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1/03/14 - My thoughts and observations from my first visit of the new year to the Disneyland Resort.
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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.

1/03/14 - My thoughts and observations from my first visit of the new year to the Disneyland Resort.

Happy New Year!

I wanted one more pass through the parks during the holidays and decided to give Friday a try. I tend to avoid the weeks around Christmas and the heavy crowds. Friday the crowds were heavy but not insane. Wait times were well over an hour for the usual suspects with a handful in triple digits most of the day. The crowds were not a factor in my day for the most part since my main objective was to enjoy the Christmas shows one last time for the season.


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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I was surprised when I arrived at the Disneyland Resort just after lunch time and the Ball Road overpass was open and there were only a couple of cars per lane at the toll booths in the Mickey and Friends Structure. I was able to reach a parking spot quickly and was on my way to the parks in no time.

  • I was even more surprised when my Premiere Pass worked correctly. It seems every time I move between WDW and Disneyland I end up at Guest Relations having to have something tweaked or reset on my annual pass. Since my last visit was at WDW I was expecting problems at Disneyland today, especially since they had to re-issue me a pass in Orlando because my old one did not have RFID because I bought it in Anaheim. My pass worked seamlessly for parking and for park admission. This was a nice time saver.

  • As I mentioned the crowds had a minimal effect on me this trip. One of the three areas it did was for World of Color. When I stopped by to get a Fastpass they were already on yellow for the second show. The second impact was with attractions. I had wanted to try and visit the Jingle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, and/or the Subs and all three were pushing an hour wait most of the trip and I did not have the patience so skipped them. The final impact of the crowds was the poor cell phone coverage. I had several periods of the afternoon/evening, especially at Disneyland, where nothing would send. At one point I think my tweets were pushing 4 hours behind. I would hit pockets of a signal and push through several pictures but then would have to move on and would go into the dead zone again. That was one aspect of the myMagic+ system at Walt Disney World that I think they got right, the free wi-fi in the parks. The signal/service was reasonable most of the time during my December visit. I have not read anything about how it faired with the holiday masses though.

  • My second stop in DCA was Paradise Garden and Three Kings Celebration that was going on this weekend. They moved the celebration from Zocalo Park area in Disneyland over to DCA to add it to the Viva Navidad this year. I thought the celebration got lost/over shadowed by Viva Navidad! They did change out some of the signage and added a couple new food items and photo backdrops but with the scale of Viva Navidad! I am willing to bet most guests did not pick up on this. Also was surprised there was no mention of the celebration in the time schedule, just Viva Navidad!. I was expecting something more, not quite sure what, but something different for the celebration. My initial reaction was am I missing something. Not sure if this is a compliment to Viva Navidad! or a criticism of the the Three Kings add on.

  • Stopped by the Jingle Jangle Jamboree for one last performance of Billy Hill and the Hillbillies before they conclude their Disneyland run on Monday. I have always enjoyed the Billies and will miss their performances. I am curious what direction Disneyland entertainment will go in. I have heard no rumors of what type of band/group will be replacing the Billies. I would like to see them retire the Laughing Stock Co. and come up with a new act/show for the Golden Horseshoe. But for some reason I have the feeling the Billies will retire and nothing new is coming any time soon. I hope I am wrong.

  • Since the Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers have ended their season already there was no tree lighting event at DCA. I made my way out to Cars Land to enjoy the Winter Wonderland and lights coming on one last time. This is one of those small Disney pluses that I just enjoy experiencing.

  • Decided to watch the Christmas Fantasy Parade from the Main Street Train Station. Was surprised to see they had the corners roped off so you could not stand there to watch the parade. Guess they did this for traffic flow purposes but it did take away some great viewing options.

  • I stopped by the Winter Village in Downtown Disney and spent a little time walking by the stores/kiosks and taking some pictures since I had not done that yet this year. I was surprised by how few guests were walking around the stores. Downtown Disney had a healthy crowd as did the ice rink and Earl of Sandwich but the walkway by the stores was nearly empty. It is a bit awkward to get to them maybe that was the reason? Or guests just thinking they all have to do with the ice rink?

  • Back to Disneyland and the Sleeping Beauty Winter Castle Wintertime Enchantment moment. I enjoyed the event from Main Street where I could see the hub and then down the street. I thought the balloon vendors should have moved off the street during the event, they really block the view.

  • Finally remembered to stop by Fantasyland in the evening and answer the question of what does Olaf do at night when the Frozen Royal Reception is closed. The answer is he sleeps. He snores and stirs around a bit. Here is a brief video clip:

  • Another surprise of the day was how easy it ended up being to park hop. I was expecting long lines at the entrances but I think the longest I had to wait was maybe a dozen guests in front of me. So I was able to freely/quickly move back and fourth between the two parks which I did several times. At one point I ended up in the same gate I had used previously and the cast member said did you not just come through here. It had been about an hour since she last saw me.

Interesting Web Finds/Notes:
Below are some interesting links, notes, and rumors I found/stumble across/or have been informed of since the last Geekspeaks column.

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

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