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Photo TR: Disneyland Resort, Knott's


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It's big. And it's bad. Prepare yourselves!

 

Trip dates: June 2-June 7, departing June 8

 

Part 1:

Soarin'

Day One

 

Being the total IMAX nerd that I am, I totally fell in love with Soarin'. It is, without a question, my favorite ride on the trip. Day One was all about Soarin', in various means--Soarin' because I had just finished school, Soarin' because we traveled via airplane, Soarin' because we had arrived at the place 'where dreams come true.'

 

Okay, I know, enough of the romanticism. On with the photos! (Oh, and if you want a larger version of any of the photos, just let me know!)

 

The day began at our local airport, Moline/Quad-City International.

 

Believe it or not, this is actually a big plane for our airport... we'll take anything over the CRJ-200! This is a luxurious CRJ-700, which is considerably better than its smaller sister.

 

Our airport is purdy...

 

It's time to fly!

 

Apparently, this aircraft series is the 'second fastest in the sky', according to the not-all-there flight attendant.

 

We arrived and checked in at our hotel, then headed over to Disney's California Adventure while our room was still being prepped.

 

'Award Weiners' LMAO!

 

Time to go to two very nice attractions...

 

Nice courtyard...

 

Brother and I...

 

It was fun, the theming was nice, and Roz was amazing!

 

I <3 The Muppets!

 

I thought the pre-show and queue area were funnier than the actual film, though.

 

Our Fastpass time arrived for Soarin'... loved it!

 

We then got settled into our room, had dinner, then headed to Disneyland Park for a little bit.

 

Monorail time!

 

Matterhorn was fun... I really liked its retro feel.

 

They were testing Nemo.

 

Tomorrowland side totally kills Fantasyland side!

 

Love the seating...

 

I wish they had the Peoplemover!

 

This thing was damn strange.

 

Time for Pirates!

 

 

Starring Jack Sparrow!

 

Pirates eats people... the line moved very quickly.

 

I had heard great things about it, and it truly was. It's an amazing attraction--the details are great. I loved the Davy Jones mist and Barbossa's ship and its attack scenes.

 

Haunted Mansion had a huge line, but we enjoyed it. It's in much better condition than Magic Kingdom's was (in fact, this is true for almost all of the rides).

 

I decided to brave the huge line for Space Mountain.

 

Tomorrowland looks great at night!

 

 

 

Huge line...

 

 

Almost there...

 

Space Mountain was damn cool... I loved the soundtrack!

 

If they could somehow merge Magic Kingdom's track designs with this theming and soundtrack, I'd have a new #1 (and 2!) coaster.

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Part Two:

Yes, I do love DCA

Day Two

 

We decided to go to DCA first thing on our second day. The park was dead, and we totally conquered it in a few hours. I thought that DCA was a really nice park, actually! Sure, there are things that it could improve on, but the park had some really nicely themed areas and some amazing attractions. (See: Soarin', Tower of Terror, California Screamin', Grizzly River Run).

 

Highlighs of the park:

Soarin'--IMAX+flying+movement+Disney=WINNER. I loved it and rode it many times.

Tower of Terror--I found it to be about equal to its sister at MGM, but this had a slightly better drop sequence. However, MGM's felt darker and scarier.

California Screamin'--It was a nice, long coaster. The audio was magnificent on all of my rides, and the launch and its location are pretty sweet. It had a pretty bad Intamin rattle in the loop and some other places, but it wasn't horrible or distracting.

Grizzly River Run--A good rapids ride with a nice setting and cool theming.

MuppetVision--The Muppets. Beaker. Duh!

Monsters, Inc.--It was a neat little dark ride, and the Roz animatronic is great and hilarious!

Golden Dreams--Yeah, the ending is way cheesy, but it's actually a pretty good film! Whoopi!

It's a Bug's Life Area--This area was really nice and well done; the show is great!

The Park's Soundtracks--They added a lot of ambience, and I really enjoyed the Golden Dreams area loop.

Aladdin musical--Great! The Genie was amazing during our performance, and the stage and set were very cool.

Efficient employees, generally speaking.

 

Not-So-Great Stuff:

Mulholland Madness--Out-of-place for a Disney park.

Maliboomer--Again, not Disney at all.

Lack of DCA-specific merchandise

Out-of-character Tower of Terror employees

DCA's short hours

 

Onto the photos!

 

Grizzly Peak looks really great from anywhere in the park.

 

The area around it looks really nice as well.

 

Cool!

 

In front of a fun coaster...

 

This thing was open, so we had to go on it.

 

As you can see, DCA was really busy that day.

 

It was a cool ride.

 

Wii!

 

Funky orange thingy.

 

The Sun Wheel, which made me pretty close to puking. Ew.

 

There were some good views to get on it.

 

Fun, but not Disney-quality. But props for moving the cars through that thing like crazy!

 

Great on-ride soundtrack!

 

For some reason, this closed for the rest of our stay after this day.

 

 

 

Backside of the Sun Wheel.

 

I'm trying to look happy and not ill.

 

The entire park is very picture-friendly.

 

 

Purdy!

 

And they're off!

 

Had some delicious clam chowder in a bread bowl here.

 

 

Who says DCA has no theming?

 

Rock will enjoy these two shots, no doubt.

 

We all enjoyed It's a Bug's Life. It was probably the best 3D show in DLR, but I liked the Muppet's theme the most.

 

The theatre.

 

Coolest ride ever!

 

He's my favorite Disney character ever!

 

It's a Bug's Land/Flik's Fun Fair was very nice.

 

 

Yay picture with character!

 

I <3 Heimlich!

 

 

I thought the entrance plaza fountain was cool...

 

It was cool-looking.

 

Yay!

 

Inside the Hyperion Theatre for Aladdin. The show was pretty crowded, actually.

 

Tower of Terror...

 

 

Kick-ass character! I'd love to be the CM operating her comments!

 

We had dinner, and I then went back to Disneyland Park to ride a few things.

 

The castle is really small.

 

Tomorrowland looks cool...

 

Star Tours was okay, but it didn't do much for me.

 

This guy in the queue was hilarious, though!

 

None of us understood this. The spinning was distracting and didn't allow you to see so much stuff! The spinning should be automatic like Cat in the Hat's so you can actually see important stuff and understand the plot.

 

It's time!

 

 

Really?!

 

It wasn't THAT bad.

 

I'm glad the sets weren't floating like WDW's version.

 

Going back to the hotel.

 

For now, anyway!

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Part Three

Heeeyyyyy

Day Three (DLR)

 

I started out at Disneyland Park early (to ride Fantasyland dark rides) and then met up with the 'rents, rode a few things, then went over to DCA.

 

But a ride on Matterhorn was in order.

 

 

A short line, but it's the crappy side.

 

Alice in Wonderland was funky and fun...

 

 

 

They had a large carousel, but I didn't ride.

 

Fantasyland=Strollerland=Crying Kids Everywhere!

 

Oh, the humanity! And it's only 9:30!

 

Snow White was hilarious... it was dark and scary, but at the exit, right after the witch was going to give Snow White the poisoned apple, it says "and they lived happily ever after." WTF?!

 

Obligatory small castle shots...

 

 

This ride had the worst and longest line everrrr...

 

But heeyyyyyy Spanish caliente y guapo!

 

Definitely very hot and good-looking. And Spanish!

 

Finally almost there!

 

It was cute, but very short.

 

I loved watching the canoes.

 

Prepare to drop...

 

Now. Anyway, Splash Mountain was fun and in better condition than WDW's version. However, I hated the single-file logs which made the ride have a horrid capacity. I do like how they're shaped like a cawk, though.

 

 

Hottt! Also, she had these funky bouncy shoes. LMAO.

 

This guy in the line for Pirate's Lair was funny, though hardly anyone paid attention to him.

 

 

Tom Sawyer's Island/Pirate's Lair was a nice escape from the crowds. Very nice and relaxing.

 

Trapped in the pirate ball voodoo thingy.

 

They also had a cool Jack Sparrow show thing.

 

Heyyyy!

 

Brandi would have loved the Hello, Dolly! music playing on Main Street. I know I did! Put on your Sunday clothes.....

 

To DCA!

 

The tower line was a tad long, but manageable. I love all of the queue details.

 

 

Spoooky!

 

 

They must be in....

 

The Twilight Zone.

 

Cool photo op with brother.

 

Roz rocks my world!

 

DCA is purdy.

 

 

Loved the boardwalk feel of Paradise Pier, though that area should be confined only to the Sun Wheel and Cali Screamin'.

 

 

 

 

Loved this shot...

 

The rough-ish loop.

 

 

Soooo didn't fit in at all!

 

Cool flat!

 

 

 

Um... yeah, hi... not every guy should wear a Jack Sparrow hat. Okay, great!

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Part Four

Knott's-So-Great

Day Four

 

Of course, being the lucky family that we are, we chose to go to Knott's on the day that seriously thousands upon thousands of middle school kids were there as well. These kids were probably the worst-behaved group of kids I have ever seen. Waiting in the Jaguar! line for over fourty minutes, surrounded by screaming/yelling middle school girls isn't horribly pleasant. Luckily, a good number of the middle schoolers left fairly early.

 

But the crowd was only one of the many problems that I saw with the park. Three major rides were closed: Perilous Plunge, the log flume, and Ghostrider. While I understand the log ride being closed because of its structural problems, it's a little ridiculous to have two other major rides closed during the busy summer season. The employees weren't particularly fast; in fact they were downright slow at Xcelerator, probably making the wait 3x what it should have been. One train on Sierra Sidewinder was disappointing, and the ops stacked trains consistently on Silver Bullet. The employees weren't particularly friendly either--it kind of seemed like all of the Disney rejects worked at Knott's. After hitting up all the coasters once (and Montezooma's twice), we had no desire to stay at Knott's any longer.

 

Basically, the park had some fun rides, but that didn't even come close to making up for the crappiness of the operations and crowds.

 

We were greeted to the park with this lovely sign... and a million middle school kids... EVIL middle school kids.

 

Interesting entrance, after pushing and prodding through the lovely metal detectors.

 

Since we couldn't find any maps, we decided to go on this first.

 

It was pretty damn good, actually! We were in the back car and spun a ton! But boo for one train operations and slow loading!

 

Slower than a Silver Bullet: the queue!

 

Jaguar was so loud, but it's sister at the Mall of America was so quiet. Why?

 

It was okay.

 

It definitely wasn't forceless, as some people say, but it just wasn't terribly exciting.

 

The final corkscrew/helix is quite fun, though.

 

 

This line sucked major ass... forty minutes in enclosed darkness with screaming and yelling middle schoolers.

 

So why did every middle school kid think he was 'gangsta?'

 

Eh, a long line for a boring S&S tower? Um, no thanks... this one looked like it had a horribly boring program, too. They were operating only two of the three towers.

 

Woo hoo, Mexican chairswings!

 

It's purdy, but it needs to be repainted.

 

I actually thought it was pretty fun... it wasn't horrible.

 

Eh, I'd rather not have my package smashed, thankssss...

 

Ghost Town was that, and it was nice getting away from the crowds.

 

 

An interesting sign...

 

LOL, a fun photo op.

 

Le tren.

 

This was... um... interesting?

 

With its ending and lift hill, it should be considered a credit.

 

I was just happy that it was an escape from the crowds.

 

How unoriginal, Six Flags. And this one is a real one. But we ate a TGI Friday's outside of the park, which had normal prices for a Friday's. So you can get something crappy inside of the park for the same price as something actually good at TGI Friday's!

 

Boo...

 

Boomerang looked good, though!

 

Artistic shot...

 

 

Xcelerator rocked! It had a great launch and was far better than Dragster... it had some great airtime in the back on the top hat thingy.

 

Some shots from the observation tower...

 

 

I really wanted to ride this!

 

I really wanted to ride this!

 

Too bad it had the slowest crew ever!

 

 

 

 

 

Loved this ride... it was probably the best in the park!

 

The launch kicked some ass, especially for an old skool ride.

 

 

 

This was okay, but it had the most annoying operator ever! He wouldn't STFU on the mic and just kept blabbing and making stupid noises.

 

 

Yeah, Jaguar did nothing, and it wasn't even very smooth!

 

 

Yeah, Knott's, do rehabs on rides before the summer!

 

Adiós, though I won't miss you.

 

Oh, and Beaker accompanied us throughout the trip, starting the second day.

 

 

The Sun Wheel peeking over the trees...

 

Our hotel...

 

 

I headed over to Disneyland for a bit after dinner.

 

Y por favor, mantegan sus manos, brazos, pies, y piernas dentro del tren.

 

This is what happens when only one monorail train is operating.

 

This CM was cute, but I never managed to get his picture.

 

This Haunted Mansion was so much better than WDW's, which was in awful shape.

 

Love this preshow.

 

Creepy...

 

Pirates queue.

 

Fun ride with the worst ending ever.

 

Now for some funky night shots, as I was toying with the camera...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Part Five

Auf Wiedersehen

Day 5 and our Final Day

 

Our final day in the parks was definitely the best day. With quite small crowds, we were able to ride all of our favorites a few extra times--apparently it was a passholder blackout date.

 

Day Five

 

The Coches were out in front of Soarin'!

 

I love this ride.

 

It's definitely the star attraction of California Adventure, in my mind.

 

Cruella was so awesome! She was the most in character I have ever seen someone at Disney. She was perfect with everything--she had that character nailed!

 

No, I didn't wet myself, but I did get soaked on Grizzly River Run.

 

While we were in the Animation building, we decided to do the exhibit where you meet a Disney animator and learn how to draw a Disney character. After getting in line, we were approached by two Disney executives, and were told that our showing of the exhibit/show would be filmed and used for promo of Hong Kong's Animation building. They asked us to fill out a release form, and we began the show, with a much smaller audience than normal. It was fun to see the film crew filming us, and afterwards, they asked my brother and I to do a testimonial. It was pretty cool, and definitely a fun little addition to our vacation.

 

 

These doors lead to a very important place...

 

Can you guess what it is?

 

It's the shrine of Whoopi, of course!

 

In all seriousness, the show was actually pretty good. I loved the music in the queue and would really like to find it somewhere. Anywho, it was really sad seeing like ten other people in the show during a busy day at DCA.

 

It's worth a look... it's pretty cute.

 

I liked the mural on the side of the buiding, though.

 

Grizzly River Run was good fun, and definitely more eventful than Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom, which is short and pretty boring for a rapids ride.

 

The Redwood Challenge Trail, or whatever it's called was a nice little area.

 

It was really nicely done, and kids seemed to love it.

 

Yes, Rock, I saw what was in the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room... and I thought it was really cute and funny.

 

Oh, and I got a boat all to myself on it's a small world. It was hilarious!

 

Yeah, it's crowded.

 

It's a small world after alllll

 

But it's a small world was running in hyperspeed that night!

 

 

LOL, I love the depiction of Canada.

 

 

 

Yeah, don't be jealous that I have an it's a small world boat all to myself.

 

And I LMAOed at the drunk/stoned/messed up hippo and other animals on the ride.

 

 

Okay, sure there are penguins in South America!

 

Woo hoo Mexico!

 

A pink kangaroo...

 

WTF?! Are there any NORMAL animals in here?

 

 

The grand finale!

 

Buh-Bye now.

 

Space Mountain looks really badass at night.

 

 

Final Day

 

It was nice just sitting and watching everything happening.

 

 

 

Heeyyyy Canoe CM!

 

 

Space Mountain's effects and soundtrack here beat Florida's version, but I still love Florida's track layout/in-line seating more. Combine the two, and I'd be in heaven!

 

Hello C-3PO

 

This simulator is fun and effective, but it doesn't make me nauseaous! Yay!

 

Words of wisdom at the Indiana Jones exit... I love this ride. The pre-show/safety video is hilarious, and the movements of the vehicles amaze me. I enjoyed how the characters said different things on every ride. Also, the boulder effect totally got me everytime, but the first time, I wasn't expecting it at all! Very cool, though it seems like there is more of a sense of urgency on Dinosaur (Animal Kingdom), which I also enjoy.

 

It was a perfect day for pictures at DCA, so I took quite a few.

 

 

 

 

Last one!

 

Loved Matterhorn... what a fun ride!

 

I also saw part of the parade, it was okay, but parades aren't really my thing.

 

He really created something, didn't he?

 

 

This trip was all about Soarin', in various means--Soarin' because we had come to the place where dreams come true, Soarin' because we had escaped from reality, Soarin' because nothing mattered for a whole week, Soarin' because we had just seen what life was really about--having fun. And to believe it all started with a mouse...

 

Auf wiedersehen!

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Awesome PTR!! I love DCA too !

 

It really sucks that Knott's had these 3 majors rides down ! How come you waited 40 minutes for Jaguar ? I've never waited more than 5 minutes for it even on a saturday afternoon !

 

Montezooma's Revenge is the best Schwarzkopf shuttle I've experienced ! Great launch, it doesn't brake on the return and it there's some airtime and hangtime in it ! I really miss it !

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Nice Photo TR. At least you did get to ride the best two coasters at Knott's (Monty's Revenge and Xcelerator). You are correct in saying that they S&S tower is rather lackluster. Ghostrider was running really rough when we rode it back in March so I bet it has not improved any this year. Has the two waters rides been down for most of the year? They were closed in March as well.

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Great TR. Haven't been on Accelerator in the longest, seems like everytime I go it's closed . Got on Sierra Sidewinder last time and yes, the last car does spin the most. To bad you didn't go on Perilous Plunge though, the best of it's type IMO. Oh and DCA rocks when no ones there, it's like you have it all to yourself.

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Great report!

 

But I'm sorry to hear you had such a bad day at Knott's... Every time I've gone, the employees have been friendly and fun, and operations are usually pretty good (aside from Xcelerator; the line always moves slowly). I've seen stacking on Silver Bullet, but only a few times... Usually, the operations are good enough that stacking never happens.

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Great TR!!

 

Sorry about Knotts. But you went on one of the worst days.

 

Ghostrider was running really rough when we rode it back in March so I bet it has not improved any this year. Has the two waters rides been down for most of the year? They were closed in March as well.

 

GhostRider has improved, It just came out of rehab and just got a completely refurbished train. Also as for the one train operation on Sierra Sidewinder, the ride just opened and they did not have the states approval for the second train. And yes both water rides have been down due to un expected problems.

 

Also Knotts has a deal with Orange, LA and San Bernardino counties middle schools, so they bring all the 8th grade graduates to Knotts. My school went and it was hell too.

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Thanks for posting this TR. Great pictures. You got just about everything. I went to DisneyLAnd Resort in 2001 and I always love reading and looking at TRs there. Yours has been the best.

 

I loved how you spotted out the hot guys, but I liked you best. Cute guy + a great DLR TR = great eye candy for me. (Hope that doesn't sound creepy, just paying a compliment)

 

J.T

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Great Photo TR! You had some very nice pictures in there. Just to let you know, Perilous Plunge has been down since like January. And I went on Ghostrider yesterday, and it was EXTREMELY rough. Yeah, KBF can be pretty horrible on crowded days, if you went any day before or after that, you probably would have had an awesome time.

---Brent

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Good. ^ Although that's a bad. Thing.

 

I thought the Photo Bucket things was happening just through my system.

 

- A very un-savvy home computer op -

 

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I'm glad the pictures are back up! :]

 

 

I'm glad you had a good time at Disneyland and California Adventure, I love both of those parks to death. Disneyland is like my second home. Haha. Well I'm osrry your visit to Knott's wasn't so great. Knott's really seems to be going downhill, at least in my eyes. But it looks like you had a blast! Great photos, I enjoyed them!

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Wow, what a PTR! That was huge.

 

As far as Knott's goes. When I was there in the middle of the summer, Ghostrider was closed, too. Someone posted that they recently re-furbed in, but then why is it closed again already? Ahh, Knott's.

 

And, Perilous Plunge was the SLOWEST loading ride when I was there, so if you were worrying about the 40 mins for other rides, be happy it wasn't open. It was fun, however, and we were completely and absolutely soaked afterwards. I mean, it was honestly as if we jumped in the pool with all our clothes on!

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