It’s a list world after all

On this lazy Sunday afternoon, as I’m watching the 49ers go toe-to-toe with the Tennessee Titans, I happened across a lengthy Disneyland meme on MiceChat, my favorite of the Disney theme park forums. I ditched several of the questions — figuring out which Disneyland attraction has the best cast member uniforms would require infinitely more brainpower than I’m willing to invest in such folderol — but here are my first-impulse jottings about the Happiest Place on Earth.

10 best current attractions: (in no particular order) Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones Adventure, the Haunted Mansion, the Jungle Cruise, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, the Enchanted Tiki Room.

5 best former attractions: Adventure Through Inner Space, the original Submarine Voyage, America Sings, the Carousel of Progress, the PeopleMover.

Attraction you have been on more than any other:
Pirates of the Caribbean.

Attraction you have never been on: Finding Nemo Submarines (it’s new this year, and the lines were way too long this summer when I was there), Gadget’s Go-Coaster (because my ginormous butt won’t fit in this kiddie ride).

Current attraction you will never go on again: Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. It’s long past time for a new movie in Tomorrowland’s 3D theater. Not even the sublime Marcia Strassman is enough of a draw to get me to sit through this once-enjoyable, now-shopworn experience once more.

Shortest average wait: Haunted Mansion. I can’t remember the last time I stood in line here.

Longest average wait: Splash Mountain. Especially on a hot July day.

Best attraction queue: Indiana Jones Adventure.

Best attraction pre-show: Haunted Mansion. Who doesn’t love the stretching room?

Best attraction storyline: Pirates of the Caribbean, especially with the addition of the Captain Jack Sparrow elements.

Best attraction music: Space Mountain (the Dick Dale surf-guitar soundtrack, when they’re playing it); the joyful sing-along songs of the Enchanted Tiki Room.

Best attraction spiel: Jungle Cruise, if you get a really funny skipper.

Best attraction set design/artwork: Indiana Jones Adventure.

Most immersive attraction: Pirates of the Caribbean.

Most thrilling attraction: Splash Mountain. A steep plummet, plus an ice-cold soaking.

Most boring attraction: Casey Jr. Circus Train. Seriously, a waste of space.

Best attraction ending: Splash Mountain. Not just the big drop near the end — the most adrenaline-packed moment at Disneyland — but the wonderful character-filled riverboat tableau that follows it. It’s like landing in the living room of old friends.

Attraction with worst post-attraction feeling (dizziness, nausea, etc.): Tarzan’s Treehouse. My acute acrophobia made my last trip up the branches a literally painful experience.

Best animatronic figure: C3PO, Star Tours.

Best visual effect: The Pepper’s Ghost effect in the Haunted Mansion ballroom; the Davy Jones fog projection in Pirates of the Caribbean.

Most unconvincing effect: The blowdart room, Indiana Jones Adventure.

Best attraction scene or room: The grand ballroom in the Haunted Mansion; the riverboat dock, Splash Mountain.

Worst attraction scene or room: The “Why the heck are we sitting in the dark with nothing happening?” sections of Indiana Jones Adventure.

Best ride vehicle: Indiana Jones Adventure.

Worst ride vehicle: Space Mountain. Does not make the fat guy happy.

Best walk-through attraction: The new Sleeping Beauty’s Castle diorama tour. It’s magnificent.

Best exhibit: The Disney Gallery. Always something interesting to see.

Best photo spot: Main Street, USA.

Best view of park: From the Monorail.

Best building or structure: The Haunted Mansion — it’s a classic.

Ugliest building or structure: Tomorrowland Terrace.

Best spot to sit and relax: The covered patio of the Hungry Bear Restaurant, overlooking the Rivers of America; a circuit on the Disneyland Railroad.

Best live entertainment: The Dapper Dans. Gotta represent for my barbershop homies.

Best daily event: Fireworks!

Best snack food from cart or stand: The Dole Whip from the stand outside the Enchanted Tiki Room. Frozen pineapple love in a cup.

Best counter service eatery: Cafe Orleans in New Orleans Square. Some of the best victuals in the park here.

Worst counter service eatery: Tomorrowland Terrace. Noisy, unaesthetic, and the food (I’m using that word advisedly) sucks.

Best full-service restaurant: Blue Bayou. You simply have to enjoy a meal here at least once in a lifetime.

How many miles do you live from Disneyland? 450, almost exactly.

The #1 priority for Disneyland now is: Get me to move closer!

Explore posts in the same categories: Aimless Riffing, Disney, Listology

4 Comments on “It’s a list world after all”

  1. Hilly Says:

    When Dave and I went to Disney World last month, we went on Splash Mountain 13 times…no joke. I love that ride.

    With that said, Disneyland owns Disney World any day of the week!

    • SwanShadow Says:

      Hilly: I love Splash Mountain, too, despite the fact that it requires me to get soaking wet, which I don’t love so much.

      People who’ve experienced both always seem to favor Disneyland over its ginormous Floridian sibling. One of these days, I’ll get out to the Sunshine State and decide for myself.

  2. Sank Says:

    My favorite line ever on the Jungle Cruise- at the end “Don’t forget your little ones, kids left on the boat get taken over to the “small world” nailed the floor and forced to sing the song for the rest of time.

    • SwanShadow Says:

      Sank: Several years ago, the girls and I got stuck on It’s a Small World for 45 minutes, due to a technical breakdown. The ride staff didn’t shut off the soundtrack until we were a half-hour into the ordeal.

      You have no idea of the damage 30 solid minutes of kiddie voices chirping “It’s a Small World” will do to the human brain.

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