home > Curent Page columns > Geek Speaks - Index
 The Geek Speaks:

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.

1/07/22 - First visit of 2022 and a final look at the holiday season.

Hello Everyone!

This was my first visit to the parks for 2022. Our objectives today were to enjoy the holiday season festivities one last time and see what was going on around the parks. The crowds were moderate with wait times varying as seems the norm now a days. The weather was cool in the low to mid 50s all day long with fog in the morning and overcast the rest of the day. The sun never really came out.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • My day started off on a good note with almost no traffic on the way to Anaheim and no delays with parking. It still took about 40 minutes from exiting the freeway until on Main Street. Looking forward to having the trams back soon to save some steps.
  • Speaking of trams, the Downtown Disney tram stop was behind a construction fence. It appeared that they have dug up the lane closest to the drop off/pick up points on both sides and they are re-doing the concrete. Wonder if this is a straight replacement/renovation or if they are enhancing it all.
  • This weekend is the final weekend of the holiday season at the resort. Everything will get packed up after Sunday and stored until the fall. So one of my objectives today was to enjoy some favorites one last time. It felt like a short holiday season for me. I did manage to visit six times which is about average for me, but this time most of those trips I was accompanied by a larger and more age varied group than usual. Namely my two young nephews (2.5 & 5 years old) and ranging up to senior citizens (the retiredgeeks for those who have followed the site for a number of years may know them) came along on almost all of those trips.
  • The Haunted Mansion was near the top of our list as the holiday version ends Sunday. It had a 35 minute wait posted as we entered the park. The assumption was it was not going to get any shorter so we headed that way first. Plus we hit less traffic than planned to get to the park so we felt ahead of schedule already. Unfortunately the time turned out to be close.. it took 37 minutes from entering the queue until entering the building. Found it interesting they were packing guests into the elevators, felt as crowded as ever. Upon exiting though there was no backup and we were able to walk right onto the doom buggies.
  • I was finally able to catch a glimpse of Jack Skellington on the balcony while in the queue. We were just entering the graveyard and he came out, paused, waved then moved around to the front of the house. By the time we exited I was able to see him wave goodbye then head off. It would be nice if he spent more time for those in the rest of the queue not just out front. I did circle back later and see him and Sally from a distance.
  • For lunch we took advantage of the tables along the Rivers of America to find one that was a little isolated. Wanted to try Pelican's Landing but the tables were mostly full and its rather tight there so we opted not to. I did encounter an oddity when ordering. I did mobile order for Stage Door Cafe and one in our group wanted Fish and Chips. It was not on the menu. So I just assumed it was not being offered today. Placed the order then started to help him look at menus for something else. We checked the Golden Horseshoe for something else and noticed Fish and Chips on the menu there. This seemed odd since its the same kitchen. So he ordered from there no problem. Also interesting was inside Stage Door the fish was on the menu and people were ordering. So not sure what was up with mobile order. I checked again Saturday and noticed the same thing.
  • it's a small world holiday runs until the 23rd this year but we still decided to go for a cruise. The wait was posted at 25 minutes but looked shorter and turned out to be a 12 minute wait and the included waiting for a number of Lightning Lane guests. Our cruise started off normal but the boards began to slow down then back up as we entered the south pacific room. It took 25 minutes from when we entered the boat until we exited. So we experienced an extended version of the attraction. We also noticed they were skipping the middle row of most boats which was nice to space out groups. Not sure if this was being done because it was not crowded or just dumb luck with group sizes. But almost every boat we could see as we inched along way except for one or two that looked to just be really large parties.
  • Toontown only has a couple of months until it closes for the renovation project. The El Capitoon theater has more steel and continues to take shape. The hills to hide the show building had no real visible progress since my last visit. Cartoon spin has some changes inside that I had not seen but it had a posted wait of 35 minutes so I opted to skip it this visit and hope for a shorter wait next time.
  • On the no real visible progress front, the World of Color renovation is ongoing. No sign of the projectors or housings yet. The platforms were submerged the couple of times I was in the area and no signs of work going on during my visit.
  • The Country Bears were out in the Grizzly Recreation Area. Always fun to see them. Shaker held a fish up for a picture and all three that were out tried to give me some photography assistance on how to frame their shot.
  • Santa Goofy has taken over in Redwood Creek for Santa Claus. There are no signs/indications that it is not Santa so guests were not really taking a look. Which meant there was no wait the couple of times I walked by.
  • Stopped by Viva Navidad to see the Street Party one last time then walked through to check out this year's Dia de Reyes celebration. It was on par with 2019, which means just a photo op and arts/crafts in a tiny area. No storytellers or other activities that I could see.
  • My Nephews really enjoy the Amazing Spider-Man show so we stopped to see it a couple times. The show was a minimal version again with a few waves, no stunts, and then the flying stunt-tronic. So the highlight was there but not much else.
  • After dinner we caved and took the Nephews to WEB Slingers. They are huge Spider-Man fans and even though the attraction scares them they want to ride every time we go. The wait had been posted at well over an hour every time we checked but when we walked by it looked shorter so we decided to roll the dice and see. The app said 75 minutes on the map, 80 minutes on the Genie tips page and 65 minutes on the sign as you entered the queue. Things started off extremely slow with Lightning Lane returns coming at a good pace. Then the attraction went down. The cast member said they were expecting to be back quickly so almost everyone stayed in line. But after 10 minutes a number of guests left, so we were ended up moving at a faster pace than before the closure it felt! They did not make an announcement so not 100% sure when it reopened but about 15 minutes after the first we noticed people going inside. In the end it took us 50 minutes from entering the queue to entering the building.
  • As the sun set I noticed a large number of early closures. Around 7pm the Starbucks(Fife, Fiddler and Practical Cafe) as well as Smokejumpers in DCA were closed. In Downtown Disney signs were up and La Brea Bakery, the Starbucks by the Monorail station and Sugarboo were all closed earlier in the day. Jamba was also closed when I walked by. The assumption is these were all COVID related either due to protocols or staff shortages.
  • Pele Soccer and Lovepop stores have opened in the former VOID space. When I walked by the soccer store had only a worker inside, no guests. Lovepop had a number of guests browsing. On the whole Downtown Disney had a fairly average feeling crowd to it as I walked through just after 8:30pm.
  • Note the building that houses Starbucks, Sugarboo & Co, the former AMC and Earl of Sandwich will be removed in the coming weeks to make way for a new Downtown Disney expansion. The final day for Sugarboo & Co is the 16th. Earl of Sandwich is said to be the 24th. The Disneyland Monorail will be closing down during the initial phase of construction as it is right along the track.

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.

Send comments, questions, any other email to: disneygeek@disneygeek.com

Back to previous page

 

Quick Note

Check out the geek speaks archive for past updates.

 

Important Notes

Hey, think you may be a disneygeek? If you think you have what it takes to be a disneygeek, you may be able to become a special guest columnist! If you want information on becoming a special guest coumnist, write to us here and we will get back to you...