Monthly Archives: September 2012

Which Disneyland Ride Are You?

I know you’ve been asking yourself that on a daily or near-daily basis, and here, my friends, is your answer.

Please go take my quiz:

Which Disneyland Ride Are You?

The New! And! Improved! Matterhorn! Bobsleds!!!!!!!!!

I finally got a chance to take a spin on the newly refurbished Matterhorn Bobsleds, which closed this past January and opened on June 15th, the same day as Cars Land, and also my birthday. Coincidence? You tell me.

The Matterhorn Bobsleds, taken from the Tomorrowland side

 

First we’ll do a quick quiz:

Q: Which Disneyland attraction was the world’s first tubular roller coaster? A: The Matterhorn!
Q: Which Disneyland attraction straddles both Tomorrowland and Fantasyland but is officially considered a Fantasyland ride? A: The Matterhorn!
Q: Which Disneyland attraction features two different tracks with a different queue for each track? A: The Matterhorn!
Q: Which Disneyland attraction used to have a big hole where the Skyway traveled through? A: The Matterhorn!
Q: Which Disneyland attraction is exclusive to Disneyland and not found at any other Disney park? A: The Matterhorn!
Q: Which Disneyland attraction used to have a half-court basketball floor inside? A: The Matterhorn!
Q: Which Disneyland attraction is properly named Matterhorn Bobsleds? A: The Matterhorn!
Q: Which Disneyland attraction is a thrill ride completely inside a building running in near-total darkness? A: Space Mountain!

There are three main changes from before the recent refurb: New bobsleds, new height requirement (now 42″), and new paint. The mountain was repainted to better reflect the snow, or more specifically the patchy lack of snow, on the real Matterhorn.

The old bobsleds required you to ride in the lap of the person behind you. This had its advantages and disadvantages. One distinct advantage was that it was the perfect date ride. Not only do you have to snuggle, it’s a thrill ride, which offers the opportunity to do some extra “consoling” when necessary.

On the other hand, it was pretty awkward seating if you were just with friends. And as someone who was always the shortest person in the group, not gonna lie, it got uncomfortable at times. In fact, many people requested their own sled, which seriously decreased the ride capacity (and thus increased the wait for the ride).

The new bobsleds have individual seating and room for six.

But first I’m going to talk about the line. Heh.

The queues start along either side of the mountain and wrap around. Once you reach the loading dock, you get to the adorable little chalet overhang and switchbacks.

It’s all festive and stuff

 

And here’s something super-cool.

Single rider line!

 

Two single rider lines, actually. One for each side. This is very convenient if you happen to be a single rider, or you don’t mind splitting up your group and all riding separately.

Here’s your sign in case you forget where you are

Not my best picture

 

On a side note, when we lived in Hamburg, Germany, they had this thing called the Night of the Museums in which every museum in the city (and there were a large number of them) stayed open all night and you bought a ticket and could go to any of them with buses in between to take you there. It was awesome. One of the ones we went to had a live demonstration of those giant horn things. They’re pretty impressive. And long.

This sign used to tell you how to sit in the bobsled, smaller person in front and so on.

Now, one rider per seat. You’d think that would be obvious.

 

Here’s a back view of a loaded bobsled

Yes, that woman IS actually on the phone

 

The seat comfort leaves a lot to be desired.

Not really a fan

 

As you can see, the restraint is a simple seatbelt.

Foot space is seriously limited. I like to call this picture “Row One Is Not For Tall People”

Poor guy

 

Seriously, tall people, don’t ride Row One.

The other seats have a little more legroom because there’s an indentation on the sides of the seat in front of you that offers some extra foot space. Here’s a really great picture I took of my own leg, sitting in Row Three.

I truly am the Queen of Quality Photography

 

The ride is the same. I had hoped they would smooth out the tracks some, but I didn’t find any difference in the Tomorrowland side, and maybe only a slight improvement on the Fantasyland side.

What’s the difference between the two sides? Well, when parallel, the Tomorrowland side is on the inside side of the mountain, which means that all of its turns are steeper and more sudden. It gives the illusion of going faster, although your speed really depends on the amount of weight in your bobsled (like Space Mountain). The Fantasyland side feels smoother, but tamer, and is a tiny bit longer. Honestly I think I like the Tomorrowland side better. You get bounced around more, but I think it’s a more exciting ride.

You start out on the same lift, where you see some snow falling against a blue background, which I guess is supposed to represent outside or something.

Yet another fabulous picture

 

You also pass some colorful ice crystals. Is this what the inside of the real Matterhorn mountain looks like?

Keep in mind that we are actually moving at this point.

 

The abominable snowman makes an appearance–twice, actually. And you see his glowing red eyes another time. I’ll be honest, when I was a little kid, the abominable snowman scared the ever-living crap out of me. And when I was riding this time on the Tomorrowland side, I had forgotten where he appears and it startled me again. I’m such a wimp.

Also he’s very hard to photograph, which is probably why he still remains an undocumented legend.

The sights from the ride on the Fantasyland side are very cool.

I AM AN AWESOME PHOTOGRAPHER!!!

 

As you can clearly see in great detail in this picture, I rode this in the middle of the Soundsational parade.

Clearly

 

As usual, I got all kinds of strange looks from people wondering why I was holding my camera up and just pressing the shutter button repeatedly in the hope that I’d get at least one usable shot.

Ride photos are hard, people.

Awesomely, Disney donated two old Matterhorn bobsleds to the National Roller Coaster Museum. I didn’t even know there was a National Roller Coaster Museum, but there ya go.

Red Car Trolley From The Inside, Woot!

I can’t get enough of Buena Vista Street, guys.

Also my kid can’t get enough of saying the word “guys.” It’s terrible, really, the things you hear coming out of your 3 and 1/2 year old’s mouth. Luckily so swear words, yet. We were at the park this weekend (a ¬†neighborhood park, not The Park) and Theo kept going up to all of the other little kids asking, “Do you want to be my best friend?” When he finally got a taker, another little kid his age, he kept calling this other kid “Orange Shirt Guy.” Like “Hey, Orange Shirt Guy! Want to go down the slide together?” or “Follow me, Orange Shirt Guy!” I honestly could not believe my ears. Neither could the woman next to me, who was like, “Did he just say ‘Orange Shirt Guy’?” and naturally she turned out to be OSG’s mother. So I felt obligated to keep calling out, “Honey! His name is Thomas!” but really I was secretly proud of how hilarious my child is.

Clearly a visual learner, as another friend pointed out.

Also, did you know that you can neatly fold down your popcorn box at Disneyland?

No way!

 

So maybe I’m the last person to find that out, but it pretty much blew my mind.

I learned this from a cast member when I boarded the Red Car Trolley.

With all the lights on

No eating or drinking in the trolley. And if you have a box of popcorn, you now know how to fold it up.

You’re welcome.

I haven’t had much luck getting on the Trolley. Well obviously I had SOME luck or I couldn’t have taken these pictures.

Ding ding!

But I’ve really only been able to ride it once. Which is a bit disappointing since it’s so cool.

The trolley goes from Buena Vista Street through Hollywoodland to the Tower of Terror, and obviously back again. I hopped aboard this one at the Tower of Terror stop.

More high-quality photography

The trolley does not go very fast. Obviously, since it would just mow people down right and left and how embarrassing would that be? There is a person who walks in front of it getting people out of the way.

I didn’t realize this until after I took this picture, but it looks like the scooter is beating the trolley.

Ha

 

I can’t remember exactly, but I’m pretty sure the trolley was not actually moving in that picture.

The trolley is something you ride for the experience of riding it. You could absolutely walk to any of its destinations much faster than riding there, but there is something special and kind of cool about taking the oldey-timey transportation down Buena Vista Street.

Have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE this new entrance to California Adventure? I love it.

 

 

 

 

Park Updates

So there’s a lot going on at the parks now, including some changes.

The Haunted Mansion is now down for its holiday overlay to become the Nightmare Before Christmas. This ride has been a pain in my side for a while now, because I can’t go on it with Theo and I’m generally at the park with Theo, so I haven’t covered it yet. And now I’ll have to cover the Nightmare Before Christmas version. My life is so hard *sigh*.

The beach balls have been taken out of Luigi’s Flying Tires. While this is significantly less festive, I think it’s an improvement, since people got so focused on the balls they kind of never went anywhere. Disney also pulled out about 20 pounds from the bottom of each tire. Originally the tire had a handle that spun the tire in a circle, except people mistakenly thought the handle would drive the tire rather than leaning. Oops. So they took the handle out, but kept the mechanism in place that made it happened. This has now been removed, resulting in lighter tires, and the lighter a tire is, the faster it is. I haven’t been able to test out the new configuration, but when I do, you’ll be the first to know about it.

Farewell, oversized beach balls

 

Over at The Restaurant That Can’t Decide What It Wants To Be Called, the archway proclaiming it to be the Corner Cafe has been removed. I haven’t seen the change in person yet, but I know it’s gone.

Goodbye, confusing sign

 

Indiana Jones Adventure is going down for a refurb. It needs it.

The Candlelight Processional, which has traditionally taken place over two days with four performances, is now schedule to run for 20 days this year. I have no idea how they are going to pull it off but frankly, I’m a little nervous.

The Princess Fantasy Faire is no more, as is the Carnation Plaza Gardens. The former Gardens is becoming the new Princess Fantasy Faire and it looks pretty cool. The old Princess Fantasy Faire is going back to its original incarnation as a theater. I think is is an improvement all the way around.

I think you should follow Rays of Disneyland. It’s a cool chatty Disneyland blog that I like checking in with.

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