Disneyland in the middle of a summer heat wave is not always the happiest place on Earth. We went over the Labor Day weekend this year during the hottest days of the summer so far in So Cal.
First of all, I must admit, when it comes to Disneyland, my taste for rides and attractions is like a senior citizen’s. I do love roller coasters and thrill rides, but I have yet to experience a truly decent one from a Disney theme park, so I like to stick to the slow rides with lots of theme. My husband and I are probably the only people under the age of 65 who look forward to seeing “Great Moments with Mr Lincoln” (no, I’m not kidding! I get all teary and patriotic everytime I see it — especially as the sky fades into a sunset that looks like the American flag. No! I’m not kidding! I’m completely serious here! Mr. Lincoln Rocks! That audio animatronic wonder is a big part of why I became interested in engineering.) and this visit he was gone. We were crushed and angered by having to sit through 15 minutes of some inane film starring Steve Martin and Donald Duck with no Mr. Lincoln payoff. Apparently, the future of Mr. Lincoln is unknown. (Walt must be spinning around in his grave). If he’s not there there during the next visit, I don’t know if Steve and I will ever willingly return to do Disneyland. If the Tiki disappears or is changed to be like the abomination at Disneyworld, I will definitely not return (I left that Tiki Room in tears and wrote a very emotional letter to Disney about how deeply they disappointed me. What on Earth does the Lion King have to do with Tikis and Hawaii?!!! They basically replied that the modern audiences are stupid and didn’t understand the Tiki Room so they updated it to the Lion King because of the movie’s popularity. Personally, I thought the Lion King sucked. I have seen the movie three times in an attempt to stay awake through the whole thing because friends and family kept telling me how good the movie was. Each time I fell asleep during Hakuna Matata and woke up when the two big lions were fighting. I have no idea what happens in between, but I digress …).
The newest ride at Disneyland is a remake of the old submarine ride. The only thing good about the re-vamped Submarine ride is that most of the park’s visitors were in the 3-hour line for that ride such that the lines for the other rides were all under 15-mins — SWEET!!!. We arrived at Disneyland a little bit after opening around 8:15AM and finished the park by noon, with the exception of the Fantasyland rides which failed in a cascade (I imagine they all overheated one-by-one). Supposedly Splash Mountain was updated. The only thing I noticed is that the logs were new such that everyone had a separate seat (Maybe they upgraded to Vista too. The last time Steve and I were they there they experienced the Windows blue-screen-of-death. Over the PA the operator kept saying, “Windows reboot! Clear!” about every 5-mins. Too funny!) The Haunted Mansion was changed a little. The jilted bride section was changed into a little vinette about a black widow — very creepy (the little girl that was in the “Doom Buggy” ahead of us had a complete melt-down from fright). Of course, they updated the Pirates of the Caribbean to include Jack Sparrow. And onto the Submarines … we braved this line at night after the flaming orb in the sky had gone down for the day. We waiting in line for 2 hours for what began as a ride very similar to the old Submarine ride (“Dive! Dive! Dive!”) and then awkwardly became a narrative about finding Nemo. Umm, okay. I really didn’t get it. Whatever … to my disappointment, there was no giant squid. Nevermind about 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Capt. Nemo, my inner senior citizen weeps. But, then again, “Finding Nemo” didn’t hold my attention either. I got tired of Albert Brook’s “Helicopter Parent” role in the movie. How whiney and dependent can you be?!!! I did like the seagulls, though.
The California Adventure Park is pointless. It should be integrated into Disneyland. Soaring over California was great as usual. It still reminds me of the end of “Logan’s Run” though.
As for the heat — it made every parent and child cranky. I felt like telling some of them to go home since they were having such a miserable time.
Ah, and lastly, the shock of every visit — the admission price. This year the one-day park hopper cost $83 and a one day, one park pass is $68. OUCH!!! And so not worth it!!! Here’s a bit of advice if you are planning a trip to Disney. Buy a vacation package that includes the hotel and park tickets to save some money.