Disneyland Spring 2012 Trip Report Pt 4
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…
There are multiple pages in this Disneyland trip report installment. Navigate to the next page below!
Great report, loved it!
It fizzled out a bit at the end, but the next report should be pretty good!
I agree about not kidifying Disneyland too much. After all, Disneyland was originally created by Walt so that there would be a place where both parents and kids could have fun together equally, instead of the typical amusement parks which pandered only to children. Anyone who makes the “Disneyland is for kids” argument actually needs to learn about the park’s origins.
Also, totally agree about Splash’s pacing…though I think you lucked out with DL Splash, because as of June, it was a hot mess – half the lights didn’t work (you could barely see half the story), multiple animatronics weren’t working (including main characters), etc. Anyway, looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the new DCA!
I guess we got lucky. I went on it again in mid-June and it seemed like it was in pretty good shape then. However, I got soaked (again!) at the very beginning, so I wasn’t paying incredibly close attention.
Not just the origins, but the parks in general. I don’t have kids, but I have seen the things that interest kids…they aren’t exactly connoisseurs of well-themed environments. Anyone making that “for the kids” argument who enjoys meticulous theming, references to bygone eras, etc., clearly isn’t thinking things through. Rather, I think a lot of people use it in an attempt to defeat arguments with which they personally disagree.
I respect those who present well reasoned arguments (even if I disagree with them) so much more than I respect those who rely on some straw man or equally fallacious line of reasoning.
I really have nothing terribly insightful to say except that I absolutely adore your trip reports. They’re well-written (and often sum up a lot of same thoughts, complaints and ideas I have when I visit the parks), the pictures are gorgeous and they always give me new ideas for my next visit. Every time I see a new trip report installment, I grab a snack and leisurely scroll through it, living vicariously through the recaps and photos. So inspiring! Thank you!
Glad to hear that you like them–thanks for the kind words!
Our family loves the Court of Angels! It’s everything you describe: a respite from the crowds,a beautifully designed and decorated “secret garden”, and a great place for photos. We love to take Christmas pictures here with the whole family on the stairs (I know, like everyone else). Thanks for arguing in favor of keeping this charming space!
It’s a great spot for Christmas cards–even with the ornament shop there. I hope others speak out about the Court of Angels and let Disney know how they feel about it.