Doug's Sounding Board



Nicole and Tami and I went to Disneyland on Monday and got there when the park opened and intended to stay until closing. The food places outside the park don’t open unti lthe park opens so we ate breakfast in the park at the Carnation Cafe and then went off to the newly re-opened Space Mountain.

The new Space Mountain is more like a Star Trek version of the future in the interior design which I think is unfortunate. What changed on the ride itself? Going up the initial hill/tunnel instead of a rotating light at the end the whole tube appears to rotate (like the ice tunnel at Universal Studios (which you can see in episodes fo The Six Million Dollar Man)) to a much greater effect for everyone and not just those in front. When you enter space you see that it is dark again. When it first opened it was dark, and then it’s been lighter for a long time, but now the dark is back, YAY! The ride is smoother than it used to be and it felt a bit faster. The spinning asteroid projected on the ceiling is gone (yay!) and a large physically spinning rock is in its place (yay!). Some time in the last 5 years or so they had added a soundtrack to Space Mountain that was done by Dick Dale. That sound track, in addition to being a new experience, fit every twist and turn of the ride perfectly (URL to come later). Gradually the speakers in the headrests broke and no more soundtrack. Now they have better speakers, but the soundtrack sucks. I have hope that the good soundtrack is still there at night since there are two different track listings on the official album, but we didn’t get to go at night. The new ending for Space Mountain is fantastic!

Next we went on Indiana Jones, and from there to Pirates of the Carribbean. On Pirates, the first skeleton at the wheel is no longer in rain, but just wind and clouds which I think looks better. There is also not a balcony fight scene done in shadow after the pirate ship/fort battle, and a few extra characters after the auction scene.

The Haunted Mansion was next with the impressive improvement of Madamme Leota’s ball not only being above the table but moving around! I couldn’t tell how that was being made to happen.

After that it becomes a blur. Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Nicole got her turkey leg fix, dinner at Blue Bayou. Oh yeah, Jungle Cruise has fuel barrels floating in the river at the camp the gorillas trashed. Occasionally the gorilla playing with the gun hits one of them causing a big water explosion. Also at the end there are now piranha churning up the water. Shopping, parade (really cool rhino costume!), It’s a Small World, Matterhorn, lots of live music in New Orleans Square, Fantasmic.

The fireworks show was also very impressive even though we didn’t see it from the best spot (facing the front of the castle) instead we saw it by the carousel which was between the two launching points so you had to keep turning around. Definitely see the fireworks show.

We didn’t quite make it to the closing of the park. Nicole was tired and had a big blister and Tami’s knees were hurting, but we did really well and had a great time!

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