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01/27/17 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday trip to 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.

01/27/17 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday trip to the Disneyland Resort

Hello everyone,

Friday was a busy day at the Disneyland Resort. Crowds felt heavy most of the trip especially considering it was a non holiday late January Friday. Wait times seemed to support this with quite a few near summer levels. Someone asked how I would describe the crowd and I was thinking summer busy, not holiday insane, if that makes sense. Weather started off very nice for January with it being sunny, not much wind and in the 60s. But come sundown the temps dropped a bit and the wind really picked up.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Upon arrival was greeted by more cars at the parking tollbooths than the last few visits but still not bad. Was directed into a spot near the middle of the garage on the Donald level, so substantially better than last week. As you parked you were given two items, one being a Lunar New Year flyer, which made sense and the other a magnet with NBA games that will be on ABC on Saturday nights for the coming weeks.

  • I thought it was interesting and kind of odd that they replaced the MSEP billboards at the tram stop after only a couple weeks with Lunar New Year and same for the Downtown Disney banners. Seems Lunar New Year should have gone up and then when it ends put up the MSEP since it will be around for several more months. I was surprised that Lunar New Year did not take over the DCA guides, instead Frozen is the cover image still.

  • As I walked through DCA there were a fair number of guests in the walkways and wait times seemed high for early afternoon on a Friday in January. But World of Color was still distributing blue section FastPasses at 1:30pm which seemed on the light side and contradicted the feeling.

  • I made it out to Paradise Pier with only a minute or so to spare before Mulan's Lunar New Year Processional. Since I was late I was not in a good spot and since I already had pictures and video I was not intending to take many and wanted to just watch the performance. That changed as I noticed they were running a different procession today. It featured the Acrobats of China instead of the performers I saw last week. I also think it is odd that on a Friday they are only running the procession twice a day with the last one being at 1:30.. where as the weekend they run four.

  • Over at Disneyland the crowds felt just as busy and as expected as the day went on it became more crowded. I did a quick walk around Disneyland and thought the new structure by Big Thunder along the Rivers of America was interesting. No real indication of what it is yet.

  • The Haunted Mansion has returned, no noticeable changes jumped out at me on a first ride through. It returned with FastPass active which is a change, FP has been seasonal in recent years.

  • As I was returning to DCA around 3:00pm noticed a fair amount maybe 1/4 to 1/3 of the curb seating along the straight part of Main Street was already being claimed. Since there was no daytime parade the assumption is most if not all of these guests were there for the Main Street Electrical Parade.. at 8:30pm.

  • I caught three performances of the Acrobats of China at Disney California Adventure. They are performing in Paradise Park as part of the Lunar New Year celebration. Each of the shows I saw featured three different segments. I thought this was a great addition to the Lunar New Year entertainment options. The viewing in Paradise park is not optimal (the original layout of the area was much better for this than the World of Color terraces.

  • I spent some time walking around the Lunar New Year festivities and I thought it had a good crowd and everyone seemed to be having a good time. The marketplaces/food booths had a steady stream of guests. Not long lines but guests.. they seemed busier than what I observed during Festival of Holidays, but no where near as busy as the Food and Wine last year.

  • I was taking pictures of the former House of Blues/future Splitsville and decided to grab dinner at the Jazz Kitchen Express since I was there. It had been several years since I last ate there. I opted for a burger and fries. I thought the bun was substantially better than what you get from Disney but the burger itself was not. There were more fries but they were a bit under cooked and not crispy like I prefer. Cost was better.. after discount it was $7.75 vs $10.06 in the parks. You had to wait for the food to be cooked so it was a several minute wait, just like White Water Snacks.. the up side was it was all fresh and hot.

  • I really like how easy it is to go between Downtown Disney and the parks again. Having security out at the garage and only needing to go through once on most visits has been very nice for me so far.
  • After dark I returned to Disneyland and as the norm the crowd had grown. Around 6pm I walked up Main Street and the curb seating was all taken and some second row too, including Town Square. Same story out in Small World mall. Lines for food and restrooms were really long throughout the park too. Attraction wait times seemed to level off and in a couple cases were less, probably due to many guests filling the parade route already or in the food/restroom lines.

  • I returned to Main Street just before 8pm and found a spot 1-2 standing guests back from the curb. I thought this was a decent trade off of view and wait time. By the time the parade started and people shifted around I was only one standing guest back so I had a great view of the parade. I thought this was interesting that around 8:15 an announcement was made that all parade viewing was full and asking guests to come back later. It seemed not many were listening. Also from when I first arrived until the parade started it seemed every 15-20 minutes they were announcing that Fantasy in the Sky may be cancelled due to winds. The wind was really gusting so that seemed obvious but was nice to see them spreading the word often and early.

  • As I watched the parade the overhead lights in our section came on. This happened last week too. They then turned off. I started to look around and noticed what was happening. They were turning them on/off for groups of performers in the parade. For Cinderella's Mice, the Dwarfs, and Pinocchio groups that had characters and dancers on the street the lights would follow them along the route partially lighting their way. I guess this is a new safety precaution? I never remember seeing this before for MSEP either here, DCA, or WDW.. nor for Paint the Night.

  • I made my way to DCA for World of Color at 9:45 with the hope of seeing Hurry Home. The winds were really picking up and as I arrived they were making announcements that it may be cancelled. These seemed to occur every 5 minutes or so. Right at show time they cancelled the show.

  • The trams were really backed up heading back to the Mickey and Friends Parking structure with a 2-3 tram wait at the DD side stops. Luckily they had just opened a stop on the other side so I was able to walk right onto a waiting tram.. some great luck.

  • A the structure the line for the elevators went in a large semicircle and was moving very slowly. I felt bad for all those parents with tired kids stuck waiting for an elevator. Not sure if there was a problem or just too many guests all leaving at once that caused the back up.

  • The exit traffic from the structure was backed up too. Disneyland Drive appeared to be the reason which impacted the overpass lanes too. Also the merge point near the freeway on ramp seemed congested tonight too.

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

Geek's Blog Postings Recap – January 15-22, 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.

Send comments, questions, any other email to: disneygeek@disneygeek.com

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