home > Columns > Geekspeaks >
2/05/16 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort inlcuding APDays and Lunar New Year.
 The Geek Speaks:

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.

2/05/16 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort inlcuding APDays and Lunar New Year.

Hello everyone,

It was a perfect winter afternoon in Southern California.. the temps just about reached 80 degrees and it was breezy. It cooled down to the 60s by the time I left. Friday turned out to be the closest to an off season Friday I have seen in quite a while. The crowds were on the light side and due to some attractions re-opening over the past couple of weeks the wait times were not bad, most were well under an hour most of the evening. A couple of attractions have reopened so the closure list this week was slightly less:

  • Jungle Cruise - Reopening in Spring
  • Autopia - Reopening in Spring
  • 20th Century Music Company - Reopening in Spring
  • Hyperion Theater - Closed until Summer, reopening with a new Frozen Musical
  • Mark Twain Riverboat - Star Wars Project - Closed until 2017
  • Sailing Ship Columbia - Star Wars Project - Closed until 2017
  • Davy Crockett's Explorer Canoes - Star Wars Project - Closed until 2017
  • Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island - Star Wars Project - Closed until 2017
  • Fantasmic! - Star Wars Project - Closed until 2017
  • Disneyland Railroad - Star Wars Project - Closed until 2017

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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I want to start off saying happy birthday to Disney California Adventure. The park turns 15 on Monday the 8th. My first visit was back on Feb 3, 2001 during an annual passholder preview. The park has really come a long way since then. I have been posting a series of video clips from that first visit. Here is a playlist if you would like to experience the original DCA:

  • Throughout the month of February the Disneyland Resort is celebrating Annual Passholders with APDays. Each week will have a different theme and activities. This first week was Main Street & Mickey. There was plenty of signage up throughout the park telling you about the venues. Each week will feature a new button with the logo for the week on it. Each pass holder can pick up one for free. At Disneyland the Main Street Opera House was screening Disneyland TV shows each afternoon starting at 5pm. At California Adventure in the Blue Sky Cellar they had a coloring area, videos playing, recipe cards, charging station, and button distribution. Stage 17 (the old Millionaire Building & Olaf Snow Fest space) had free popcorn and water as well as a meet and greet featuring Jiminy Cricket. They were also playing shorts throughout the day. Be sure to check the park guidemaps or AP website for operating times and which locations are open the day you plan to visit.

  • I thought the array of what was being offered was a great effort and was appreciated by all that were participating. It will be interesting to see how this evolves throughout the month. I was really pleased to see so many buttons still available, the week starts on Monday so I had this sinking feeling that come Friday afternoon they would be long gone, but that was not the case and they had baskets full still for the weekend. Hopefully they last through Sunday for all who want one. My only complaint is the festivities stopped early in Stage 17. Guests were enjoying the lounge and waiting to see something happen and nothing was in the evening.

  • The other big story of the weekend is the Lunar New Year Celebration happening in Paradise Gardens at Disney California Adventure. The festivities are on par with last year. They feature a processional, guest performing groups, arts and crafts, wishing wall, character meet and greet, food, face painting and more. The area was busy both times I stopped by in the afternoon and everyone seemed to be having a fun time. I think this celebration is very well done and was pleased to see it back on the calendar. It only runs for 4 days so you have to be quick to see it but it is a solid offering. I wish I could have spend some more time there but with the limited daylight time I had to leave for a run through of Disneyland while it was still daylight. It is too bad it did not run into the evening a bit. The festivities ended at 5pm. I would think extending to 7 would draw even more people. But it seems it is staffed at approx a single shift 11am-5pm more or less.

  • Over at Disneyland the Skippers of the Jungle Cruise have expanded their offerings slightly. They now have a microphone so they can be heard better and delivering the spiel is more natural with a poor sound system.

  • The River Belle Terrace is being converted to table service. I am guessing this is mostly for dinner packages. The menu was posted on Friday and I posted pictures in the update and a blog post if you are interested. Nothing really drew my interest on the menu at that price point. Curious if it will be both inside and outside seating and if outdoor how much will be blocked off for the restaurant.. maybe just the patio area?

  • More artwork has shown up in Critter Country as they work to make do with the walls that will be up for the next year plus. They have added Country Bear artwork, which made several people ask if the Bears were returning.. all indications are that will not happen. So if you want to see the bears you have to travel to Orlando or Tokyo. I would recommend the Tokyo version. Seeing a good portion of the show in Japanese is a very different experience. Also there they run three versions. The original, vacation hoedown, and Christmas. Orlando runs a shortened version of the original.

  • No other really obvious work visible for the construction. They are still clearing the show pieces and doing preparation work along the back side of the river. There were a couple CMs on a Tom Sawyer Island Raft in the evening, could not see what they were up. Also noticed they had some steam on the Mark Twain and the whistle was operational.

  • Walked through the Launch Bay and Super Hero HQ as I took Autopia pictures from the second story. Again this week it felt quiet inside. Lines were the shortest I have seen. Seems like there has been a quick trail off. The wait times are reasonable though so if you want to experience it I think the overall experience is better now with the shorter waits.

  • Stopped by the Haunted Mansion to see the original show. It had a posted 15 min wait but it looked short so I hopped in line. It was only 5 minutes. Not sure why they have FastPass running it is not really needed. Guess they need a certain number of FP attractions maybe? I did not notice any real changes to the attraction. I did notice a new railing in the graveyard above the queue. It is a large fence that really blocks the graveyard. Wonder of that is for Fall Protection for those working on the graveyard? Too bad it could not retract if that was the reason. I cannot believe it was for guests.. not sure how or why they would be up there. Anyone know? Also not sure when those were installed. I don't remember seeing them but I had not been through that area in a several weeks/months.

  • 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

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

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

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

Back to previous page


Quick Note

Check out the geek speaks archive for past updates.


Interested in Helping out?

If you are a fellow disneygeek and interested in sharing your insights, pictures, thoughts drop us an email here we are always looking for contributors.