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Topic: Half a day in Disneyland Resort

  1. #1
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    Default Half a day in Disneyland Resort

    I thought I'd post a quick report for the half a day I got in Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure during my recent trip to the office since there is usually quite some interest in the differences between Disneyland and Disney World. Apologies in advance for the quality of some of the pictures, I only had my phone with me to use as a camera.

    I didn't get to the parks until about 12:30 after having dropped my boss off at the airport in return for borrowing his car for the rest of the weekend. Despite having the largest multistory car park in the world I was directed down the road to the new overflow parking on what might one day be DLR's 3rd park, from there it was a short bus ride back up Harbour Boulevard to the main entrance.

    $97 later I was holding my one-day hopper and heading into DCA (Disney's Construction Adventure). The parks were busy with the spring break crowds (I found out later the busiest day of the year so far) so I thought I'd start in the quieter park.


    First stop was Tower of Terror where I picked up a Fast Pass and decided not to bother with a 40-minute queue. Then on through the recently opened cut through to Bugs Land on my way to Paradise Pier. This was the first time I'd been in Bugs Land and I can see what my friends say about it being excellent for younger kids. Basically it contains a number of small kiddy rides and because there are so many of them nothing seemed to have a long queue.

    Once I got out to the Pier I took a quick detour to try and get a Fast Pass for Griserly River Run, the raft ride. For a long time these FP machines were not connected to the rest and so you could get a FP any time, now it appears they are since I got told 'no, you've already got one for ToT'. I was not going to wait 45 minutes to ride, so back to the pier.

    On the way I bumped into these guys entertaining some recruits.


    I took a quick look at the work for the World Of Colour show that is being put into the lagoon. The viewing area is nearly done, while most of the fountains, flame projectors, lights and video projectors out on the water are installed there is still a lot of work to do on them.



    Once they are finished this lot will drop under the water most of the time, only coming up this high again for maintenance. Top tip for anyone lucky enough to see the show (opening this summer) look at where the two trailers are parked up in the viewing area, that is where they are programming the show and so where it will look best from once finished.;)

    I had a few minutes left until I could get another FP and so walked past California Screamin' (the big coaster) to see what the line was like for Toy Story. Out here there is no FP, so the standby line tends to be more sensible than in DHS. I was surprised to see the queue completely empty until I realised it was closed. There were however cars going round and as I watched Cast Members started to ride them. Realising they were likely to re-open any minute I hung around listening to Mr Potato Head do his thing. After a couple of minutes a CM started talking about 'If I was going to open the line, I might do it from over there', so we all went and stood 'over there'. Sure enough after a few minutes they opened the first part of the line.
    Jesse stopped by to explain in sign language that the batteries had run out.


    After a short Disney quiz from a couple of CM's while the last bit of testing happened they opened fully and I got my first go. The ride itself is identical to the one in DHS, which is no bad thing. When I got to the plate smash the screen was blank, although pulling the cord gave the right noises and even score every now and again. When I got back to the loading area I told the CMs and got a re-ride ticket thrust in my hand.

    Time to get another FP, so back to Screamin' to pick one up and a quick ride from the single rider line. This is a great coaster, themed as a wooden one with all the bunny hops and such, but built out of steal. It uses induction motors to both launch you into the first hill and to get you up one of the mid-course hills.

    Back to take my second ride on Toy Story, just as good as the first.

    Next, I took a walk right around the lagoon looking at all the construction. Silly Symphony Swings is nearing the end of its transformation from the Orange Stinger and looks about a million times better already.


    This walkway is getting wider, on the left is the site of the new Little Mermaid dark ride (2011) and on the right is the viewing area for World of Colour. A few months back the walkway was just about wide enough for two strollers to pass.


    By the time I got round to Soarin' (Epcot's is an exact clone) I could get another FP, so I did before heading into the Taste Pilots Grill for a late lunch of their excellent ribs.


    Once again lunch was delayed by getting in line behind people who either stood in line for 10 minutes without looking at the menu or wanted specials like a cheeseburger with no cheese or coke with no bubbles.

    Food eventually eaten it was time to take the 100 yard walk over the Plaza to Disneyland.


    It was now about 3:30 and very busy, I decided to start with an attraction I'd not seen before and that has just finished a major refurb, Great Moments with Mr Lincoln. The waiting area is a bit like One Man's Dream at DHS, with artwork and models from the design and building of Disneyland while the show itself is like a cut down version of the American Adventure in Epcot.

    Once done listening to Mr Lincoln I took a quick walk into Adventure Land to grab a FP for the excellent Indy ride. This had a return time of 10:50-11:50 so I was lucky to get one with the park closing at midnight. I was also stuck now for two hours being unable to get any more FPs. No matter off to ride some rides without them.

    Pirates was first up, with a 20-minute wait. Something was wrong with the drains in the queue, giving a most un-Disney like smell to the whole area. This is probably linked to the whole of the Rivers of America being drained at the moment while they replace the track the paddle steamer and sailing ship run on.

    Pirates itself is much better an longer in DL than in MK, with a couple of extra scenes. Out of there an into the New Orleans Square area, that MK does not have.


    Haunted Mansion was next, also with about a 20 minute wait.


    This looks so much better outside I think than the one in MK even if the rides are very similar. They are different in a couple of places, I couldn't see the hidden Donald nor the graveyard hidden Mickey here. The pet cemetery is in the main queue here rather than as you exit and this caught my eye having a cat that is partial to the odd bird.


    I went and took a quick look at the single rider line for Splash, but there were quite a few waiting and it was getting a bit late in the day to risk getting wet, so decided not to bother.

    A swift bathroom break next, I only mention it as a way of introducing the next photo. This is an example of why Disney is so much better than anything in the UK, they probably spent more on this planter outside a restroom than any UK park spent on all their plants.


    Big Thunder was the next ride, again with a 20-minute wait (see the pattern?). I think this is the first time I've ridden this in daylight.




    My two hours were up, so a quick walk through Fantasy Land into Tomorrow Land to try and get a FP for Space Mountain. this was not to be as they were all gone for the day, so I picked one up for Buzz instead.

    I grabbed a bucket of Coke from Cassey's Corner on my way back down Main Street to head back into DCA to use my FP's before watching the Main Street Electrical Parade tonight, which rather confusingly is in DCA and nowhere near Main Street.


    Continued Below...
    Last edited by spencem; 22-09-2019 at 12:56 AM.
    5 Trips to Florida, Christmas in LA, Disneyland Paris twice and odd days here and there.

    All my trip reports are now HERE.


  2. #2
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    Default Part 2

    I'd been feeling a little headachy for a while, but by the time I got back into DCA it was starting to pound, not having the walking chemist I call my wife with me I had to go into the gift shop and buy some pills. When the CM asked which type I simply said both, Advil are Ibuprofen and Tylenol are Paracetamol so I took two of each (do NOT try this at home it is probably very bad for you). I also decided to change my touring order and go to Soarin' rather than ToT.

    Soarin' was excellent as ever, I asked to wait for row 1 but didn't wait any longer I just got moved from the end gate to the middle one. Row one, in the middle, it doesn't get any better.

    By the time I got off, even with a FP, my head was much better so off to ToT.

    When I got over to ToT I was surprised to see FPs still available, and with a return time of only 40 minutes later so I got one before taking my first trip into the Twilight Zone. DCA's ToT is the same as the Paris one I think (never been to Paris) and the cars do not move from one shaft to another, nor do they have the random drop sequences of DHS' ride, but it is still an outstanding attraction.

    Back through the nearly deserted Bugs Land and onto Paradise Pier to use my Screamin' FP.


    This shot gives you some idea of just how good the lagoon is going to look when finished. If it comes off then World Of Colour is going to make Bellagio's fountain show look like a drinking fountain.


    Just time to use the new ToT FP before heading into the hub area of DCA to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade. This is very similar to Spectromagic and to be honest I cannot see the point of them moving it over to MK for the summer as they are planning to do. Don't get me wrong it is a great parade, but I'm not sure most guests will notice any difference from Spectromagic.



    Now the parade was due at 9pm, with Disneylands Fireworks due at 9:25, so position was everything in order to see both. I got myself right in the middle of the main pathway back to the entrance and as the last float passed I and many others set off at a brisk walk back to Disneyland. Progress was somewhat slowed by the many people sitting out in the plaza between the parks waiting to watch the fireworks from outside, but I don't think I trod on any.:eek:

    Just as I entered the park the first fireworks went off, under the bridge, around the corner and up the steps got me a prime spot up in front of the station. I was able to watch the whole show less the first 2 minutes. These fireworks really tugged at the heartstrings and I had to send a quick text home, half hoping AngelMouse had her phone on silent and half hoping it was not. I did wake her and we exchanged a couple of soppy messages.

    Once the show finished rather than struggle against the tide up Main Street I simply jumped on the first train round to New Orleans Square in search of food. Food was not to be found with many places closing up, I had wanted something not fried after my pills misadventure, but it was not to be and I ended up with nuggets and fries from a place in Frontier Land.

    A quick walk to BTMRR revealed a closed ride and all the lights on as they sorted a technical issue so I moved on. Space Mountain was still showing a 60-minute wait despite the hoards leaving so I decided it was time to experience Captain EO, A Tribute.


    This apparently was an attraction from the mid-80s starring Michael Jackson and directed by George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola. It is in the old Honey I Shrunk the Audience building, which I think replaced the original Captain EO in the mid-90s. The film stands the test of time very well, some of the effects are a little off, but it was absolutely leading edge for the 80s and must have cost a fortune. It is a little sad to see Michael at the height of his talent, but also great to be reminded of what an incredible performer he was.

    I don't know what the long term plan is, but in my opinion, Captain EO is much better than Honey I Shrunk the Audience and so should be left there until something new is made. There is talk about it going into Epcot as well, if it does then be sure to go and see it.

    It was now nearly late enough to use my FP for Indy, but not quite so a quick ride on Buzz first using my FP from earlier. This is nearly the same as MK's version, but a little better as you can hold the guns rather than them being fixed to the car.


    Once back from saving the Galaxy it was over the Adventure Land to ride Indy. I was glad of my FP, the standby line was showing 85 minutes and from the way I could see people snaking off into the distance was probably accurate. This ride is fantastic, it uses the same ride vehicles as Dinosaur at AK, but to much better effect. The ride is so much bigger with a real sense of space as you dash around the Temple of the Eye trying to avoid the gaze of the goddess.

    11:50, just time to dash over to Tomorrow land and join the line for Space Mountain. I got there just as a family were having a 'discussion' at the entrance, most of them walked off leaving dad behind holding two FP's. He promptly offered one to me before running off into the line as I called my thanks after him. Standby was showing as 60 minutes still, but as I got off the last ride of the night was just boarding.


    Space Mountain is so much better in DL than in MK, smoother, faster and with on-ride audio. You also get to sit side by side.

    A slow walkout was interrupted by a side trip into the shops to pick up a mouse for AngleMouse and a Gumpy (holding a sign saying "I'm not Happy") for Edward.


    As I exited I turned to take a photo of the clock, 12:30 so exactly half a day in Disneyland Resort.


    Once back down the I5 and the 55 to the hotel I was able to call home and share some pictures on Skype with AngelMouse and Edward as they started their day before falling into bed at 2am.
    Last edited by spencem; 22-09-2019 at 01:08 AM.
    5 Trips to Florida, Christmas in LA, Disneyland Paris twice and odd days here and there.

    All my trip reports are now HERE.


  3. #3
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    BRAVO!!

    Terrific report, spencem! Felt like we were walking beside you. And it's nice to see the progress on World of Color, too. That picture of the ferris wheel is just stunning.

    Right there with you when it comes to Indy. Great ride!

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    A wonderful report, tho you seem to do everything at pace.. i'm worn out!!!;) excellent pictures can't believe they were taken on a phone... not sure i could do any better with my camera

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    Wow I'm tired out just reading your report, a really full on day (or half), you managed to get so much done.
    We saw Captain EO in Epcot in 1993 I remember it being a great show, Michael Jackson at his best.
    Your pictures are excellent by the way...

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    Great report and great photos spencem.

    We really enjoyed our visit to Disneyland back in 1997, it's just that bit different to WDW
    91/92/95HI MGE;97NYC/Cali/Ariz/Chicago;98St.Petes Bch/Hyatt K'mee;00C'water Bch/Dixie Landings;02South'n Dunes;05Ft.Myers/Keys/Ft Lauderdale/BW LBV;06Indian Ridge;07Ind. Ridge;08Sanibel/Ind. Ridge;09Sarasota/Ind. Ridge;10Sanibel/Ind. Ridge;11Ind. Ridge;12Sanibel/West Haven;13West Haven;14Sanibel/West Haven;15Sanibel/West Haven;15West Haven;16Panhandle tour/Ashley Manor;16Loma Linda;17Sanibel/Loma Vista;18Gulf Coast/St Ag/West Haven;19Sanibel/Venice Beach/West Haven

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    A great half a day, and thanks once again for the picture you sent me on my phone of ToT.
    Would like to say that I said "what a lovely picture" but i'd be lying

  8. #8
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    I am glad you had a great day but we missed being with you sooo much. I reallly like DL it is smaller and more compact that Florida but with some great rides and themes, my favourite has to be Pirates as Martin said it is a much longer ride and more to it than MK and the Blue Bayou restaraunt that is alond side the ride serves excellent if rather expensive food. That is where we had our Christmas dinner in 2008.
    Happiness is my piggies Belle & Chip and my cats Disney & Bob

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    omg, I can't believe how much you did in a half-day, I'm exhaused just reading it

    Thank you for sharing you day with us.



  10. #10
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    Great report, spencm, a real tribute to Disney in as much as it draws you in and surrounds you with their 'magic' for the full duration of your visit The Imagineers would be really happy with all the attention you paid on your various touring, too. DL was my first Disney 'experience' in 1987 and I very much remember Star Tours and Capt Eo being all the rage back then; great to know MJ still looks good, and that might be a more fitting epitaph than anything else he did.

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