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Photo TR: Back to West Coast Bash--and More!


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Glad to see the Ghostrider revamp as this park sorely needs a big thrill attraction to compliment Xcelerator.

 

Not that MR and Sierra Sidewinder aren't cool coasters in their own right, the park needed another good thrill coaster and I am positive that the revamped Ghostrider will deliver. Given the park doesn't appear to have tons of space, this is the perfect choice for them in terms of a "new coaster".

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Great stuff Chuck! I really enjoyed my visit to Knott's back in 2013. Great to see another ride refurb with Calico and the addition of an interactive dark ride to round out the park's collection, which I think is sometimes a little underrated. The new GhostRider will hopefully put the park firmly back on the map.

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Yes, I must of been sleep standing after that late night drive back from SFMM.

 

Had a lot of fun this day and it was great being a short walk away from a bed when it was over!

 

And, once again, you have my thanks for doing all that driving. But I agree that a short walk to Knott's beats a one-hour drive (depending on traffic) to Six Flags Magic Mountain.

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Yes, I must of been sleep standing after that late night drive back from SFMM.

 

Had a lot of fun this day and it was great being a short walk away from a bed when it was over!

 

And, once again, you have my thanks for doing all that driving. But I agree that a short walk to Knott's beats a one-hour drive (depending on traffic) to Six Flags Magic Mountain.

 

I cheated and went back to bed after packet/T-shirt pick-up in the morning.

So, yes, Chuck, I do feel bad again in your thread.

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The Disney Day(s): Bustling Around the Always Bustling Disneyland Resort

 

I can't remember that last time I rode the original Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. It seems that my last few visits there have been either in the fall during West Coast Bash or in December before Christmas. But that has given me the chance to experience the Nightmare Before Christmas version a number of times, which is OK by me. The overlay with Jack Skellington, Oogie Boogie, and the rest of the Halloweentown crew is excellent; in fact, it's so good, my older brother, Ward, who joined us on Friday, September 11 just to do Disney, wished that they'd keep it that way all year. While I wouldn't go that far, it is a great holiday tradition.

 

So great that it, along with annual passes, ensures that Disneyland will be mobbed even during a non-Labor Day Monday in September (not to mention the Friday before).

 

Yes, Eric Wilson and I spent two days at Disneyland and California Adventure--Friday with Robb, Elissa, KT, and others who came and went and the following Monday with Erik Johnson, Brad Roach, and Paul Fowler. Despite the rather large crowds on Friday and Monday at both parks, we had a great time. Eric hadn't been there since the Indiana Jones ride opened in the late 1990s, so a lot was new to him. I'd been there two years ago, but I was looking forward to a few new things:

 

Ghost Galaxy on Space Mountain: Here's another great ride overlay. Your rocket is pursued by some sort of angry, evil version of "Space Ghost." The spooky projections inside the mountain were well done, and the on-ride music was great. Plus, the coaster was running much faster than I ever remember it running before. It was so fast, that a train ahead of us was diverted into a maintenance bay for being too heavy! Even Elissa was shocked at how fast Space Mountain was that day. (I have experienced Ghost Galaxy once before--in Hong Kong. Both versions seemed about the same to me.)

 

The new "Harold" in the Matterhorn: You all remember the original Harold, the Abominable Snowman, right? The way he would stand there stiff as a board and growl and move his right arm a bit? Well, the new one, although he looks a bit cartoony, is a big improvement--much more movement. I also liked how they used "wrecked" versions of the old bobsleds in his cave. That being said, the new trains are pretty dang painful; a little padding on those seat backs might help.

 

Paint the NIght parade: Disney's new nighttime spectacle is pretty good--a decent new version of the old Main Street Electrical Parade. Some of the floats looked great, but the music was pretty weak (just generic pop versions of classic Disney tunes, with a wee bit of the old parade score thrown in). Nice, but nothing I'd bother with again.

 

We also hit the "only in California" rides, too, such as Mr. Toad, Alice in Wonderland, and, of course, Radiator Springs Racers, and even Mater's Junkyard Jamboree. Eric and I were the only two with park hoppers on the second Disney day, and we made pretty good use of them.

 

Let's take a look back.

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Welcome to Disneyland, Walt Disney's original Magic Kingdom! But please bear in mind . . .

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. . . that the Happiest Place on Earth can kill you!

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It was so hot in drought-stricken California that the snow was melting on the Matterhorn--and it's just concrete and paint!

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Ward and I are on the end screwing up the illusion. Sorry about that. (This shot is from Friday.)

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On Monday, Eric W. ran over to get Fast Passes for Space Mountain, which was broken down first thing in the morning, . . .

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. . . while the rest of us joined the other insane people in line for, of all things, Peter Pan.

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At least the ride has been properly certified.

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"I say--is Peter Pan copping a feel on my sister?"

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"To fly, you need to blow on some pixie dust . . . sir, on the end, you need to blow. Please, sir. BLOW THAT PIXIE DUST, DAMN YOU! YOU'RE DESTROYING THE MAGIC!"

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"Blast you, Peter Pan! If anyone is going to feel up somebody, it's going to be me, Captain Hook!"

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Pan had a much longer line, but my favorite of the old-school Fantasyland rides is still Mr. Toad.

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My hat's off to you, my amphibian friend.

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Yes, we're riding Alice in Wonderland. Please don't judge.

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Wait! Has this ride been certified? Didn't any of you think to check?

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Uh oh! This is what happens when you ride an uncertified attraction!

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Please stop the ride! I'm not comfortable riding this part without being certain about certification! (In truth, there were walls on this portion of Alice two years ago. The ride is much better without them.)

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Yeah, things are picking up now. Fantasyland is packed with people.

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"Just put the body in the trash can! No one will be the wiser!"

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This is the first time I've seen any Marvel characters in the park.

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I sense a mysterious tremor in my Tomorrowland Terrace French toast, as though a million voices cried out for syrup, and were suddenly silenced!

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"Come to the Dark Side! We have syrup, extra bacon, and mimosas!"

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Yay! Space Mountain is up and running now!

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I like how the monitor in front of the station periodically "loses signal," as though it were being jammed by the Ghost Galaxy.

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Look out! Stitch has escaped from Space Prison!

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Hey--how did we get to Florida so quickly?

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I really like what they've done to Disney California Adventure. This looks much better than the big "hubcap" that used to be in the entrance plaza.

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I'm not a big fan of the movies, but Cars Land itself is great.

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The Luigi's Flying Tires/Flying Saucers Memorial Wall. Never rode this, but such is life.

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Besides, this is what we're really here for.

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The theming of Cars Land, and this ride in particular, is some of Disney's best work.

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We picked up Fast Passes for later than day, then got in the single-rider line.

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Every park has a photo that guests are required by law to take.

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Wow! You can see all the way to Hollywood from the desert today!

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"Hi there! We're two characters that you probably don't remember from the movies. In fact, we're not sure we were in the movies at all, but here we are!"

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It's not surprising that it took a few years to build this ride.

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The amount of detail is remarkable.

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I wish it went as fast as Test Track at Epcot, but it's still great fun.

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And we win! Note that if you enter the paint shop, instead of the tire shop, during the dark-ride section, you always win. This means that paint is more important than tires when it comes to racing.

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The last room is cool, too.

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Radiator Springs Racers is one of the best rides in the resort. More to come.

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There's a lot more Disney to go yet, so you better get to blowin' that pixie dust.

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Not as impressive a building as they have in Florida or Orlando, but the ride is still great . . .

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. . . and certified.

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Sheesh! They dust less often than I do here!

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"Hello. I'm dead Rod Serling. When this ride is over, I'm going to haunt the crap out of you!"

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This boiler would fit in well with Toontown.

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The Mad T Party . . . sorry, I just don't see the appeal.

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"Bah! Hulk guzzle puny water tower dry, then smash it!"

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Looks like Grizzly Peak is taking a rather painful dump. Maybe that's why the ride wasn't working while we were there.

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Oh well--time to get Eric another credit.

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Looks like Goofy is a deadbeat doesn't pay his bills. Is anyone surprised by this? Looks like Mickey will have to bail him out yet again.

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Yes, Goofy's Sky School is on Fast Pass. Go figure.

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Ka-freakin'-ching!

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The photo op is broken?

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At least the Fun Wheel is working (and the line wasn't that long).

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Great! We're getting Goofy again.

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This one sure swings a lot more that Deno's Wonder Wheel in Brooklyn.

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We cooled off a bit in the Animation building.

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And if Eric were a Disney character he'd be . . .

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. . . Marlin from "Finding Nemo."

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I found out that if I were a villain, I'd be Gaston from "Beauty and the Beast." Never knew I was such as arrogant jerk.

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The gift shop is still very good.

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Robb, would you like to be alone now?

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Time to hop back over . . .

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. . . and get some Mansion Fast Passes.

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I really like what they've done to Big Thunder.

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The "earthquake" on the third lift hill have been replaced with some great "dynamite" effects. The older version never worked quite right.

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Remember the old Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland? It used to rumble through this tunnel

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Toontown is conveniently located next to . . .

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. . . STROLLER HELL!

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Long line + one train + blazing sun = skipped credit for Eric W. One more set of photos to come.

Edited by cfc
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Time to wrap this up, as the pixie dust is making me sneeze.

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Once again, don't judge.

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No comment necessary. ;)

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"Little does Prince Philip know, but Disney is going to make me a good guy someday!"

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There is one very cool thing about the Enchanted Tiki Room. You can take Dole Whip inside.

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Dole Whip is all "well la-dee-da, they sell souvenirs of me now!"

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Well, Whip, they sell souvenir trash cans, too.

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Oh, the humanity. Adventureland was not meant for stroller parking. It barely has room for people!

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I wonder what part of Tarzan Jane is checking out?

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Yay! Time to use our Fast . . . oh, it's broken. We'll come back later.

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Eric and I squeezed in some more DCA time. This park, even when it's busy, seems more laid back than Disneyland.

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Aw, me too!

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This ride was a very pleasant surprise.

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I'm pretty sure Mater had these signs made. Call it, a hunch.

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I'm not a flat-ride fan, but this one is fun. I had no idea that the tractors could switch from one revolving platform to another.

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The sun is setting on Radiator Springs.

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OK, that's just wrong.

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This is the second dance party we've missed today. Darn.

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They should build a Cozy Cone Motel at WDW. I'd stay there.

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Cars Land looks great after dark.

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Good night, DCA!

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We tried to grab a bite in Downtown Disney, but every joint was mobbed. On a Monday night. In September.

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Space Mountain looks especially ghostly at night during the fall--and makes a lot of scary noises.

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The "Monsters Inc." float for "Paint the Night" was pretty impressive . . .

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. . . as was the "Toy Story" float.

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Er, would you two "sisters" like to be alone?

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Yay! Mansion is open again! And all the people with old Fast Passes are queuing up!

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"Merry" or "Scary" Christmas? You make the call.

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I thought the projections in the stretching room ceiling were very well done.

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Well, let's give Oogie Boogie the last word. It was a great day at the DL Resort. SeaWorld San Diego awaits . . . for another day.

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Chuck, not including your airfare, is there a "rough estimate" of how much you spent,

to put this trip altogether? The WCB passes, the hotel, extra tix for Disney.

 

I have no idea what I want to do travel-wise next year. But the idea of doing at least one

WCB has been in my head for a few years, now. And I think that this trip will let me (ahem)

"coast" past Coaster #700, which is great! So next year's may be The One to go to.

 

I'm just curious as to an idea of what's in $tore for my$elf should I decide to go. Thanks.

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I totally agree with you on Cars. At home we are real Disney/Pixar geeks, however Cars just doens't work for us, Cars Land does! Only visited once and it blew me away. DL was beautyfull and had a real nice charm, however DCA really was our highlight. In a way it just works. Never been there before the make-over, so can't compare.

 

Thanks for your report!

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Chuck, not including your airfare, is there a "rough estimate" of how much you spent,

to put this trip altogether? The WCB passes, the hotel, extra tix for Disney.

 

I have no idea what I want to do travel-wise next year. But the idea of doing at least one

WCB has been in my head for a few years, now. And I think that this trip will let me (ahem)

"coast" past Coaster #700, which is great! So next year's may be The One to go to.

 

I'm just curious as to an idea of what's in $tore for my$elf should I decide to go. Thanks.

 

The WCB tickets were around $109 for both SFMM and Knott's (I have a Cedar Fair pass, so I got a discount for Knott's). The Knott's Berry Farm Hotel was $83/night, thanks to Groupon, as opposed to around $100/night without the discount; we stayed six nights. A two-day park hopper for the DL Resort is currently $225. We rented a car, too, and went to SeaWorld San Diego one day.

 

I hope this is helpful.

Edited by cfc
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