Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Rides of Paradise Pier

According to Disney, the Paradise Pier area of the Disney California Adventure wants to recreate a seaside amusement park from a bygone era. In the current DCA expansion plans, Paradise Pier is almost complete. There are a few souvenir shops that need to be refurbished to blend in with the pleasant Victorian theme. There is also a rumor of a ride to replace the defunct Maliboomer that was replaced by a temporary "park" area. A "Green Army Men Parachute Drop" was shown in a model in Blue Sky Cellars. The new Paradise Pier looks nice for the most part. The hideous "Giant Orange" overlay to the swings is gone. The Maliboomer never belonged in a Disney Park. The garish Mulholland Madness at least looks better as Goofy's Sky School.

But for me and Mrs. DisneylandTraveler, the rides of Paradise Pier pretty much miss the mark for our demographic. First of all, Toy Story Mania is great and the best addition to PP. It's probably in our top 5 rides for both parks. I'm sure we'll enjoy the Little Mermaid once we get on but its probably going to be lumped in as the equivalent of Monster Inc. or Winnie the Pooh in Disneyland. Nice rides, certainly not great ones (but the Mermaid building looks spectacular). The rest of the PP rides throw off big question marks for me and Mrs. DLT.  After TSM and the Little Mermaid, Mrs DLT is done, through with Paradise Pier rides.

Me? I really like California Screamin' but as me and my wife take more trips by ourselves and not with extended family, riding as a single ride is only an occasional thing. I really like the view from Mickey's Fun Wheel on the non-swing side but the Mrs. DLT won't go near it. She goes to the souvenir shops across the way while I make my rotations.

Neither of will go near Silly Symphony Swings. The thought flying around like that suspended by a "chain" seems the like the definition of insanity. Now I would go on the slower moving Zephyr which is also suspended by a chain but Mrs. DLT claims it messes with her head so we give it a pass. King Triton's Carousel and Jumpin's Jellyfish are for small children and thankfully so. So that leaves Goofy's Sky School. Again, I'll go on it once I'm down there, but as a single rider, once I've been on it and have the experience in my pocket, I probably won't go back unless I am asked. In the years of Mulholland Madness, I think I was only on it twice that I can recall.

So Toy Story Mania and the Little Mermaid are the only "must-do" rides for us in Paradise Pier (excluding the World of Color altogether in this post). Good thing the new restaurants are getting great reviews. It's the only reason to walk over to that side of the pier other than taking pictures.

Please note there is a wonderful video on YouTube spreading around various internet sites the last couple of days show Paradise Pier at night. It's called Bella Notte - Paradise Pier at Night by G74Vlogs. Hauntingly enchanted.  I'm embedding it below.

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