So last weekend I finally visited Disneyland for the 1st time, something that I felt was a long time coming since while I've been to WDW three times, the last time I was there was Spring Break of...2005. Add in the fact that DL is far closer (and cheaper), and with the opening of Galaxy's Edge, I figured this year was the time to finally go. So what did I think and how does it compare to WDW for me? Let's start at the beginning... Friday was a travel day for me, arriving at Santa Ana late at night and being greeted with the news of another earthquake that happened earlier. Not the news I wanted to hear, but I wasn't gonna' let that deter me. I headed off to my hotel to check in and attempt to sleep. I stayed offsite at the Park Vue Inn, something that was recommended to me by one of my Dad's coworkers. Now I'm normally used to the Orlando parks where staying on site is the way to go, so it was a bit of a shock to stay off site...yet be just as close -if not closer- to the park than the on site hotels! Just cross the street and you're right there! The hotel is worth it just for that convenience, and on top of that the hotel was quite nice. Saturday was jam packed, starting with a Magic Morning at Disneyland. Now I heard that Magic Morning/EMH's at DL are really good. More so than WDW's which always felt like a waste considering that the crowds are big enough to the point where it doesn't feel like you're getting any advantage at the park. So combine that fact with DL's abnormally lower crowds, I was stunned arriving around 30 minutes early and the turnstiles were only tens of people deep! Once I was in, I joined the throng of people in powerwalking the heck down Main Street. Admittedly it was funny as heck since you could clearly sense everyone wanted to flat out run, but we all knew we couldn't. It was also really nice seeing a bunch of management/higher ups doing their walks around the park as well. After I made it into Fantasyland, I proceeded to ride the following rides in rapid-fire succession... Peter Pan's Flight (1st person on it, too!) - This was my first Disney ride at WDW, so this was a fitting 1st in DL. I did like this version more than WDW's, though I will admit PPF is a little on the overrated side as the ride feels too short for how long you're usually waiting in line for. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride - This was completely new for me as Pooh was already in at WDW, and I can now see why those in Orlando miss this ride. This ride is pure, zany fun! I was laughing the whole ride through, and this quickly became one of my favorite fantasyland dark rides. As for another one... Alice in Wonderland - Dang! This is a fantastic example of a dark ride getting plussed. The addition of the animation/screens/projections really enhanced the ride, a great example being the flower scene where both the animated and practical set's blended perfectly together. Just like Mr. Toad, this quickly became a favorite. The Matterhorn - While I've heard mixed reports of people thinking it's rough or not, I personally really enjoyed it. The yeti AA is quite nice, and the single rider line made this coaster a breeze to hit up again and again. Hyperspace Mountain - Couple things here. When it comes to WDW's SM, I really do like the track layouts/ride, and I still do. DL's kicks all sorts of @$$ in more ways than one. It feels way faster, wilder, the effects are better and the on-board soundtrack is a plus. It also helps that the Hyperspace Mountain overlay is downright awesome. I love how the ride just gradually ramps up till you have laser fire whizzing by in all directions. This ride just packed a punch, and like with the Matterhorn, single rider was the way to go to get a whole lot of rides in. Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters - This is always a enjoyable little ride, and this is instantly better than WDW's as you're able to freely aim your blaster a la' MIB. Star Tours: The Adventure Continues - So this was brand new for me, and I liked the updates for this. The 3d was good, I liked the different scenes and oh yeah, I was the Rebel Spy in my first ride so that was a sweet way to get things started. After Star Tours, they were just about ready to open the rest of the park. So in that Magic Morning I was able to get 7 rides in, which I never even got close to doing that in WDW. I legged it to New Orleans Square to join the mob heading into Galaxy's Edge, where my thoughts on that are in the GE thread. (In short, I liked it!) After G.E., I went all over the park. Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye - Going into this trip, there was a lot of hype for this ride. An I'm very happy to say this ride lived up to that hype and then some. My 1st ride I was the driver of the jeep, and I was blown away. The ride is awesome, and for me this is one of the GOAT's of modern dark rides along with Spider-Man at IOA and WDW's Tower of Terror. An oh look, another single rider line to make great use out of! Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin - Loved it! An I'm really happy knowing it's not getting removed to make way for M&MRR, since this is a unique dark ride that's a step above some of the other fantasyland rides. Plus I never expected this ride would have a "How'd they do that?!" effect with the portable hole. BTMR - Like with WDW's version, this coaster is proof you don't need to be the tallest or fastest to be flat out fun. An while I give the edge to WDW's with a better layout, I noticed a lot more theming on DL's, plus it has the awesome third lift effects with the blasting tunnel. After a good chunk of rides, it was time for a snack. So I went down to Main Street to see what all the fuss was about with the corn dogs coming out of a little red wagon. An now I'm a believer as that was a dang good corn dog! With my snack acquired, I figured it would be a good time to visit DCA. An it's also a good time for me to end Part 1 of my TR. Part 2 will cover a bit of DCA, explosive ice cream bars, nighttime spectacular's at DL, and when boat rides turn into Omnimovers!