We are off to an excellent start! Since I'm writing this post the night before it will go up, I can't reveal the winner of yesterday's rounds (because not all the votes have been cast). So, if you're looking for how your favorite ride is doing so far....I got nothing for you. But, I DO have a slew of new ride battles to choose between! Without any further ado, let's get going on the next four matches!
Match 64.5 (I'm using a new numbering system, which will remind me this is the 5th battle of the round of 64)
Gadget's Go Coaster
Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
Gadget's Go Caster was for me, one of the first roller coasters I would go on willingly. On my earliest visits to Disneyland, I was only okay on going on Autopia, because it was safe. At some point i remember being convinced that Gadget's Go Coaster was okay, along with Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (as long I was sitting near the front). Also, I was tricked into getting on California Screamin', but that's another story. Anyway, it's good as a beginner to roller coaster thrills, but these days it's apparent that this ride is definitely not for people my size (6' 2"). It's also a pretty short ride, and so I rarely think that it's worth a trip out to Toontown to ride it. I suppose that opinion might change with children, but we will have to see. On the Monster's Inc side, this is one dark ride I really enjoy. The history of Superstar Limo being (pretty much) the worst Disney ride failure is interesting to me. I remember seeing the building in the early days of California Adventure, but our visits happened after it had closed, so I never saw this building until it had reopened with the retheme. Another example of some really good effects. I still have no idea if the Roz animatronic has some sort of programmable response like an early version of Toy Story Midway Mania's Mr. Potato Head, but it always seems to have a relevant response when you stop at it right before unloading. Maybe I've just been lucky, I don't know. Either way, I'm going to give it to Mike and Sulley in this one.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Radiator Springs Racers
I'm interested to see how this one goes. My sister is so upset with the fact that these rides are going against each other in the first round because they are both so good and hard to choose between. It's another juxtaposition of a famous classic pitted against a recent pull-out-all-the-stops E ticket thrill ride. Both are good options. There's something about Pirates that always hits my nostalgia itch, and I love the Disneyland version much more that the one at Walt Disney World (how many times have I said that already?). There is one "black spot" if you will, that has dampened my enjoyment of this ride recently, and that's the redhead in the auction scene. For those of you unfamiliar with this change, for years there was a scene where a pirate captain led an auction of the pretty female residents of the town they have just sacked, so that the pirates could have a "wench for a bride." The famous image of this scene is a tall skinny redhead showing off her goods while the pirates across the water cry "we wants the redhead!" However, there has been a lot of controversy, especially recently, that this was in poor taste. Since pirates are known for their staunch political correctness, the scene was changed to be an auction of expensive bounty found throughout the town (because there is such a high demand for chandeliers and paintings on board ships, you know), and the redhead was changed to be a pirate with a line of her own: the stereotypical "drink up, me hearties! Yo ho!" #somuchbetter Obviously, I'm not a fan of this change, so we're going with Radiator Springs Racers. An excellent ride, despite the improvements that could be made, that is always a fun romp. Except when you have
to wait a ridiculous amount of time in the queue for it.
Storybook Land Canal Boats
Mad Tea Party
Like I said before, I swear I randomized these, but still these rides which are right next to each other ended up in the same matchup. Between the two, I'm picking the Storybook Land Canal boats, because it has a little more substance to it that the tea cups. I'm not one of those people who tend to get sick on this ride, and I do love walking by this ride and hearing the soundtrack. But I'm usually walking past to get to something else. Storybook Land I will go on occasionally. Besides, the best part of this ride is seeing gigantic killer man-eating ducks terrorizing the miniature scale London Park.
Jungle Cruise is an awesome ride, but it can be somewhat hit-or-miss, depending upon your skipper. I've had trips where I'm dying of laughter, but also those where everyone is in stone-faced silence. I feel bad for those skippers who get a bad boat, but it can also be an issue of their timing or not speaking clearly into the mike. However, I do respect these cast members for putting themselves out there so much all the time. There are also a plethora of stories that come out of the Jungle Cruise regarding behind the scenes hijinks among the cast that work there, and that's awesome. Golden Zephyr is a good way to cool off, and does light up nicely, but other than that it's pretty much a run-of-the-mill carnival ride, with little to offer to set it apart from anything else. If I'm looking for a swing ride, I will gravitate towards the Zephyr rather than the Silly Symphony Swings (which will show up later in our tournament).
And that's all for today. Come back again tomorrow for more musings on the rides at Disneyland, and maybe the results of our first battles (depending on whether I'm in the mood).