While I had been to Disneyworld prior to last weekend, I had never been to Disneyland and I was looking forward to finally seeing both of them and doing a light compare/contrast of the two different parks.
The main thing I noticed is that more or less every pathway longer than a certain distance is either obscured by a ride or shop or there is going to be a curve in the road before you get to whatever it is you’re seeing. You won’t be walking in that many straight lines… you’re always looping around. It feels like you’re wandering even when you’ve got a definite destination in mind. Wandering does a great job of making you feel like you’re on vacation.
They do a brilliant, positively *BRILLIANT* job of obscuring the lines for the rides. You look at the ride and say “huh, that doesn’t look like there’s that much of a wait…” and you get in the line and, suddenly, you realize that you didn’t see the stuff behind the scenery and there’s a dip that goes down and you turn the corner and oh my gosh there are hundreds of people ahead of us. (The wait for the Adventureland Jungle Cruise had a 2nd floor with a longer line than the one on the ground.)
That said, it does a great job of selling nostalgia. They’re not just selling you your trip to Disneyland, after all. They’re selling you your next trip there by making you remember your last trip there (and if it’s your first trip there, they give you a button to totally announce to everybody that it’s your first trip there and “cast members” walk up to you and tell you to have an awesome day).
As for the rides, the main thing that I kinda wondered was whether Pirates of the Caribbean and/or The Haunted Mansion were more or less the same as in Disneyworld. Yep. They are. There was a fine bit of remembering the last two or three times I went on the rides as I rode on them this time (and, for the first time, I wondered “is this the last time I’m going to see this attraction?”).
All in all, I’d say that Disneyland is a surprisingly awesome experience that, even as you’re manipulated, you’re impressed by the craft involved in how they’re manipulating you.
Of course, after a weekend filled with that, I’m very much looking forward to a boring, boring weekend where not much of anything exciting happens. Chores, errands, laundry.
So… what’s on your docket?