Chaos Attraction

Christmas At California Adventure

2011-12-29, 10:35 a.m.

Okay, the California Adventure album is up. Thank gawd it's shorter.

We spent the entire first day at Disneyland and park-hopped in between Disneyland and California Adventure the other two days. We probably wouldn't have park-hopped on both had Mom not gotten a Blue Bayou reservation (note to y'all: they will take reservations before you even arrive at the park these days-- call ahead?!) for day 2. It was tasty and dark there, as usual. I tried their gumbo and it was delicious. (Tried gumbo later at the "Jazz Kitchen" at Downtown Disney and it pretty much tasted like chili minus the beans. Sigh.)

For those of you wondering, there is some nice Christmas decorating going on here, but I didn't see that much speciality Christmas stuff or ride decoration (other than this there.

I continue to think that California Adventure is a much less impressive park than Disneyland, since a theme of "various parts of California" are just not as interesting or world-buildy as say, "Fantasyland" or "Adventureland." There's a few good activities to do here and there, but I just don't like the atmosphere of that park so much. The only parts that feel "world-buildy" to me there are Bug's Life Land (not my favorite, but at least it's done well) and the Hollywood Backlot, which is usually about the one area I really like there and actually feels like it has any atmosphere to it. They also have a fair chunk of the park boarded off because they are making Cars Land, after the movie Cars. I couldn't care less about Cars, so I can't say I am terribly excited about that. They also tore out the pretty central area they used to have at CA to remake it into Cars Land, so...ugh. And my mom doesn't do most of the Paradise Pier giant coaster/spinny ride stuff, nor will she do the water rides or "Soarin' Over California" (see Star Tours), so we kind of don't do a whole lot of rides over there. She likes the new Ariel ride though. And I fell in love with the Toy Story Midway ride in Florida, so now I have two major reasons to actually go to CA. Went on that one twice. I'll admit the first time we went, the ride wait was about 70 minutes...but worth it. Went the second time during a show late at night and it was around 40. Plus if you're already in the line, they still let you go on the ride even after the park closes.

Turtle Talk with Crush continues to be amazing and awesome and I still want to know HOW DO THEY DO THAT?!?! We saw this twice as well, and the second time Dory showed up and called a whale. Never seen THAT before. No, seriously, HOW DO THEY DO THIS? IT IS AMAZING. I also enjoyed the entire Animation Academy area-- there's a cool zoetrope with maquettes from Toy Story demonstration, and in the Sorcerer's Apprentice area there's a "Beast's Library" area with a changing Beast portrait/falling rose petals bit and a computer that determines which Disney character you are (Mulan for me). And there's an Ursula's Karaoke area where you can sing or act out a scene and she "steals your voice."

We saw the Aladdin stage show again. They still have Aladdin enter on a giant elephant, but alas, they no longer have Jasmine and Aladdin actually on a flying carpet in the air. Awww. Wonder what happened there. The guy doing the Genie (I hear he's new?) does a lot of pop culture jokes, especially involving reality TV. I have come to the fanwanking conclusion that the Genie magically has television from the 2000's in that bottle of his. It would explain a lot.

We saw the "World of Color" (CA's version of the Fantasmic light show, but with all water jets) show three times, at Mom's insistence. Here's the thing if you go to this: there is a FastPass that supposedly gets you preferred seating (really, it's standing) down by the water. I do NOT recommend that you get the FastPass seating. You're too far down to actually see the show well, and while the water jets do shoot up really high for 95% of the show, you can't see whatever movie scenes they are projecting on the water, and it's kind of a pain in the ass. The pictures I took of show #1 start here. See what I mean? You're still better off standing at the back with the random passers-by. That's kind of how we saw the second show, or at least Mom noticed this while I was trying to drag her back for Midway ride #2 (like I said: emptier during a show). She wanted to stay, but uh, I insisted on the ride. We ended up seeing #3 (the encore show) from the back end of the pier, which while it didn't show the projected stuff either, had a really lovely view of the water jets and colors and what they were up to. Here's where those shots begin. Pretty cool, eh? Okay, more surreal, but I kind of like that. They'd make a pretty screensaver or something.

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