Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Disneyland - The Return Part 3

Time for Part 3!  If you missed them or need a refresher, check out the first two posts here:

So, disclaimer here - at this point, we were getting pretty tired.  Jet lag combined with extreme excitement were starting to wear on us - but it was still broad daylight!  So it was onto Frontierland!

Frontierland in Disneyland is definitely different, but it still contains one of the centerpieces of Frontierland as I know it in Disney World - Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!  Where do I start? The queue is different, the track is different; it was the old familiar ride I love but yet it wasn't.

The on-ride effects were absolutely amazing!  Remember the scene in WDW's version where the rocks used to quake?  In DL's version, there is dynamite crackling, and there is a massive explosion as you crest the hill!  Additionally, the town of Tumbleweed is actually at the end of the ride - and you can hear the people talking in the buildings!  Verdict? I can't pick - both the WDW and DL versions are great! WDW is longer, DL effects are really neat, but both are worth riding.

Next up? Fantasyland!!!  And I'm just going to say it - Fantasyland is HUGE in DL.  I mean, it's big in WDW, especially after the expansion; but there are so many rides in DL's Fantasyland - I was amazed.  We started with a brand new ride experience: Pinocchio's Daring Journey.

This is a dark ride a la Snow White's Scary Adventures & Peter Pan, but of course, this one features Pinocchio.

We visited Stromboli's Puppet Theater, Pleasure Island, and many other scenes from the movie. It was definitely a cute ride with a lot of detail!

I loved this picture of the Blue Fairy at the end of the ride!

Next up? An old favorite of mine now extinct in WDW.  Of course, I speak of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride!

Toad Hall

It was just as I remembered... and in case you didn't know, it has two alternate endings.  Toady either ended up in Heaven, or, well... H-E-double-hockey-sticks...  Any guesses where we ended up???

Next up was the Matterhorn Bobsleds - another new ride for me!  This ride also features the Yeti - albeit a much smaller version than Expedition Everest's Yeti.  

In theory, I loved this ride - it was one of the coasters I was most excited for.  I hate to say I was disappointed, but, I was.  Not because of the ride track, but because the cars were very uncomfortable.  It made it hard to enjoy the coaster. :(

Now, here's where we deviated from a single land, because Fantasyland was crowded.  We therefore decided to head over to Tomorrowland for Space Mountain!!

I was VERY MUCH looking forward to DL's version of Space Mountain.  I was most definitely not disappointed.  It was absolutely incredible.  And it was nothing like WDW's (although I still love that version).

The queue was entirely different, and at first, I was thinking how I really liked WDW's queue theme.  DL's is very retro, and it's definitely more literal - like you are in a Space Station.  I missed the atmosphere... until I entered the ride room:

Amazing!  And the ride vehicles hold two across!!  Additionally, there was this super nifty contraption that allowed guests with wheelchairs to transfer at their own pace.  The ride never missed a beat!  A car would slide over off the main track, the guests with wheelchairs could board while other cars were still going, and then when everyone was set, the track slid the full car back into the line to launch.  Genius!

Car on the bottom is the accessible car, which slides back and forth as needed!
 The music, the effects, the speed, the length - all of these made Space Mountain DL my hands down favorite.  Oh my gosh!  I can't even use the right words to express how amazing this ride is.

Which brings me to our last ride of the night; the original Small World.  Yes, that is back in Fantasyland - we backtracked.  :)

 Totally different, but it is the original from the '64 World's Fair.  And it even still hosts the amazing animal topiaries!

The boat ride begins outside and then travels into the building...

... and of course you head through the countries featuring children from around the world along with the famous (or infamous) theme song!  But then I noticed ... Disney characters.  In not one, but many, of the countries!
In the UK - Alice in Wonderland
In France - Cinderella
In the room featuring the Middle East - Jasmine & Aladdin
In China - Mushu (Mulan too, but my pics didn't turn out)

Not really a country, but near the Pacific Islands - Ariel
Also near the Pacific Islands - Lilo & Stitch
America!  Featuring Jessie and...

Woody & Bull's Eye!
Adorable!  It felt so cool to be on the original.  Loved it!  

And now, it was dark, we were tired, and we decided to view the rest another day after we had, well, rested. :)

More later!

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