TR: DCA (Jan. 25th, 2002)

Associated parks:

Friday, February 1, 2002 7:42 AM
 Day 2 of my So. Cal. Trip...

  I was awoken early the next morning by what I can only describe as a "liquid alarm clock".  Chris Murray's dog, Borris, will let you know when to get up by licking your face.

 After getting ready, Chris, Barry Short, Ron Rockwood, Chris's brother Tim,  and myself headed to a Denny's for breakfast.  Originally, we had planned to spend some more time at Knott's, then go to Disney's California Adventure. However, since we rode almost everything we wanted at Knott's the previous day, we knew that our time at Knott's would not be quite short.

  After dropping Tim off at DCA, we headed over to Knott's soon after opening.  Having ridden all the coasters the night before, we concentrated on more of the other rides.  We rode the odd Kingdom of The Dinosaurs (with a strange stop in the middle) dark ride, the Calico Mine dark ride,  and Chris and myself rode the Hammerhead. That was only my second time riding a Zamperla Roto Shake so I thought I was due for a ride on one.  We also met up wth Greg Galley and Tony Milano.  I have never met Tony before this trip, but Greg was being his usual self messing with people by throwing them $5! (you had to be there I guess)

 We also gave Supreme Scream a ride before heading back to Ghostrider where Barry and Ron decided to shoot some POV.  By this time, we were ready to go to DCA.

---Disney's California Adventure---

 I will admit, I am not a large fan of Disney parks. While they do seem to do a few things better than other parks, they don't offer a lot of rides in the big thrill department. Don't get me wrong. MGM has a some great thrill rides, but Disneyland and Disney World both don't offer the kind of rides that make me say, " WOW! That rocked!". None the less, all the rides are fun and I do enjoy them all, but if I had to choose, I would spend more time at DCA.

 Having said that, I had no problem skipping a visit to Disneyland this visit. The last time I was there, it was WAY too crowded to enjoy it the best way possible.  Last August, I decided to give DCA a try. From the sound of it, it seemed to be my kind of park.  I was very impressed with DCA and looked forward to my next visit.

  Barry wanted to purchase a Disneyland season pass so the group split up after purchasing our tickets. Ron and myself went into DCA. I think Ron was really impressed with what he saw because I looked over at him a few times and his mouth was wide open.

 We headed straight to California Screamin'. We had set up a time to meet up with Robb Alvey at the ride. Sure enough, he was standing there waiting for us.  All three of us quicly went into the 10 minute line before meeting up with Wes Lagatolla. Since Ron had never ridden this coaster before, we waited for a front seat.

-California Screamin'-

 Out of all the Intamin coasters I have ridden, this one is the smoothest. The over the shoulder restraints don't detract from the ride at all IMO. The launch, while not the most powerfull, is indeed fun. The coaster is probably one of the longest steel coasters in the world also. It is the perfect ride for this park. It is also a great way to introduce inversions to those that are afraid to go upside down. The loop on this coaster is strong enough where you can feel it but tame enough that it doesn't pin you to your seat in a painful manner.

Califorina Screamin' was running three trains this day. In August, it was running 6 (!). Quick dispatch times helped move the line quickly.

 We ended up riding California Screamin' 3 or 4 times before walking over to the Sun Wheel.  Having ridden the Wonder Wheel in Brooklyn, I am kind of used to the feeling of the swinging cars, but it still gives me a surprise the first time a car swings out.. I rode the Sun Wheel last August also so I knew what to expect. Ron on the other hand was a little more surprised than the rest of us. You should have seen his face. =:^)  

 Next up was a ride I wanted to ride in August, but was closed.

-Orange Stinger-

 Yea, it may be a Wave Swinger, but it's a pretty darn cool one IMO. The cycle was pretty short, but the whole visual of riding INSIDE a large orange was pretty neat. There was also a buzzing soundtrack being played.

 We then met up with the rest of our group including Greg.


  I had never ridden the old-style Traver-esque circle swings before. I am glad they were open today because we all had a blast riding them. More thrilling than they look IMO.  The setting is awesome also because you kind of swing out of the lake in the center of the park.

We then kind of worked our way around the park hitting various rides like..


 Not the most powerfull S&S Space Shot I have ridden, but pretty cool because of the sound effects. I do dislike those scream shields though. They do detract from my ride.

-Soarin' Over California-

 Easily the most realistic simulator I have done. The smells, the visuals, and the movement all are top notch. It was like riding it again for the first time. Both times I have ridden this, I get off speechless. Ron on the other hand didn't take the ride very well as looked green after we exited. =:^)

- Who Want's To Be A Millionaire?-

 I am not a fan of park shows. I usually avoid them whenever possible. When we approached Millionaire, I was hesitant about going in. I am so glad I did. This was almost exactly like the real show. The interaction is great. Ron almost was picked to sit in the hot seat twice.  When I go back to DCA, I will try to do this one again.

- Grizzly River Rapids-

 Robb had never ridden it so Wes, Robb, and myself all decided to give it a ride, despite it being chilly out.  While we didn't get exactly soaked, we were wet. The two drops on this ride are great.  As you can imagine, there was no wait for the ride so we could have easily ridden again without getting out of the boat, but we wanted to move on.

 Chris suggested we check out the Blast show. Robb, Ron, and myself are not show fans so we decided to skip it. Instead, we went and did Muppets 3-D, and It's Tough To Be A Bug. These are my kind of shows! I am a HUGE 3-D fan so I enjoyed watching these as much as the first time. Robb and Ron got a big kick out of the also.

We had an hour or so left to spend in the park so we decided to spend it riding California Screamin'. We ended up getting around 5 rides on it. Each were awesome. I am glad I got to sample different trains because each train had a different volume level for the music.

 As the park was closing, Chris suggested we head over to the ESPN Zone to get a bite to eat. On the way, we passed an arcade. Inside was a DDR machine. Of course, we stopped and played a few games. Robb played against some kid who was kicking some serious butt. It was funny watching the both of them play. Both were very good.

 The ESPN Zone was pretty packed, so we left and ended up at a Denny's across from the park. We had a cool dinner before leaving and heading back to Chris's.

 The next day would be the reason we came on this trip to begin with.

X was calling!

Next up... SFMM

Thanks for reading,


Friday, February 1, 2002 7:59 AM
While I haven't been to DCA, I'm glad to see another honest review where California Screamin' is appreciated for what it is. It floors me how people like to dog that ride. Personally, I'd be excited to ride it just for the length!

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin -,
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

Friday, February 1, 2002 8:11 AM
SIX TRAINS!!!!!     Krikey!
My other car is a Giovanola!
Friday, February 1, 2002 8:25 AM
I love California Screamin'. It's a family ride for sure, but perhaps the most "fun" steel coaster in California. Not too intense but not too tame either, it's the highlight of the park. I also really like DCA which also gets dogged out by enthusiasts. It's a very relaxing, beautifully landscaped park with more "adult" fare for a change.
Have you ever considered that maybe it's not the park that's the problem, but YOU?
Friday, February 1, 2002 11:50 AM
Anyone who has been on a newer Disney coaster (R&R, CS) knows that there is nothing like being on a modern coaster with a great sound track right in your ears. This is what makes these rides special. R&R, it’s a Vekoma, now we either love or hate there inverts (YES mostly hate), but no one complains about R&R, why? When you have Aerosmith blasting in your ears, in the dark, while going through inversions, who’s going to complain?  California Screamin’ is a perfect example of what the next generation of coasters could be with a little creative thought put into it by the parks. Just think what MF, Raging Bull, Dueling Dragons. and Batman would be like with awesome soundtracks blasting into your ears. CS isn’t the highest, or fastest, but is one of the most fun coasters I have been on, same goes for R&R. It just proves that you can take an average layout for a coaster, and turn it into a top notch ride, with a little thought and effort.

Coaster Art of your Favorite Coasters
Coming Soon.....

Friday, February 1, 2002 6:11 PM
Sean F, you should have seen the Power of Blast. It is very awesome show! It is actually a Broadway show.
Saturday, February 2, 2002 11:52 AM
Coaster File,

 Actually, I did get a chance to see what Blast was like thanks to a DVD that my friend Chris showed me the next morning before we left for SFMM.  While it did look neat with the placement of the instruments and what not, I still don't think it was my type of show.


Tuesday, February 5, 2002 3:57 PM

Great trip reports! I have to say though, I think you should have seen Blast too. I don't think seeing it on video could quite capture what it's like in person. It was amazing! Much better than I expected and certainly the best thing to ever appear in the Hyperion Theatre. I am sure that this show has something to do with DCA being busier lately and I am happy to see the park get some more people in the gates.

Saturday, February 9, 2002 1:31 PM
Regarding Cali' Screamin', I agree with what has been posted so far, CS is easily the most fun coaster in Cali, and if I had to pick, I would say top three in the state, not including X since I haven't ridden it (beating out everything at SFMM except Riddler, beating out GhostRider, everything at SFMW except Medusa).

It's simply a *very* fun, long, entertaining coaster.  I rode it about 12 times last March, and will ride it even more this March.  It's the reason I'm even going back to DCA, without it, I couldn't see returning for a while (admittedly, Soarin' and GRR are awesome attractions).

Yes, Sean, I even like Screamin' more than the Screamer (Scandia, that is)!  ;)

Great TR as usual!  What coaster you think will be #400?

Have you ever considered that maybe it's not you that's the problem, but THE PARK? ;)

Sunday, February 10, 2002 5:57 PM

I haven't really thought about what #400 is going to be for me.  For some reason, I could easily see The Lost Coaster Of Superstition Mountain being #400 or very close to that. 



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