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1/12/18 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at 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.

1/12/18 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort.

I started my three day weekend at the Disneyland Resort. The weather was mild as were the crowds. Christmas is almost completely gone from the resort with only a few decorations and small world remaining.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • January/February is typically off-season and when annual renovation projects are done. This year there are several projects around the parks. So if you are planning on visiting be sure to check what is closed during your trip so you will not be disappointed. The major projects on Friday were the streetcar track replacement on Main Street USA, Dumbo work in Fantasyland, Haunted Mansion Holiday removal at Disneyland. Across the Esplanade a good portion of Paradise Pier is closed and/or behind walls stretching from Ariel's Grotto around to the Parade Gate as that are is being transformed into Pixar Pier. Toy Story and King Tritons are the only two things open in that area. Grizzly River Run and Redwood Creek are both closed for regular renovation work too. Out in Downtown Disney Build-A-Bear and Ride Makerz are closed to become Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer opening later this year. Across the walkway the Disney Home store will open in February, replacing D-Street.

  • Parking was relatively easy this visit. No delays and the Ball Road bypass was open. No lines at the toll booths. A slight delay on the ramp up to the parking level as they were finishing up the 5th floor and starting the 6th. We ended up on the roof/6th floor and in the first row and relatively close to the escalators.

  • Started this trip as has become the norm checking the parking garage / tram stop project. Not a lot of visible progress this week. Interesting to note they did re-open the back portion of the Chip and Dale level. So some cars were parked inside. Major work on the tram re-route and garage itself have not started yet. Taking a look at Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge there was not a lot of progress, which was expected being only a week since my last visit and rain on a couple of the days.

  • Main Street USA is partially obstructed with the center of Town Square and the Hub behind walls for the streetcar track project. This makes for some narrow walkways to funnel onto Main Street. I have not seen any target date for completion but it looks like the first phases will be done by late February with the return of fireworks on the calendar.

  • I realized how much I have come to rely on MaxPass. This visit the rest of my group did not have it and we only were planning to visit a couple of attractions so it was not worth paying for. But that meant hikes out to get FastPasses for the group. It worked nicely for it's a small world because of the light crowd. Picked it up on the way and after a quick circle of Toon Town it was time to use it.

  • The Annual Passholder popcorn special has returned. For $15 you purchase a bucket and refills are $1 until March. There are two bucket designs one in each park. Based on the number of buckets I saw and the long lines at the popcorn carts this seems to be a popular promotion. The lines brought back memories of Tokyo, which always seemed to have extremely long popcorn lines. These were still shorter than that but made that experience pop to mind.

  • The Disneyland Railroad had mild waits most of the evening. It seemed to be a train or less wait the couple of times I paid attention.

  • Across the Esplanade at Disney California Adventure the big story of the day Paradise Pier to Pixar Pier transformation that is underway. The closures have made it more cumbersome to visit Toy Story Midway Mania. They moved the FastPass distribution to a cart in the Bay Area. This is nice to cut down on traffic on the Pier but a downside of the cart is they did not have a return time posted. So guests were guessing, reading other's tickets or checking the app which bottled the area up a bit. Also the graphics on the cart are World of Color so it was confusing to some who were not reading the signs. I noticed a big gap between the tickets coming out of the machine and what MaxPass had available, several hours. I was able to pick up a MaxPass one good for about 20 minutes out and the machine return time was close to three hours I believe (I didn't write it down though).

  • Also to help with traffic there is a sign as you head out to the Pier with the standby wait time for Toy Story on it. The downside is no two posted wait times were the same. The sign said 45 min, the app said 40 min and the sign at the attraction said 25 min. I used my FastPass and waited only a couple of minutes.

  • The transformation of Screamin to the Incredicoaster is off to a running start. Scaffolding it going up on the two large hills and around the station area. The top of the loop has been removed already. Also a quick visual start to the Fun Wheel work with all the gondolas removed already.

  • Spotted Mr. and Mrs. Incredible walking around Paradise Park. Guess they are out to watch over their new attraction and introduce more Pixar characters to the area? Speaking of character the Zootopia duo were moving around and interacting with guests today instead of stationary at their meet and greet. Not sure if this is happening all the time or just a random occurrence. I thought it was great to see. Chip and Dale were also free roaming in the Grizzly Peak Recreation Area

  • Stopped by the Star Wars Launch Bay to show the others in the group the new additions. We each picked up a pack of Galaxy's Edge trading cards. Out of the three packs I increased my unique count by one only, to four out of the nine cards needed for the full map.

  • Mickey and the Magical Map was playing later in the afternoon this weekend with two shows after dark. We went to one of those and viewing it after sunset adds to the show. The lighting adds to the show.

  • Closed out my evening strolling through Downtown Disney. Not much happening tonight. There we no live performers until the main stage by Rainforest/ESPN. I did see one sign for a magician near the gallery. But no one else was even set up that I could tell. Seemed odd for a Friday night. We walked back to the parking structure and they were still allowing cars into the lot and there was parking available and little backup this evening.

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.

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