USA 01/19 – Disneyland

Day 12 – Disneyland

So here we are, back on resort. Another unnatural 8:30 start at a theme park to beat those crowds, let’s kill it again. This was looking to be a very different task to the other resort gate as I cannot deny the impressive number of attractions I had on my list for the main park, which sounds even better when most of the clones of rides I’ve done in their other resorts weren’t included in the list.

#1 Space Mountain

Powered to Space Mountain where I got another confirmation that something at Tokyo was actually wrong and it wasn’t just me.
This one runs properly and it’s amazing.
Music? Check.
Effects working? Check.
So dark you can’t see the track? Check.
Hauling arse and actually a decent ride? Check.
Sad it stayed busy and never got back on it.

Not a fan of Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. The way it’s presented makes it quite clear that they’ve slapped another IP on an older ride and not really done much with it other than a few screens and some obnoxious movie quotes. Easy win for 20,000 Leagues.

This looks exciting though. Until it broke down. Turns out it’s a tad temperamental.
Grabbed a fastpass while they fixed it and then got stuck outside Toon Town.
Didn’t know they did staggered openings here, but this area was roped off for a few more minutes.

#2 Gadget’s Go Coaster

The few minutes was worth it, allowing us to get the +1 with maximum efficiency.

Didn’t particularly need to ride Roger Rabbit. Went to have a look anyway. Also broken.

#3 Matterhorn Bobsleds (Right)

The Bobs are back and they’re good fun. The animatronic yeti slithering out at various moments was rather amusing, as was the tracking of the ride and the way it manouevred itself endlessly downwards in a clunky fashion. Had to ride a bit defensively with a bag in tow but that added to the enjoyment.
Didn’t expect the splashdown at the end. Ahead of it’s time.

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was new to me. Old school style dark ride crashing through cardboard cutouts at a million miles an hour. Not sure why it was in London, he lives in the countryside doesn’t he?
Had a good moment of recklessly driving down a pier which reminded me of Santa Monica the other day.

Couldn’t find the entrance to Alice and the park was starting to get faffy with a million pushchairs in the way at every turn. That’s enough of Fantasyland for now.

#4 Big Thunder Mountain

Ol’ Big Thunder. Can’t go wrong with them really.
Good effects on lift 3, good interaction with other trains and lots of other little details. Still tamer than the Paris version.
Grabbed a fast pass for Indy before moving on.

Christmas strikes again. Tokyo gives me a sub-par ride cos it was the first week in SEPTEMBER… and now this one is closed so they can get rid of Christmas.
Annoying. I want to ride an actual Haunted Mansion.

Well I’ve not come across a Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh that starts outside. This could be different. It has the hilarious Twilight Zone effect when he falls alseep while I wasn’t paying attention.
But not a patch on the trackless one. Better than the copy paste one?

Splash Mountain is sponsored by Ziploc here and I got given a ton of free themed bags. Ride wasn’t as fun as I remembered and then the boats were all stacking really early at the end, repeatedly crashing into each other, hard.

Another Disney another Pirates of the Caribbean. Looks like I’ve stopped taking pictures of them. Almost identical to the last, just the bonus Jack animatronic was on the left rather than the right. Obnoxious locals spent the whole ride talking loudly and making dinner plans. It’s fun what you remember.

Jungle Cruise again lacks the spectacle of Hong Kong, but also now the acting talent of the Japanese. At least the non-stop dry humour jokes were kinda funny.

Indiana Jones Adventure was disappointingly not as good as I remember either. Having only done each one once I couldn’t say how different they are or what was off about it other than lack of the hilarious smoke blowing bloke and the ending not getting me at all like it should have.

Found the entrance for Alice in Wonderland. Can this be as good as Blackpool? It’s a hard comparsion, but the latter’s charm of playing the wrong music and having crude characters ride in the car with you cannot be denied. S’alright.

Storybook Land Canal Boats was a thing. You get a live guide, but with little to no enthusiasm.

Think that was everything ticked off except the other side of Matterhorn (+1). Got up to the same place as the first time we tried to ride and it broke down again. This was a more severe one as they instantly cleared the 90 minute queue and gave everyone a free re-entry fast pass on their ticket. I admire that efficiency.

Time killing time then. Waited a ridiculously long amount of time for the low capacity monorail that was only running 1 train and they don’t force people to use as actual transportation (so they don’t ever get off) meaning hardly any seats are ever available. I don’t admire that efficiency.

Downtown Disney still haunts me. Had an Earl of Sandwich cos I remember it being one of the best things about Paris and knew it wouldn’t give me MERS. Didn’t disappoint.

Back on the monorail. Waiting got so bad that there was some form of incident kicking off and staff had to ‘escort’ a guest somewhere. Could have opted to walk back to the park, but when in Rome.

Bobs was back. Had to be that strange person and request the other side, but it worked (#5 Matterhorn Bobsleds (Left)). Yeti on screens on the lift featured more than I remembered the first time and the track was even clunkier.

Fastpassed some other random attractions for a laugh. Had absolutely killed the time management again, Monorail being by far the longest wait, everything else being too easy.

Thought Star Tours would be the same as ever but then Darth Vader rocked up and tried to choke us and Boba Fett was chilling in orbit where his dad died. Don’t remember that before.
I have now learnt that there’s loads of sequence combinations you can get including some really new stuff, so it’s always worth a shot if you’re a fan.
Crait! I want it now. Might actually get me excited about the ride.

Thought Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters would be the same as ever but then it was.

Baby castle.

Baby castle by night. Not projecting on that are we?

Previously on my trip reports:
Normally these shows are pretty special right? A magical moment to end the day, a world class spectacle, lots of big tunes and tears. Disney at it’s finest.
What followed was hilarious, but quite possibly the death of Disney.
They’ve got the usual song tying it all together about magic and dreams come true and life is a party and all that, but it came across as way too far up its own arse when it’s so specific to a day at this theme park and not just the brand in general.
Mickey is titting about as always but the highlights were, in no particular order: low resolution footage direct from the Star Wars simulator, a celebration of the paddle steamer(I lost it hard at this point) and some flat rides no one cares about.
The actual highlight? Probably saying ‘Yay, the Pirates of the Carribbean theme’, because it reminded me of Shanghai.
No, it was the paddle steamer, that was the defining moment. The moment it couldn’t recover from.
There were no fireworks, very few special effects, a couple of pyros and zero interesting graphics which were also steppy and of poor quality.
It ended to absolute silence.
And then everyone left, probably all thinking ‘where was Let It Go?’

So this was the stage for the evening show that I was becoming skeptical about. Tokyo’s was such a massive disappointment and this looks… different. The staff were claiming it didn’t contain fireworks and the viewing areas (if you hadn’t got a fast pass, for a show? eww) were complicated and restricted at best.
We camped out what looked like the best spot for peasants. They used the forcing people to stand method nearer the time, but had staff around doing Disney trivia questions (not nearly international enough for my liking) and giving out stickers so that made the time pass much less painfully. It really was the prime peasant spot until some Mexican kid tried to barge through and nullify our 2 hour patience. The sun’s getting real low.

Well they’ve done it. Words cannot describe how good this was. Not being at the castle allows for a lot more physical events to happen so you’ve got a stage show with hugely elaborate props and sets.
The theme here was imagination, and I’ve got one hell of an imagination, so I can relate this time.
There’s also the water in front of the stage so lots of awesome water projection an-OH MY GOD THERE’S A 200FT PIRATE SHIP sailing towards us out of the smoke with 50 actors on it doing crazy stunts.
It’s got Rapunzel with actual boat and song (I’m allowed to have a favourite princess).
It’s got a massive physical dragon and tons of fire.
It’s got fireworks (so they knew all their trivia, but didn’t know that).
It’s got the damn steamboat we were meant to be ‘celebrating’ in Tokyo and there’s 100 characters on it dancing. I’ll celebrate it here.
And I’ve got goosebumps thinking about it now. Best ending show in any park by a significant margin. Faith restored.

Strategically had a Big Thunder booked for just after the show to let the crowds disperse and have a fun little night ride. I like the way this town section lit up at night, but the camera didn’t.

Strategy worked and that was that. Just need Florida now to complete the Disney set. How basic.

Day 13

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