20 Nov 2007

Anaheim - Day 3

Looking through my notes I see that we spent the remainder of that second day having a great time wandering through the Magic Kingdom until the evening, passing the time riding our favourite rides which were all walk ons. If I was forced to place the three Magic Kingdoms in order of preference I think it would go something like this.

1. Disneyland California for its extra beauty and lushness, its hidden corners and the way its size is so deceiving. Not forgetting of course that all the rides here are full and complete, non of that edited experience that was rushed into Florida. The only downside has to be the quaint and rather demure looking castle. I accept it's the original and perhaps deserves less of a hard time for being a rather stumpy brother, but I just think more majesty and grandeur are needed in the centre of the park.

2. Disneyland Paris. Once again it's such an attractive park and one with proper seasons and sometimes real snow coating its ground. The castle has to be the greatest of its achievements; pure stone here, not a piece of fibreglass in sight. Once again the rides are full and complete (in some cases superior) all that's really required is for the park to slowly develop a little more and with the Tower opening in what was a rather bland Studio Complex along with the massive re theming and placemaking happening there, Disneyland Paris may finally have the park that was originally imagined for them.

3. Magic Kingdom Florida. Not my favourite (So this may seem cooler than I intend). It seems so false compared to the others. The castle seems too clinical and plastic. Pirates of the Caribbean is a disgrace to the original ride, why do we not enter Haunted Mansion through the front door? Fantasyland from certain angles looks like a car park with rides scattered on it. Its one saving grace is PhilharMagic, a show that should be copied into all the other parks with haste. However it does have some areas I like. The lagoon approach is inspired, if you have the time and the transport system is ideally placed to get you away quickly :) However I tend to think of Walt Disney World as a whole package and it's the rest of it that excites me be it Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, or the Studios. When it's all combined Florida is still the number one.

Day 3.

After a morning in both parks re riding favourites and searching out things we missed( I must especially mention Monsters Inc here which we actually rode on a preview the last time we were in California but it was then incomplete and did not make a whole lot of sense. Now the storytelling aspect is much more defined and the ride more satisfying as a whole). It soon became time to think about lunch. Not wanting to repeat the same mistake as yesterday and actually get food that tasted of something we decide to grab the car, hit the freeway and head out to the nearest beach area. Newport beach is about 20mins away and we soon park up on the beach and search out somewhere to dine. I like the feel of this coastal town. Its not too over trendy and still has lots of working boat yards down its back alleys and marinas.

As we are walking around these we come across what looks like a huge seafood deli "The Crab Cooker" and notice it has a restaurant attached to it. It's doing a brisk trade with the locals, who seem to be discussing the collapsing property prices in the area, and it looks just the place. A lovely chowder to start served in a no nonsense plastic cup, then Lobster, King Crab Claws and Sauvignon blanc for an unbelievably small amount of money. If I lived here, and maybe we should if property really is going cheap, I could see myself eating here every lunch time.

We return to change and rest at the hotel. Later that night we return to the Magic Kingdom on our way to the Napa Rose restaurant, a cast member on the PoC had advised us to come into the park in the evening and ride the new Nemo attraction at night, when the queues are shorter, this plan also gave us a look at the parade as well. The new Nemo ride occupied what used to be the Submarine Voyage and is basically the ride re imagineered into the Nemo environment with some modern technology twists once you're in the dark section. I like the a mix of old ( the subs are the originals from Walt's days, minus their diesel engines and newly fitted with eco friendly electrics) and new ( wait and see!)bringing a new lease of life to a dated old ride. Some of the story telling aspects don't work as well as in the EPCOT shell version but you do get ride value here with the submarines taking about 20minutes to complete a circuit. This must be a nightmare ride when the park is busy with no Fast Pass available and agonizingly slow loading times. After our ride we take the hop on the monorail, conveniently located above the Nemo attraction to Downtown Disney and from there we walk in to the Napa Rose restaurant in the Grand Californian Hotel. Dinner here is everything we had hoped and a review can be reached below or using the side menu.

1 comment:

Dacorman said...

. Your writing is most enjoyable and I look forward to reading more. I also liked your comparison of the 3 parks. I have not been to Florida yet but I now know what to expect. My father was there in Florida when it first opened and all he said was that it's too big. Unfortunately, he didn't live long enough to see Epcot or Disney/MGM. I'm also going to try the Napa Rose the next time I go see my family in Anaheim.
I recently gave a slide lecture on my trip to Paris for the french class at a local high school. They are raising funds to take their first trip to Paris this Spring. They were very enthusiastic and especially about DLRP. Unfortunately, they were very disappointed to learn that it is not on their itinerary. I told them that it just gives them a reason to go back.

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