Attraction Reviews

Disney California Adventure Attraction Overhauls

Being a Disney fan for my entire life, and having visited all of the U.S. Disney Parks, I have had to deal with a lot of attractions changes. Walt Disney himself stated that Disneyland would never be finished, and Disney has kept that word by continually refurbishing and overhauling rides so they are become more modern, or fit in with new lands. The danger of this is ruining an older attraction that was well loved by many, just to throw another IP into a park.

In this post I want to talk about some of the most recent major ride changes that have occurred in DCA, a park that has changed greatly in the last decade, and continues to change. Were these ride overhauls a good decision? Let’s find out.

Soarin’ Around the World (Soarin’ Over California)

This advanced motion simulator is one of my family’s favorite rides. In 2016 the ride show was changed, and the new name Soarin’ Over The World took its place. The ride technology stayed pretty much the same, as is normal for most ride overhauls, the film was re-shot to focus on world monuments as opposed to Californian ones.

Soarin queue Epcot

This attraction is located both in Disney California Adventure at Disneyland Resort and in Epcot at Walt Disney World. There are also foreign versions in Tokyo DisneySea and Shanghai Disneyland. Having ridden both Soarin’ Over California and Soarin’ Around the World, I definitely have thoughts on this overhaul.

I didn’t think there was anything wrong with Soarin’ Over California, it was a great attraction and the familiar show sequence had become a comfort to watch everytime I visited Disneyland or Disney World. However, I very much enjoy Soarin’ Around the World. Once you get past the wonky Eiffel Tower it is a pleasant film to watch. Bonus points for it opening on the Matterhorn mountain, a favorite of mine.

I am glad that they brought back Soarin’ Over California for a short time at DCA last summer, and in my opinion I think that is where it should stay. Soarin’ Over California in Disney CALIFORNIA Adventure just makes sense. And, Soarin’ Around the World makes much more sense in EPCOT than Soarin’ Over California ever did. I’m getting sick of typing out Soarin’, let’s move on.

The Incredicoaster (California Screamin’)

I’m just going to start with giving this overhaul a big thumbs up. California Screamin’ (what is with these ride names and apostrophes) was a staple in DCA, but lacked any amount of themeing. While Andrew and I agree that some of Pixar Pier is a bit lackluster, I thoroughly enjoy the updated coaster.

The Incredibles is a well-known and loved franchise that definitely deserved to have a ride in a Disney Park. The boring blue tubes of California Screamin’ are now full of unique scenes and characters (NoM NoM Cookie Cookie!), and the entire ride tells a story as opposed to it being just a thrill ride.

Another plus of this ride overhaul is the overall appearance of the attraction. Pixar Pier isn’t my favorite part of DCA by any means, but it is hard to beat views of the Pier at night, and The Incredicoaster is a large part of that. The added lights to the tube sections of the ride as well as the tracks themselves make the entire attraction pop.

Pixar Pal-A-Round DCA night

Pixar Pier seemed to be a bit of a scramble, and I will say that some of the characters and props in The Incredicoaster attraction could have been better, or more technologically advanced, but personally I think it is a vast improvement over California Screamin’.

Guardians Of The Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! (Twilight Zone’s Tower Of Terror)

This ride overhaul, which occurred in 2017, is one that came with a large amount of backlash. Tower Of Terror is and always will be a beloved attraction, and I was not very happy when this change was announced.

ToT day DHS

Again, the ride system didn’t change in any large way when Tower Of Terror changed from being inhabited by ghosts to weird trinkets and aliens. When I first had the opportunity to ride Guardians Of The Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! I was apprehensive, because I was already missing the Tower Of Terror. But, I hate to say it, the ride did not disappoint.

The new interior is themed to be The Collector’s lobby, and there are a ton of things to look at. Also, one of the old Matterhorn yetis are in the queue, and that is LEGIT. As a pretty big fan of the Guardians Of The Galaxy movies it was cool to see Rocket and the rest of the Guardians up close and personal. While this ride certainly makes for an exciting, party-like experience that Tower Of Terror did not, this new ride lacks the eeriness and anxiety that TOT gave me before getting on the ride. Since Disney really only has one other ride that does that (the Haunted Mansion), it’s a shame that that experience is no longer available at DCA.

Mission BREAKOUT outside DCA

I still do miss the original Tower Of Terror, and if they ever change the Disney World version, or the complete copy of the DCA version at Euro Disney, I believe a large number of Disney Park’s fans would be upset including me. I’m sure Mission: Breakout! will fit in perfectly with Avenger’s Campus when it opens, but I will always toast the fallen Tower Of Terror, who didn’t deserve to go.

These are only a few of the attractions at DCA that have gotten new looks and themes in the last couple of years. King Triton’s Carousel Of the Sea is now Jesse’s Critter Carousel on Pixar Pier, and Flik’s Flyers got moved from A Bug’s Land (now nonexistent) to a new home and themed as Emotional Whirlwind, also on Pixar Pier.

With the addition of Avenger’s Campus this summer, DCA will look completely different than it did ten years ago, and I’m excited to see where all these revitalized attractions will take the park.

Birds Mission BREAKOUT DCA

Do you enjoy all of the overhauls that have happened in DCA? Let us know in the comments! Curious about planning a trip to a Disney Resort? Check out our planning guides to get you started! Thank you for reading Wandering in Disney. If you enjoy what you’re reading please subscribe to the blog via WordPress or email and like our social media pages. You can do both of those things on the right side of this page. Have a great day!

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