TR: Disneyland / DCA on Jan 18th

Associated parks:
None

Friday, January 24, 2003 1:48 PM

I admit it: my Disney distaste is dissolving.

I admit it: Mark Rosenzweig is right.

I went to the Disney resort on Saturday, Jan 18th. It was a holiday weekend and I was expecting large crowds. While DCA had only moderate crowds Disneyland was quite crowded, yet waits on all "E-ticket"attractions were 20-30 minutes with the exception of Splash Mountain,which had a posted stand-by wait of 90 minutes [but didn't look to bethat long by looks of the length of the line].

First Up: DCA. While still not a full-day park I still enjoy most ofwhat this park has to offer. Working counter-clockwise to the far end of Paradise Pier and back you encounter quite a few top-notch attractions I really enjoy: Soaring Over California, Grizzly River Rapids, the retro Golden Zephyr, California Screamin in all its Swiss creamy goodness, and It's Tough To Be A Bug. Mulholland Madness' only drawback is the cheap theming and one bit of heavy braking mid-course, while Orange Stinger and the Sun Wheel suffer from short ride cycles [as does Zephyr].

I explored the new kid's area, Flik's Fun Faire. Wow! Talk about theming! This place is fantastic. Its just a shame the rides in the area aren't as impressive, especially what the park is trying to pass off a bumper cars. But heck, the kids love it...does it really matter what a jaded adult like me thinks?

The rest of the park still has some growing to do. Flik's Fun Fair & Bountiful Farms could really use a family steel coaster and the Hollywood backlot is just a dull mess, save for the Animation showcase. I love the Muppets but their 3D movie is twice as long as it needs to be. Thankfully Tower of Terror will help in bringing new life to the backlot.

Waits on all attractions were less than 20 minutes and FastPass was not needed at all. In just over 3 hours we had done all we wanted, with repeats on Screamin, and headed off to Disneyland [expecting the worst].

Next, Disneyland: Even with all the construction going on throughout the park [Matterhorn and all the Rivers of America attractions are closed for improvements] and two other popular attractions [Mansion, Small World] closed to remove the holiday decor lines around the park were manageable. Still, with more attractions than DCA and only a few hours to try to hit them all we took advantage of FastPass as best we could.

As we went from attraction to attraction I was in awe at the amount of people Disney is able to get through their rides. While usually this has no effect on the ride experience I must complain about one practice on Pirates: so many boats are in the trough that they are stacked at the top of the first drop. This removes all the surprise as you can clearly see - and hear - the boat tip over the edge and riders scream in delight as you wait your turn. I remember back in the day when you entered the darkness, the roar of the water became louder and then suddenly you were tumbling down to the splash.

Speaking of darkness, Splash Mountain seemed to be more lit inside than usual, especially the coaster-dip drop into the Laughing Place, which used to be in total darkness. Now you can clearly see the track rise up and back down.

I rode Star Tours for the first time in about 10 years and expected it to feel dated. I was pleasantly surprised that it still packs a fun punch. And it had been quite some time since I'd gotten a spin on Space Mountain and I had forgotten how fun that coaster can be. We didn't have enough time to hit the dark rides in Fantasyland nor did we stay to watch the fireworks [which I hated to miss] but all-in-all I really enjoyed my day at the resort.

So yeah, I admit it. I used to hate Disneyland -- too crowded, too many families with crabby kids walking slow and jamming the walk ways with strollers. It can still be that way, especially during the peaksummer season. But on the right day, with the right friends, the parks are a lot of fun.

I admit it: for the first time in my life I purchased a Disney season pass.

Moosh

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Welcome to the New & Improved Coasterbuzz...tomfoolery allowed!

*** This post was edited by Mamoosh on 1/24/2003. ***

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Friday, January 24, 2003 4:59 PM

Moosh.. I'm surprised not to hear about a ride on IJ.. Lines too long I'm guessing..

Also, what exactly is being incorperated into the Matterhorn refab..

Sean.. sorry he didn't get a Matterhorn ride under his belt on his first trip to SoCal this November.

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HW & IB, I love living in Indiana!

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Friday, January 24, 2003 5:21 PM

Donny - I didn't report on Indiana because..well, its the same ride its always been. I enjoyed riding it but there wasn't anything about it that made it stick out in the day. Same reason I didn't mention most of the other rides we got on.

As for Matterhorn I don't have any firm info from the park. What I understand is happening is that they are improving clearances in the tunnels and adding/repairing theme elements. No word if FastPass will be added.

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Welcome to the New & Improved Coasterbuzz...tomfoolery allowed!

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Friday, January 24, 2003 5:29 PM

Thanks Moosh. I just wasn't sure about why Mattrerhorn was being refabed when I was out there before Christmas..

And as for IJ i was just so blown away by the ride I thought you might give it some props.. oh well

excuse the dumb questions..

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HW & IB, I love living in Indiana!

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Friday, January 24, 2003 5:29 PM

They usaully say what rides are scheled to be down on the Disneyland website.

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Friday, January 24, 2003 5:31 PM

Not usually. Closed rides are always mentioned on Disney's website.

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Welcome to the New & Improved Coasterbuzz...tomfoolery allowed!

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