I love Disneyland. I have loved Disneyland my entire life without limits. I regularly researched ticket prices and package deals for Walt Disney World since I was 9 years old.
I attribute their success to Walt’s ability to tap into his inner child in such a way that it could be timeless and accessible to everyone. It’s a place where time stands still. It’s a world of fantasy, of better days, of childhood memories and escape.
But TODAY, it has become a place where you wait in line for hours and could potentially end up paying over $1000.00 for an Annual Pass without block out dates. I love Disneyland, but it does not love me back. I’ll go back to visit in October when my friends visit from Nor Cal. But even then, maybe I’ll just go to Downtown Disney and leave it at that.
Before I had the Disneyland Annual Pass (for the past three years), I had a Universal Studios Pass. I originally got it on a whim when my sister got it and then myself and another friend got them two years in a row. It had been 10 years since I had been there before that point.
Universal Studios has always been a B plan after Disney and Knotts was the C plan. I only go when I can get in free or at a good discount. Universal didn’t have that generational legacy or emotional pull for me. It was something to do for a day in Los Angeles. It closed early, it never changed and it was very small. It was practically ALL shows. I’m not even sure why I had an Annual Pass there for as long as I did. I knew I wasn’t going to go back until it had totally changed again. I will never forgive them for getting rid of the ET ride.
That brings me up to a couple weeks ago, when my best friend and I decided we were going to get an Annual Pass. It was the cheapest way for us to go and pratically the whole park had changed since I had last been there.
I’m a huge Simpsons Fan and she’s a huge Harry Potter Fan, so we took turns nerding out.The most suprising thing was that we stayed all day and didn’t do everything.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is small, but it looks big. There are only two rides, one restaurant, a few shops and some snack carts.
Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey was by far one of the biggest mind freak rides I have ever been on. Now that the park is going in the direction of providing all emersive experiences, they have really made use of technology in new amazing ways that make you question reality. It had the greatest line walk through that I’ve ever experienced. It was an indoor rollercoaster, with a mix of actual animatronic and dome screen projections. If you’ve been on the Transformers ride, it’s the same kind of concept engineering wise.
We had frozen Butterbeer, ran around Springfield, watched the Waterworld Stunt Show, rode Despicable Me ride, the Mummy, Jurassic Park and the Backlot tour. Then, we left about an hour before the park closed.
The biggest disappointment for the both of us was the Fast and Furious “ride along” part of the Backlot Tour. There’s no movie magic in the world that was going to convince us that it wasn’t a total waste of time.
We didn’t have time for the Animal Actor Show or the new Special Effects show. It was a little disapointing. But for the FIRST time ever, I had a reason to go back.