Tuesday, July 07, 2009

You can go your own way

Lunch at the Pacific Wharf Café was very satisfying. So now what?

For the first time in all of our travels together, it seems that we all have different ideas about what to do next. I’d like to ride the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Back in 2003 Brandon and I went to ride the Tower of Terror in Florida, but we only got as far as the preshow – he was 8 then, and while he was prepared for the scariness of the drop, he wasn’t at all prepared for the Twilight Zone creepiness of it all, so we left without riding. I’ve been itching to try it out ever since – and Brandon, six years older, wants to also.

But Brandon also wants to ride California Screamin’ again, as does my dad. As limited as my walking is, though, I really don’t want to backtrack. I’ve done the rides I most wanted to do in that area, so I’m ready to move on.

Added into this is the fact that Becky and her parents want to leave California Adventure altogether and go back to Disneyland, to ride Peter Pan’s Flight and it’s a small world. Benjamin wants to go back to drive on Autopia, if it's operating. I wouldn't mind doing Disneyland again, but with my need to minimize walking so I don't flair up the asthma even more, that's not my favorite option.

In the end, we split up. Becky, Benjamin, Bob & Linda are going to Disneyland. Brandon, my parents and I will head towards Tower of Terror, taking in It’s Tough to Be a Bug along the way. After Tower, we’ll likely split up ourselves, with Brandon and my dad heading back to Paradise Pier, and my mom and I riding Monsters Inc. and whatever else we can find without too much exertion.

We bid goodbye to the four returning to Disneyland – making sure everyone is carrying his or her own park tickets and bus pass this time! – and my parents, Brandon and I set off for A Bug’s Land.

We pass under the Bug’s Land sign and quickly locate the queue for It’s Tough to Be a Bug to the left. I’m looking forward to this. I’ve seen it twice in Florida, though it scared the willies out of then six-year-old Benjamin (and he hasn’t wanted to see it again since). I think my parents will enjoy it.

The queue doesn’t have any of the grandeur that the Florida version does, but then how could it, since the queue at the Animal Kingdom winds through the roots of the majestic Tree of Life and all of its animal carvings. This version of the queue is still cleverly, if subtly, themed. As you wind your way down to the entrance, the dirt and grass around you seem to get larger, as do the rocks embedded in the dirt. It gives the effect that you are shrinking down to bug size as you go.

We get our “bug” 3-D glasses and enter the darkened pre-show area. In my past two viewings of this show, I started loading in pretty quickly and didn’t have as much time to view the spoofs of Broadway posters mounted on the walls: Antie (instead of Annie), Beauty and the Bees, A Cockroach Line. As I’ve written, my family loves puns, so we’re all groaning as we read each poster.

I’ve noticed an odd behavior for these shows – people like to crowd right up against the line for the show doors. If they put any thought into it, they wouldn’t be so eager to be the first in, since everyone is directed to continue across the rows of seats. If you’re first in, you’re closer to the far edge of the theater. It’s far better to stand back from the doors and end up closer to the middle. (Of course, many of the me-first people are the same ones who then ignore the rules and stop in the middle of the rows, making people climb over them. Gee, I hope it didn’t hurt too much when I stepped on your feet as I passed you!)

Show time! It’s fun to hear my parents enjoying all the wonderful, imaginative Disney touches in the show. They gasp with delight when the curtain of butterflies takes flight and laugh at all the surprising squirts of “acid” and “stings” of bees.

I especially enjoy hearing them react to the “bug’s exit” at the end of the show. Too funny!

Okay, back into the sunlight we go – time for the Tower of Terror! It’s a beautiful Anaheim day as we stroll through the park, heading to the Hollywood Pictures backlot.

I’ve not been to this section of the park before. It reminds me a lot of the Studios in Florida – Hollywood-style architecture, even the “street extending into the distance” fake buildings and massive painted scene like on the Streets of America. There are also occasional collections of lights, director’s chairs and such, as if this were a working studio lot.

We turn the corner and see the Tower of Terror looming above us. I’m getting excited, maybe even a bit nervous! It’s been a long time since I’ve done any kind of a drop ride, so I’m very curious how I’ll take this.

Wait time? Twenty-five minutes. We can handle that.

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