Between my wife and I, we’ve been to Disney World at least a couple dozen times. But just a short time ago, I spent my first days at Disneyland. I was there mainly to support my wife in her latest Avengers/Superheroes half marathon run. But I also wanted the chance to see what Disneyland was like.
I can’t help but compare Disney World and Disneyland. Still, I honestly think they are like apples and oranges. Both similar in some ways, but “worlds” apart in others. While I won’t talk about every difference or similarity in this article, there are several things that I want to touch on. I ended up spending more time in California Adventure than Disneyland.
The first thing I did when I had time was get a fast pass to Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout. Disneyland still uses the old Fast Pass system; putting your tickets into a kiosk and setting up return times. That is one of the things I miss about Disney World. But I digress; Mission Breakout was one of the things I was looking forward as I said in my earlier article A Tale of Two Rides. And let me tell you, it didn’t disappoint. You get to see Groot, Starlord, and the other Guardians, as you feel your stomach travel from your head to your toes.I loved everything about the ride. Except the fact that I kept using fast passes so I didn’t get to travel through the regular line and see all the scenery.
Next on my list is Cars Land. My wife was insistent, I see Cars Land. When I walked down the street, I felt like I was walking through Radiator Falls. The environmental visuals were spectacular. While you can grab a bite from the Cozy Cone or Flo’s V8 Diner, that’s just the tip of the iceberg for Cars Land. I thought that the Twilight Zone ride was the most impressive attraction Disney had to offer, but the Radiator Springs Racers ride has made me reconsider that opinion. The ride itself honestly was reminiscent of the early days of Epcot’s Test Track, but that’s not the big deal of the ride. The attention to detail is what makes the ride so special. You get to take a short trip through the first Cars film and in your car you meet Mater, Doc, Luigi, and after outrunning a few tractors and Frank the Combine Thresher, you race some of your fellow patrons in another car. I wish I could do it justice with my description, but believe me I can’t. Any fan of Cars or Disney in general needs to put visiting Cars Land on their bucket list.
I wrote about the closing of the Animation Academy in Florida in the article Magic of Animation is Closed. I was saddened by this greatly. So when I found out that the academy was still open in California, I was ecstatic! I got to draw baby Groot and it was like the academy never closed. I only wish I could’ve stayed for more than one class.
Finally, I got to “ride” the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean. Just as my wife wanted me to see Cars Land, she wanted me to see these two attractions as well. I’m glad she felt so strongly about it. Both attractions were awesome. The Haunted Mansion had what my wife called an overlay of The Nightmare before Christmas. I didn’t look at it as an overlay as much as a re-imaging. Its as I said though the Mansion was changed similarly to how the Twilight Zone ride was changed to Mission Breakout. This is another must see for an Disney fan especially those who have a fondness for The Nightmare before Christmas. The Pirates ride was longer and had a few drops in the dark, but wasn’t much different. While the longer ride was nice, the more interesting part was the line. My wife and I got through the line in 30 minutes while didn’t seem like a possibility.
There are a more things i’d like to point out about my first visit to Disneyland, but I think I’ll save those for another article.
Have you been to Disneyland? What’s your favorite part of the California parks?