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1/18/13 - My thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort including the New Orleans Bayou Bash and Fantasy Faire exhibit in the Blue Sky Cellar
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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.

1/18/13 - My thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort including the New Orleans Bayou Bash and Fantasy Faire exhibit in the Blue Sky Cellar

Hello all,

What a difference a week makes.. last week the highs were in the low 50s and dropped to the 30s overnight. This week it was about 80 degrees as I arrived at the Disneyland Resort. The weather was picture perfect and comfortable all afternoon and even in the evening. The crowds around the parks were heavier than last week but still much lighter than I was anticipating. I would have thought the combination of perfect weather, the three day weekend for many, and the Tinker Bell Half Marathon would have meant a fairly busy day.


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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • As I arrived at the Mickey and Friends Tram stop I was greeted by a line of guests, probably a two tram wait and there was only one tram in sight and it was just pulling in to unload. So I opted to walk to the parks. I ended up arriving just as the first tram pulled into the Downtown Disney stop, so I did manage to save some time.

  • I unfortunately choose poorly to enter the parks. A group two or three people in front of me were redeeming an online purchase for a multi-day park ticket and it took forever. Between the involved process of printing, verifying, signing, pictures and the questions of the confused guest it took several minutes. I am sure it was not as long as it seemed, but it seemed forever! The Cast Member checking passes kept apologizing for the delay to those of us in line. For those of you who have not been following the story, in an effort to cut down on ticket renting Disneyland Resort is trying out new procedures. Ticket renting is a process where vendors buy a multi day ticket then rent to different guests each day. To combat this Disney tried signatures, photo IDs, and now pictures like they do for Annual Passes. Eventually the process will get ironed out, but until then it is sometimes an adventure to enter the parks. The past few weeks they have had cast members walking the lines asking to see tickets and would take your picture and assign it to your ticket if needed. On a park hop later in the evening I thought they had an interesting process going. They had a single line and the Castmember checking tickets directed passholders and single day tickets to one turnstile and multi day to another. This really kept things moving.

  • My first stop of the day was the Golden Horseshoe to see if I could get a ticket for the show. Unfortunately all tickets were gone for the day already. The cast member said they sold out several hours ago. Where as last week I was actually later in the day and had my choice of shows. My plan was to try stand by later in the day, which unfortunately I got sidetracked and did not make the show, then I found out they cancelled the show I was going to go to so I think it was a sign not to see the Revue today.

  • I spend a sizable portion of the afternoon hanging out in New Orleans Square taking in the Bayou Bash festivities. This year the Bash is falling under the Limited Time Magic umbrella. I had hoped for the showboat show would return, but no such luck. The activities for the Bayou Bash were similar to last year. I thought it was a fun set of activities and brought some life to the riverfront. Those that attended all seemed to be having a good time too. Here is a quick run down of the festivities:
    • A Traditional New Orleans Jazz Band: The band appeared to be the same as last year, but this year only Goofy accompanied them down to the river bank. Last year Mickey and Minnie joined in.
    • Princess Tianas Mardi Gras Celebration: This show was the same as last year, nothing really jumped out to me as changed.
    • Food offerings: The dining locations in New Orleans Square each featured a couple menu items for the event, I did not try any of them so nothing to report besides the pictures you saw in the update
    • Character Meet and Greet: In the Angel Courtyard they were alternating Mickey/Minnie and Princess Tiana it appeared
    • There was a merchandise cart and face painting in the courtyard near the Haunted Mansion

  • What does everything think of the Limited Time Magic promotion? From what I could tell in the parks most guests do not know it or understand it. The events at Disneyland really do not seem to promote the marketing slogan, which is not a bad thing in my book. I think its funny how several of the events are things that have been going on for years and just marketed under the label. The one new event so far, the Salute to the Golden Horseshoe has been great and I am curious if they will have any other salutes/tribute events later in the year. From what I have seen the Walt Disney World offerings so far have left something to be desired. The multiple night New Years Celebration and Character Meet and Greet in Canada both seemed to be lacking compared to what Disneyland has been able to offer.

  • The Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree is open on weekends (Fri - Mon this week for the holiday) and the Billies are out there. Unfortunately I did not make it out to a show. The two times I stopped by were between sets and both times the area was really quiet. This was great the second time, it was Minnie, Mickey, a handful of cast members and just a few guests.

  • The Big Thunder Trail was re-opened and you could get a great view of the large tower crane that was brought in for the Big Thunder project. I had several comments asking about the work. From what I have read the attraction is slated to be closed until the Fall (unofficially heard October) and they are replacing the track, repainting, and new trains.

  • The smoking area has been relocated and is just past the backstage gates between Fantasyland and Frontierland. This is a fairly poor location in my book. Each time I walked by you had to pass through a cloud of smoke and the walkway is not that wide in that area. Due to the lower traffic in the area do they really need the smoking area right now? Seems sending those who wish to smoke to either the Fantasyland or New Orleans Square areas would work.

  • Over at DCA the big news is the new color scheme for the Hyperion Bridge. It looks ok, but I just do not understand it. Anyone have any insight into what is going on? From what I have read it is not historically accurate and the old paint scheme looked to be in good shape still so it was not needed from that stand point. It does add some more contrast and makes the bridge stand out more.

  • On a more literally news front the new issue of the Buena Vista Bugle hit news stands last week. This issue is as entertaining as the previous ones and features some news.. Feb 8-11 DCA will be celebrating Lunar New Year and a promotion for Oz the Great and Power will be in the Muppet Theater starting mid Feb for the films March release.

  • I did a quick walk through of the Health and Fitness Expo that RunDisney was hosting as part of the Tinker Bell Half Marathon weekend. The expo itself was about the same as the previous ones. They did have the New Balance RunDisney shoes available as well as the usual assortment of merchandise and other race related items. I thought the crowds were a bit lighter than previous visits, maybe I timed it better this time.

  • I caught World of Color from a stand by viewing area on Friday. As I looked out on the crowd I saw very few sets of Glow With the Show Ears.. what I did see appeared to be mostly the cast members. It is too bad those are not really catching on. I think they do add to the experience, but at the price point I understand. Also to really see the benefit you need a good portion of the audience to have them. Maybe the technology will become more affordable and catch on.

  • As I was making my way to Disneyland after World of Color to catch Remember Dreams Come True I noticed the doors were open on the Blue Sky Cellar so I made a detour in there. The new Fantasy Faire exhibit was having a soft opening. So I was sidetracked for almost an hour, and missed the fireworks, taking in the new exhibit and getting some pictures to share. If you missed the dedicated update I posted check it out. The exhibit takes you through some of the process of creating the new addition. It includes concept art, sketches, drawings, and a model of the faire. There is also a new video of the Imagineers describing the project. Here it is:

  • I think it is great that the Blue Sky Cellar is continuing to be a preview center of what is coming to the Disneyland Resort. I hope the guests continue to stop by and they keep bringing in new exhibits. I always enjoy stopping by and admiring the artwork and learning about some of the details of the projects.

Interesting Web Finds/Notes:
Below are some interesting links, notes, and rumors I found/stumble across/or have been informed of since the last Geekspeaks column.

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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