Trip Report: May 29, 2011

Hello and welcome to the magic kingdom of Disneyland!  Robert here!  May 29th was my birthday, so naturally a trip to Disneyland was in order.

Celebrating My Birth!

Our first stop: Star Tours!  I won preview tickets for the new Star Tours so we went on it three times.  It was very fun.  I am really liking it more and more every time I go on.  When we got off, a cast member told us that when the attraction officially opens on June 3rd, all 54 sequences will open.  Now I thought it was just 54 different combinations you can get.  But this guy told us that it was in fact 54 different sequences!  I am very excited for this.  I can’t wait to see where our Star Speeder will land in the future!  Oh and he told us to look out for Hidden Mickeys and an appearance of Han Solo!

The Adventures Continue!

After visiting the planets of Tatooine and Hoth among others, we were very hungry.  So we stopped by Pizza Port where I enjoyed a salad, bread sticks, and a delicious cookie.  Pizza Port isn’t my favorite, but it’s a good quick place to grab a bite.

Then we went over to DCA since we heard rumors of soft openings for The Little Mermaid attraction.  Luckily for us, the rumors were true!  We got in line not knowing what was to come.  The queue for the Mermaid ride was a little underwhelming, but there was a nice detail on the floor.  Embedded in the concrete were different types of sea shells.  It was a nice touch.

Sea Shell in the Floor!
And Another!

The actual ride was amazing.  It was so technologically advanced, colorful, and full of detail.  I loved the animatronics.  They were some of the best I have ever seen.  It was strange to see such elaborate animatronics with animated characters since we are so used to the Fantasyland dark rides with mostly static figures.  I won’t spoil the ride for those of you who haven’t been on it yet, but let me just say I highly recommend it.  People do have problems with the actual story of the ride, but I don’t mind it so much.  It’s just really neat to go through these classic Mermaid scenes.  It’s a ride that DCA really needed.  I say it’s a must for everyone.

Look At This Stuff!

California Screamin’ was up next.  It is still one of the best roller coasters I have ever been on.  It’s scary without being too intense.  The only part I’m not crazy about it going upside down.  It’s not my thing.  I always think it’s gonna give me a nose bleed!

Our Faces

We had heard rumors that the Mission Tortilla Factory was closing the next day so we made sure to visit.  I’m so upset that it’s closing.  It is one of my favorite little attractions to visit.  I made sure to get a long last look at everything from the little people in the windows to the machines making the tortillas.  I showed the cast member my birthday button and for the occasion, she gave me a free stack of tortillas to go along with my usual free sample.  That was very nice of them.  I will really miss that Tortilla Factory.

You Will Be Missed!

We then visited the Blue Sky Cellar, which was very fun for me.  The reason I really enjoyed it was because I finally got to look at the Mermaid stuff on display.  I refused to look at any models or videos of the making of the ride before I experienced it, as I wanted it all to be a surprise.  I’m so glad I did that.  The Cellar had some great Mermaid models on display along with some details of future DCA plans.  They also have the new DCA attraction posters for Mermaid, Grizzly River Run, and Goofy’s Sky School.  They really look great.  They have the feel of the classic 1960s Disneyland attraction posters.

The Blue Sky Cellar
The New Attraction Posters

Our next ride was The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.  It was great once again and the blue light was back on the chalk doorway.  Other than that, everything seemed to be the same as the previous trip.

The Light is Back On!

It was then time for Disneyland and the greatest attraction ever created: Pirates of the Caribbean.  It was another terrific journey into the world of the pirates.  Everything seemed the same from the previous trip as well.  Looking at the new Blackbeard projection again, it seems that the effect works better than when it was Davey Jones, but the audio is just so low and hard to decipher.  I just wish that the entire effect was gone and it went back to the pitch black passageway with the echos of pirates from the past.

The Greatest!

Then came The Haunted Mansion and guess what!  The hearse is back with a fresh coat of paint!  It looked terrific and I was happy to see it back.  Madame Leota was still stationary on this trip, but everything looked incredible.  After we got off, we wanted to look at the pet cemetery behind the Mansion.  So we walked back there and took a few pictures.  I really like that the imagineers bothered to put that cemetery in when most guests will never see it.  I wish it was the old tombstones that used to be on the side of the Mansion instead of duplicates of the pet cemetery tombstones that you see out in front of the Mansion.  It is still very cool though.

The Mansion
The Hearse is Back!
The Other Pet Cemetary

Now I am not a big fan of parades, but we all decided to see the new Mickey’s Soundsational Parade.  It was OK.  The first float was neat because it had some amazing drummers including Mickey!  Not only did Mickey beat those drums with expertise, but it was the talking Mickey too.  I’m glad they used him.  But the other floats were underwhelming.  Compared to the parade from the 50th anniversary, this doesn’t do it for me.  It just didn’t have anything to be blown away about.  But for people that like parades and people that want to see their favorite Disney characters, it does the trick.

Mickey Leads the Parade!
The Princesses at Rapunzel's Tower
King Louie!

We were pretty tired by this point of the day, so we left Disneyland and decided to grab some food and drinks at the new Trader Sam’s at the Disneyland Hotel.  Let me just say that this is one of the best things to come out of Disney in recent years!  I couldn’t believe the amount of detail and homages to Adventureland attractions.  Inside there were artifacts and references to The Tiki Room, The Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones, and many movies that contain jungle themes!  Also there are special effects inside that occur when you order a certain drink.  That was so exciting!  I will do a more detailed post about Trader Sam’s in the future, but for now just do yourselves a favor and experience this incredible new place!

Trader Sam's!
The Amazing Detail
There's a Volcano Outside!

We made our way home after our visit to Trader Sam’s.  It was a very nice birthday at the Happiest Place on Earth!