Well, another trip to DLR has come and gone but it was very interesting this year...not only because of the new expansions but because this was our first trip since I've joined this site and because of it, I noticed a lot of new things! So I thought I'd share some observations about everything in general that seem to be all the buzz.
1. Cars Land was GORGEOUS. I'm happy to say that I'm actually glad to have been proven wrong...the music and atmosphere makes it a very well-done Route 66-type area that will last a long time. Oftentimes I forgot it had to do with Cars. Great, immersive way to bring guests to the 1950's. That being said, yes, you can see power lines from several spots in the area. But it's a theme park, you gotta give them a break. Though I will admit micechat ruined the surprises, and the land looks a lot bigger in photos, this was a great, great addition that really pushes DCA into the "stellar park" arena IMO. Fantastic job.
2. Maters is super fun and has manageable waits (and the songs are fantastic lol). Luigis looks so boring, I didn't bother waiting for it (never saw it below 100 minutes over the course of my four-day stay anyway). Now RSR...the dark ride portion was INCREDIBLE! The animatronics blew me away and the pacing of this portion makes great use of the technology (again, proving me wrong that the race would be most of what RSR has going for it...the quick escape from Frank is a huge highlight). I do, however wish that the interior design was better...a lot of it seemed kinda cramped and fake and not all that immersive...I expected to forget I was in a building for 200 million bucks. But overall I was blown away. Changing the tires in Luigis is my personal favorite way of getting prepared for the race lol. Speaking of the race...I still think its too slow. Yes, there's a surprising amount of air (not huge, but it's noticeable) in the bunny hills that made me chuckle but the turns would be much more effective with more speed. I know, I know, it's for kids, but I think 5-10 more mph would do this ride wonders. And the rockwork does not cover up ToT or Anaheim on the beginning outdoor portion, which kinda ruins the immersion. And my only other gripe is that the grand music playing once you get to the waterfall is a little over the top for such a small water feature haha...basically, it's a great ride, but by no means the best at DLR in my opinion. Still pleasantly surprised. I went four times (twice single rider, once with Fastpass, once during Magical Mornings) and waited an hour during MM and 20 min for single (posted 45). I wouldn't wait more than an hour honestly. But I'm impatient. Although it did break down twice on us which really sucked...they need to fix the constant breakdowns
3. Speaking of breakdowns where is Disneylands maintenance?? Not once over four days was every major ride working all day. Space Mountain was down every single morning. Indy and Screamin broke several times...a couple dark rides stopped while we were in line. And RSR is a nightmare. Seriously, no other theme park has this many technical issues, and this ain't the first trip where that's been a problem. Please get it together Disney.
4. Screamin's music worked once for me out of like 5 or 6 times...really?
5. I don't understand the hate for LM. I hate that it replaced Golden Dreams but for what it is, a musical adventure through the moie, I think it's cute and very well-done. Just what DCA needed. And I thought the same thing last year when I rode it after all the hype. Plus, that building is gorgeous and gives great views. I really really like this ride.
6. Matterhorn didn't change noticeably to me except Harold is louder...oh and the seats are WAYYY more cramped. Very pai ful ride haha but I like it
7. Indy does need a refurb and this site pointed out the reasons why...I really noticed its poor condition on this trip and that sucks. Still a great ride though.
8. BVS is incredible, but no surprises here. It's exactly what the pictures would lead us to believe; a beautifully themed area that is incredible considering what it replaced. I may even prefer it to Main Street! Which reminds me a while back I raised concern that it'd be too narrow...well whoever said it would be as wide as Main Street was a little off lol. It's pretty narrow but never claustrophobic which is good. Crowds are controlled well through here.
9. Maybe I'm missing something but that Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is incredibly underrated. I discovered it for the first time this trip with my youngest daughter and had a blast. Its so relaxing and well-themed and seeing Grizzly Peak from the top of the forts is beautiful. I do think more trees blocking the hotel and especially PP/LM show building would work wonders for this, but a really nice surprise overall!
10. Everyone loves comparisons to WDW. One thing FL sure has CA beat on is queue lines...Indy and Roger Rabbit are the only interesting queues if you ask me. I don't see the hype behind RSR's line, sure it's nice being in the mountains and stuff but Stanley's Oasis seems like a very forced storyline to me and all you do is pass through minimally-themed sheds anyway...immersive but not fun or story-enforcing. Besides the other two attractions I mentioned, DLR has some boringggg queues. As for actual rides, I think the difference between MK's POTC and DL's is overblown--all DL has extra is more caves, the Blue Bayou, the awkward ending, and the shoot out room. Big deal lol (it still gets the edge over WDW but not by a ton). Furthermore, I think Splash and HM are better at WDW...call me crazy. All the other ride comparisons I pretty much agree with the popular opinion on.
Overall, I think I like DCA more than DL now. Granted, I'm used to WDW so DCA is much more unique but it has so many signature rides now--Screamin, GRR, ToT, TSMM, Soarin, and of course RSR...heck I'd even count the ferris wheel. Plus it has a wider variety of live entertainment and better dining, there's always something to do. Bravo DCA.
Anyways those are some thoughts for any of you who haven't been yet. I'd be happy to answer any questions if I can and welcome some challenges to what I said hahaha. But there you have it!