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  • Trip Report Tasman goes to Disneyland - first time in 25 years!

    Yup it's been a while (not since 1984)...but better late than never I guess I went to DL on 4/6/09 and DCA on 4/8/09.

    I was staying with a friend in the Beverly Hills Adjacent area and set out around 8:30, reaching the resort around 9:35 after navigating typically heavy downtown traffic and moderately heavy Santa Ana traffic. Catching the tram and then standing in a long ticket line (I hadn't bargained for spring break crowds!) I was finally inside DL around 10:30. Amerliorating the long wait was a gorgeous So Cal spring day and the anticipation of one who doesn't frequent the parks quite as much as some in this forum ( ). As an east coast resident my point of comparison is of course the Magic Kingdom and WDW. Parking and reaching the ticketing area was more convenient than at Orlando. Not having to navigate the Seven Seas Lagoon also saves time, and the plaza between the two parks is beautifully decorated, but the sense of arrival when crossing the water at Orlando is missing. So there are plusses and minuses to either resort in these regards.

    Checking the times guide and then verifying at City Hall, I was disappointed to learn that there would be no Fantasmic till June (this had been one of my top priorities). But mentally casting aside this minor hiccup I headed down gorgeous Main St. USA.

    As a visual climax to Main Street, the castle is a little too small, and doesn't have the same impact as the Magic Kingdom's castle. However, size considerations aside, the castle and street are quite beautiful. Main Street CA trumps Main Street FL on two accounts...first, because of its Center Street, which adds depth to the land, and because of its Railroad (but more of that later). The colors of Anaheim's castle also lend it a warmth missing in Orlando. Finally, the Matterhorn adds a wonderful and unique touch to the CA version missing everywhere else.

    The Celebrate decorations were up. The big envelope behind the station wasn't the best idea but isn't hugely intrusive. I loved the decorations on the lamp posts. If anyone in charge of Disneyland Paris took time to notice, perhaps they could learn how embellish Main Street for the occasion without hiding the wonderful architecture.

    Here are a few pics, with lots more to come (click on the pics for the larger sized version).



    Last edited by tasman; 04-14-2009, 06:14 PM.
    Down with the Hat


  • #2
    Re: Tasman goes to Disneyland - first time in 25 years!

    Nice trip report, so far. Can't wait to hear what you thought of the park after 25 years.

    Last May, my brother met me at DL for his first visit in over 20 years, and he turned into a big kid again! He had stars in his eyes as he revisited old favorites, and discovered the newer rides for the first time. He kept saying things like "ohh I remember this!" and "this is sooo great!" -- and this is a guy who thought he was done with theme parks. I hope you had a similar reaction.

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    • #3
      Re: Tasman goes to Disneyland - first time in 25 years!

      we missed each other Tasman. I was there on 4-7-09 .

      How was the weather? It sprinkled the night I was there. But other than that, the weather was great.

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      • #4
        Re: Tasman goes to Disneyland - first time in 25 years!

        Great pix TasMan ~ super bright and clear.
        I'm looking forward to more.

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        • #5
          Re: Tasman goes to Disneyland - first time in 25 years!

          Great start to the report, I can't wait to read more! Loved your pics and your thoughts.

          Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

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          • #6
            Re: Tasman goes to Disneyland - first time in 25 years!

            ^^^ Thanks for the comments guys. Disney Wrassler, I didn't get any rain while I was there, but it did cloud up and threaten to sprinkle briefly on the morning of 4/8/09. Other than that, the weather was glorious.

            A few more pics:

            a proper Center Street (for those who don't know, MK's Center Street got chopped in half in order to make way for a generic Disney Store):



            ...and a uniquely wonderful view. BUT they really should get rid of those wires...I forget what show they are pertinent to, but they are a blotch on the view of the Castle and the Matterhorn. Like telephone lines across the face of a major monument...

            Down with the Hat

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            • #7
              Re: Tasman goes to Disneyland - first time in 25 years!

              I look forward to the rest of your report. It's always great to get the point of view from someone who doesn't frequent the parks as much, and I find your comparisons to various parks fun as well.

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              • #8
                Re: Tasman goes to Disneyland - first time in 25 years!

                Nice pictures! And interesting comparisons!

                And the wires behind the castle have always been there. Not those exact wires, but ever since the 50s or early 60s. It is used to have Tinkerbell fly during the fireworks shows.

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                • #9
                  Re: Tasman goes to Disneyland - first time in 25 years!

                  Nice Trip Report! Can't wait for more!!!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Tasman goes to Disneyland - first time in 25 years!

                    ^^ Thanks all...and DisneyIPresume...good to know that the wires aren't new...but I'm still not friends with them

                    Anywho...I headed for Adventureland...



                    ...and straight for Indiana Jones, but the ride was down! They were not distributing fast passes either. The CM said it might reopen later, but couldn't give any more reassurance or information beyond that. First learning that there wouldn't be any Fantasmic...now this...things weren't exactly going to script...

                    So I headed over to Pirates. The sign stated a 20 minute wait, so I got in line. But after about 10 minutes, the ride broke down (I sensed a pattern here)...the closure lasted about half an hour, so all in all I waited about 50 minutes.

                    In the mean time I had opportunity to enjoy a view of the Rivers of America, which looked wonderfully alive with the Mark Twain, Columbia, rafts, and canoes all out in force...another of the many reasons why DL Anaheim is the best of the MK parks IMO (though based on the opinion of one who has been to only two)...



                    Riding Pirates was another of my main reasons for visiting DL, as I had only been on MK's shortened version previously. I did have a good idea of what to expect as I had seen a full DVD of DL's version, however of course there is no substitute to first hand experience to formulate a final opinion. They main differences at DL's version, relative to the MK's, are 1) the ride through the Blue Bayou, which helps sets the mood; 2) going both down and up waterfalls, which are supposed to represent going back in time and returning to the present; 3) two downward drops versus one; 4) more elaborate caverns; and 5) an ending which explains the initial caverns sequence...that the drunk pirates ignited the ammunition and blew themselves up. However, I did feel that 1) the MK version's more elaborate queue significantly compensated for the lack of a Blue Bayou, in terms of setting mood; 2) the additional downward drop didn't really make much of a difference; and 3) the ending really wasn't as different as I had been led to believe from the DVD. Furthermore...while, in the past, the lack of an upward waterfall was a significant detriment to the storyline of the MK's version, as compared to those of the other parks, I do feel that the Jack Sparrow additions give the Orlando ride a storyline independent of the need for time travel and as such ameliorate this absence to an extent. To summarize...and hoping that I haven't confused too many people...while I feel that DL's version is certainly superior, I am not as dissapointed with the MK's version as I used to be.

                    Last edited by tasman; 04-10-2009, 11:04 AM.
                    Down with the Hat

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                    • #11
                      Re: Tasman goes to Disneyland - first time in 25 years!

                      Great work, Tasman! I look forward to more of your commentary.

                      And too bad nobody bothered to tell you to hit up Pirates at night... it's guaranteed 10 minutes pretty much!


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                      • #12
                        Re: Tasman goes to Disneyland - first time in 25 years!

                        Great TR! I love your comparisons...I'm excited to see what you think of DCA later....

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                        • #13
                          Re: Tasman goes to Disneyland - first time in 25 years!

                          ^^^ Thanks again for the comments

                          So after Pirates, I headed back to Adventureland, and happily Indiana Jones was back in operation again, so I got myself a fastpass for a few hours later (standby was over an hour).

                          A few general comments on Adventureland, vs that of the MK...

                          I feel that both the layout and original architecture of the MK are somewhat better than those of DL, but the Alladin overlay has been hugely detrimental in Orlando. The garish colors and flimsy materials are a significant eyesore at MK's Adventureland, and the new spinner ride needlessly adds further congestion and clutter. In contrast, despite the somewhat cramped feeling of Anaheim's Adventureland...the facades are not hidden behind flimsy fabrics and screens...



                          ...and the only Alladin addition is this attractive gateway, whose muted colors, attractive details, and three-dimensionality in no way distracts from the rest of the land:



                          Moving on...I paid my respects to those two venerable attractions, Tiki Room and Jungle Cruise. While I felt the two cruises were roughly equivalent (I enjoyed my skipper in Anaheim better relative to my last MK trip, but that's subjective), thankfully the Tiki room at DL has had none of the innovations which have degraded MK's version. Again, if the MK had not messed with its original version, it would been equal too, or perhaps even better than, the one at DL (thanks to a more elaborate preshow and some unique animatronics), but the sarcasm of the "Under New Management" version really leeches all the magic out of this classic attraction. The picture below is from the DL version's cute preshow:



                          Sometime in the middle of all this I had a very satisfying lunch at Bengal Barbeque. The chicken with polynesian sauce was very tasty, and there was a veggie of some sort (green onion? cellery? dunno...) to balance things out. The portion size was also reasonable, not jumbo like most offerings, so that was good by me (this American is trying not to become supersized). The prices of course...were not as rational as in the "real world"...but nothing unexpected in the theme park universe.
                          Last edited by tasman; 04-10-2009, 01:13 PM.
                          Down with the Hat

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                          • #14
                            Re: Tasman goes to Disneyland - first time in 25 years!

                            Great report! Nice commentary!
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                            • #15
                              Re: Tasman goes to Disneyland - first time in 25 years!

                              great TR!

                              I love all your comparisons/contrasts!

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