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unasked for trip summary (4/19 - 4/21)


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  • unasked for trip summary (4/19 - 4/21)

    Well, I just got back from my first trip to Disneyland. After a lifetime of anticipation and five extended visits to Disneyworld, to at last visit the park that started it all -- the ONLY park with Walt's personality/ghost still lingering about -- was quite a thrill. A THREE DAY thrill, no less!

    My unsolicited opinions (feel free to dis/agree)

    The Great:

    The Enchanted Tiki Room (Beautiful inside and out, with a MUCH better show than DW's Iago fiasco. This was the first attraction that my sister and I went in on our first day at Disneyland, her first visit to ANY Disney park. When she walked out smiling widely and singing the theme song, I knew I'd picked a great traveling companion...and that she was now hooked)

    Indy (Wow. The sooner they put this in Florida, the better. And I normally HATE transplants!)

    Pirates (the second attraction I took my sister on. She simply couldn't believe how cool Disney actually was/is)

    Haunted Mansion (leaving this, my sis asked to go on again. Immediately)

    Dinner at the Blue Bayou

    Fantasyland exteriors (perfect)

    The sight of the Matterhorn looming to the right of the castle

    The outside of It's A Small World (although me thinks WDW's insides are better)

    Carving Matterhorns and Tiki Gods out of those f***ing delicious Dole Whips (oh, and eating them, too!)

    One night each at Grand Californian and Disneyland Hotel

    The Good:

    Buzz Lightyear (so much better than WDW's...there's actually a story to it, less targets means more to take in, and the Buzz and Zurg animatronics are GORGEOUS!)

    Splash Mountain (Pretty bare and ragged compared to Florida's. My sister, who's never been to WDW, absolutely LOVED it, though, so maybe I'm just spoiled. When she wanted to ride it again on our third day, it was closed for minor log adjustments/tests)


    Alice In Wonderland

    Peter Pan

    Mr. Toad's (even more fun than WDW's now defunct version...and a hotter hell!)

    The semi-restored appearance of Tommorowland

    Disneyland RR

    The size (although MUCH smaller, it felt charming rather than cramped)

    The Bad:

    DCA (it really is a waste of money and imagineering, isn't it?)

    The Snow White stage show (The sets are great, the script weak, the actors barely bearable. Particularly bad: the Huntsman. His brief scene in the animated version is FULL of emotion and one of the movie's most powerful moments. The stage show gives more drama to the Bluebird getting sent to the corner!)

    Certain cast members' handling of the varied needs of the handicapped (My sister has a severe brittle bone condition that she hides to the best of her ability. She did not ask for the special pass until our third and last day in the park, mostly because she didn't want to needlessly draw any attention to herself, and also because I'd convinced/guilted her that the themeing of the lines usually added to the ride itself. By the third day, however, the pain in her back and legs was simply too much for her to take, so we went to City Hall and were given a special needs pass. While many cast members went out of their way to help -- Indy, Peter Pan and Star Tours' in particular -- a noted few -- The Matterhorn and Buzz Lightyear -- literally looked her up and down and then told her she could use the regular line! Now, I'm sure a couple of Disney employees are secretly well-studied physicians and/or psychics simply slumming in the parks for free passes, but surely not ALL of them possess the uncanny ability to judge a person's condition simply by looking at them, do they? As a self-confessed "lipstick lesbian," my sister takes more than the usual pride (and time) in her appearance. As a woman who spent the majority of childhood and teen years in unweildy back and neck braces, with all of the stares, mocking and embarrassment that unfortunately goes along with that, she has purposefully taught herself to walk and stand in such a way that does not draw attention to her physical imparement. Perhaps it's a testament to her success that these cast members so casually turned her away -- she "looks" fine! In truth, though, I found it ignorant and unkind. Just because the park has its share of folks that abuse the special needs priviledges, that does not mean that it's employees are in any way justified in making judgements as to who is deserving and who is not. I mean, hell - they let Michael Jackson and Paris Hilton skip all the lines they please, and their deficiancies are strictly of the mental variety!)

    Okay, so enough of that.

    All in all, Disneyland proved to be even better than I'd studied and imagined. I plan to go back some time late next winter, once all of the refurbishments are completed and the bulk of the anniversary crowds have waned. You people that live out there are so incredibly lucky. I hope you know it! Thanks again to all of those posters who responded to my many questions in the past two months. You all made it so much easier to experience and enjoy the park to the fullest.
    The Hedgehog's Dilemma

  • #2
    There was nothing that you liked in DCA. I admit its not a great park but it is a nice park. Needs work and time to grow but its a good start.


    • #3
      Fabulous post...having 2 sisters and a brother who are handicapped and my sister and brother in wheelchairs I feel for you and your situation. Fortunately, my brother and sister "look the part" so we never get anything but smiles and the best help. But, it's a shame that some people are so ignorant that they would not realize that disability can be unrecognizable. Three cheers to you for being another sibling who doesn't seem to give a damn about your sister's disability and being a great advocate for her as we all should be. Walt would be proud


      • #4
        I am sorry for your sisters treatment at the park. Unfortunately, this is a result of years and years of abuse of the special assistance pass by people who did not need them. They have updated the passes to avoid abuse and I had heard they were handling some of the passes kind of like fastpasses, you get a time to come back so that you don't have to wait in line. In the future, I would recommend bring a doctor's note detailing her condtion. That way she can get the pass that give her the most access with the least amount of time on her feet.

        I bet hearing this makes all you folks who used to rent wheelchairs to cut in line feel guilty

        You could also try renting a wheelchair in the future- most of the queues have been updated to accomodate the width of a wheelchair so that she could enjoy the theming, but be more comfortable.

        I know it doesn't help now, but maybe it will help someone else out next time.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Skipper S
          There was nothing that you liked in DCA?
          I "liked" the animation room, although I thought the Eddie Murphy hosted film was cringe-worthy.

          The Muppets show is cool, but I'd seen that many times at Disney/MGM -- it's been playing there for over 10 years now!

          Soarin' was okay...Omni with benefits.

          The rest of it failed to make much of an impression.

          In all fairness: it's tough to be next door to Disneyland!
          The Hedgehog's Dilemma


          • #6
            I am glad to hear your trip was enjoyable for the most part, no? The original versions of the attractions are fun and it's nice to hear what you thought of Buzz. I can't wait to see it all! And did you know that your first day in the park was my birthday? I'm glad you enjoyed yourselves that day. I wish I could have been there. July is so far away...

            So... the big question is, when is your next trip?


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