(I originally posted this on R2K but no one goes there anymore and it is slightly food related and I needed a post to test everything out on)
On Friday, June 15 we got up at around 5:45am to make our way down to the re-opening of Disney’s California Adventure park that included the grand opening of both Cars Land and Buena Vista St. There were no lines for the tram and the parking structure was relatively empty, so I thought we may get lucky and not encounter a nightmare. I WAS WRONG. Once we got past the bag check area we were greeted with this:
Keep in mind this was at around 7:45 am, a full one hour and fifteen minutes before the park opened. The line just to get in the park basically snaked around the entire entrance plaza between DCA and Disneyland proper. There was a large video screen set up so us plebs could see the grand opening ceremony. There was also a small stage with Chip & Dale dancing around on it (not pictured). They started letting people in well before 9am so we did actually get into the park at the time it opened. HOWEVER, they had the “street” part of Buena Vista St. roped off so everyone had to cram their way in using the sidewalks only.
(a bridge and obscured view of Buena Vista St.)
(A place that sells fruit that no one wanted any part of. “Give me the Churro Cone,” the crowd exclaimed.)
The cast members were handing out these newspapers, of which we took many:
The crowds made it really hard to take photos, but here is one I took later in the day of the opposite side of the street:
I was able to take a photo of the Carthay Circle Theater (read: restaurant & bar) without crowds because of the aforementioned roping off. I cut off every lady in a scooter to take it and this was the best I could do:
We went to the lounge inside later in the day, which was an ok experience, but I will wait to pass judgement until the opening day problems have been worked out, of which there appeared to be many. One of the bartenders was very apologetic about the slow service. I ordered a lemon drop from a bartender that needed to look up how to make one so that should tell you something:
(it was not very tasty)
Here is a photo of inside the lounge. I did not have a tripod so I had to set the camera on the table. It really is that yellow inside though.
We then made our way to the Radiator Springs Racers temporary fastpass distribution point. The fastpass return times were already at 3:00pm and it was only 9:15, so while Bill stood in that line I went into Cars Land alone, to face the horror of The Singularity:
(every person with every weird hat was there)
(when The Singularity comes, even plants will be machines.)
The line for the Radiator Springs Racers was 180 minutes long so I said fuck that noise and re-joined Bill in the fastpass line to get our fastpasses for a 4:25-5:25 return time.
We stopped at the Cozy Cones Motel for some coned food offerings.
The most popular item at the time was the breakfast cone, which ended up being eggs with a large amount of cheese sauce and a lone piece of bacon:
Also on offer was a cone of churro bits with chocolate sauce, ice cream, popcorn, pretzel bits and an alcoholic beverage with pomegranate juice and vodka. I had left the long line for the breakfast cone to go get a smoothie at Schmoozies in Hollywood Town (get it) BUT THEY WERE CLOSED. Luckily Bill saved the day by bringing me a cone of pretzel bits and a soda in a cone souvenir cup:
The pretzels were way better than any other theme park pretzel I have ever had so I recommend them for a nice snack.
Later on we went to Flo’s V8 Cafe:
They sell “carved” meats here such as turkey breast, roast beef, etc. with your choice of sides, which included peas and carrots, mashed potatoes and gravy, baked beans and probably coleslaw? The food looked pretty good actually, but I was there for, you guessed it, drinks. Bill got some special iced tea on offer but I got a glass of pinot noir and a beer that was way too dark for my taste. The inside is very 50s diner style:
The ordering here goes smoother than at other food locations at the park. You are given a laminated menu while in line and a cast member will come up to you and mark your order down on a sheet. Then you take your sheet to the register and pay, then take your receipt to the counter to get your food. The line moves faster because every idiot isn’t at the front asking what comes on the peas and carrots. This restaurant also had a lot of indoor and outdoor seating. Here is a view from the outdoor patio:
They also had their napkins and stuff in this thing, which I thought was cool:
We walked around Cars Land a bit more before it was time to get on the RSR ride. Here is Luigi’s Flying Tires:
and a video of the ride I took:
This ride takes forever to get people loaded into the tires on account of everyone wanting to get at least one ball to take with them on the ride. They also sell these hats:
Throughout the day, the stupid RSR ride kept breaking down for long stretches of time. At one point the line was over 6 hours long, and the single rider line had been closed. We saw the line wrap all the way around to the entrance of Paradise Pier:
I realize that reference means nothing to most of you, so here is a map. The yellow dots are where the line was when we saw it at its longest:
(this still may not mean anything to anyone, but the line was very long)
Due to the ride breaking down all day, we were told that there would still be a one to two hour wait even with a fastpass. It was still over an hour until our designated ride time but we were advised to get in line then to avoid missing our ride time (we had to leave by 5pm). The fastpass line was actually around 30 minutes and when we got to the point where the fastpasses were collected we asked if we could just stay there until our fastpass time to avoid going to the end of the line. The cast member said we could but she also gave us the option of going in the single rider line even though it had been closed some time before. We decided to go with that option and only waited another 20 minutes or so.
The ride was preeetty awesome. The first part is pretty much a dark ride which looks really amazing inside. At the end you do a drag race between your car and another car full of people. Maximum shit talking ensues at this point, which is entertaining to say the least. The drag race is a lot of fun, but not six-hours-in-line fun. It is a similar feeling as being in a really fast car, only you don’t think you are going to crash, so all around a better experience. I will say that when you are up close to scenes such as this:
everything looks less impressive. There is a whole lot of forced prospective on the rock work in Cars Land, so those trees in the background are very fake looking when you drive past them on the ride, but I don’t really care about that kind of stuff. I recommend riding it at least once if the line isn’t outrageous.
IN CONCLUSION: I had a good time, would cars again.