January 4, 2006
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We used our park hopper passes to get into California Adventure. This park closed a few hours before Disneyland, so we figured we could spend the day here and the evening at Disneyland.
We headed straight to the Tower of Terror. This ride is great! The entire preshow is outstanding. We entered the hotel and walked through the lobby. We walked through a door and into the preshow area where a video screen told us the story of the Hollywood Tower Hotel and how we were taking a tour of the place. We entered the boiler room and walked to the elevator shaft. Unlike its Florida cousin, which is one story, I'm told, this ride has two levels of loading. We climbed some stairs and made our way to the maintenance elevator. A bellhop told us to have a seat. Every single one of these seats only has a seat belt. Oh joy. We're on a drop ride with nothing but seat belts.
As the doors closed, our bellhop's smile changed to a gloom look. That was hilarious. The vehicle moved backward and began a short climb. The doors opened and we saw a ghostly family standing in a hallway. We dropped one floor. What a rush. We climbed up again. Higher this time. We dropped again. Then we climbed to the top. Doors opened and gave us a great view of the park. We dropped again. We climbed again. We stopped at the top and waited for a while before dropping the entire way down. This is one amazing ride. We decided that we had to ride it again later in the day. 10/10.
We headed over to California Screamin', but it was down. We decided to hop on Sun Wheel because it looked neat and was near Screamin'. Of course we chose to ride in the gondola that swings around on rails. That was going to be great. This ride is partially underneath the lake in the park. The walls surrounding it have reflective metal on them, which looks cool. One of the metal boards was loose and rocking with the waves. I took a picture of my brother and myself reflected in the broken one.
In line, some creepy guy was checking out young girls waiting in line in front of us. The line splits near the station so more gondolas can be loaded at once. We split to the left, and creepy guy split to the right. A few seconds later we found out that he was right next to us! Great. Hopefully he won't get on the same gondola as us. They load one gondola and stop him before he boards. Great. He's riding with us.
We sat on the other side of the gondola as the creepy guy. Aside from him, this ride was really crazy fun. The swinging was insanely scary, and there was nothing to grab on to. There are motion sickness bags in the gondolas, too. Ha! We noticed that there were people standing on every block on Screamin'. That looked promising because they were trying to open the ride. While we were yelling and talking, the only thing creepy guy did was widen his eyes and let out a quiet noise every so often. Creepy!
When the ride ended, we got the heck out of there. Creepy guy walked in another direction.
We went to Mulholland Madness, the park's wild mouse. We got in line, but the ride broke down and they kicked everyone out of line.
By that time, Screamin' was testing, so we went over to it. They opened it, and we walked right into the station. We got in the back car. The over- the- shoulder restraints are comfortable, though they're the old style Intamin restraints. The music wasn't on in the cars, so we didn't get to experience that. I'm sure it adds a lot to the ride. The launch was fun, and the drop off the first hill had some airtime. This is just a long, twisting coaster. The drop off the second lift hill (which is powered with LSMs) was cool and had some airtime. The next turn is highly banked. The loop that follows was fun and had good G-forces. The rest of the ride was three bunny hops and some ground-level turns. The bunny hops at the end were big teases. They had no airtime, though they seemed to be trying to give us airtime. DCA just added new brakes right before the bunny hops, so the airtime was taken away. What a shame. Screamin' is a great ride, none the less. 8/10.
We were hungry, so we stopped at Strips, Dips 'n' Chips for lunch. I got chicken fingers with honey mustard. It was a pretty good meal. The french fries were really good.
It was time for another ride: Maliboomer, the S&S Space Shot. With scream shields so riders' screams are muffled. The ride's OK. I've been on better. It's short, the scream shields are really odd, and the airtime at the top isn't very intense. It has a neat theme, though. It looks like a Hi Striker, and a bell rings when you reach the top. 5/10.
We headed over to Tower of Terror to get Fastpasses. We knew we had to ride it again. On our way there, we took some pictures of Grizzly River Run. We didn't ride because it was a bit chilly out, and we weren't in the mood to get wet.
Near Tower of Terror, people were pouring out of the Hyperion Theater after the Aladdin show. There were thousands of people on the midway, so it was a little difficult to navigate.
We decided to go to Soarin' Over California after getting our Fastpasses to Tower of Terror. We waited about 50 minutes to ride Soarin'. We sat in the middle row. It's really fun. The wind blowing in our faces was great, and the smells were the perfect touch. Smelling pines while flying over a river was cool, but the smell of oranges over the orange trees was the best. That smell lingered, though. I smelled oranges when jets flew in front of us. This attraction is really great. It's one of the best simulator rides I've been on, if it can be called that. The visuals are great, and the extras (wind, smells) are outstanding. The three of us agreed that there needed to be some sort of transition between scenes. One moment you're soaring over the mountains, then you're flying over a sped-up downtown Los Angeles. No transition. It just jumps to the next scene. 9/10.
My brother licked what we called a tube of urine outside the ride.
Bryan and I got on Golden Zephyr next. It's like a larger version of the Traver Circle Swing. There's not much to this ride. It spins around in a circle over the water. Whee. 4/10.
Bryan and I then went to Orange Stinger. It's just a Wave Swinger inside an orange, which I thought was sort of weird. Weirder still is that the inside of the orange is supposed to be a bee hive. I think. It only gives you two full rotations at full speed. The entire time the sound of buzzing bees is going on. Weird, weird, weird. 5/10.
We went to Tower of Terror to use our Fastpasses. We got on the second level again. Once again, this ride is amazing. Our bellhop didn't make a face as the doors closed this time. Bah.
When we got off, we glanced at the new Monsters, Inc. ride, which was giving sneak previews. We walked by because we got Fastpasses earlier to Mulholland Madness and it was time to use them.
We hopped in the Fastpass line for Mulholland Madness. This ride's themed to driving around Mulholland Drive. Some of the theme is pretty clever. Get it? It's the lift hill. This wild mouse is pretty fun. The turns are sharp, and the brakes are only on where they really need to be on so you don't take a corner too fast and get too many laterals. There's a sign with a corner "broken" off near one of the hairpin turns, as if a car crashed through it. That was a cool touch. 6/10.
Then we went to the Monsters, Inc. ride: Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! The queue line tells all about the company Monsters, Inc. and what they do if a human gets loose. There's a funny vending machine in the queue, too. The ride is pretty much like going through the movie. My brother hadn't seen the movie, so he was a little confused. The ride is pretty fun. 7/10.
We left DCA and went to Disneyland so we could ride Splash Mountain, the ride we missed yesterday. It wasn't nearly as cold this night, so we figured it was good to give it a shot. It's a great ride, too. Bryan also wanted the credit. He'd ridden the one in Florida and was really impressed.
The line was about 75 minutes, so we got Fastpasses. What a great system. We were hungry, so we got food at the River Belle Terrace. I got ribs, which were really good.
While waiting for our time to come up to ride Splash Mountain, my brother and I rode the Jungle Cruise. This is a Disneyland original ride, which was really cool. The ride was pretty cool because it was at night. The boat had lights on the sides so we could see the robotic animals. The driver of the boat told lots of corny jokes as we passed each little part of the ride. The best part of the ride was easily when the piranha attacked. The water bubbled, and the fish spun around in circles in the water. It looked like they were jumping out of the water. That made my brother jump. 6/10.
We got on Splash Mountain with our Fastpasses. The queue is just a long, winding line through the ride building. It's really long. I'm glad we got to walk by everyone. We got right on to the Fastpass loading station and got on a boat. Sweet. Bryan sat in the front, I sat behind him and my brother was behind me. This ride is amazing. It has lots of good drops, good speed and fun theming. We saw a hidden Mickey, too. One of the coolest parts of this ride is an airtime hill after a drop in the middle of it. Amazing! We had a tiny pop of airtime on this water ride. The drop at the end was spectacular, too. It was night, so we couldn't see anything. The drop's big and steep. What a blast. 9/10.
We went inside a shop on Main Street and bought some things for relatives. My brother played a game that makes Pinocchio dance.
Disney's California Adventure is a great park, but it doesn't exactly have the feel of a Disney park. I liked it a lot, especially the Hollywood Pictures Backlot midway. That's one of my favorite midways. DCA gets an 8/10.
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