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  1. #1

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    Smile April 26-28 Trip Report

    Just back from three days at DLR (four nights in the Grand Californian) – a trip for my son’s fourth birthday. We had AAA park hopper passes and spent the entire time at the resort.

    First, my son had a blast. It was his first trip to Disneyland (and my first time there since before DCA opened). I was sad that Pirates was closed, but I’ll get over it. Eventually…

    Funny – after the first day (when we rode the Monorail out of DL, and took a peek through the fence at the submarine lagoon), whenever we asked my son what he wanted to do next, he always had the same answer – “Look at the submarines!” It was his favorite part of the trip. Goofy kid. I’ll have to take him back when the ride opens.

    His second and third favorite parts were Tom Sawyer Island and the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail at DCA. He went nuts at both places – running through caves on the island and scrambling across the nets at the Challenge Trail. I liked both of them too – I always thought Tom Sawyer Island was a great place, what kid can resist tunnels and tree forts? Growing up in Northern California and spending a lot of time as a kid in the real Redwood parks, I thought the whole Redwood Creek attraction was very well-done. I loved the Ranger HQ. Didn’t watch the Brother Bear show though.

    Soaring over California was my favorite DCA ride. More than anything, I loved the novelty of it. Monsters Inc. was really weak. I was amazed at how cheap they went on the Animatronics. I think I could have done a better job in my backyard with most of the scenes, and I’m not exaggerating. The only half-decent effect was a disappearing-Randall in the locker room (a Pepper’s Ghost, I think). And that shared the scene with an “animated” Mike that was nothing but a green plastic ball with an eye painted on it rocking back and forth. Seriously, very weak. Monsters Inc is my son’s favorite movie right now, and he wasn’t very impressed (me: “Do you want to go on the Monsters Inc. ride?” him: “No – wanna go look at submarines!”).

    The Buzz Lightyear ride was fun. The Buzz AA in the entrance queue was excellent – they should take a cue from it over at Monsters Inc. I liked the blaster/score system. I wouldn’t want it on every ride (for example, adding it to the Haunted Mansion would be a travesty), but it made a nice distinguishing characteristic on the Buzz ride. I say that even though on five trips through the ride, I couldn’t beat my wife’s score once (but I was a dead-eye at the Frontierland Shootin’ Expositon).

    Tomorrowland needs more umph. It seems cramped and empty at the same time. Maybe I’m jaded. But I think opening up the Sub lagoon will help immensely! As a kid, that was my second favorite ride (after Pirates), so maybe it’s genetic that my son was so fascinated by it. During the Innoventions, ah, “ride” when they were talking about the old “House of the future” I couldn’t help thinking I’d rather have the house than Innoventions. But the Asimo show was great – more of that please!

  2. #2

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    Re: April 26-28 Trip Report

    Great trip report. You wouldn't happen to have any great photos would you?

  3. #3

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    Re: April 26-28 Trip Report

    I have photos. Not sure any qualify as "great" or not, but I'll post a couple as soon as I quash them down to a reasonable size.

    Oh, one other thing I forgot to mention - the earliest CM I saw was Class of '68 piloting one of the rafts to Tom Sawyer's Island. I thought that neat, since '68 was the year of my first visit (not that I remember much, I was two at the time...).

  4. #4

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    Re: April 26-28 Trip Report

    great report, I thought the same about monsters, and well buzz was not the greatest either. did you do tot? how about the coaster? any big rides inDCA at all? and yeah, pics please

  5. #5

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    Re: April 26-28 Trip Report

    The problem with Monsters Inc right now is the long, uninteresting queue. When lines die down, I'm looking forward to going on it again. I agree that the ride was less than amazing, but there's another effect which I enjoyed besides the disappearing Randall, and that's Boo bopping him on the head while he changes colors...

    I was there on the same days!

  6. #6

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    Re: April 26-28 Trip Report

    my hubby went this weekend with his freind. Two guys alone at Disney, no wives, no kids. They went on all the big rides at least once , some two or three times, both at DL and DCA. I was alittle disappointed in him though. He didn't do any of what I think disney is about. The ISMA and Fantasyland. No parades, no fireworks. They left the park arounf 7pm. I guess if it were me and I drove 8 hours I'd spend as much time there as I could. He said that they had a great time and went on all the rides that they wanted to. He also said that what made Disney magical was going with me and the kids and when he goes with us then he feels that magic but with his friend it was the thrill of the rides. He also said that the lines weren't that long. He came home last night and we went out to dinner as a family. I am glad that he had a good time.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMHawkins
    His second and third favorite parts were Tom Sawyer Island
    I love TSI too! I'm glad to hear your son enjoyed it. It was the only real "play area" most of us had as kids (pre-Toon Town, etc.) so it's good that he enjoyed the good classic.

    Quote Originally Posted by JMHawkins
    Soaring over California was my favorite DCA ride. More than anything, I loved the novelty of it. Monsters Inc. was really weak. I was amazed at how cheap they went on the Animatronics. I think I could have done a better job in my backyard with most of the scenes, and I’m not exaggerating. The only half-decent effect was a disappearing-Randall in the locker room (a Pepper’s Ghost, I think). And that shared the scene with an “animated” Mike that was nothing but a green plastic ball with an eye painted on it rocking back and forth. Seriously, very weak. Monsters Inc is my son’s favorite movie right now, and he wasn’t very impressed (me: “Do you want to go on the Monsters Inc. ride?” him: “No – wanna go look at submarines!”).
    Wow! Monsters is my favorite Pixar attraction and I just saw this for the first time this past Saturday and loved it! Interesting to hear your viewpoint, especially with a young child. May I ask how long you waited. Someone mentioned else mentioned the queue, but that doesn't really relate when you compare it to the rest of the dark ride queues in Fantasyland.

  8. #8

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    Re: April 26-28 Trip Report

    I'm glad your son had fun. It's great to hear that kids enjoy the activities available in DLR and DCA. My kids absolutely love the Redwood challenge!

    Will trade husband for Disneyland and DCA Pins!

  9. #9

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    Re: April 26-28 Trip Report

    Okay, some photos.

    Columbia rounds the bend:



    Mike Fink's old boat:



    The DCA Redwook Creek Challenge Trail (well, part of it), I was trying to get a picture of my son crossing the bridge, but he was moving too fast




    The line for Monsters, Inc. was 40 minutes the first time, and 30 the second. I agree the queue is uninteresting (also one of those deceptive lines - "hey, we're almost there. Okay, just around the corner, and then we finally get to.... (sigh)... the next part of the line." ). The last bit once you're inside the building is okay (I love the MTA rules posted by the "ticket office"), but other than that, you're in a courtyard with nothing to look at but the monorail going by every few minutes.

    RenMan, yes I'd forgotten about Boo bopping Randall - that was a good effect, and one of my favorite scenes from the movie. I guess I'm just surprised that Mike and Sully's AAs would be so static. And a big Henry P. Waternoose AA would've been really cool.

    And I think I finally realized what was missing from Tomorrowland for me. I distinctly remember at one point standing in Condor Flats over in DCA with that big rocket engine dischariging steam and the Monorail swooshing past overhead. There was a definite sense of engineering and motion, right out in the open. Real stuff too, not cartoon engineering. (well, okay, the rocket engine wasn't a "real" rocket engine, but it was a model of a real thing). I loved it - made me want to just stand there and soak it in. Tomorrowland had that same sense for me when I was a kid - a feeling of a real future (exploration, transportation, new things that we could do). Now, Tomorrowland is mostly about cartoon science - Star Wars, Honey I Shrunk the Audience and Buzz Lightyear. Entertaining rides, but will they inspire kids to be engineers, astronauts or deep sea explorers? Maybe I should start (if there isn't already one) a "Tomorrowland ride ideas" thread.

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