Thursday, June 21, 2007

Disneyland Update

No retro today; just a looooong post about Disneyland of today, and of course, the Finding Nemo attraction. I was prepared for the worst, as outsiders AND insiders had warned of 4-8 hour waits and an overcrowded park. The reality: I waited one hour at about 5pm in the afternoon. Yes, the lines wind around the attraction all the way back to the former smoking area by the Matterhorn, but the queue moves at a good pace. Three subs go out at a time, and cast members keep things moving. Umbrellas have been installed along the queue to keep guests in the shade, and a few beverage carts are also along the way to keep ’em hydrated. Either I was extremely fortunate, or there’s a little bit of marketing paranoia being spread. While waiting in line, Ed Grier got onto the attraction with a small group; I was not fast enough to get a decent shot of him, but for the online jokers who are just so freakin' hilarious about Ed being MIA, here’s one of the back of his head. Really guys, give the joke a rest—the passive aggressive approach wasn’t even funny the first time.

Back to Nemo, here are some shots from my maiden voyage.

My overall opinion of the ride? It was nice. I enjoyed it, but I do not think I would wait an hour for it again. There were some cute nods to the old ride, but in comparison to the original submarine voyage, it just did not measure up for me. The old ride, even though it was slightly hokey, had a magical fun quality and was an entertaining journey. The Nemo voyage had some cool special effects, but I would guess that more time was spent trying to get the video effects to work than time was spent actually testing whether they were entertaining. Still, I am glad the ride is working again, and it is definitely “tweakable.” And, others must be enjoying it, as guests who left the sub before me stated, “It’s worth the wait!” Even Monorail Red has gone Nemo:

On the plus side, the park is looking fantastic; practically every attraction was open, and the Mark Twain looks great:

The moose/elk in the Rivers of America has also been repaired:

Sadly, Fort Wilderness is now gone, and the Burning Cabin has been cleaned up with no trace of the burning fires or dead settler with an arrow through the back. Heck, the area looks so civililzed it might even be ready for a condo conversion soon!

The Disneyland Railroad was working again; thank goodness! The park just does not seem the same without the train running. I made sure to take the Grand Circle Tour in the Lilly Belle, which was hitched to the back of #5, the Ward Kimball.

Disney/Pixar marketing was hard at work; Ratatouille is already showing up in New Orleans Square:

At the Disney Gallery, you should definitely check out the art there; current renderings of favorite Disney attractions and past art used in Disney storybooks. Very cool exhibit. A favorite of mine is by Disney fan and artist extraordinaire, Kevin Kidney:

And for those of you who care, yes, Monstro is now blue. Not dark blue, but light blue:

Again, it really was a great day at the park; probably one of the best I’d had there in months. For more vintage & current Disneyland photos, visit my regular website.


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Hi Dave,

Wow, fantastic post! Your Sub-Update is the best online, my thoughts exactly on the “tweakable” part! Great pictures of everything, looks and sounds like you had a stellar day! I love the Kevin Kidney art! How in the H@#$ did you get to ride in the Lilly Belle??? I asked once and they said it was only for VIPS! Well, I guess you are a VIP!!! :-) Thanks for all the great posts!!! Tim

Adam Hazlett said...

WOW! What wonderful pictures! They are definitely postcard quality!
I love the colors! It's like being there. GREAT POST!!!

Major Pepperidge said...

Yep, this was a fantastic bunch of photos. Great interiors of the subs with no people! The underwater views are great. I'm surprised at how murky the water looks in some pix, since it looks so crystal clear from above. I don't like what they've done to the settler's looks like a family is camping there for the day. No "old west" feel to it AT ALL. Great photo of the Ward Kimball! And I guess a baby-blue Monstro is more kid friendly? Thanks, Dave!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a great and very informative post.

Fort Wilderness gone. Walt must be spinning in his freezer.