Paradise Pier

Paradise Pier
Photo via Disney Parks

Disney California Adventure features one area of the park that is uniquely Californian—Paradise Pier. Here Guests find all the fun of a typical seaside boardwalk. There are midway games, swings, a classic roller coaster, and a Ferris wheel. You can grab a bite to eat or catch a show. However, what you experience at Paradise Pier goes above and beyond anything you’d find at the seashore, because here, everything is kicked up many Disney notches!

Oh sure, there are midway games at Paradise Pier, but at Toy Story Mania, you are part of the game! As you enter the ride queue, you virtually shrink to the size of a toy and enter Andy’s room, meandering through larger-than-life cards and crayons and past Andy’s very own drawings on your way to your carnival car. This 4D interactive adventure winds through a shooting arcade. Riders compete against their tram companions, feeling breezes and mist from the targets they destroy.

And sure, there are traditional Silly Symphony Swings, but the Golden Zephyr rocket ships blast Guests off to a whole new dimension of fun! Flash back to a ‘20s movie matinee aboard a sleek silver space ship. Save the universe for 90 seconds on this retro-futuristic sci-fi ride.

Paradise Pier California Screamin Mickeys Fun Wheel
Photo via Disney Parks

California Screamin’ may be reminiscent of the coasters built before the 1930s, but it too is Disney plussed. California Screamin’ is a 1-1/8 mile steel track that swoops, swirls, dips and coils its way around other attractions on the Pier. What’s all the screamin’ about? Oh, just the “scream tubes”…or maybe the 360-degree loop-de-loop around the blazing sunburst…or it might just be because this is the longest and fastest roller coaster in all of Disneyland Resort!

Mickey’s Fun Wheel is not your average Ferris wheel either. In fact, it is considered eccentric in the pleasure wheel design spectrum. What makes this attraction unique is that of the 24 ride vehicles, only 8 are fixed to the outer rim to sway as the wheel spins. The remaining 16 are free-mounted and slip and slide along tracks on the inside spokes.

Today’s Takeaway:
Each evening, the World of Color nighttime water spectacular weaves water, color, fire and light into a kaleidoscope of fantasy and imagination right in front of Mickey’s Fun Wheel at Paradise Pier. More than 1,000 jets of water form incredible shapes in time to the music as Disney characters come to life on a shimmering veil of mist.

World of Color
Photo via Disney Parks

Today, make your own water projection screen (tutorial from eHow) to display slideshows or Powerpoint presentations on for your family and friends. *Adult supervision and assistance is required!*

You will need:
1 and 1/2 inches PVC pipe threaded on the ends
Measuring tape
Permanent marker
Electric drill
1 and 3/4 inches steel pipes with threaded ends (one cut with a 1/2 inch slit down the length of it)
4 T joint steel couplers
2 Garden hoses
2 Fountain pumps
Thread seal tape

What to do:
1) Lay the PVC pipe on the ground. Make a small dot with the permanent marker every 1/4 inch down the length of the pipe by measuring with the tape measure. These dots should be in as straight a line as possible.
2) Drill very small holes where the marker dots are located with the electric drill. Make sure to drill the holes with the same directionality to allow the droplets to eventually flow to make a curtain of water.
3) Slide the PVC inside the steel pipe with the 1/2-inch slit cut into it. Rotate the PVC so the holes line up in the center of the slit. Screw on a T joint steel coupler on each end of the steel pole with the PVC inside it so that the bottom of the T joint is pointing downward-the same direction as the holes in the PVC.
4) Screw a steel pipe into each of the downward pointing T joints to be the supports of the water screen. Screw the other two T joint couplers into the other ends of these supports so the top of the T will be resting on the ground-it will look like a reflection of the joint on the other end of the support. Screw in the remaining four steel poles into the ends of the T joints to create the base of the supports. Rotate these base supports at the T joint so they are perpendicular to the PVC pipe.
5) Attach one end of each of the garden hoses to the ends of the PVC pipe. Attach the other end of the hoses into the output location on the fountain pumps.
6) Stand the water screen frame up. Align the trough below the frame and place the fountain pumps in it at either end. Fill the trough with water. Plug the pumps in to an electrical outlet or source. Turn the pumps on. Adjust the pressure on the pumps as needed to perfect the flow of the water to create the water screen.

Once your screen is set up, get out your projector and have a magical time!

SCHOOL SUBJECT: Engineering, Carpentry, Metal Shop
SKILL LEVEL: High School

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