In a comment on this blog Uncle Karl asked:
"Okay now that you are back home, tell us what you and the kids liked best at Disneyland and Sea World. What were your favorites?
I can answer this fairly quickly and easily.
Without a doubt (and I think I can speak for 3/4 of my family) "Soaring Over California" in California Adventures Park was far and above the best ride there. We only did it twice: once was early in the morning and we only had to wait about 10 minutes to get on and once we had a FastPass to get on. The first time we were on the second tier of seats and it was AMAZING!! The music, the scenery, the pine scent and the orange blossom scent.... it actually brought tears to my eyes. The second time we were in the top tier and I have to admit my fear of heights did bother me a little bit. But I gripped the seat handles and trusted my seat belt and enjoyed it almost as much as the first time. If I didn't have to fight the lines, I would have gone back and back and back.... well, you get the picture.
My personal second favorite ride was Splash Mountain. There's a story behind us riding this ride: Eight years ago when we took Aly to Disney World in Florida we had every intention of riding Splash Mountain. Aly was 8 years old and totally into her "Princess Phase" (okay, we are only just leaving that phase...) She got a bunch of new clothes for that trip and DID NOT want to get them wet. Every time we'd approach the ride, she would start crying and being stubborn and absolutely refused to ride. Each time we'd be just as stubborn and we'd get her (reluctantly) in line. And, believe it or not, each time we'd get close to the ride it would get closed, either due to mechanical problems or electric storms (there was a lot of lightning on our trip!) This happened at least three times. The fates didn't want Aly to ride and didn't want her to get wet.
Flash forward: Aly was finally excited to ride Splash Mtn. We got in line and started getting nervous. Just how wet would we get? With butterflies fluttering in our tummies, we got through the line and were just about ready to be put in the que to get on the ride. And.... yup! You guessed it!! There were mechanical difficulties and THE RIDE WAS CLOSED!!! We just laughed and blamed the fates again.
Finally, on the last day we were there, we got our FastPass and got back in line. We actually got to be seated in the log and looked at the ride operator. All of a sudden everything stopped and she was on the phone... it didn't look good!! Could we actually be denied the ride a 5th time?
Soon, the operator was smiling and we slowly began to move forward. We were going!! We shouted out a thank you to her as we rode by.
It was a blast. We were smart/lucky and rode in the back of the log and didn't get too wet. Just enough to cool us off but not enough to ruin our hair. We were actually able to do the ride twice that day. The fates liked us again.
too bad you can't see Adam in this picture! He's just right behind Calvin.
Of course we liked the rides like Peter Pan, Mr. Toad and Snow White. There is nothing to make one scared or motion sick in those rides. They're just a fun flashback to childhood.
For fun and a slight competitive moment, we really enjoy the Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. It's fun zooming through and shooting all the Zurgs. We also loved the Indiana Jones and Pirates of the Carribean.
I know you didn't ask, Uncle Karl, but I'm going to tell you the two rides I cannot go on... ever again:
Star Wars: Star Tours was sickening. Even after taking Dramamine and closing my eyes during the entire ride I walked off completely motion sick. I remember that happening at Disney World too and I kicked myself for getting back on the ride. Like it would be different in California? NOT!! Don't even say "Star Wars" to me right now and I still get a bit dizzy. It was horrid.
I also can't ride Space Mountain again, for the same reasons. If I take Dramamine I can usually ride Roller Coasters, but with this one, it's almost totally in the dark. I can't see where we are going and that's a problem. I got off this ride quite nauseated (and apparently someone else was too because we had to step over vomit on the way out.... ick!)
However, there are plenty of other rides to go on and plenty of other things to see and do. I'm serious when I say I want to go back next year. (And I will get my picture taken with Mary Poppins!)
Unfortunately It's a Small World was closed... maybe it's a good thing so we didn't walk around singing the song incessantly.