Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Holiday With Trooper: Day 5

The plan for today, our second actual “Disney Day”, was to visit the “new” park across the plaza: Disney California Adventures. I didn’t know anything about this attraction, other that the name is both awkward and confusing. All day we kept referring to it as Adventureland, of which there is already one in The Magic Kingdom. It’s the land that contains The Jungle Cruise, The Tiki Room and the fabulous Indiana Jones ride.

It turns out California Adventures is not yet completed. The entry point does not lead into a main area currently; the planned Buena Park Avenue is under construction. Like cattle, the crowd is corralled around several turns and dumped out confused into the Grizzly Recreation Area. So of course like idiots, we decided to take the River Rafting ride and get soaked first thing in the morning! Next was the Little Mermaid ride, which is very good but seems oddly out of place. It sould be in Fantasyland with Alice and Peter Pan.

What followed were several milder rides reminiscent of turn of the century boardwalk attractions; pleasant but uninspiring. California Sreamin’, the wooden rollercoaster, was closed for repairs, which disappointed the kids, until they saw the scope do the drops and barrel rolls. Still, it was an “anchor” ride for the park and it’s being out of commission caused a spill over of crowds onto everything else. Goofy’s Sky School, was a reasonable (and very fun) substitute. We used several FastPass options to avoid the crowds on this one.

By noon I had grown largely disappointed with California Adventures. There were more shops than rides and the midway games all required spending additional coin. And then I learned the one thing that it had over Disneyland: alcohol! Not only can you get a beer at several vendors, including wine tasting, but you can walk around with it. Talk about civilized. In your face puritanical Canadian society! Whether it was the wheat ale or the superb rides that were yet to come, the afternoon turned out much better.

We then wandered into the Hollywood Backlot and were introduced to the Tower of Terror. This attraction is an example of what Disney does best. Not only is this ride thrilling for the elevator drops, but the entire atmosphere and Twilight Zone tale make it something even the most timid guest MUST experience. I won’t spoil the back story, but when you enter, observe the state of the lobby: a dust covered tea service, a card game abandoned, fedora and rain coat thrown over the counter by a guest who may have checked in but never checked out. Tower is probably my favourite ride.

For those of you who enjoy sunshine, children, flowers, good times with loved ones and small furry creatures (therefore nearly everyone) don’t miss Soarin’ over California. It is as close an experience to flying I can imagine without growing feathers. The orange grove even smelled of oranges. By 3PM we were dry enough to re-soak on the grizzly River Rafts then walked back to the hotel in squishy shoes for a break, some pool time and supper.

Eight o’clock found the whole family back in California Adventures to watch the World of Color. This is a superb fountain show with synchronized floodlights, music and Disney cartoon clips projected onto the falling water backdrop. It’s also the only image or reference of any kind I saw to Pocahontas the entire time we were there. Native American’s are once again getting the shaft and with Vanessa Williams happily ensconced on ABC’s Desperate Housewives, I doubt she’ll by lobbying hard for the return of the Indian maiden.

But by 10 o’clock I was too tired for much outrage. Carrying the youngest on my shoulders, we made our way back to the hotel to rest up for another day of strategic riding back in Disneyland.


tammy said...

I think in all our years of being there, the roller coaster has only been running once! Frustrating! But I do love The Tower of Terror. I laugh the whole entire time. It's another one we can go on over and over again. I hear the Twilight Zone theme song, and my heart starts racing.

Have you noticed I may have a Disneyland addiction?

Trooper Thorn said...

tammy: Your Disney Jones would be obvious to a planaria.