Thursday we spent the day at Disneyland. We drove to Anaheim early in the morning, and Diana braved heavy traffic and weird parking directions to get us there within an hour of the park opening. I was immediately surprised by the short wait to enter the park. Er, did I say wait? There was no wait. Which I’m sure meant long lines inside, right? No, not so much. The Peter Pan ride just inside the main gate is usually a long wait, I’m told. We waited about 15 minutes. Then Mr. Toad’s wild ride — 5 minutes. Buzz Lightyear? Five minutes. There was even a three-minute wait in there at some point during the day. The longest we waited was at the Finding Nemo Submarine Adventure. That one was a 20-minute line. We used a fast pass at Indiana Jones, and there was a bit of a wait there, but otherwise, the park was uncrowded.
The weather was very nice. It was overcast much of the morning and never hot all day.
Now, I don’t recall visiting Disneyland, but I do have many memories of Disneyworld back when I was in second grade. Toad’s Wild Ride and Peter Pan’s flight were just as I remembered, but there were many new & different things. (Is it just me, or is the castle here much smaller than the one in Florida!?)
- There have been many changes to Pirates of the Caribbean since the films came out. There are many cameos of Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow, and some of the vignettes are removed or changed. This California version begins with a leisurely cruise through a bayou past real diners at a real restaurant. Pretty cool.
- The submarine ride in Florida was based on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. That ride is paved over now, but the California ride (which was always slightly different) is now a Finding Nemo adventure. They have a system for projecting animated clips that are visible from the sub’s portholes. This was an interesting ride
- The Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse is now Tarzan’s Treehouse. Vignettes of cheetahs and gorillas have been installed and the transformation is complete. So it is completely unclear why the treehouse is made of ship parts. Odd.
- Indiana Jones is a new ride since I’d visited, and reminded me of a new-generation Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
- Buzz Lightyear was fun. In this ride, you use a joystick to spin your car (an updated Mad Hatter?) and use a ray gun to shoot at targets throughout the ride, collecting points. Very exciting.
- Star Tours seemed very dated, but was new to me. A 4-D ride based on Star Wars characters.
We had a really good time and actually left the park about 5 o’clock feeling like we got to do everything we wanted.