Disney's California Adventure 12-22-09

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 9:37 PM

We had planned on leaving early to head to Anaheim but since it was raining in the morn (yes, it does rain in California so that song lied) we decided to hold off a bit and see what the weather does. In usual Cali style, the blue skies came out and the temps were in the high 60’s. Since we got a later than planned start to California Adventure, we made the dire mistake of deciding to eat at IHOP right across the street from Disney before heading to park. I about fell over when I saw the prices-holy crap! The same meal (pancake combo) I get in Ohio for $6.99 was $11.99! My flipping iced tea (which, btw, sucked) was $2.99 and no refills! If we weren’t so hungry we would have easily walked out but hunger and excitement to get the park trumped the rip off prices so we ate. We found out later it would have been cheaper for us to actually eat in the park!

It is hard to believe this country is in a recession when you see all the people heading to the park(s). The first long wait of the day was to buy our tickets-I couldn’t believe how slow they were. It appeared that every single person in line had a gazillion questions when they got to the window. Great. I got to the window, said “1 day, 1 park-California Adventure, please” slapped down my $72.00 and done with it.

The Christmas decorations were breathtaking and Christmas music with a California touch played thru out the park.

One of my San Diego friends joined me who knew the park so he was my tour guide. We headed right to Paradise Pier for California Screamin. The view across the pier so reminded me of Coney Island (in Brooklyn) when I was a kid. I was so ready to ride! Before we got on line we got a couple Fast passes (HEAVEN!) for the same ride for later. When we first went on the line the entrance op gave me a “resort utilization study” sheet. He asked what time I had and wrote it down and asked me to please give it to the load op when I was ready to ride and tell him what time I had. I thought how wonderful that was to give the guests an exact wait time (we are talking some of the rides had 23 minutes, 48 minutes….etc) instead of guessing.

When we got to the platform I was so amazed how new the trains looked. It was hard to believe how old the coaster itself was by the care that obviously had been taken of it. Of course we all know the maiden ride on any coaster is the best one ever and this one was no exception!! Naturally in pure Disney style there was music playing during the ride which to me so added to the ride. There was also a countdown for the launch which reminded me oddly of WT. The music was sync’d to the ride perfectly. The ride was awesome, smooth, no head banging (even on the helix) and just WAY fun and WAY long a ride too which I really loved :)
We ended up hitting California Screamin 3 more times as the day went on. Truly was our favorite ride. I was shocked when I found out it was an Intamin. I have been anything but a fan of Intamin since TTD and am very jealous of California Screamin and why Intamin can’t build something THAT great for CP or any of the CF parks?

OK enough whining…off to the other rides/attractions

Monsters Inc: If you loved Monsters Inc. you will love this ride. I will tell you right now that Roz at the end of the ride totally freaked me out since I was the “chosen one”

Tower of Terror: What would a trip to Disney be without dropping by here? We rode this 2x, once with Fastpass and later at night it was a walk on. Still fun and the theming is fanomial!

MuppetVision 3-D: I know, old and very outdated but my friend had never seen it before so he forced me in. There was NO crowd what so ever for it so I suspect Disney may be doing away with this down the line.

Disney Animation: We went into the Animation Academy and OMG! The greatest part to me ever was walking into the Beast’s library. I was floored it was AMAZING! And the rose on the mantle was incredible. They also had a Toy Story set up that when the table spun and the strobe lights started was awesome! :)

It’s tough to be a Bug: 3-D and actually very, very funny and clever. The themeing when you’re waiting to get into the theater is unreal, you truly believe you are in an anthill. I could do without all the “touchy feely” things-that always creeps me out!! Do not forget to go to “A Bugs Land.” Even if you don’t have kids you HAVE to check out the themeing, it was even Christmas related and unreal!
Does Disney miss ANYTHING?

Mickey’s Fun Wheel: Because we chose swinging car it was a longer wait then non swinging. Another ride which reminded of the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island. It was really fun although we only got to go around 2x. The funniest thing about it was there was actually motion sickness bags there just in case. How thoughtful of Disney! :)

Mulholland Madness: Not just your average Wild Mouse this ride was SO fun!! We just loved it! I found it interesting on this ride the ride op never touched your seatbelt-they asked you to pull up on it.

Golden Zephyr: Down--bummer would have loved to ridden it.

King Trittons Carousel: Forced friend to ride it and loved it. The carousel was absolutely gorgeous and real carousel music too! :)

Toy Story Midway Mania: We avoided this ride all day because it had the longest line. By night’s end it was only 38 (yes, 38) minutes wait so we waited and OMG am I glad we did! This ride was SOO much fun! Literally my hand still hurts from pulling the string to fire! It’s like THIS ride is the Mercedes of interactive rides, where Scooby Doo’s Haunted Castle is like the Yugo. If we didn’t want to hit Tower of Terror again (on other side of park) we certainly would have waited on this again. SOOO worth the wait! Incredible!! :)
btw-friend kicked my butt!

Soaring over California: Wait was way too long. Besides, I already love California and so want to live here, soaring over more of it will make my trip back to Ohio even harder!

Mission Tortilla Factory: Friend knew about the free fresh tortilla at end of short tour so we did it. Tortilla was warm and quite tasty actually!

Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar: They have a short film showing some of the new attractions heading to California Adventure in the next couple of years. They have a model of Paradise Pier in there which made the trip inside worth it for me.

There was a parade of all the Pixar characters when it got dark. It was cute-the kids were just loving it!

We ate at Lucky Fortune Cookery where I managed to keep my dinner under 12.00. The teriyaki chicken was surprisingly very good and you did get a nice sized portion for the price :)
There were several places to eat, good luck deciding on what you want. They also have bakeries galore and the smells just carry all over the park. Yummy.


And what trip to Disney would be complete without Disney’s Electrical Parade? No matter how many times I’ve seen this parade I still love it! Still love seeing Cinderella! :)

We didn’t get to the park until 2pm and assumed we wouldn’t beable to do everything we wanted we were so wrong. We managed to do all this by the time the park closed. I can say I went crazy with the souvenirs, I am a Disney pin freak and went nuts! I don’t even want to know how much I ended up spending on all the stuff I bought except to say that I brought 200.00 in cash and by the time I left I was hitting up my debit card!

What bad thing can you ever say about Disney? EVERY single employee smiled, many asked if we were having a good time. There were no gangsta wanna-bes or punk kids walking around. The park was spotless and I mean SPOTLESS! There was no gum to be found on the floors, on the queue lines, on pilars, on anything! There was no initials carved into paint, no chipped paint. The bathrooms were immaculate. Kids and family alikes were all happy and smiles also.

There is nothing that could have made our experience any better! Except of course if we could have done a 2 day park hopper ticket and gone back for the Magic Kingdom. I may just have to go back and do that myself before I leave! But this time-all my extra cash and debit card STAYS AT THE HOUSE!! :)

We didn’t pull out of the parking garage until 11:30pm-thanks to no traffic at all (gasp!) and the usual 75-80mph flow of traffic (85-90mph in carpool) I got us back to San Diego (122 miles) in 1.5 hours. My friend woke up and could not believe we were home so fast. Now that I know I don’t have to worry about a state highway patrol car on every turn I have adapted to the California “speed limits are for wimps” attitude!

There truly is something magical about Disneyland-I had a blast and really did make memories that will last me a lifetime! And if not bought enough pins to remind me!! :)

Thank you Walt-truly your dream lives on! :)

Jo
Lifetime Raptor flights: 2175 :)

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009 11:12 PM

Nice TR. I know what you mean about falling in love with California. The mountains, the beaches, the palm trees, the babes and the bums...I'm like a walking Randy Newman song.

One caveat. You should've done Soarin'. Seriously. It's worth almost any wait to ride it -- at least the first time, anyway.

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Thursday, December 24, 2009 8:28 AM

Awww, I wish you could have gone over to DL, too.

I do really love DCA, but something about the original just turns me into a little kid. Cali Screamin' is a phenomenal ride - it's a wonder it isn't talked about more, but my favorite ride in Cali was built in 1959 :).

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Thursday, December 24, 2009 1:36 PM

California Screamin' is my favorite ride at either DL or DCA. I was not impressed by Soaring over California. I found it boring and it reminded me of a long commercial that the Tourism Board might have created to try to get people to visit the state. The one and only time I rode it, we waited 1 hr. 30 mins. and after the ride my only thought was that I wished I could have that time back and use it to ride some better rides.

Last edited by SFMMAddict, Thursday, December 24, 2009 1:46 PM
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