Thursday, July 3, 2014

Disney California Adveture

Monday we visited Disney California Adventure, a second Disney theme park, just across from the plaza from Disneyland itself.  Since this is our first visit here, I didn't realize that it was adjacent, but we had purchased the "Park Hopper" tickets, allowing us to go from park to park over a couple of days.  Ended up there was enough here to keep John's attention so we just stayed on the Adventure side.  Started the day off in the Sorcerer's Workshop, where we visited the Library, making individual "books" about ourselves, with the end result giving you a Disney movie character you're most like, based on answers you give to a series of questions.  Turns out I was Marlin--totally unknown to me--but who is apparently the dad in Finding Nemo!  Then off to Turtle Talk with Crush, an interactive exhibit where Crush, the animated sea turtle, poses questions to various audience members and vice versa, using "turtle talk," with phrases such as "totally awesome, dude," etc.  Neither Trisha nor I are very up to date with all the Disney movie characters, a lot of this was foreign to us, but John and the other kids were definitely into it.  One of the more interesting exhibits in this building was the zoetrope, which is a big wheel with animation figures, each a little different, that spins until reaching a certain velocity at which the human brain processes the visual images in such a way as to simulate motion.  I found this to be quite fascinating, both to learn a little about how the brain works, but also to see how much goes into the making of animated films--just tons and tons of little figures, each hand sculpted with an individual pose, then the next, then the next, and so on, to make the figures into action.

Then off to Cars Land, themed on the Cars movies.  This was a lot of fun, including the big tire ride, where you are on big round tire-looking contraptions that basically act like hovercraft--there is a large concrete floor with air vents blowing air up from the floor.  You move the direction of travel by leaning one way or the other--rather tricky to get it right, as you basically don't move if you lean too far.  As with most of the rides, it's over so quickly, most of us didn't get the hang of it until the end.  After that we had the more typical Disney experience--the long line!!  We went to Radiator Springs Raceway, a cool looking ride with race cars zipping around a mountain landscape that looks a lot like the canyon country.  From the outside it looked like there was not much of a line and we totally missed the sign posting the wait time--the folks in front of us later told us it had said 90 minutes, but by the time we actually got to the ride itself, it was about 2 hours.  It was about 11:30 when we got in line and between 1:30 and 2:00 when we actually got to ride it.  Needless to say, this was a real patience tester for everyone, but fortunately most of the time the winding lines were under cover so we had shade.    We saw online that Disney averages 40,000 visitors a day, so it was not surprising that so many of them showed up for the same ride!!  It was a cool ride, though.

Came back to the RV to let Sophie out and have lunch, and then John wanted to go to the pool for a while.  He was happy to meet some other kids, since, as he put it "there's mostly just adults around our RV!"  Anyway, it was good to be back at the campground for the hottest part of the day; took the shuttle back over around 5 PM.  The same family from near where Todd and John live in Seattle was on the shuttle with us, so John had some little buddies to talk with about their favorite rides and exhibits on the way over.

John wanted to go have another round of  turtle talk, and, since we were in the Hollywood Studios section, we stopped for supper at Award Weiners Hot Dog Stand--has a big Oscar statue out front for "Best Weiner in a Supporting Role!"  John really wanted to eat there, but was at first concerned that we wouldn't be able to go there since he didn't think there were any herbivore alternatives--but fortunately, they had a portobello/roasted pepper hot dog substitute that was actually quite good, so everyone was happy.  Then off to the Paradise Pier area, the home of lots of big roller coasters and ferris wheels.  John is not much of a fan of the big roller coasters, but we did have fun on a smaller one, Goofy's Flight School, and by now it was getting dark, so all the lights were up.  Really enjoyed the ride up above much of the park, all lit up with festive lights.  Even though there were still big crowds, it didn't feel nearly as crowded as during the day, and it was much cooler as well.  We got back to the campground just in time to watch the fireworks show, too.  The nightly fireworks display is pretty much the same each night, though we have read that there will be a special edition for the next few nights, to commemorate July 4, so we're looking forward to that.

John, in the Sorcerer's Workshop, making his magic book

 The zoetrope for Toy Story

 Lifelike backdrop at the end of one of the streets in Disney California Adventue
 John at Monsters University

 Waiting in line for nearly 2 hours for the Radiator Springs Raceway ride

 Unusual cactus we passed while moving s-l-o-w-l-y through the line
 Ready to rock n roll!

 John and his new found friend on the shuttle back to the park for the evening
 John with the statue of a younger Walt Disney

No comments:

Post a Comment