November 15, 2012

Golden Zephyr: A Relaxing Flight Above Paradise Pier

Golden Zephyr Disney California Adventure Paradise Pier swing ride
On your next trip to Disney California Adventure, take a few minutes to enjoy one of the park's original -- and often overlooked -- attractions: The Golden Zephyr in Paradise Pier.

The ride garnered a pile of resentment when DCA first opened, as its simplicity seemed to symbolize the insulting, cost-cutting mindset that clouded the park's early years. The situation's changed, now that DCA can finally boast a solid roster of great attractions; suddenly there's a welcome spot for the Zephyr's basic, old-fashioned charms.

Adam and Andrew of the Disney Hipster Blog noted the ride's connection to England's Blackpool Pleasure Beach. The historic, low-tech atmosphere of Golden Zephyr gives the ride an unexpected bit of depth, as you really are experiencing a sensation from the amusement industry's past.

The ride is a charming, easy-going thrill, swinging you out over the walkway and the waters of Paradise Bay. The views are wonderful, the loading and unloading spiels provide some fun period character acting, and -- simple as it is -- this is a unique form of swing ride that most guests have not experienced before.

I have to admit, I was one of the many who resented Golden Zephyr's simplicity when it first opened. Now, I actually hope it never leaves.

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