Went to Disneyland for the first time in 4 years yesterday and was kind of surprised. For one thing, and I know this is heresy, but I actually had more lighthearted fun at DCA than Disneyland. I don't know what it was, but DCA's atmosphere is just so much more lively and fun with the music and everything. I think it might have been because I was expecting the world from Disneyland whereas my expectations for DCA were highly deflated. I think next time I go my expectations will probably be more evened out.
I saw Remember for the first time and while it was by FAR the best fireworks show I have ever seen in my life...it's still a fireworks show. I mean, there's only so much you can do with fireworks and I actually preferred Fantasmic better. But OMG, when the Electrical Parade music hit, I got goosebumps and it just sent shivers up my spine to once again hear the music where it's MEANT to be heard. The Electrical Parade doesn't do anything for me in DCA, but just *hearing* the music at Disneyland was enough to make me weak in the knees!
Now, I know people here always have at least one negative thing and mine took place on the Orange Stinger at DCA. I was waiting with my group near the turnstyle when someone comes from out of nowhere and edged me out of line then signals for someone else to come. I didn't think anything of it because I'd still get on...but then as I tried to get in front of her they tell me I have to wait for the next one. Man, I was pissed but unfortunately I'm spineless too so I didn't confront them. I wanted to tell the CM but I'm not sure if he could've done anything since it would've been their word against ours.
I was finally able to ride Tower of Terror and, wow, that ride is awesome! I would not venture to say it's a full E-ticket, more like a D-ticket, but the library (LOVED the lightning outside timed with the video) and drop sequence were amazing. Everyone always mentioned how great the boiler room was but there were visible colored light fixtures everywhere and it just looked more like a ride than a real boiler room. The Hotel lobby though, my goodness, I really truly felt as if I had just walked into a real hotel, complete with a front desk. I was amazed at just how quickly the ride drops...even though it's extremely high up, it's over in like one second. I was thinking it would take around 3 times longer to reach the bottom, but it really fools you. I love how it shoots you up then shoots you down, it really increases the air time.
Overall I was really impressed with the upkeep of the park. The castle cannot possibly be done justice through photos. That castle is truly the centerpiece of the park now and it captures your attention first and foremost. It's painted so beautifully that you really do have to see it to realize just how great it looks...totally different than the pictures. Even though I just ignored the ODV carts, they were a major problem during the fireworks and Fantasmic because every inch is precious when there's 20,000 people trying to go 20,000 directions. There was one point where there were 4 strollers about 15 feet apart all converging into 3 feet worth of space...I'm not kidding, I had to literally jump out of the way and I accidently hit one while I jumped. I felt really sorry for the poor kid inside because it must've been quite a jolt.
Went to the Golden Horseshoe for the first time in more than 10 years and what a loss that was. The Hillbillies thing was okay for street entertainment, but I was used to the Revue and Jamboree and was completely disappointed...they even removed the section where the small band was in front. Of course, same old tired show outside the Horseshoe with the "Mayor" and everything, didn't even bother to glance at that one anymore. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to see the new pirate music group, I really wanted to but there just wasn't enough time.
I'm speaking from my own experience that I had yesterday here, but I was *extremely* disappointed in the street entertainment at Disneyland. Granted, I was trying to get on the rides and didn't have time to just sit down on Main Street but I remember there being one entertainer after another 6 years ago. It really killed the atmosphere for me and I'm sure you guys have probably seen a lot of entertainers, but I'm speaking like a tourist who visits once every few years and I didn't see anything more than the Golden Horseshoe outdoor show that I've seen a million times (or what seems like a million anyway).
I usually take it easy on rude behavior because people seem to get hot under the collar about EVERY little thing and I give people a lot of room to be rude since 99% of the time they don't realize they're being rude. However, there are instances of being *blatantly* rude, one which it is obvious that the person is a jerk and not just a simple misunderstanding. Cutting in line like I mentioned is one of these instances, but this incident went beyond that. An incredibly rude guest asked one of the pirate actors, "How much do you get paid to look like a fool?", to which the actor quickly replied, "How much do YOU get paid to look like a fool?". I applaud the CM for coming up with such a quick and snappy comeback because no one should have to take that from anyone. These guests feel that the CMs are theirs to pick on and they can't defend themselves, but this CM came back and taught the guest a lesson in humility...bravo!
Pirates of the Carribbean was kind of a letdown for me. The Davy Jones effect was small, the music was not loud enough, and the projector can clearly be seen for that effect. I didn't mind Jack Sparrow at all since he is VERY muted (until the ending, you could almost miss him if you didn't already know he was there), they did an excellent job keeping the feel of the ride intact. But the new effects just didn't do anything for me. It was a marginal improvement and I could go either way, but I slightly prefer the new one better. By the way, did anyone else notice the pistol in the skeleton's hand in the beginning (near the crab)? I'm not sure if it was there or not, and it's partially buried and kind of hard to see, but I thought that was a great tip of the hat to the first film since it was so subtle and almost invisible.
Space Mountain was interesting, not better but just interesting. It's WAY more like cruising through outer space now. It's so smooth and the stars are so much better. It really feels like you're out in the middle of nowhere. I thought the queue was a step backwards (never mess with John Hench's work IMO) and the ride itself is nowhere near how scary and thrilling it once was. However, the dynamics have changed completely and the fun of it is no longer the "thrill" as it is the *sensation* of flying through space. It's finally achieved what it wanted to do in 1977, feel like a trip through outer space instead of a rollercoaster in the dark. It's interesting because everyone thought the technology didn't exist in 1967 to do Space Mountain, but it turns out that the technology didn't exist in 1977 either...it took 30 years even after that to finally reach the level of technology that would create a true "trip though space" feel.
I had fun yesterday and the $85 was well worth it for both parks. I would NEVER pay full admission for DCA, but for $15 I got more than my money's worth. The Resort mentality has really changed the way I feel about Disneyland and it's just not the same as when it stood alone. Even the shirts say "Walt Disney World Resort" right next to Disneyland Resort. Disneyland has lost its once unique identity and I hope that somehow, some way Iger fires that Jay Rasulo for slowly turning Disneyland into "Disney Park #001". I am starting to really like DCA though and even though it's changed the feel of Disneyland...it really adds MAJOR variety to the Disneyland Resort.
Me (left) and my younger cousin...I suck at arcades.