The final day of my trip was a mad dash around several different parks, brought on chiefly by my desire to ride a number of specific coasters before catching an evening flight back home from Los Angeles. While it was possible for me to ride everything on my shopping list the day could not be described as enjoyable, as many other attractions that caught my eye simply had to be left aside for a future visit. It would not have been difficult for me to spend an entire day in Disneyland alone, and I didn't even make it next door into the Disney California Adventure park. With luck there'll be more time on my next visit.
The park could well have been rebranded today as the busiest place on earth, with ridiculous numbers of people in the place. This should not have surprised me given the fact that it was a holiday weekend, but this meagre factoid had somehow slipped beneath the radar during my trip planning. By the time my feet brought me to the queue for Space Mountain (#1144), a little before nine in the morning, the wait was already an hour long. Fast pass tickets were being distributed for two in the afternoon, a nice idea but not practical with my planned schedule.
As I'd expected the installation here was basically identical to that at Hong Kong Disneyland, making it by default a contender for one of the best indoor coaster experiences in the world. The only difference that I could determine was the lack of a single rider queue on this version, with the result that a small but significant number of seats in each rocket were going out empty. Hopefully this is something that will be resolved in the future.
A quick walk around the park showed waits exceeding an hour on every ride worth the effort, with only the two high capacity dark rides bucking the trend. Pirates of the Caribbean has been refurbished since my last visit, with several obvious ties to the movie. I'm not sure that these were an improvement to be honest, but to each their own I suppose. The Haunted Mansion had also changed from what I remembered, and in this case the result was stunning. Some of the effects made me wonder how on earth they were achieved, which is truly the mark of an outstanding attraction.