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01/13/17 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday trip to the Disneyland Resort
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01/13/17 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday trip to the Disneyland Resort

Hello everyone,

I started my three day weekend at the Disneyland Resort Friday. The weather forecast was on the cool side (in the 50s) with a slight chance of a shower. The parks had mild crowds and felt rather relaxed most of the time. With no parades, few live entertainment choices in the evening, and no park events going on it was a calm day. The resort is hosting a half marathon this weekend which contributed to some of the crowd.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Arrived at the parks to find no line at the toll booth for parking but after passing through the line of cars for the ramps were backed up. It seems they were trying to fill the last spots on the 3rd or 4th level and that had everything backed up. I stopped maybe two car lengths from the tollbooth. Finally cast members opened a safety valve and directed cars up to the roof, which meant we moved fairly quickly then. Unfortunately those that had already passed that point were still stopped as myself and quite a few others headed up. I was directed into a spot a handful away from the preferred parking. I took a quick look at other floors and the preferred seemed under utilized on all floors still.

  • The new ads on the security fences for the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade are well done. They feature parade floats passing various Los Angeles landmarks. A fun campaign.

  • Walked around the runDisney Expo at the Disneyland Hotel. The Expo itself had a moderate crowd and nothing too new or interesting jumped out at me. The new theme park attraction inspired shoes are the one memorable item. The line to get into the merchandise store was the longest I can remember seeing on a Friday afternoon. It backed up to three different overflow queues in the lobby area. I decided that was substantially longer than my patience so I opted not to take a look at the merchandise this time around.

  • The Downtown Disney security check point coming from the Disneyland Hotel had a dozen or so guests in the open lines when I arrived and it was moving slowly. Every guest seemed to have multiple bags from the Expo so it was a slow process.

  • The former House of Blues dismantling continues. They were working this afternoon tearing down the front of the building. Splitsville will be built on that site. I found it odd that they opted to have Vocal Trip performing near by during the construction with no sound amplification. Seems they should be given the option to re-locate during construction.

  • Passing by the ticket booths thought it was interesting this weekend is still considered peak pricing, I guess because of the holiday? Your $119 this week got you a lot less than last week.. this week there were no parades, no Christmas entertainment, no Festival of Holidays, and several closed attractions.

  • Walking around the parks it seemed to be a time of transition. There was not much going on at either. Next week the winter events kick in with the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland and Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure. After sunset there was very little happening at either park in terms of entertainment or shows. The times guide has stayed a single piece of paper with Disneyland on one side and DCA on the other. I appreciate this format since you can find out what is happening at both parks without having to pick up both guides.

  • One of the highlights of Disneyland was a visit to the Lilly Belle. The car in New Orleans Square station and the cast members are opening it from time to time. The Lilly Belle returned from renovation in late December and looks great inside and out.

  • In Tomorrowland Star Wars Season of the Force has returned.. well more precisely the signage and advertising for it has returned. The attractions and offerings never really went away. I did not notice anything new for the offering this time around beyond the banners along the main walkway include Rogue One characters now. Walked through the Launch Bay and it was fairly quiet as usual. Character wait times were 10-15 minutes. I did not think about it until I was reminded by the t-shirt in the Disneyana store but last week Star Tours turned 30 years old.. if I would have remembered I would have grabbed a FastPass and gone for a ride.

  • Ate dinner this evening at the La Brea Bakery. We had a 5pm reservation and showed up to find plenty of empty tables. By the time we left at 6 there was a substantial wait for a table. I ended up with the hamburger for dinner, it was a good size and came with a lot of fries, which is should for the $18 price.

  • After dark I took a lap around Downtown Disney then Disney California Adventure and finally Disneyland. In Downtown Disney I stopped to enjoy several of the performers. In DCA there really was not much going on this evening. Wait times were moderate and the walkways had a good number of guests moving around. Over at Disneyland the same could be said. I ended up hanging out in Tomorrowland for a while and watching the Orbitron to see if they changed the show at all (it seemed about the same.. I did not see any smoke effects though).

  • Since there was not much going on I opted to head back to the parking structure and watch Fantasy in the Sky from there. The show seemed to be about the same as it had been last time. Fantasy in the Sky runs on weekends for the rest of the month. Remember Dreams Come True (the 50th Anniversary fireworks show) returns on February 3rd. So the winter at Disneyland can best be summed up with nostalgia with both a classic parade and fireworks headlining.

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

Geek's Blog Postings Recap – December 19-31, 2016

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

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