Please note there are some "editor's notes" in this article - it was originally written for Mickey News, and at the time the editor made some comments based on what I had written
Hi all! This is a trip report about my recent visit to Disneyland Resort in California. I have visited the Resort several times before, and have also visited Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort Paris numerous times, but DisneylandCalifornia has always remained my favourite. So, I was a bit alarmed by a few things that I couldn’t help but notice on my recent trip.
I have been a fan ever since I can remember and have always adored Disneyland, so when Roy Disney and various others started making accusations last year I didn’t want to believe them. Especially those about how the parks are falling into disrepair and being built on the cheap!
But how right they are, as I found out!
I don’t like to complain, and I hate to put mistrust in the company I not only adore but work for, but this time I think it went too far!
The day started out fantastic; the weather was scorching hot, we had our tickets, it was a quite day and the park was open until late.
We got through the gates fine and stood to take a moment looking at the Main Street USA Station. I come over all excited and was just dying to get inside!
So through the tunnels we went and took our first steps onto Main Street USA.
It was just as I remembered it- no, better!
Excited, we worked our way up the Main Street towards the lovely Sleeping Beauty Castle.
As we walked up the Main Street I noticed that one of the shops was having refurbishment work being done to it. I tried to ignore it (I had never seen building work going on inside the park before and thought it was a bit tacky of them).
We continued to work our way around the park, starting in Adventureland, then onto New Orleans Square, and then into Frontierland.
As went to queue for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad it broke down! Ok, so I know nothing runs smoothly in the real world, and it’s not the first time I had been to a park and a ride had broken down, so I tried to put it behind me and carried on around the park.
We went to Critter Country and tried to get on Splash Mountain and guess what?! That BROKE DOWN TOO! Just as we were to queue for it! And then literally seconds later we walked over to the Winnie the Pooh ride and THAT BROKE DOWN TOO! Literally seconds after Splash Mountain!!
I couldn’t believe it! Surely after all the bad press recently and especially after that poor guy died on Big Thunder last year things would have improved?! Evidently not!
Okay, so I was getting a bit annoyed by this point; that was now at least three of the major attraction in the park so far that had been closed! All within a short space of time! Of course the park had its fair share of planned closures that day too (things that were on refurbishment etc), including the Disney Gallery and the Columbia Sailing Ship.
We made our way around to Fantasyland.
We queued for about half an hour on the Matterhorn Bobsleds. We got on it. It got to the tunnel where you enter the track and the alarm sounded!! It too HAD BROKEN DOWN!! And this time we had actually got as far as getting on the thing! Now I was really annoyed!
Same thing happened on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride!!
(No, I am not making any of this up!! This is all true!! Yes, all these things really did go wrong!!)
Anyway, we decided to go into Toon Town where thankfully everything was running okay. But it spoils your day and after about the fifth time you start to get paranoid! You start thinking that you are never going actually get on anything and that you have wasted the day. So all round it causes disappointment and you become disheartened. Disney isn’t supposed to do that to you. It’s meant to be ‘the happiest place on Earth’, right?
Also in Fantasyland Peter Pan’s Flight was closed for refurbishment and the Canal Boats were closed by the time we got to them too (they shut as night falls anyway). (EDITORS NOTE: They shut them down for safety reasons at the time of the parades and then re-open them a short time after the parade is over. I asked a CM this weekend about it and was told it was due to the noise of the parade going by. The CM’s and guests would not be able to hear warnings or the speech due to the proximity to the parade route.)
Finally we went to Tomorrowland and I was wondering what could go wrong here, but we didn’t actually go on anything in here in the end anyway. But, I was surprised to see yet more refurbishments. The Space Exhibit was closed, as wasSpace Mountain (although I was actually aware of that before I arrived anyway). (EDITORS NOTE: Space Exhibit is not on the attraction list anymore as they are creating the new Buzz Lightyear attraction that will open next year in that location.)
So all in all, I had a bit of a disappointing day. We had a fantastic time on all the attractions we did get to go on, and amazingly for one day at a Disney park, we got on 21 attractions! Which is an achievement! Had half the things we queued for not closed we would not have wasted so much time and we would have been on more!
Let’s hope that the company takes some serious time to think about where it is going next, and let’s hope for an even happier ‘happiest place on Earth’ in the not too distant future.
Thanks for reading my moans - like I said, I work for the company, so I don’t write this to knock them, I write it because I am concerned.