My trip to DLR
Well, first off, I totally missed the 50th celebration- so my visit last Thursday and Friday was the first in several years. However, all of you keep me informed about what's up at the resort. Nonetheless, it was a lot of fun to see firsthand what you guys have been talking about here on MiceChat.
Hurray for the DREAM PASS!
On Thursday we got off to an early start at the resort and when we got into the first room of HMH - we were greeted with, "Congratulations! ... you've just won a Dream Pass" (with fastpasses for all the major attractions in both parks). We especially appreciated it later in the day when both parks got insanely busy. True, it wasn't a new car or a lifetime AP ... but it sure was nice while it lasted.
What's with the crowds?
If Thursday afternoon and evening were insane, then Friday had to be totally PSYCHO. Unbelieveable amounts of people were in Disneyland. I usually try to go off season and I had no idea that school would be out for Veterans Day. We wanted to be there when they were performing Fantasmic and the new Holiday fireworks - but as it was - it was really too crowded to enjoy them. We ended up having to exit backstage of Main Street. I have to say, the cast members were great. There were a lot of grumpy people for them to deal with - but, by and large, they do a great job.
New life for old attractions
OK ... I've decided that I'm a big fan of plus-ing older rides. For example, as much as everyone loves Pirates, I haven't seen that much interest in this attraction for many years. The sound is vastly improved. There is a stronger storyline. And you even have some "Wow-factor" with the new Davey Jones effect. This is also the first time I've seen HMH - and I thought it was GREAT! It was fun and fresh and gave this attraction an entirely different feel. Space Mtn. was even more fun with the smoother ride, new music and effects. Even Small World Holiday was packing them in. It was great to have a mix of the classic attraction with all the Christmas songs and decorations. This ride was really ready for some new life. I have to tell you that more than ever, I find myself agreeing with those who contend that Disneland should not become a museum of creeky old rides. Walt was an innovator ... so I say keep on innovating!
California Adventure - the good, the bad, and the ugly.
I've always felt that DCA had potential. My past visits have been mostly enjoyable, but always left you with the impression that things were "half-baked". Well ... it's certainly not there yet ... but I'm still hopeful. I was mostly disappointed with Monsters Inc. It's just not as charming as it could be. Tower of Terror is fun - but again, it really does pale next to it's cousin in Florida. The changes to Paradise Pier can't come too soon for me. I have to keep reminded myself that I'm not at a Six Flags Parks when I'm there. They really do need a great night time show at DCA. I say this mostly because all the park-hoppers and APs all left the DCA at about the same time to make it over for Fantasmi & the Holiday Believe fireworks at Disneyland - and we waited 45 minutes just to reenter. What a mess! It was absolute chaos and a really unpleasant moment for someone who can only get to there every few years.
Indiana Jones - a shadow of its former self.
For some time you guys have been talking about the problems with this atrraction and I can certainly understand why. When it first opened, this attraction was a true jaw-dropper. The cue alone is the best at the resort - and the way they are doing crowd management seems to move the line more quickly (even without a fastpass). However, the effects are really pathetic these days. It used to be that when your jeep entered the big room that there were fireballs so big that you could feel the heat. The lava looked like it was steaming and it general this room was more brightly lit. Now when you come to that room you have no sense of awe or amazement. It's really sad. It's sad too when the jeep stops for an effect that hasn't worked in years. If you can't fix the old effect - at least try to put in something new so that it makes sense! I'm thinking that eventually they'll just turn off all the lights so that you won't know that half the attraction isn't working correctly. Having said that, I hope that they do a major refurb of this ride - update the effects - and bring it back to its former glory.
Annual Passholders - the good & bad.
I talked with a lot of APers during my 2 days at the resort. They were pretty much everywhere. I have come to the conclusion that having so many of them is a mixed blessing. Unlike Florida, the APers really do hold the management to a certain standard. They are opinionated and vocal - and when things aren't up to snuff - they pull a lot of weight. In order to keep them happy, the management must stay on top of things - which I think is a very good thing. However, for those of us who visit Disney less frequently, such a large percentage of APers really does impact our ability to see and enjoy the resort. I have to say that those ornery blackout dates that drive you guys so crazy really could help to keep the crowds more manageable. That said, the APers I met were all really nice people. A lot of them were young couples who bring their younger kids for a few hours at a time so that they don't get too worn-out. Hey, if I lived in southern CA, I would definely have an AP.
Please forgive me for the long post.
I really do love Disney and it's fun to hear from like-minded folks. Since I live so far away, I never post anything so I guess I felt compelled to make up for lost time. Please keep all your thoughts and insigts coming.