Oct 14-17:A Solo Trip to Disneyland! Day3: Single Rider Shuffle

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by SurfinTX, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    Day 1: Part 6 -Riding that Attraction is not my idea of courage. It's more like, suicide.

    Leaving New Orleans Square, me and Han see a long line for the Haunted Mansion. Since it was the Halloween Season Disneyland had a special overlay called Huanted Mansion Holiday.

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    I took a picture of the entrance but it didn't turn out well. In fact, after checking all of my pictures I didn't get any of the entrance I liked. :headache: Also, while the overlay is in place they add a fastpass option for the attraction. Unfortunately those had all run out by this time. Looking at the line I decide that it would be better to try later on and continue into Critter Country.

    Around the bend we see this...

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    Han immediatly said: "Uh Uh! Nooo Way are you getting me on this ride!"
    Me: "Why not?"
    Han: "Do you know what would happen to my rougish reputation if anyone saw me here?"

    Well, I wasn't going to try to force him since he had the gun so I let him go on his way. We agreed to meet back at the room later on. Now I decided to plow on since I wasn't worried about my manly reputation at all.

    The ride was a walk on.

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    I would have to say that this was the first ride so far that was not as good as the WDW version. No hopping and the honey smell was nearly non-existant. Exiting the ride there is a shop called Pooh Corner. I'm not too sure if there is a quick service spot inside there but I picked up these pictures sometime between Pooh and my next ride.

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    Many of the bakeries and candy stores had selections of Halloween treats just for the season if you are looking for them. Since the Pooh corner is as far as you can go in this direction I backtracked to...

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    The line here wasn't so bad at about 10 minutes and I was loaded with a bunch of silly teenagers. Again, my personal opinion is that the WDW is better but not by much. There are a few things missing but the view of the park is just as dramatic at night as you sit above the Rivers of America for a moment.

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    Only a bit wet it was now time to use that Fastpass I had picked up earlier. Circling around the Rivers of America I find that Big Thunder was still at about a 30 minute standby. Happily jumping into the FP line I was loaded within 5 minutes! :woohoo:

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    After missing out on this ride during our summer WDW trip I don't have a recent memory but going from my '07 trip the rides are very similar. Also, a mist had started to fall which made the ride very fun as your view became partially obstructed and very few parts are lit at night. All in all a great ride that night!

    By now it was approaching 9:00 p.m. and at this point I had covered everything I had planned (plus a bit more) except the Haunted Mansion. Now was a good time for some shopping for the family and get a few pins I had seen online.

    D23 Trick or Treat Pin
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    Jack Skellington with Stained Glass
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    These first two I really wanted but everywhere I went there were none to be found. I kept seeing other pins in the series but I didn't really like those. The search for these two pins would tie me up for hours in the coming days. The next three I eventually picked up.

    Jack and Zero Haunted Mansion Holiday
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    Mickey's Trick or Treat Party
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    Halloween Screams Disneyland
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    While hunting I did pick up a Bolt plush for Madison
    and a Princess pin.
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    A Jedi Micky plush for Michael.
    This pin for Kyler.
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    At this point I still hadn't made up my mind on what to get Dianna so I'd let that be for a while. All told I had shopped nearly every store from Tomorrowland to New Orleans Square and everything in between. :laundy: It was now time for the highlight of the night.


    Up Next: One Twisted Holiday
     
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  3. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    Been MIA....Grand Jury Duty called again and let me just say that in the midst of hearing all about the crime and grime I turned to a co-juror and said "I think I want to go back to Disney World!" :banana:

    So, I missed lots, meaning a lot of catching up!! First The Golden Horseshoe looked so cool for a counter service! Keith would LOVE that one! I may need to show him your TR and try to talk him into a trip to DL because Second...I really, really love New Orleans Square and I kept wanting to jump into the pics for POTC!! Third....the Indiana Jones ride sounds very cool and I love the irony of Han loading up for an Indiana Jones ride.....:laughing: Fourth, I had the Dole Whip (ice cream only due to Chris not ordering correctly) and loved the ice cream only version and, hence, I am a little nervous about trying it float style! Okay I think that is all of my commentary for now~but I can't wait to hear how BTMRR compares to the one in WDW!!
     
  4. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    And then you posted BTMRR while I was posting! So glad to hear that both Splash and BTMRR are pretty similar! Those are two of my faves and I just think it would eb wrong to deviate much! And great pins!! Good job!! :thumbsup2
     
  5. wdwfan22

    wdwfan22 Totally Obsessed Disney Nut!

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    I am so loving this trip report. You are a great writer!!! So much fun! I love Han Solo. So he didn't like the name Indiana, huh?...

    Can't wait for more :cool1:
     
  6. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    I think I spent most of my time in and around New Orleans Square this trip. The Haunted Mansion, a train stop, POTC and several restaraunts kept me coming back. :love: Next time it will be the ice cream only. Maybe if they serve it with a pineapple wedge?

    :tiptoe: I'm sneaky like that. I really wanted those other two pins but they were already gone it seems. :sad2:

    :welcome: I'm glad you're enjoying the trip report. In this trip report Han can be a lot of fun...but then he can be a pain in the butt...for a fictional companion. :laughing:
     
  7. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    Day 1: Part 7 - One Twisted Holiday

    Having finished up shopping for now I check the time and see that it's 10:30 and getting pretty close to the 11:00 pm park closing. I quickly made my way back to New Orleans to check on the Haunted Mansion one more time.

    On the way I see the Ray Bradbury Halloween Tree lit up.

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    and a few glowing balloons...

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    My good luck this day was holding on as I see only a small line to go into the mansion. As I walk through the queue I take a few pictures when I can. Spoilers are everywhere from here on in so if you want to experience the Haunted Mansion Holiday for yourself then stop now. You have been warned!

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    Just outside the stretching room...

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    and inside the stretching room.

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    Jack looking down at us!

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    After leaving the stretching room you proceed to the loading area with this new background.

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    On the ride itself you will find many changes along the way.

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    and near the end Oogie selects a "fun" holiday treat for you in your Doombuggy.

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    Spoiler ends. What can I say? The Haunted Mansion at WDW is one of my favorite attractions and has a lot of sentemental value to me. Seeing it with a Nightmare Before Christmas overlay is like nirvana itself.

    Now it was closing time and the remaining crowds were all moving thier way towards the exit. Since I was walking back to the room it would be another 20 minutes to get there. My legs were tiring but it wasn't too bad. I have to say if you have a Hotel on Harbor St. walking is pretty safe with crowds coming and going most of the day. The mist was really settling in by the time I reached my room and it was nice to take a hot shower and finally settle in at midnight. Han was already passed out with a glass of blue milk on the table next to him.


    Next up: Not So Sunny California
     
  8. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    Well, I say you had a pretty successful 1st day at DL! :cool1: That Haunted Mansion looks so awesome!! I love that attraction!!!!
     
  9. marvali

    marvali DIS Veteran

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    Great update! Awesome pictures of all of the decorations. Haunted mansion looks super, and I love those glowing balloons!!! :banana:
     
  10. merrrydeath

    merrrydeath DIS Veteran

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    I am loving your report! And Han in the pictures is just cracking me up! Him loading into an Indiana Jones ride vehicle...:lmao:
     
  11. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    Looking back at that day I almost have to say it was as close to perfect as a half day at Disneyland could be. The crowds were reasonable and the weather went from perfect to a bothersome drizzle right at the end. Something I just discovered - The Nightmare Before christmas Blu-ray has a tour of the Haunted Mansion Holiday on it. I pulled out for the kids' party this week and was surprised to see it as a bonus feature!

    Thanks! Nighttime shots can be tough without a nice SLR but I tried to hold as steady as I could.

    Thanks Merrydeath! Han just didn't know what he was getting into when he was "volunteered" to accompany me! :laughing:

    I'm preparing the next update now. This one will take a bit of time and as you see them you will understand why. Stay tuned!
     
  12. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    Day 2: Part 1 - Not So Sunny California

    ...flying back home it seemed nothing was going right. Now on top of everything I was landing in Washington D.C. Wandering around the airport I wonder what I'm going to do next?...

    Jerking a bit I wake up. It's dark. This is not my bed. Looking over at the end table I see the glowing numbers of my alarm clock. 6:30 a.m. My brain begins to catch up. I'm in California...not in Washington D.C. I struggle upright but I feel that I didn't get a good nights sleep. Maybe 5 hours tops. Still, I'm now on vacation and there is a lot to do today. I shrug off my weariness and get dressed.

    I notice Han is not around. Looking outside I see that the drizzle hasn't let up and there is a low layer of clouds hanging over us. Wonderful. It's not all that cool outside so I pick my Jack Skellington T-shirt and a pair of jeans and hope that it warms up. Ready to go I head down to the office area to check out the continental breakfast at 6:45. Suprisingly it hasn't opened yet. Hmmm. I would have thought that it would be open earlier than this. This would be a problem tomorrow. Hanging out a bit I am surprised by a Tram pulling into the entryway.

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    Han: Hey buddy!
    Me: What in the world are you doing in that thing?!
    Han: I found it over in the Toy Story parking lot. Figured we would arrive in style!
    Me: No way! You gotta take that thing back before we both get in trouble. You will stick out like a sore thumb! Speaking of which...aren't you a bit overdressed?
    Han: It's the only coat I have. Don't worry...I'll have all of this sorted out.

    Driving off I looked at my watch and noticed that it was 7:00 already and the breakfast had been made available. What can I say? It is very basic at the travelodge with donuts, cereal, croissants and toast. Drinks are orange, cranberry, and apple juice with coffee. Might I suggest the apple or cranberry since the orange tastes like Tang or Sunny D. Still, it's complementary and fast so I'm not complaining.

    Not seeing Han anywhere I head off on Harbor St. at 7:15 for my misty walk to Disneyland. Twenty minutes later I'm swinging into the bus area and notice a small crowd had formed by now at bag check. By coincidence Han strolls up nonchalantly.

    Me: So. I don't see your, um, transport anywhere.
    Han: I had, uhhh, run into some old friends.

    Not getting any more explanation than that I saw that he had got rid of the coat somewhere at least. Bag check opens at 7:45 and from there it's a quick walk over to the front gate.

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    The line forms and I find myself about 10 back.

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    Behind me the lines build and just before opening there is quite a crowd waiting.

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    A big difference I found at DL is that they do not let you into the courtyard area in fron of the station to do a rope drop. They select a family of the day who will get to help with the countdown and get a few pictures. The turnstiles are booted up which sing "Whistle While You Work" when ready. At 8:00 a.m. the gates are opened and you're off! Well, you hope so and pray that the people in front of you don't have ticket problems. Or have strollers. My line seems to be a bit slow but not too bad. A minute later I quickly walk around the station tunnel and stop dead in my tracks to see...

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    Alice, the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit! All together. I was sorely tempted to get a picture with them but the line had several groups in it and was growing by the second. Having to be satisfied with just taking a quick picture it's off to the races to get to our first destination.

    The crowd ahead of me.

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    The plan this morning was a bit counter-intuitive. The crowds were dividing pretty evenly for Fantasyland and Tomorowland. Turning into Tomorrowland almost the entire crowd went for the Space Mountain line to get FP or ride immediatly. A good strategy for those near the front but not so good if you are a hundred or so behind them. I take a left turn and head over to...

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    You can see Han is proud to be first in line. Notice the Monorail happening by at that moment.

    Finding Nemo, formerly 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, had an equivalent at WDW but is now cemented over and will not be included in the Fantasyland makeover. I have only a faint memory of it from 1983 so I made it a point to ride this once during this trip. This is a slow loading/unloading ride so it is critical to get on the first few subs or you will end up spending a lot of time waiting here.

    Our sub driver.

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    A steep entrance into the sub. I would think it would be difficult for those who are handicapped.

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    Inside and about ready to go. Hope you are not claustrophobic!

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    A few pictures underwater.

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    Then the ride proceeds underground and none of those pictures turn out. The total ride time is about 7 minutes and I have to say it was fun to see the Nemo changes. Once was enough for this adult rider and taking one last look back I take a picture of some familiar seagulls.

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    Next up was to backtrack a bit and head into Space Mountain. Now it was time to grab a fastpass which I failed to take a picture of. Return time was 10:45-11:45. With Fastpass in hand it was again just a short walk over to...

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    This ride is exactly the same as the WDW version. You sit down and try to shoot as many targets as you can.

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    I had a bit of luck this ride and the ride stopped for brief moments. Taking advantage of that I manage to rack up a score of

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    Not too shabby for me! Just a quick mention of the gift shop for Buzz. Here you can find many of the rarer collectible pins behind a glass display case. It's here I pick up most of the pins I had shown earlier.

    With that out of the way now it was time to swing over to the edge of Fantasyland to ride another first for me.

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    Yes, the Matterhorn!

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    The wait here had built up to 10 minutes but wasn't too bad. The cars are similar to the ones at Space Mountain in WDW. The ride winds both inside and outside the mountain as you descend and can whip you around a bit. The overall thrill factor is near WDW Space Mountain for me with maybe a nod to Matterhorn for having a few nice elements along the way including encountering an Abominable Snowman and splashing through some water.

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    It was now past 9:00 am and time now to get a move on for the next part of my plan. Walking back to the castle I notice an old classic car parked waiting for someone to hop on. Looking over at Han he shrugged and we took a ride in style as he would say.

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    Relaxing and thouroghly enjoying myself I can only imagine what will come next.


    Up next: It's Not my Fault!
     
  13. glennbo123

    glennbo123 DIS Veteran

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    Great updates Tom. I'm enjoying seeing these Disneyland rides that I'm not familiar with -- the DL Haunted Mansion, the Nemo sub, the Matterhorn.
     
  14. Flossbolna

    Flossbolna Sea days are just so relaxing!

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    Oh, the Matterhorn! This was the first roller coaster I really loved! :love: My sister and I were highly amused by the CM costumes there which are modelled after Bavarian traditional clothes and we are from Bavaria. :goodvibes
     
  15. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    Thanks Glennbo! I'm trying to detail the differences between the parks as much as I can. Also, I swear I'll comment on your TR soon. The last 3 times I tried the boards went down for maint. :(

    I noticed that! I read about the history of the ride and didn't know they had a break area built into the mountain that holds a basketball half-court! I'm such a DL noob!
     
  16. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    I love the opening ceremony at MK. It is a must every trip....DL's opening is a little disappointing!

    I remember 20,000 Leagues...vaguely! Cool that they transformed the one at DL for Nemo....we love Nemo in our house. Dory is my inspiration at work..."Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming!" :lmao:

    I have heard so much about the Matterhorn....I want to go!! :goodvibes
     
  17. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    DL opening is nothing special...other than it's a must if you want to catch a few rides before the lines build.

    Dory was a favorite for my niece when the Finding Nemo Teaser Trailer was running. She was three and kept repeating... "Nothin' in my noggin!"

    We have about the same memory probably. I can remember waiting in line at WDW and then a bit of the ride.

    The Matterhorn is good fun and won't freak out older kids. It's close to BTMRR for thrills.
     
  18. ExpatDisneyLover

    ExpatDisneyLover DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for the TR! popcorn:: Gave me a good belly ache!:rotfl: Looking forward to the rest!
     
  19. SurfinTX

    SurfinTX DIS Veteran

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    Day2: Part 2 - It's Not My Fault!

    Last you saw us we were heading out of Disneyland barely an hour after arriving. Why would we do that you might ask?

    Well, an interesting thing about the layout of the Disneyland Resort in California is that the entrances to Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure are so close together. They are litteraly less than one minutes walk from gate to gate. Today DCA is opening at 10:00 am and I want to take advantage of rope drop at this park to get on some very popular rides.

    That begs another question. Why am I leaving DL an hour before DCA opens? That has a more complex answer. The long answer can be found in Hydroguy's Tips About Disneyland which can be found here.

    HydroGuy's Tips Compilation

    The shorter answer is that DCA opens in stages. First of all if DCA opens at 10:00 a.m. then the turnstiles open at 9:30. Why? Well there are several reasons. First of all the most popular ride in the park currently is Toy Story Mania. It's location is at Paradise Pier all the way at the back of the park. Disney has decided to prevent huge crowd management problems and what would likely be a stream of people running all the way. They created interior rope drops to slow people down and get the crowds closer to their destination.

    DCA also opens Soarin' over California at this time. You can collect Fastpasses or hop on directly after the CMs open the gate.

    Finally, DCA opened a new show this summer called World of Color. The popularity of this show is tremendous and large crowds head for Fastpasses for that show as well. More on that later.

    Here is a pic as I was leaving DL heading towards DCA.

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    Notice a good size line has formed even though it's 45 minutes before the 10:00 "opening" time.

    If you have a map of DCA handy...

    http://disneyland.disney.go.com/maps/

    after getting your parkhopper scanned you will enter the front of the park facing the Golden Gate bridge...which is a bridge for the monorail to cross over this area!

    The crowd splits into two groups. One goes straight ahead to line up at a rope halfway to the Pier. The second group heads right and most pass by Soarin' (I can hear you WDW vets disbelief but that is just how popular World of Color is right now) and proceeds all the way over to Grizzly River Run's Fastpass stations. That is where the Fastpasses for World of Color are being distributed at this time. More on that later.

    I, having decided not to watch World of Color today, did stop at Soarin' to collect my Fastpass.

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    With that in hand I follow the big crowd around Grizzly River Run. Along the way you will pass the entrance that the Grand Californian has to this park. Soon I see the huge lines for World of Color but I pass them by. Eventualy I get all the way around this side of the park and reach what shows on the map as two buildings where the yellow and turquoise paths meet.

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    Here you find a mini rope drop area that is much closer than the other rope drop location I mentioned earlier. I was all set to start my race to Toy Story Mania when the CMs announce that the ride was having technical difficultiies and would not be operating at opening.

    You could tell that this entire group was attempting to go on that ride by the moans and groans. Han said, "It's not my fault!" since we all knew his luck with the Falcon. A nice lady struck up a conversation with me as we waited. Her family was somewhere behind her and you could tell she was a Disney fanatic. She recomended various attractions and sights which mostly agreed with my current plan.

    Soon the rope doeas drop and the crowd presses forward. Here is where going without children is a huge advantage. Zipping through strollers and people half my height I was powerwalking my way to my new goal.

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    Notice the CMs lining the way reminding people to walk. Kids can rush ahead if they run but they are at a decided disadvantage if they are forced to walk. Soon only adults are in the front group. Rounding the Pier my destination is in sight. Han points it out.

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    Notice more CMs along the way? They are everywhere and will stop you if you are running. Well at least today they were since it was so slick.

    Arriving at our destination...

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    Only a few people arrived ahead of me as a good portion of the crowd continued on to TSM. Even knowing it was closed people were going to stake a place in line just in case. Walking all the way to the loading area I found that we were going to be the first riders of the day!

    With almost no wait we were off to the launch point. Many aspects of this coaster is similar to RocknRollercoaster including the launch. There is only one inversion, a loop, but the music goes well with the pier theme in this part of the park. Afterwards, though, I had to give the nod to RnRR due to better music, indoors and more inversions. For a budding thrillseeker this coaster is plenty of fun, however!

    Walking along the pier I take a picture of TSM and it's location near the coaster.

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    At this time TSM was still down but a sizable crowd was still waiting. My plan for the day made it tough to wait for this so I continued on to...

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    This is a 160 foot tall ferris wheel that has both swinging and stationary gondolas. Loading for this ride can be lengthy so try to ride as early as you can. From here you can get some amazing views of the park!

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    Notice the barf bags if you ride on the swinging gondolas.

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    After about 15 minutes you will go through a cycle of loading, spinning and then unloading. Avoid if you are afraid of heights or you are suceptible to motion sickness.

    A view from across the lake.

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    With that it was time to leave Paradise Pier. I was short of my primary goal of riding Toy Story Mania but I knew there was much more to see.


    Next Up: This is Actually Kinda Like Cropdusting Kid.
     
  20. Dizzy4DL

    Dizzy4DL Happiest when I have a countdown

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    :surfweb: ....... Update! .......popcorn::

    (too early for witty feedback, thanks for the wonderful update) ::MinnieMo
     
  21. TinksThree

    TinksThree DIS Veteran

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    Paradise Pier looks like so much fun! Maybe it is just the theming? :confused3I don't know, but the ferris wheel with the big Mickey head definitely won me over!!:yay:

    I am so glad Han was able to point the way...you may have never found your destination otherwise!! He is cracking me up!!!:rotfl2:
     

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