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Disneyland and California: A First Timer's Lens


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  • Disneyland and California: A First Timer's Lens

    Yeah, it's going to be huge, so prepare yourselves!

    Trip Dates: June 2-7, leaving on the 8th.

    Part 1:
    Day One

    Let me be the first to tell you, Disneyland and Walt Disney World are far different. Having grown up with a few visits to Walt Disney World, the most recent with our band in 2006, Disneyland just seemed different. Neither bad nor good, the parks and atmosphere just seemed different from those things at Walt Disney World.

    I hope you will enjoy a different perspective and lens on the parks--from a person who has traveled to Disney World only a few times and lives in a radically different place than California.

    Being the total IMAX nerd that I am, I totally fell in love with Soarin'. It is, without a question, my favorite ride on the trip. Day One was all about Soarin', in various means--Soarin' because I had just finished school, Soarin' because we traveled via airplane, Soarin' because we had arrived at the place 'where dreams come true.'

    Okay, I know, enough of the romanticism. On with the photos! (Oh, and if you want a larger version of any of the photos, just let me know!)

    The day began at our local airport, Moline/Quad-City International. Heeyyyy green shirt lady!

    Believe it or not, this is actually a big plane for our airport... we'll take anything over the CRJ-200! This is a luxurious CRJ-700, which is considerably better than its smaller sister.

    Our airport is purdy...

    It's time to fly!

    Apparently, this aircraft series is the 'second fastest in the sky', according to the not-all-there flight attendant.
    We arrived and checked in at our hotel, then headed over to Disney's California Adventure while our room was still being prepped.

    'Award Weiners' LMAO!

    Time to go to two very nice attractions...

    Nice courtyard...

    Brother and I...

    It was fun, the theming was nice, and Roz was amazing!

    I <3 The Muppets!

    I thought the pre-show and film were funnier than the actual film, though.

    Our Fastpass time arrived for Soarin'... loved it!
    We then got settled into our room, had dinner, then headed to Disneyland Park for a little bit.

    Monorail time!

    Matterhorn was fun... I really liked its retro feel.

    They were testing Nemo.

    Tomorrowland side totally kills Fantasyland side!

    Love the seating...

    I wish they had the Peoplemover!

    This thing was quite strange.

    Time for Pirates!

    Starring Jack Sparrow!

    Pirates eats people... the line moved very quickly.

    I had heard great things about it, and it truly was. It's an amazing attraction--the details are great. I loved the Davy Jones mist and Barbossa's ship and its attack scenes.

    Haunted Mansion had a huge line, but we enjoyed it. It's in much better condition than Magic Kingdom's was (in fact, this is true for all of the rides).

    I decided to brave the huge line for Space Mountain.

    Tomorrowland looks great at night!

    Huge line...

    Almost there...

    Space Mountain was really cool... I loved the soundtrack!

    If they could somehow merge Magic Kingdom's track designs with this theming and soundtrack, I'd have a new #1 (and 2!) coaster.
    Last edited by pvcoasterguy; 07-01-2007, 03:20 PM. Reason: Added Info.

  • #2
    Re: Disneyland and California: A First Timer's Lens

    Part Two:
    Yes, I do love Disney's California Adventure!
    Day Two

    We decided to go to DCA first thing on our second day. The park was dead, and we totally conquered it in a few hours. I thought that DCA was a really nice park, actually! Sure, there are things that it could improve on, but the park had some really nicely themed areas and some amazing attractions. (See: Soarin', Tower of Terror, California Screamin', Grizzly River Run).

    Highlighs of the park:
    Soarin'--IMAX+flying+movement+Disney=WINNER. I loved it and rode it many times.
    Tower of Terror--I found it to be about equal to its sister at MGM, with a very fun drop sequence. :lol:
    California Screamin'--It was a nice, long coaster. The audio was magnificent on all of my rides, and the launch and its location are pretty sweet. It had a pretty bad Intamin rattle in the loop and some other places, but it wasn't horrible or distracting.
    Grizzly River Run--A good rapids ride with a nice setting and cool theming.
    MuppetVision--The Muppets. Beaker. Duh!
    Monsters, Inc.--It was a neat little dark ride, and the Roz animatronic is great and hilarious!
    Golden Dreams--Yeah, the ending is way cheesy, but it's actually a pretty good film! Whoopi!
    It's a Bug's Life Area--This area was really nice and well done; the show is great!
    The Park's Soundtracks--They added a lot of ambience, and I really enjoyed the Golden Dreams area loop.
    Aladdin musical--Great! The Genie was amazing during our performance, and the stage and set were very cool.
    Efficient employees, generally speaking.

    Not-So-Great Stuff:
    Mulholland Madness--Out-of-place for a Disney park.
    Maliboomer--Again, not Disney at all.
    Lack of DCA-specific merchandise
    Out-of-character Tower of Terror employees
    DCA's short hours

    Onto the photos!

    Grizzly Peak looks really great from anywhere in the park.

    The area around it looks really nice as well.


    In front of a fun coaster...

    This thing was open, so we had to go on it.

    As you can see, DCA was really busy that day.

    It was a cool ride.


    Funky orange thingy.

    The Sun Wheel, which made me pretty close to puking. Ew.

    There were some good views to get on it.

    Fun, but not Disney-quality. But props for moving the cars through that thing like crazy!

    Great on-ride soundtrack!

    For some reason, this closed for the rest of our stay after this day.

    Backside of the Sun Wheel.

    I'm trying to look happy and not ill.

    The entire park is very picture-friendly.


    And they're off!

    Had some delicious clam chowder in a bread bowl here.

    Who says DCA has no theming?

    We all enjoyed It's a Bug's Life. It was probably the best 3D show in DLR, but I liked the Muppet's theme the most.

    The theatre.

    Coolest ride ever!

    He's my favorite Disney character ever!

    It's a Bug's Land/Flik's Fun Fair was very nice.

    Yay picture with character!

    I <3 Heimlich!

    I thought the entrance plaza fountain was cool...

    It was pretty neat...


    Inside the Hyperion Theatre for Aladdin. The show was pretty crowded, actually.

    Tower of Terror...

    Love the drops...

    Awesome character! I'd love to be the CM operating her comments!
    We had dinner, and I then went back to Disneyland Park to ride a few things.

    The castle is really small.

    Tomorrowland looks cool...

    Star Tours was okay, but it didn't do much for me.

    This guy in the queue was hilarious, though!

    None of us understood this. The spinning was distracting and didn't allow you to see so much stuff! The spinning should be automatic like Cat in the Hat's (at Universal's Islands of Adventure) so you can actually see important stuff and understand the plot.

    It's time!


    It wasn't THAT bad.

    I'm glad the sets weren't floating like WDW's version.

    Going back to the hotel.

    For now, anyway!


    • #3
      Re: Disneyland and California: A First Timer's Lens

      Part Three
      Day Three (DLR)

      I started out at Disneyland Park early (to ride Fantasyland dark rides) and then met up with the 'rents, rode a few things, then went over to DCA.

      But a ride on Matterhorn was in order.

      A short line, but it's the crappy side.

      Alice in Wonderland was funky and fun...

      They had a large carousel, but I didn't ride.

      Fantasyland=Strollerland=Crying Kids Everywhere!

      Oh, the humanity! And it's only 9:30!

      Snow White was hilarious... it was dark and scary, but at the exit, right after the witch was going to give Snow White the poisoned apple, it says "and they lived happily ever after." WTF?!

      Obligatory small castle shots...

      This ride had the worst and longest line everrrr...

      But heeyyyyyy Spanish hombre caliente y guapo!

      Finally almost there!

      It was cute, but very short.

      I loved watching the canoes.

      Prepare to drop...

      Now. Anyway, Splash Mountain was fun and in better condition than WDW's version. However, I hated the single-file logs which made the ride have a horrid capacity. I do like how they're shaped like a very non-Disney part of the male anatomy, though.

      Hottt! Also, she had these funky bouncy shoes. LMAO.

      This guy in the line for Pirate's Lair was funny, though hardly anyone paid attention to him.

      Tom Sawyer's Island/Pirate's Lair was a nice escape from the crowds. Very nice and relaxing.

      Trapped in the pirate ball voodoo thingy.

      They also had a cool Jack Sparrow show thing.


      I loved the Hello, Dolly! music playing on Main Street. "Put on your Sunday Clothes when you feel doooowwwn and outttttt!"

      To DCA!

      The tower line was a tad long, but manageable. I love all of the queue details.


      They must be in....

      The Twilight Zone.

      Cool photo op with brother.

      Roz rocks my world!

      DCA is purdy.

      Loved the boardwalk feel of Paradise Pier, though that area should be confined only to the Sun Wheel and Cali Screamin'.

      Loved this shot...

      The rough-ish loop.

      Soooo didn't fit in at all!

      Cool flat!

      Um... yeah, hi... not every guy should wear a Jack Sparrow hat. Okay, great!
      Last edited by pvcoasterguy; 07-01-2007, 07:40 PM. Reason: Content, escaped my proofreading!


      • #4
        Re: Disneyland and California: A First Timer's Lens

        Part Four


        • #5
          Re: Disneyland and California: A First Timer's Lens

          Ermm... cool TR! I had to read a couple things twice to make sure I'd read them correctly, but yeah, cool photos.

          DISNEY TRIPS
          October 2000 - Walt Disney World Resort
          October 2001 - Walt Disney World Resort
          April 2002 - Disneyland Resort Paris
          October 2003 - Walt Disney World Resort
          October 2004 - Walt Disney World Resort
          October 2005 - Walt Disney World Resort
          October 2007 - Walt Disney World Resort
          December 2008 - Walt Disney World Resort
          July 2009 - Disneyland Resort Paris
          July 2011 - Disneyland Resort California
          July 2012-13 - UK Cultural Representative Cast Member at Epcot
          February 2013 - Disneyland Resort California
          February 2013 -Tokyo Disney Resort

          (VERY OLD!)
          TRIP REPORTS


          • #6
            Re: Disneyland and California: A First Timer's Lens

            Part Five
            Auf Wiedersehen
            Day 5 and our Final Day

            Our final day in the parks was definitely the best day. With quite small crowds, we were able to ride all of our favorites a few extra times--apparently it was a passholder blackout date.

            Day Five

            The Coches were out in front of Soarin'!

            I love this ride.

            It's definitely the star attraction of California Adventure, in my mind.

            Cruella was so awesome! She was the most in character I have ever seen someone at Disney. She was perfect with everything--she had that character nailed!

            No, I didn't wet myself, but I did get soaked on Grizzly River Run.
            While we were in the Animation building, we decided to do the exhibit where you meet a Disney animator and learn how to draw a Disney character. After getting in line, we were approached by two Disney executives, and were told that our showing of the exhibit/show would be filmed and used for promo of Hong Kong's Animation building. They asked us to fill out a release form, and we began the show, with a much smaller audience than normal. It was fun to see the film crew filming us, and afterwards, they asked my brother and I to do a testimonial. It was pretty cool, and definitely a fun little addition to our vacation.

            These doors lead to a very important place...

            Can you guess what it is?

            It's the shrine of Whoopi, of course!

            In all seriousness, the show was actually pretty good. I loved the music in the queue and would really like to find it somewhere. Anywho, it was really sad seeing like ten other people in the show during a busy day at DCA.

            It's worth a look... it's pretty cute.

            I liked the mural on the side of the buiding, though.

            Grizzly River Run was good fun, and definitely more eventful than Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom, which is short and pretty boring for a rapids ride.

            The Redwood Challenge Trail, or whatever it's called was a nice little area.

            It was really nicely done, and kids seemed to love it.

            Yes, Rock, I saw what was in the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room... and I thought it was really cute and funny.

            Oh, and I got a boat all to myself on it's a small world. It was hilarious!

            Yeah, it's crowded.

            It's a small world after alllll

            But it's a small world was running in hyperspeed that night!

            LOL, I love the depiction of Canada.

            Yeah, don't be jealous that I have an it's a small world boat all to myself. :lol:

            And I LMAOed at the drunk/stoned/messed up hippo and other animals on the ride.

            Okay, sure there are penguins in South America!

            Woo hoo Mexico!

            A pink kangaroo...

            WTF?! Are there any NORMAL animals in here?

            The grand finale!

            Buh-Bye now.

            Space Mountain looks really sweet at night.

            Final Day

            It was nice just sitting and watching everything happening.

            Heeyyyy Canoe CM!

            Space Mountain's effects and soundtrack here beat Florida's version, but I still love Florida's track layout/in-line seating more. Combine the two, and I'd be in heaven!

            Hello C-3PO

            This simulator is fun and effective, but it doesn't make me nauseaous! Yay!

            Words of wisdom at the Indiana Jones exit... I love this ride. The pre-show/safety video is hilarious, and the movements of the vehicles amaze me. I enjoyed how the characters said different things on every ride. Also, the boulder effect totally got me everytime, but the first time, I wasn't expecting it at all! Very cool, though it seems like there is more of a sense of urgency on Dinosaur (Animal Kingdom), which I also enjoy.

            It was a perfect day for pictures at DCA, so I took quite a few.

            Last one!

            Loved Matterhorn... what a fun ride!

            I also saw part of the parade, it was okay, but parades aren't really my thing.

            He really created something, didn't he?

            This trip was all about Soarin', in various means--Soarin' because we had come to the place where dreams come true, Soarin' because we had escaped from reality, Soarin' because nothing mattered for a whole week, Soarin' because we had just seen what life was really about--having fun. And to believe it all started with a mouse...

            Auf wiedersehen!


            • #7
              Re: Disneyland and California: A First Timer's Lens

              Glad you had a great time, and thanks for the wonderful photographs!

              (And yes, there really are penguins in South America. Really.)


              • #8
                Re: Disneyland and California: A First Timer's Lens

                I loved loved loved this report! I LOL'd at you taking pics of some random guapo guy in the peter pan queue, as well as your description of the splash mountain logs.

                As for why everyone at Knott's is a gangsta... the theme park is located in gangsta central. Or at least... "dress like a gangsta" central.

                Glad you enjoyed yourself and it's fun seeing it from a first timer's point of view too!

                Visit my mice chat toy shop!

                Track Disney Animation Presence in the Theme Parks Worldwide!


                • #9
                  Re: Disneyland and California: A First Timer's Lens

                  Oh and though it was your first time and everything, you are wise to notice the coolness of the Tomorrowland side of the Matterhorn.

                  Visit my mice chat toy shop!

                  Track Disney Animation Presence in the Theme Parks Worldwide!


                  • #10
                    Re: Disneyland and California: A First Timer's Lens

                    Originally posted by pvcoasterguy View Post

                    Now. Anyway, Splash Mountain was fun and in better condition than WDW's version. However, I hated the single-file logs which made the ride have a horrid capacity. I do like how they're shaped like a dick, though.
                    Cool flat!
                    You TOTALLY made me laugh,. but you might want to change that part... you could get in a wee bit of trouble!


                    To live would be an awfully big adventure.


                    • #11
                      Re: Disneyland and California: A First Timer's Lens

                      That's a whole bunch of pics to digest. Great shots. I hope you had fun!
                      Home away from Home.


                      • #12
                        Re: Disneyland and California: A First Timer's Lens

                        Great pictures and commentary! It's always interesting to see Disneyland from a first timers point of view. Glad you had a good time


                        • #13
                          Re: Disneyland and California: A First Timer's Lens

                          Great TR, glad you had a great time.

                          And as somebody already mentioned it, yes there are penguins in south america.

                          Regarding Knott's, I agree with your assessment, which is why we haven't gone to the park in more than a year. The operations in the park are seriously the worst of any park I've ever been to. Yes, even worst than Magic Mtn. Too bad you couldn't have seen Knott's in it's good days and ridden Ghostrider before it got the suck.

                          Don't feel so bad about not riding it, your back would still be hurting.


                          • #14
                            Re: Disneyland and California: A First Timer's Lens

                            Great photos. I too love Soarin.


                            • #15
                              Re: Disneyland and California: A First Timer's Lens

                              that was a great TR...and yes DCA is a nice is good knowing that there are more DCA lovers out there!
                              Last edited by Hilsbro; 07-01-2007, 07:19 PM.


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