View Full Version : From Kansas to California - day 2

04-01-2001, 09:47 PM
David – husband, father, reluctant Disney fan
Sheila – trip planner, organizer, big Disney fan
Aaron – 10 yo boy; loves the Tea Cups
Samantha – 8 yo girl; enjoys everything

Friday, March 16

Now, it’s time for our California Adventure. First order of business was to ride Soarin’ Over California. Unfortunately, it was down and everyone was told to get a FP.

With FP in hand (well, actually the official carrying spot for tix & FP was my fanny pack), we headed to Paradise Pier. I couldn’t wait to get on that “huge” roller coaster – California Screamin! Aaron couldn’t be talked into riding and David didn’t really want to either, so they waited while the girls rode. Since the park had just opened, we walked right onto the ride. All I can say is WOW!! When your car takes off and heads up that first hill, it really takes you by surprise. By the time we got off, David had decided to give it a try, so he and Samantha rode. Since he had been hesitant about riding it in the first place, I didn’t know what he would think of it. We met them at the picture display and he said that they were going on again RIGHT NOW! Of course, after their second ride, Aaron was a bit miffed that he wasn’t doing anything but waiting around. So, David said that he would take him on some of the other rides in Paradise Pier and Samantha and I could just continue riding California Screamin until they came back. The two of us rode three times in a row, and quite honestly, I was ready to quit after those three times. David and Aaron were back and David wanted to ride some more, so he and Samantha went for some back-to-back rides while I walked over to the Orange Stinger with Aaron. When we returned, they had rode three times in a row and were ready to stop. So, if you’re keeping track, little Samantha has just finished riding the California Screamin’ roller coaster NINE times in a row and the park has been open 55 minutes! The entire first hour after opening, their was absolutely no line at the roller coaster. In fact, since they keep three cars going on a time, this is a very fast loader and the line moves quickly even when the park gets a bit more crowded.

Unfortunately, the SunWheel (ferris wheel) was down for the entire day, but we were able to ride the Maliboomer. Neither of the kids wanted to try it, so they waited while we went on. There was still not a line at all and we were able to sit facing them so they could watch us “rocket” into the air. This is one of my favorite rides – I really like the very top when you are pulled off of your seat right before being pulled back down. BTW, I was wearing sandels that were not strapped onto my feet and had to remove them so that they would not fly off of my feet during the ride.

Mulholland Madness was down for our entire trip. But, we did see them testing it later in the week.

By now, it was time to use our FP for Soarin, so we head to the front of the park. Just as we walk up, they announce that the ride is down AGAIN! Oh no, now I’m worried that we will never be able to get on. They tell us to just use our FP anytime for the rest of the day regardless of the return time printed on them.

Well, that gives us the opportunity to try the Grizzly River Run. The sun is out by now and we figure we won’t get too cold by getting a little wet. This is really a nice raft ride and it’s surprising when your inner tube spins around while going down the biggest drop. I made sure to hold my feet up to keep them dry because there is nothing more miserable than walking around with wet feet!

Soarin is still down. We head over to Superstar Limo which is not much of an attraction. Of course, almost everyone who has posted on the boards has said that same thing. Then, it was time for the MuppetVision 3D show. This is really cute, but it is the exact same show from the Studios at WDW.

Decided to walk over to Soarin again and got a picture with Cruella along the way. BTW, Mickey, Minnie and Goofy hung out in front of the entrance fountain just about all day. Also, Chip, Dale & Pluto were behind the Grizzly River Run (towards Paradise Pier) just about everytime that we walked that way.

We’re not really expecting to be able to ride Soarin. We figure even if it’s up and working just about everyone in the park should be holding a FP by now and all trying to use them at the same time. Well, we walk up – the ride is working – and there is absolutely NO ONE in the FP line. We walk right in and are led to the front row of Concourse A. This is an absolutely amazing attraction – very unique. You sit in a suspended seat and are then raised directly over and in front of an extremely large screen. You start out flying through clouds and then the California landscape appears in front of and below you. You go over beaches, deserts, mountains, the Golden Gate Bridge, Napa Valley, etc. Of course, in true Disney fashion, they enhance the experience by blowing the appropriate amount of wind and fragrance on you. The end of the film is a night flight over LA and Disneyland with the fireworks. This is a not-to-be-missed attraction. When we got off, we picked up a FP for later – 6 and a half hours later! Well, that just gave us plenty of time for a pool break at the hotel before coming back.

After another quick ride on the Grizzly, we exited the park through the Grand Californian which is an enormous hotel and walked through Downtown Disney a little bit. This just doesn’t impress me much. A lot of over-priced stores. Anyway, we eat lunch at Mom’s Buffet which is right across Harbor from the entrance and then walk back to the Candy Cane. Since it is after 2:00, we are a bit surprised that the room is not made up. However, when I went to use the bathroom, I noticed that there were a couple of clean bath towels thrown on top of the toilet and the TP had been folded into a point (you know how the hotels do it). Anyway, that let me know that the maid had been in the room. But, nothing else was done – the beds were not made and the trash was overflowing. The kids changed into their swimsuits and we headed for the pool. I went into the office to ask about our room and Kim (the front desk clerk) snapped at me and then snapped at Housekeeping on the phone before slamming the receiver down! At first, she said something about them not doing a thorough cleaning everyday and then said that they officially had until 4:00 to clean the room anyway. I pointed out that someone had obviously already been in the room and was “done?” but that I expected the beds made and the trash emptied. That’s we she snapped at Housekeeping and slammed down the phone. She wasn’t too happy that I expected the room to be made up everyday. Anyway, when we returned to the room, it had been cleaned properly and we never had another problem.

Okay, back to DCA before nightfall. The kids enjoyed the tire swing and rope bridges at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. This is a nice playground for the kids, but not something that you want to spend a lot of time at considering the $$ you spent to get into the park!

Decided to go back to Paradise Pier to finish the rides that we missed earlier. Well, the Zephyr is down. You have to realize that this park doesn’t have a lot of attractions yet since it is brand new. But, the SunWheel was down, Mulholland Madness was down, the Zephyr was down and Soarin was down most of the morning. It was a bit disappointing. We all rode the JellyFish which is a tamer version of the Maliboomer and then the Orange Stinger. The bees buzzing in the Orange Stinger were a bit grating on my nerves, but Aaron really liked this ride which is just a lot of swings moving around in a circle. We got on the Maliboomer again with only a 15 minute wait, went back to use our Soarin FP (and got front row again!) and ran into the parade as we headed back to Paradise Pier. We grabbed some chicken strips near King Triton’s Carousel (which we had rode at one point today, just don’t remember exactly when) and then used a FP to Screamin.

That was our day at Disney’s California Adventure. Despite what others have said about it being a boring park and despite the fact that several rides were out of commission, we really enjoyed ourselves. And, there were still several things that we hadn’t got to yet – namely the Animation Building.

Wilderness Lodge; Dec 1999
Disneyland March 2001!

Marla Hellwig
04-09-2001, 07:13 PM
Sounds like you all had a nice day. Thanks for posting!

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Co Host Wednesday Night Chat

04-12-2001, 02:24 PM
How wet did you get on Grizzly River Run? Do you need a poncho if you want to stay dry or what?

WDW: Offsite 89; ASSp 95, 96; FWH 98; Dolphin 00. DL: Offsite 93, 94, 98; DLHotel 99.

04-12-2001, 06:40 PM
Yes, we got wet on the GRR, but not really too bad. Mostly splashes on our shorts and shirts, but they dried out while we walked around the park. Of course, we only went on the ride when the sun was shining - not in the early morning when it was still chilly or after the sun went down at night.

I made sure and put my feet up on the center island so they would not get wet. There is nothing more miserable than sore feet when you are doing a lot of walking - and if your socks & shoes are wet, then your feet are going to be miserable!

Wilderness Lodge; Dec 1999
Disneyland March 2001!

04-13-2001, 08:27 AM
Thanks for posting! I love to hear about DCA - I'll be there in 3 weeks!

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04-25-2001, 09:33 AM