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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.

3/08/19 - Thoughts and observations from Friday

Hello everyone!

Friday was a cool day for us Southern Californians but no rain at Disneyland. Temperatures topped out around 60 with a steady breeze in the afternoon cooling down to the low 50s by the time I left the park and mid 40s when I reached home. The crowds in the park were on the average/moderate side for what you would expect this time of year. Most waits were well under an hour. At Disneyland the longest I saw the couple times I paid attention was 45 minutes.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I arrived at the parks just after lunch and as normal now a days I found the overpass closed and had to go through the light but I lucked out and had great timing, made it through the light without having to stop. I think that was the first time I have done that in years. The tollbooths had only a couple cars each and only some minor slowing at the top of the ramp as I was directed onto the roof again.

  • There was not a lot of visible progress on the construction front, assuming due to our rainy/wet/cold weather again this past week. The parking structure showed more progress than Galaxy's Edge from the Mickey and Friends Structure. The big news this past week is we now have an opening date. Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland will have a limited opening starting May 31st. Entry will be by free reservation. No details on how to obtain a reservation beyond saying all Disney Hotel guests will get one slot during their stay. Then on June 23rd the land will go reservation free. Initially only the Smuggler's Run Attraction will be opening. No Fastpass will be offered. The second attraction will be opening later this year. No date was announced for the parking structure. I think this phased opening and reservation system may help to relieve some of the pent up demand and opening chaos.

  • Captain Marvel has arrived at Disney California Adventure. She is meeting in Hollywood Land. Crews were still hard at work on a more elaborate set for her, but she was in front of a backdrop on the side of the Hollywood Lounge. The set looks to include a jet and will be in front of Stage 12. The Instagram walls that were there are covered/gone.

  • The Black Panther and Spider Man were also out in Hollywood Land. Lines for these two were not that bad compared to Captain Marvel as you would expect.

  • The Disney Animation Building has received some new/updated art work on the exterior facade. It includes several newer Disney & Pixar films.

  • Stopped by the Backlot Stage for the Family Time seminar. This is the only free Food & Wine presentation on Fridays and is only held one time at 3pm. It featured a chef who prepared three snacks for kids. She enlisted the help of one guest. The child was really excited but when she got on stage froze up so the cast member chef had to really work hard to engage her and the audience.

  • In Cars Land Cruz Ramirez was out and parked in front of Ramones at the corner of Cross Street & Route 66 for pictures today. It had been a while since I saw her out.

  • I was really surprised to find the Wharf Cafe really quite around 4pm. More cast members than guests inside actually. I figured on a cold day it would be more popular. I had used mobile order but it was not really needed. I decided to go eat my meal by Flo's. It was cool out and occasionally the wind picked up but overall it was a much better view than the Wharf dining area.

  • At Disneyland I wrapped up the first story for both Esmeralda and Fortune Red on Friday. The PlayDisney App story features 10 cards for each. So now onto story number two for both, I believe there are three all together.

  • Sometimes Disney scheduling is a head scratcher. Walls were up for work around the planter/viewing area/stroller parking near the Haunted Mansion. It really seems like this project should have been going on while Fantasmic was dark for a several week renovation, instead it started the week the show returns taking away viewing space and narrowing a walkway.

  • Speaking of Fantasmic's return. As I walked by there were two contractors out on Tom Sawyer Island finishing up some project. The Fantasmic team was just starting their show prep on the Columbia and around New Orleans Square. They had not started on the island yet.

  • Passed through Hollywood Land around 6pm and they were setting up for a performance arts group on the stage. The dance backlot dance party's run has ended. It was not on this week's schedule.

  • In the lobby of Disney's Grand Californian Hotel is a new cake for Mickey's 90th Birthday Celebration. This was the first day for the display. There is a sign with some stats. The cake features 90 hidden (and some no so hidden) Mickey's. I thought it was a fun cake and I would really like to see some photos or video of the construction and how it was made. The shape is very toonish. It would be right at home in Toontown. In the Grand Californian it seemed a little out of place, but it was fun to see.

  • Sleeping Beauty Castle renovation work continues. No date has been announced for the completion. The Disneyland.com Calendar goes into mid April and the walkthrough is listed as closed through the last day on the calendar. Today the west side walkway by Fantasy Faire to Fantasyland was open in the evening. Signs were present so I am guessing on some days and time day this is closed. It is a very narrow path through the construction but nice to have a pathway open.

  • In Tomorrowland the walls were down from Space Mountain entrance but it was still closed. The Path of the Jedi film was open. I did not go see it though since I am assuming it is the same film. If anyone goes let me know.

  • I had a FastPass for the 9pm Fantasmic show thanks to a friend who was at the park earlier in the day and was not going to use it. It has been a while since I have had a FastPass. The colors are gone and instead it just says reserved space and a location to enter. I was to enter from the Mark Twain dock. I arrived around 8:30pm and the spot I was going to get was close to the petrified tree so I opted not to use the FastPass and instead try my luck with a Standby spot. I ended up just past show center about three rows back in the second terrace standing space. The view of the stage was good, the center screen was going to be obstructed but overall not bad. While waiting for the show the family next to me was acting as a great buffer with a stroller and a fairly big group. Cast Members came up to them and talked to them for a while then offered them a chance to be seated. They jumped at the opportunity and my buffer went away. I thought this was a great guest experience for them. Fantasmic! started about 10 minutes late and there were no fire effects this evening. No major changes jumped out to me as I watched the show.

  • After Fantasmic I opted to move up to the rivers edge since a very large majority of the crowd left the area before Mickey's Mix Magic began. I think this was the first night of showing projections on the Fantasmic screens. The projections were fairly crisp and with no obstructions and a light crowd it was a much nicer experience than Main Street and Small World but the fireworks are off to the side which is a little awkward. I was also disappointed they were not using any of the lights or lasers to add more effects to the show. Maybe that is coming?

  • After Mickey's Mix Magic I headed for Main Street and the tram to leave. The experience was fairly smooth. The show ended around 9:50pm. I arrived on Main Street around 9:56pm. I was in my car and driving away at 10:17pm. So under 30 minutes from Rivers of America to driving. That seemed pretty quick to me. The only real delay was a one tram wait and then slow loading.

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

Geek’s Blog Postings Recap February 7 - 25, 2019


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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