Disney's California Adventure
DCA Soft Opening/Sneak Preview
January 25, 2001
As witnessed by Kim Keeline; her husband, James; and her parents, Laura and George


What to do first?

Sun Fountain near entrance

Store near entrance

Neat train as store, near entrance

Condor Flats Entrance

Soarin' Over California is in Condor Flats. It was closed when we went through in the morning, but opened later to the longest lines in the park. We joined the line 15 minutes before closing and rode it last. It is good but try to get the top row or the 2nd row. We had row 3 at the bottom and I think it would be better higher up.

Overview from climbing area. Condor Flats is to the right. Hotel is to the left. Matterhorn in distance.

Grizzly River area.

Amusing little thing. Slide down a rope and swing when hit the tire. Here my folks try it.

Swing!

Same area has rock climbing walls. Fun.

James was better at it.

Cute little fellow. A number of these statues in woodsy area.

One of my favorite rides was Grizzly River Run. Best raft ride I know. My folks say it is better than Sea World's. You do get very wet! To minimize soaking, don't sit near the openings and keep your back tight to your seat.

The person didn't take a very good picture, but perhaps you can see how wet we are, at least a little.
It took 4 hours for me to dry.

Paradise Pier. The part I thought I'd like the least, but I really enjoyed it.

James and Kim having fun.

Cute Toys. Coaster runs slow and orange doesn't look like swings much, but I wish they did more of this sort of thing for Disneyland!

Ferris Wheel is fun and moving cars swing more than you expect. I recommend them. If you want a stationary car, don't wait in line like some did--they take them through the exit. Stationary car is good for pictures or the faint of heart, but otherwise take the swinging ones.

While we were in line for the Ferris Wheel, the rollercoaster, California Screaming, broke down, stranding these passengers on the first incline. A castmember eventually took them out and they walked down. When we did the ride later, we loved it. One of the best in the park. Some said that Mulholland Madness was better but I thought that ride was jerky and simplistic. California Screaming was a great ride.

Parade in front of the Jumping Jellyfish.

Parade front of Kelp Themed Jumping Jellyfish

Simple but sort of fun.

The Pier does look nice. Good detail.

Speaking of detail, Check out these bathroom signs. Funny, aren't they?

Nice murals and details abound.

Backlot entrance

We were running out of time by the time we got here. I was also exhausted. Nice looking area and I hope to get to explore it when I go back.
Overall, I didn't expect too much because I have always been a doubter of this park, but I ended up really enjoying myself. The big roller coaster and the river rafts were fun. The ride that shoots you way up in the air was scary. I always enjoy the swing rides at fairs so I liked the giant orange. Overall the theming was nicely done. Some paint details already showed wear on some rides so I expect that the same problem that has plagued the new Tomorrowland will be an issue here.

I will probably want to go back, especially when the crowds die down. Most rides just aren't going to be worth very long lines. For the sneak preview it worked well because most lines were short.
It is a nice looking park and I am more willing to give it a chance than I expected. Downtown Disney seemed okay but by then I was exhausted and the crowds and 2 hour waits at restaurants seemed a horror. We wandered briefly and then got in the car again. DCA is better and worth the sore feet.

Hope you enjoyed my account. Jan. 30, 2001. Kim Keeline