California Adventure was a park based on the beauty and fun of California many years ago. One thing I remember as a child was the fair or carnival. Something that traveled and brought fun, food and rides to a small patch of land. Paradise Pier is a land very reminiscent of those memories. This entire pier area is one of my favorite lands in both Disneyland and California Adventure.
One reason is the beauty. Disney has literally created their own pier. The land is built around a patch of water that resembles the ocean. The walkways are planks of wood just like a pier. Everything makes you feel as if you are far away from the city and out near nature. The other reason I love this land is because of the atmosphere. It feels just like the carnival has come to town.
Friendly cast members, food and novelties everywhere. With the exception of the McDonalds, the theme for this part of the park is absolutely amazing. On the other side of the coin, the rides are also just like carnival rides. There are some “Disneyized” attractions, but most of these attractions are simple, and safer carnie rides.
Paradise Pier: California Screamin’, Maliboomer, Sun Wheel, Mulholland Madness, Orange Stinger, Golden Zephyr, King Triton’s Carousel and Jumpin’ Jellyfish. As you can see most of these attractions are based off of carnival rides. I will say that this area of the park is very large and spread out with shops, carnival games and restaurants. The beauty of the Pier is the amount of space available. Although everything is very well placed, it feels as though there is a lot of elbow room.
This optical illusion is very pleasing, because you don’t feel squished or very close to many people. California Screamin’ is the biggest attraction in the Paradise Pier area and possibly the first or second attraction in the park. This is a massive and long roller coaster. It’s a standard metal roller coaster. The ride vehicle is very comfortable and very safe. Nothing new or unique about this coaster, but the loops and view from the top of the coaster are breathtaking. This ride is built for teens and older. I would not suggest letting any child under the age of 10 ride this coaster.
Maliboomer is a giant freefall with a barf shield in front of you. I have not ridden this attraction for the fact that each rider has a Plexiglas shield in front of them. I’m guessing to protect viewers from being barfed on from 180 feet in the air. Sun Wheel is one of the largest and coolest ferris wheel. Mulholland Madness is a short and very jerky ride. This is a very fun attraction to ride only if the line is short. Do not wait more than fifteen minutes for this attraction, it’s not worth it.
Basically your car takes hairpin turns, goes up and down hills and that’s it. Nothing special, just plain fun. Orange Stinger is the adult size version of Flik’s Flyers. Golden Zephyr, think Astro Orbiter with steel ropes. King Triton’s Carousel, this is a standard carousel with a Little Mermaid theme. Jumpin’ Jellyfish is a lighter version of Maliboomer. You go up and down but slowly, this ride is more for the view than the drops.
As you can see most of these rides are self explanatory. There is not much in the cool effects and new stuff department. But nostalgia and good family fun are very present here in this land. I do say that this part of the park can get very very busy. If you are planning to ride most of these attractions, I suggest getting to this land first thing during the day. Mainly because these attractions have limited load and unload times and only two of the attractions here have the Fastpass option; California Screamin’ and Mulholland Madness.