Disneyland thoughts

I’m back from my most recent Disney Trip. I went to Disneyland in California from 9/2 through 9/7. In lieu of a full trip report, here are some quick thoughts and impressions:

  • I successfully completed the Disneyland Half-Marathon! Whoo-hoo! My time was a few minutes worse than January’s Walt Disney World half-marathon, but I blame that on the bathroom break I had to take around mile 1.
  • There was some serious poor planning on Disney’s part throughout the race weekend. They ran out of medals for the 5K finishers. They ran out of Coast to Coast medals initially too. Every volunteer and CM were pointing people in different directions to claim them. I finally got mine about 30 minutes after I crossed the finish line.
  • We had no problems getting walk-ups to Big Thunder Ranch for dinner, or Blue Bayou and ESPN Zone for lunch. How very different from WDW!
  • Big Thunder Ranch, by the way, was awesome. That may be a must-do every DL trip I take.
  • World of Color in DCA is FANTASTIC. Go to it. Just GO. It’s worth the cost of your trip.
  • The Dragon in Fantasmic is broken yet again. Sheesh. It’s as bad as the Yeti in Everest. Worse, even, since the dragon is completely removed from the show, and the sequence without it is just super awkward.
  • My Disneyland half-marathon and Coast-to-Coast medals are SUPER AWESOME. Very very nice medals.
  • I like that there are single-rider lines for things like Splash Mountain and Indiana Jones, but the attractions weren’t designed for them – you basically walk back through the exit and try to get the attention of a CM unloading the ride.
  • California Screamin’ felt faster when I was there two years ago. Did it slow down or did my perception change?
  • Haunted Mansion, Toy Story Mania, and Star Tours were all closed for refurb. Sigh.
  • Buzz Lightyear at DL is significantly harder than Buzz Lightyear in WDW.
  • I had at least two really great Cast Member interactions. My waitress at Blue Bayou brought me two separate Monte Crisco sandwiches when I expressed concern because I don’t like Swiss Cheese. And the CM working Pinnochio’s Daring Journey was so happy that I was happy and spoke to her while she was loading that after I was done with the ride, she took me over to the exit of Peter Pan’s Flight and put me on the ride immediately.
  • It seems to me like far fewer CMs are wearing pin-trading lanyards than there are at WDW.
  • Goofy’s Kitchen is decent food, but shockingly overpriced. It’s like the overpriced-ness of Cinderella Castle or Akershus, but with an additional cost for the character photo they take at the beginning.
  • No opening ceremony at Disneyland is really disheartening. They should take a cue from the Magic Kingdom on this one.
  • Walking from my hotel on Harbor Blvd to the Disneyland Hotel on the other side of the Esplanade and Downtown Disney is a surprisingly far walk
  • There are annual pass discounts for ALL the shops and ALL the restaurants. That was a very pleasant surprise. My decision to upgrade my WDW annual pass to a Premiere Passport was unquestionably the correct decision.
  • The half-marathon course was less impressive than in Walt Disney World, since you are done with both theme parks by mile 3. Miles 3-13 are through the city of Anaheim. To be fair, there were an insane number of bands, cheerleaders, and other groups trying to entertain us and cheer us on, and I appreciate all of them. It just would have felt better if we could have finished by running through the parks, rather than start.
  • The Fantasmic Dessert Package, while very expensive, was worth it in my mind. The dessert box was much larger than expected, the seats were very good, and the CMs serving us were very friendly.
  • I will be very excited to return to DCA after the renovations are complete, and Cars Land and the Little Mermaid attraction have been added.

Overall, it was a very good trip, and I’m very happy with it. I’m especially happy, of course, that I successfully completed the half marathon. Two more Disney races on the horizon – a 5k in the Magic Kingdom in October, and the 2011 Walt Disney World half marathon in January (assuming I’m able to raise enough money for Team in Training – only 17% of the way to my goal. :-/ ). It was also nice being able to hang out with my buddies Mike and Casey for a few days – they’re always fun to be around.

me with my DL and WDW half-marathon medals

Disneyland Half-marathon finisher

This entry was posted in Disneyland, Racing. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Disneyland thoughts

  1. I read your entire Disneyland Thoughts post; I have never been to Disneyland, but it sure makes me want to go! I used to go to WDW a lot when I lived in Florida. Congrats on completing the half-marathon, both there and at WDW! And you are right; I can see those medals a lot more clearly here than in that tiny pic on AV, lol!


Comments are closed.