Time for a fun filled report from a fun filled two days at Disneyland Resort! i'm talking about photos, videos, vines, POVs, ridiculous commentary while on rides, the sounds of my pain mixed with laughter, more fun stuff, and INDIANA FREAKIN' JONES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! OK, so there's only like three photos of Indy, but shut up. It's my favorite ride in the history of everything ever recorded by sentient beings, so deal with it. INDY 4 LYFE DAWG!
Holy crap I need to lay off the caffeine. Oh, well, c'est la vie.
Join me as we enter a world of horrifyingly oversized mice! Seriously, they're huge and have costumes. It's weird, man. Not to mention that there's a dog named after a panet that doesn't exist anymore, another dog who is the equivalent of The Wizard Of Oz's Scarecrow, chipmunks who neither chip nor munk, ducks with anger management issues, and crazy women who find pleasure living in a castle made of ice. Are we sure I didn't take a hefty amount of drugs today?
Alright, let me get serious for a minute. Put simply, this was the best visit I've had to Disneyland Resort! Granted, I've only been four times in the same amount of years (2011, 2013, twice this year) so I don't have a great background for how the park has fared through history, but that shouldn't matter. What matters is that Disneyland was hitting on all cylinders even with two of their star attractions shut down for Halloween prep (Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain). That's not an easy thing to pull off and they came through with flying colors.
Our first day we went straight to....STARBUCKS! YEAH! Not what you were expecting? You obviously don't know my priorities. And shame on you for judging me. Just because I decided to forego the questionable Super 8 breakfast and instead opt for a giant iced coffee and spinach & feta wrap at Starbucks doesn't mean you have to hate me. The fact that I was at the Starbucks at Disneyland and you weren't, though, does.
Anyhoo, after the delicious detour of delectable dining (wonderful alliteration, if I do say so), we headed to California Adventure. Sheesh, again with the judging! Quit it! Yes, we went to California Adventure before Disneyland. Deal with it. We had good reasons, one of those being to get our World Of Color Fastpasses (because World Of Color is AWESOME and if you don't like it you're wrong even though Fantasmic is the better show but Fantasmic isn't performed outside of weekends and we were there on a Monday and Tuesday so no Fantasmic for us but at least we got World Of Color which was AWESOME and that brought us full circle in this ridiculously long run-on sentence and can you believe I'm still going on about this without using a single period anywhere?). The other reason was because California Screamin' would be closing on Tuesday for it's scheduled maintenance and we wanted to get our rides on it. Also Cars Land.
Now, in past visits I've made it a point to beeline to the World Of Color Fastpass booth followed by Paradise Pier to get Screamin' and Toy Story out of the way before the crowds hit. Not so much this time. We still made World Of Color our first priority to avoid the godawful General Admission area. after that we kind of leisurely strolled around the park without worrying about hitting anything in any particular order. Why? Oh, maybe because mid-September is the best time EVER to visit Disneyland! The parks are ghost towns! There's no such thing as a line! Hell, the only Fastpass we actually used was the World Of Color one!
Speaking of World Of Color, isn't it awesome?
First up? Let's get to Cars Land and do some racing! I'm still in awe of Cars Land. The attention to detail just blows me away every time! I wish they put this much effort into all of their future work because it truly is something you won't get anywhere else, not even Potterland.
I can't wait until I finally get to Tokyo Disney Resort to see how accurate Robb's claim is of this being the closest thing other Disney parks have to their level of detail. I can't even fathom how mind-boggling it would be to have an entire resort be this sensational!
Radiator Springs Racers - Awesome, awesome, awesome ride. They took the Test Track tech and pushed it to be much bigger and more thrilling. I love Test Track but this blows it out of the water. Did I mention there was no line? Yeah, Fastpasses sold out by 11am but the standby line was next to nothing all day. We rode a bunch throughout the two days in the parks and it never gets old! Enjoy this onride POV I got. Apologies for the finger on the bottom left for the racing bit.
We then headed over to Paradise Pier to hit big daddy, California Screamin'!
California Screamin' - Every single train had the onboard audio working properly!!!! First time I've ever seen that! Good on you, Disney! Such a great coaster. It's fast, long, has some airtime, very twisty, smooth, just all around fantastic. It isn't pushing any limits but it is a solid ride that I always have fun on. Have another video! Again, apologies for the finger for the first section of the ride. Once we hit the slow hill I learned how to properly hold my phone to not obstruct the lens, so everything after this won't have it. No apologies for commentary, though.
Up next was Toy Story: Midway Mania. 10 minute wait? Sure!
Toy Story: Midway Mania - Yes, it's a shooting gallery. Yes, it's a shooting gallery that doesn't even use real target. Yes, OK, it's a video game on a moving bench. Still fun, though! Definitely no fun enough to justify those 4+ hour waits I witnessed in Orlando a few years ago, but for a 10 minute wait I'm not complaining! Those cars really whip around in the building! It's cute, it's fun, it's nothing special but it's a good way to spend a few minutes.
We circled around the lagoon and hit the wave swinger. They're always fun rides! I love that this one plays the William Tell Overture while you're on it. It makes it more exciting. I still get scared on these, though, because I just don't trust the chains. Since this one is elevated over a lagoon it makes it a bit freakier, haha. Continuing around we saw that, unfortunately, Goofy's Sky School was broken down. Not a big loss but it's still a cute little mouse. However, turning around I noticed something I had never witnessed before. ZEPHYR WAS OPEN!!!!!!!!!! I have never witnessed this ride operate. Due to it's design it can't run if wind hits 1mph, apparently. Luckily today there was no wind! WHOO! Of course we hopped on! Such a calm ride but it's a great taste of what amusements used to be. We stayed on for two cycles, mostly because I'm fairly certain I'll never see it operating again. Here's a Vine of my madness (excuse the random accent) -
Moving right along, we came upon the recently reopened Little Mermaid ride!
The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure - It's a great ride done in the same vein as all of the Fantasyland dark rides. I got to ride this before the refurb last year and while there were very minor changes (mostly just the "Under the Sea" room is now in blacklight) it's still the same cute ride. It sure as hell isn't thrilling but a good dark ride is awesome in its own right. Remember what I said about crowds? Yeah, absolutely zero line for this one. I'm fairly certain there were more crew members than guests in the building. We rode a few times in a row and I got a nice onride video, too! No insane commentary in this one as it's a very calm ride.
Armed with out $1 Walmart Ponchos it was time to give Grizzly River Run a ride!
Grizzly River Run - While I'm not really big on raft rides, I do enjoy this one because the themeing is pretty good and it has more than just rapids. The drops are fantastic, especially the spinning drop! Granted they're not the near-vertical drops that have shown up on other raft rides (Phantasialand, I'm looking at you) but they manage to soak you well enough! Thanks to our ponchos we escaped relatively dry and happy. We looped around and gave it a second go just because we could!
Why not give Soarin' another shot?
Soarin' - Yup, still blows. I will never understand how this ride has the reputation it does with almost everyone else. It seems every person I talk to loves this ride to death. I mean, yeah, it's a funky take on the motion simulator and you can smell oranges to some extent, but it's still a motion simulator that has one of the worst put-together films I've ever seen.
We looped back around and hit California Screamin' a few more times and Radiator Springs Racers a few more times, as well. We also stopped by the Cozy Cone Motel and got some pear soda. Holy crap that was a lot of sugar! Ask for half of the amount of syrup they put in the cup, haha.
Tower Of Terror - Worst crew I've ever seen at a Disney park. On Monday it wasn't bad at all but whoever was there on Tuesday was atrocious. No line management, nobody was in character, I actually saw them pulling out cell phones in the boiler room, the entrance greeters caught two people line jumping and just let them do it anyway, just ugh. With the rest of the trip and resort being so fantastic this crew just shocked me. It didn't ruin the trip or anything but it threw me for a loop. It didn't help that it was posted as a 10 minute wait on Tuesday and we ended up stuck in the boiler room for 45 minutes since nobody was paying attention. We ended up missing Aladdin because of it. The ride itself is still a lot of fun, though! We got a ride on Monday evening around 7:30 and had a WONDERFUL view of the sunset when the doors opened!
Time to head over to Disneyland!
Alright, you know what? Rather than giving a play by play of my two days, I'm just gonna go through the highlights in no particular order. We has park hoppers and bounce between Disneyland and California Adventure and repeating attraction reviews is boring. Here we go!
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride - Super dark for kids! I love this ride but YOU GET KILLED AND GO TO HELL! That's messed up, man! Also it teaches you to drive like a maniac on amphetamines! Huh, I guess this explains Californian drivers. Yes, offense intended if you're from California. You people suck at driving. Anyways, the girlfriend was in the driver seat for this one. Enjoy the POV video and the crazy commentary, mostly of me yelling at her about her skills behind the wheel!
Peter Pan's Flight - Seriously, why does this always have the longest line in Fantasyland? It's no better or worse than the other dark rides, yet it consistently has an insane line. Remember how Radiator Springs Racers was a walk on? Remember how crowds are nonexistant at this time of year? This ride still has a 30-minute wait. Anna and Elsa didn't have a 30-minute wait. I'm so confused. Still, though, it's a fun ride and the fact that the pirate ships swing a bit in the corners is always fun!
Alice In Wonderland - This was shut down last time for it's big refurb project. We waited about 15 minutes to see what all the fuss was about. The updates are great! New animation effects all over the place bring a whole new life to the ride that was lacking when we last rode a year ago. It also helps that everything got a fresh coast of paint so it's completely vibrant throughout! Here's a POV with no commentary because, well, the ride simply doesn't warrant it.
Dumbo - It's Dumbo, the grandfather of all spinning flats. If you're expecting anything more you're kinda dumb.
Casey Jr. Circus Train - Is anyone else tired of that soundtrack yet? Just me? OK.
Snow White's Scary Adventures - Another of the excellent classic dark rides. I want this to get the same type of treatment Alice did. It's not that it looks like it could use an update as everything was working well and looked pretty, but after seeing how much the new touches helped Alice I can only imagine what kind of cool stuff they could do in here! Here's a POV with commentary.
Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin - Just like Little Mermaid, it was a walk on. We rode twice in a row, once in the same car, once in separate cars. I noticed something funny. On the first ride I was actually aiming at targets and trying to get a high score. The second ride through I was just shooting anywhere, not thinking about where the gun was pointing, and I ended up doubling my score! HUH?! Also, I just need to mention how much better this version is over Florida's for one reason and one reason only. The guns detach from the car so you can actually shoot at things. Florida is longer and has that super awesome lightspeed room but the fixed guns BLOW.
Guardians Of The Galaxy - Alright, Guardians was an excellent movie. This is just a 10-minute preview of the movie. And it replaced Captain EO, the greatest 4D attraction in history. Hate on it all you want, Captain EO is awesome and you can just deal with it.
Astro Orbiter - Just like the one in Florida but on the ground! It's old school and will screw you up with G-forces if you're not careful! Play with the height of your vehicle and you'll see what I'm talking about. It'll try to eject you!
Star Tours: Mission Crap - I'm not a fan of Mission 2. At all. It sucks. The original Star Tours was thrilling and slapped you around like you owed it money. It was filmed with practical effects. It was all kinds of excellent and made me feel like a 10 year old whenever I rode it. Mission 2 is watching a cartoon with some movement. On the bright side, we didn't get stuck with the god forsaken Jar Jar planet this time! I'm a big fan of Patrick Warburton Bot in the queue, though! Yeah, the guy right before boarding is voiced by Patrick Warburton and put through a pitchshifter. And he's hilarious.
Monorail - It's a fun, scenic way to waste some time and get out of the heat. As a transportation tool it's kinda useless unless you're staying at a Disney hotel. They really screwed the pooch by not adding a California Adventure stop, unfortunately. Also, I forgot how good of a speed this one gets to! It jets right along!
Jungle Cruise - We all know what it is. Lame jokes abound but it's such a goofy experience. The skipper makes or breaks the ride and I can happily say that the three skippers we had throughout the visit were all top notch! We got stuck on our first ride in the piranha attack section and were attacked 4 or 5 times while they got a broken boat out of the lineup. The skippers in our boat, the boat ahead of us, and the boat behind us all got into it and were warning each other of incoming piranhas and headhunters. Good times!
Indiana FREAKIN' Jones - As I said earlier, the greatest ride in the history of everything, in my opinion. The amount of detail, the amount of controlled, synchronized chaos, everything, it's fantastic. They took what could have been another dark ride that's specific to each vehicle and instead made it a huge, larger than life experience that completely engulfs you! The fact that it mostly takes place on one huge, shared showroom with the other vehicles moving around you is great! You can look around and see other vehicles driving around trying to find a way out. Yeah, they're all on the same track but in the moment it looks like everyone is lost and desperately trying to escape! Add in tons of fire, smoke, explosions, and evil temple goodies, you've got a perfect ride! I could go on and on and on about how much I love this ride but you're probably already tired of hearing me gush about it so I'll shut up. IT'S AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!
Pirates Of The Caribbean - Yo ho, yo ho, I got surprisingly wet. We rode four times throughout the visit and on one of those rides we ended up in the front row. I never knew this, but apparently on those drops you end up getting a pretty good splashing up front! Nothing excessive, but it surprised me. It's a great ride after all these years, of course. Everything is holding up well. I do miss the Paris version, though.
Splash Mountain - Screw you, Disney. Every single time I've ridden a Splash Mountain, be it here or Orlando, I've had a refreshing splash. This time? Soaked to the bone. Yeah, we used the ponchos on Grizzly River Run but not here. Big mistake. Holy crap, cheap shots all around. Wave over the side of the boat right into my lap, secondary splash on the big drop that the person in front of me dodged, resulting in me getting a face full of water and all down my shirt and crotch. Geysey going off as another boat hit the big drop and landing right on top of me. Why?! Why me?! This ride is dangerous if you make it angry, apparently, haha. I love the ride but it was a sneaky little bastard this time!
Pooh's Hunny Hunt - Another great dark ride. Not nearly as awesome as the one in Japan (judging by the videos I've seen) but still fun! See if you can spot the disembodied heads of the Country Bears as you exit the Heffalumps and Woozles room! Have a POV -
Tom Sawyer Island - First time I've ever gotten to check out this version of Tom Sawyer Island and was a bit underwhelmed. The fort is off limits because it's used to store all of the Fantasmic stuff. The caves are short and there aren't a whole lot of them. The island itself is much smaller than I remember Orlando and Paris being. Still cute but but as good as it could be.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - They've got the kinks worked out and this thing is running top notch! No downtime at all that I witnessed! Last visit it was broken more than it was running and we only managed to score one ride. This time it was just whooping butt left and right! We rode a ton over the two days and never had a bad ride or a missing effect! The new finale with the exploding mine is so cool, it was nice to see it more than once this time, haha. Here's two POV videos for you, one up front and one (better one) from the back!
Matterhorn - Both sides were running! Holy crap! Haven't seen that since my first visit! The world's first tubular steel coaster, of course, and will definitely throw you around quite a bit, but I love this ride so much. It doesn't pull any punches. When you see a sudden twist or drop in the track, you're gonna feel it! It also gets a surprising amount of speed in certain areas, like the pitch black drop before meeting the yeti that suddenly jerks to the right and gives you a free chiropractic checkup! I've saved my favorite POV for last, guys. Enjoy this one.
Alright, I've spent way too much time in front of my computer writing this up today, so I'm wrapping this up and then I'm gonna actually do some work around the house and be semi-productive. Hope you guys enjoyed it! On with the pictures!!!
I'm in California spying on Orlando. Technology!
Grizzly River Run
See what I was saying about crowds? It was like this everywhere both days. Fantastic!
Cars Land was the most crowded of every place in the resort and even then it wasn't bad.
Incredible themeing all over the place in Cars Land
Whoo! Radiator Springs Racers!
The same photo everyone gets. So pretty!
Mr. Potato Head tried to get me to stop. Too bad, I've got a ride to go on!
On Toy Story you can be either a pussy or a beaver. I say, aren't they equal?
Zephyr with people on it!!!!!
Ample room! Let's see how many TPR veterans are paying attention.
Paradise Pier from the Zephyr.
The sign only says 5 minute wait because there's no 0 option.
The Disney Difference. Actually caring and making sure everything is looking top notch! You'll never see this at a Six Flags park.
Grizzly River Run looking pretty.
Another classic shot!
Yep, we did it. Nice and air conditioned for about a half hour.
It's a sign. I need to get to Tokyo.
Another sign of going to Tokyo.
Sheesh, signs everywhere!
I WANT TO GO!!!!
OK, this one is literally a sign.
One of our Jungle Cruise boats!
No editing on this, just took it while walking through the Indy line and it came out pretty unexpectedly cool!
See this station, Gringott's? Disney did it better about 19 years ago!
Best. Ride. Ever!
Long line for Pirates. Yup.
I can confirm the back row is still off limits. I know, ruined our vacation. Sigh.
The new Club 33 entrance by Blue Bayou. Surprisingly they made it more visible than the old entrance.
The Mark Twain Riverboat was getting refurbed so they had Columbia sailing around! AWESOME!!!!!!! Cannons firing and everything!
Tom Sawyer Island fun.
Missed it by four days!
Super Splash Mountain this time!
Hanging out below decks on the Columbia!
Heh, spiral butt.
California Adventure looks pretty at sunset.
Liberace's Fire Hydrant.
Great ride, crew needs to get their stuff together.
World Of Color!!!!!
THE CUTEST DAMN THING I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE! Yes, I bought a print of this and it is currently in my house awaiting a frame. Be jealous.
Day 2? Starbucks to start again!
They're burning alive!
Classic Fantasyland. How long until they get the 2.0 update like Florida?
Can you hear it yet?
How about now? It's a small world after all....
Yeah, the ultimate in torture. Front row in Small World.
And now, the photo you've been waiting for...WALL!
Apparently the monorail was moving faster than my camera's shutter, hence the warped light. Also, "crowds."
Finding Nemo was cycling all day long in preparation for its grand reopening! It looked gorgeous! Fresh paint everywhere!
Bring back EO!
Pew pew pew!
3PO is shiny, too!
Awwww, the original pilot is scrap.
Patrick Warburton Bot!
They were selling snake oil elixirs in Frontierland. They were delicious! I got Knowledge because I obviously need more of it.
This wasn't there on Monday. In fact, there were no Halloween decorations on Monday anywhere. On Tuesday? Everywhere! They were busy overnight!
Again, incredible themeing everywhere.
It's a mountain with a bear.
Yep. This is the last photo. Underwhelmed? Whoops.
Nrthwnd wrote:^ Well that convinces me. If I ever get the chance to do a WCB weekend, I will most certainly tack on a week (or so) for the more "lenient crowds" that invade the Disney parks, afterwards.
^ Thanks, but already know, so was hoping for 2016 weekend. Actually, me and my partner were postponing an Amsterdam/Paris/Disney trip, till now. And the new take on Colossus looks really great - I rode it in 1996, last time. While the concrete foundations were being built for.... Superman. So am hoping for a good one in 2016. But have a great 2015 to be sure!
x2isawesome wrote:After seeing these "crowds" kind of really regretting not going to Disneyland after wcb too. I thought about it then like an idiot decided not to.
Last year we visited the following week (so, really, this week) and it was even less crowded, plus Space Mountain and Haunted Mansion were up and running for Halloween. I don't think any rides were actually shut down during that visit aside from half of Matterhorn. It really is the best time to go! Kids are just starting back up in school so no families are looking at vacations!
I couldnt agree with you more about Indiana Jones. I have always regarded it as THE best theme park ride in history. I could (and have) go on and on and on about how great it is as well. Looks like a great trip! Im jealous of the crowd levels. Thanks for sharing!
KBrylczyk wrote:They took the Test Track tech and pushed it to be much bigger and more thrilling.
Wait, what? Sorry but I have to really disagree about this. And I do love Radiator Springs Racers, a lot. I don't even like the Cars franchise, but I love that ride. But more thrilling than Test Track? Sorry, no. If there is one thing I feel that Radiator Springs Racers is lacking is a really thrilling, awesome ending. The entire last part of the ride I feel like the ride wants to go faster, but it goes about half the speed of Test Track as it's top speed. IMO, when you have a ride that is based around RACING, your ride should have blown Test Track away, but it doesn't.
I do like the ride a lot, but to me, it's the bottom of the three that use the ride system as far as thrills go.
1. Journey to the Center of the Earth 2. Test Track 3. Radiator Springs Racers
They are all AWESOME rides and better than most rides in 99% of the parks in the world, but there is no way that RSR is "more thrilling" than Test Track.
Last edited by robbalvey on Wed Sep 17, 2014 10:24 am.
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