March 5, 2013

Goofy's Sky School: DCA's Ugly Duckling

Goofy's Sky School Wild Mouse Coaster DCA Disney Adventure
Clear across the park from the wonders of Cars Land sits the ride that, in many ways, represents the many unfortunate executive decisions that made DCA such a mediocre park in its first years: the wild mouse coaster currently known as Goofy's Sky School.

Before I continue, though, I must confess: I enjoy Goofy's Sky School, because I love good wild mouse coasters, and this one's excellent. I just wish the structure wasn't such an incredible eyesore at close range.
Goofy's Sky School Wild Mouse Coaster DCA Disney Adventure
It used to look worse, of course. It used to be be orange and green, fronted with a giant road map and named Mulholland Madness. As Goofy's Sky School, the ride has gained some charm with its whimsical theme (Goofy has turned his failed chicken ranch into a ramshackle flight academy).

Goofy's Sky School Wild Mouse Coaster DCA Disney Adventure
The new on-ride signage and humorous 2-D props add to the fun of the standard wild mouse track layout, but do little to camouflage the bleak, boxy, industrial starkness of the ride structure.
Goofy's Sky School Wild Mouse Coaster DCA Disney Adventure
Although it's an Ugly Duckling, no one expects this ride to turn into a swan. Sky School will probably be dismantled eventually and replaced by a much better ride...or at least a prettier one. In the meantime, it does DCA no harm. It's nicely camouflaged by trees and set back enough from the walkway to hide its pipes and catwalks. If you get close enough to see its workings, you're most likely lining up to ride, and--make no mistake--Goofy's Sky School delivers plenty of thrills.
Goofy's Sky School Wild Mouse Coaster DCA Disney Adventure
Previous execs -- the ones responsible for purchasing the wild mouse coaster in the first place -- might point to the crowds lining up for the Sky School as justification for their decision to buy off-the-shelf rides. The thing is, far more people line up for Radiator Springs Racers, Big Thunder, the Matterhorn and Space Mountain. And those are the kinds of rides people fall in love with and plan their vacations around. Goofy's Sky School is a fun little diversion, but few will miss it when it's replaced.

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