How to Take the Yesterday out of Tomorrowland

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When Walt Disney first envisioned Tomorrowland, he saw a futuristic paradise…in 1986.  Unfortunately, 1986 has come and gone, and we still don’t have commercial space travel or interactive houses, but we still do have the “futuristic” Tomorrowland, circa 1986.  Here at CCK, we have many ideas on how to update Tomorrowland, but it all has to start with an updated version of the area’s centerpiece, Space Mountain.  When Space Mountain opened in Anaheim, it was a one of a kind experience, but now, with all new coaster technology, the ride itself has gotten for lack of a better term, lousy.  This is not the case, however, for its equivalent in Paris.  smmt

Space Mountain: Mission 2 opened as Space Mountain De la Terre à la Lune in 1995.  It was based off of Jules Vern’s novel “From Earth to the Moon”, and was supposed to portray a futuristic way of space travel.  Riders would enter the dome and step onto an open walkway, where they could actually see the coaster and track.  Riders then would board trains and would be placed into a giant cannon and launched into a dangerous asteroid field.  After narrowly dodging asteroids and space age mining technology, riders would finally reach the moon (with smiling face as seen in the 1902 Melies film “A Trip to the Moon”), and see Jules Vern safely landed their as well, before returning to earth.  The  was the first Space Mountain to feature  synchronized on board audio track (SOBAT). 

In 2005, the ride received a futuristic make over, and became Space Mountain: Mission 2.  This is what we’d like an updated Space Mountain to be like.  The ride now goes beyond the moon, but even further to a Supernova at the edge of the universe.  The track remained the same, but the theming got a futuristic update, and new sequences were added.

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  The original smiling moon was changed to a large supernova, the cannon launch went from the bottom of the cannon, instead of the top, and a new SOBAT soundtrack was added.  The queue was also updated, by replacing the original open walkway with a hallway featuring pictures of cosmic phenomena such as comets and asteroid fields.  The original Victorian soundtrack that was played in the queue was replaced by space like radio messages.  A new ending was added to the ride, where riders enter a red worm hole known as the Hypergate, before slowing down and heading to the station.  The custom Vekoma track begins with a 0 to 40 mph launch, followed by a few twists and turns around asteroids before hitting the first inversion, a sidewinder, which begins like a traditional loop, but then twists out at the top and continues on.  The ride then hits its second launch, a few more twists and turns around space, and then goes through a corkscrew.  The ride then heads to the top of the dome, where riders see the supernova, and then drop into the final inversion, a Tongue, an inversion that only Space Mountain: Mission 2 contains, before going through the Hypergate, and heading back to the station.smmt2

  Here at CCK, we like aspects of both the original and updated Space Mountain in Paris.  For the line, we love the open walkway, in which patrons can view the track and coaster.  We also love the track layout, and because it is Vekoma, believe that there could be modified version to fit into our Space Mountain structure, to lessen the cost.  This ride would definitely up the anty for thrill seekers to come ride at Disneyland.

Comment your thoughts, agreements, ideas, etc. below! Let’s see how Disney could go about upgrading ‘Tomorrowland’ to actually become ‘Tomorrow’!

California Adventure Trip Report

We arrived at the park around 10 and received a three hour tour having to do with the physics behind California Screamin’, Goofy’s Sky School, and Tower of Terror.  After the tour concluded at 1, we headed over to Condor Flats to get a Fast Pass for Soarin’ Over California, which had us return in about an hour. 20140125_183439 We ate lunch at the Taste Pilot’s Grill next door.  The food was mediocre and overpriced, but that is what people expect at a large Amusement Park like California Adventure.  If you want a truly memorable meal at the Disneyland Resort, stick to their fancy dining restaurants, Blue Bayou our Carthay Circle, and don’t worry about the price, the food is outstanding.  Soarin’ was fantastic, as always, and, has a new added element from the Disney Pixar film Planes, in which, before the safety spiel, where the names of the cities are flying by, a character follows by zooming by with the name.  We then headed up the road to Grizzly River Run. 20140125_143514 This is one of our favorite rapids rides in California, due to both its high splashing rapids, and its 2 drops, the only rapid ride in California to have drops.  20140125_134904This ride does get crowded, so unless you don’t mind waiting in about a 20 minute line, head towards it early in the day, or once it gets darker out.20140125_143401We headed over to Cars Land after GRR, but due to its short line, made a stop at Ariel’s Undersea Adventure.  Although this ride doesn’t bring any thrill factor to the table, it is still a traditional Disney style dark ride that is quite enjoyable, plus, due to its vehicles constant movement, there is never a line over 10 minutes.  Once we reached Cars Land, we immediately headed to the Single Rider Line of Radiator Springs Racers (fastest way to get through the lines if you don’t mind splitting up your party). 20140125_151253 We made it to the front of the line quickly, but, unfortunately due to a child exiting before the exit platform, the emergency shut down was hit, and our 25 minute wait became an hour by the time the whole system was re booted. 20140125_152316 Although the long wait, this is one of the premier new attractions at the Disneyland Resort, featuring both a well done inside dark ride, and a high paced family fun racing finale.  We then made the cut across Bugs World into Hollywoodland, and got Fast Passes for our favorite ride in the park, The Twilight Zone: Tower of Terror.20140125_173708  We then rode Screamin’.  This ride is definitely one of the Disneyland Resort’s finest coasters, and, due to its constant running of 5 trains, it features a dispatch time of about 36 seconds per train.20140125_172923

Our only complaint of this ride was that both times we rode, we got the same train (orange) and the on board audio didn’t work.  We headed back to ToT, and as we remembered, it still remains the best ride at California Adventure. This ride features Disneyland-esque theming, as well as amazing drop sequences, that have riders completely up, off their seats at each drop.20140125_181323 20140125_181336We ended the night with a personal favorite, Monster’s Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue.  This ride has a fantastic, immersive theming of being in the Monstropolis Transit Association, and although the ride once again, doesn’t have any thrill factor, it is a great way to relax and catch your breath after a long day of thrills. We finished the night by checking out Buena Vista Street at night for the first time.  It is a fantastic addition to the park, that is a ton better than the old entrance to the park.

Super Poll Sunday — MACK

It’s Super Poll Sunday again! Below the image, please vote for your favorite CA Mack coaster!mack

What's CA's best Mack coaster?

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Super Poll Sunday – CA Best Continuous Launch Coaster.

After a construction on our site, Super Poll Sunday has returned!photo (52)This edition will be looking at the great launch coasters in CA, the continuous launch coasters to be exact! Vote below!

What's CA's best continuous launch coaster?

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2013-2014

It’s the end of 2013, and we thought that it’d be great to look back at the 2013 Season, and take a look at what 2014 will bring.

2013 was the year in which California’s Great America came back on the map with an amazing record breaking GCI woodie. The Gold Striker is a hit with the public, and after some years in which CGA didn’t receive much love, seems to be the beginning of a brighter future for this Santa Clara park.

2013 was also the year in which Six Flags Magic Mountain named itself the Thrill Capital of the World, with the addition of world’s tallest and fastest looping coaster. Full Throttle might be a bit short, but it definitely lived up to our, and many other’s, expectations. The record breaker opened a little later than expected, but it opened with a newly themed area which brings back life to the area. We love the LEDs and lasers used in the new area! The area luckily brought room for expansion, and improvement, the park could basically add anything to it!

2013 also brought us Coast Rider, this fun new family coaster is part of an expansion with family rides, brightening up the Boardwalk section of the park. The family expansion was great for Knott’s! We find it interesting to see a Wild Mouse being placed, but it’s actually really fun, and is a perfect family ride!

2013 overall, was a great year for the Californian theme parks. The parks are off to a great future, and all major parks have received great new additions in the last couple of years. Six Flags Discovery Kingdom had some great in-house improvements, as they remodeled their 2 dolphin stadiums. Thus they had 2 brand new Dolphin Shows, Drench! at the new Toyota Stadium. And Cirque Dreams Splashtastic, which was a huge hit with the public! Knott’s reopened their log ride. Timber Mountain Log Ride has become even more spectacular, and we love the revisions done to the ride.

2013 was also the year of the New Texas Giant accident, which caused the Six Flags seat belt hype. Goliath, Superman Ultimate Flight and Full Throttle are now using seat belts. 2013 was also the year in which we noticed how badly some of our favorite CA coasters need repaints. Tatsu, Ninja, Riddler’s Revenge, Scream!, Goliath, and Viper all need repaints, so do Silver Bullet and Sierra Sidewinder. Hopefully California’s Great America keeps up the hard work, and will finish repainting all rides in 2014. It would also be nice to see the back side of CGA get some sort of make-over this off season, so it’s ready to go in 2014!20130817_183149And then there is the 2014 Season, bound to be another great one for our CA parks. Although all big new rides for 2014 are outside of CA, the most appropriate expansions will still be made for our CA parks. We’re happy to announce that Silver Bullet will receive a paintjob next week! And we’ve also been told that Scream! and Tatsu will receive paintjobs for the 2014 Season.

2014 will bring us a make-over of the Calico Mine Ride at Knott’s. As well as an expansion of Knott’s Camp Snoopy kiddie area. Which brings us to Magic Mountain, which will also expand their kiddie area. Bugs Bunny World will receive a brand new Zamperla Gravity coaster for 2014 with the expansion and rejuvenation of the kiddie area. Six Flags Magic Mountain will also run Batman the Ride and Colossus backwards for a limited time in the spring of 2014.

2014 will also bring us Tsunami Soaker at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom as well as the return of Cirque Dreams Splashtastic, which is a wonderful show that you can’t miss out on! Additionally Six Flags Discovery Kingdom will finally be open year round, as 2014 is their first year of weekly operations! Last but not least is the reopening op Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland, the entire track will be renewed, and we can’t wait for this great coaster to reopen, while totally upgraded!

We wish you the happiest year so far, and enjoy all 2013, and 2014, additions this upcoming season! The CA theme parks are in great shape and bound to give visitors a blast!

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T’was the Nightmare Before Christmas

haunted man chrHaunted Mansion Holiday is a seasonal remodeling of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion ride. It blends the settings and characters of the original Haunted Mansion with those of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas film.  The Haunted Mansion typically closes for two and half weeks in September so it can be converted into the Haunted Mansion Holiday. The overlaid attraction is then open to guests from late-September through early-January, before being closed again during January so the holiday theme can be removed.  The idea to re theme for the ride for the holidays, came from 2 other re themed holiday attractions, The Country Bear Christmas Special, and It’s a Small World Holiday, which were always quite popular during the holidays.  Both of these attractions had been opened in 1984, and 1997 respectively, and due to their success, The Haunted Mansion Holiday opened up in 2003.  The outside of the building is covered with Jack O’ Lanterns, as Jack Skelington sits on the roof in  his coffin sleigh, trying to figure Christmas through a long and advanced equation, as a clock strikes stating 0 days til Christmas.  Guests enter the inside of the mansion, which is decorated with skull wreaths before entering the famous octagonal room featuring “no windows and no doors”.  The room stretches as usual, but the stained glass portraits have been replaced with ones representing Christmas, but with a little something off, such as a candy cane shaped serpent, etc.  A voice comes through reading a poem originally written by Tim Burton, titled “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.  The suspense builds until lightening strikes and Jack’s head appears on the ceiling wishing everyone happy holidays, following a loud scream and then a blackout, as in the original ride.  The inside of the ride isn’t changed in many ways, but just has added props.  The changing portraits have been changed to fit the festive spirit, with a snowman turning into evil pumpkins, Jack turning into a character he calls Sandy Claws, etc.  Riders board to a toon of young children singing Kidnap the Sandy Claws.  As riders ascend up, a vampire teddy bear holds a fishing pole over them.  The endless hallway features Jack’s ghost dog Zero floating instead of the traditional candelabra, and the suit of armor is wrapped in tinsel.  The famous room of the glass ball mistress known as Leota is entered, as she chants her own version of the 13 days of Christmas.  The riders then enter the famous ballroom of dancing ghosts.  The ghosts remain to dance the same way, but , the table is set for a Christmas party, with a huge gingerbread manor in the center, thus the room is filled with the scent of gingerbread.  haunted ginger

The riders begin their climactic finish with a trip through the graveyard, featuring projected snow.  Jack welcomes you, replacing the old man and his dog in the original ride.  The riders then pass singing jack o’ lanterns which replace the singing statues.  Finally, the antagonist of the film Oogie Boogie appears, offering guests a gift before they leave, and as they pass the mirrors that usually depict the hitchhiking ghosts, they are instead given a “special gift”.  This ride is definitely one of the best re themed rides in the a park for the holidays, and isn’t one to miss out on.

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Throwback Thursday–Original Disney’s California Adventure

In the Summer of 2012, Disney’s California Adventure completed a huge expansion, adding many new experiences to the park’s line up.  The park added 2 new areas, Buena Vista Street, the entrance area of the park that represents how Los Angeles looked when Walt Disney first stepped of the bus there, and Cars Land, based off of the popular Disney Pixar Film series Cars.  Between the parks opening in 2001, and this newest expansion, many attractions at this park have came and went.  The following is a list of attractions that have been removed or replaced by the park: Continue reading “Throwback Thursday–Original Disney’s California Adventure”

Blue Bayou Review

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Although there are many fine dining experiences at Disneyland, there are very few on the level of Blue Bayou.  This is not only because of its fancy decor and unbelievably amazing steak and seafood, but also because it is actually located inside the ride The Pirates of the Caribbean.  Let your eyes adjust to the perpetual twilight of this truly unique setting where the bayou is, literally, by you!  Enjoy your meal as jealous onlookers on board the ride can smell the cooking of your delicious meal.  Overhead strings of colorful balloon lanterns cast an enchanting glow, dotting the darkness from which crickets chirp, frogs croak and fireflies wink while providing an ambiance like no other. Since its opening in 1967, Blue Bayou has been a must-do for many a visitor to the Disneyland Resort.  Once you’ve gotten an eyeful of your delightful surroundings, turn your attention toward getting your belly full! Naturally, at Blue Bayou, the menu is inspired by the Cajun, Creole and French influences of Louisiana.  blue-bayou-restaurant-00-560x315

They welcome you to the Bayou with a Cajun-inspired salad or a cup of our delicious New Orleans gumbo, included with your entrée. Then choose from such signature dishes as the pan-seared Tesoro Island chicken with Boursin cheese mashed potatoes or the Royal Street seafood jambalaya. During lunch, they feature the Buccaneer’s boneless beef short ribs in a Cabernet reduction—while at dinner, the broiled filet mignon and succulent lamb chops entrees, and the surf-and-turf combo is extra-deluxe. Little ones are also well provided for with roasted beef strip loin, cheesy macaroni and healthy Mickey Check meals of seared salmon or chicken breast.  Full men eat no dessert, so save room! They aren’t not telling tales when they say that savoring a piece of Key lime pie tart or crème brulée in this magical  establishment full of Disney history is an experience you won’t soon forget. bbysteak

During Coaster King’s last visit to Disneyland this past June, we feasted on this restaurants broiled filet mignon, and let us tell you, it is no joke.  This gives a whole new meaning to fine dining in a theme park.  Along with the filet mignon came a bowl of there house gumbo that tasted “straight out of Louisiana!”  We finished of the meal with a cup of their light and airy chocolate mouse (served for a birthday, we are unsure if this item actually appears on the menu).  This restaurant is definately the finest dining experience at any theme park in the state of California, or possibly the world.  Be sure to get a reservation, because they will stop taking walk in diners later in the day, but be sure not to miss out on Blue Bayou.