Travel@HamHamFarm - The World, Here We Come!
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USA
(West Coast)
(27 Jul 2012 - 19 Aug 2012)

Day 13

Anaheim  (08 Aug 2012)

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Disneyland California Adventure Park (DCA) + Disneyland Anaheim Critter Country

Good Morning Anaheim!
We had a quick Superstart breakfast (available from 6-9 AM) at Super 8.

Here we’re at Disneyland California Adventure Park (DCA).

Having been to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea (where all rides and attractions are in Japanese), I have been dreaming of visiting the original Disneyland where Pooh Bear will finally speak English here. [See http://travel.hamhamfarm.com/main.html for our visit to Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea]

We are going to DCA today which is the 14th-most visited theme park in the world in 2011. DCA can be divided into 8 sections namely, “a bug’s land”, Buena Vista Street, Cars Land, Condor Flats, Grizzly Peak, Hollywood Land, Pacific Wharf and Paradise Pier. The photos in this post are segregated into the various sections of DCA.

“a bug’s land”

‘It’s Tough to Be a Bug’ is a 4D show based on the Disney·Pixar film, A Bug’s Life, complete with 3D-Bug glasses provided. Using theater lighting, 3-D filming techniques and various special effects, the show gives the you an idea of what it would be like to be an insect. The effects makes you really feel like you’re being transported into the insect world. There were some great messages in the show too, such as ‘magnifying glasses are for looking at bugs, not burning them’ and how bugs are important to our ecosystem. Thumbs up for this great and educational show!
Spoiler (Skip this if required) : This show may be too scary for the little ones as there’s bouts of darkness, fog, winds, strange smells, water, spiders popping out of no where and ‘insects’ poking you! Some kids were left crying after the show ended!

Buena Vista Street

Buena Vista Street is the new entrance to DCA, based on a 1920′s theme which is quite pleasing to the eyes, something similar to Disneyland’s Main Street, USA. There are also the usual cast member street performers and the Red Car Trolley travels from the entrance to the Hollywood Tower Hotel.

Condor Flats

Soarin’ over California - Fly away (with your feet dangle free) on a simulated hang-glider flight over California’s famous natural and man-made wonders. Riders are suspended in the air and you’re immersed inside a high-speed Omni-max film projected on a massive 80-foot domed screen. Smooth flight (no sudden drops) accompanied with tranquil musical soundtrack.

Vance : No pictures in the ride are allowed but this is the effect of the ride:

Credits: http://www.cityskywallpaper.com/travel/disney_ca_adventure.asp

Mist spray in Summer is a MUST!

Hollywood Land

Enjoying the pre-show for Muppet*Vision 3D… Very loud and colourful presentation.

The Pixar Play Parade featuring Monsters, Inc, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story and Cars. Pixar Play Parade can be viewed along the parade route indicated in the Park’s Map (We were in Hollywood Land).

Vance : Find a good (shady) spot at least 30 mins before the show, with toilet breaks completed and snacks+drinks on hand. If you have a mat, it would be the best!

Walking down Hollywood Boulevard in DCA…

Pacific Wharf

Find a variety of restaurants here at Pacific Wharf. There are no rides here, just restaurants including Boudin Bakery mentioned in Day 3 of our blog.

Paradise Pier

Dive under the sea with The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. You get to ride in this large clamshells which will which magically transforms you “Under the Sea”. The ride is a condensed version of the movie. This is supposed to be an “under the sea” adventure but there is no real water anywhere (DCA should have added some mist spray for the guest or something equivalent). Nevertheless, this is a cheery musical ride not to be missed.

Scream your lungs out with California Screamin’ located in Paradise Pier. Vance is a big fan of thrilling rides and he found the California Screamin’ fantastic. I was standing on the bridge overlooking the starting line. The countdown “Launch in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!” was thrilling even for observers like me. Instead of letting the machinery pull riders up slowly, California Screamin’ launches riders all the way up and zoom zoom, off you go. This is the best take-off ever!

Vance : Not the most exciting yet but this is a good _precursor_ of what I am expecting from Six Flags later in our trip.. but certainly good enough for the day! (http://www.sixflags.com/magicMountain/rides/ThrillRides.aspx)

To give you an idea of the ride, see below video (Credits to TODAY Highlights of 2012)

Join Woody and his friends on Toy Story Mania, a 4D ride inspired by the Disney·Pixar Toy Story films. Get to shoot your laser gun onto targets of monsters & space aliens (Similar to Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters in Disneyland but it’s much better than that). We’re so hooked on this ride that we went twice for this ride.

Vance : No prize for guessing who did better! (as usual! :P )

Ice-cream is a MUST in summer! :P

Having fun at Mickey’s Fun Wheel. There’s 2 version, swinging and stationary gondola (2 separate queues). I don’t see other Ferris Wheels existing with two types of gondolas so many people wanted to experience this attraction (That explains the relatively long queue).  There are motion sickness bags provided in the cabin and we shared the swinging gondola with a family of three (Thankfully no one puke). The ride does offer a great view of the surrounding Paradise Pier.

Vance: The screams are from the roller coaster, not from this swing thingy :P

When night falls, Paradise Pier comes to life with the dazzling and spectacular show, World of Colour (Choreographed fountains with mesmerising music)


Cars Land

Collecting our FASTPASS (FP) distributed near ‘It’s Tough to Be a Bug’ for Radiator Springs Racers upon arrival.

 Cars Land is a new themed land at Disneyland California Adventure Park. Everything here is just like walking down Radiator Springs in the movie.

Cone Motel Souvenir Cups! This is definitely one cup that we would love to bring home :D   Trust me, when you see everyone walking around with one, you’ll want one too!

Vance : Its pretty “difficult” to pack in a luggage but… we decided to bring one back nevertheless!!

Radiator Springs Racers is the main attraction here where guests are seated in a car (six-person vehicle) to zip down Radiator Springs at high speeds. Guests get a briefing with Doc Hudson and Lighting McQueen, ending with a side-by-side race against another car. Be prepared for looooonnnnng waiting time as this is the latest attraction in DCA. Grab a FP first thing in the morning unless you don’t mind queuing for at least 2 hour. The FP for Radiator Spring Racers ran out by 9.30 am (Yes,  this is not a typo mistake. FP for Radiator Springs Racers ran out just 1 1/2 hour after the park opens at 8 am), while we were there. In fact, we queued for almost 45 mins just for the FP!

Here’s the video of the ride that Vance took (Apologies for the jerkiness) and yes, we won!

Dinner at Flo’s V8 Cafe

Cars Land at night is simply awesome! Make sure you have the opportunity to see Cars Land at night. During the day, this place makes you feel like it’s in the middle of the desert. The true magic of this wonderland is what happens at night when the neon comes on. Absolutely visually spectacular! Our pictures here doesn’t do justice to Cars Land at night.

Vance : Its so pretty that we didn’t want to leave actually!

We hopped to Disneyland while waiting for dusk to arrive…

Headed to Critter Country in search of a silly old bear – The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh! You get to ride the honeycomb based on the film ‘The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’. Personally, I think Tokyo Disneyland (known as Pooh’s Hunny Hunt) has done this ride much better than Disneyland California. In Tokyo Disneyland, you get to ride in hunny pots where the ride vehicles have no visible (or even perceptible) means of guidance and appear to move through the attraction independently, starting, stopping, reversing direction, spinning, and generally acting as though they have a mind of their own. Whereas in the California, the ride is fixed track-based with no spinning / reversing etc.

Pooh’s Corner in Disneyland California is pathetic! Having visiting Tokyo Disneyland in 2008, Pooh’s Corner (Disneyland California) has not live up to my expectation. In Japan, Pooh’s Corner is dedicated exclusively to Winnie the Pooh, there’s exclusive items in Pooh’s Corner that you don’t get to see in other gift shops. You also don’t get to see Mickey Mouse or other cartoon character’s stuff here. Whereas in Disneyland California, you will find lots of other cartoon character’s stuff and Pooh’s items are really limited. I still remembered that I brought sooooooooo many items in Tokyo Disneyland and the cashier serving me doesn’t look very pleased then. As opposed to here, I have really nothing much to buy?!?! The souvenirs you get here are basically stuff toys, souvenir pins (Yes Americans love them), mugs… You get the standard boring items here…

Hip Hip Poohray!

Some treats found in Pooh’s corner that were simply too adorable to eat…

Hopped on to another gift shop… I am Jessie with a ponytail braid tied with a bow….

While Vance is Dale (from Chip ‘n’ Dale)??!! For those who can’t differentiate who is who,  Dale has a big red nose and his two prominent split buck teeth exposed. Chip has a black nose and two centered protruding teeth.

And this is where we brought Tigger 虎皮 (Tiger Skin)…

Some tips that we would like to share for visiting DCA :
No. 1 – Wear comfortable shoes as the park is huge and involves lots of walking.
No. 2 - Get a 2 day park hopper so that you can savour both parks, go back and forth between the two parks and mix it up a little. This is especially useful when some park is crowded while the other one isn’t.
No. 3 –  Grab a FP for Radiator Spring Racers first thing upon entry as mentioned above.
No. 4 – Be mentally prepared that Disneyland California is going to a super crowded place (If you think Tokyo Disneyland is crowded, Disneyland California would be at least twice as crowded). So save your time by buying the admission tickets online (thus avoiding the queue for the tickets).
No. 5  -  Be early for parades (However this is also the best time for rides as queues would be significantly shorter. Alternatively, queues are shorter during meal time)
No. 6 - Paradise Pier attractions (like California Screaming, Toy Story Mania etc) would close early due to World of Colour. Ensure that you cover these attractions early and not leaving them to the late evening.

With the addition of Cars Land in DCA, I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be more exciting than ever for most. We have a fantastic time at DCA and I’m certainly looking forward to tomorrow where we will visit Disneyland Park! :D



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Travel@HamHamFarm - The World, Here We Come!