Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Happiest Place on Earth

I recently had the good fortune to get free tickets to both Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure theme parks, thanks to Thao's best friend Baothy. I hadn't been to the tourist capital of Orange County for at least a few years now, so it was nice to go on a hot summer day and just have a good time.

Oddly enough, I always felt betrayed by my fond childhood memories of the park's size. When I look at it now, Snow White's Castle is tiny and the Matterhorn mountain seems easily scalable. Many of the things I remember have changed to fit the modern era (Chevron Autopia cars, Finding Nemo submarine, Pirates of the Caribbean w/ Jack Sparrow, etc). But some of these changes were a welcome edition, most notably, the remodelled Space Mountain was a much faster blast! It's nice that many of the older rides have remained, albeit, in a new form. As an entertaining attraction, most of the park's glitter has worn off on me, but the nostalgic aspects of the Disneyland of yesteryear still remain with me to this day.

This was also the first time I'd ever been to the "other" Disneyland park, California Adventure. I'd heard the stories and was aware of the identical $63 price tag, but I was surprised to find a handful of enjoyable rides. The California Screamin' rollercoaster was a real treat. One of the most enjoyable rollercoasters I've been on in quite some time, actually. It pretty much has it all; Superman The Ride style start-off, plenty of fast-turning G-forces, a loop, a drop, zero-G bunny hops, and surprisingly, a soundtrack you can hear the whole way through. The Big Foot Rapids-type ride was dizzying fun. The Soaring Over California ride was pure relaxation, and a fine way to end the night.

It might have been the fact that our tickets were free, but all in all, we had a great time. Here to hoping our Disney World trip in August will be just as enjoyable.

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