Ok, I'm just warning everyone right now, there are no pictures in here at all. None whatsoever. Alright, if you're still here, there is going to be a lot of rambling. A lot. Now that that's out of the way. I'll begin.
I think for many people on this site, Disneyland is their favorite place in the entire world; at least it is for me. I can't be happier anywhere else or be myself anywhere than right there in Disneyland. All the work and craftsmanship, the pure spectacle of it all, just the ideas and the dreams that Disneyland is built on is just so wonderful I can hardly describe it. So, being the giant Disneyland fan that I am, it is almost a mandatory requirement that I go at least once a year, and I have been for quite a while now; and I gotta say, as I get older and I mature more, I start to appreciate more things in life, and that's why I enjoyed this trip a lot more than recent ones; I'm just appreciating more for what it is, and that's a pretty good feeling. Now, the structure for this very lengthy trip report will be divided up by lands. I'll start with Disneyland first, then to California Adventure, so an all around report of everything, almost. I visited Disneyland August 19, Sunday, through the 23, Thursday. Well, without further ado, let's start with Disneyland.
Main Street U.S.A.
Honestly, there's not much to say about this land, except that's it's one of the best ways to introduce a theme park. It does a really good job of getting you comfortable and that this is just a gateway to more magic. It always gives me a really good feeling, especially with the music and how you can smell the various shops and foods along the street, and especially at night time. It's a one of a kind thing; and since they haven't changed the land too much, and they honestly shouldn't, it's a wonderful entrance to a wonderful park.
Every time I go to Adventureland, it always looks a bit better. I don't know, they tidy up a bit more, they sprinkle some pixie dust, they just do something that makes me enjoy it more and more every time. Anyway, I'll start with the first main attraction, The Enchanted Tiki Room. Again, it's another wonderful little attraction that is a very nice distraction from the rest of the day. All the stuff that happens in that room makes it just come alive, and like I said, it's a wonderful little distraction. Of course, I gotta do it at least once every time I go there, but I think next year, I'll make more of an effort to do it more. I don't remember liking it as much as I did this year, so I think that definitely improved. Next up would be the Jungle Cruise. It was great as always, but I really did realize how important the skipper is. Most of the skippers I've had are great, but I do run into some that only make the experience so-so. Now, I'm not actually blaming the skipper, it's just I'm not a fan of some of they comedy style they bring into it. For instance, for me personally, I really don't like dry, bland deliveries on the Jungle Cruise. They work in some cases of comedy, but I don't think it works on the Jungle Cruise; but that's just me. Like I said, great attraction, but a good skipper can make all the difference. Now last but not least, Indiana Jones. What can I say, this ride still amazes me. Sure, most of the effects were down, and I honestly think it's because they're about to fix it up anyway, so they just said "screw it", but it's still a marvel nonetheless. The lights, the music, the locations, the effects; it just blows me away every time what these Imagineers can do with what their given, or what they can create. Still one of my favorite rides in the whole resort.
New Orleans Square
This is one of the more charming lands in the park, and for good reasons. You have a little New Orleans type town, full of little shops and things running all throughout, you got the Mark Twain riverboat sailing on the Rivers of America right by, and the upbeat jazz music always helps to create the mood of the land. It's honestly one of my favorite places to relax in the park. Well, I'll start with Pirates. I love this ride. What, were you expecting something else? As a lot of people have said before, they mix the show elements so well, with elaborate sets, the thematics, the overall experience is just great. Now, I know this is an old and tired argument, but I really do not like the inclusion of the movie characters; and I'm sure all of you reading this will have your points of "kids today would be confused" and whatever else, but it honestly just takes me out of the whole thing when I see one of them. You know, I'm really getting into what's going on, and it's all great, the caverns, the treasure, the pirate ship and the cannons going off, then we come to the mayor drowning scene, it's all great; then I see Sparrow, and I'm like "oh yea, he's that guy from the movie. Cool". It's a very minor complaint, and people have been complaining about it for years, but it still bothers me to this day. Other than that, it's a classic attraction with no signs of being dated. Now, on to the Haunted Mansion. Honestly, I enjoy this ride better than Pirates. You'll probably disagree with me, but I like the atmosphere better, the theme, it's just things that I like better personally, and this attraction is still as amazing as always. How cold the entire place is, running chills up your spine, the ballroom, the graveyard, like I've said before, all of it lends to the amazing experience that really makes Disneyland Disneyland and not any other theme park. As far as attractions go, for me, this is one of the most timeless and best.
Well, this should be pretty short. I'll just start by saying I'm not a fan of water rides because I just don't like getting wet. I'm okay with getting a little wet, but I have a problem when I get soaked to the point of everything sagging. Fortunately, that rarely happens on Splash Mountain, and when I rode it again this year, I found it to be much better than most other rides I've had on it. It was genuinely more enjoyable than I remember, and it was a nice treat, because that's honestly one of the rides I only go on once, but it was still very enjoyable. The only other attraction would be Winnie The Pooh, and, like most attractions this trip, it was a lot more enjoyable than I remember, more so than other attractions. I've kinda had the mentality that most people have when it comes to this ride, like "it's just a cheap ride to fill the space quickly", but even still, I really enjoy it for some reason. It might be because I grew up with the original Winnie The Pooh movie, but it's definitely one of my favorite dark rides in the park; for instance, I'd rather ride that than Snow White or Mr. Toad, but that's just my personal opinion. I found it to be very enjoyable.
Ah, Frontierland. As far as immersion goes in Disneyland, this is one of my favorites. I think it does a really good job of transporting you back to the old west, whether it be the fort at the front, the shops, the various actors playing outside the Golden Horseshoe livening things up, it's just a personal favorite of mine. Now, I did stop and see the show that replaced Billy Hill, and it was pretty funny. I'm still not sure why they took Billy Hill out of the Golden Horseshoe, but for whatever reason, it's a good replacement, just as long as the Hillbillies are always performing somewhere in Disneyland. Now onto Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. One of my favorite things about this attraction is the way they use the rock work and the nature around you to make it seem more exciting than it actually is, and I really respect that. The way they use the canyon walls and the rock work, and put it really close to where it actually makes you feel like you're out of control is a special thing. It's definitely a unique attraction, and one that I do many times whenever I visit. Now last but not least, the Mark Twain riverboat, and the Sailing Ship Columbus. Now, I think it's kinda obvious that I prefer the Mark Twain, and that's the one that's usually on the water the most. It's just so peaceful and serene, and it's a very nice break, just to sit down, relax, and enjoy wonderful views. I did the Mark Twain more so than any other year, and I'll keep doing it more and more from now on. It's just such a nice retreat. For the Sailing Ship Columbus, it obviously doesn't have the charm that the Mark Twain has, and it does have that cannon part, but it's enjoyable at least once, but I don't care too much for it.
Well, what can I say about Fantasyland. It does a great job of capturing the essence of a fairy tale, and does a good job transporting you to this world of fantasy. All of the dark rides are wonderfully charming, and very enjoyable every time I ride them; but honestly, after Tomorrowland and Frontierland get an update, I could totally see Fantasyland getting another upgrade. Now I'm not talking about anytime soon, but after those two updates of those two lands. In about 10-15 years, I could see it getting an update; but for now, it's perfectly fine. Now, as for the Matterhorn, I'll give my two cents on the new seats. I like them better than the old ones. The old ones, while comfortable, were kinda awkward to sit in, as, at least for me, I almost had to lay down to sit in it. With these new ones, I have two complaints. One, the center of the seat is right on your tailbone; this is a big no-no, especially for roller coasters. Two, they really need butt padding. The only time I got back pain was on the lift hill, when it would suddenly give a big jerk, one of the times that happened it hurt pretty bad. As for the rest of the ride, my back is fine, but depending on how I sit, my butt gets pretty sore if I ride it over and over again, and I do find myself bracing for the end of hills, waiting for impact. Honestly, all they need is padding, and the seats would be just fine.
Now for the last land of the park besides Toontown, which I did not visit, we have Tomorrowland. I do have a bit to say about it. I'll just start with what I think needs to be changed. The biggest problem I have with it is the decor and the facade overall. It doesn't transport me into the future, I don't feel like I'm in the future. With how Tomorrowland looks now, it looks like the 90's version of the future. Usually, when they update Tomorrowland, it holds up for quite a while, but to me, it's already starting to look outdated. Second thing is Innoventions. That whole thing has to go. That takes up so much space, and it could be used for so much better. I just see it as wasted space, and when I went inside this year, it was not that enjoyable. Not too many things to do, just kinda bland, like I said, it's just wasted potential. I really hope they do something with that area, it's a lot of space. With Autopia, they honestly just need to update the cars to electric, or something a little more futuristic than just a go-kart. I wouldn't say take it out, as it is cool for kids to drive, but they could update it a bit. Now with all these criticisms, this land does house my favorite ride in the entire resort: Space Mountain. It's just the way that it's so simplistic, but it's so dynamic and exciting at the same time, and how they trick the human brain into thinking that you're going faster than you actually are, how everything is just a blur and a rush, and you're actually traveling through space. It's something I enjoy every single time I ride it no matter what, and I just love it to death. As for the rest of the land, Star Tours 2.0 is still good, ideal lines at this point, Astro Blasters is just meh, and Nemo is only worth a 10 minute wait. I think the only reason it gets long lines is because it does take quite a while for people to load and unload onto the attraction. I really do like the idea of going on a submarine to far away lands, but the inclusion of movie characters, like it did for Pirates, totally takes me out of the whole thing. For me, Disneyland is a collection of experiences. You get to fly through space, you get to travel through a Haunted Mansion, you get to ride on a runaway mine train, you get to live it up with pirates (for the most part), but that's just what makes Disneyland special to me. It just offers one of a kind experiences that most people won't be able to experience in their life time. One of them should be taking a submarine to Atlantis and the North Pole, but sadly, it's not. It's still kind of an experience, but not as good as it could be.
Disneyland is truly my happy place. It's where I can explore, live, experience things and feelings I wouldn't normally be able to experience without the magic of Disney. The whole place and whole experience are just so magical and wonderful that... I just melt whenever I think of the place, and I love love love going there, or even thinking about it. It's good to see that Disneyland is still as amazing as always, and it shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. The magic will be with that place for years to come, and I can't wait to see what's in store. Now, I'll post my experiences with California Adventure at another time, since this is already long in the first place, and I typed all of this all up from 2-3 A.M., so I really hope people see it. I hope you had fun reading, and stay tuned for more.