So...the Disneyland Resort keeps “changing things up” so often in the off-season that I literally have to go down there every 3 weeks to check out their new offerings. After going last month to check out the holidays at the Resort, I find myself back again for the “Rockin’ both parks” campaign. I also waited until this weekend (as apposed to going last weekend, when the “Rockin’” thing started) because this weekend, Disneyland’s minutely-changed 50th-anniversary fireworks show, “Remember…Dreams Come True” was returning!
Now those of you who have seen Remember know it’s a great show. I don’t care for fireworks that much, but this one of the few shows I really really enjoy, so I wanted to wait the week for it!
Anyway, you’re welcome to join me as I tell about my visit!
The day started off when TJ (TheBannedKid) and I headed out for the parks!
We threw in some Chili Peppers, so we could be on ‘Rockin’ Orange Freeway’!
We got to the parking structure around 9:00 am and were in Disneyland by 9:30. Eager to try out the Space Mountain layover, we headed right for it!
Ok…so I have good news and I have bad news about Rockin’ Space Mountain.
The good news, is on the way there we ran into my friend Chuck!
Pretty much the coolest person in the parks!
The bad news is….well, Rockin’ Space Mountain IS the bad news.
Boo to you!
BTW…if anybody wants to skip me lecturing Disney (which is somewhat advisable ), please skip down to the next available picture…
Rockin’ Space Mountain…where to start….I know! Let me bring up my ‘review’ of the ride, from Grad Nite!...
You take off, and proceed up the first lift, which has received a lighting change from red to purple. At this point you meet your "Space DJ". He was kind of cheesy, but he addressed us as "Graduates" so we can know that he is temporary. We turned to the charge up tunnel...
Do you realise how easy it would be to change this scene! They could have changed the lights or something...but whatever.
Next we came to the second lift, where we heard some strange Bass Guitar noises, and saw this psychedelic light show on the walls. It didn't really contribute much to the ride. Finally we emerged into what was supposed to be "space". ...It wasn't. you can totally see the track structure, the walls, and all of the light effects below you. They had some stupid silhouettes of dancers on the ceiling and what was most disappointing is that the stupid asteroid still wasn't working! While the music wasn't Van Halen, it wasn't bad IMO, and the transition into it was cool.
The ride effects were just from ok to stupid. Like they had blinking lights on the emergency catwalks. ...ok? Why?
The arches (which there were more than we thought) looked cool, but that was it. And how much of the structure I could see was kind of disappointing. It wasn't as bad as people said, but you could definitely see everything if you looked. You felt like you were going slower because of it!
Anyway, I left Rockit Mountain rather underwhelmed. I'm glad I waited (the wait ended up only being about an hour, 25 minutes!), but I am disappointed in how it turned out. For those of you who have seen Robb Alvey's video of the Hong Kong Space Mountain, you know that they received more effects than ours did. And I believe its due to the fact we got this "overlay", which is rather disappointing as it didn't provide.
....over half a year has passed since I rode and reviewed that version of Rockin’ Space Mountain. Rumor had it the ride was clearly ‘unfinished’ and would be fixed by the time normal guests could see it.
And that leaves me even more disappointed than I was before.
The “blinking and flashing lights” gig wasn’t working half a year ago. And for some reason, they thought the best remedy to this would be to add MORE blinking and flashing lights, as if the show would miraculously redeem itself! You see this smilie…. …that was my face, as I rode this thing. Not only was the show itself unsynchronized and unflattering, but the ride as a mere roller coaster was LESS thrilling than the normal Space Mountain. With a good 30% illumination within the building, you could clearly see where you were and where you were going during the ride. This newfound-perspective made the ride feel a good 10-20 mph slower!
There’s just something about the ‘normal’ version of Space Mountain. Something about the way the ride is ‘staged’. For example, the way your vehicle turns from the strobing tunnel, into the darkness. With a growing pulse, the “launch tunnel” around you appears in pieces and begins spinning, completely surrounding you. The music beckons you forward as your curiosity gives way to anticipation. The moment you emerge into “space”, you feel it in the music. Yea, you can tell you’re in a building…but once the ride gets going, you don’t know where the hell you are! To quote myself, the sheer “all consuming experience” of it is enough to make a new-rider’s mouth drop in awe.
With the “Rockin’ layover”, that is all now gone. The ride is no longer a “show”, but a series of somewhat-relevant lights and projections and a track by the Chili Peppers (as you will be reminded several times!). I don’t feel like I need to really go on any further. Disney, just know that you are getting a “Wag of the Finger” for this.
I don’t weep for myself. All I have to do is wait patiently for 4-months and I’ll get my version of Space Mountain back to normal (although, I’m worried the speakers may be blown after this stupid layover). I weep for everyone else. I have a quite a few friends coming in March and we’re going to Disney. And previously, I was looking forward to sharing this ride with them, sharing the experience. But now that the show has been replaced with something on par with one of Knott’s crappy and confusing layovers…now that they’ve taken a dump on one of the few SoCal attractions that I could really be proud of…..well. All I can say is I’m disappointed. So it’s rare that I say it, but: shame on you Disneyland. You get a ‘Wag of the Finger’ from Jahan.
Oh wow! I feel so much better! So happy to get that out of me! Trust me…it wasn’t “for nothing”…I feel much better now! My apologies to those who endured through it!
After THAT, we went and grabbed a FastPass for Indiana Jones Adventure and grabbed a ride on Pirates of the Caribbean.
A ride that I can always find enjoyable.
‘Pirates’ was great as always. Soooo detailed, to where upon every ride, I find a new scene object or gag that I find myself grinning at. Or perhaps I just have a ADD, short term memory, and am easily amused. …I think that may be the case!
After Pirates, we were sort of like “now what?” Traditionally we would head for the Haunted Mansion, but it was closed due to the Nightmare layover’s removal. And the crowds were non-existent, so we came to the realization that we wouldn’t have to rush around, like normal. We could relax! Felt weird!
I haven’t ever seen Disneyland this empty before…more or less on a Saturday!
We decided the best thing to do would be to hit Splash Mountain early, while it was still “warm”. Now, I don’t think it could have been more than 55 degrees and windy, but we needed to ride Splash regardless—it’s on the brink of a 4-month-long refurbishment. It would appear that they’re replacing the lifts or something. So Splash was a must.
The people in the front know what’s coming for them!
There was a posted wait of 5-minutes, but the cast members were just waiting in the station for someone to load into a log! So we just had to rush through an empty queue.
Can you smell what the rock is cooking!?
Anyway, I had a very enjoyable ride on Splash Mountain! The ride felt slower, allowing you to enjoy the scenes more. And our log was definitely a floater! It wasn’t smashing into the flume and injuring our asses as usual! The best part was, there was some large-person who sat in front of us, thus protecting us from any and all waves that splashed into the log! I walked off relatively dry and furthermore, warm!
I don’t mean to be all “creepy photographer guy”, but I really liked this photo!
After Splash Mountain, it was time for TJ to go test out his new camera around the park and after that, we left and headed for Disney’s California Adventure. We wanted to try out the “Rockin’ California Screamin’” addition too…“get it over with”, I suppose. Sure enough, the ride was down when we got there!
Ooooh! An evac! That would be like, my wet dream! Throw in Laura and some 3-Musketeers bars and you’ll have lost me!
We may have temporarily missed out on a ride on Screamin’, but at least we ran into the big cheese himself!
Captain Mickey, Admiral Munch reporting for training, sir!
Anyway, knowing Screamin’ wouldn’t be up anytime soon, we headed back into Disneyland! Shortest trip to DCA, ever!
Back in Disneyland, we were beginning to get hungry, so we stopped at the Bengal Barbeque and picked up some food. After a welcomed meal, it was time to use some Indy fastpasses! Indy was great, as always. Pretty much the best ride, ever.
After Indy, we headed for a 25-minute wait on Big Thunder Mountain. Operations were excellent and the ride was fun as always. I think I fell asleep or something, because I have no pictures from the ride!
Soon after that, we slowly made our way over to the final mountain in our Disneyland to-do list…
“Hmmmm…something isn’t quite right about this climb.”
Woohoo! An Arrow!
Elissa, any attempt at providing a witty caption for this picture has been ruined by TJ!
We rode Fantasyland-side, because the wait was shorter. While it isn’t as exciting as Tomorrowland-side, it was smoother than normal, so I had a really good ride on it! I mean…well…one always has a really good ride on the Matterhorn…it’s an Arrow!
Anyway, after the Matterhorn it was time to be a good enthusiast and go try and sneak a peek at the Submarine Lagoon.
Ryan, this one’s for you. We’ll be there or else!
OMG! That man’s head has disappeared inside that little-girls butt!
*sigh* …I think that was one of my favorite captions ever. I need help.
After all that peeking around, it was time to finally head back to DCA and get our Rockin’ Screamin’ credit! But first, we entered DCA and grabbed some tortilla samples. Only then did we head for Screamin’!
As we were walking to the ride, we could hear the on-ride music from across the pier by Golden Dreams! We got in line, which was unfortunately moving slower than usual, thanks to one-station operation. Although they were pretty backed up and they knew it, so I assume that the break-down from earlier had something to do with it. As we were waiting, I couldn’t help by notice this persistent buzzing in my head.
This is my “persistent buzzing” picture.
It ends up I wasn’t going crazy, but every time one of the ride’s trains would bank in our direction, we would get a temporary hum from its subwoofers in our direction. They had those babies cranked up SO high it wasn’t even funny. We finally made it to the station and got the front row of the green train.
First thing we noticed, was when the music came on, it was ON. The seats were vibrating! That’s how insane the speakers were doing their thing! And YET, the music wasn’t really loud or that clear, for that matter. The speakers were blown and badly! Now, after I went off and ranted about how horrible the Space Mountain layover was, you might expect the same here. But that isn’t the case, believe it or not.
One, the past few rides I’ve had on Screamin’, you couldn’t even hear the normal on-ride music. So the fact that I could hear ANY music, was an improvement over what condition the ride was falling into.
Two, Screamin’ was still Screamin’. Unlike in Space, where the altered show effects ultimately ruined not just the show, but the roller coaster, Screamin has no show! It’s just a roller coaster and a really really good one, at that! Especially riding in the front (and catching the juicy airtime on top of that first hill), I was rather pleased with my ride on the coaster, regardless of the music!
So I have to come out saying that I “liked” the layover on this coaster. Although, I am a little concerned about what hell those speakers are being put through. I wouldn’t be surprised if after this whole gig is up, if they just shut them down for good, or at least until the next refurb.
Holy crap this is a long Photo TR!
We’re getting there though!
After Screamin’, TJ and I were able to hang out with Chuck a bit more after his shift and then decided to go ride Tower!
“Except this elevator leads you straight to……..Mexico!”
Wes, you are God.
Anyway, with that, it was time to park-hop for the 5th time that day and reenter Disneyland for a final time.
Am I supposed to pronounce that “odd wiener”?
Something happened between DCA and DL however…
And with it, so did the temperature.
As my friends know, I can’t survive below 60 degrees. And despite my long pants, two shirts, and two sweatshirts (and the new beanie-hat thingy I bought), it was 40 degrees and I was cold. F***ing cold. But we had come all this way for the fireworks and we were going to damn well see our fireworks! Grr! The rest of the night would be about two things…fireworks. And survival.
Back in Disneyland, we hit up Indiana Jones a second time and promptly learned that it was warmer inside of show buildings of rides! So after Indy, we headed straight for Pirates (it was a walk on) for a second time. It was so warm and cozy inside of the show building!
Finally after Pirates, it was time for food, again. We grabbed some soup-bowls, knowing it would warm us up and ran, soup-bowls and drinks in hand, from New Orleans Square to Rancho Del Zocalo in Fronteirland, knowing they have out-door heaters.
Why have the heat-Gods blessed us as so?! Oh thank you heat-Gods!
Unfortunately we finished dinner rather early, with some time before the fireworks. So we decided to hit up the Tomorrowland side of the Matterhorn. Yea, I like Tomorrowland-side better! And it was also running very well today. Aaaaand to top things off, the CMs were backing-up on dispatches, so they transferred us off and gave us a free ride!
Free ride, score! I hate to reuse captions, but honestly, the only thing that could have made it better is 3-Musketeers bars and Laura!
After our third ride on the Matterhorn, we were both freezing again! We decided to resort back to our proven-method of trying to find an indoor-ride to go on, for warmth! And unfortunately, from that Matterhorn, what is the first dark-ride to hit your eye at night?...
You guys have to realize, I’m so damn desperate at this point, I’m willing to resort to these little kids!
…wait…I think I’m going to want to reword that! ...desperate for HEAT!
Yea…the ride still had it’s holiday layover.
I want some of whatever he’s on!
After Small World, we were FINALLY nearing the time the fireworks would be going off! So it was time to make “preparations” for the long-haul! We scurried over to Rancho Del Zocalo again for those outdoor-heaters, and grabbed us some hot-chocolates for the show!
TJ says: “We’re prepared!”
And with that, we set out to get our spot for the show, right where I always do…east wing of the hub, so you can see the Matterhorn and Castle perfectly. Not too close. Not too far. Perfect. But something was wrong…
OMG! 30-minutes before the show, and nobody’s here!
For you non-Disneylanders, let me put this into perspective for you. On a peak-season night, you need to be waiting to watch the fireworks 45 minutes to an hour before the show or else you wont get a spot! On a Saturday in July, you need to have your claim marked 2 ½ hours before the show starts, thanks to the stupid parade! Even on a non-peak season night, such as tonight, you need to be there at least 30 minutes in advance to get a decent spot! And here we are, 30 minutes before show time and yea, the benches are filled…the curbs are filled…but that’s it! Hell, even the traffic-control CMs are relaxed!
And for all that, 25-minutes before show time, the hub-music faded out…always a bad sign.
And the announcement.
“Ladies and gentlemen. Due to winds at higher elevations, there is a chance that Disneyland’s fireworks spectacular ‘Remember…Dreams Come True’ may be canceled.”
At this point, TJ and I both knew that there would be no fireworks that night.
But, we waited anyway, to humor ourselves. Sure enough, the same message was spieled 15, 10, and 5 minutes to show time, as always. At 9:25pm, show time, we saw the door on the Matterhorn (the door that tinker-bell flies out from) close back up. And the official announcement came…
No fireworks folks.
With that, the crowd gave a big “awwww”, but that died quickly as everybody got up and left. I’ve never seen a crowd resign so quickly! Usually they’re tipping trashcans and protesting and crap!
*In unison….“Awwwww.”* I need a hug.
First of all, there were no ground winds whatsoever. I have no clue between the relation of ground-winds and “winds at higher-elevations”, but I would think that there is some relation. But to be honest, I think Disney was so quick to call off the show due to how few people were actually out to watch them! Each show has to cost tens-of-thousands of dollars to put on, I’m sure. And if the point of a fireworks show is to keep people in the park during the night time, and nobody is still in the park at night time, then there’s no point for a fireworks show.
Not trying to be all “conspiracy theorist”, but it makes sense.
But the night wasn’t over. With no fireworks show, I wanted something else. And we just so happened to have reserved seating for the 10:30 Fantasmic!, so we were going to take it up!
To hold off for 45-minutes until Fantamsic!, we decided reluctantly to ride Pirates a 3rd time and then decided to go into a very warm Pooh!
…I need to watch my word choice.
Hitting is what Tigger’s do best!
Just kidding, just kidding!
After Pooh, we headed for Fantasmic!. Like with Remember, very few people had waited to see the show, at least compared to what I’m used too. So I was a bit worried that this show may be canceled too! But after asking around, I was glad to hear that it wouldn’t be. And the small group was sort-of nice! Made for a ‘private viewing’ sort of feel! Not to mention, these were all the fellow freaks who had endured the 40-degree weather and fireworks cancellation as well, and yet still remained!
I would love to be on the Fantasmic! Crew tonight!
And sure enough, at 10:30, the familiar female voice began her spiel and with a boom, the show began!
Omg…this is what it’s all about, man!
Dammit! Mickey’s left flare thingy went out right as I snapped the photo!
One thing that I had forgotten about, is the mist screens! For those who don’t know, Fantasmic! Pumps high-pressured water through a filter that shoots it up into the air in a perfectly even fountain, and then projects film onto them! This goes on a good 1/4th of the show! And while this is happening, all the mist from the screens drifts directly into the audience! So now I was in 40 degree weather, getting misted on by the stupid screens!
But it didn’t matter. I was enjoying myself. Despite seeing the simple show many times before this…despite knowing the obvious outcome of the story…I was totally happy to be watching the show. The simple themes wrapped up in 1990’s SFX blanket made for just the right medicine to the cold. I was enjoying the show. Little kids came up to watch near me, amazed by what they were seeing. And I had to give a laugh at how intrigued they were. It brought a smile to my face.
“Look what I can do!”
By the time the finale had come, when Mickey emerges onto the top platform, waving about with the lasers, the crowd had gone nuts! The smallest crowd I had ever seen gathered for show made the biggest cheer for the mouse! I suppose the die-hard group of fans who had waited for some night-time entertainment had been greatly appeased! As was I. We all stood up and leaned in closer as Mickey summoned the flares out of the water, watching the same tried and true performance as intently as our first viewings of it, smiles on all faces. And with a final burst of pyro, the show ended and the crowd cheered like mad.
At that point, I was in ecstasy. I didn’t feel cold. I didn’t feel tired. I felt great! The satisfaction of knowing the entire night, a wait for that performance, was worth it was intoxicating. I was happy. There is nothing else in the world I could have asked for!
…except for a 3-Musketeers bar and Laura, of course.
With the park open for only five more minutes, we headed quietly for the exit but stopped when treasure caught our eyes…Indiana Jones Adventure—Standby Line: 5 minutes!
Having been rejuvenated by Fantasmic!, we both jumped at the opportunity to ride for a 3rd time!
Sallah is my home-boy!
“Aw, man, he looks PISSED!”
Indy was an absolutely beautiful ride, as always. I pretty much stand by what I said earlier—it’s basically the best ride ever.
And with that final ride on Indy, under our belts, we took off for the exit. The park had closed. The crowds were leaving. It was time to go home.
“Goodbye. So soon. Well isn’t this a crime. We know by now, that time knows how to fly!...”
Well, that was a freaking long trip report, I know! But if you’re still with me…thank! I appreciate it, as always!
Feel free to post any questions, comments, concerns, or praise!