home > Columns > Geekspeaks >
1/05/18 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort.
 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.

1/05/18 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort.

I ventured to Anaheim for my first Disneyland visit of the year Friday. With many schools still out, some passes now able to visit, and the last weekend of Christmas at the resort I was expecting it to be crowded. The parks did not disappoint. Wait times were on the heavy side and by sunset almost all the FastPasses were gone except for Grizzly River Run and a random one that would pop up in MaxPass at Disneyland. Overall the crowds did not have a huge impact on my day since my plan was to check in the construction projects, see some areas before renovation projects get underway, and see some of the Christmas entertainment one last time.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • As I exited the I-5 south at Disneyland Drive traffic was backed up to the light and I could see the overpass was not open. It took about four cycles of the Ball Road light before I made it through. It was nearly 15 minutes from the freeway until the tollbooth. Luckily once through the light there were no delays with only a couple of cars per lane and no delay on the floor either. The parking structure was fairly full. It looked like all floors were full and they had a handful of rows left to fill on the 2nd floor.

  • Preparations are underway for the new parking structure construction to get started. First they need to re-route and redo the tram stop to accommodate the project. The Chip and Dale level of the structure was blocked off and work is underway for the new tram route and infrastructure. At the stops fences are up and planters are being removed. This impacts the electric car parking spaces as well as the handicap parking that was there. All of that is now gone/inaccessible for the time being. Keep that in mind if you are looking for either.

  • The Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge construction is moving along, but the big visible changes are disappearing quickly as work shifts to the park side as well as interior work. So there really was not that much of interest to see from the Structure. It would be really nice if they added some windows so you could see something from the park.

  • Walked through Downtown Disney and changes are underway. D-Street has already closed and all signage is gone. No indication of what is taking over the space. The Star Wars VR Experience had its grand opening Friday morning. There was a team in the area talking about construction walls that were going to be going up, I am assuming on the Build-a-Bear, Dress Shop, RideMakerz side as all three will be closing. The exterior of Splitsville looks to be on the final stretch. Still no opening date announced.

  • The Christmas season comes to an end Sunday with the conclusion of the Festival of Holidays and Haunted Mansion Holiday. You have a few more weeks for Small World if you want to get in a holiday cruise.

  • This weekend Dia de Reyes, Three Kings Day, is being celebrated as part of Viva Navidad! & the Festival of Holidays. The event is really low key with just a couple signs, arts/crafts area, photo spot and a storytellers show at the Bandstand. I thought the events were nicely done done but would have liked to have seen the show promoted a little more. For example I did not see show times posted. Only a couple lines in the times guide. Being mixed in with Viva Navidad! it was hard to tell the interest in the celebration.

  • In the coming weeks there are quite a few attractions, shops and dining locations that will be closed for renovation work and make overs. The Disneyland.com website lists 17 items for DCA and four for Disneyland.

  • One of the big changes will be a large portion of Paradise Pier being converted to Pixar Pier. Almost everything from the entrance by the Wharf around to the parade gate will be changed in the coming months. Monday most of the shops, restaurants and attractions in the area are slated to close and I am assuming long stretches of construction walls will be going up. I spent some time on Friday walking through all the shops taking some pictures because it had been years since I had. Most of the interior props and signage in the shops is the original. The exteriors were redone as part of the Paradise Pier renovation years ago but the interiors stayed the same and have that original DCA look that many call DCA 1.0.

  • Over at Disneyland thought it was interesting that the east side by-pass was open well before the parade stepped off at Small World. I thought this was great to keep the crowds flowing. It had been a while since I walked it and I do not recall walking it during the day. So it was nice to take some pictures and see the corridor.

  • As I mentioned the parks were busy but thanks to MaxPass I was able to book some FastPasses for Haunted Mansion Holiday and it's a small world holiday early in the day for around the same time. So in rapid succession I was able to visit both. The FastPass return was working well and not backed up for either so it was a great experience compared to some others I have had.

  • For dinner I decided to eat at Smokejumpers Grill. When I entered there was plenty of seating and short lines.. I was able to walk up to a register and just had to wait for the person on the other side to finish. Then I stood there and did not move. Not sure what the issue was but it took nearly 15 minutes for me to get my dinner (which was just chicken strips and fries). It seemed as if all lines were stalled. There were only two people in my line waiting for orders... mine actually came out before one of them. So not sure what was going on but it was extremely slow and frustrating waiting for food that long.

  • I returned to the Star Wars Launch Bay because I wanted to see the video that plays. It now has a segment featuring video shot at the construction site. The video really helps to give the scale of the project when you see it from inside and up close vs the long shot from the angles we currently have. While in the area I took a look at the model and while talking with the cast member they gave me a set of trading cards. These featured part of a map of Galaxy's Edge. Also while walking through notice they added two LEGO statues and shifted the merchandise display in that area.

  • The first offerings of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge merchandise are now available in the Launch Bay and Star Traders. It is fairly generic with a 2019 date on it. Some of it also features the concept art that has been released.

  • My plan was to close out the evening with Believe in Holiday Magic. The wind felt calm, but they kept playing wind warnings. A few minutes to show time the weather balloon went up and it drifted slightly toward the south but not bad compared to many nights. The show was delayed twice then cancelled due to winds at higher elevation. My only guess is the direction back onto the park was the issue.. the wind seemed relatively calm. It was a less than ideal way to end the Christmas season with another round of snow only.

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

Geek’s Blog Postings Recap December 18-31, 2017

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.


Interested in Helping out?

If you are a fellow disneygeek and interested in sharing your insights, pictures, thoughts drop us an email here we are always looking for contributors.