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Disney California Adventure Part Six of Six

Jack Spence Masthead


Yesterday I discussed Disney California Adventure's (DCA) newest addition, Cars Land. Today I'll be closing this series of articles with a description of Paradise Pier. Paradise Pier is based on Victorian boardwalks that were once found along the coast of California. It features “Coney Island” style rides and a midway. But before I go into detail about this land, I'd like to address some criticism that this section of the park often receives. Some people claim that Walt would never have built a “carnival” or offered midway games.

First off, I don't like to speculate about what Walt would do. We have no idea what Walt would think today. He was always changing with the times. In fact, I wrote an entire article around this fact. But I'd like to offer my opinion as to what Walt was thinking back in the early 1950's when he was planning Disneyland.

We've all heard the story of how Walt was watching his two daughters ride the merry-go-round at Griffith Park when he thought to himself, there should be someplace where the entire family could go and enjoy themselves.

At that time in history, there was an amusement area and pier in Long Beach called The Pike. This spot offered your typical carnival rides like roller coasters, bumper cars, Ferris wheels, and midway games. It was about an hour's drive from Walt's home in Holmby Hills and I have no doubt that he visited The Pike on several occasions while planning Disneyland.

Walt knew he could do better than The Pike. He knew he could offer superior rides and a more pleasant environment. But his real complaint wasn't about the attractions and the midway, but the people who worked at and frequented The Pike.

Many of The Pike's employees were crusty old men who had experienced the seedier side of life. Coarse language and a gruff attitude were common among a number of the workers.

The Pike was located close to the naval shipyards of Long Beach. Because of this, sailors haunted the area in search of alcohol and loose women " both of which were plentiful.

The Pike also had a number of privately owned food stands and midway games, all doing their own thing. Many of the games of chance were dubious in their legitimacy and the food was of questionable quality. The Pike was typical of the amusement parks of the era and Walt knew this.

Don't get me wrong. The Pike had many fine, honest establishments and abundant opportunities for a good time. But in Walt's eyes, this was definitely not a place for a family with young children. Not to mention, he wanted total control over every aspect of his park. This was something that the carnivals and boardwalks of the day did not offer.


The Pike


In the first paragraph I mentioned that some people believe that Walt never would have built a “carnival” park with a midway. But is that true? Let's take a look at Disneyland in 1955. Dumbo was a simple spinning ride. The only difference between this attraction and a similar carnival ride was the passenger seating area. Walt simply spruced it up with an imaginative flair.

Take a look at the next picture of the original Disneyland Dumbo ride. This is not the elaborate attraction we're used to today. This was a simple carnival ride.


Dumbo


The Tea Cups are another good example of Walt taking existing carnival technology and theming it to one of his movies.


Tea Cups


One of the most beloved of all Fantasyland attractions, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, was simply an amusement park fun house ride that Walt dressed up with his own characters. Even today, this attraction uses two-dimensional figures throughout the ride " not elaborate AudioAnimatronics.


Mr. Toad's Wild Ride


As for midway games, Disneyland had two for many years. There were shootin' galleries in both Adventureland and Frontierland " the Frontierland gallery exists even today.


Adventureland Shootin' Gallery


I don't believe Walt would have a problem with a period-piece, well-themed boardwalk/carnival in one of his parks today " just as long as it was clean, well run, and free from a rowdy environment. Paradise Pier meets all of those criteria.

Despite its name, Paradise Pier does not sit on a pier. It's arranged boardwalk-style and circles Paradise Bay. Although it can be entered from two locations, only one entrance is labeled with a sign.


Paradise Pier Entrance

Paradise Pier Entrance


The first structure we come to is Ariel's Grotto. This restaurant offers character dining with the princesses and serves American cuisine. Ariel's Grotto sits on the water and offers spectacular views of much of Paradise Pier. Its interior theming is “under the sea.”


Ariel's Grotto

Ariel's Grotto


When DCA first opened, this restaurant offered first-class seafood and was run by Wolfgang Puck. It was named Avalon Cove after the city on Catalina Island.


Avalon Cove


The Imagineers knew that much of Epcot's attendance was derived from guests seeking out the many fine eating establishments the park offered. So they reasoned that the throngs of guests who would be visiting DCA would also be thrilled to dine at an upscale eatery run by such a well-known celebrity chef. But the throngs of guests never materialized. DCA was projected to draw an average of 19,000 people a day. Eight months after opening, it was drawing a mere 4,500 people a day. Avalon Cove suffered severely with these small crowds and Wolfgang Puck withdrew from the restaurant in October of 2001. Avalon Cove didn't even last a year.

There is a small shop located across the walkway from Ariel's Grotto which sells the typical DCA souvenirs.


Shop


From the shop, the boardwalk curves downward to the main thoroughfare. Along the way, several period billboards advertise DCA attractions and present-day products.


Billboards

Billboards

Billboards


This area of the boardwalk is also a good spot to watch the rollercoaster, California Screamin', launch its guests on a raucous ride.


California Screamin'


In a previous article, I mentioned that Soarin' Over California was one of the parks few, hit attractions. California Screamin' was the other runaway sensation.

Designed to resemble an early 20th century wooden coaster, California Screamin' is actually a steel coaster. It is the eighth longest roller coaster in the world at 6,072 feet. It was designed by Walt Disney Imagineering and was built by Intamin, a company known around the world for creating thrill rides and roller coasters. The coaster uses a linear induction motor to launch its trains up the first hill. Guests accelerate from zero to 55 miles an hour in four seconds. Like Space Mountain at Disneyland, the cars are equipped with speakers and jammin' music is piped to each seat during the ride. California Screamin' is an integral part of the boardwalk and winds its way above and around many of the buildings here.


California Screamin'

California Screamin'

California Screamin'

California Screamin'

California Screamin'

California Screamin'


Here's a picture of me, accelerating to 55 miles an hour in four seconds.


Jack on California Screamin'


California Screamin' has one inversion loop. Before the recent DCA refurbishment, the loop was highlighted by a giant silhouette of Mickey Mouse. But this was changed recently and now a massive sun emphasizes the inversion. More on this later.


Inversion Loop

Inversion Loop


Near the entrance to California Screamin' is King Triton's Carousel of the Sea. Rather than riding on horses, this simple merry-go-round features colorful flying fish, sea horses, dolphins, whales and other ocean creatures.


King Triton's Carousel of the Sea

King Triton's Carousel of the Sea

King Triton's Carousel of the Sea


Displayed around the carousel's canopy are the names of a number of the former and present day piers and boardwalks found up and down the California coast.


Pier Names


One of the first attractions added to DCA as part of the parks $1.1 billion refurbishment was Toy Story Midway Mania. It opened on June 17, 2008 and was an immediate success. In addition, the attraction's theming fit perfectly along a boardwalk that also featured real midway games.


Toy Story Midway Mania


The basic attraction is almost identical to its cousin at Disney's Hollywood Studios. However, the queue and loading areas are entirely different. At Disney's Hollywood Studios, a large portion of the line is indoors and features a number of oversized nostalgic games. At DCA, much of the line is covered, but it is still open to the outdoors and not air-conditioned. In addition, no games are displayed.

At DCA, Mr. Potato Head is in clear view of the boardwalk. Here, he acts as a barker, drawing attention to himself, the guests, and Toy Story Midway Mania.


Mr. Potato Head

Mr. Potato Head


The loading zone is also open-air and does not feature the games of Andy's room. Instead, this area continues the boardwalk theme with brightly colored graphics and a multitude of overhead light bulbs.


Toy Story Loading Area

Toy Story Loading Area


Appropriately, real midway games can be found just a little further down the boardwalk from Toy Story Midway Mania. And unlike the midway games found at Dinoland U.S.A at Disney's Animal Kingdom, the stuffed animal prizes you can win at DCA are Disney themed.


Midway Games

Midway Games

Midway Games


Further along the boardwalk we find shops and other places of interest. Don't worry. They're not real tattoos. They're the temporary type.


Midway

Midway

Midway

Midway


Also lining the boardwalk are a number of concession stands offering popcorn, hotdogs, sodas, and other traditional amusement park fare.


Concession Stands


When DCA first opened, its giant Ferris wheel was called the Sun Wheel. It appropriately featured a giant sun at its center.


Sun Wheel


One of the major complaints guests had about DCA was its lack of a Disney identity. So as part of the recent makeover, Mickey's rather undistinguished silhouette was removed from California Screamin' (see above) and a more familiar and personal image of his countenance was added to the Sun Wheel. In addition, the attraction was renamed Mickey's Fun Wheel.


Mickey's Fun Wheel


In a further effort to Disneyfy Mickey's Sun Wheel, each of the gondolas was given a new persona. Gone are the old “Paradise Pier” logos to be replaced with the faces of Disney characters.


Sun Wheel Gondola

Fun Wheel Gondola


Mickey's Fun Wheel is 160 feet tall. Its design was inspired by the 1920 Wonder Wheel found at Coney Island. These two Ferris wheels differ from most others in that a number of their gondolas ride along oblong shaped tracks within the wheel. This causes the gondolas to slide inward and outwards as the wheel rotates. Mickey's Fun Wheel offers 24 gondolas of which 16 swing. Guests may choose to ride in a sliding or fixed gondola. Each gondola can hold up to six people. The swinging gondolas offer the most thrill and can be nerve-racking for the faint of heart.


Mickey's Fun Wheel


The views from Mickey's Fun Wheel are spectacular and offer some good photo opportunities. However, for safety reasons, the gondolas are completely caged in and you must look out through wire mesh.


The views from Mickey's Fun Wheel

The views from Mickey's Fun Wheel

The views from Mickey's Fun Wheel


Not all attractions received a makeover during DCA's renovation. In the case of the Maliboomer, it was removed completely. The Maliboomer was a thrill ride that launched guests straight up a 180 foot tall pylon at a speed of 40 miles an hour and generating g-forces of 3.5.

Disney's official reason for removing Maliboomer was that Paradise Pier is supposed to represent of Boardwalk of the 1920's and this type of attraction had not been invented yet. However, Goofy's Fly School also doesn't meet this criteria and it survived (see below).


Maliboomer

Maliboomer

Maliboomer


One Paradise Pier attraction received a major identity reassignment. The original Orange Stinger was an off-the-shelf “wave swinger” ride. Guests sat in swing chairs and were lifted upwards and spun while the overhead canopy undulated. This undulating motion added an up and down, or wave motion which increased the thrill factor of the ride. The orange design paid tribute to the orange groves that once populated the land Disneyland now sits on.


Orange Stinger

Orange Stinger


Like the Sun Wheel, the Imagineers wanted to give the Orange Stinger a Disney identity. So the orange was removed and the attraction was rethemed after one of Mickey's famous cartoons, “The Band Concert.” Renamed “Silly Symphony Swings,” this revamped ride now reenacts the tornado that played havoc on Mickey's orchestra. To the music of William Tell Overture, the center column rises, exposing more and more of the band members as the storm whips them around.


Silly Symphony Swings

Silly Symphony Swings

Silly Symphony Swings

Silly Symphony Swings

Silly Symphony Swings

Silly Symphony Swings


A nice byproduct of this refurbishment was the creation of a lovely and mostly forgotten seating area. This is a wonderful spot to sit waterside and take a breather.


Silly Symphony Swings Seating Area


Another section of Paradise Pier also received a major makeover. In the early years, there was a food court here that featured two counter service restaurants. These were Pizza Oom Mow Mow and Burger Invasion. The theme was that of freestanding beachside food stands. Although the concept was carried out well, it still felt cheap and cheesy. In addition, most of the seating was exposed to the elements with just a few umbrellas to shield you from the sun.


Old Food Court

Old Food Court

Old Food Court


This area was replaced by a beautiful Victorian pavilion. It's difficult to express what a wonderful transformation took place here. This food court is stunning and in my opinion, the most elegant counter service area of any Disney park. It is truly splendid. The offerings here are Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta and Paradise Garden Grill.


Food Pavilion

Food Pavilion

Food Pavilion

Food Pavilion

Food Pavilion

Food Pavilion


As we continue our trip around the boardwalk we come to Goofy's Sky School. This is an off-the-shelf “wild mouse roller coaster” (similar to Primeval Whirl at Disney's Animal Kingdom " but with no spinning). The ride is based on Disney's animated short "Goofy's Glider".


Goofy's Sky School

Goofy's Sky School

Goofy's Sky School


As with other attractions, Goofy's Sky School is the result of reworking an older attraction and giving it a Disney persona. In the beginning, the ride was called Mulholland Madness and was supposed to represent the famous Mulholland Drive, a twisting and turning roadway that snakes its way through the Santa Monica Mountains.


Mulholland Madness


This attraction is a perfect example of why DCA had a reputation of being a cheap, off-the-shelf park. Many couldn't believe that after Disney had built such wonderful coasters as the Matterhorn and Thunder Mountain that they would allow such a cheap ride within one of their parks. Disney would counter that Mulholland Madness fit the theme of a boardwalk amusement park.

The retheming of this attraction from Mulholland Madness to Goofy's Sky School was minimal. There just isn't that much anyone can do to spruce up such a ride. Luckily, most of the track is hidden from public view and doesn't intrude onto the boardwalk.

Next to Mulholland Madness there was a large, sunglass-wearing dinosaur. He also was a victim of the refurbishment and was eliminated as he reeked California beach rather than Victorian boardwalk.


Dinosaur


Across from Goofy's Sky School is Jumpin' Jellyfish. This is a parachute jump"style ride that has been given a marine-life theme. Unlike Maliboomer which was a true thrill ride, Jumpin' Jellyfish is much tamer and offers a gentle ascent and decent. This ride remained virtually unchanged during the makeover.


Jumpin' Jellyfish


Next door we find Golden Zephyr, another ride that was left as-is during the refurbishment. This attraction features six Buck Rogers-style rocket ships suspended from a rotating tower. When the tower spins, the centrifugal force propels the rockets outward over the land and water.

This is a pretty tame ride. Unless you have a fear of heights, you should be okay.


Golden Zephyr

Golden Zephyr

Golden Zephyr


The Little Mermaid " Ariel's Undersea Adventure is also a part of Paradise Pier. However, I have already discussed this attraction in Part Four of this series.

Disney learned long ago that fireworks and shows like Fantasmic encouraged guests to linger at Disneyland longer than they might have otherwise without such nighttime entertainment. They also learned that the longer guests stay in the park, the more money they spend on food and souvenirs.

When trying to turn around DCA, the Disney executives new they needed to create some super fantastic nighttime entertainment if they wanted guests to remain in their struggling park after sundown. And since Disneyland already had fireworks, they had to find something else. Thus was born World of Color.

World of Color is a nighttime spectacular that takes place one to two times each evening on Paradise Bay. A combination of water jets, lasers, mist, fire, Disney animation, and Disney music combine to create a magnificent production that never fails to woo audiences. It officially opened on June 11, 2010.


World of Color

World of Color

World of Color

World of Color

World of Color


Opening Song of The World of Color:



Aladdin Sequence World of Color:



It's estimated that Disney spent $75 million to design and build World of Color. The show uses more than 1,000 fountains that can shoot water up to 200 feet into the air.
The fire nozzles can project flames 50 feet skyward. And the fans of mist act as projection screens for animation.

Although the show can be seen from anywhere around Paradise Pier, it is definitely directional and best viewed from Paradise Park. This terraced garden/park can accommodate 4,000 spectators. FastPass is available as are prime viewing locations when combined with a dinner package at the Carthay Circle Restaurant. Disney even sells special Mouse Ears that receive radio transmissions and the ears blink and change color with the show.


Paradise Park

Paradise Park


This concludes my series of articles about Disney California Adventure. I know it's hard to believe after six long columns, but I've only scratched the surface. DCA has many details that I haven't begun to mention.

As we know, DCA got off to a rocky start. But Disney has done the right thing and corrected many of the mistakes that were made here. There is still room for improvement, but this will come in time. In the meantime, DCA is worth your consideration. It makes an excellent companion park to Disneyland and the entire resort is magical. If you haven't already visited the “new” DCA, I hope you make plans to do so soon.

I would like to thank my friend Jason (Disney Geek) for providing me with pictures my own Disney library was missing.



The previous post in this blog was Disney California Adventure Part Five of Six.

The next post in this blog is Is it the Disneyland Resort or WDW? -- A Quiz - Questions.

Comments (18)

Lilu:

I have to say, having never been to DCA, I was at least relatively impressed on a lot of it.

And then World of Color came on and I wondered what on earth World of Color was doing in such a low-key park because holy crap! World of Color is -gorgeous-! I went into it with no idea what I was about to see, and while Fantasmic still squeaks it out for me just a little, World of Color was neat!

DCA is a good little park, but I feel like they lose a lot of traction with the midway area (there's only so much to do) and A Bug's Land really seems to be showing it's age to me. It still tacks on to me as a 1/2-3/4 day park unless you have little ones just because we spent about 6 hours there and did everything any of us wanted to do.

Greg H.:

Great series Jack! °o°

It seems as though we can add the resurrection of the dead to the many talents of Disney Imagineers. I realize that it took the financial commitment of the Walt Disney Company, but the creative minds of so many talented people have turned a park that I had no interest in visiting again, to a must see attraction should I ever find myself in Southern California again.

Again, the amount of research, documentation and interest that you put into your blog entries should never be understated. I know that Disney is your "hobby" but I also know that Disney is your passion, and it really shows.

I just saw the Cars Land float in the Tournament of Roses Parade. It was the longest float in the parade, and I thought it was a creative touch having the float "break down" so that Mater could come to the rescue.

I hope you and yours have the very Happiest of New Years! Looking forward to your continued superior journalism.

Greg

Josh:

hey Jack
great way to wrap up the series. paradise pier looks like a lot of fun and it looks like there is something to do for everybody. after reading these blogs i can not wait to book my trip to DCA. can't wait for your next blog and as always keep up the great work.

Rick:

Jack, great set of articles. I have only visited Disneyland twice with the last time being in March of 2010. I was upset to see that the Mickey had been removed from California Screamin' as I felt the inversion in the Mickey ears was a great touch and made for a great photo opportunity. Considering the imagineers seemed to be trying to Disney-fy the rest of the park, do you have any insight into why they felt the need to un-Disney California Screamin'?

Thanks for all your great articles. Looks like I need to plan another trip West!

Jack's Answer:

I can't say definitively, but I think I know the reason.

Disney added a "real" face on Mickey to the Sun Wheel -- now Mickey's Fun Wheel. This new face is extremely close to the old silhouette of Mickey found on California Screamin'. When viewed from a distance, you would have seen two Mickeys. I'm sure the Imagineers thought this would be redundant.

After the ears were removed from the silhouette, the surface of the remaining circle was smoothed out so it could be used as a projection screen during World of Color. The name "Paradise Pier" was placed above this circle, giving this land a stronger identity.

Stacy Hines:

Hi Jack!

I really enjoyed reading your series about DCA! It was very informative and definitely peaked my interest in the park! You always do such a great job with your blog entries! Thank you!

Happy New Year!

Stacy Hines

Mary Beth:

Hello Jack,

Thank you for all the wonderful work you do. I loved your blogs on Disneyland. We have only been to Walt Disney World and have talked of wanting to go to Disneyland. Now even more seeing your info and pictures. It is on our bucket list to do we hope one day. Thank you again and Happy Healthy New Year.

Louise:

My husband and I just visited Disneyland in June of 2012. We didn't think we would like California Adventure as much as we did. It's such a vast park with something different at every corner. While Mickey's Fun Wheel with the sliding gondola is indeed scary at first, after a couple of slides I realized it wasn't as scary as I had anticipated. The views should not be missed! I think it's important to note that Toy Story Midway Mania at Disneyland does not have Fastpass. We did not experience it, because we did other things first in the morning and the wait had become prohibitively long when we got there midmorning. Sadly, we left on June 14th as the resort was booked solid on the 15th due to the Cars Land opening, so we didn't get to experience Cars Land. Guess we'll have to go back! ;)

Tricia Noble:

Thank you for your detailed blogs. I am hoping to do the Adventures By Disney Hollywood trip next year, and I know we will stay a few extra days.

A fine conclusion to a wonderful series of blogs Jack. Bravo!

We have been to the “old” DCA twice (in 2008 & 2010). I think the redo has done a wonderful job up updating the park to Disney standards. What caught me most by surprise in your six part series were the pictures you presented of the Victorian Pavilion food court. They look like they could be (good quality) vintage pictures of Disneyland from the early 60’s. It is what I envision Walt would have liked/designed. Your photos make it seem so “park” like (as opposed to “Amusement Park” like) – wonderful, especially compared to the cheap roadside tourist attraction/California Beach (I know – that was the theme) set up of DCA 1.0

Thanks again!

Your Friend,

Dan

Tim Logan:

Hi Jack - My wife and I drove my family of 4 boys (8,6,5 & 9 months)from Toronto Canada to California this summer - - with Disney being one of our key destinations.

We included some rte 66 stops along the way, including Shamrock Texas where the 'real' Ramones building is - visiting Cars Land after seeing the real places first hand only made the place more amazing - I often show people pictures of both places together to show the level of detail that was put into this park and it is quite impressive.
I am a huge fan of Disney and make the trip to Fla often enough - but my fave park is the original (has a sense of nostalgia etc. that can't be beat). The DCA enhancements continue that nostalgic feeling so well and that park finally 'fits'.

And i have no problem saying it: RSR is the best ride out there - just an amazing experience!

Wendy Snelgrove:

Hi Jack,

What do you think was Disney's unstated, real reason for removing the Maliboomer?

Thanks for the blog.

Wendy

Jack's Answer:

You mean you don't believe everything Disney tells you???

Of course, this is purely speculation on my part, but I suspect too many people were getting sick on this ride and Disney didn't want to deal with it any more. If you notice, each seat had a clear plastic shield positioned directly in front of each rider. Disney said this was a scream shield to cut down on noise pollution. But I've always believe it was a barf shield to stop people's vomit from projecting onto those below.

I read one rumor that suggested the ride was to be rethemed as a parachute drop ride themed after the army men in "Toy Story," but I have no way to verify this.

Excellent job on this blog series, and I agree about Paradise Pier. I feared the worst when visiting last summer but was completely blown away with how it pulled off the boardwalk theme by feeling classy and vintage rather than obnoxious as I expected.

We certainly didn't expect Mickey's Fun Wheel to pack so much thrill, though! Great fun and lots of laughs.

Roger Ryan:

The Paradise Garden Grill is, indeed, a lovely counter service establishment. My wife and I enjoyed the very tasty kabobs (tofu and chicken respectively)in the peaceful park setting while listening to a band performing Irish jigs - very pleasant!

A clever touch added to the Silly Symphony Swings is the recording of a "Deems Taylor" impersonator (presumably omnipresent Disney voice actor Corey Burton)to instruct riders when it is time to board and disembark, etc. This subtle allusion to FANTASIA put a big grin on my face while waiting in line.

Rachelle Beaney:

Thanks Jack for another wonderful blog. My husband and I visited the new California Adventure in September and I was completely blown away. When we went in 2009 most of the park was made up of various construction zones but we still enjoyed it, but the new park is amazing. World of Colour and Carsland are first class additions and the whole theme of the park now feels as magical as Disneyland does. I know so many people who come from Australia to tour the US and simply visit Disneyland Park and I am constantly telling them how much they missed out on! Your tip about the single rider line at Radiator Springs Racers is dead on. My husband and I were happy to be 'separated' on the ride and we only had to wait 15 mins each time we rode when the lines were 1.5 - 2 hours long. And we were never really separated much. The first time we rode we were in racing cars which was so cool as we could photograph each other and wave and smile as we raced (unfortunately his car won!). The second time we rode we actually ended up in the same car, he was just seated behind me. I would definitely recommend couples trying single rider with this rider as you won't really be separated that much as most of the time each car requires two single riders to make up the uneven number on the row of 3! I loved reading this blog about the park and imagining I was back there - so thank you :)

Craig:

An additional comment about couples or groups in the single rider line being separated: Rachelle (in her comments above) seemed to have been fortunate, but you won't always be close together depending on when and where there are single seats available. Also, there is a special loading area for people with special needs, who may need extra time to get into the vehicle. When I was in the single rider line, I was directed to this special loading area. My wait was significantly longer than the rest of my group who were directed to the regular loading area. In fact, they were off the ride before I boarded.

Morgan:

Thanks for taking the time to go into detail about the history of DCA. I was a cast member there during its early years. It makes me sad that one of my rides has changed and the other is completely gone, but at least I have the memories.

Just as a side note, when I worked with the Maliboomer we were told that the shield helped with noise control because Anaheim has some regulations about that (don't know how true that really is), but I can say that those shields do nothing for those who get sick on the ride! So glad I did not work custodial!

Jack's Comment:

I have also read that the plastic shield is for noise abatement -- and I guess this could be true. But I never bought it. People scream just as loud on California Screamin' and there is nothing to stop their yells. Who knows. LOL

Cammie:

Amazing report, Jack, can't thank you enough! Even though I've been to DCA five or six times, I still learned a lot from what you shared & am happily anticipating the new stuff! You helped solidify my plan to get another annual pass! Guess I'd better watch that "Cars" movie too.

I have to say I'm very sad that the giant California letters out front were removed. These were family favs, but at least we have old photos of our boys standing inside the "C & the O".

Thanks for the insider tips, also. Here's a question....if you get the Carthay Circle dinner package, do you get to sit down for the light show?

Also, do they offer any Backstage Tours of DCA? Never heard of any yet, but since other Disney Parks have 'em, why not?

My favorite snack spot was Corn Dog Castle, (by Jumping Jellyfish). Did this tasty place survive the DCA makeover?

Jack's Answers:


There is no seating for World of Color -- other than the ground. And from the ground, you can't see anything.

To be honest, I'm not current on the tours offered at Disneyland. I have not heard anything about a DCA backstage tour, but knowing the Disneyland property as I do, I doubt that there is anything of significant interest backstage at this park.

Corn Dog Castle survives.

Rachel:

Sorry I'm late withe the comment, but I just now got to read about your Disneyland/DCA trip. I really want to plan a trip either on my own or with the Backstage Magic tour and possibly add a few days. I wanted to know your opinion on how many days you think you need to adequately tour both DL and DCA. It seems like there are a lot of things to see in both parks and the average visit is 3 days. Would that be a good estimate? Thanks for your informative blogs!

Jack's Answer:

Disneyland requires a day and a half -- maybe two if it's a busy day. DCA can been seen in one day. So I would say a minimum of three, full days. But if you're a real Disney fanatic, you might want four days just so you can ride a few of your favorites twice.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 1, 2013 7:28 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Disney California Adventure Part Five of Six.

The next post in this blog is Is it the Disneyland Resort or WDW? -- A Quiz - Questions.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.