Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Trip Report: Part 1

While the majority of guests were waiting in line for Radiator Springs, I decided to take a spin on The Little Mermaid attraction. There was no wait at all; the Omnimover vehicles kept the guests moving at a good clip. There were a handful of changes/upgrades performed recently, and this was my first opportunity to see them for myself. The only noticeable one was the changing of Ariel's hair from an up-do (see above photo) to a more realistic down-do. Ariel can no longer be called the Dole-Whip Mermaid.

Overall, Ariel's Undersea Adventure is a pleasant enough attraction. Its strong points are the music and lovable characters. Still, it seems to lack any "kick." The closest it comes to the excitement of the older Fantasyland dark rides are the areas that highlight evil Ursula and her minions.

Even the Ursula scene could use a heavier jolt of evil or menace. Traveling through the haunted forest on "Snow White" or the Wild Ride of Mr. Toad or Soaring over London with Peter Pan all provide a significantly higher thrill factor than anything that Ariel serves up.

Plenty of fireworks at the end, but for me, it still remains at the level of "pleasant."

Before you exit your clamshell vehicle, be sure to take note of the tiny drawings on this cabinet:

The author, Hans Christian Andersen:

And the Mermaid:

Nice detailing! Later in the evening, I decided to give the single rider line a try with Radiator Springs Racers and thoroughly enjoyed my adventure at dusk. The moon was peering out over the range.

The wait wasn't bad at all; probably no more than 30 minutes.

Still, if you haven't ridden RSR yet, I strongly suggest you wait the extra time in the regular line, as there is so much that you'll miss if you just zip by in the shorter Single Rider line.

The attraction itself is so beautiful at night. Disney sure knows how to light a land in the evening!

The dark ride portion of the attraction was different each time I have been on RSR. Probably not as many options as Star Tours, but still way cool!

How about a mini cheerleading squad to get the excitement pumping before you zoom off?

Zipping around at night is even more fun than it is during the day!

Congratulations! You made it back safely!

I even love the exit area; again, so many cool details to drool over:

While we're in Cars Land, might as well check out the nighttime lighting in the rest of this area. Flo's is probably my favorite; can't wait to check out the food there on my next visit, as it's getting rave reviews.

Luigi's will be covered in a future post.

And that's it for today. More trip report coming tomorrow! Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter and view my most recent photos on Flickr. See more vintage and current Disney California Adventure photos on my Disney California Adventure web page.


K. Martinez said...

Definitely check out the food at Flo's. I've eaten there for both breakfast and dinner and it's now my favorite place to eat in DCA. Next time I visit, I want to eat at Carthay Circle Restaurant just for the atmosphere alone.

Daveland said...

I didn't even realize they had breakfast there; do you remember what type of stuff they had at Flo's? September will be my first trip to Carthay - can't wait!

K. Martinez said...

For Breakfast:

scrambled eggs, bacon, breakfast potatoes, biscuits, french toast w/caramel sauce and bananas, fresh fruit plates and chicken tamales with scrambled eggs.

For Lunch/Dinner:

Veggie Tater Bake
Pork Lion with Coca-Cola BBQ Sauce, New York Strip Lion with Beef Gravy and sides like corn, vegetarian baked beans, mashed potatoes, cole slaw and dinner rolls.

It's American diner comfort food with a twist. Nothing in the way of Hamburgers and Cheeseburgers which I find refreshing.

It's served on same type of dinnerware used in French Market, Plaza Inn, etc.

The overall experience was great.

Definitely let us know what you think of the Carthay food.

Daveland said...

The french toast has my name all over it! Thanks for the info!

Snow White Archive said...

As long as the Disney execs are afraid of frightening the little kiddies, the dark rides will never be what they could. "Pleasant" just isn't good enough, especially when you have the potential for excellence in a dynamic villain like Ursula.

Now that the Old Witch in Orlando is unemployed and looking for work, maybe she should fly out to DCA and show Ariel how a dark ride is really done. ;)

Connie Moreno said...

I feel like I was there with you!

Major Pepperidge said...

Beautiful photos as always. I sure love all the signs, and even the telephone and trolley wires add a sort of realistic detail that normally might be ugly, but here it is awesome!