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Old 02-05-2001, 01:17 PM   #1
PrincessAurora
Hmpphh! Who needs that boy in green tights when you can have the Tag Fairy! ;)
 
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Oakland, CA, USA
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Pinky and the Brain do DCA with Catwoman

Pinky and the Brain do DCA with Catwoman & Racer X

Cast:
Pinky (PrincessAurora): Thrill Park Weenie and DCA skeptic
The Brain (Captain Nemo): The faster the better - Just thrilled to be here
Catwoman & Racer X: ThirtySomething screenwriters from South Pasadena. They've worked for Disney, and for network TV. Also INCREDIBLE, fun people! We got in with their Annual Pass!

The Park is divided into roughly 4 sections. The Hollywood Pictures Backlot (to your left). This is modeled roughly on MGM Studios in WDW without the fun rides. There is The Golden State in the middle and Paradise Pier at the back. The Grand Californian hotel is to the right.

We arrived around 10:00am or thereabouts. The most striking thing when you walk in is the mini Golden Gate that you pass under (and that the monorail travels on) on your way to a large metal sun with a water wall area. This is like the ball at EPCOT in miniature. A very striking centerpiece. It reflects the real sun and the water. A great photo opportunity. The Beach Boys music also plays in this area as well.

(Music note: I love the Beach boys and 70/80's rock however when you keep hearing these songs over and over and over all day long - you get ready to kill someone. You get the CA muzak at Paradise Pier. Hang on Sloopy was OK once or twice but by the 10th time, I was ready to go postal. It's a good thing they serve booze in this Park. I needed it in a big way by the end of the night - but I'm getting ahead of myself.)

So, let's start with the Hollywood Pictures Backlot area.

There is only 1 ride in this area (Superstar Limo). I was not able to go because of technical issues but heard from an Imagineer I met there that the ride is lame. When the people that were working on it diss it……..

So we moved on to a guaranteed attraction (Muppets 3D). Same as WDW with a MUCH better line! The things to look at were WAY expanded over the WDW original. The show is the same. Good effects, appropriate for all ages. Good old fashioned mayhem and fun. I love Bean, the bunny who can't do anything right.

The other things to do here are walk-through areas involving animation and a large theatre. The food is all basic fast food fare. The ABC Soap Opera Bistro and the Hollywood and Dine may have more expanded menus but they are not in the stellar sit down category. We were pretty bored with this area and went searching for better things.

The middle area of the "Golden State" boasts 2 rides and 1 premier attraction. (Soarin' Over California) which we got Fast Passes for. We got the FP at 10:15ish and our comeback time was 7:05pm. There was already a 2 hour line. More on this later.

The other large ride was the (Grizzly River Run) which looks like Kali River Rapids in design. It looked fun and possibly faster than Kali but we weren't in the water mood so we didn't go on it. This would be a ride I would try later.

We did go on (It's Tough to be a Bug), another WDW transplant. It was great! Parents please note: this is NOT for little kids or children afraid of bugs, especially spiders. HUGE black widows drop from the ceiling and this is a melt down waiting to happen. Judge your own kids feelings for bugs and the dark. I recommend going yourself on a separate trip and then explaining the attraction in detail to them so they are not taken by surprise. This applies to both parks. We enjoyed it and the wait area was also fun. It's not under the Tree of Life (of course) but they did add some of those "carved" elements into the cave where you wait.

There are a lot of exhibits here. "How do you make sourdough bread", "How do you make Tortillas", "How we make wine", "Here is a garden - we are growing stuff". You get the idea. There are also a lot of food options here that are better than a lot of the counter fare.

My personal favorite is the Pacific Wharf Café which serves Boudin's bread, San Francisco clam chowder in a bread bowl. We ate here for an early lunch.

Myself and Catwoman had the Broccoli and cheese soup ($6.00) which was great. Enough soup to fill you up and then there is the bread! This is what real sourdough is all about. A solid B grade lunch.

Racer X had the Chicken and Apple salad, also served in a bread bowl ($8.00). He dubbed it "not bad, not too sweet" I tasted it as well. The chicken pieces were big and tender. Walnuts and raisens were also in the salad. I give it a B-.

For dessert we all shared 2 cream puffs (one had chocolate frosting). They were HUGE and the cream was wonderful. A hint of vanilla ($3.80 - $4.00) A yummy B!

In that same area they have Chinese food, Mexican food, fruit smoothies (closed when we were there), milkshakes, Burgers, a farmers market with baked potatoes and turkey legs. The Vineyard Room, sponsored by Robert Mondavi looked promising. That would be sit down fare.

Now on to Paradise Pier. I lived in fear of this looking tacky and nasty. Walt didn't want "carnival rides" in his Park and I can see what he meant. Being the Disney geek, I've lived with characters with pronounced bosoms but I didn't know if I could deal with this.

It was not as bad as I thought.

It is obvious that Disney is trying to recapture the teen/young 20's demographic that patronize Magic Mountain and Knott's Berry Farm. The majority of the rides in the Park are in this area. I should also state that this park was not specifically designed for small children. This is not to say that little kids are not welcome, of course they are, but on the whole they would probably be happier at Disneyland where there are rides geared for them. The vast majority of all the rides here are thrill rides where you have to be 4 feet tall or more to ride.

That being said, there was a lot of fun to be had here, especially for teens. The rides are:

(The Orange Stinger), a carny-type swing ride where you are seated on the butt end of bees. OK, that sounds weird, let me try again. The seat is shaped into the appearance of a bees bottom. That way when you sit in it, it's like you are the bee. You are swung around inside a pseudo-peeled orange and as you swing you also tilt. Too much of a puke factor for me but the kids seemed to like it.

Then there is (Mulholland Maddness), this rollercoaster is another one the Imagineer was down on. Think Gadget's Go-Coaster from Toon Town only a bit higher and a little jerkier. This can be a good practice coaster for kids. Not many dips but lots of back and forth, going around corners and big cheesy freeway signs. Small kid fun, big kids - skip this lame ride.

(Maliboomer) is a popular shoot up into the air and loose all the change in your pockets kind of ride. What are those tower things called when you hit a target with a hammer and it rings a bell at the top? Picture one of those about 8 stories high. The seats are on the outside and your feet hang free. Some people had plastic shields in front of their faces. Perhaps it was the barf screen. I have no idea why some people had them and others didn't. I didn't go on this either although The Brain wanted to. I told him to be my guest. Looks like a great thrill ride.

(King Tritons Carousel) is for children of all ages. The animals you ride on are sea creatures and that is very cool!

(Jumpin' Jellyfish) was a very colorful bungee type ride that went up and down pretty slowly. This looks like a beginner's version of the Maliboomer. Not as high, not as fast, very pretty with nice music. For more adventureous little kids and adults that would toss their lunch on the big model.

(Golden Zepher) - think the Mission to Mars rocket ships only they are large, silver and hold way more people.

(California Screamin') - OK, this is the one coaster I wanted to go on. It looks like a version of Rockin Roller Coaster from WDW without being inside a building. It has the rocket launch (only not quite as fast), it has an upside down loop but no corkscrew. The problem - it kept breaking. We got in line, waited 45 minutes, got ¼ of the way to the front and it broke. A bunch of us waited another hour, they thought they would get it running, did some test runs and then shut it down. About 30 minutes after they kicked us all out and we were waiting for another ride, it was up again. Then it was broken, then the line was 2 hours long - do you see a pattern? I really wanted to ride this coaster but it didn't happen on this trip.

(Sun Wheel) - OK this is the Ferris Wheel FROM HELL!!!!!!! This is a beautiful, HUGE ferris wheel at the end of Paradise Bay. It is structured by a genius or lunatic, depending on your point of view. 6 cars are stationary on the outside of the wheel. The rest are pseudo-free rolling within an oblong frame, so you can roll to the outside of the wheel and the inside of the wheel. Going up is not issue. They are loading the cars and you advance approx. 3 car lengths at a time. I have a thing with heights and I knew I could never ride this with my roommate as she would swing the car for all she was worth and I would be forced to kill her and throw her carcass into Paradise Bay. But anyway… the view was beautiful and I was enjoying myself until….. the second time around, the ferris wheel makes one complete rotation without stopping. This causes the cars to swing more and more, back and forth, faster and faster. I wanted to hurl. They stopped the car, the cast member says "Did you enjoy your ride?" I say "NO!, Get me out of here." I had a nasty headache and sour stomach for about an hour. Now I will say that I am on the delicate side and my companions did not have a problem. They enjoyed it, the gondola swinging fiends!

At this point we decided to go check out Downtown Disney before our Fast Pass time for Soaring Over California.

(Part Two Coming...

Aurora

DL - too many times to count
Club 33 - '91, 98, '99
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Old 02-06-2001, 03:45 PM   #2
redhit96
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Great report, I want more!

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Old 03-04-2001, 08:24 PM   #3
Marla Hellwig
I am loved by the masses
Addicted to Mickey bars!!
They call it getting lost, I prefer the term "creative exploring"
Ready for the next cruise
 
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Join Date: Mar 2000
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Enjoying your report so far. Thanks for posting!
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