Warning: Please forgive my excessive ramblings. These TRs are long, but that is just the way I do it. You can find these reports along with some photos at: http://www.coasterfanatics.com
After just a few hours sleep, Catrina and I wake up and get ready to head to PIT for our 4.5 hour flight to LAX. Our flight leaves at 8:05 and it looks like we will get there with plenty of time to spare. After boarding the plane, we get ourselves comfortable for the trip and fire up the portable DVD so we can get our own personal "in-flight movie" going. The trip drags a little bit, but eventually we arrive at LAX and get our bags, pick up our rental car and head over to the Radisson at Knotts to check in.
We arrive at Knotts somewhere around 1pm and Catrina decides to take a little nap, so I headed over to the park to check out Silver Bullet and to get an idea of how Ghost Rider is running. When I get to Ghost Rider, I notice that they have metal bands wrapped around the tracks to hold rotting wood together. Looks more like a quick fix than a long term solution, but the cars seem to be rolling pretty good through the course. After an unsuccessful search for sunglasses, I head back over to the hotel and relax for a little bit, before we head over to Disneyland.
At 3:00pm we drove to Disneyland and graabed a parking spot in the Garage. As soon as we got out of the car, I see a guy that I recognized as an actor. I am pretty sure that he was in some Sopranos episodes, but I can't remember what movies the guy is in for the life of me. I figured I would check it out when I got home, because it is really starting to bother me. Anyway, we follow the guy to the tram station and get a lift over to California Adventure.
I have never been to California Adventure, so this is all new stuff to me. The park is very nice, although a little thin by Disney Standards. Grizzly is a very impressive looking ride from the outside and Paradise Pier is a real gem. We headed straight over to California Screaming and noticed that it only had a 20 minute stand-by line, so we lined up for our first ride of the trip. California Screaming has very impressive look from the outside and really gives the appearance of a classic sea-side woody, but as soon as you board you can tell that is only in appearance. Once the ride leaves the station, it drops around the corner and parks alongside the man-made lagoon to its left. After a few seconds, the ride launches with a rather mild intensity level up the first hill into the course. The ride is littered with diving turns and drops, but everything is very drawn out and forceless. While this makes the ride very appealing to a wide range of visitors, it takes away from what it is trying to appear to be ... a thrilling sea-side coaster. Screaming did, however, have a nice surprise at the end. It finished off with a couple nice little floater hills before parking back in the station.
After Screaming we grabbed a drink and walked towards the front of the park. We took the Fast Passes that we got on the way in for Soaring over California and walked up to the ride building. After quickly realizing that our Fast Passes were not really necessary, we boarded our glider (front-left) and waited for the ride to begin. Having not been to the park before, I really didn't know what to expect from this ride. The lights went out and we were lifted into the theater area. When the video comes on, there is a massive feeling of "WOW!". The image is so huge and you are just floating right there in the middle of it. The movie consists of several cut shots gliding over different parts of the state with wind effects and even smells. While it may not be a thrilling ride by any stretch of the imagination, Soaring is very fun ride that is tame enough for just about any visitor.
With two rides under our belt, we walked over to Disneyland. We were hoping to find something to eat, but quickly noticed that almost every food place in the park was closed with a few exceptions. We really wanted to get something to eat so we walked around a little bit then headed back to the hotel, where we figured we could more dining options. When we got back to Buena Park, we stopped in Outback Steakhouse for a bite to eat, and it proved to be a good choice. Even if they don't know what a Sweet Potato is.