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  1. #1

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    Caly Adventure--Your 1st Impressions

    So I was thinking back to 2001 and was wondering what others thought when they first stepped into DCA. Even if your first visit was after 2001, I'd love to read what you first thought.

    My first entry was May 2001. I had just graduated from USC. On the night of my Graduation, we celebrated at Napa Rose--that was a Friday. We had a "Three Day Theme Park" Ticket--The ticket where you could only visit 1 park per day. The initial plan was to go to DCA on Saturday and Monday, and Disneyland on Sunday only. We figured since there was a new park to explore, we'd need to spend most of our time there.

    The 6 of us arrived at DCA when it opened in the morning. We rode Soaring, got a FP for Screamin', watched Golden Dreams, rode Maliboomer, had lunch at Soap Opera Bistro, rode Superstar Limo, rode Grizley River Run and then the Orange Stinger and Mullholland Madness.

    When we went back to Screaming, it was down. This was around 3 PM. We had done everything of interest. Screamin' did not reopen that day. So here we were... middle of the afternoon... and we had "conquered" the park. These were the days before the term "park hopping" was introduced at the DLR, so we created our own Park Hopper ticket by springing for another single day admission to Disneyland. I believe they were around 40 dollars back then, but we didn't have any other choice since we were bored to tears at the park. The highlight was Soaring and Soap Opera bistro.

    I just remember a feeling of complete disappointment. I spent my 4 years in college, always going to the park to watch the construction progress through the window in the fence. But I remember saying, "That's it?"

    It was like expecting a filet mignon dinner and being served a taco bell soft taco (the regular one, not the supreme with sour cream) instead. It actually felt like we were at Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

    That was my first impression 7 years ago. Seems like it was eons. What was your first experience like.

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    Re: Caly Adventure--Your 1st Impressions

    I was dragged in against my will, not expecting anything that could match Disneyland. Don't know how I developed that preconception, but it turned out to be right on the money. Within an hour, I was feeling extremely anxious to return to Disneyland itself, and I still get that way to this day. I'm not an AP holder, so time spent in the original park is precious indeed. The most aggravating thing about being in DCA for me, then, is the fact that something else nearby, something so vastly superior, is so easily (and unusually) accessible to me. Other than that, I don't have many reasons for disliking time spent in DCA. I even have a number of good reasons for enjoying time spent there. But the fact that I could be in Disneyland instead tends to put a damper on things. That's the way it's been since my first visit, but I'm remaining hopeful that things'll change. I want to like DCA, and by "like DCA", I mean more than enjoying five or so attractions in an "oh, that was pretty fun" sort of way.


  3. #3

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    Re: Caly Adventure--Your 1st Impressions

    Not being an AP holder myself, I didn't visit DCA until I felt there were enough attractions to buy a park hopper, which was last year. I came into the park not expecting much. First thing I did was Soarin' and ToT which both blew me away. I then spent the day doing everything else. Honestly, I quite enjoyed it. Although, it is clearly not the same quality as across the esplanade, I set my expectations low.

    What's wrong with the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk? It is one of the oldest seaside piers in America and has much history.

  4. #4

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    Re: Caly Adventure--Your 1st Impressions

    My first trip was in July 2001. I remember having a fun time at Soap Opera Bistro and really liking Superstar Limo. Give me a break, I was only 11!

  5. #5

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    Re: Caly Adventure--Your 1st Impressions

    Our first visit was in September, 2001, specifically to see the new park. We got in bright and early on a Sunday morning--and were soon done with the entire park by lunch time.

    However, we weren't angry or dissatisfied. We figured that it was a new park and was unfinished. We liked the novelty---having done Florida multiple times we thought it was interesting they went in a different direction for once instead of cloning attractions--but realized they seemed to hurry to get things on line.

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  6. #6

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    Re: Caly Adventure--Your 1st Impressions

    I clearly remember roaming the park, experiencing various things, and around noon thinking "is that it?" I kept thinking I missed something, that there had to be more. It really was a half day park.
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    Re: Caly Adventure--Your 1st Impressions

    One thing that I have enjoyed about DCA, however, is the fact that I have been able to see how the park has progressed from start to finish. That is a luxury that I have had with no other park. In only seven years, SO MUCH has changed. No more SuperStar Limo, Soap Opera Bistro, Eureka, Power of Blash, etc. etc. Now there is the Tower of Terror, "a bug's land," Aladdin, Toy Story Midway Mania, Monster's Inc. That's a lot of changes for a new park, with many, many more in the works.

  8. #8

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    Re: Caly Adventure--Your 1st Impressions

    The first time we went, I kept thinking(I=my wife...), "It is hot, there is no shade, the kids are going to burn, and what do they expect us to do with our kids over over here". Needless to say, it was a short trip the first, 2nd, and 3rd year. But overtime, they made some adjustments, our grew a little (to fast if you ask me), the landscape grew (still not fast enough), and now it is big part of the reason we make the trek down once or twice a year.

  9. #9

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    Cool Re: Caly Adventure--Your 1st Impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    I clearly remember roaming the park, experiencing various things, and around noon thinking "is that it?" I kept thinking I missed something, that there had to be more. It really was a half day park.
    Yep I had the same impression. There was really not much to do. I remember my friend and I were talking about how they should have just made it with more rides. I thought it was just mainly for shopping.

  10. #10

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    Re: Caly Adventure--Your 1st Impressions

    I loved it because everything was so clean and new. It was the hardest rain we had in SoCal for years so I didn't get to really investigate much.

  11. #11

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    Re: Caly Adventure--Your 1st Impressions

    I liked it.

    It has dramatically improved over the last few years, as Disneyland probably did when it first opened.

  12. #12

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    Re: Caly Adventure--Your 1st Impressions

    The very first time that I stepped foot into DCA, was the very early morning of July 17, 2005. Disneyland was celebrating it's 50th birthday, and people were lining up in DCA, so that they could keep things orderly, I believe. We were given special anniversary maps and our Golden Ears. We arrived about 5:30, and there were already thousands of people that got there before us.

    So I wasn't paying too much attention to the park that I was in, because I was too excited about the park that I was waiting to go to.

    I did visit DCA the next day, and it reminded me a little of the amusement park that I visited as a child. It had rollercoasters, and I absolutely loved riding the Sun Wheel (stationery cars only).
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  13. #13

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    Re: Caly Adventure--Your 1st Impressions

    I lived in Washington when it was being built but everytime I came down to visit I would look at the progress of the construction. When I moved back to Cali in 2005 I finally went in and was totally unimpressed. I do like going there but mainly only for an adult beverage or to check out Off the Page....
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    Re: Caly Adventure--Your 1st Impressions

    I was only 6 or 7 when I went in August 2001, but I don't remember having any problems with the park. I liked it just as much as DL (and still do). Sure it could & did need some improvements, but it's a great park.

    Superstar Limo did creep me out a bit though!

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    Re: Caly Adventure--Your 1st Impressions



    This was our first trip to DCA in 2004. We were given a trip by the Sunshine Foundation and had not been to the Park since 1999. We were thrilled! We made great memories, had loads of fun and enjoyed the different feel of this new park. I knew even more how much it meant when we passed under the bridge in 2006, my older daughter said "That music makes me feel so happy!" Watching the band drive around and dancing with the characters were highlights.

    There were observations though. The Cast Members didn't seem to have the same "magic" focus and the grounds were not kept as clean. To me that was a bigger disappointment than what some people think are sub par attractions. I'm sad to sunshine plaza go by the wayside. I think what some folks need to realize is that Disneyland Resort was not only built for those who live near and be frequent guests, for many the experience is once in a lifetime.
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