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01/19/17 - Thoughts and observations from a Thursday trip to the Disneyland Resort including Lunar New Year and Return of the Main Street Electrical Parade
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01/19/17 - Thoughts and observations from a Thursday trip to the Disneyland Resort including Lunar New Year and Return of the Main Street Electrical Parade

Hello everyone,

I paid a Thursday visit to the Disneyland Resort for a preview of Lunar New Year Celebration and the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade. The weather forecast was iffy with a 40% chance of a shower and cool temperatures. The parks both closed early with Disneyland closing at 6pm for the MSEP event and Disney California Adventure closing at 8pm as it normally does in the off season mid week. Crowds were light due to this and the weather.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • My good parking spot luck ran out today and I was within a dozen spots of the last spot in the far row of the Mickey and Friends parking structure. So it meant a good hike to the tram. On the positive side there were no lines to park and no delays being guided into a space, plus I was under cover if it was raining when I left.

  • Took a look at the Star Wars construction to start the trip as has become the routine. Not a lot of visible change because of the bad weather. The most interesting aspect was the arrival of some large trees that were going in on the hills between Fantasyland and the new Star Wars area.

  • I had a few hours until the events got underway for the evening so I paid a quick visit to both parks to see what was going on. I am curious why Sleeping Beauty Castle has returned to the Disneyland 60 look with the roof and turret overlay. Is this going to be used in a new show? Or done because of a problem? Or just because they think it looks better now? Also worth noting the paper cups have returned to Disneyland 60 too. So I guess the theme of going back in time is in full swing this year with the return of the MSEP, Remember Dreams Come True, the 60th Castle, and even 60th cups.

  • The Lunar New Year Celebrations this year have been expanded and extended. They run until February 5th and now stretch from the Little Mermaid around/through Paradise Gardens. As with past years they celebrate Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese traditions.
    • Marketplaces - Three food marketplaces have been added to the celebration this year. They are located along the parade route near Paradise Park. This is in addition to the Garden Grill menu being converted for the celebration. Executive Chef John State shared how the menu items were selected and created with input from family recipes, local groups and other advisors. Their goal was to bring back memories for those who celebrate Lunar New Year with their families of the smells and tastes they know.
    • Entertainment - This year the entertainment offerings were expanded and take place in Paradise Gardens as well as Paradise Park. New this year will be Chinese Acrobats. The Mulan Lunar New Year Procession is back and features 40 dancers this year. A preview performance of the procession ran on Thursday and it is more or less the same as last year, whcih is a good thing.I am looking forward to seeing the Acrobats.
    • Merchandise - There is a selection of merchandise for this year's celebration available at carts as well as Seaside Souvenirs.
    • Meet and Greet locations for Mickey, Minnie, Chip, Dale, Mulan and Mushu, the Lucky Wishing Wall, Calligraphy and art and crafts spaces have all returned. New this year is an Annual Passholder corner.

  • Hurry Home – Lunar New Year Celebration is a new addition to the World of Color. It is a six minute piece that features new animation and music to celebrate the new year. The show tells the story of a journey by a little lantern making its way home. The lantern has three dream sequences. The first the lantern plays with friends and family featuring Mushu. The second is about the food of the celebration. The third is reflection on the past and a look ahead. The show concludes with a burst of fireworks. I thought this was a great addition to the festival. It was well done and the narration explained what you were seeing, so you were not left guessing as the story line. The show was a different use of World of Color platform to tell a much tighter original story.

  • The finale to my day was the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade to Disneyland. There was a ticketed after hours event ($95 a ticket or for contest winners) featuring a 70s theme going on all evening. I was not able to experience that, but I was able to view the parade from Town Square. The classic parade that we all remember has returned. A couple of minor changes in this version. The train and drum lead the way, with the drum returning to say Main Street Electrical Parade. The Tinker Bell float has been altered and now follows the Peter Pan group. The Pixie Dust effect (the bright yellow/white lights) still runs throughout the parade though. The parade is scheduled to run through Sunday June 18th. It last traveled down Main Street in 1996 and was last at DCA in 2010. The marketing for the return of the parade has been on nostalgia and bringing back history and the parade does deliver on that (If you have not seen the TV commercial check it out). There is something about seeing the familiar floats coming down Main Street USA and traveling around Town Square that just feels natural after all those years. The scale of the parade fits Disneyland perfectly and hearing the Baroque Hoedown on Main Street was a trip back in time. The parade has withstood the test of time, but it is a much different feeling than other night time parades.

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

Geek's Blog Postings Recap – January 1-14, 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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