Me and sara tonin went to Disneyland this weekend and had a great time. Going during spring break certainly didn’t help with the population size/line times, but overall it was pretty manageable.


  • Tower of Terror. This is actually at California Adventures, the other park right next door to Disney proper, but it was my favorite ride out of both. Basically a mix of Haunted Mansion and one of those sheer-drop rides where you plummet very fast. Great fun. Here’s me and st on it:

  • Jedi Training Academy. Brilliant live show that made me wish I was a kid. Bastards wouldn’t let me join up, participation is only for “younglings”. Basically the Jedi Masters pick a bunch of kids out of the crowd and teach them basic lightsaber moves with plastic sabers, then Darths Vader and Maul show up and the kids get to take turns fighting them using the basic fight coreography they’ve just learned. A bit cheesy but totally totally awesome. If you have little kids and you and/or they are into Star Wars, this is a must-do.

Overall I think I enjoyed California Adventures more than Disney itself, if only because it’s far less crowded than the main park and has a better choice of rides. The big rollercoaster, California Screamin’, is sensational, I think perhaps the best one I’ve been on.

Oh, and a thumbs-up for Disney’s FastPass system. Once every hour or so you can hit up a machine for a ticket that lets you come back at a designated time and cut to the front of the line. Very smart system and allows you to spend the day doing other things (like spend money) rather than waiting in line all day.

This is for the individual attraction rides? If so that’s cool. Wonder if they’ve implemented it over on the right coast too.

Almost all the major rides have it, like Space Mountain, Tower of Terror etc. Most of the smaller rides and a couple of the big ones (like Matterhorn) don’t.

Unfortunately, the FastPass system is being slowly phased out, although I don’t know why. It’s the only way to get on anything popular during crowded days.

Glad to see you enjoyed California Adventure, Gary. That park gets a bad rap due to its horrible launch, but they’ve added enough stuff to make it worth a trip across the plaza. The river rapids ride is great on a hot day, the park area is a nice place to hang out, there’s some cool effects in the Bug’s Life show, and I can ride the Tower of Terror all damn day.

Still, nothing beats Space Mountain. I’m not a fan of the Red Hot Chili Peppers being played on it, but it’s neat to ride it now and see what the track actually looks like.

Yeah I enjoyed the whitewater rapids ride quite a bit. The great thing about going on a hot day is that you dry out really quickly afterwards.

Not sure why they would phase out the fastpass, it seems to work really well. But then I also liked the old VIP ticket system where you could just pay a premium to cut the line whenever you wanted.

Whoah, wait, where is that Jedi thing? California Adventure? Fuck, it wasn’t there last time I made that venture. Then again, the wife and I had the awesome timing of being there right when Space Mountain was in the middle of being redone.

It’s in regular Disneyland, in Tomorrowland across from Space Mountain.

My money’s on Vader.

Judge me by my size do you? Hmmm?


One of the kids actually had that written on his t-shirt.

Looks like you had a lot of fun Gary. What was your weather like?

One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out warehouse. “Oh, no,” I said. “Disneyland burned down.” He cried and cried, but I think that deep down, he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.

     - Jack Handy

It was hot. 50 factor sunblock ftw.

Disneyland FTW!

We have passes and try to go every other week or so…I say it is because my 9 year old wants to but heh, I dig it.

Last time, she got picked for Jedi Training- it was awesome and she loved it.

I also give kudos to the California side-- it is nice that the ride lines are so much smaller (generally) gotta use the fast pass…I had not heard that it is being phased out…for real?

California Screamin’ is a great coaster–I love how you “take off” at the start. I would also highly recommend the Indiana Jones ride…it is VERY bumpy but very well done. Star Tours is often listed as my favorite-- but after years of the same ride, I am ready for them to change it up a bit.

Last time I was at Disneyland it was on the first day of the Rodney King riots. Fucking surreal. We had the park practically to ourselves while 20 miles north all hell was breaking loose.

Tower of Terror kicks butt, my daughter and I screamed all the way down.

I’m making my first trip to Disneyland in May… with the wife and the four-year-old daughter. Any recommendations for rides we just have to hit? Our plan is to take two days to go around the park, riding most everything we can and then using the third day to revisit our favorites. It’s going to be tough to take in the “adult rides” but we’ll try to find a way.

3 days is more then enough time to see everything like 3 times.

The tough part is going to be rides with the moppet. She will love Fantasy land, Toon Town and the like but will probably not make the cut hightwise for many of the bigger-kid rides. She will prob really like the new Princess party thingy… I forget the name now but they all come out and sing and dance- kids love it, Autotopia should be great for her as well, the evil and I do mean evil (we got stuck inside for 20 minutes last time) It’s A Small World is a must for a 4 year old. (I suggest a flask of burbon to kill the pain while inside).

Oh on the Cal side, there is the Aladdin show (not to be confused with the one near the Tiki Bird show at Disney (which really is fun too), plus all the busses, the horse drawn carriage and such-always fun.

If this is your first (and hers naturally) visit- stop at the customer service area, to the right after you walk in- or just ask, and they will give you free buttons- yup, just ask- you can get “first visit” buttons, - I got a birthday one last week- everyone yells Happy Birthday --very annoying but fun-

I went to Disneyland for the first time ever a few years ago with my girlfriend (my family was one of the rare east coast suburbanite to never go to DIsney World as a kid, and I went to school in SoCal). She’s a total Disneyland nut. Since then we went to Disneyland once more and California once. Lots of fun and you can squeeze a lot into a short amount of time in California. We hit most of the rides in half a day.

The picture Tower of Terror generated had my girlfriend screaming in tears. She was totally freaked out. It was great.

So yea, I really enjoy those parks. I mean, I was 23 when I went for the first time - total noob! So maybe I lost a bit of the “magic” you get as a kid. But that’s okay.

And FastPass is brilliant. It allowed us to go on Space Mountain twice the 2nd time we went (first time, it was closed). Sad to hear it’s being phased out.

Oh, and Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters is very cool, like a combination of those old movie-based rides (Pinocchio’s Sky Ride or whatever) and shooting gallery.