Back in 2014, I had an internship in California. Like any good coaster enthusiast, I used the internship as an opportunity to visit all the major parks in California (2014 Photo TR
). My favorites were down in Southern California with Disneyland being one of my favorite parks ever. In 2015, I was able to make a return trip to Disneyland since I had a work trip nearby, but had to miss Knott's and Magic Mountain. In 2016, I planned a return trip spurred by free Disneyland tickets. Back in 2015, I booked bus tickets on the Disneyland Express bus to take me from LAX to Disneyland. At the time my bus was supposed to pick me up, a short white bus came saying they were the Disneyland Express. Turns out they were a counterfeit service but thankfully they brought me to the park (just charged a tip). I found out when I got to Disneyland the real bus was full-sized and covered in Disney characters. I let Disneyland know (primarily to save tourists like me who didn't look at the bus beforehand) and they were appreciate and provided free park tickets to return.Disneyland
Flash forward to 2016 and I was back at Disneyland with my sister. It was her first time there (she had been to Walt Disney World 3 times) and she loved it as well. We went at the end of June during the 100 degree heat wave, but the boon of indoor attractions made the heat less of a concern.
After experiencing the Magic Bands at Walt Disney World in 2015, I have to say that having the paper fastpasses was a nice change. Since Disneyland has more rides per park, it was nice being able to stockpile fastpasses faster. I was able to use my favorite strategy where I got a Fastpass at Disneyland, grab one at California Adventure, use the Disneyland Fastpass, use the California Adventure Fastpass, and repeat. I like both systems, but think the paper ones are better for Disneyland since my visits are shorter (2 days versus a week at Disney World). For Disney World, the bands work well since the rides are scattered across 4 parks instead of 2.
What was new for my visit? The two biggest things were the 60th anniversary theming and Hyperspace Mountain. I thought the castle looked great with the banner. But the bigger addition was Hyperspace Mountain. I enjoyed the experience since it was definitely different than the normal Space Mountain with the well-timed video screens, Star Wars music, and an actual story line. Would I take it over the regular Space Mountain. Personally, no. I really like Michael Giacchino's score (one of my most played songs on my iPod) and the added darkness of the standard ride, but both versions are highly enjoyable.
I spent the rest of the day hitting my favorites:
- Indiana Jones (amazing theming, wild ride, kills Dinosaur)
- Splash Mountain (prefer WDW for the theming, but the steeper drop is better in California)
- Big Thunder Mountain (love the finale and glass smooth)
- Matterhorn (historical and still a lot of fun)
- Buzz Lightyear (thank you for having free-guns instead of mounted ones like WDW)
- All the Dark Rides (Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Mr. Toad, love them all except it's a small world)
Unfortunately Fantasmic wasn't open for the 2nd time in my three visits, but there was more than enough to do during my visit. Onto the photos!
Top 5 Wood- Phoenix, Boulder Dash, El Toro, Comet (Great Escape), Cyclone (Coney)
Top 5 Steel- Fury 325, Millennium Force, Twisted Colossus, Wicked Cyclone, Skyrush