Disney Geeking - Medals and Carsland!

Hello Runners,

So this post is going to focus more on Disney with some exciting news and medal reveals for the marathon weekend and then a trip report from Disneyland from last weekend!  So scatter and scoot and away we go...

RunDisney was all a buzz with information this week as the Great Medal Caper finished and they revealed the Donald Half Marathon Medal (awesome!) and the Mickey Marathon Medal (Beyond amazing, I love the quotes they chose).  Unfortunately the Goofy didn't get much love but I'll take what I can get.

So my efforts completing the Goofy not only will earn me the Donald and Goofy medals but this beauty...

I love everything about this medal.  The quotes, the spinners, and everything in between.

Also, RunDisney launched a new website which is beautiful... Check it out... http://www.rundisney.com/

So now on to my trip report!  So let me preface this with (1) I'm a huge Disney Parks fan and (2) for full disclosure I do work for Disney Interactive Media Group but in no way are the opinions presented here anything but my own.

So I made this trip because I use to work at Walt Disney World (WDW) and I had some friends who had saved up some tickets to check out Disneyland Resort (DLR). They had planned a trip to come out and check out the new Disney California Adventure (DCA) and so I drove down from the San Francisco Area and park hopped with them. The last time I had been to DLR was 4 years ago so the entire DCA change was new to me.  SPOILER ALERT: Lots of pictures ahead of Carsland.

The weekend was so fun!  We did a ton and the new DCA lived up to everything I had heard.  I still feel like the park has a strange layout but it may just be that it's the one park I'm not very familiar with.   Here are the highlights.


It is awesome!  I'm not a huge Cars fan, honestly I've never seen Cars but it's in my Netflix queue now, but I was blown away.  I kind of spoiled it by watching videos and seeing pictures of the land after it opened but it still didn't disappoint.  The rockwork alone is jaw dropping... 

I made it!

What a great sign!

And as with any Disney Park... it looks even better at night!

This was a cool streetmosphere with DJ!

Some foliage...

I think this picture shows my favorite part of the Cars experience though...

 This is Mater leaving after his meet and greet.  Him and McQueen take turns greeting guests and they actually drive through Carsland to get there.  It was so cool just seeing them drive around like this.  A great touch!

 Okay now that I've shown you the pictures I'll give my feedback.  The Radiator Springs Racers (RSR) ride is really well done.  It has story, dark ride elements, and the right kind of family thrill when you get to race.  I really loved it.  They are still working out some of the kinks but it's a great experience and well worth the wait.  The audio-animatronics inside the show building are awesome.  It really feels like these cars are talking to you!  Job well done Disney team!

The rest of the area is steeped in immersion.  Everywhere you turn you are in the movie.  From Flo's cafe to the Cozy Cone (which is my favorite area of this land).  For example at the Cozy Cone the light posts have cones on them, the buildings are cones, and even the landscape geniuses found a flower that is orange and cone shaped.  All the details are there.  It's amazing!

One of my favorite parts of the land is Mater's Junkyard Jamboree!  The ride itself is fun in it's simplicity but it's the details that really take it to the next fun level!  First the tractors are adorable.  Second the area is so well themed. Third and most important, during the ride, Mater sings!  Yes, they got Mater (Larry the Cable Guy) to record songs that play while you are being twisted and twirled around.  They are so fun and I've been listening to them all week.  Here's my favorite one... Junkyard Jamboree

The only ride I didn't experience was Luigi's Flying Tires but my friends say it was fun and well-done.  Overall, this new land gets an A+!

Also, over at DCA I got to see World of Color for the first time and all I can say is wow!  It was beautiful and breath-taking.  I had stayed away from the videos of this one because I wanted to experience it for the first time in person and I'm so glad I did.  I generally knew what to expect but it blew me away.  I don't have any pictures of it because I really like living the experience rather than experiencing it from behind a lens but if you're curious there are tons of pictures and videos out there.   I've heard rumors that Illuminations might be getting an update and if they can work in some elements of this show, it would be awesome!

So some other tid-bits from the trip:
-Pirates of the Carribean at DLR is still amazing and definitely the best version!
-Got to ride Big Thunder Mountain (aka my favorite ride) and it did not disappoint.  Love this run-away mine train!

-Got to really experience Indiana Jones and the Forbidden Temple and it was amazing!  So backing up, 4 years ago I was at DLR and did go on the ride. However, I'm a chicken and was really nervous to go on it, so my experience was stunted because I was just hoping to get through it.  This time around though I went on it twice and made sure to look around. Wow, they didn't miss anything it that beautiful cavern.  Love Indy and love this ride!
-I still stand by that Pinocchio is one of the scariest rides at DLR.  I made the mistake of going on it by myself and it was a little nerve-racking. It has a beautiful show building though.

-Rode the original Small World and it was beautiful. This one was closed last time I was in DLR so it was nice to see.  Also, saw Merida's meet and greet area and it was adorable.  I love the 3 little bears, so cute!
-Space Mountain in DLR is awesome.  I still like the track layout at WDW better, so if they could/would combine the smoothness of the DLR version and the track of WDW it would be perfect.
-Rode the Nemo Submarine Ride and it was adorable.  Loved this ride and highly recommend it!

So that about sums it up.  If you have any other questions you can leave them in the comments section below!

And remember...

Now your spinnin's all been spun, come on back and we'll have more fun at the Junkyard Jamboree!

Thanks for reading!