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1/15/16 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort.
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1/15/16 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort.

Hello everyone,

I kicked off my three day weekend with a visit to the Disneyland Resort. Friday turned out to be a busy day for me at the parks. I had a dozen or so things I wanted to take some pictures of and not a lot of time to do it thanks to the early sunset and scheduling. The crowds in the parks felt about average. Seems between the race, holiday weekend, and so much being closed it did feel crowded at times, but with the holidays over the pace did seem a bit slower.


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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Parking was a breeze today. I pulled right up to a tollbooth with no delays. Guess I had great timing.

  • This weekend is the Star Wars Half Marathon. I stopped by the Disneyland Hotel and the runDisney Expo to see if anything interesting was going on. It seemed to be the same as always but felt more crowded than past Fridays to me. I did a lap of the Expo floor and spent some time in the merchandise shop and did not spot anything too unique.

  • As it has been for the past month there was a visible increase in security all around the resort. I encountered no delays going through bag check as once again they had more stations/lines open than previously so the crowd was spaced out when I went through in the early afternoon.

  • With the Disneyland Railroad closed for the next year+ they have parked trains at Main Street & New Orleans Square stations so you can get up close for pictures and to talk with cast members. It was nice to have the rare chance to get close to the train for an extended period of time. I will have to check back on a better weather day. I spoke to the cast members working and they were in good spirits and said it had been a steady trickle of guests at both stations all week. They said the plan is to rotate different engines and cars through over the course of the closure. You were not allowed up in the cab though. Cast Members said there has been talk of trying to allow guests there but no clue if any of it will have happen. The Lilly Belle was also off limits. They were opening the door from time to time for guests to take a look inside. I thought it made sense that there was a PhotoPass Photographer in New Orleans. They should have had one on Main Street too. Also a sign or indication in the park guidemap to visit would be useful. Many guests did not seem to know they were open.

  • Christmas is gone from the parks except for Small World Holiday that has a few more weeks left in its run and some decorations in New Orleans Square.

  • Not much has changed along the Big Thunder Trail yet. The park map indicates it is closed and word is it will close after the holiday weekend. It looks like they will relocate the photo spot down the trail toward Big Thunder. It was odd to walk through the area with the closed ranch sitting idle knowing its days are numbered before the bulldozers roll in.

  • Was surprised nothing had changed along the Rivers of America yet. Thought maybe the water level would have been lowered. Or the Tom Sawyer Island rafts removed. Or maybe the plan is to store them in the drained river. It was nice to see the Columbia open and a decent crowd there. Wonder if they plan to have it open after the water is removed?

  • In Critter Country I was surprised by the elaborate wall that was put up. The one on the lower level makes sense as does the one along the River and back areas. All along the entrance ramp too? Seems like a lot. Could have sold construction view dining.. bet a fair number of geeks like me would eat there for the view of the work.

  • The Jungle Cruise will be closed through the spring as some renovations and modifications to the dock are performed. The Skippers have been out front conducting training sessions. I missed them on Friday though. The small construction wall by the entrance features a lot of concept art and story boards which are great to see. Also the closed attraction poster is great!

  • Due to the TV taping Paint the Night and Disneyland Forever were shifted. The first Paint the Night at 5:45pm and fireworks right after. These early showings really mess with my internal clock and throw off my visit.. it feels so odd by 7pm to have the fireworks over. This evening it seemed more of the crowd returned to the park after Disneyland Forever than the previous early showings I went to. I think the TV taping was a draw.

  • During Paint the Night it jumped out to me that several performers were missing. Curious if this is off season cut backs, a change in the parade, or an anomaly. For example only 4 yo-yo cowgirls joined Jessie instead of 6. Also noticed reduced numbers with the princess unit. Has anyone noticed this on other nights?

  • They were taping performances all week for the upcoming Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60 show that will air on Feb 21st on ABC. Friday night they did the finale to the show featuring Elton John. He sung two songs, each a couple of times for the cameras. As with any TV production the process was very slow to set up and took a long time. They were out most of the day in front of the Castle setting up. Then after Disneyland Forever they continued to tweak and test, including a full blown fireworks test. I waited about an hour and stood near the entrance to Tomorrowland. Invited guests were up front and everyone else filling the hub behind. I thought they did a pretty poor job of keeping the crowd informed what was going on and Elton John did not do a lot of interaction with the crowd. He did comment how he had not been to Disneyland at night before. Thanks to the number of guests holding things over their heads it was a real challenge to see and get pictures. I was probably near the middle of the stand by area and I can only image how hard it was further back.

  • I did not spend that much time in Disney California Adventure this trip. Only did a single pass through the park. The Hyperion was advertising Frozen. Interesting to overhear conversations in the area. The gist of many were they were surprised to see more Frozen coming they thought that had passed.

  • The walls were still up at Luigis in Cars Land. Seems this project is taking a long time. They did have a new sign out front, not that impressive. Curious if more signage is coming or if they will stick with understated?

  • Do you visit our pictorial updates using a mobile device? Did you know we have a more friendly mobile version of our Disneyland Picture sets at https://disneygeek.com/mobile

Interesting Web Finds/Notes:

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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