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Old 02-05-2001, 03:29 PM   #1
Will Conga for Fun
But sometimes, I am just lucky.....
TheLionKing's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Southern California... near the King of the Right Point Breaks.
Posts: 1,580

My DCA Trip Report with links to Pictures (to save loading time)

Well, I am back from two days at DCA.

I arrived Friday afternoon. One of my cases cancelled so I figure Iw ould try to beat some of the LA traffic. I took me 3 hours to get there insted of the usual 2 1/2 hours

I had no hotel reservation, so I tried the Best Western Park Plaza, and got a single room for a quoted 80 dollars a night. No too bad. I went into Disneyland to eat dinner at the River Belle Terrace. Spent more than I wanted but the salmon was good. I took in the Fantasmic Show, which I am now hooked on. Then went back to the hotel for the evening.

All my pictures are 40 - 80K

The entrance at at night


The next morning, I walked across Harbor Blvd to DCA. I left the hotel at 7:10 after wolfing down the free continental breakfast. They were letting people into the park early, so I went in. I was meeting a friend at 7:30, so I went to Hollywood Pictures Backlot and checked out the Animation Venue. WOW!!!! It blows away the Animation Tour at MGM Studios. Here is a picture inside the building.


This is a shot from inside the main room. They have multiple screen with stills and moving scenes from the animated features. These screens are huge in some cases and over 40 feet tall. The music is awesome. They have a "lecture" on character design with Mushu and an "animator" who is a cast member. Very funny and enjoyable. They have a movie like WDW with Walter Cronkite and Robin Williams. They have a gallery with production design of many of the characters and it gives credit to each of the individual artist which I think is long overdue. Usually they just put up the picture or drawing and say nothing about who did it. Finally they have a demonstration of early animation, an interactive book that will tell you which character you are most like personlaity wise and the abililty to record your voice to a Disney song. There was sometimes a good line to get into that set of rooms.

Well I did the tours later in the morning. But I could have spent my time just listening to the music and watching the images. They showed the preview of Atlantis which you can see on the Dinosaur DVD.

I joined my friend and we walked onto California Soarin'. I heard it was good, but I was really blown away. It was very cool. Unfortuantely that was the only time I got to ride it. They had a fire in the early evening that closed down Condor Flats and so there were some seriously upset people at Guest Services complaining.

Here is Soarin at night with the monorail which runs right next to it.


We headed for Grizzly Bear Run.

Here's me "pretending the big lantern is going to fall on me. The lantern is held by a 25 foot Grizzly Bear.


Here is a picture at night from Grizzly River Run towards Paradise Pier


Paradise Pier is probably the more "happening" place. It is very pretty to look at during the day and night with the reflections of the lake.

Now, California Screamin is a very good roller coaster for Disney. Clearly they needed something that was fast to have at least soemthing to compete with Six Flags in Valencia. It uses the same magnetic launching system like Rock N Roller Coaster which goes 0 - 50 in 4 seconds. It just pushes you back into the seat. It has one inverted loop but is very smooth. The problem is that it does break down. Saturday it was closed for part of the afternoon. Sunday, I saw it get hung up and they had to exit people from the ride who were in the middle of the ride. So, mechaincally the ride is having problems. Here are some pictures of California Screamin

Here is one of the inverted loop which takes place in the mickey insignia


Here is a picture of the roller coaster at night just before the first rise after they have been launced at 50 mph.


Here is a close up of some of the people...Looks like they are having fun...


Here is a night view of California Screamin


I rode the coaster 3 times on Saturday. Towards the evening the line was faster. Because it broke down, they were not giving out Fast Passes so that made it even quicker.

Other rides on the pier include the Sun Wheel which has gondolas that swing and some that are stationary. I guess they load up one gondola at a time and once they are loaded then it does one revolution and then they unload. I did not go on that ride.

Here are some pictures of the Sun Wheel and the pier.

Day picture


Sunset picture.


Night picture


The pier has a Midway Section with ball tosses and stuff. Pretty corny stuff but people were there taking part in it.

I did ride the Orange Stinger which is a suspended swing that goes around and undulates. I kind of got a little queezy on that. I had no problem on the Roller Coaster Go Figure!!

They have this ride that catapults you straight up. I did not go on that. But it is the tallest landmark at DCA. Here's a picture of it from the bottom.


There are several good sight gags for restuarant names like Oscar Wieners.... Best Hot Dog in a supporting roll!! Picture later...

I went on the survival hike mainly to get some more pictures. It was only from this perch that I could see anything from Disneyland. The matterhorn can be seen from here. I am not sure if you can see it from the top of the Grizzly River Run Ride.


The first thing you see once you are inside the park is the Golden Gate Bridge. They had to scale it kind of wierd, but it is very cool that the monorail runs through it.

Monorail during the night.


and during the day facing towards Disneyland


Now to me, the rocks look like a bear. I did overhear people thinking it looks like a wolf. I think it depends on the angle you look at it. I have one picture where I think it looks like Winnie the Pooh in profile.

Daytime shot


Side view that kind of looks like Winnie the Pooh


Well those are just some of the pictures I took. I will add some more tomorrow I hope.

On Sunday, it was 90 degrees and there is not much shade for this park. Soarin over California did not have Fast Pass open so we did not feel it was worth waiting 3 hours to see.

I saw a "show" in Hollywood pictures that had a pretend set with the stage hands doing "dance routines" The background music broke and that might have been a blessing in disguise.

I really did not eat much in the park. I did have a Calzone at Pizza Um Mow Mow..... and it was not very good. The outside baked dough tasted like it had been sitting around for 2 weeks.

What I think is very cool is leaving DCA and going to Disneyland for Fantasmic. Park Hopping is really easier that at WDW.

I did go on the Super Star Limo and was pretty disappointed. It is really pretty superficial. I did like the agent calling on the TV phone, but did not like the ride.

Also I did get to walk through the Grand Californian and will post some pictures of the hotel and pool in the future as well.

Overall, I like the park. The hits are definitely California Screamin and Soarin. The Animation tour is GREAT. Grizzly River Run was very good.

I think the pier area is beautiful, especially at night. I can understand some of the criticism of a cheap side show look, but it was pretty crowded so not evryone is bothered.

I was planning on going opening day but they are lining people up at 5 PM the day before in the Mickey and Friends parking lot whether they have tickets or not..... and I don't have the urge that bad to stay up all night to be among the first to get in.

DL multiple times
WDW offsite '92, Grosvenor '96, AS-Mu '98,
Disneyana Convention AS-Mu '00

Disneyana Conv 2001 at GC
DIS Convention 2001 at Y&B
OKW and BWV New Years 200

[This message was edited by TheLionKing on 02-05-01 at 06:38 PM.]
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