Since my internship didn't start until the day after Memorial Day, I decided to kick summer off with a tour of the southern California parks. My trip included Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, Knott's Berry Farm, and Six Flags Magic Mountain. I'm going to begin with Disneyland. The Happiest Place of Earth definitely lived up to its billing and it turned out to be one of my favorite parks anywhere. The wonderful theming of the attractions combined with the difficult to describe Disney magic made my time at Disneyland memorable. The park had some amazing rides such as Indiana Jones, Splash Mountain, and Space Mountain and all of the employees were extremely friendly. My lone criticism was how narrow and congested the pathways were, but I realize that the park doesn't really have the option to expand them. I was at Disneyland for two full days (a Wednesday and a Friday during their 24 hour celebration) and crowds were large, but manageable.
This is one of the most iconic theme park entrances anywhere.
Walt appears taller than the castle...
The Indiana Jones Adventure turned out to be my favorite ride at the entire resort. I had high expectations since Raiders of the Lost Ark is my favorite movie and it didn't let me down.
Indiana Jones used the same ride system as Dinosaur, but the ride seemed far smoother while still being wild and exciting. I especially loved the finale!
I preferred the Orlando version due to the superior story, but this one was still one of the best flumes anywhere.
Big Thunder is the best mine train coaster I've been on. It has great turns and the finale is breathtaking.
The Haunted Mansion is one of the best dark rides around. While it isn't scary, it is an extremely immersive and enjoyable experience.
The Mad Tea Party's cups were harder to spin than its Florida counterpart, but the ride was still fairly dizzying.
Florida's Mr. Toad was one of my favorite rides when I was younger. I was eager to get behind the wheel of this one and it didn't let me down. The ride is far more intense than the typical dark ride thanks to the speedier turns and darker scenes.
Many coasters can trace their lineage to the Matterhorn. While old, the coaster was fast and quite wild. I preferred the Tomorrowland side since that one was faster and had a few more drops.
In a moment of weakness, I decided to ride this.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is one of my favorite movies, so I really enjoyed Toontown.
And the dark ride was very well done. The scenes were fantastic and being able to spin the cars was a nice feature. I just wish Judge Doom was present in the attraction.
Basically everyone thought Gadget's Go Coaster was themed to Inspector Gadget. How can people not know about Gadget from Chip "n" Dale's Rescue Rangers?
Best Disney characters ever.
I really wish I could have experienced Autopia before the guide rails were added since the layout was extremely long.
I really enjoyed all of the Marvel exhibits inside Innoventions.
The new and improved Star Tours was way better than the former version that I experienced in Florida. The different story lines really increased the rerideability.
I preferred this version of Buzz to the Florida one since the guns weren't mounted directly to the cars.
Space Mountain was the busiest of all of Disneyland's attractions and for good reason.
I enjoyed this version of Space Mountain more than Florida's. It felt faster and the soundtrack was outstanding.
What is a visit to Disneyland without a visit to Disney California Adventure? Since the park opened in 2001, California Adventure has seen many changes to help boost attendance. While I still preferred Disneyland to California Adventure, the park was fantastic and definitely had more thrill rides.
I forget where I am.
Cars Land finished the major overhaul to California Adventure.
Radiator Springs Racers was breathtaking! The theming was incredibly immersive and crowds ate this ride up. Lines approached 2 hours throughout the day.
While not as fast as Test Track, the ride was better. The show scenes were significantly better and the layout was more varied.
Steering by shifting my weight was cool, but the ride's capacity certainly wasn't.
This was a very cool and unique spinning ride, though hearing Larry the Cable guy signing is going to haunt me.
While not as good as Florida's version, this is still better than basically every other drop tower on the planet.
I preferred this to the version at EPCOT for some reason even though I think they are identical. Also I couldn't keep a straight face watching the preshow for whatever reason.
I would like to nominate myself.
Get ready to scream!
I loved this coaster. The combination of the launch, drops, inversion, turns, and music made this one of the most diverse coasters I have ever been on.
So long and satisfying.
That's what she said.
I love this ride! But my elbow doesn't.
World of Color was amazing! It was like a double rainbow but better.
Yeah...Disneyland is certainly compact (as you mentioned the congested pathways), but I like that better than the insane sprawl that is WDW. (One of many reasons why I unfortunately haven't been there yet...)
Last Park: CP / Last Credit: Blue Streak lol / Credit Count: 70 Top 5 Wood: SCBB Giant Dipper, Gold Striker, GhostRider pre-refurb, Blue Streak, CGA Grizzly Top 5 Steel: Steel Vengeance, Twisted Colossus, X2, Millennium Force, Tatsu Next Park: ? Next Credit: ?
I preferred Disneyland since all of the attractions were confined to two close by parks. Having said that, I would still prefer the larger pathways of Disney World. It also helps the different lands feel more separated.
Along with Disneyland, I also had two other parks on my agenda: Knott's Berry Farm and Six Flags Magic Mountain. Knott's Bery Farm was my fourth Cedar Fair park (Dorney Park, Kings Dominion, and Canada's Wonderland being my first three) and I enjoyed my visit. Most rides were 10-20 minute waits and I really liked what the park had to offer. There was some great theming in Camp Snoopy and the Ghost Town areas of the park and the park had a great collection of rides. Xcelerator's launch was unbelievable and it made my top 10 list. The log ride was amazing and my favorite non-Disney or Universal flume. Plus the park had a really solid flat ride lineup anchored by Supreme Scream.
Also, don't forget to visit Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant. I loved it! The chicken was delicious and the biscuits were addictive.
Onto the pictures!
Well someone had to be first.
I was going to wait for a train, but I didn't so the sign is all you get.
This was the surprise hit of my visit. Despite its small size, the coaster was a rush from start to finish and quite disorienting.
The Revolution! Who needs Google Translate?
I like them big and long. Supreme Scream was satisfying.
This coaster was an amazing rush.
When anyone else hears the world tophat, do they think of Sir Topham Hatt from Thomas the Tank Engine or is that just me?
Look at those curves.
Ouch. That is all.
Man, this section of the park felt like an oven.
I was blown away by this flume. The theming was almost on par with Disney and the drops were excellent as well.
So a lot of people said that this ride was pointless. I disagree, it kept younger kids away from the better attractions.
I think this kid knew I was snapping photos. I hope he doesn't think I'm a creep.
So many rides in California have scream in their name.
Where's the train?
Oh...so that's why they're only running one train.
GhostRider was down for rehab. I missed it by 3 days. At least I have the Nicholas Cage movie to console me.
Who am I kidding, that movie sucked. And the sequel made Batman and Robin look like Ben Hur.
I also made sure to visit Six Flags Magic Mountain, the self proclaimed "thrill capital of the world." I really enjoyed the park. While it lacked much outside of roller coasters, the roller coasters were excellent and very varied. X2 immediately became on of my favorite coasters anywhere thanks to its sheer intensity. I also really enjoyed Tatsu, YOLOcoaster, Goliath, Apocalypse, and Lex Luthor.
Of the Six Flags parks I have visited, this one was my favorite. The atmosphere of the park was great and the crowds were pretty minimal. My lone complaints were the one train operations on YOLOcoaster and Riddler's Revenge and all of the technical issues that the park was having with Batman (I ended up missing that one since it got stuck on the lift and broke down another time when I was in line). Not only did I have a great day, but I got a good workout as well. Onto the pictures.
Wally World! I didn't see Marty Moose, but at least it was open.
It's really hard to explain what happens during this drop. After getting copious floater air going over the crest of the hill, you are shot out of your seat even further during the descent.
No bomber in sight. George Segal must be happy.
So Six Flags has V2 and X2. Is Y2 next?
Indiana Jones would be scared of this coaster.
One loop, two loop, one corkscrew, two corkscrew. That doesn't sound right. It also has three vertical loops so it's inaccurate too.
Superman: Ultimate Flight was the bunny slope and Tatsu was the black diamond slope.
The only pretzel better than Wetzel's.
Ninja must have used its blackbelt to defeat most of the suspended coasters around the world. I really wish there were more suspended coasters around.
Take the tunnel!
The ride was relentless from start to finish and had a great mix of laterals, changes in direction, and air-time.
Riddle me this, riddle me that. What ride is green and sucks? This one.
I'm just not a fan of the B&M stand-ups. I honestly find the Togo ones smoother and more enjoyable.
Much better than the movie! While often maligned, I found this to be one heck of an intense little coaster.
"If my calculations are correct, when this baby hits 88 miles per hour... you're gonna see some serious shit."
Doc Brown was right. This thing made me see some serious doodoo in my pants. What a rush!
Goliath looks like David next to Lex Luthor and Superman.
Thanks! Yeah I love it out here. It's so much different than the East Coast and all of these amusement parks are certainly an added bonus. I'm looking forward to Discovery Kingdom, Great America, and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk as well.
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