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Welcome to the disneygeek.com Geek Speaks section. In this section I will post my comments on trips to the parks or other Disney related events.

5/26/23 - Disneyland Resort

Hello Everyone!

I started my holiday weekend with a visit to the Disneyland Resort. The weather in Southern California has been overcast and rather grey and Friday was no exception. The high was mid to upper 60s and low in the 60s when I left. The parks both felt like there were a fair number of guests but wait times were more on the normal side and did not feel like a holiday weekend. It had been three weeks since my last visit due to my Tokyo trip so I took a relaxing afternoon and roamed around checking in on a number of projects around both parks, the hotels and Downtown Disney.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Started my afternoon at the Disneyland Hotel. A preview center has opened in the Fantasy Tower and there were a number of eager cast members inside to talk to you. I opted to take a few pictures from the outside and move on skipping the spiels. Walking out to the construction site more of the scaffolding is gone and you can see work is moving along inside and outside as it moves toward the fall opening date. The color choice and style to contrast the other towers still seems like a head scratcher to me though. When walking over from the Grand CA for example it appears as if it is a different hotel in the distance.
  • Walked through Downtown Disney to reach the parks. I was surprised not to find the Jazz Kitchen finished and fully opened. I thought it was close last visit, but it was still a work in progress. People were inside at what looked like an orientation/training session so maybe opening is soon? I do not recall seeing a date anywhere though. The former Catal/UVA Bar/Sprinkles locations are still in a demolition mode and appear to be stripped down to the concrete/supports. On the West side structures are starting to take shape and rise up so there is a good amount of visible progress at the moment (till they get tall enough to block the Monorail view).
  • My first stop today was Disneyland. Main Street USA is almost always a relaxing place to start your visit for me. Disneyland's Town Square seems a little more laid back than the other parks. Where as World Bazaar in Tokyo always seems to have a lot of energy, movement and noise to me.
  • While in the hub posting a picture witnessed what I call a very Disneyland moment. These seem to happen at Disneyland more than all the other Disney parks. Chip was roaming around Town Square visiting with guests, interacting with kids and even taking the time to sit on benches and visit with people. He was free roaming by himself and it was great to see and to listen to people's reactions. Guest walking by would comment there is a Chipmunk and sometimes a conversation or argument over who it was as the continued on. He was not swarmed with guests or a line to visit him.
  • Decided to go for a Monorail ride and had some great timing. I was able to walk up to the platform and one pulled in less than a minute later. I boarded and the 2nd car and no one else got in so I had a private car for the first half of the trip. At Downtown Disney one other guest joined me so it was a nearly private car on the way back.
  • The Adventureland Treehouse project seems to be going backwards. Friday teams were setting up scaffolding again around the front of the project. Not sure if this was planned due to different contractors or the need to remove and see or install something but it did not seem like forward progress. Still no opening hint beyond the Coming Soon signs which are not helpful.
  • I had wanted to go for a cruise on the Mark Twain but noticed the top deck was roped off again. This seems really common right now. In the past this was done when it was extremely hot or bad weather... neither was the case Friday. Are they renovating? Or is it a staffing issue?
  • In Fantasyland the Red Rose Taverne is undergoing some exterior renovation. Assuming its the standard restoration and painting but will be interesting to see if anything is done to make it more permanent. It appears the temporary overlay is here to stay and the Village Haus will not be returning any time soon.
  • Gaston and Geppetto were along Matterhorn way when I passed through. This seemed an odd combination and not sure how they happened to be in the same area at the same time. I saw no other characters in the immediate area.
  • Ariel from the new live action Little Mermaid Story/film and appears for a handful of sets throughout the afternoon in it's a small world mall area. She has a new backdrop created for the opportunity. Today was her first day appearing in the park and when I walked by the sessions were filled with full queues well before she arrived. At the start and end of each session lines were forming to wave and see her as she walked to and from her location even.
  • I wanted to mobile order some food from Flo's and ran into problems with the Disneyland App. I would get the order together, review it then click to go to the screen to pay and the app would either crash or go to the search page. This seemed odd. I tried restarting the app and clearing the cache with no luck. In the end I ended up in line which luckily moved fairly quickly. I did see some guests, but less than usual, picking up orders. So wonder if the issue was more widespread than just me. The cast member did not know and just said that seems to happen from time to time.
  • The Guardians of the Galaxy Dance Off now features Mantis instead of Gamora. Also the story line was a straight dance off the rest had been cut. It has been quite a while since I stopped to watch the show this may have happened a long time ago and I just noticed it.
  • A special Flag Retreat ceremony was held in Town Square for Memorial Day weekend. Over 100 active duty Marines and Navy service members were invited to the park and participated. The ceremony itself was the standard one with the Dapper Dans, Disneyland Band and Security Honor Detail but they shifted it to be by the train station to accommodate the large contingent of people. I thought this was a great addition to the ceremony and seemed to draw a larger crowd than usual. I do not understand why special events like this do not make it into the app or even as a push to those in the park alerting them. They did announce it on Main Street ahead of time a couple of times. I did not see any signs or other promotions.
  • Took a walk out to see the Pixar Place Hotel and the lobby has partially reopened. So guests now have to enter and exit through the front of the hotel, the back is blocked off as work has shifted that way. It is still very much a work in progress with artwork and other features still missing but for those staying there having a front desk and lobby are a benefit. The gift shop has reopened too. There is still no dining option except for a room of vending machines. Also there is only one on stage guest elevator running, the glass one. Guests were being directed backstage via a doorway to a service elevator as an additional option.
  • Tupua was performing again in Downtown Disney so I stopped to listen for a while. They had several cast members working to create one way traffic on either side of the stage and a roped area was set up to try and separate the walkway from space to enjoy the performance. It was more organized than last time but still not ideal to enjoy a performance.
  • In Tomorrowland Stitch's Interplanetary Beach Party Blast has returned in the evening from 7pm - 11pm. I saw three sets of characters participating and two DJs the couple times I circled through the area. Stitch was by himself, Goofy and Pluto and the Chip, Dale and Clarice. There were a good number of kids and adults on the dance floor enjoying the show. The characters all stuck to the format of staying on the stage and the DJ teaching dance moves and everyone, including the characters, following along.
  • Found a spot on Main Street USA about 10 minutes before Wondrous Journeys, just in time to hear the high wind warning. At show time they promptly cancelled and when with the projection only option. I could not tell the wind. At street level and the flags you could see it did not look bad. I missed the weather balloon though. I have had fairly bad luck seeing the full Wondrous Journeys show. Seems the opportunities I have all line up with bad weather conditions.

Here are some recent posts to the Geek's Blog:

Disney Related Press Releases

Be sure to check out the picture update that goes with this Geekspeak column, it can be found in our Disneyland Resort Pictorial Update section

Trip logs and mileage reports are in the Park Miles section.

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