The room allowed us to get up bright and early for the park opening. Our son turned 3 and still has a fairly short attention span. So we wanted to get on anything that would be a prohibitively long wait later in the day. So the obvious choice was to make a beeline for Nemo.
Although it was 8:15 in the morning, we were sweating bullets by the time we got on. But with a 15 minute wait, it was worth it. The ride is really charming, but I think I preferred the outdoor lagoon sequence to the animated portions. And I think the kuka arms were broken, so the angler fish were illuminated by strobes (like the Yeti in DAK) -- bummer.
I'd been talking up the Matterhorn to my son for months. And he's been talking about it too. But when we got close and he heard the moans of the Abominable Snowman, he was a little reluctant to say the least. But the line was so short, he really didn't have time to get too worked up. And I showed him how to make a gun with his fingers that he could use to shoot the wily beast.
We all had a great run twisting and turning through the mountain. I hope they do not raise the height requirement when they replace the sleds in the near future, because this is a great starter coaster for kids. It was my first. It was wonderful to pass it on to our son, who was wide eyed at the end.
My parents, who drove down from Northern California, met us at the hub. Grandpa got to take the boy for a ride on King Arthur's and we all enjoyed the rest of the morning together before ducking back to the room to recharge our batteries and open birthday presents.
Afterwards, we went to California Adventure to catch a ride on the Sun Wheel. My Mom, who walks with a cane, didn't realize how far the wheel was for her. The park could really benefit from some transportation options. But we eventually made it and had a wonderful sunset ride on a swinging car.
We scouted spots to watch the Electrical Parade and I took Jr. on the California Golden Zephyr a few times while we waited. And as much as folks knock the park (rightfully so), the lights of Paradise Pier, the cool breeze, and the moon over the lagoon was simply magical. This park will be something special in a few years. I can't wait. And I'm sure Jr., who's favorite movie is Cars, will be happy with the changes too.
For a kid who loves to talk, he was really quiet all day. He was taking in everything. But ever since we got home, he hasn't stopped talking. And when anybody asks him what his favorite ride was, hands down, the tram. ;)
We are taking advantage of the Southern California resident 99$ 3-day hopper deal. We'll be back in September to check out the attractions that normally have long lines (Midway Mania) and to apply the $99 towards season passes. Can't wait!
Eric: Removing excessive "Anyways ...". ;) *** Edited 8/19/2008 8:33:56 PM UTC by janfrederick***
And when anybody asks him what his favorite ride was, hands down, the tram.
Love it! That's kids for you! Nice TR!
I'm glad to hear that I may not be the only one who appreciates Paradise Pier. I always loved the feel of the area as a water front amusement park from yesterday mixed with the modern world we live in. Rides like the Golden Zephyr and the sun wheel conjure up rides from the past, mixed with the rides of today like Maliboomer and that Orange thing (whatever it is called). California Screamin, despite being a launched metal looper, was themed to invoke memories of the classic wooden coasters of long ago.
I need to get back out to Cali soon to revist DLR. I love it much more than WDW in many ways.
mOOSH (still waiting for an opportunity to return to San Diego and have a brew with Eric....sigh)
Paradise Pier has that "IoA-like" charm....ambience....feel...whatever. Not similar in theme, just has that...je ne sais quoi. And I'm oh-for-2 on Golden Zephyr, STILL needing a ride on a Traver-style circle swing.
Mamoosh said: mOOSH (still waiting for an opportunity to return to San Diego and have a brew with Eric....sigh)
Do they serve beer at Knott's? :) Man, I miss not living up the hill from Shakespeare's!
Thanks. Seriously, I LOVE the Matterhorn. All the caves, the waterfalls, the smell, even the tiny bit of air on the left course. I used to get excited just driving by as a kid. Heck, I've almost caused several crashes as an adult driving down the 5.
By the way, Tom has an aerial photo of the DLR in his room (well, my wife wouldn't let me hang it in our room)...but he knows what all the rides are from above.
Gator, yah, I was really surprised to see Zephyr open and so definitely took advantage of it being open and with no line to speak of. And very small crowd for the Electrical Parade (although it really belongs on Main Street).
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