Now for one of the main highlights of the trip - Disney! Less than a year before this I made my first visit to the resort when I had a spare day on a business trip to California. Jeff Johnson was a fantastic tour guide that day, making sure I got on as much as I could and i really did hit the majority of what both parks had to offer. The only issue was that my visit feel mere days before the opening of Carsland. There were previews going on inside the land on that visit but alas I was not one of those people. I had been haunted by peaking through construction walls and seeing guests enjoying the attractions. So I was really glad that less than a year later I was going to actually visit Radiator Springs!
So what did I think of it? The land itself is fantastic, it just looks amazing for me I would say it looks better than Potter at Islands of Adventure and only behind the best parts of DisneySea in Tokyo (Mysterious Island!). The Radiator Springs Racers ride itself is really great too with some of the best animatronics I've ever witnessed (but still, if only it had some sort of lava monster to compete with Tokyo! Can't have everything I guess).
The rest of our days time here was spent park hopping where I played tour guide this time showing Michael around both parks and no doubt boring him with inane Disney Divvia.
Seeing as this is "Divv California Adventure" I guess we better start at Disney California Adventure!
First stop of the day at Disney California Adventure is a favourite - Tower of Terror!
This is a wait I can live with!
Okay, so it's not quite up to par with Tokyo or Florida but it's better than Paris simply by not being in Paris!
I've learned that when Soarin' is a walk-on you have no choice but to ride at that point or forego it forever.
Alright, let's get to the real fun of this visit - Carsland!
Good thing we went straight for Fast Passes first thing this morning!
Wow, now that looks pretty awesome!
There's some really great attention to detail in the theming here.
The ride itself is really great too. The racing aspect of it adds a fun dimension.
Lightning McQueen says"'Sup Bitches?"
Not only does Carsland have a cool signature ride it has some great signature food items too!
Check out my Chili Cone Queso!
The Mater whip ride is a nice side attraction in the area - nothing earth shattering but they did a good job with it.
I loved the cool references to the Cars short films in the Mater queue.
Outside of Carsland, Muppet-vision is still going strong which is definitely a good thing in my book! Hope it can hold on a bit longer before something else comes crashing in! Still my favourite 3D show in any park!
The Red cars weren't running when I made my last visit, they look really cool!
Alright, time to hop on over to Disneyland itself!
I could have sworn there was a castle here last time...
Here's the standard "wait board photo" to refer to when planning your next ride.
We hit up Star Tours - I didn't do this last time because I had already been on the revamped Florida version. It's Star Tours so it's fun, the 3D and new effects have certainly improved the ride.
Isn't he a little short for a Storm Trooper?
Here's a new addition thanks to that Marvel purchase!
Just chilling out with Iron Man...
For a Marvel movie geek like me the Iron Man exhibit was really cool. The suits look great up close!
Haunted Mansion. It's brilliant.
Captain EO and Space Mountain - does it get any more futuristic than this??
This was cool to see - Wreck-it Ralph style Fix-It Felix arcade machines that were made to look old school!
Splash mountain is still doing it's thing.
Another park hop and we re back in DCA.
Toy Story Mania's frustrating lack of Fast Pass meant that we had to suck it up and stomach an hour or so wait.
At least the ride is still bags of fun, we would go on to ride ti a few times on this trip but I just wish they had a damned fast Pass option like Florida does!
California Screamin' - any ride with NPH narration is good in my book!
I didn't appreciate it on my last visit due to all teh walls that were up around the park but it actually looks pretty decent now!
I had heard so many great things about Carthay Circle that I made sure that we had reservations for our first night here.
Here's some OMG Amazing Salmon.
And some ultra tasty ravioli.
Finished off with some incredible rhubarb and strawberry pie. Seriously, this whole meal was tremendous. I'd eat here again in a heartbeat.
Our Dinner at Carthay Circle also meant that we got reserved spots for World of Color!
This was a cool show and I was certainly more impressed with it than I expected. (still not quite a "Fantasmic beater" though).
And that brings our first day at Disney to a close. There's still more from here to come though!
The next park on our trip was a new one for me – Six Flags Magic Mountain. This is one of the parks that I had heard loads about over the years on TPR and having visited a decent number of Six Flags parks in my time I figured that I had my expectations set reasonably. I wasn’t expecting greatness, but wow even with my low expectations I was really underwhelmed by Magic Mountain. Actually, I really hated it. I don’t know if it was the operations, the staff, the clientele, the attractions but the place doesn’t give off a very nice vibe and the potentially positive aspects of the park seemed to have the life sucked out of them by Six Flags. And this was a reasonably quiet day that we visited...
We started off running with everyone to X2 and got into a reasonable position in the line and then I started to witness the wonder of Six Flags Magic Mountain staffing. Dear lord, they are slow. The ride is very similar to Dinoconda in China and I really couldn’t tell them apart all that much. It’s an okay ride that’s good mostly for sucking up the crowds.
We started to make our way around the rest of the coasters and the contrast to our visits in previous days to Disney and Universal couldn’t be more stark. Tatsu was a particular wonder – we got into a station with next to no line and still waited an age to get on the thing. At least it’s one of the better B&M Flyers.
Green Lantern is another curiosity – curious in that Six Flags somehow managed to completely mess up one of the best rides in the world! How they can take a ride that’s the exact same make, model and layout as the incredible Insane in Gronalund and turn it into such a tame kiddie-like ride beggars belief.
After enduring the park for about half the day we decided enough was enough – I was missing a few kiddie credits and Viper but I was so done with this place that I just decided to bag them.
I could go on about how much I hated this place but I’ll get on to the photos...
Here we are at Walley World!
Unfortunately there's no moose outside to stop us getting in.
The first thing you have to do here is join the rest of the zombies on the run to X2.
This was where I first got it witness the stunning ineptitude of the SFMM staff.
The ride is on the whole very similar to the new one in China - in look and experience. It's a fun ride but clearly it's a nightmare to operate.
Tatsu! It appeared to be a walk-on but appearances can be deceiving at Magic Mountain. It took us a while to get on this one too.
Still, the ride is pretty good as far as B&M flyers go. Some pretty intense spots on there.
Superman only had one side open. I'm not sure if that means I missed a credit or not by the time I left here I kind of stopped caring about the credits.
Green Lantern - this should have been a thing of pure joy at SFMM. Something to get really excited about! Unfortunately the ride has been neutered so much that it's only a mere shadow of the incredible version in Sweden.
As far as B&M stand ups go Riddler is certainly one of the better ones.
As a fan of Vacation I was very excited to get a ride on the Screemy Meemy. Of course only one side was open but I guess now I should be glad that I even got to ride it at all!
Parking lot coaster. It's even more stunning to witness this in person. Seriously, it looks awful. How much does a few bags of gravel cost?
As B&M floorless coasters go Scream is about as cookie cutter as they get. You know what to expect from this.
Actually we were a few weeks to early for this so we didn't get to live at all. Oh well.
Apocalypse! The best ride in the park by miles for me!
Although it was a bit on the short side as GCIs go. Apparently the reason for that is due to the expensive sound system they fitted onto the trains. The sound system that no longer works. Nice one, Six Flags.
Funicular Railway credit! It's a sad day when this is the attraction in the park that's getting me excited.
The original Goliath! The ride entrance for this is pretty cool.
There it goes. Reveling in the uniqueness of its name.
There you go Michael. You can tell everyone about how awesome Magic Mountain was now.
We were getting to the middle of the afternoon and we still had some kiddie coasters plus Viper to do. After this one we decided to call it quits. I was so done with this place.
A rare photo of Michael and I. Michael's the one on the far left with the red nose.
So that's Six Flags Magic Mountain. Despite still needing a few credits there I'm in no rush to get back. I usually try my hardest not to be negative in trip reports but this place really was a chore to visit. Maybe I got here on a bad day or maybe it's Six Flags as a whole that have just started to get really sucky over the years. Hey, maybe it's me and I'm just really jaded by big corporate parks like Six Flags now. Who knows?
At least I visited so I could form my own opinion on the place. The day wasn't a total loss though - we both popped our Cheesecake Factory cherries this evening since we left early which was pretty awesome. Every cloud, eh?
I know SFMM has its up days and down days, but do you think that maybe being at the DLR for 2 days before visiting may have affected the visit? I just know it's hard going from one of the best themed and well run parks in the world to SFMM the very next day.
I have found that when showing friends from out of town around, I like to do SFMM first, that way it 'seems' good and fun...until the visit to the DLR
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