Surviving, Screaming, Soaring...

Discussion in 'Disneyland Trip Reports' started by Greg K., May 7, 2001.

  1. Greg K.

    Greg K. Happy DVC Member, DIS Vet, and Catholic Deacon

    Aug 18, 1999
    Well, we're back.

    My wife and I spent two weeks in LA (where I worked on the SURVIVOR finale) and then zipped down to Anaheim for a quick (too quick!) two and a half day visit to Disneyland ... or, er, The Disneyland Resort (established 2001, as the tee shirts will tell you).

    This was our second trip to DL, our first to DCA, and I have a whole bunch of random impressions. In no particular order...

    * I was shocked, simply shocked, that DCA shuts down its restaurants when it's barely dark. Why was the park a ghost town? Well, there's one answer, right there: few rides, no place to eat.

    * Overall, I liked DCA. It's quite a departure for Disney, and an interesting experiment. In many ways, the park is an amalgam: the geographical and educational themes of EPCOT... the dash-of-Hollywood themes of DISNEY/MGM...and the varied lands and layout of DL. It's an effort, it seems, to do Disney without the characters, which may be wrongheaded to some, but to me seemed like - again - an interesting experiment. (The fact that I noticed Goofy and Max posing and giving hugs in the entry plaza suggests it's an experiment that may be shelved.)

    * Could they PLEASE plant more TREES in DCA? It was a mild but sunny May weekend when we were there, and the sun was unforgiving. There just isn't enough shade. And, though the park is small, you have to walk FOREVER to get from one attraction to the next (or so it seemed in that blazing sun!)

    * Favorite rides -- and the best: SOARING OVER CALIFORNIA and CALIFORNIA SCREAMING. We did them both at least twice and loved 'em, loved 'em, loved 'em. The coaster is sorta tame by coaster standards, but a lot of fun, and very smooth.

    * The music in the park is kewl -- and I even got a kick out of hearing "Hotel California" being played in the Grand Californian. You can check out, but you can never leave. :D I WISH! I hope they put out a California Adventure CD, with the "atmosphere" music! (They DO have one with the music from the rides, btw).

    * Waits for the rides were varied. I did FastPass for GRIZZLY RAPIDS (good, as raft rides go, but not all that scary) but did the roller coast without more than a 15 minute wait...sometimes back to back! The wait for SOARING was reasonable, too...but we DID need FastPass for our second flight on Sunday.

    * I was REALLY surprised (and disappointed :( ) that they aren't selling any logo merchandise -- shirts or sweats -- that herald this as the "inaugural season" for DCA. (Like they do on various cruise ships, for example) What a fun souvenir that would be!

    * Downtown Disney is a JOY. :bounce: It far outclasses both the DD at Disney World, and City Walk at Universal -- better shops, fancier restaurants, more enjoyable atmosphere. Unlike the others, it doesn't feel like a tourist trap!

    * We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, concierge level, and it was nice, but not really worth it. Our room was smaller, I think, than our regular room last year, though the furnishings were nicer (LOVED the high beds, and paintings of the castle and original sketches of the park painted on the cabinets!) We didn't eat enough of the snacks to really get much out of them, either. But it was fun to try.

    * Saturday morning in Disneyland was FABULOUS. We did early entry (which would have let us in at 6:30), but didn't really get into the park until around 7:30, and it was so quiet and empty! We walked onto everything, even after the park opened, and it remained relatively crowd free until 11 or so. What a great way to do the park! (Sunday was another story -- a mob scene.)

    * Our favorite restaurant remains Hook's Point at the Disneyland Hotel. We ate there twice -- the mesquite grilled salmon is out of this world :p !

    * Finally...and on matters completely unrelated to Disney... there was my adventure of working on SURVIVOR: THE REUNION. I can report that all the castaways are really REALLY nice; I got them all to sign my copy of People magazine with a double page picture of the whole crew...a neat souvenir! I also received (along with everyone else on the staff) an authentic boomerang with the SURVIVOR logo and my name engraved on it! Way kewl! :D I didn't have a clue who the final winner would be -- but most of us guessed it would be between Tina and Colby. The format of the reunion changed several times over the two weeks I was there -- at one point, Bryant Gumbel and Jeff Probst were supposed to introduce the show together, then (at least figuratively) pass the torch for Bryant to conduct the interviews. But someone scuttled that idea (hmmmm...I wonder who?). Anyway, it was thrilling and fun to be a part of the broadcast, and I hope I get to do it again for SURVIVOR III!

    Which, of course, would necessitate another trip to Disneyland...

    :rolleyes: :rolleyes:
  2. BetsyB

    BetsyB Earning My Ears

    May 12, 2000
    Thanks for the great report, Greg. We are going next month (staying at GC) and we cannot wait!! We had contemplated upgrading to Concierge, but after reading the reports lately, we're going to save our money!
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  4. minniecarousel

    minniecarousel Chris Isaak fan

    Jul 13, 2000
    Thanks for your report, Greg. We were there at the same time - still need to put my thoughts down! We had a room overlooking the rapids ride, and I was surprised how few people were in the park, compared to the mobs at Disneyland on Saturday! We figured the locals will still prefer to go to Disneyland, if given a choice between the two parks. I believe that the summer will be good for DCA, especially given the fact that the Electrical Parade will start on July 4, at DCA.
  5. MikeD

    MikeD Mouseketeer

    Aug 22, 1999
    Greg: we are going to DL in July and have three kids, ages 8,5,2. Do you think they will like DCA or is it more adult oriented?
  6. Kaos Creator

    Kaos Creator Mouseketeer

    Aug 1, 2000
    Great Report.....I love reports in point form, so we don't have to wade through paragraphs to find the 'meat' in the story! worked on survivor?? Lucky you!! Did you work it in Australia too? Or just here? Im envious! Thanks again for the great report!
  7. Greg K.

    Greg K. Happy DVC Member, DIS Vet, and Catholic Deacon

    Aug 18, 1999
    Mike D...

    I'd steer clear of DCA if you have young kids. There really is so little for them to see and do.

    The attractions they MIGHT like would include the Muppet Show (which they have at WDW)...It's Tough To Be a Bug (also at WDW)...the Grizzly River Rapids...Soaring Over California...(which just might be too scary for the younger ones) and Triton's Carousel.

    They might also enjoy the electrical parade, once that's up and running this summer; the daytime parade, Eureka, is sorta lame and doesn't have any Disney characters in it.

    DL, on the other hand, is wonderful for all ages. And -- this is a big plus -- you'll have lots of character interaction. The characters at DCA are very scarce.

    Are you staying on site? We like the DL Hotel a lot -- rooms are good sized and airy and it's just a five minute walk to the monorail. I STRONGLY recommend taking advantage of early entry. Saturday morning at DL (an early entry day) was delightful and manageable. Sunday, though, was a minor nightmare --VERY crowded VERY early.
  8. Marla Hellwig

    Marla Hellwig I'm not lost, it's called creative exploring

    Mar 25, 2000
    Sounds like a fun time was had by all. Thanks for posting!

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