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California Adventures

09/12/2013

Ah, vacation. So sorry that it’s over. After enjoying Labor Day with family and beer, we continued down to Anaheim and a long-delayed trip to Disneyland. It’s been two years since our last visit, so we hadn’t yet seen Cars Land or the renovations at California Adventure. Honestly, I don’t care about Cars, but I knew the addition would help the park. I was looking forward to the hub redesign and—probably more than anything else in the entire renovation package—not hearing Bob Seger several times a day.

I have always been a fan of California Adventure, even when it first opened, but it’s taken a long time to blossom into a park that could draw enough people to balance the Disneyland crowd. It had a few really great rides and made a nice supplemental excursion, but it wasn’t going to occupy a full day on your schedule and too many attractions didn’t call out for repeated visits. The addition of Cars Land has given it more visual character, and I’m not sorry to see the sun-and-surf theme go. That said, I miss the Golden Gate Bridge that used to define the entrance.

The new DCA entry and Carthay Circle hub are lifted from the styling of Disney’s Hollywood Studios (formerly MGM Studios) in Florida. They’ve done a great job of porting over some of Disney World’s most popular attractions, like Tower of Terror and Test Track (adapted and overlaid as Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land). Meanwhile, some of DCA’s most successful rides, like Soarin’ Over California and Toy Story Midway Mania! have been exported off to various WDW locations.

We enjoyed the colorful, panoramic theming of Cars Land, and Radiator Springs is a fun new ride. But unless you can get there well before opening, the wait is far too long. We got in an hour early using Extra Magic Hour and waited fifteen minutes to ride. By the time we got done, half an hour later, the line was 45 minutes long, and another, equally daunting queue had formed at the FastPass machines. So that was it for us and the Springs. I never wait more than 20 minutes for anything. Vacation time is too valuable to spend it all on line.

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From → Disney, Disneyland, Travel

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