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Disney's California Adventure

Theme Park Guy Rating: 4.54.54.54.54.5
Date Visited:
December 30, 2007 / May 08, 2008 / December 04, 2013
Website: disneyland.disney.go.com
Location: View on map

Review

Disney’s California Adventure used to be one of the two worst parks in Disney history, however notably improved after the recent revamp. It still lacks a center, a landmark, and in my opinion an overarching identity, although efforts have been made to theme the park after a nostalgic version of California.

What's great is that the park features some really good thrill rides, which Disneyland next door lacks.

'Radiator Springs Racers', themed on Pixar’s movie ‘Cars’ and featuring the same ride technology as Epcot's 'Test Track' and Tokyo DisneySea's 'Journey to the Center of the Earth'. A solid ride with some awesome car animatronics!

'Soarin’ Over California': originally designed exclusively for this park, this is an awesome movie ride that makes you really feel like you’re flying over California’s landmarks. Wind blows in your face, your feet are dangling in the air, and the inspiring experience won’t leave you as sick as some flight simulators do.

'It’s Tough to Be a Bug!': the best 3-D movie ever produced for a Disney theme park with a great storyline and surprising effects, such as bugs and spiders attacking the audience. Everything fits together here and every joke is funny. It’s a MUST, for kids, adults and the cool guys with the oversized sunglasses in between!

'Tower of Terror': good, though not as good as the version in Florida! You will scream a lot, but don’t eat before!
'California Screamin’: a long, fast and smooth fun fair roller coaster of classic non-themed appearance with a speedy upwards acceleration at the beginning.
'Toy Story Midway Mania!': the newest addition to this park is a classy shoot-'em-up video game-themed ride.

Other attractions include 'Grizzly River Run' (a medium quality river rapids ride with no surprises and no animatronics), 'Monsters Inc.' ride for the kids, 'Muppet Vision' (a 3-D movie which is not half as fun as 'It’s Tough to Be a Bug!') and some classic fun fair rides at the far end of the park. It’s really worth the time visiting both parks, adjacent Disneyland, and this one.


Disneyland Resort seen from the helicopter, May 2008 Disneyland Resort seen from the helicopter, May 2008

Disney's California Adventure in the foreground, Disneyland in the background Disney's California Adventure in the foreground, Disneyland in the background

California Adventure entrance California Adventure entrance

A A

California Adventure street vista California Adventure street vista

Monsters, Inc. dark ride entrance Monsters, Inc. dark ride entrance

Monsters, Inc. ride, unique to this Disney park Monsters, Inc. ride, unique to this Disney park

Soarin' Over California aerial photo. Brilliant ride! Soarin' Over California aerial photo. Brilliant ride!

Boarding Soarin' Over California Boarding Soarin' Over California

The multidimensional Soarin' cinema experience The multidimensional Soarin' cinema experience

The Tower of Terror The Tower of Terror

It's a suspenseful indoor free-fall tower It's a suspenseful indoor free-fall tower

Tower of Terror at Disney's California Adventure Tower of Terror at Disney's California Adventure

Tower of Terror interior design Tower of Terror interior design

Disney actors at the reception Disney actors at the reception

The dropping elevator The dropping elevator

A Bug's Land A Bug's Land

Queue to the brilliant 3-D movie 'It's Tough to Be a Bug!' Queue to the brilliant 3-D movie 'It's Tough to Be a Bug!'

It's Tough to Be a Bug! theater It's Tough to Be a Bug! theater

Bug movie scene Bug movie scene

Paradise Pier section from above Paradise Pier section from above

The launch roller coaster is of superior quality The launch roller coaster is of superior quality

Paradise Pier roller coaster Paradise Pier roller coaster

Happy coasterers Happy coasterers

Take a look at the guy with the sunglasses (no Photoshop!) Take a look at the guy with the sunglasses (no Photoshop!)

Mickey loop Mickey loop

Paradise Pier roller coaster aerial Paradise Pier roller coaster aerial

Aerial view of the Grizzly River Run river rapids ride Aerial view of the Grizzly River Run river rapids ride

Grizzly River Run Grizzly River Run

Wet guests Wet guests

Grizzly River Run scenery Grizzly River Run scenery

River Run from above River Run from above

Soaking moments Soaking moments

Toy Story Midway Mania under construction Toy Story Midway Mania under construction

Disney's California Adventure atmosphere Disney's California Adventure atmosphere

At night At night

Update 2013: giant wheel revamped Update 2013: giant wheel revamped

Cars Land added Cars Land added

Radiator Springs Racers: Cars Land's main attraction Radiator Springs Racers: Cars Land's main attraction

Dark ride meets thrill ride Dark ride meets thrill ride

Slot car acceleration climax, similar to Epcot's Test Track Slot car acceleration climax, similar to Epcot's Test Track

Family ride at Cars Land Family ride at Cars Land