SoCal 2016 Day 7

16SoCal7BannerSix Flags Magic Mountain | Photos | Videos


September 30, 2016
Valencia CA

Waking up early, we picked up breakfast and headed north to Six Flags Magic Mountain.  This was the only time I’d ever actually been in any of the infamous LA traffic. Friday morning…wasn’t terrible. But we did get caught up in traffic. I think if you go into it with the mindset of it IS going to happen, it’s much more tolerable. I had gotten online a couple days before on Wednesday and signed up for a Six Flags membership, which is like a season pass but you’re locked in for 12 months of around $7 per month payment.  After the initial year, I can either cancel or continue. With taxes and fees, SFMM was around $12 on this trip and the first non special event theme park admission I’d paid for.

After we arrived we paid for parking, went to the front gate, and Isaac got his season pass ticket all before opening. We headed over to the Season Pass processing center to process our passes. It was quick and painless. I will say this, the park needs a lot of cosmetic and infrastructure work (nothing that hasn’t been said before), and the Season Pass center could use just a few touch ups to be really nice, but it looked run down. A theme for the day. Once we got in we headed directly to one of my favorite coasters of all time.

X2I still love this coaster. We ended up on the left side. We put our stuff in a locker and got in line for the front seat. Isaac was excited to try it out. The audio was different than my last time around. The wait was about 30 minutes or so. That first drop is still amazing. You swing to face straight down (well, almost) as you fall down a nearly vertical drop. The ride is a little rough, and shakes, but I like it. The whole ride is just so different than most coasters out there, and I’d really like to see Six Flags purchase a non-free spinning 4D coaster by S&S Sansei at one of their parks for a marquee attraction.

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SoCal 2016 Day 6

16SoCal6BannerKnott’s Berry Farm | Whale Watching | Photos | Videos


September 29, 2016
Long Beach & Buena Park

In the morning we woke up and headed again to the beach after picking up breakfast at McDonalds. This time we went to Seal Beach, since we had plans in Long Beach later, and it isn’t far from there. Seal Beach was again, amazing. West coast got beach game on fleek. Isaac had his birding book, I had my camera, and we walked in the surf while looking at birds and taking pictures. It was great. And such a beautiful morning. I found several more shells that I liked, as I did at Huntington Beach. Isaac found me a really neat dried coral, which unfortunately fell apart on the last day during packing, but whatever. Seal Beach was very nice indeed.

There were some surfers, but the beach was mostly desolate. I’m used to being at east coast beaches, with warmer water, where a beautiful day like this would see quite a lot of people sunbathing and frolicking in the water. We walked north up the coast in the cold surf. Isaac was able to spot several west coast birds with his birding book. At one point we saw some kind of party hat that was wrapped in seaweed. Perhaps someone had too much fun on a party boat.

So we made our way up to Long Beach and onto a whale watching cruise (A three hour tour…). Both of us were looking forward to this. I hadn’t been whale watching since the early 90s as a child, and it was a life changing experience. We saw lots of blue and right whales on that trip. This time we were looking for hump backs like Star Trek IV. And dolphins. And birds. And the trip did not disappoint. There was lots of scenery going along the coast and between the coastline and Catalina Island. And we saw a Hump Back! Plus 2 pods of dolphins. And one bird flew onto the ship. It was a great time, and on the way back, as the sea got choppy, we enjoyed the airtime and aggression of the sea.
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SoCal 2016 Day 5

16SoCal5Banner.jpgDisneyland Resort | Photos | Videos


September 28, 2016
Hollywood & Anaheim CA

Waking up the next morning we had some of our leftover Korean food for breakfast before hitting up the pool, then heading out. We were going to find the Hollywood sign from a good vantage point so we headed to LA and then to Hollywood. We actually accidentally ended up at the foot of the hike up to the Hollywood sign. We weren’t prepared, nor did we have the time to do the hike, though I definitely want to do that at some point, so we walked a little bit up the trail before heading back down and driving back to Anaheim for day 2 of Disneyland, or in this case, California Adventure.

Today there were no GPS mishaps. We parked in the parking garage and headed to the Grand Californian on a much easier route this time, meeting up with our contact/new friend for a drink at the bar at the Grand Californian. She was starting her vacation today and wanted to start off right, so we gladly obliged. I had a drink made with Wild Turkey, Red Stag, and something that made it all taste a bit smokey. It was good.

I really did enjoy my visit to California Adventure on my last visit a decade ago, but the park has now grown in much more, and obviously there is that recent billion dollar make over. There were elements I liked from the original, but I won’t mourn their loss much because California Adventure, as it stands now, is amazing. We headed over to Pacific Wharf and straight to the main attraction there.

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SoCal 2016 Day 4

16SoCal4Banner.jpgDisneyland Resort | Photos | Videos


September 27, 2016
Huntington Beach & Anaheim CA

Waking up we once again headed back to the beach. Huntington was familiar so we headed there for beach time. I did hang out in the pool that morning. Huntington was just as nice during the day and there were again plenty of surfers. Also, there were birds for Isaac (an avid birder). I acclimated to the water quite nicely, but he was kind of on and off with it. The surf was up and fun, and we spent a nice morning playing in the water and laying out on the beach.

We had lunch reservations at 2:50 at the Blue Bayou in Disneyland, and thanks to a good friend, got hooked up with tickets for 2 days while in the area. Because of poor planning and GPS usage on my part, we were a little late meeting our contact, but we did get there not long after we’d planned to meet at the Grand Californian Hotel. Unfortunately, once we parked and got to the resort, another GPS mistake had us walking all thru Downtown Disney and going to the hotel the long way. But once we got in, we met up with our new friend and headed into California Adventure first before heading directly over to Disneyland proper.

My last visit to the Disneyland Resort was in 2005, just before they started the 50th celebration. I hadn’t been to Walt Disney World at that point, but now I’d been to the Florida parks a couple times. So it was nice to compare with the original with a fresh perspective. I love Disneyland, and the last time my group only had a 1 day park hopper pass so we tried to cram too much into one day and didn’t spend nearly enough time at Disneyland. I loved California Adventure even then, before the changes, but I really needed more Disneyland time.

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SoCal 2016 Day 3

16SoCal3Banner.jpgKnott’s Berry Farm | Photos | Videos


September 26, 2016
Buena Park & Huntington Beach CA

Monday morning we woke up and headed to a neat local diner with great food and homemade salsa for eggs that was not far from the house, then we headed back to Knott’s Berry Farm where we found a nicely shaded parking spot in the lot by Ghostrider. After getting inside we headed over towards Ghostrider first, but it wasn’t open quite yet, so we headed around and hit up Pony Express.

Pony ExpressI really like it. I’d be happy if Carowinds got one of these. The launch is fun, there’s airtime, and the train is really neat. It would serve as a great family coaster in whatever park it’s in, but that it’s themed to the Pony Express near Ghost Town makes it all the more interesting. The launch isn’t that intense but it is fun, and the twists and turns are mildly thrilling. The finale with the tunnel is quite fun.

Next we hit up the Log Ride and Mine Train again before heading into the 50s section of the park. We got in line for Xcelerator and with absolutely no line or wait we rode in the front seat. And it was glorious. Then we were allowed to switch to an untaken seat and ride again. We rode two or three times more and then headed over to another ride close by.

Supreme ScreamI like the S&S towers. They don’t scare me that much, though I’m really starting to be less and less scared by drop towers. Don’t get me wrong, I love the drop, but the journey up the tower scares me. Supreme Scream has a nice view, and it’s a shame I didn’t have my camera up there. And the drop was a lot of fun.

Knott's Berry Farm Day 1

We headed over thru the Fiesta Village section next. My last visit to Knott’s wasn’t very busy, but this day was absolutely dead. And it was fantastic. It was time to get some Jaguar and Monte love in.

Jaguar!I love the queue. It’s really, really long, but really cool. But there was a loud announcement made and you couldn’t make out a word that was being said. They need to fix the speakers. Jaguar! is a great family ride. It’s a long ride, it gets done what it needs to, it’s great for kids and families. No major airtime, but it’s just so much fun going up, down, around, and thru the other rides in the area.

We headed over to another classic, one of my favorites, and a dying breed next.

Montezooma’s RevengeWe had a mishap (with no line, mind you) of the people beside us getting in our seats for some odd reason, and wouldn’t move, because they wanted to ride with their friends who were in the queue right behind them. It was weird. But whatever. Monte is a classic and I’m so glad Knott’s keeps it up. The launch is fun, the loop is intense, and the first spike, while sunny, was really fun. And that back spike really is better on the fly wheel versions of this ride.

Knott's Berry Farm Day 1

We walked over thru Camp Snoopy next. They have one of the best Camp Snoopy sections in any Cedar Fair park, I really like it. Then we walked back to Ghost Town. I had some unfinished business from the night before.

I’d mentioned when Cedar Fair announced that Ghostrider would be getting completely retracked, refurbished, and new trains all done by Great Coasters International that I had a bit of trepidation. I loved Ghostrider with PTC trains. Even in 2012, with the MCBR mostly stopping the train on the MCBR I still thought the ride was really great. I never got one of the infamous ‘rough’ rides. So GCI’s modifications gave me pause. We rode in the back of the train. I like GCI, I like Millennium Flyer trains, but in the past, switching to those trains have not fared well with enthusiasts.

GhostriderThe ride is very smooth. It definitely feels GCI smooth. The first drop was really good, and the first couple of hills were fun, though the amount of airtime was not what it was before, and that comes from simple physics. The trains are different. Also, there was some reprofiling of the layout. You go right thru where the MCBR used to be and the whole last part of the ride is fast, furious, smooth, with airtime and laterals in the helix. So what did I think, and how did it compare? For my first ride, I was slightly disappointed that a few of the more powerful airtime moments were gone, but what it lost in intensity it gained in speed. Ghostrider now feels like a coaster built by GCI, and that isn’t a bad thing. I liked it, but decided to hold off on officially making a decision until another ride later. Though slightly disappointed, I still really like Ghostrider just based off of that ride.

We walked to the Mystery Lodge but I’d just gotten a Boysenberry Icee so I had to finish that instead. I first experienced Mystery Lodge on my last visit and unfortunately it led to me not getting to ride Jaguar! or Monte because of my time crunch. But since we had Platinum Passes and were less than 2 miles from Knott’s I didn’t mind waiting this time, and the wait was actually far less than it was the last time. If you haven’t seen it, it’s an interesting show using Pepper’s Ghost and a live action actor. The actor last time was much better, but it really is a well done use of the PG effect.

Knott's Berry Farm Day 1

We were getting hungry so we walked out of the park and over to Mrs. Knott’s Chicken Restaurant, newly renovated and with a new head chef. It. Was. Amazing! I love the chicken there anyway, but the mashed potatoes (dairy free, not that i care, but you just might) were out of this world and the whole meal was really good. As was the Boysenberry punch (see a theme here?).

Heading back in I believe we went over to the Stage Coach next. This was my first time riding it and it was a lot of fun. Then we rode the train. They had the smaller one running in the off season. I love trains and the smaller, more unique one was really neat. The outlaw that held us up was funny too.

We walked over towards the Fiesta section again and rode La Revolucion. I love these rides, and this one was no exception. It made me hope Carowinds gets a frisbee type ride at some point. We walked back over again to Camp Snoopy. I discovered some random ‘cave’ and had to check it out. It reminded me a little of the Treasure Cave (R.I.P.) at Kings Dominion. I really love Knott’s for things like this. Next was Sierra Sidewinder, another credit for Issac, and just a fun ride.

Sierra SidewinderKnott’s has another home run as far as family coasters go. It spins, it has a few fun drops and turns. We spinned quite wildly as our car was a little bit off balance, which was great. The layout is really one of the better ones for a spinning coaster.Sunset at Huntington Beach

We took a re-ride on Voyage to the Iron Reef. This time on Voyage, we got stuck just near the end of the ride. I still hope we get one of these at Carowinds and at other Cedar Fair parks. We also rodehe Sky Tower for some photos. They need new windows.

Also, Isaac wanted to ride the flyers. Up to this point in my life, I’d yet to snap flyers. I tried hard, but never have. Even at Knoebels. Even at Carowinds. These were no different, but I do like the setup of the boardwalk section. We took a spin on the Log Flume too before our last ride on Silver Bullet. And we got some last daytime rides on Xcelerator.

We headed out of the park and back to the house for a bit. I tried again to get in the pool, and I think I stayed for a few minutes. It was warmer in the mornings, but not so much in the afternoons or evenings. I did manage to nap by the pool one day, and we laid out by it one night.

That evening we decided to head to the beach for my first ever sunset on the Pacific Ocean. Huntington Beach had been suggested so we headed to the Pier there. And we were glad we did. There were still tonnes of surfers in the water and the sunset was spectacular. Plus I got to see what my new camera could do in low light and at night. And I’m very happy about that. We hung out at the pier and at the beach for a bit before heading back to the house

Day 4

SoCal 2016 Day 2

16SoCal2Banner.jpgKnott’s Berry Farm | Photos | Videos


September 25, 2017
Buena Park CA

Sunday was a fresh new day so we woke up early, got ready, checked out, and headed towards Buena Park where we would be staying the rest of the week. Isaac was feeling somewhat okay and so we headed to Knott’s Berry Farm for a few hours to see if he could handle going to parks. It was busy for a Sunday but Isaac was feeling better, and he had been excited to get to the park. Obviously I was willing to go because I really love Knott’s Berry Farm. After getting in the park we headed to Ghostrider first.

It had a decently sized line and immediately broke down. With new new work on it and new trains I wanted to ride it as it is one of my favorite wooden coasters, but there was no reason to wait that long, especially since we were staying right down the street and have our Platinum Passes that allow us to visit the park any time.

Instead we walked thru Ghost Town. I hate that Ghost Town Alive ended just prior to our arrival, I’d have loved to have seen it. Our first ride of the day was Calico Mine Ride which I’d not been on since it’s renovation. I love dark rides, and the refurb on this was really well done. My favorite scene is the large ‘glory hole’ room in the middle because it’s rather massive for a park of this size.

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Next up it was time for a new credit. Normally, I’d do a rundown but Coast Rider, the park’s newer Mack Wild Mouse is something I’d ridden several times, including earlier in the year at King’s Dominion. It’s a fun mouse with a great first drop, and it looks great where they put it at Knott’s. Plus I like the play on Ghostrider with the name. It’s a much better ride than what used to be there. Up next we headed over to Xcelerator, which didn’t have much of a wait, surprisingly.

XceleratorI still don’t care much for the queue in the station. I’m not sure why they decided to group by car instead of by row because it doesn’t always work. We sat near the back. During the off season they were running one train, but in all three visits to the park on this trip that was plenty. This is one of my favorite launched coasters. Even with a short track length, the launch is really powerful, with great airtime over the tophat. I greyed out in the 2 turns.

We walked thru the Fiesta Village area and planned to ride Montezooma’s Revenge but decided we needed water and a bathroom break first. We headed thru Camp Snoopy and back over to Ghost Town. We toyed with getting in line for Mystery Lodge, but decided to keep it for another day. I got some Boysenberry goodness in the form of an Icee and it was delicious. Then we hit up another amazing dark ride that I wasn’t able to ride last time, and haven’t been on since it’s refurb, Timber Mountain Log Ride. Again, another amazing refurbishment. I don’t remember a lot about the ride before, but we didn’t mind that we waited in line because again, it was just so well done. Then we headed around the park, at some point hitting up Silver Bullet.

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Silver BulletThis is one of my favorite inverted coasters. Most people don’t like it, I think it’s underrated. I like the rampy first drop that most don’t. Also, the Stengle Dive-esq turn is really awesome. The ride is very well paced, and then you hit that very intense helix at the end. I wish it were closer, because I love Silver Bullet.

Heading back around the park again we ended up getting in line for something else that was new since my last visit. And if this is any indication of what Cedar Fair can do with new dark rides, I want one at every park, including Carowinds, a.s.a.p.

Voyage to the Iron ReefThe queue is nicely done. I felt it was on the level of at least a Busch park, if not nearly at Universal Studios level of theming. And the whole ride is just fantastic. The gun I had was slightly off, but it worked, and the scenes where you’re shooting were a lot of fun. I also liked the throwback to the older rides no longer at the park. I really liked it. I want a Pirate themed one at Carowinds, please…

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Calico Mine Train is a fun dark ride, so we rode it one more time and then left the park as it was nearing time for us to go check in to our amazing AirBnB house a mile and a half away. Once we arrived we checked it all out, checked out the pool, put our stuff away, and then headed to the grocery store to get some stuff for the week, finding an amazing authentic Korean restaurant along the way. Isaac loves Korean food, and I love what I’d have of it, but this made me wish I could have it more often. The food was amazing. For most of the dinner, we were the only non-Korean customers in the place, and it was fairly popular.

We headed back to the house and I tried to get in the (now cold) pool, but didn’t last long before heading to bed.

Day 3

SoCal 2016 Day 1

16SoCal1Banner.jpgWeHo | Photos | Videos


September 24, 2016
Los Angeles, CA

The last time I was in southern California was December of 2012. I was on a week’s vacation to Las Vegas and when planning the trip decided to drive out for a day to spend the morning at Knott’s Berry Farm theme park and the afternoon at Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park. Previously I’d spent time at both parks in 2005 on my first west coast SoCal trip. This trip was initially planned for spring of 2016, but because of my onset of medical problems it got pushed back to September instead. Which is fine as this was a great time to go.

We flew out Saturday morning from Greenville, SC’s small airport. I like smaller airports because it’s just easier to park, get thru security, get a bite to eat, and relax before the flight. Plus it was cheaper and Southwest is way better than I felt it used to be. Our flight was around 10:30 with a 2 hour layover at ATL.

Getting to LAX and out to our rental car agency was pretty easy, and the trip to the rental car agency wasn’t nearly as long as when I’d done this 11 years ago as it seemed like Enterprise was a good 30 minutes away from the airport, if I recall correctly. We ended up in a cute VW Bug. Which excited me…until we started driving it. It had great gas mileage, but that was about it. I didn’t like how there were not accommodating handles on the door for when you were trying to open or shut it, and you couldn’t lay the seats back. It’s just not for me. This is actually the first time I’d ever driven a VW Bug. And I really didn’t like it. Neither did Isaac.

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Six Flags Magic Mountain 2005

six_flags_magic_mountain_logo

  • March 13, 2005
  • Valencia CA
  • West Coast Bash
  • Six Flags Magic Mountain
  • Photo Album
Six Flags Magic Mountain 2005

Some time in 2004 some kid on Coasterbuzz sent a private message telling me I wasn’t much of an enthusiast because I had been to neither Cedar Point nor Six Flags Magic Mountain. That, at the time, was untrue as I had in fact been to Cedar Point, but I had let my membership for Cbuzz Club expire, thus I wasn’t able to update my track record from the 51 coasters at that time it had shown I’d ridden. Surprisingly, this was not the first time I had gotten some random email telling me something similar. To the kid that sent me that message, you can sleep better now, because I’ve been to both Six Flags Magic Mountain and Cedar Point. Multiple times.

Like I care.

This is a story about the worst day I’d ever had at an amusement park. This is also the day I had the biggest case of anticipointment I’d ever had. Its not filled with twists and turns, but happens in a rather linear fashion. It wasn’t just because I was at Six Flags Magic Mountain, a notoriously hard park to like, that the cause of my bad day.

Winter Coaster Solace a great event. Great food, fun rides, and lots of friends. This would be my second event. I didn’t want to arrive too late since they were only offering ERT for 2 hours. But we had plans for the evening, so we weren’t going to be at the park until it closing time as we had for most other parks.

Since it was Sunday we were told that traffic wouldn’t be terrible going to Magic Mountain, but we’d need to leave at least an hour before we expected to be there. ACE SoCal and Ride World were holding West Coast Bash from 8-10 AM and I wanted to hit X as much as possible. So at about 7 AM the alarm went off and I called up to Tim Danner’s room to let him know we were up and getting ready to leave in just a few minutes.

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Knott’s Berry Farm 2005

knotts_berry_farm_logo

  • March 12, 2005
  • Buena Park CA
  • Knott’s Berry Farm
  • Winter Coaster Solace
  • Photo Album

Knott's Winter Solace 2005

Today I would attend my first ever theme park event. Knott’s Winter Coaster Solace 2005 begat at 7 AM with 3 hours of Exclusive Ride Time (ERT), a full 3 hours before the park opened to the public. During this time a substantial amount of coasters and a few thrill rides were running.

I had wanted to arrive at the park around 7 or 8 but after our concert the nite before, neither Jamaal nor myself was able nor willing to walk up so early. Plus, Tim had fallen ill at the Pre-Solace Radisson event, so he was okay with a later arrival. Eventually, we made it to the park around 9am. The first thing we needed to do was get registered for the event. Apparently, Robb and Elissa Alvey (of Theme Park Review fame) snagged the last lanyards for the event, so no lanyard for us.

Tim ended up paying for our registration fees with his credit card so that we could hand over some cash, which he didn’t have. This proved to be useful for us because Tim had a Cedar Fair season pass as he worked at Dorney Park, which meant that we were able to purchase our registration packets at a reduced rate. Because of our steep discount, Tim was covered for gas for the weekend, as he had planned to ride with us to the weekend’s events.

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Disneyland Resort Part 2 2005

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Disneyland is the original Disney park. This was my first visit to a Disney park ever, and I’m glad that I started with the first one, and during the 50th anniversary celebrations, at that. After walking across the courtyard between the 2 parks we headed into Disneyland. Unfortunately Space Mountain hadn’t finished it’s reconstruction & refurbishment at that point and Splash Mountain was down for maintenance, as was Jungle Cruise. Oh well, that gave me more reasons to come back later.

We first found a restroom and then waited in front of the Castle for the other three. I don’t care what anybody says about the size of Sleeping Beauty’s castle, it was still really cute. One of the first noticeable things was how much more crowded Disneyland was than California Adventure. The first ride I saw was the Astro Orbiter. I almost took a spin, but the line was just a bit too long and we were supposed to be meeting up with the other three.

Then we saw Peter Pan’s Flight. This line was super long, so we opted out of that as well. Maybe next time. We walked back through the castle and I saw Tina waving for me. We went over and met Bill and Jodi. Then it was off for a ride. I’m pretty sure I have this in order, but there may be some discrepancies. First, I was up for some Haunted Mansion. The line wasn’t short, but the wait wasn’t that long.

Haunted Mansion-Granted, the actual ride portion wasn’t a bit scary. But the stretching room gave me a quick jump scare. Never the less, I really like dark rides and this was no exception. I know there were some changes recently, which were cool. Overall, aside from the temperature being a bit too cool for us, I really enjoyed the ride on Haunted Mansion. I’ve been waiting for many, many years to ride. Now when are they gonna add that 1000th ghost?

After Haunted Mansion I needed a coaster ride so we headed over towards Big Thunder Mountain. But first, we passed by The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, and had to take a spin.

The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh-It was a pretty good dark ride. The ride looks very nice and was well themed. I liked Pooh’s Heffalump dream world scenes the best.

I was slightly worried about the coaster as there had been a recent accident. This wouldn’t be the first nor the last roller coaster I’d ridden that had had a serious accident, but I wasn’t going to pass on riding another classic.

Big Thunder Mountain Rail RoadAfter just a few lifts and drops, I proclaimed “If we were at Carowinds, It’d be over by now”. Bill agreed, Tina and Jody just laughed. This was my first ride with Bill. The trains were comfy to sit in, the ride was paced just right, and the theming was, once again, just blissful. Disney really is in a class all to themselves. Then there is that lift in the tunnel. After that, I proclaimed once again “If this were Adventure Express, it’d be over by now, and I’d be once again disappointed”. Bill was also making some Adventure Express comment (okay, so I did like it my last visit to Kings Island…). But BTMR was more than both of the previously mentioned mine train coasters. Heck, it is kind of the original. It was a fun ride, nicely paced with some decent ups, downs and laterals. I’d do it again.

Well, that was #98. Next up was another classic Disney Ride, and one that has been in the rumors lately: Pirates of the Caribbean. One neat thing was the restaurant that the ride actually navigates around.

Pirates of the Caribbean-Another golden oldie, Jamaal and I really enjoyed Pirates. It was fairly long, which is a good thing. More time to sit down. Plus it was a dark ride. Yay! The one drop was unexpected, and the animatronics were all in top notch order. Heck, I’ve been in some more ‘up to date’ dark rides that weren’t this good. Another oldie down, and another satisfied customer.

At this point I should have looked at a map and made some decisions on what all I wanted to see and do at Disneyland. Had I looked I would have realized all that Disneyland had to offer. In fact I didn’t spend any real time in Tomorrowland and almost missed out on two of the better rides at the park. Instead we rushed over to Matterhorn for another coaster credit.

Matterhorn (right)-We had been told to ride the right side of the coaster during the day, the left at night, and so we hopped in line for the right side as it was still daylight out. This was it. The first tubular steel coaster ever. It was also the last of my double digit credits at #99. I thought for a family coaster that it was fairly intense. Good theming, good coaster, and the water as a natural break is funky. The mountain actually looks almost real as well along the skyline. I rode in a car all to myself

Bill, Tina, and Jodi were hungry and Jamaal and I still needed to use our Screamin’ Fast Pass so we headed back over to say goodby to DCA. We picked up a disposable camera on our way into DCA since we left the digital camera behind by accident, and took some photos of the park before heading over to California Screamin’ again. The second ride was just as good as the first, and with 99% less wait time.

After snapping a few more pics the park was starting to close. We were there for almost an hour. Another Tower of Terror ride would have made me happy, but oh well. Getting two rides was still good. We then headed back over to Disneyland, which was still much more crowded than California Adventure. Next time I’d know I would need a full day for each park, but on this trip I’m just happy to be able to go.

I couldn’t get the gang to answer when I called to tell them we’d be heading back over, so I figured they were in line or on a ride and had no Cell reception. Walking over towards Tomorrowland I saw something I had forgotten Disneyland even had. I’m a huge Sci Fi geek. I like comics, I like coasters, I’m a Trekkie, and I like Star Wars. So when I saw the Star Tours sign, I just about flipped out. Thankfully, Jamaal is a Star Wars geek too.

Star Tours-I called my close friend Jon, who is a super Star Wars fan, to tell him what I was about to do. The line was long but moved swiftly. This was the only thing in Tomorrowland I ended up riding. We noticed Tina, Bill, and Jodi in line up ahead and told them to wait outside after they rode. Eventually we got through the queue and were off on our mission. It was fun. I mean, I’m not a huge motion simulator fan as they tend to make me sick, but it was a lot of fun.

After meeting up with the others we wondered around the park for a while taking photos. Just outside of Star Tours was the newly soft opened Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters which had about a 40 minute wait. I wasn’t willing to wait, so off we were.

Then it was that time. Time for #100. Everyone counts coasters in their own way. Matterhorn has two semi-dueling tracks. The sides are different, and that makes it, to me, 2 different coasters. So my 99th and 100th coasters are the kind of the same.

Matterhorn (left)-The other side was definitely more intense. Was it because it was nite? I dunno, but it was also a little rougher. Oh well, Matterhorn was still a lot of fun and being at night, the ride was a little darker.

We were going over to do the Kiddie coaster when I saw something else that is impossible to pass up the first time. Another Disney classic, and I don’t think I’ll ever get that song out of my head…

“it’s a small world”-Yes it is, but the line wasn’t small. Again, though, we’re at Disneyland, and so it wasn’t a long wait. The ride, however, was about 15 minutes too long for me. Okay, I had to do it once. But once is enough for me

We headed over to ToonTown to ride the last coaster operating in the park, Gadget’s Go Coaster, a roller skater. Another neat ride I saw was Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin. I loved that movie, but how would the ride be?

Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin-S loved this! The theming was very well done and the self spinning was a cool idea. Jamaal was with Bill, Jodi was with Tina behind me, and I was all alone. Yay spinning Cars! Tons o’ fun yet again.

There were lots of other things I’d like to have done. I didn’t get to ride Dumbo, didn’t get to do Snow White’s Scary Adventure, didn’t do this, didn’t do that. But it was all up to me, as the other 3 had been there all day and were letting me lead the way. That, and Jamaal wasn’t so in to Disneyland. So I decided to take us back for a last spin on the Haunted Mansion. But one thing everyone had mentioned was Indiana Jones, and how we needed to do that. I thought it was the stunt show. Boy was I wrong. So when we passed by it we headed to the entrance.

Indiana Jones Adventure-I’m so glad that I didn’t miss this. You board Jeep like vehicles after the long long themed queue. Then the ride starts. It was amazing, all the effects seemed to be working on time and it was so much fun. I’m glad they talked me into riding, as otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered.

Our day at the park was coming to a close. We went back over by Pirates and the Haunted Mansion for photos, but Disneyland was officially closed. Even with all that I missed, we got ride some really fun coasters and dark rides. But next time I’ll know to schedule more time for each park. We headed up to Jodi’s car for some Mummy posters she had (thanks again Jodi!) and then Tina and Bill left as well.

Jamaal and I were going to eat at Downtown Disney, but our legs hurt too much to walk back. And then we lost our car. Thankfully, we found it just where we had left it by hitting the panic button. After a quick stop at Carl’s Jr. we headed back to our motel and I headed off to sleep.

Las Vegas Part 1