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1/06/06 - Some thoughts and observations from our first trip of the new year.
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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.

1/06/06 - Some thoughts and observations from our first trip of the new year.

* After you read this report you may want to check out the pictorial updates in our Disneyland Resort Pictorial Update section

Hello all,

Want to take a moment to wish you all a Happy New Year. This should be another great year at the Disney parks and we will hopefully be able to bring you our regular pictorial updates as well as Geekspeak columns throughout the year. On tap this year will be DCA changes as the park celebrates its 5th (wow that's hard to believe) anniversary in a few weeks. Over at Disneyland we will continue to watch the Sub Lagoon work as well as other projects. We are still looking for anyone who visits WDW regularly and is interested in being a guest contributor, we would really like to feature more frequent pictorial updates (so if you live in Orlando and want to sent us some pictures drop us a line at disneygeek@disneygeek.com). We are planning at least one trip down this year. Now on to the Disneyland thoughts and observations.

Friday was one of those days where I was reminded why I live in Southern California. Its the first week of January and not a cloud in the sky, temps in the upper 80s and a slight breeze. Upon arriving at the Disneyland Resort I was happy not to see a line of cars stretching out of the garage or signs warning that Disneyland was full, unfortunately I was stuck parking on the roof though so that means quite a few people in the parks. Overall I thought the parks were crowded, but not jammed. DCA even felt crowded and the lines backed it up. Tower was well over an hour the couple times I walked by and Monsters hovered around 45-60 minutes the entire evening. Over at Disneyland there were a fair number of people too with most of the big attractions having wait times of 25-45 minutes, with a couple exceptions like Space Mountain around an hour and Splash Mountain around 90 minutes.


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

DCA & Disneyland Notes:

  • First thing you notice upon arriving at the Resort is they are now in a full marketing mode for the new Monsters Inc attraction at DCA. There are signs, billboards, and displays up in several locations letting you know this new attraction is open. Considering this is still a soft opening phase and the official opening date is not until the 23rd I was a little surprised by this. I would have thought things would ramp up as the date approaches instead of full speed ahead as the holiday decorations are coming down.

  • The holiday covered guide maps are gone and as you saw in the Pictorial update Monsters is on DCA and the Golden Dumbo is on Disneyland. They have re-numbered the attractions in the DCA guide map and now Monsters Inc is number one and Tower of Terror is number two. Also kind of interesting the name Hollywood Pictures Backlot has stayed and is written right over where the newly created Hollywood Studios section of the backlot is. Wonder if that will change? We did not notice anything new in the Disneyland guide map except the Monsters Ad. On the entertainment schedule we saw a new thing listed, Farley the Fiddler in Frontierland. Went to see him and he was not around at the listed time, either that or we were in the wrong spot (kind of roamed Frontierland for 10 minutes or so around show time so I think we would have found him)

  • Also gone are most traces of the Holidays and the Merriest Place on Earth Celebration. Almost all of the decorations in the parks are down. Haunted Mansion Holiday is still running while Small World is being transformed back. Over at DCA everything is back to normal except for some lights in the Bay Area. The Grand Californian still has most of its decorations on the upper levels of the lobby area. Also kind of a surprise, the snow fall finale to Remember was still going on.

  • As you saw in the pictorial update we spent some time over at the Grand Californian seeing how the lobby is shaping up. Overall it looks good. If you did not know what had happened you probably would not think much about it. The temporary carpet seems to work. All the air filtration or freshener machines were a bit loud and obvious but not that much of a distraction from the lobby and if you were not looking around carefully you may not have noticed all of them.

  • Found it interesting that as you got in line for the monorail there was a sign saying due to high guest demand you could only ride one-way and would have to exit at Downtown Disney. I thought this may be because they were running the trains in a forward/backward configuration because of work on the lagoon (similar to what they did when DCA was being build). But no, the problem was only one monorail, monorail Blue was running. Later in the evening we saw both Blue and Purple running. Anyways one other interesting note. The CMs were telling guests you had to exit the monorail then the monorail station and re-enter through the turn styles to get back in line. That seemed weird, before when they did this you could just go down the steps then back up. No need to exit the park and re-enter. Seems to me that would just create a line at the security point as well as the turn styles for no real reason.. unless it was a ploy to get you to Downtown Disney...

  • Over at DCA we spent some time walking around the new Hollywood Studios portion of the Backlot. Overall it is a great improvement. The landscaping and paths all look great and really remove that big baron look. One interesting note is the number of signs. There are probably a handful or so in that small space pointing you to Monsters, Muppets, etc.. seems to me that there are too many for that small of a space but they do look good. Also the new color scheme seems to work.. it transports us to WDW which is always a good thing..

  • The line for Monsters was between 45-60 minutes every time we walked by. We decided about 8:15 to bite the bullet and get in line. It said 45 minutes so we figured that gave us enough time to ride and head to Disneyland for Remember. About 50 minutes later we were on the final stretch (about 10 guests in front of us) and the ride stopped and the lights came on. The CMs looked at the consoles for a few seconds then came on saying they would have to reset the ride and that would take up to 20-30 minutes. We decided since it was already after 9pm to head over to Disneyland to catch Remember, so we missed out on Monsters this trip. but we did get to see the entire extended queue for nearly an hour. not that much fun or interesting outside the building. All I kept thinking is how miserable that area will be during the summer unless some fans are added along with some more shade, that is of course if the line holds. Seems to me many of the guests in line appeared to be locals just wanting to see the new attraction.

  • One last DCA note. We walked by the Waveriders on our way to the Backlot and noticed a new set of CMs performing (everyone looked new), to go along with this were new costumes which really brought the old Beach Boy outfits to mind (my guess is that was the plan). I could have done without the baby blue look but I guess its authentic..

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

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

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