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annieskes2002 Jul 24th, 2004 06:48 AM

DIsney's California Adventure
This is my first post:) Will be in CA, and want to go to California Adventure. Have not read up on the park. Am interested in "best in show", availability of discount admission tickets.

ellen_griswold Jul 24th, 2004 08:17 AM

Hi annie, welcome to fodors! Beware, you may become addicted like the rest of us! :)

California Adventure is awesome! The best attractions for us are the roller coaster California Screamin', and Soaring over California. Be sure you use Fastpass! We were able to do both above rides at least twice, plus do everything else by using fastpass. Also, each time we've been there (3X), we've been 'done' by dinner time so we went back to disneyland for fireworks, etc.

Have a great time!!

lvk Jul 24th, 2004 08:53 AM

Hi Annie,

You don't say who is in party - adults? kids? ages?.

I second ellen's favorites and fast pass recommendations. As soon as you get into the park, get your fastpass for Soaring over CA, then continue and get your fastpass for the Grizzly Peak raft ride, then for the CS coaster (which is in the back of the park). Then you can do the other rides in between your fast pass "appointments".

My kids actually like DCA way better than Disneyland. Also fun are the "4D shows". I'm not sure which ones are playing now, check the Disney website.

Have fun. ((#))

annieskes2002 Jul 24th, 2004 09:02 AM

Hi Ellen,
Thanks for responding! It was just the kind of info I was looking for! Will note the specific rides, and the Fastpass.

annieskes2002 Jul 24th, 2004 09:05 AM

My husband and I are in our 50's and are roller coaster fans.Fastpass sounds like a great idea! Will read up about it.
Thanks for the info!

lvk Jul 24th, 2004 09:12 AM


If you are big roller coaster fans, (as my husband and I are)then you might consider Six Flags Magic Mountain, just north of L.A. While DCA has just the one coaster, 6Flags has about a dozen really, really fun coasters. You check the websites of the 2 places and see which appeals to you - maybe you can do both ;)

annieskes2002 Jul 24th, 2004 09:22 AM

Will look into Magic Mountain, too.

Surfergirl Aug 1st, 2004 11:37 AM

Hi Annie,
I'm going to throw a wrench in here, because we were at Disneyland and California Adventure yesterday for my son's birthday. Now we've been to Disneyland an embarrassingly huge number of times, and were anxious to check out CA. We were completely bummed out (to use my son's expression) by it. Obviously, for us (being from L.A.), we weren't interested in the Hollywood stuff (had more than enough of that from living here and going to Universal Studios), and that seemed to be a bit of a copycat of Universal anyway. We were there to do California Screamin' and the Rapids Ride (especially on a hot day!). Both were out of order. Screamin' closed down about 2 p.m. for "technical difficulties" (an alarm went off, and they couldn't figure out what was wrong), and it remained out for the rest of the day. So we headed over to the rapids ride and got near the front of the line, when IT had "technical difficulties". We spent the next hour looking at the people who couldn't get off the ride and were soaking wet, and the people caught up at the top of the ride, right before it plummets, just sitting there with no where to go, all the while the "cast members" assuring us it would start momentarily and making stupid jokes. Eventually, they decided they were going to have to close for the day -- don't know how anyone at the top of the loop ever got off the thing -- and gave us fast passes to come back some other day when it might be open. Assuming we were actually going to go back.

We headed back to Disneyland and tried to get on Indiana Jones. By then, the next fast pass you could get was at 11:15 that evening (yeah, right) or you could wait stand-by for 75 minutes. I decided, this is ridiculous, we just blew 2 hours of trying to get on 2 rides in CA to no avail, so I asked if I could use the rapid return pass as a fast pass on Indiana, and they were very nice about it and said sure.

By the way, earlier that day, Indiana was down due to technical difficulties, as was a couple of other fun rides. I think they are really paying attention these days to the safety issues.

NotMe Aug 1st, 2004 03:28 PM

For a lot of great insider information about any of the Disney theme parks, check out

annieskes2002 Aug 1st, 2004 07:47 PM

Hey Surfergirl
My husband and I will probably go to CA, even though you had a disappointing experience. Hopefully, they will have fixed the problems. We are looking for a different theme park, one not so much about the rides, as the disney magic. We have been to Disneyland once, and Disneyworld several times. Thought we'd try this. Thanks for the heads up. Wish us luck:)

Melissajoy Aug 1st, 2004 11:50 PM

The secret to using Fastpasses is that you have to collect them in the morning at Disneyland or California Adventures...You can keep collecting fastpasses until about noon, if you start early, and then you may have enough fastpasses to get you through the afternoon at the park, the most crowded time.

When you get your first fastpass in the morning, you aren't allowed to collect a second fastpass for another ride until the time listed on your first fastpass has passed...It doesn't matter whether or not you've used the other fastpass, you can get a new one as soon as the time has you collect the fastpasses in the morning. As somebody already mentioned, if you wait until the afternoon to collect fastpasses, it may be too late for some of the rides...the Splash mountain fastpass will tell you to return at 10:00 pm if you wait until the afternoon on a busy day to collect one.

Many people don't realize that fastpasses don't expire, and can be used any time for the rest of the day, as long as you've waited past the time stated on your fastpass.

So my question is, why are you all still waiting in long lines? We never have to!

Surfergirl Aug 3rd, 2004 11:40 AM

I think people from out of town would really enjoy it. I think people like me who live here are more of the been there, done that group. I really DO hope you aren't blessed (!) with our experience. On a positive note, I did like the surf music blasting through the park!

missypie Aug 3rd, 2004 12:44 PM

We went to Disneyland for Spring Break 2003. Of the 4 days we spent at the parks, 1 1 /2 days were spent at DCA. If you check, there is a whole board devoted to DCA. We enjoyed it. Soarin' Over California is very pleasant. California Screamin' is a terrific coaster...pretty thrilling but SMOOOOTH. Ariel's Grotto is a nice character meal. I wouldn't go to California JUST to go to DCA, but it's a nice compliment to the other park.

ssm Aug 3rd, 2004 10:57 PM

Personally, I favor the Calif. Adventure. It is not as crowded and offers something different. I don't know how long you plan on being in the area but if you are here for a few days, you should get the 2 park pass, Definitely worth it! Also, I would recommend that you spend a day just walking around Downtown Disney. great shopping area and some pretty good restaurants. If you want some tips on restaurants and accomodations near the park, let me know. I live about 20 minutes from the park and know the area well. Enjoy your stay!

ps: You MUST ride the new Twilight Zone Tower Of Terror and catch the Aladdin musical show.

YANKEE99 Aug 6th, 2004 04:28 PM

Have to agree with Surfgirl. There is a reason Disney is losing their shirt on DCA. It has about 50% of the attractions at the same prices, so unless you have been to Disney several times, it is still a much better value. Also, eating in Downtown Disney can be really expensive. You should plan for this. Good luck.

annieskes2002 Aug 10th, 2004 08:35 PM

Hi All,
We're back from California. We went to DCA, and had a really nice time. California Soarin was wonderful. California Screaming is a really fun roller coaster. The water ride was a lot of laughs, and WET! The park is relatively tame. That was fine with us. We had my elderly mother in law with us, so shows were her speed, and pretty much ours too. She did the water ride and got drenched, as did my husband, and was a good sport about it.
FastPass is wonderful. We were able to do things in a really efficient manner. Got them early, and did the soarin, screamin and wettin:) early. Also liked Tower of Hollywood.So surfergirl, we got lucky, things were working! One day seems to me to be plenty for the park. Price is high relative to the number and nature of rides/attractions, but it was a fun day, so what the heck! Thanks for all your help, fodorites. Annie

Surfergirl Aug 11th, 2004 06:29 AM

I'm glad you enjoyed it. I really wanted to go on the water ride, and was so disappointed it went down. We wanted to get wet -- especially considering how warm it was that day. I think when you were here it was even warmer, so it must have been fun.

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