* After you read this report you may want to check
out the pictorial updates in our updates
The goal of this Friday's trip was to see the newly re-opened Pirates of
the Caribbean and the Disney Gallery Exhibit, survive the heat and crowds,
and to just relax. I managed to succeed on all fronts. I went into the day
expecting long hot waits to get on Pirates and was pleasantly surprised to
find the line under 30 minutes most of the afternoon and inching upwards to
35 minutes later in the evening. Other lines around Disneyland were on the
light side for a holiday weekend, but still healthy as you saw in the line
board photos. DCA on the other hand was empty/dead feeling. The waits for
GRR and Soarin were both 45 minutes which was long, but not too long for summer.
Where as Tower and Monsters where walk ons.
Trip logs and mileage reports are in the Park
DCA & Disneyland Notes:
Pirates have definitely taken over the Resort. You are greeted by a
large Pirates sign at the M&F Tram stop, Pirates Banners at Downtown
Disney and a Pirates Guide map @ Disneyland. The slogan is "The Classic
Attraction Returns" and the Picture has the Castle, Jack Sparrow,
and two ships.. I think its a great campaign. Also you cannot go into
many gift shops on property without coming across Pirates related merchandise.
Its everywhere... I think its a little too much, I really miss the days
when there was more unique merchandise for each land but at least the
merchandise now is somewhat park related and not the same stuff you can
find at your local Disney Store.
OK time for some thoughts on the Enhanced Attraction. I really enjoyed
the trip. It appears that a lot of time and effort went into making the
new characters, set pieces, sound track, and dialog fit within the existing
attraction without altering it too much. For those who have never ridden
or those who do not ride that frequently the show is seem less. For those
who are Disneygeeks and know the attraction like the back of their hands
its a blast to ride through and see the little tweaks and changes. For
a listing of the big changes check out the press release that details
them (click here).
My favorite enhancement has to be the sound track/speaker system. They
have replaced all the speakers and installed several new locations too.
Also now the parts of the movie score are integrated into the soundtrack.
The most noticeable scene for this is the bombardment scene where the
Wicked Wench is shooting at the fort. This scene is incredible now. With
the base of the cannon fire, music, and the new dialog Barbosa uses that
combines some of the classic phrases with new demands for Jack Sparrow
to really set up the story.
As you ride through the attraction you will find many little touches
now too such as a sunken dinky near the storm scene, a Parrot skeleton
in the Captains Quarters, or some extra "burning" lumber near
the finale. All of these really add to the attraction and make it fun
for those who visit alot and add to the already incredible detail found
The new AA figures of Jack Sparrow and Barbosa are incredible. The Jack
Sparrow ones look to be among the most lifelike in any park I have seen
so far. The movements and gestures match the character so well and are
so fluid its great!
The crowd control for the attraction seemed to have things under tight
control during the afternoon and my first two ride throughs. There were
plenty of CMs along the queue to help keep the line moving, guests from
cutting in line, and to just make sure everything was orderly. By evening
this seemed to deteriorate a bit and there was a bottleneck near the entrance
and it seemed as if the Fantasmic crowd control CMs and the Attraction
Crowd Control CMs both ignored the area for some reason. The other crowd
issue we noticed was with the wheelchair/disabled entrance. You still
have to go through the exit and line up along the 2nd boat in the loading
area, but now there are CMs outside holding the line so it does not bunch
up inside and to keep the flow moving. There were at least two, many times
more CMs handling the line outside and it started at the exit, went down
the ramp then broke to allow other guests into the store then continued
on down the street. With it being so long it really caused the traffic
to bottle up but the CMs working the area did a great job of keeping guests
moving most of the time.
Speaking of slow moving lines... when the lazygeek arrived in the early
evening the parking structure had a line that stretched outside from the
toll booths and then it was a crawl up the ramp to the roof and to the
far parking spots. It took him well over 30 minutes from when he pulled
onto Disneyland Drive until he had his car parked. That seems crazy to
The College Band had a different director this week, as you saw in the
pictures. I believe his name was Ron, but I missed the last name and where
he was from. I was glad to see them back to playing different sets at
each spot (except the pre-parade where they played a sort of greatest
hits from the other sets). I believe the person I saw last week was filing
in or a guest director and this week they were back to the regular show.
Snow White has returned for the summer and I have not seen the show
yet, but I did notice they were allowing you to enter the theater during
the show (which before they would not) so I walked up and grabbed some
pictures of the in progress production. From the short segment I saw nothing
A first for us, we were stuck on Buzz Lightyear. The attraction stopped,
then started, then stopped again and then the lights came on. About 10
minutes later they came through and evacuated us. Seems one of the cars
had a problem with the door not staying latched and it shut the entire
attraction down and it had to be reset. It was kind of weird to walk through
the scenes with the lights on and sound effects off. I was really surprised
with how quiet the motors are. The large Zurg near the entrance is completely
silent.. you couldn't even hear the motors.
Seems they now have the crowd control for Remember Dreams Come True
down. When we were trying to get from NOS over to Tomorrowland we had
to circle around a bit but everything kept moving then when we came out
the show was going on but the crowd kept moving around the hub and down
the street, just as it was drawn up by someone I would think.
Be sure to check out the picture update that goes with this Geekspeak column,
it can be found in our updates section
Stop by the Geek's Forum to discuss this and other Disney topics.. click
Send comments, questions, any other email to: email@example.com