First Trip to Los Angeles Area Sept 3-13.

Sorry for the bit of lateness in the trip report.

I decided to travel from Ohio to Disneyland for the Disneyland Half Marathon and for a vacation in the area. I'm not going to give a ride by ride review of the parks but focus more on general impressions of the parks.

I spent 4 days, including after the race, at Disneyland and Disney's California Adventures. This was my first trip to California and I found Disneyland to be every bit as nice as the Magic Kingdom in Florida. Even though they have less land, they are able to make very good use of the land they have. I was able to ride all of the coasters at DL. Space Mountain is smoother and I think more intense than the one in Florida. Unfortunately I only got to ride it once before it went down for refurbishment. The Matterhorn is a good classic coaster. I found the Tomorrowland side to be a bit more intense than the Fantasyland side. The ride that really surprised me was Star Tours 2. I don't normally like simulators, but found myself riding it several times to get to see the various scenes.

Disney's California Adventure is currently a park under major construction, with cars land being built and the entrance area being redone. I also only got to ride California Screamin' once and it was ride after the half marathon so it probably felt more intense than it actually was. Goofy's flight school was nice but just a standard mouse coaster. World of Color was a real good night time display although seemed to be missing something. I liked fantasmic better. This park seems to suffer from the same fate of Disney Studios and Animal Kingdom, they under sized it initially it feels like it needs more. Cars Land should help.

Knotts Berry Farm. Ended up hitting Knotts Berry Farm on Labor Day, the day after the race. The biggest disappointments for the day was xcelerator, and Perilous Plunge were both closed for the day. The crowds were very manageable. I was able to ride Ghost Rider, Pony Express, Sierra Sidewinder, and Jaguar. I decided to skip Silver Bullet. As I've gotten older, I found I need to pace myself in terms of rollercoaster and thrill rides. Combined with the fact I had trouble a few years ago on Raptor, I didn't want to take the chance. All of the coaster I would classify as fun. Pony Express was real short. In addition to the coaster, I rode the drop tower, windseeker, log flume and Calico Mine. I also saw the stunt show and Mystery Lodge. For lunch, I bought the ticket that included the Backyard BBQ. The lunch was good, but the chicken was nothing to write home about. It may be different in the regular restaurant. All in all, I found Knotts to be a nice well rounded park. It's not as big as some but real nice. Hopefully CF will continue to keep some of the historic charm of the park.

Six Flags Magic Mountain was in some ways the surprise of the trip. I hit the park on Sunday Sept 11th. After reading various review here and other places, I wasn't sure what to expect. But, I had won the ticket from MyCokeRewards, so who can turn down a free day at an amusement park. I arrived at the parking lot at 10:30, I was hoping to get there a little bit earlier but had missed judge travel time from Anaheim. The park opened at 10:30 so I was only a few minutes after opening. I immediately headed for X. It was probably my longest wait of the vacation at about 40min. I'll admit I was worried about riding it but there was no way I wanted to miss that one of a kind coaster, at least in the U.S. It was probably the most unique experience I've every had on a roller Coaster. X may have been the longest wait, but Superman escape from Krypton was the worst wait. That coaster had the slowest load time imaginable. And while the ride was fun, it wasn't worth the wait. My favorite ride may have been Apocalypse, It may qualify as my new favorite wooden coaster. The ride was constant action from beginning to end. I also rode, Scream, Tatsu,Goliath and Revolution in terms of coasters. All of them gave good rides. Tatsu seemed to be the flying coaster that most felt like flying to me. Other than the loop, everything it did felt like flying manuvers. Goliath was fun. Coming to a near dead stop at the mid course break run made that curved drop out of it a bit uncomfortable. My biggest complaint about the park, if there is any, is the lack of "family rides". They have great Coasters, it looked like an OK kiddie land, and water rides. The tower and the inclined railroad were the only rides for the whole family that didn't involved water. The food in the park was also mediocre at best. The hamburger and Fries smelled alot better cooking out front then they actually tasted. Even with that, this was the one park I wished I had more time at. Unfortunely, the park is only opened weekends at this time.

All in all. It was a good trip. I brought my coaster count up to 118, and rode several unique coaster.

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