Trip Report: May 25, 2011

The day was upon us!  We were finally about to go on Star Tours: The Adventures Continue!  But before that, let’s get started on our entire trip.

A beautiful day at the Disneyland Resort!

We arrived at the park at about 1PM and we headed straight to the Main Street station to try to hitch a ride on the Lilly Belle but the next available time was during our Star Tours adventures so we opted to forego a jaunt around the park to explore the Mary Blair exhibit some more.  Her work really set a lot of styles in motion for the parks that not only lives on from her original designs, but transcends to new designs and attractions.  What a great innovator!

One of her great triptychs on display

We then headed over to the lockers and — what’s this?!  New lockers!  Check out the photos below:

That’s kind of cool, if you ask me!  They let you choose your own 4 digit pin!  After the lockers, we went to the Star Trader.  The new merch has just been released for the APs and I was SUPER excited to get the new older version of the Star Speeder: The Star Speeder 1000!

A great addition to my collection!

So amazing!  We then checked out the uncovered FastPass distribution droids and marveled at their detail.  Love stuff like this!

GONK Droids!

We then headed to our first attraction of the day, Pirates of the Caribbean, to check out the new Black Beard projection that has replaced Davy Jones for the summer.  Robert was right last week when he reported the ride looking better than it has in a while.  We even had a rowdy group of girls in our boat that calmed down about the time we hit the shipwreck scene (my favorite) — they must have been enthralled with the ride!

Nice wait time for Pirates...

The Black Beard projection looked GREAT!  The waterfall effect looked better than the Davy Jones version and while he has the same script, I just liked Black Beard as a character much more than Jones.  I wouldn’t mind them randomizing this section of the ride between the two villains.

If ye be brave of fool enough to face a pirates curse, proceed!

We then headed over to DCA and on the way met up with Geppetto on Main Street!  Robert couldn’t have been more excited to meet his “Papa.”

"Hi, Papa!"

DCA’s entrance looks to be wrapping up construction and I still wouldn’t at all be surprised at it’s completion by June 3rd, but don’t quote me on that!  But our real reason to head over to DCA just before our first Star Tours flights of 2011:

The Corn Dog Castle!!!

It was everything we remember it being plus they have cheese sticks!  A corn dog was way against my diet so a cheese stick would have thrown me down a spiral which I might never return so I steered clear of that. But, I can’t wait to possibly try it in the future!  On our way back to DL, we saw the cast member preview queue loading into the Little Mermaid attraction.  How lucky were those people?!  I cannot wait to ride TLM next weekend!

It was now time to check-in for our fastpasses to an intergalactic adventure aboard Star Tours!  The process was well-organized and painless.  We won’t cover any details on the ride as we don’t want to spoil anything for those of you holding out for June 3rd or a soft open (although you can find plenty of spoilers on some of our favorite Disney blogs by looking at their twitter feeds or sites here)

Star Tours: The Adventures Continue's FastPass queue

The GONK droids (recognizable from “A New Hope”) serve as your FastPass distributors and then you head across the path to Star Tours: The Adventures Continue (although the signs lead you to believe you’re about to ride Star Tours: The Adventure Continues.)  The extended queue has awesome murals and music playing but the chains were not well laid out by the CMs so it was up to the APs to figure out a system best suited for navigating the queue.  Not a problem!

Cannot wait!

The inside looks pretty much the same except a SP1000 where the SP3000 once stood, a new destinations screen, and a shiny C3-PO and R2D2.  The real surprises were in the next room… but we’ll cover that in a future post!  There are plenty of nods to the old attraction as well as some other attractions, some great hidden treasures as well as an AMAZING ride!

Just enough to tease...

The first time we rode, the ride stopped abruptly in the middle of our jump to light speed, our pilot abruptly turned away from us and the screen went up — I thought we were going to get boarded by Darth Vader and some storm troopers!  However, I think some girls in the row below us pushed open the door on accident in the midst of all the excitement! (I don’t know that that’s what really happened or if that’s even possible — just an observation)  We were then transferred to another star speeder through the entrance terminal which made it almost feel like we landed on another planet and were part of a layover on Tatooine or something (how amazing would it be if that were an option?!)

After that, we finally rode it in it’s entirety. After the ride, we were all in aggreance that the ride was just “OKAY.” But after our second, third, and fourth times, it was solidified: it had a GREAT story, an amazing randomized story arc, and it was “lightyears” beyond the old version. I will always have a place in my heart for Rex and his misadventures but with how well this ride was updated, I am proud to see it go to yesterland.

After our fourth go-round, our girlfriends went over to DCA to meet up with a castmember to preview TLM.  Lucky girls!  Robert and I took the opportunity to ride on my personal favorite attraction, The Haunted Mansion.

I. Love. This. Ride.

While Madame Leota wasn’t floating, we did see some other great things.  We hung back when everyone left the stretching room and descended upon their doom-buggies.  We took some great long-exposure shots of the hallway scene, as seen below:

There are several prominent ghosts that have retired here from creepy old crypts all over the world!

We met back up with the girls after HM and thought we might go check out the new restaurants at the Disneyland Hotel but opted for an awesome dinner at Tortilla Joes!  This is one of my favorite restaurants on DD.  After dinner (and losing a pin 🙁 !) we headed home, only to look forward to returning this Sunday!

Until Sunday!