Return from the wilds of Orange County

 

Well, I’m back.

Survived a long weekend in Orange County and lived to tell the tale.

So… Where to begin?

Disney California Adventure. All of the dollars invested indeed have paid off here. That’s the Reader’s Digest version. The longer story I’ll share in future postings. But safe to say, Disney has succeeded in making the park what it was intended to be. A companion to Disneyland that helps to generate multi-day visits by guests.

A few highlights. Radiator Springs or Carsland is a genuine hit. A wonderful reproduction from the film by Pixar. Weaknesses of that particular story aside, the area provides plenty of entertainment and diversion for all ages. But one has to wonder what the place will be like when the mercury climbs toward the century mark. Especially those folks waiting hours in line down in the concrete canyon that is the queue for Radiator Springs Racers.

Buena Vista Street. Wow! A counterpart to Main Street and filled with an upgraded shopping and dining experience – especially the Carthay Circle Restaurant and lounge! Sadly, Elias and Company all but duplicates World of Disney. But there is hope as area specific merchandise has gained a foothold in DCA. And the park still has plenty of things left to fix.

It is a wonderful start. Here’s hoping that Imagineering is given similar budgets to continue all over the full Disneyland resort.

Across the Esplanade, the areas that got all the work recently look great. Carnation Cafe inside and out sparkles, busy as ever. The Matterhorn looks good, although a somewhat bonehead maneuver to whoever redesigned the queue for the attraction. One line around the left side and only that side of the attraction open loading guests until almost 11 am on a Tuesday? A 45 to 60 minute wait here really? Sorry, got to go back to lines on both sides and both sides of the mountain up and running earlier in the day. It is a favorite guest attraction and deserves less new thinking and more reliance on what has worked before.

Ah well… more to come! More postings with more to share in the days ahead. Enjoy!

 

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