Part 10: Poor Unfortunate Souls or Everybody's Got a Laughing Place (depending on your opinion of Mickey's Fun Wheel... ) Day 6, Part 1 Parks Today we'd be finishing up California Adventure! There was a lot to get to, and I couldn't wait to get started. There is an odd lack of pictures from this part of the day, so I apologize for that. Guess we were having too much fun. We ate breakfast at Mimi's on Harbor Blvd, and our waitress was hilarious. She was a bit snarky, but in a funny way, not in a rude way. She saw our blatantly tourist attire (Disney shirts, camera, pins), and remarked, "So, today you all are heading to the happiest (not) place on Earth?" Every time she came back to our table to see if we needed anything, she shared something else about her family, how she almost visited them in Europe but made it to New York before turning back around to California ("You think I'm flying across the ocean, you'd better think again!"), and so forth. We laughed and laughed, and families at nearby tables were treated to similar stories. We made our way to California Adventure; we could go in at the regular Park opening at 8 a.m. since we didn't have any early entry for DCA, but it ended up being closer to 8:15 once we arrived. We saw the long line of Guests waiting to get Radiator Springs Racers FastPasses and were glad we didn't have to do that again! We would be spending the morning in Paradise Pier. I was very hesitant about Paradise Pier, because to me, "seaside boardwalk" calls to mind cheesy, touristy beach and not something that belongs in a Disney Park. I was expecting something along the lines of Chester and Hester's Dino-Rama at Animal Kingdom, but instead the area seemed more akin to Main Street, USA (sort of a coastal extension of it or something). I absolutely loved it. The background music helped a ton, I think--overall the area has very warm, vintage feel to it rather than the tacky tone I expected. It is great that the Imagineers spent time to fix the small things like Paradise Pier's tone while also bringing in the big-scale, E-Ticket attractions for DCA's re-imagining. First up was Toy Story Mania, which was a walk-on. Compared to the all-out stampede I was familiar with in WDW, this was pleasant. The queue was pretty boring compared to WDW's large line that winds its way through Andy's room, but with the ride itself being the exact same, of course we enjoyed it. No real surprises here, but an excellent attraction regardless. Overall Toy Story Mania rating: It was too early for any of the Toy Story characters to be having their meet & greet yet, but I wanted to come back later to get a picture with Buzz since I brought my Buzz jacket. Next: California Screamin'! LOTS of fun. I especially loved the small dips toward the end of the ride. Again, before the trip I wasn't really receptive to a "plain" roller coaster being in a Disney Park without anything extra, but here it works really well if for nothing more than an awesome kinetic inclusion for the atmosphere (both for riders and those watching). The wait was maybe 15 minutes at 8:45. Overall California Screamin' rating: Making our way deeper into Paradise Pier, next was... Mickey's Fun Wheel. Swinging or non-swinging, hmmm. "Let's choose a swinging car, it doesn't look too bad." Well, no. No, it doesn't. It doesn't look bad at all. The swinging gondolas appear to slowly slide their way down their attached railing whenever the ferris wheel rotates. However, glancing at this occurrence from the ground is a lot different than actually being in said gondola. Walking straight onto the ride (which surprised me given the long wait times I had seen on line-tracking sites), we noted how odd it was that a calm ferris wheel had motion-sickness bags. Must be because of how high it was. That Disney, always thinking of everything! Then, well, Mickey's Fun Wheel started to do what it does best, and we realized Disney was only thinking ahead. Holy mouse ears, Batman, this thing is vicious. My grandmother's dialogue included sputters of, "Please make it stop!" and all three of us had hurt stomachs from laughing so hard by the time it was over. Overall Mickey's Fun Wheel rating: First then and finally The ultimate verdict: If you are afraid of heights altogether, by all means skip Mickey's Fun Wheel. If you don't mind heights but are definitely prone to motion sickness, ride but definitely choose non-swinging. If you know you will truly freak out in a swinging car, then also choose non-swinging. However, if you only have a tiny, fleeting caution rather than a true fear... go with swinging. It was one of the best memories of our entire trip, partly because it was so fun and partly because it was completely unexpected. We only rode once, but now I wish we had ridden again. Great fun. Continuing along through Paradise Pier, next was Silly Symphony Swings. It's based on the Mickey Mouse cartoon The Band Concert, which is my family's favorite Mickey short back home. Again, big improvement the Imagineers did with this one based on the pictures I've seen of the bizarre orange thing that it was themed to previously. I recognized Corey Burton's voice as the safety instructor... he does a lot of work for Disney, and his voice reminds me of this old WDW Explorer CD-ROM that I used to play, so he's one of my favorite voice actors (he also does Dale, Captain Hook, and Ludwig Von Drake, along with many others). Overall Silly Symphony Swings rating: We opted to skip the Golden Zephyr, but did go on Goofy's Sky School. I go to a local theme park pretty regularly, and it has a madmouse roller coaster like Goofy's Sky School, and I've ridden often enough to tell you that it and Goofy's Sky School have the exact same track. Exactly the same. Right down to every turn and dip, the ride is verbatim. Just a little peculiar. Goofy's Sky School (in its former version pre-Goofy) opened before the local coaster did, but I would imagine that all madmouse coasters like this are all exactly the same, which makes me wonder why Disney wouldn't change it up at least a little bit if their Guests have ridden the EXACT same thing elsewhere. Anyway... I love the ride, but the deja vu took me by surprise. Excellent theming here. All the gags in the queue are brilliant. Very well done, take time to look through them even if there's not a line. (We waited probably 5-10 minutes.) Overall Goofy's Sky School rating: First then As a whole, I thoroughly enjoyed Paradise Pier a lot more than I thought I would. From the music to the architecture to the superb turn-around of the attractions' theming, they got this one right. It's Main Street USA meets Toontown (albeit a more toned-down, not-so-loud Toontown) meets WDW's Boardwalk Resort. I really did not expect to be impressed and completely was. On that note, with all the talk that Mickey's Fun Wheel sparked, I'm curious in hearing from you all. What Disney ride (in any Park) gives you the heebie jeebies? Is there a specific memory tied to this feeling, or a memorable experience related to you facing your fear? Or have you always (and always will) avoid it at all costs???