We’re not done yet, we still got another park to talk about.
Disney California Adventure
While we’ve been more or less in Disneyland vs Magic Kingdom mode, lets do that quick trek over Disney California Adventure. Currently the exclusive home to Oswald the Lucky rabbit and California Screamin.
We we’re lucky to visit the park on February 8th, 2016 which happened to be the 15th anniversary of the park (this it the 3rd time we’ve been to a Disney park on its 15th anniversary, first was Magic Kingdom in 1986, then Animal Kingdom on April 22nd, 2013, and now DCA.) Honestly we enjoyed this park more than Disneyland, maybe because it was built in 2001 and has the bells and whistles we’re used to back east (actually has a MGM feel to it, with wide streets, better designed cue lines like Epcot, MGM, and Animal Kingdom.) In fact MGM West could be the way to view DCA (well without Star Wars Land.) While we did fault Soarin’ for not being opened 7 days a week, when we we’re at DCA on Friday February 12th, we totally felt it was running on all cylinders that it could totally work at Walt Disney World park (note the powers that be please don’t turn MGM into Disney Florida Adventure, aside from people who would confuse it for Islands of Adventure and ask “Hey where’s Harry Potter?” you could also have wise asses calling a Disney Florida Adventure park, “Dah-Fah” for short.)
The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror
Sigh, there is a certain era in the Disney time frame when well we won’t name names here but it’s obvious they were loosing there touch, case in point the Disney California Adventure version of The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror. Seriously what the hell happened? This opened 10 yeas after the MGM version (1994 vs 2004.) There is no fifth demention sequence (a hallmark of the Twilight Zone series opening) add to that no randomized drop sequence, not falling faster than gravity, and no separate load and unload stations, when you’ve rode the original version, this feels like a watered down imitator.
Soarin’ Over California
We just call it Soarin’ and at Walt Disney World they downplay the California aspect of it (even editing out Patrick Warburton saying “over California” in ride preshow) however we’re not going to bash it for that. However we are going to bash it for only being opened Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays during the off peak times of the year. Seriously why would an E-Ticket attraction EVER be closed 4 days of the week? Maybe we’re just used to Epcot where this ride at minimum has a wait time of no less then 60 minutes every damn day of the year (yes WDW was guilty of season operations of some its attractions like Carousel of Progress, or the Wonders of Life Pavilion back a during certain era, however the former one is now open every day of the year, the later one now rehabbed into the seasonal Festival Center.)
However with the DCA version we have seen the future of the Epcot version once its rehab is complete with a digital projection. Yes we know this film is from 2001, but with a digital projection it looked so bright, so crisp, so clean, it was better then the first time time we rode the Epcot version back when it opened in 2005.
Cars Land (Radiator Springs Racers):
We said DCA is the park with all the new bells and whistles, and Cars Land is one of them. It was based on the 2006 movie Cars (which we’ll get around to reviewing one day) set along the now Historic Route 66. Sure we liked Cars 2 better then the first one we were impressed with the themeing, and the life size meet and greet characters, of Lightning McQueen, Tow Mater, and Red the Firetruck (Red now holds the record for largest sized character we’ve ever met, and yes we’ve met both Ralph and Baymax.)
The highlight of the land is the Radiator Springs Racers ride, which is designed with the same technology as Test Track at Epcot. However while Test Track (specifically the new one) is more like Tron & Tron Legacy in its design and execution with its high speed, Radiator Springs Racers is more of a recap of the first Cars movie with plenty of Cars animatonics. We will give marks for there being two different version of the ride at one point whether you go left or right. However we’re going to complain about the race at the end, it clearly felt much slower then the 65 MPH of Test Track, and left it feeling like a water downed ride compared its east coast inspired counter part.
World of Color:
Hands down and bar none the best nighttime show at the Disneyland resort. If you been to MGM you might know that Fantasmic uses water affects to show clips of movies. Take that element of Fantasmic and amplify it into the entire show using a ferris wheel and add a roller coaster as a way of displaying video and sound beats in addition to the water. Moreover take the showing to the fourth dimension with fire effects on the water and smoke and fog effects in the grandstand itself. You get a surefire winner that feels like a Walt Disney World style nighttime presentation. In fact we could totally see this kind of show at Epcot in the world showcase lagoon.
Wrapping up what is our final verdict on the Disneyland resort. Well since we are based in Orlando Florida and we have Walt Disney World in our backyard and the fact where passholders to Walt Disney World we would say only see Disneyland resort if you’re a hard-core Disney fan and you must do it otherwise we would recommend save your money especially if your a season pass holder at Walt Disney World or have easy access to WDW by travel, because you’re used to a higher caliber of parks. While DCA is a very nice park and Disneyland is always the original WDW is a Porsche while the Disneyland resort is a fully loaded Chevy.