March 18, 2004 spout

Quick Review of 4 California Theme Parks

Just flew in from California… and boy are my arms tired!

We did 4 California theme parks in 4 days and here’s what I thought:

  1. Magic Mountain: great rides, but even before spring break, the best rides had waits of 2-3 hours, so we didn’t get to go on them (although Scream rocked). Also, the price gouging was gratuitous, including $3 for a soda, $.87 for a packet of ranch dressing and extra money for a bunch of the activities after paying to get into the park, e.g. virtual reality ride and rock climbing. Over all, thumbs down.
  2. Disney’s California Adventure: Surprisingly good. The production values are high, even making the waiting as fun as possible, just like in every Disney park. The Bugs Life it’s hard to be a bug” show was hilarious and the Soarin’ Over California ride took my breath away. Plus, all of the rides that had analogs in Magic Mountain were better at California Adventure. This was the winner of the trip. Thumbs up.
  3. San Diego Sea World: The day was a little overcast and their major ride wasn’t running, but the shows were fun and it was a nice, mellow experience after two intense days. Also, the food was noticeably better than the other parks (although $50 on lunch for 4 was a bit much). More on the meal front: I called Don on the road between Sea World and the hotel in LA and he recommended In-n-Out Burger, which none of us had ever had before. My oldest son mentioned that meal more than Sea World, so both get a thumbs up.
  4. Disneyland: This park needs an overhaul. Their one really good ride, Indiana Jones, was closed and all of the rest of the rides were only interesting for the nostalgia factor (plus they broke down a lot). When I brought my 4-5 year olds here 4 years ago, it was really great to see the place again through their eyes. Now that they’re older, the place holds no attraction for me. Thumbs down.

Over all the trip was a thumbs up if for no other reason than I was without my laptop for 4 days and didn’t really miss it. Then I come home to find that you dang kids have TP’d my blog! : )