California “Adventure”

Apparently not having learned from the Epcot disaster 20 years ago that tourists don’t want to educate themselves on their vacations, Disney has repeated their mistakes across the country at the new California Adventure theme park. Here you can pay the same price for half the rides, which include such thrilling excitements as watching bread bake! And if that isn’t exciting enough, you can go across the street and watch a different kind of bread bake! After which it’s only a short walk to the theatre where you can see a classroom filmstrip about the history of California! And then learn about California crops! If you’re all tuckered out from these exciting adventures, you might want to learn how to draw. Hard as it is to believe, I am not making this up. These really are “attractions” at California Adventure.

If after all this, you find yourself just too tired to ride one more ride, (more likely too tired to stand in one more line) you can sit in air conditioned comfort while watching an hour-long musical adaptation of a Disney movie. You’ve heard of straight-to-video movies? Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular is the stage equivalent: it skipped Broadway and the national tour to go straight to theme parks. The Lion King this isn’t. Heck, it’s not even Aida. Frankly I wouldn’t be surprised to learn the music and lyrics were written by the Orangeview Jr. High School band director, and performed by its drama club. (And if anyone from Orangeview Jr. High School is reading this, my apologies in advance for calumnying you that way. I’m sure you really are better than that.)

Of course I am picking on some of the most boring experiences there. There some nice touches too. The Tower of Terror is genuinely terrifying. Soaring Over California is a lot more exciting and fun than it sounds. It’s Hard to be a Bug is amusing; but that’s pretty much it. For the same $56 it costs to get into California Adventure, you could buy a one day pass to the Magic Kingdom with many more interesting rides to choose from.

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