Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Disneyland

My wife and I went to Disneyland. Since becoming an adult this was the first time I was ever there without kids or a joint. No strollers, no giant diaper bags, no getting home and realizing we had left somebody. Also, we had never seen the adjacent California Adventure so we wanted to go before it eventually shuts down or is completely rethought.

We figured: go before the summer begins and kids are out of school. I guess that now means February. Disneyland was packed. There were lines for everything. The biggest: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Waiting, Space Mountain, and churros. The Small World attraction is closed for renovation (thank God). A big fence surrounds it. So the line was only a half an hour.

I wore a golf shirts and long pants. I was waaaay overdressed. Come on, people! At least the ratty t-shirts and torn plaid shorts should fit! You’re going to be taking pictures in those rags.

As always, the park was immaculate… although I could swear one of the 60-year-old maintenance men in an elf suit was a former producer of TAXI. And the teenagers who work there remain the nicest, perkiest, helpfulliest David Arhuleta and Carrie Underwood clones you could find this side of Stepford.

I’m guessing the teens with major imperfections like acne or no dimples are assigned to wear those bulky heavy character costumes. It was 90 degrees and Winnie the Pooh was staggering around, tripping over strollers, kicking little tykes, occasionally sticking his head in an ice cream pushcart for relief.

Happy to say that the new Pirates of the Caribbean ride wasn’t ruined by the improvements. There were a few Jack Sparrows added and a nifty Davy Jones hologram but otherwise it’s pretty much the same. Oh maybe a little less raping but the spirit of fun is still there.

To avoid standing in endless lines Disneyland now offers “Fast Passes” for most major rides. It allows you to return for wait-free boarding. We got our Fast Passes for Space Mountain at 1 PM. Our reservations were for 9:30, thus saving us fifteen minutes had we stood in the normal line.

I was a good boy this trip. I did not stand up and ask Mr. Lincoln a question nor did I buy a Mouseketeer hat, have them scroll “Vincent” then rip off one of the ears.

With all the spectacular photo-ops Disneyland provides, all day long I saw people taking pictures of each other while standing in lines. We are truly a country of idiots.

Then there are the women trying to walk all day and night in ankle strap wedges. And they wonder why they’re crippled by Fantasyland.

Gas prices are so high that for the Autopia, the cars are now just being pushed by Disney employees.

In a nod to health conscious California, Disneyland eateries now serve healthy food along with the usual fast food junk. My wife ordered a salad. It was the third one sold this year!

The irony of the Indiana Jones ride is that Harrison Ford probably can’t ride it. It’s way too violent and rugged for a 66 year-old man.

We moved over to California Adventure, which is like going from Times Square on New Year’s Eve to downtown Flint, Michigan a year after they closed the GM plant.

The only thing worth seeing is “Soarin’ Over California”. It’s a simulated hang glide tour over the state. If only I could simulate flying on American Airlines instead of actually having to fly on American Airlines.

Wandered around the park. Don’t know the names of the “lands” per se but there’s one that’s kind of rustic that my wife just called “Wilderness Shit”. They pipe in this real stirring John Williams type music and I must say, coming out of the restroom I thought there’ve been times when I could have really used this.

Next we encountered a beach boardwalk themed land. The John Williams music gave way to Beach Boys tunes on a calliope. All these years I never knew that “Surfer Girl” was a circus song.

Disney – the company that brought you “Song of the South” and tar babies now presents “Pizza Oom Mow Mow” on the pier at California Adventure.

There’s a big classic Coney Island style rollercoaster and something called the “Twilight Zone Tower of Terror”. Not wanting my first major stroke to be in a place where the paramedics all wear Peter Pan costumes I passed on both.

We returned to Disneyland, nostalgic for the days when California Adventure used to be a parking lot.

Night fell on the Magic Kingdom and it got a little chilly. No worries. There’s a clothing store every hundred feet. Me: “Excuse me, Tracy/Stacey/Kaysee/Lacy, do you have a men’s sweatshirt that doesn’t have Tinkerbell on it? Or Mickey in a wizard’s cap? Or Mulan? Or a fucking fairy castle!?” I bought a Davy Crockett coonskin cap so at least my head was warm.

Even in the evening when the crowd thinned out there was still a 45 minute wait for the aptly named Dumb-o ride.

No trip to Disneyland would be complete without a harrowing bobsled ride down the Matterhorn. It always takes me back to my idyllic childhood, going on it once with my dear sweet grandmother and hearing her drop the f-bomb.

The Haunted Mansion is now inhabited by a bi-lingual ghost. He gives spooky instructions in both English and Spanish.

Never got to Toontown. There were enough over-stimulated, sugar revved, screaming, out-of-control little hellions in all the other lands.

And I always wonder – how many of these children were conceived on Tom Sawyer’s Island during Grad Night?

Following the fireworks and “Disney Dwarfs on Parade” or whatever the hell that noisy thing was, we dutifully reported to Space Mountain to take advantage of our Fast Pass. Wow! Space Mountain was always great but this new revamped version is awesome. You know they mean business when they tell you to take your glasses off. As I was crawling off the rocket sled on my hands and knees I said to my wife, “Now THAT’S a thrill ride!”

Finally, it was time to leave. Where did twelve hours and hundreds of dollars go? A half hour to catch the tram and another half hour to find our car in the parking structure the size of Liechtenstein, and we were merrily on our way (to hit massive traffic on the Santa Ana freeway at midnight).

I have always loved Disneyland. I’m not ashamed to say it. I am ashamed to wear any of those sweatshirts but even as a five year-old curmudgeon I marveled at the imagination, scope, and vision of this wondrous (albeit highly profitable) world. So I will be back. Soon. My Fast Pass reservation for the Little Nemo Submarine Voyage is November 21st at 6:30 AM.

49 comments:

Hank Hollyweird said...

I may be the only man (actually one of two that I know of) that'd been "banned for life" from all Disney properties--and I'm damn proud of it.

But as theme parks go for family entertainment, I *ahem* understand the attraction. And if you've ever been to a Six Flags (which seems to attract the lowest life form of the common man), you'd quickly understand why Disney is far and above the better ticket.

TCinLA said...

The only day to visit Dizzyworld is Valentine's Day, but only if it's a weekday (i.e., Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday - they'll take the day off for Monday or Friday). Nobody gets the day off, nobody's there, it's a 15 minute wait for the Indiana Jones ride, less for everything else (Pirates of the Carribean and the Haunted House both well under 10 minutes), no Chinese or Japanese tourists running you over in a stampede like you're trying to get on the Beijing or Tokyo subway (where they have people whose actual job is to push people aboard till the occupancy arrives at "sardine" - been there, done that). You can actually ride every ride there if you arrive at opening, and still have time for a nice lunch you don't have to stand in line for for 2 hours and eat guiltily while people bore holes in your back with their eyes. Unfortunately they've totally screwed up the completely annoying (yet cute) Small World playing "Where's Waldo?" with all the Dizzy characters hiding among the rest.

The rest of the year, Dizzyworld sux. But not on Valentine's Day.

Now you know a deep Southern California secret.

TCinLA said...

What happened, Hank, did they find out you're a Democrat????

Tim W. said...

Two places I'd like to never visit before I die; Las Vegas and Disneyland. Aren't they really the same thing, though? Disneyland is just a Vegas for kids.

Carlo Conda said...

"If only I could simulate flying on American Airlines instead of actually having to fly on American Airlines."

Hawdee Haw Haw. :P You made a funny.

Anonymous said...

Super Bowl Sunday is another good day to pay a visit. Small crowds plus its not 110 on the pavement.

The ears with Vincent comment was great....

Ger Apeldoorn said...

I don't know what the current plans are, but a couple of months ago the big news/outrage among Disney fans was that the 'revamping' of the Small World' ride meant replacing the people of the world part with a section celebrating America.

Rory L. Aronsky said...

My Fast Pass reservation for the Little Nemo Submarine Voyage is November 21st at 6:30 AM.

That would actually be more fascinating than the current "Finding Nemo" incarnation. But you know the Walt Disney Company. They like to milk concepts they own.

D. McEwan said...

Well actually, tcinla's desctiption of Disneyland on Valentine's Day applies to almost any Monday or Tuesday from January to mid-April. It's always been my preferred time to go. At one point, I realized I hadn't been there at night in a decade because I was never going when the park stayed open after 6 PM. Off-season weekdays rock!

They can do anything they like to the IT'S A SMALL WORLD RIDE, including burning it, because if losing The Repetitive Song From Hell isn't part of the revamp, I won't be seeing the revamp. It's not a ride; it's Disney musical waterboarding.

"We returned to Disneyland, nostalgic for the days when California Adventure used to be a parking lot." is THE classic appraisal. Actually, back in the day, our cars in the parking lot was where we used to repair for a refresher joint, so I DO miss that parking lot. Nowadays, as you pointed out, it's just too long a trip and too much of a hassle to get back to the car for some quick reefer. Sigh. I can now ride Soarin', but I can't soar myself.

Paul Duca said...

Coming from a place (New England) where amusement parks have a season, I have trouble picturing people who work year-round operating rides or wearing character costumes.

Doktor Frank Doe said...

There's nothing quite like Didneyland and the greedy mouse! There's one thing you can count on above all else, that little bastard rodent is the all time heavy-weight at extracting your cash-introveniously if necessary-from your wallet, purse, debit card, visa, master card, American Express, shell, exxon, mervyn's cards, the fifty you keep in your sock for emergencies, the twenty you hide in your car, and the change in your ashtray. But if you have kids, you're really screwed.

The place IS always spotless and the kids working there are always pleasant and helpful and informed and can point you straight to the nearest ATM at any given moment, anyplace in the park and if there's a line at that one, they have some hidden for emergencies. They are a far cry from those hired at Magic Mountain where they merely have to fog a mirror to get hired. The most accident prone teenager I've ever seen was given 20 minutes training and a uniform and three days later was "running" The "Riddler's Revenge". Eight days later he was "in charge" of five rides and spent most of his time humping the legs of every female co-worker in the place. But, as bad as they are, they're still better than SeaWorld down here in San Diego. This is a place where they IQ test every prospective employee and hire those that are in the bottom two percent. They're barely in this dimension and how they find their way to work every day stumps me. Must leave a trail of breadcrumbs or home-in on that big "tower thing" in the middle of the park.

Last time I was at Disneyland the nice older man in the ticket booth offered me an annual pass. Going to both parks that day was going to cost me $90.00, but I could get an annual park-hopper pass for California residents for $99.00. So naturally that's what I did being the economic genius that I am. However, he informed me as he was about to slide my credit card between the mouse-eared happy place that "I wouldn't be able to come during the blackout dates in July and August".

I was quick to inform him that I would MUCH rather have an entire monorail train pushed through my sphincter than to EVER come here in July or August. He slid my card, the mouse smiled, I got my pass and came to Anaheim twice that year. I got my money's worth, or at least according the mouse I got my money's worth and in accordance with Eisner's past policies, that's all that should matter. I made it home with no puke on my shirt.

SharoneRosen said...

Mickey ears.. Vincent... laughed out loud (but, I am an easy audience).

Susanne Sanstra said...

"No trip to Disneyland would be complete without a harrowing bobsled ride down the Matterhorn. It always takes me back to my idyllic childhood, going on it once with my dear sweet grandmother and hearing her drop the f-bomb."

HA! HA! HA!- falls off chair laughing.

Tom Quigley said...

I didn't grow up in SoCal so I never got the chance to visit Disneyland when I was a kid (or Walt's adjoining attraction "The Cryonic Experience"), but my dad's nature was such that if we had lived there, he probably would have made a point of once a week driving past it on the 5 with us kids in the car and saying "There it is, the happiest place on earth. -- Get a good look, 'cause we aren't stopping"...

I think that goes a long way toward explaining why I'm on antidepressants....

A. Buck Short said...

You crazy globe trekker, again with the travelogues? I’m there!

I like it when a theme is well executed. As I recall, at the Six Flags (nee Great America) park in San Jose they had a place called the Klondike Café. I appreciated the restraint in not going for Klondike Kafe, but the entire wait staff were lesbian eskimos. I had never heard the “Vincent” joke, and really hope it’s yours – but in a related question, what’s supposed to be amusing about a hydrocephalic rodent – or duck, or dog for that matter.

As a professional don’t try this at home comedy writer, maybe you can do an analysis some day on what makes particular noun-choices funnier than others. For example, why does the inspired Flint, MI work so much better than some other underpopulated location? Is it because it’s not the obvious choice or that it allows the additional qualification. What do they enlarge on the characters at the Larry Flynt, MI Six Flags?

Re: “the size of Liechtenstein,” ala “the size of Rhode Island,” etc. Is it that the use of a country, but a small country seemingly makes it “feasible” as if you’re not actually going for hyperbole. Is it also the funny sounding name for a country and the Yiddishy “ch” sound that just seems to moisten the whole reference a little? Or that as a tax haven, Liechtenstein ATMs are so much more centrally located and user friendly that Mauritius? If so, then why does “the size of Wyoming” also work toward the same end – since that’s neither here nor there? Is it the sparsely-populated angle that allows the state to be both big and small at the same time? Now I’ve got a headache. Good stuff. Uh-Oh, look out, a hippo - bang!

Michael Bell said...

I LOVE Disneyland, even though my childhood friend Richard Kraft now owns most of the original cool stuff.
If you doubt this, just watch his film "Finding Kraftland" and then get back to me.

I also like California adventure, although I do think Disney missed the boat on so many things.

I wish that the Hollywood Backlot section focused on more of Disney's film history. The Animation exhibit is cool, but I already knew how to draw Mickey Mouse, so that was a bit anticlimactic.

The best thing about California Adventure for me (being of legal age a couple of times over): THERE'S A BAR! Nothing better than having a nice cocktail while watching people screaming for dear life on that roller coaster at the boardwalk.

The downside was that I apparently overindulged just a bit. I was screaming so loud on "Soarin'" that the pilot immediately set down in Palm Springs and I was escorted off the ride by Federal Air Marshals.

I'll let you know how the case plays out.

A. Buck Short said...

One mo.

I apologize if I ever posted this before, and I’m not sure now if it was on Oliver Stone’s “JFK” or on the British “Marina’s Story,” with Helena Bonham Carter, but when one of those filmed here in Dallas I was asked to take a scout out to Six Flags park in Arlington. It seems the weekend of the assassination, the secret service had rushed Marina Oswald out of town as quickly as possible and sequestered her in a motel at what was then way out there across the street from Six Flags.
I didn’t know about the motel, and all I could think of was one of those Disney sports product placement things: “Hey Marina, your husband just shot the President. What are you going to do now?” “I’m going to SIX FLAGS!”

Courtney Suzanne said...

Great post!

As a former Disney employee, I am still a fan of Disney, but I can still see the cracks in the facade. I think I enjoy the theme parks because I only get to go every 12 years or so. I think if I worked in the park, I'd probably hate myself after a while.

The LA Times had this great piece by a guy who recently played Captain Jack Sparrow at Disneyland which I highly recommend:

http://www.lamag.com/featuredarticle.aspx?id=7016&source=rss

Warren Fleece said...

A former Cap'n Jack Sparrow spills all.

http://www.lamag.com/featuredarticle.aspx?id=7016

Warren Fleece said...

YAR! Beaten by a wench!

Emily Blake said...

Last time I went to Disney I went to the Donwtown area and got drunk. This allowed me to be overenthusiastic on the Indiana Jones ride, completely freaked out on Space Mountain, and heckle the nice people having $17 hamburgers at the restaraunt next to the Pirates of the Carribean ride.

It was also raining most of the day, which meant the lines were only three hours long. It made the bobsled ride more realistic.

It was the best day ever.

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

"...Temple of Waiting"

I exploded. Wonderful line! It wraps every frustration all of us ever had with the park into one word strung at the end of the name for a ride. THAT'S writing, kids!

Tezcatzontecatl said...

Emily alludes to one of the real bits of genius about California Adventure: it has beer. I have two sons, 9 and 10, who have been to Disneyland three times in their lives. The last time we were there, we made the mistake of coming to Anaheim during the same week as the National Prepubescent Cheerleading Championships (or some damn thing). After four hours or so of walking around Disneyland surrounded by the usual group of tourists and locals, generously supplemented by thousands of prepubescent cheerleaders from all over the country, I needed one. And then another. And then another. Then I took my (then) 8 year old son onto California Screamin', and all was right with the world.

DodgerGirl said...

My dad worked for RCA (owned by NBC) and we got to go to Disneyland every year for free while I was growing up in the 1960s. It was awesome because we had special tickets that let us on any ride. No need to fuss with A,B,C or D tickets. Lots of good memories.

The best time to go IMO is after Thanksgiving but before Christmas vacation. The weather is perfect, the holiday decorations are up, the Haunted Mansion as taken over by Jack Skellington and The Nightmare Before Christmas is fantastic and even It's A Small World is more tolerable as it is decorated for the holidays.

And yeah, while I enjoy California Adventure overall, they missed the boat on a lot of things and really need to add/rethink some aspects of it. Too much deadspace right now.

And finally, the worst date I ever had was at Disneyland. Went on the Indiana Jones ride and he threw up on me. He said, "Was that the last ride?" Ooooh, you'd better believe it, buddy.

The Crutnacker said...

My wife and I will be going to Disney World in Florida for our 10th anniversary this fall.

If you REALLY want to enjoy it, take some of that money that you made off of MASH DVDs and fly to Florida in late November, early December (avoiding Thanksgiving). The park is not that crowded, meaning your wait for many popular rides is the mile and a half it takes you to get from the entrance of the line to the actual ride. It's still warm, but not oppressively hot, and you can enjoy yourself without feeling like you have to sprint from attraction to attraction.

As for princesses, my daughter is ADDICTED to the damned things, which meant we spent an hour and a half in the line from hell to get their signatures. They decided to place it in a hot corridor with no airflow and no indication of how close you might actually get to see a princess. Note to Disney: If you have a popular character, hire TWO girls to play her and just don't put them in the same room.

The creepiest thing by far was all of the men who took their daughters to Ariel's Grotto (which sounds like either a porn movie or a disease of the week film) and snapped dozens of pictures of the mermaid costumed woman playing Ariel.

The Crutnacker said...

Hey dodgergirl, better he threw up riding that than riding you. ;)

emily said...

I must admit, thinking of your dear sweet grandmother hurtling down the Matterhorn and dropping the f-bomb made me laugh long and loud.

(and or course my word verification would be "kcfkk"...)

Anonymous said...

I spent 20 years employed at Disneyland. The absolute slowest time of the year is the first two weeks of December. One tenth the crowds of summer.

I always enjoyed watching Michael Eisner at the employee xmas party. He often donned a goofy cap and gave away soft drinks and hot dogs at "Coke Corner" Main street.

I hear nowadays he's doing the same on the west side for minimum wage.

B

GG said...

Did you go yesterday? Or last weekend. Usually, even in June, Tuesdays are dead until at least 3 in the afternoon. (I should know. I'm not ashamed to admit I go at least 14 times a year.)

Fiasco said...

"To avoid standing in endless lines Disneyland now offers “Fast Passes” for most major rides."


You DID date yourself with that one. Did you hear that the Beatles broke up, too?

I grew up in SoCal, but hadn't been back to Disneyland in about 40 years until we took our kids a couple summers ago. Amazing how much of it is still the same. It really hit home on the jungle river ride, with the "captain" pulling out many of the same corny jokes I heard when I was a kid. In 40 years, all the robotic animated figures have gone from amazingly lifelike to terribly fake to classic kitsch.

Steve Marshall said...

I used to employ the surefire tactic of avoiding the Disneyland crush by going on Superbowl Sunday. That worked for a time. But now it appears that a LOT more people share my opinion that the Superbowl is a festival of stupid hype. It's just as crowded on Superbowl Sunday as any other day.

Boy did you luck out with It's a Small World closed down. I took my daughter on that ride when she was three (she's now 34 and the experience still haunts me). That's when the ride stalled halfway through and left us in there, listening to that fucking music for 25 endless minutes.

Tezcatzontecatl said...

I'm curious to know if there's anyone why has been to Disneyland more than once that hasn't has "It's a Small World" break on them. They could, quite possibly, be the luckiest person in the world. If you know of any such person, I suggest you get as close to them as possible, and have them buy your lottery tickets.

Alto2 said...

Sounds like the crowds I found at WDW in February migrated to Anaheim in early June. And, my kids want to go back ... NOW! Right, summer vacation in Orlando: 90º, 90% humidity, crushing crowds. Sounds like the ninth circle of hell to me. BTW, I thought the new Pirates ride was completely lame and overrated.

The Crutnacker said...

It's a small world makes me want to torch the place. We rode it TWICE and got stuck toward the end.

growingupartists said...

You make me miss Epcot Center. It was the first time I saw the beginnings of modern home conveniences, and the future as imagined by Disney. I was ten, so that was 24 years ago...make me feel old why don't you.

xjill said...

Although I've lived in L.A. 10 years, I've never been to Disneyland. I love DisneyWorld and Epcot (!!) and it always just seemed weird to me that Disneyland is like, off the freeway and take a right. I am used to the World where like the whole damn City is Disneyfied.

I supposed I should go once though, and I will use the tips here on WHEN to go to avoid crowd insanity as much a possible.

Anonymous said...

Astute and funny, as always.

Speaking of Vincent, and "dating myself," when I was a young, or should I say "younger," writer, I wrote a line for Merv Griffin to intro Shelley Winters with (during the '80s) ... "Not many know this, but she once had an affair with Vincent Van Gogh. She talked his other ear off."

D. McEwan said...

Okay, this is a bit of an R-rated anecdote.

Back in 1977, when SPACE MOUNTAIN had just opened, and I was still having sex with women (I was officially "Bi" until I stopped "bi"ing my own bull.), I took my final girlfriend to Disneyland to ride SPACE MOUNTAIN.

I had been on it already, a week earlier (I spent my teen years living 6 miles from Disneyland, and went a lot. You didn't need to take out a home loan to visit in those days.), so I knew what she was in for. As we went up the lift hill, I slipped her a small brown bottle of amyl nitrate and said, "Quick, take a deep sniff just before we crest the hill."

She was known for a salty, ribald tongue. At the loading platform after we rode, as she CRAWLED off the ride on her hands and knees, she loudly announced, to the horror of all the moms and their kiddies, "Darlin' no offense, but I haven't been fucked that great in YEARS!"

At her insistence, we got right back in line.

"Mem'ries light the corners of my mind, misty water-colored mem'ries..."

Lisa Lyon said...

Actually, the reason so many of you have been stranded in the Valley of the Dolls is simple. We has a nation weigh more than we did when the ride was designed. Our plumper arses make the boats bottom out and get stuck. To remedy the problem the park employees have been trained to guess the weights of the passengers and give the more portly a bench to themselves to avoid shipwreck and subsequent trauma. I guess its not such a Small World afterall.

Harriet said...

Even if I didn't have the super-restricted Annual Pass, I would still knick one of the pocket-sized blackout calendars -- it's the perfect no-fail guide to avoiding crowds.

I too hate the Small World song, but I am grateful that American Girl Place has not licensed the melody for a theme song of their own:

It's A World of Girls
And a World of Dolls.
It's a World of Dolls
And a World of Girls.
It's Doll, Girl, World!

D. McEwan said...

Lisa is right about the problem with IT'S A SMALL WORLD. (It applies to PIRATES also.) Frankly, I've never been stuck on the ride, but it has been about 20 years since the last time I visited the park with people who INSISTED on riding it. And my own weight was still below 200 pounds then.

But she is right that the ride loaders attempt to ration out the weight on the boats (And may even hold a fatty up to ride a less-overloaded boat) to try and avoid the bottoming-out phenomenon, which really is what holds the ride up. The gigantic renovation currently being given the ride will hopefully include deepening the channel.

jbryant said...

I dunno - I think the frequent breakdowns of It's a Small World can be chalked up to one factor -- sadistic ride operators!

D. McEwan said...

I know you were making a joke JB, but even if the ride operators HAD the power to jam up the ride (Which would require turning off all the water pumps. It's not powered by electricity like most of the rides, nor does it have a lift hill like PIRATES, it's just drifting along on the water.), the ride operators are not about to do anything that would make the people standing in line, outside, in the heat, where the ride operators are, more irritable. They know how seriously outnumbered they are.

And according to a lot of ex-ride operators (interviewed in David Koenig's wonderfully entertaining books MOUSE TALES and MORE MOUSE TALES. All the Disneyland dish Disney would rather you didn't know.), bottoming out under obese patrons is indeed what causes the stoppages.

Weight issues were part of why The Flying Saucers, which used to be where Space Mountain is now, were taken out, and never moved or reopened, despite being very popular. For those of you under retirement age, they were like round airfoil bumper cars, floating on a blast of air, that you could ram into each other. They were fun.

But if you weighed too much, they just sat there on the grid, and wouldn't budge. And if you weighed too little, you couldn't control them at all, and they'd just stay in one spot and bounce. They never figured out how to fix that narrow-weight-range problem.

Spokker said...

Indiana Jones has a longer wait time because it's in really bad shape right now. It's only running at partial capacity because it desperately needs a refurbishment to fix everything up.

Unfortunately they don't want to close it because they are running a special Indiana Jones seasonal event in Adventureland.

Anonymous said...

I love that there are so many people who post trip reports like yours. Complaining about the destination before you go, while you're there, and once you're back home.

Geez, why the heck did you go to the Parks in the first place?

D. McEwan said...

You can only go to the parks if you switch your brain off, and just accept uncritically?

Disneyland may keep out longhairs and drunks, but there's no entry rule that you're not allowed in unless you love it unconditionally.

For some, Disneyland love is complex, not simple. It's love/hate at it's kitchiest. I know it is for me, and clearly it is for Ken.

And how boring would the travelog be if it were just love, praise, and worship?

And would I trust any opinions from someone who embraces it without any reservations? That would be large no.

Minako said...

Hi... just happen to cross your site...

Im planning to go to Tokyo or Hong Kong Disney this Christmas. Hoho and I found some stuffs from Hong Kong Disneyland here as well:
disneycloth.cwahi.net

I will definitely take tones of photos there!!!

D. McEwan said...

A comment today on the reposting of this in November 2010. California Adventure has been receiving the "rethinkng" mentioned in the post, and bit by bit over the last two years, major portions of it have been radically revamped. A large, brand-new section of it will open next year, themed to the Pixar movie Cars. Whether this will add up to a better park or not remains to be seen, but there are now a few rides from CA that are gone forever.

Pat Reeder said...

Didn't it already have a "Cars" theme back when it was a parking lot?