The final installment of this Disneyland trip report is short and sweet. We had one last morning to enjoy Disneyland before catching our flight back to Indianapolis. Unfortunately, there isn’t a whole lot to say about this installment. Although I do pay myself by the word, thus explaining my long-winded trip reports, I’d like to think I only ramble on when I have something that justifies the rambling. I don’t have a whole lot to say about this particular morning. I suppose that’s a good thing, as it means I got a lot of my “important” commentary out of the way in earlier installments. Sorry that this installment is relatively boring…
In any case, there are some neat photos in this installment, so you can at least enjoy those!
Last day, so of course we arrived in time for rope drop!
The park wasn’t yet open, but the Queen of Hearts and the White Rabbit were out on Main Street, USA, anyway. With the exception of some princesses who have insane hour plus long lines, it seems that characters are far less in demand at Disneyland than at Walt Disney World. Not only was no one else in line for these two, but there was no character attendant (or any Cast Member) around them. (Hence the photo only being of Sarah.) I realize that character attendants are necessary at Walt Disney World to avoid the characters being mobbed, but it’s a fun experience at Disneyland. I can’t say that I miss having countless random children in my photos, like you’d have in the pre-attendant days at Walt Disney World, but it would be nice if the characters could roam the parks to create impromptu special moments.
With the exception of “One More Disney Day” earlier in the week, crowds were incredibly light throughout our trip. I suppose that’s what you get when you travel at the end of February/beginning of March.
Once again Jolly Holiday Bakery was open before the park opened. I wasn’t too hungry, but Sarah got this weird looking specimen. I did not try it, so I can’t speak to whether it was any good.
I love to compose photos with these little statues around the hub “interacting” with Walt and Mickey. From the right angle, Donald looks like he’s mocking Walt, Minnie looks like she’s swooning over Mickey (or perhaps over Walt!), and Pluto looks like he’s licking Mickey. Goofy…I don’t know what it looks like Goofy is doing. I suspect he’s a bit confused by whatever wisdom Walt is imparting on Mickey.
We hadn’t done Splash Mountain since our very first trip to Disneyland, and although we paid attention then, we were really caught off guard. First, because we almost immediately got soaked and became a bit preoccupied that our camera gear, phones in our pockets, etc., weren’t water damaged, and also because the show scenes fly by! Due to weather and scheduling (we didn’t want to start out a long day by getting soaked) we hadn’t returned to Splash Mountain since then.
We love Splash Mountain, so it seemed like we owed it to ourselves to do it again. This time, neither of us got soaked! Since it was the first attraction we did that morning, there were still no crowds by the time we were done with our first ride, no one was around. So we asked if we could do it again…and we could.
Overall, I think Disneyland’s Splash Mountain is inferior to Walt Disney World’s. Granted, the effects all seem to be working at Disneyland, and the Audio Animatronics look nicer, but the pacing of the story is just so disjointed and fast that it can be difficult to really digest the whole attraction on one pass-through. I don’t mean this in a good way like someone might when they say, “you always notice a new detail when you ride Haunted Mansion.” In this case, if you blink, you might miss an entire show scene. The general plot is the same in Disneyland’s version, but it seems slightly weaker. The effects also seem less ambitious (but hey, at least they work!).
That said, just to be clear, by saying that I think Disneyland’s Splash Mountain is inferior to Walt Disney World’s, I’m in no way saying that it’s acceptable for Walt Disney World’s to run in its current state. “Most guests won’t notice” is not compelling justification. If something is broken, it needs to be fixed. I made my position on this clear when discussing Tower of Terror in our Walt Disney World May 2012 Trip Report (part 2). Disney didn’t build its name by making appeals to the lowest common denominator.
After Splash Mountain, we decided to head over to New Orleans Square to enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean.
We did several attractions after this, including the Teacups, Alice in Wonderland, Roger Rabbit’s Car-Toon Spin, and Big Thunder Mountain. Nothing exceptional occurred during any of these attractions worthy of reporting on, but I will note that all remained excellent, in case anyone out there is keeping score at home.
We followed that with a trip to New Orleans Square for more Bayou Bash. Boy, did we have fun at Bayou Bash…
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