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Thanks to my annual pass, I was able to take my family to the Feb. 3 preview of Disney's newest theme park, California Adventure. This park sits right across from Disneyland's entrance, right where the parking lot used to be. From the new plaza between the two parks, you can walk towards the Disneyland hotels and see Downtown Disney, a new shopping/dining area much like the one in Florida (but much smaller),

What did I think about the new park? I did enjoy most of my time there -- it's a fun place to visit, but I can't see myself going back as often as I used to go to Disneyland. At this point, even on a preview day, there just aren't enough attractions to soak up all the guests (around 32,000), which means long lines. Lines ranged from one hour to as much as four hours (!) if you didn't have a FastPass. Even if you did, sometimes the wait was an hour. Here's a little summary of my views of DCA (there are many more opinions out on the 'net as well):

What I liked:

  • Beautiful park to look at and stroll around in
  • Some really great rides: Soarin' Over California, CA Screamin', Grizzly River Rapids
  • Lots of shopping and dining options
  • Some good "import" shows from Florida: MuppetVision and It's Tough to Be a Bug

What I thought needs work (keeping in mind things may get better over the next few months -- this was a preview after all)

  • Lines: too long, uncontrolled. There were lots of gaps in the lines and there was a lot of cutting and little enforcement. They need more attractions to soak up the crowds. Many of the rides (especially in Paradise Pier) are very slow-loading and that just makes things worse.
  • Food service: The lines were VERY long here too -- can you imagine waiting 30 minutes for a corndog? We did. Over at the Corndog cart at Disneyland, I don't ever remember waiting more than five minutes. For the most part, the lines for food were shocking.
  • Superstar Limo: What were they thinking?
  • There aren't enough places to sit down, and there's little shade. It was 86 degrees on the day I visited and people were lying all over the place to find shade.

If history holds true, I'd imagine Disney will pour some money into DCA (as I'll call it) to fix some of these problems -- at least I hope so. I can't see myself going back anytime soon to wait in those lines!

About the Photos

All the pictures from my trip to DCA were taken with the 4 Megapixel Olympus E-10 Professional digital camera. This is one of the best cameras out there, and hopefully you'll agree once you see the pictures.

On the following pages, you'll see a selection of my favorite pictures from my visit, grouped by time of day. There are more pictures available from the menu back on my main Disneyland page.

Each picture you'll see on the next several pages will be a smaller version (usually 800 x 600) of the original. Under each photo there will be a link to a much larger version (2240 x 1680, often over 600k) which looks really nice when printed or used as a desktop background.

If you to jump ahead in my tour, just use the pull-down menu at the top and bottom of every page!

Copyright Info

All the photos on my site are © 1994 - 2001 Jeff Keller. You're welcome to keep them for your own private use, but they are not to be sold, used on your website, or anything else without my permission.

All Disney-related trademarks are © Disney.

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