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MaryAnn Loft -- April 2001 -- Disneyland


We arrived at 8:30pm Wed., exited the first Disneyland exit (instead of usual Ball Rd) which completely disoriented the adults since we hadn't been there since early in the building of DCA-- what a change to the parking & roads. wow.

The Annabella is a newly remodeled & huge motel (but nice); we reserved a king/double bed room; but they tried to pawn a double/single on us saying it was a queen; after two trips to the room & back, got what we had reserved, but the card-key didn't work-- registration hostess told me the computer said the room was a queen; and later that the card key worked "here" like we were idiots. Got the same quizzical look the next night at midnight when I asked for fresh towels -- (doesn't your room have towels?) -- They promptly showed up 45 minutes later. A friend had a similar experience with the room trick, and an Australian gentleman brought room service dishes down that he had tried to get picked up by house-keeping for 2 days. As he tossed the plates across the lobby, he exclaimed "...these have BOTULISM growing on them..." in a beautiful Aussie accent (plates didn't break).

Upshot, weak-kneed tourists WILL be taken advantage of at the Annabella, but the room was fairly nice once we got settled.

Day 1 Disneyland, Day 2- DCA, Day 3- Disneyland:

Shuttle ride to Disneyland every 1/2 hour- shuttle drop is still quite a ways from gates/tickets though; you could walk in about the same time. Seems like forever when you are excited & want to get there now! We bought daily ticket first day, then a 2-day promotional ticket, would've bought 3-day if I had been thinking. Why don't they have more ticket booths and entrance gates open? At 8:15am, raced to our always first ride, rode it twice in about 15 minutes GREAT; then raced to fast-pass for SPLASH MT. & also rode Pirates-- it is too quiet when no one in restaurant in am. More fog in the ship battle than usual. Headed toward Frontierland by 10:30 and OH NO, it's gonna be crowded. At least most of the food places are open. cleanest bathroom was the old Lawry's Mexican food place, newly remodeled in Frontierland.

Broke early for lunch & laughed at lunch time Golden Horseshoe review show- glad some of it still exists & glad it no longer is by reservation. Now the place is packed, hate that. Surprisingly though, most fast-pass return times are less than two hours away, some less than an hour (unlike the miserable waits to be had later at DCA). Big Thunder (why do I stll call it the Mine Train ride?) was fun and easily repeated. Annie (11) loved it best- too chicken last time, & was using our fast-passes to go on it alone by day 3.

Thank God we have outgrown Toontown; visited the Fantasyland staples, still good fun quick rides- why is Peter Pan always most crowded. The traditionalist in me fears that Mr. Toad & some others will be removed at some time for modernization-- hope not those are the memories us baby-boomers go there for- even the circuitous line-- "GUILTY!!" & the sulfur smell of hell -- Love it. Described and got nostalgic about Skyway to the kids- they couldn't believe it went through Matterhorn-- I told them it was removed because teenagers kept spitting on people below & tossing stuff down. The villain store not as good as it used to be. Space Mt. still too fast for me & I always feel carsick afterwards (think it's because of the dark out-of-control feeling)

Day 2-

DCA- the "big" rides were great, fast-pass waits were 4-6 hours away (not a good way to use fast-pass), Mulholland track was broken down, so was another major ride; and three minutes into my nap at the Muppet show, they turned the lights on & told us to get out- shut down rest of the day. REFUND!! Soaring Over California was really good, so was the Grizzly water ride. Lines too long & fast pass too long for the drop ride or the screamer-- plus we were chicken.

Whoopi Goldberg's narration of the California show made me fell lousy for being a white fourth generation Californian (since when is Khalifa? who? a black woman representative of California's heritage?). This show is too politically correct. but nice visuals and almost brought a tear to my eye. The 3-d shows (2 we saw in DCA & 1 in Disneyland) were great innovations and a good place to rest. We were done by 3 pm!! unless we wanted to wait the hours for fast-pass rides. went home early. Some of the rides are hokey carnival stuff- same with the carny-crap by California screamin'. Food was ok, liked the sourdough & tortilla things.

The Hollywood/movie section was ok- some good music playing in the street. Animation stuff was fun for kids, but kind of tedious.

DCA has too much concrete, too much unused water, & it's too fashionable, not enough rides to dissipate the crowds, & has little to build a tradition on (an orange ball?) as Disneyland does (from the movies and tv show & characters) but you gotta go at least once.

Day 3- Friday,

one of the most relaxed days I've ever had. No pressure to get on rides, took them as we saw them, used fast-pass very effectively. There are tricks to it! One of the cast-members was snotty to us for asking for cold drink replacements out of her barrel (entrance to Frontierland on Friday mid-day) she gave us warm one's just put on the ice. Never had that happen before. Enjoyed the ride around the park on train/monorail- good time to relax. Why do we go through the Grand Canyon? & Primeval World? neat traditions, but I sense it may end soon like the submarines because it is hokey-- but we love it cause it has always been there! Much of park needs upkeep- Small World still gaudy, and now faded.

Matterhorn attendants were the BEST- pulling "two's" & "three's" out of line to fill cars.

Why do wheelchair access folks all-of-a-sudden have lots of friends? What are the colored pieces of paper & special cards that get folks to the front of line? I want them next time.

If you are a traditionalist, go to the store across from Star Tours entrance and create your own CDs of the old Disneyland rides and narrations! Neat to hear Rocket to Mars.... again.

Unlike our previous visit, busloads of local teenagers on some local special (seemed like 1000's) did not show up between 2-4 pm to ruin the rest of the day. There is a crowd level that makes Disneyland near perfect, it was like that until about 11:00 am both days, then madness. Why do people stop to talk at the exits of the rides and back everyone up? Why don't they explain to foreign guests (with pictures?) not to take flash photography on some of the rides?

Lastly, why do the jungle cruise operators purposely demean and make fun of the jungle cruise now & on our last visit? Sure it's hokey for those of us who have ridden it for 40 years or so, but for those who haven't, Disneyland does a great disservice. Treat the attraction with some respect & some respect for new & young guests.

MaryAnn Loft

maeloft@aol.com


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