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Ann-CA
03-21-2001, 09:33 PM
Hi! I haven't been to this website for over a year, but I just got back from DCA, and thought it'd be fun to post a trip report.

About 2 months ago, I had the great idea that I was determined to go check out Disney's California Adventure. I was in San Diego, Anaheim was not that far. I went to Disneyland twice already this school year, and the park that was being built next door just looked awesome. I made plans with two of my friends to go check out California Adventure. One had already been there for an AP holder's preview and said it was great.
After a week or so of solid studying for my finals, (and after finishing them. :-)), our plans were set! Unfortunately, one of my friends (the one who had been there), couldn't go, so my other friend and I ventured out early this morning to check out the new park.
We left 6:30 from San Diego and got to the parking lot about 7:45. BTW, I think that Mickey and Friends lot is ingenious. If only we had something like that on campus, it would make parking life so much easier. At 7:45, nobody was there. We were probably the 50th or so car there, maybe less and were just starting to fill up portions of the top floor of that lot. We got on the tram to head over to the parks. (It is very cold in the morning when you have shorts on and the tram is moving at 14 mph, plus it was hazy)
Finally, we were in the park about 8:10. There was practically nobody there and we decided to head back to the Paradise Pier portion of the park, where most of the "rides" were. I'm all for rides. My friend wasn't, but i managed to get her on a lot of the rides. We walked right onto California Screamin'. It's a good roller coaster. I'm pretty into roller coasters and this one was good. I was not expecting the sudden blast off in the beginning of the ride, but it added to the excitement.
Afterwards, we went to the Sun Wheel. My friend wouldn't go on the swinging ones, so the two of us decided to go on the stationary ones. The ride isn't very interesting when you're stationary. I think we only went around twice, with two more times spent loading and unloading. The views are good though. When you stop, i think it'd only be amusing if you were on a swinging gondola. In the afternoons, the lines were up to an hour or more. Not worth that wait.
There was still nobody around so we went and did the Orange Stinger (classic swing ride) and the Jumpin' Jellyfish (this bobbing ride). The rides there are short! I think we were on jumpin' jellyfish for like 30 seconds. There were other rides there, but we decided to move on.
We then went over to HOllywood, hoping to find a change of pace. We both were pretty impressed with hollywood. The area was still small and undeveloped, but the animation studio and the muppets shows were great. Even Superstar Limo, as cheesy as it was, was enjoyable. We first walked right into Muppetvision (I kinda wanted to see the preshow show, but that's ok). I've seent his before at WDW, but it was still cool to see it again. We went over to Superstar Limo. This is one of those rides that they (being Disney) made sound a lot better than it actually was, but it wasn't that bad. We liked having our pictures on the wall. So we decided to ride it again to see if we could get a better picture.
We then went over to the Animation studio. This was amazing. You walk into this large foyer/lobby/viewing area where they just have different art/storyboard pieces projected all over. It really is awesome! We walked into some line for the Drawn to Animation show. It was pretty funny, some amusing things, and some interesting facts. Then we went over to the Sorcerer's Workshop. This is where you should spend your time! They had paper to draw on, but i can't draw to save my life. There was a personality test too (I was Cinderella, my friend was Nala). Ursala's Grotto (i thhink that's what it's called) was really interesting. We didnt' know what it was, but you basically choose a song or a scene, and you act it out. They record you and show what it's like with your voice. Spend some time there, it's really great.
We went and headed toward Soaring Over California. This was our one wait of the day, maybe 20 minutes (we utilized fast pass later for other rides). The ride was amazing, you just have to check it out, but ours wasn't as great as it could've been. We were towards the side of the theater, so we could see where the screen ended. The black was kind of distracting, but it was still really good...
We decided to head out to Downtown Disney for lunch. Went to Rainforest Cafe. (Downtown Disney is pretty cool, considering the last time i was in Disney in December, it didn't exist). We had some pasta and this crab dip thing. Pretty good. Expensive for us college folks, but it was worth it.
Went back, grabbed a fastpass for Grizzly River Run and went to It's Tough to be a Bug. THis is where my time started to go bad. While i was waiting to go in, my contact shifted and I guess it fell out. My sight is not that great. I spent the whole show trying to see if it was still in my eye. I've seen it before, but i didn't really get to enjoy it. I went to check in the mirror and determined that i offically lost my contact. I walked around the rest of the day (not that much) kind of half blind. I could still see, but it was slightly blurry. I had to have my friend drive home for me.
We went ot the tortilla factory. The warm corn tortillas are good. saw the wine area. Not old enough to drink yet. Not sure what they have over there, but they had a bunch of wine glasses out.
We went and used our fastpass for Grizzly River Run (utilize the fastpass on this ride!!!) Actually, we went and grabbed another fastpass first. We figured we could go on it again soon afterwards. This time, we didn't get really wet. I think this is one of those rides where you just get to talking with people. It was good, but I don't think it was spectacular. There could've been more theming. The ride was fun, but Disney could've done more.
We went and checked out the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. Go on the cargo nets. They're fun, but if you're scared of heights, don't go across them. If you go across one, you'll have to go across more and you'll get stuck until you find stairs again.
We walked around the boardwalk area again. This time we checked out the games. $2 is a ripoff. We did play this one fishing game where you were guaranteed to win. We got these little fish that kind of looked like flounder. I don't know why they don't give out Disney stuff. They use the cheap toys that you find everywhere else. It's the same type of toys that the place where i worked gave out, and they're not very good.
Went over to this ice cream place. Definitely go there! You get to swirl a flavor on soft-serve. So good...
Went back on the river. Got drenched!!! I guess sometimes you get lucky, and sometimes you don't.
Walked it off. Went to the car and went home around 3.
The park is good. Not worth the $43. At least not yet. We left a bit early because of my lost contact, but we pretty much saw everything. We could've spent more time just enjoying the sites.

The Good:
Soarin over California
Animation place
ice cream at paradise pier
cargo nets at the challenge course
ambience

the bad:
expensive
still limited things
paradise pier rides short, not that impressive

observations and advice:
go early! you'll get a lot more done
didn't get to see some shows and parades, they look interesting.
lots of food places. i don't know why they have so many.
take some time and just relax and check out the stores. you'll have time to do it
use fastpass on rides like soaring over california and grizzly rapids.

well, thanks for reading this far if you did. I hope it helps. :-).

JennSaint
03-22-2001, 05:38 AM
Thanks for the report! We plan on only spending 1 day at DCA on our upcoming trip in May. Sounds like you had a good day!

WDW~CBR 11/29-12/5 2000
Disneyland May 2001 !!

SimonV
03-22-2001, 09:13 AM
Nice report, Ann. I think people can get a very good handle on the park from the way you've written it up.

simon.veness@virgin.net

SweetP
03-26-2001, 03:11 PM
Thanks for the trip report. My family and I are planning a trip in May so your report is very helpful.

Question, what day of the week did you visit?

October 1997 - Caribbean Beach
August 1998 - Coronado Springs
October 1999 - Villa at the Institute
September 2000 - Disney Institute
May 2001 - Awaiting Disneyland and DCA

Marla Hellwig
04-09-2001, 04:40 AM
Sounds like you had a fun day except for losing your contact. Thanks for posting!

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