
I have to agree with that last part. When I am at a Disney park, I don't mind waiting in line as much as I do at other parks. It's a big part of the attraction. My personal favorite queue is for Space Mountain at WDW. I love the soundtrack and the visuals as you walk through the "space station". Of course once you get all the way to the back of the dome, it sucks if the switchbacks are full, but at least you have the asteroids flying overhead and you can see the rockets whizzing around the tracks.
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Tuesday, July 3, 2007 10:48 AM
I fully agree, but when you only have one day and the family is half way across the country you do what you can :) I think I did more rides in one day than I did on my week long Honeymoon to WDW. *** Edited 7/3/2007 2:49:29 PM UTC by Peabody***
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Tuesday, July 3, 2007 11:31 AM
Sounds like a very fun day. I'm not sure if I've ever ridden that much stuff at any park(s) in one day, let alone at Disney. :)
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Tuesday, July 3, 2007 12:11 PM
Yeah...it was kind of nuts. But....it was a one day thing and who knows when I'll get back. I actually was able to enjoy the pace more than I expected. All I really did was avoid a lot of standing in line, making restroom breaks, getting snacks, etc. It wasn't all running from one ride to the next....hell, I must have spend an hour wandering through shops and had a sit down lunch!

If I was really going to do it my way (with the family), I would actually spend 3-4 days and take it very slowly and soak it in. As you guys were saying above, that's the way I truely love to do Disney.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007 1:59 PM
WOW! Great work. You did all the stuff I usually end up skipping due to time (Twain, Train, Tiki, Small World) Though I note you didn't do Casey Jr or the Storybookland Canal boats... Funny, I've been to Disneyland 3 or 4 times and I always forget to do either of those when I'm in the park and then regret it later.

As glad as I am to see the subs back, I wonder if it was really worth the rumored $140 million dollar investment... but then I'm not a huge Nemo fan either.

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007 2:31 PM
I think it was. Plus, the familes seem to love it. Certainly beats siting rotting like it did the last 10 years or being filled with dirt like the Florida version! (Bet they're kicking themselves over that now, seeing what was done in CA!)

This is a great step towards bringing Tomorrowland back to what it was before it got trashed in the 98 makeover. Now they need to bring the people mover back (rumored to happen), update Star Tours (happening as we speak according to Anthony Daniels), and put something good back in the Caroseul of Progress theater (Innoventions SUCKS!!!).

Brian, I think it's interesting that Tiki Room is on your skip list. It's one I never miss (a true sentimental favorite!). The thing is in pristine shape after it was rebuilt in '05, and even has big crowds now. Every trip I grab a Dole Whip and watch the show :) I do however have little love for the "Under New Managment" show at WDW. But, I'm glad the Imgaineers did that, as it was supposed to be turned into another food location and they fought tooth and nail to save it.

*** Edited 7/3/2007 6:37:31 PM UTC by Peabody***

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Thursday, July 5, 2007 4:38 PM
Hey, who is Anthony Daniels? That's the first I've heard of that. Good news!

It'd be really cool if they had flat panel projections on the side doors to provide a more immersive experience.

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Thursday, July 5, 2007 7:02 PM
He be C-3PO.
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Thursday, July 5, 2007 10:33 PM
Is Anthony Daniels gay, or just British?
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Friday, July 6, 2007 1:25 AM

Peabody said:
Brian, I think it's interesting that Tiki Room is on your skip list. It's one I never miss (a true sentimental favorite!). The thing is in pristine shape after it was rebuilt in '05, and even has big crowds now. Every trip I grab a Dole Whip and watch the show :) I do however have little love for the "Under New Managment" show at WDW. But, I'm glad the Imgaineers did that, as it was supposed to be turned into another food location and they fought tooth and nail to save it.

I agree 100%. Never ever ever miss Tiki Room out at Disneyland. That attraction is all Walt and a big part of the history of Disney parks. The Under New Management, on the other hand, was a travesty. Iago completely ruined it. Zazu to a lesser extent.

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