DCA Christmas Trip Report and Analysis
by, 01-16-2009 at 04:30 PM
[SIZE=3]We settled on visiting the park on December 30, thinking most locals would be back to work and many visitors gone. Not perfect but our best shot at the lightest crowds. Calling Disney Dining thirty days out to reserve a lunch reservation for [I]Blue Bayou[/I], I was surprised that the cast member answered my ringing call by saying "Hello, You probably want the Blue Bayou- and it is fully sold out!" My shocked response was "Yes- can you offer anything else?" After verifying my request, date and time, his reply informed me that in his estimation, that restaurant was full but over-rated, and [I]Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen[/I] was much better both in quality and in price. I booked it, feeling a bit disappointed until I found Bayou's on line menu and saw their outrageous prices![/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Due to a change of family plans once we arrived, I had a free day to myself on the 29th. I decided to go to California Adventure with my youngest daughter- the only person who wanted to join me; the others stating DCA wasn’t yet worth the price of admission.[/SIZE]
[URL="http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_NB7Bwdam9SY/SWfgXrnIJ8I/AAAAAAAABoQ/e4Uz5ZlzkaY/s1600-h/screaminandmidwaymania.jpg"][SIZE=3][IMG]http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_NB7Bwdam9SY/SWfgXrnIJ8I/AAAAAAAABoQ/e4Uz5ZlzkaY/s200/screaminandmidwaymania.jpg[/IMG][/SIZE][/URL]We had our own list of must dos for the park: [I]Blue Sky Cellar, Aladdin, Toy Story Midway Mania, Turtle Talk, Bug’s Land[/I], and the [I]Redwood Creek Challenge Trail[/I]- all items one or both of us had not experienced.
[SIZE=3]After a quick run to the resort the night before to purchase tickets, the morning of our DCA jaunt, we proceeded to stop and have beignets and coffee for a quick breakfast prior to the younger park’s 10:00am opening. Unlike Magic Mornings at Disneyland, we were let into the park and chose to head towards [I]Soarin’ Over California[/I] to start our day.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]This attraction never ceases to thrill and impress us- and make us proud we spent so many years living in the Golden State. What an error on Disney’s part to allow this headlining attraction- a California Adventure original- to make its way unchanged to Epcot! This should have remained in California as the park centerpiece, but, I digress.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]An exhilarating flight and Fastpasses in hand for later, we were off to [I]Toy Story Midway Mania[/I]. Passing the fully drained bay, we were amazed at how ordinary and ugly the entire area was without water. This was the price to play for poorly conceiving and building a park without a nighttime water show already in place. Arriving at the entry to this new-fangled shooting gallery, the line was now a posted 45 minute wait. We settled in, taking in the wealth of detail around us.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]The beginning stages of transformation of the Pier were startling! This was what this area of the park should have been like at opening. At once elegant, fun, and totally in theme, Paradise Pier 2.0 will eventually live up to its expectation and name. The detail reminded me of what the Imagineers could do when given the proper time and budget. The colors were warm and inviting, the attention to craftsmanship evident. Can’t wait for more![/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]Our local sideshow barker, a Mr. Potato Head, was witty and fully functional. Very impressive. Reading each poster for Midway Mania, I gleaned as many facts and hints as possible. Boarding the attraction vehicle in anticipation of the first ride of a new Disney attraction is always an exciting event for me. What would this be like? Would I enjoy it? Could Disney dazzle me after all these years?[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]How can I describe [I]Toy Story Midway Mania[/I]? In one word: disappointing.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3]After all the hype, the on-line photos and trip reports, I found myself having an enjoyable time but not being astonished by the end result. Traveling in front of a bunch of screens with a minimum amount of props and set pieces is not my idea of a world class attraction.[/SIZE]
[SIZE=3][I]Midway Mania[/I] is a nice "C" ticket attraction, housed in a "D" ticket building, found in an "E" ticket location. Admittedly, this new attraction was what needed to be present in the Pier moving forward. [I]Midway Mania[/I] is a step in the right direction but not worthy of the attention it has received.[/SIZE]
More to come- more on my blog, too!