Of Star Lord and Mickey: California, Part 3

The last time I had visited Disneyland was for a high school band competition over ten years ago. During my trip to California, we were able to visit both California Adventure and Disneyland. We began the day in the less crowded park, California Adventure.

California Adventure

California Adventure has changed since I last visited. One of the first noticeable changes happened to the roller coaster on Paradise Pier. The loop used to have Mickey’s ears! I guess they moved the sun to the roller coaster and Mickey Mouse to the fun wheel.

Disney

You can see my cortisol pump attached to a holder on my arm.

That remodel happened over eight years ago, so I am quite a bit behind.

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My mom and I on the ferris wheel.

Though I do remember loving California Screamin’ in high school, and I loved riding during my most recent trip. That remained a constant.

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Gotta have Mickey Mouse Ice Cream at Disney!

Another upgrade to Paradise Pier was the ride Toy Story Mania! Don some 3D glasses and adventure into different rooms aiming the spring-action launcher at various moving targets! It reminded me of an upgraded version of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.

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Ready for some Toy Story Mania!

I was the lowest scoring out of our group of three. My mom had the highest accuracy and she easily beat my score. But my theme park buddy* smoked both of us in terms of points. Never compete with a seasoned professional.

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I’m not sure why I thought I could keep up with the seasoned pro.

Oh, and Cars Land did not exist the last time I visited! We ate lunch at Flo’s Cafe. While Six Flags Magic Mountain does a very poor job of accommodating gluten free, Disney excels at it. Every restaurant has an allergen menu available, and all Cast Members we spoke to were knowledgeable about dietary restrictions. I didn’t need to eat my pre-packed lunch!

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Every third blink is slower in Cars Land.

In my opinion, the best change to the park was the remodeling of the Tower of Terror. Gone is the haunted hotel with that unruly elevator. In its place is a group of Guardians causing trouble with excellent background music.

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The three of us standing in front of the BEST RIDE in the whole park!

Disneyland

After spending the majority of the day in California Adventure, we headed over to Disneyland to catch the Fantasmic! Night show.

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Just us three goofing off.

I made sure to take salt tabs throughout the day, as we spent a good amount of time walking around outside. I also always had my water bottle. Disney makes it very convenient to find water. Between the two theme parks, a park run by Disney is much easier for me to enjoy with adrenal insufficiency than a park run by Six Flags. Overall, Disney just treats their guests better.

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My mom and I with Aurora’s castle and Walt and Mickey in the background.

As it began to get dark, we headed over to New Orleans Square for the Fantasmic! night show. Afterwards, we watched some fireworks, saw a bit of the electric light parade, and then rode the monorail to exit the park.

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Alice saw the celebration button I was wearing and congratulated me during the parade!

It was an amazing day filled with new memories and adventures. We could have definitely spent more time in either park, but I am also perfectly content with everything that we were able to experience.

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I am Clearly Alive and I am Free.

My Critique of the Rides

California Adventure

Name
Amber’s
Score
Notes
8/10
  • I love this roller coaster.
  • At the start of the ride, you are accelerated from 0MPH to 55MPH in 4 seconds.
  • It is also the longest loop rollercoaster in the world.
10/10
  • FAVORITE RIDE IN BOTH PARKS!
  • They revamped the Tower of Terror Ride with a new theme and a new story line.
  • The new version opened in May of 2017
5/10
  • This is the perfect place to go when you need to take a break from walking around in the sun.
  • Short line, indoors, and sitting down.
5/10
  • There are two different types of gondolas: swinging and stationary.
  • I prefer the swinging gondola, but we chose the stationary gondola for the shorter line.
  • When you’re at the top, you are able to see both parks and even construction on Star Wars land.
4/10
  • I did not enjoy this ride because I felt like the sound was too loud.
9/10
  • I greatly enjoyed this ride.
  • We were able to FastPass it, however the ride broke down during our FastPass time and remained shut down for several hours.
  • Right before we were going to exit the park, we decided to check and see if it was open again. IT WAS!
7/10
  • This was another ride I enjoyed greatly.
  • I love feeling like I can fly, and this ride has you soarin’ all around the world in a relaxing manner.
5/10
  • We explored this area to escape the brief rainstorm.
  • In the Beast’s Library, you can determine which Disney Character you are.
  • Apparently, I’m the Evil Queen from Snow White.
7/10
  • Very fun!
  • I did have the lowest score out of our group of three.

Disneyland

Name
Amber’s
Score
Notes
4/10
  • Compared to Toy Story Midway Mania!, this ride seemed outdated.
  • The calibration seemed off.
  • Once again, I had the lowest score out of our group of three.
5/10
  • I was geeking out over the history of this Monorail.
  • Originally opening in 1959, this was the first transportation system of it’s kind in America.
  • Walt Disney based it off of something he saw in Germany (because America has always been behind with public transit).
5/10
  • We rode this during the fireworks show, so there was absolutely no line.
  • Though half way through, the ride paused. We listened to Madame Leota’s incantation several times.
9/10
  • You cannot visit a Disney Park without riding this ride.
  • The Cast Members recognized our theme park buddy*, so they gave us a boat to ourselves.
  • I love all the costumes, the colors, and the catchy tune.
  • Disney park tradition.
5/10
  • This is another perfect place to go when you need to take a break from walking around in the sun.
  • Short line, indoors, and sitting down, just an enjoyable ride.
7/10
  • With R2D2 and C-3PO as your tour guides, what can go wrong?
  • Highly recommend this ride.

*Astute observers might recognize my theme park buddy. He is an incredibly talented voice actor, and also a family friend. Check out his YouTube channel and his Facebook page. I challenge you to see if you can watch any of his videos without smiling.

Amber Nicole is Clearly Alive

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