This is my last Disneyland post chronicling my recent trip to the Magic Kingdom. I've somehow managed to create about seven blog posts out of just that one day visit. Can you imagine how many posts I'd create if I stayed several days, or a week at Disney World? The possibilities! (I've never been to Disney World; someday I'll make it). I've been to Disneyland so many times over the years I'm well into 30-40+ visits. I've lost track. So doing anything new at the park is a wonder, which made this visit all the more special as I got to experience many firsts.
Starting out my family was Mickey's "Guest of the Park," getting a special badge, free parking, and a special parking spot. Below are some more, new aspects to Disneyland/California Adventures.
Star Tours: The Adventure Continues opened Summer 2011 with sparkly 3-D and many ride combinations. Taken from Wikipedia: "There are eleven random segments of the film (two opening segments, three primary destination segments, three hologram message segments, and three ending destination segments; when combined, they allow 54 different possible ride experiences.) which are presented in the ride."
The Original Star Tours, which opened in 1987 and was my first exposure to Star Wars, was getting a little boring, though I will always remember it was great fondness. As fun as the new ride is, I miss those robots! The father and son robot team you hear talking in the line and the ships pilot. Well, whenever I feel nostalgic I can listen to the original via "Star Wars: An Audio Retrospect" which came with this book I got . . . "I know this is probably your first flight and it's . . . mine too." That never got old. Poor Rex got his memory erased after each flight! You can read the original script here.
California Adventure, at Disneyland, opened World of Color in June 2010. I had heard so much about this show, seeing videos and watching behind the scenes, that I couldn't wait to finally see the show 2 years after it's opening. Long time waiting, but it really is amazing. Tip: make sure the first thing you do when you get to the park is get a World of Color Fast Past. Fast Past's are typically used for rides, but here they use it for seating sections. The sooner you get your fast past, the better the section. You can find it by heading through Condor Flats to the Grizzly area. Unfortunately my family learned the hard way and got our ticket early afternoon. The standing area wasn't terrible, but it wasn't fantastic. The show itself? Wonderful! And worth the wait. Now they need to do this Fast Past section thing with Fanstasmic.
I wrote two separate blog posts on this, which shows how excited I was with visiting Radiator Springs and riding the ride. So amazing! The Radiator Speed Racers is currently my favorite ride, gasp, even over Star Tours . . . until they open Indiana Jones again after refurbishing and small updating.
I love the Little Mermaid and always wished she had her own ride, and now she has one! The movie is one of my favorites. Disney's Golden Age of animation started in 1928, but this film launched the Disney Renaissance in 1989 which lasted till 2000. I'll never forget going to the theater to see The Little Mermaid. My family was visiting my grandparents and we went to a nice theater in Riverside CA. The place was covered in Little Mermaid decorations, and they gave out prizes before our showing. It was a big deal!! And the movie changed my life.
Talking about 1928, California Adventure got a face lift to reflect this golden age of Hollywood. It was in 1928 when Disney came to Hollywood, and the front of the park was made to reflect that. I love old California architecture, and I love art deco, so the change is nice.
Grizzly River Run opened when California Adventure did, but somehow I've never managed to ride it. That might have something to do with Magic Mountain. Back in middle-school I went on their rafting ride, first thing, and spent the entire day soaked. Not fun, but the Grizzly ride was fun, and I didn't get too wet, which is really quite lucky.
Soarin' Over California is one of my favorites, but my brother Steven hadn't been, so this was his first time. I would buy potpourri of that pine and orange scent they mist during the ride. It smells like California. Growing up in Central California . . . it's lucky they didn't do cow smell . . . (Talure County CA reference, which is the County I lived in . . . I heard once there were more cows then people.)
First time I tried this cake! There's this amazing, crunchy hazelnut thing going on at the bottom. Plaza Inn, 'nuff said.
I was waiting in line for It's a Small World when everything got really dark, all lights going out dark, and suddenly Nutcracker music started playing as colored projections shined on the ride's facade, giving us a little show. So unexpected and cool.
And it's the first time I've seen Sleeping Beauty's castle look like this. Enchanting.