By Charly SHELTON
Big things have been happening at Disney California Adventure. We visited Buena Vista Street, the 1920s-era land recently added to DCA. Then we saw Cars Land located in the same park, the biggest land expansion since the opening of Disneyland. And this week, to wrap it up, we will take a look at the rest of the resort and what is new at Disneyland as well.
Cars Land and Buena Vista Street have opened at DCA and it somewhat overshadows the other improvements the resort has had of late.
The Mission Tortilla Factory tour in DCA was pretty boring with the exceptions of getting a free tortilla and hearing a dog say “Maseca.” It was recently replaced with Ghirardelli Soda Fountain featuring chocolate, ice cream, sodas and sundaes. This is a much better shop, both in use of space and in product. And I will take a chocolate sample over a tortilla sample any day.
Also at DCA, Starbucks has graced Buena Vista Street. Not just a coffee shop. Starbucks. Two of the most powerful companies in the world working together to make a great thing: frappuccinos and Mickey.
elecTRONica, a nighttime electronic dance party at DCA, was cool. It was all Tron-themed with a DJ, alcoholic Tron-tinis and even an old style arcade. It has given way to Mad T Party, based on the Tim Burton version of “Alice in Wonderland.” The faults of elecTRONica were identified and fixed for T Party. For example, now there is a live band instead of only a DJ, skeeball replaced Mario Bros. and nonalcoholic drinks are available in addition to the booze drinks. Fun for all ages.
At Disneyland, the Matterhorn has new bobsleds for the first time in years, and a new seating configuration for the first time ever. Since it opened in 1959, the bobsleds used lap-seating vehicles with two seat belts in one seat. Now each seat is individual, with three seats per vehicle. The down side, other than not having a hot girl in your lap when you go on a Disneyland date, is the backing of the seats. They are so contoured to fit your back that it becomes uncomfortable when the ride jostles you around. When stationary, it was very comfortable and the back fits like a glove. But as the vehicle banks around the curves and avoids the Yeti, riders are shaken and thrown into the side of the seat, which is rather sharp. It’s not enough to stop patronizing the ride, but just an inconvenience to be aware of for those with especially bad backs.
And finally: Glow with the Show ears. As you walk around the parks, you see a variety of mouse ears, and occasionally some rabbit ears. The newest set of ears, and one of the most popular, is the white plastic glowing ears that flash in random pulsating sequence. These are designed with a mechanism that allows them to sync up to each other and a controller in the park to pulsate and change color together. This is the newest element of nighttime shows like World of Color, letting the ears sync with the show itself.
As the lyrics talk about “a blue rolling sea, a red summer rose, a sunset in the sky,” the ears change and pulsate in time with the lyrics, showing a wave of blue rolling across the ears of the audience, red fading in and out and a sunset scape of ears with each ear just a little off in color so it’s not just a wall of light, but a pulsating and living color that brings guests into the show in a whole new way.
All this and more awaits guests of the Disneyland resort this summer. Definitely not to be missed. Stop by before the summer hours are over.