Disneyland 1/19/08 part two w/DCA. Tour, and Vegas spoiler

Associated parks:
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Tuesday, January 27, 2009 1:48 AM

Arrived about 10am again, to lessor crowds then yesterday. Started with a private tour of several areas, including Club 33, the Blue Bayou, some tunnels, warehouses, and a few other goodies. This resort is amazing behind the scenes. Period.

The tour ended behind Splash Mountain, with a 15 min wait. 9.5/10. Awesome! Then to DCA. Lunch at Pacific Wharf Cafe with these bread bowl soup items. Then to California Screamin', and 5 trains running. This is how a classic coaster should look ala Long Beach Cyclone. It has long swooping turns, spirited drops, and is everything the Revolution was meant to be. Agent Johnson predicts in the future the loop is removed, and lap bars are installed, and the shoulder are history. 9/10.

Then to the ride I have missed since Kennywood and Geauga Lake removed theirs, the Morgan built Golden Zephyr. What a beautiful classic. 9/10. Sadly it was a walk on.

We then raced back to the Disneyland RR for an exclusive ride in the 330pm running of the Lilly Belle, complete with antique furnishing from the Queen Mary. Very vintage.Very Disney.

Then across the park to Monsters Inc. 10 min wait. 8/10. Then into the Disney Animation for the close up of Toy Story characters in motion. Finally, we boarded the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. About a 20 min wait, and worth it. The floor plan is somewhat mechaincally different then Disney Studios, but just as intense. The ride cycle itself is a little shorter, but more intense. Seeing the Hollywood Valley at sunset is bangin. Did you see the 'Hollywood' sign? 9/10. After the ride, we finally get our picture with Mickey Mouse. Then our only fastpass of the weekend....Soarin' over Califonia. It seems better out here. Honestly. 10/10. Dinner at Tortilla Jo's. 8/10.

Overall, this resort is amazing. Its accessible, like Universal Orlando, without all the monorail, busses, parking lots, etc. Yet it doesn't attempt to fool you into trying to be Walt Disney World at all. With some classic and one of a kind attractions like the Nemo Subs, Matterhorn, Indiana Jones, and even the canoes make a major difference in the ride line-up. One on one, Disneyland can deliver a knock out punch to the Magic Kingdom. The additional sit down resturants, classic Fantasyland rides like Mr. Toad's, they all give the edge.

DCA, well it has to find its place in the company line up. This park is great, but tough to match up against Disneyland. The rides are great, the food is great, signage, music, all good. With the billion dollar rehab, adding the new Cars, and several other movie based rides, it will have the magic.

Downtown Disney. Shops built under rooms at the Grand California, under the trees, is visually impacting. The trams dropping riders off right at the garage, then right at Downtown Disney just makes plain sense.

I will spending a week next month at Walt Disney World. It will tough not to compare.

We then flew to Vegas for 24 hrs. Stayed at Planet Hollywood. Good. 8/10. Sharp rooms. 2 rides on Manhattan Express. ROUGH. 5/10. Piano Bar, NYNY. Great. Dinner at Outback at Casino Royale. 8/10. Brunch at Bellagio Buffet. 9/10. $20 of heaven. Go there.

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