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Topic: 16 hours with the West Coast Mouse

  1. #1
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    Default 16 hours with the West Coast Mouse

    Last week I had to go to LA for work to meet with one of our suppliers, not wanting to arrive Sunday night and go straight to the office in the morning still suffering from travel shock I flew in on Saturday. This is the story of my favourite travel shock cure, a day in a theme park.

    Never having been to Disneyland before I enlisted the help of a local guide, in the form of my mate Dave who has a local resident pass. Dave met me at my hotel at 7am and we got the shuttle to the park, which was opening at 8. When I got my one-day hopper the woman behind the counter picked up on Dave's accent and asked him for ID so she could give me the discount for local residents, imagine that happening in the UK, NOT.

    Once the gates were opened we made our way straight up Main Street to Space Mountain. The first thing that struck me was how much lower the buildings are and how small the Castle is compared to Magic Kingdom.



    When we got to the ride we walked straight on. This is a much better ride than it's Orlando cousin, smoother, darker, and possibly faster. Coming out of Space Mountain we thought we would try the new Nemo ride, but we had left it too late, by 8:30 the queue was already 3 hours long!



    Not wanting to waste the day we instead headed across the hub to Indiana Jones.



    This may use the same ride system as Dinosaur, but it is a much better ride and the theming around it is amazing. Trying to keep ahead of the queues we headed past Pirates and on to Haunted Mansion, which again is a better ride than the current Orlando version, how they'll compare when the Magic Kingdom ride reopens only time will tell.



    We next got in line for Splash, but quickly got out again when a CM walked down saying it was closed temporarily for 'technical problems'. So it was back to Pirates, which again I preferred to Orlando. Finally, I got to a ride where Magic Kingdom won, in the shape of Big Thunder. Don't get me wrong it is still a great ride, but Orlando's seems longer to me. After that we finished off our first visit to Disneyland today with a trip on Matterhorn, which was fun.

    11am saw us entering the second Disneyland Resort park of Disney's California Adventure, and heading straight for Tower of Terror. This is different from the MGM version but just as good.



    From there it was California Screamin' which is a proper coaster. They could do with one of these in Orlando somewhere, Rock'n'Rollercoaster is fine, but there is something about a proper long, tall, fast coaster that is hard to match.

    From there the day is a bit of a blur, I know we had lunch in the pizza place up the end of the park and that I was going to ride Grizzly River run until I saw this little trick it has.



    We also rode Soarin' (identical to Epcot), Mulholland Madness (small wild mouse), Tower of Terror a further three times, Malliboomer (tower ride), the Sun Wheel (Ferris wheel, with the cars on tracks), another California Screamin', Monsters Inc and saw the excellent Aladin show before the unusual happened.



    As you can see we had to be rescued off of California Screamin' after it broke down with us high up on a trim brake section. The cast members were excellent as you would expect, the train had hardly stopped when they started talking to us over the speakers. Within a couple of minutes the guys in harnesses were up with us, very calmly telling everyone what was happening and that we were in no danger. Once there were enough of them up with us they very calmly and methodically got us out one car at a time before leading us down and giving out passes to enter any ride by the exit to everyone. Full marks to this crew for a safe evacuation.

    Not long after this we went back across to Disneyland, where we used the pass to get straight onto Space Mountain again. We also had dinner in the Tomorrow Land Terrace, which is very similar to Cosmic Rays, and rode Buzz, Star Tours and Big Thunder again.

    I managed to convince Dave to forgo his usual fireworks spot of a nice quiet bench by Small World and stand with me in the hub to see the show properly.



    The show was amazing, especially how Tink flies back and forth around the castle. Despite having to stand for so long Dave did have to admit that the show looked better from the hub. ;)

    As soon as the fireworks finished we walked, with most of the crowd, round to watch Fantasmic. Unlike Orlando there is no arena for Fantasmic in Disneyland, rather you just stand around the Rivers of America and watch the show which takes place on the island in the middle. Despite the crowds we managed to get a great spot to watch on the bridge over the Pirates entrance. Again the Disneyland show was better than the World version, but I did miss the seats from MGM! I could not believe the speed Captin Hook's boat comes round the lake, it is huge on such a small body of water.



    Once the show finished we took a last ride on Space Mountain to let the crowd clear before checking the line for Nemo one last time. I can only presume Disney handed out camp beds after we left as it was still a couple of hours long.

    We checked our watches as we said goodnight to the CM on the gate to see that it was 11:45 PM and decided I had had my money's worth for a day's ticket!


    All in all I had a great time and can't wait to go back with my family. Disneyland may be smaller than Magic Kingdom, but even on an August Sunday didn't feel overcrowded. Some of the rides are better, some are identical, none are worse just different. California Adventure is 100 yards across the plaza and is an outstanding day out in itself. Dave has a young daughter and tells me there is an excellent kiddie ride area in Bugs Land where the queues never get too long for the little one's patients.
    Last edited by spencem; 17-09-2019 at 02:54 PM. Reason: Change photo host
    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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    Wow, spencem, you REALLY packed everything into the day!!! What an amazing report. We fully agree re the HM and Pirates ride being better than Orlando's, but the idea of waiting 3 hours for the Nemo ride.... :eek: I can't imagine that anything so tame would be worth that kind of wait.

  3. #3
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    I have to agree 100% with everything you said, spencem! It sounds like you had a fantastic day and packed a LOT into it! So glad you got to visit Disneyland and enjoyed it so much.

  4. #4
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    A great insight into Disneyland california spencem
    I LOVE FLORIDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!









  5. #5
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    Great pics Spencem, I can't believe how small the castle looks from the Main Street
    Billiecat

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    GREAT REPORT SPENCEM. YOU REALLY DID A LOT IN JUST ONE DAY! I WENT ON THE NEMO RIDE WHEN THEY USED TO HAVE IT IN ORLANDO. THERE WAS ALWAYS A QUEUE SO I WONDER WHY THEY TOOK IT AWAY? FAB PHOTOS.

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    Tessie, I wonder if you are remembering the 20,000 Leagues under the Sea ride at Magic Kingdom in Orlando? It was a cute submarine ride in Fantasyland, not far from where Ariel's Meet and Greet is now, and directly below your feet when you're in Pooh's play area. Queues used to be VERY long for that one, but the reason it shut down is, the parts were made in Europe somewhere (Germany, I think) so every time it broke down (which was often) they had to send away for the right part to fix it. The engineers were so frustrated with it that they devised a slight deception (can't remember exactly what it was now; something about leaking and safety hazzard) so that the higher-ups would feel it wasn't worth it to keep shoveling money into a leaky boat, so to speak. Apparently, it was enormously popular with guests but not at all popular with Cast Members, since it was so slow-loading and just a general pain in their over-heated, stand-in-the-sun-all-day backsides.

    The new ride in Disneyland is a "Seas with Nemo and Friends" ride rather than a Captain Nemo ride. ;) We did a tour while we were in California before the ride opened, and the Imagineer who took us around told us the technology is similar to that used in Orlando's Seas with Nemo and Friends, where the characters are projected into the water, making it look like they're swimming inside the aquarium (or lagoon, in Disneyland). Should be a HUGE hit with Nemo fans and youngsters.

    But the 20K Leagues ride was a classic, wasn't it? I remember it fondly.
    Last edited by Susan Veness; 15-08-2007 at 01:02 PM.

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    IT WAS 2000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA. THE PHOTO LOOKED LIKE THE BOATS YOU USED TO WALK INTO. SORRY. IT WAS A GREAT RIDE. I USED TO LIKE THE OVERHEAD CABLE CARS AS YOU COULD GET A REALLY GOOD VIEW OF THE PARK AND TAKE SOME REALLY GOOD PHOTOS! I'M SORRY ABOUT MY SPELLING. I REALLY AM RUBBISH AT IT. I LAUGH EVERY TIME I SEE THIS MAN

  9. #9
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    You're absolutely right about the subs, Tessie. They're similar to the ones at 20K, but yellow instead of green and without the 'fin' on top. The ride is similar, too, in that you go around a track in the lagoon and see all the exciting under-seas creatures. Do you remember the giant squid (or was it an octopus? Can't remember!) on 20K Leagues, that was supposed to be attacking your sub? I was 9 the first time I rode that ride and I really thought we were goners!

  10. #10
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    I remember the Captain Nemo underwater subs at Magic Kingdom we were sad went they closed although now can see the reason. Hubby used to enjoy the cable car ride too although I remember my Mum not being too keen as she was afraid of heights:eek:

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