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2/10/06 - Some thoughts and observations from Fridays trip and on DCAs 5th Anniversary
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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.

2/10/06 - Some thoughts and observations from Fridays trip and on DCAs 5th Anniversary

* After you read this report you may want to check out the pictorial updates in our Disneyland Resort Pictorial Update section

Hello all,

Friday was another of those great off season "winter" days at the Disneyland Resort. Temperatures topped out around 80 degrees, the crowds were light, and there was plenty to see and do around the resort. The crowds were what we would consider regular off-season. Meaning in the early afternoon most attractions were walk ons, or under half an hour with a line developing in the evening for some of the E-ticket attractions, but still under an hour.

As you saw in the pictorial update we are starting to figure out how to take some decent pictures with the new camera. I have received several email messages over the past few days asking how we took the night pictures and the burst mode pictures in the last several pictorial updates as well as what our new camera is. The new camera is a Canon 20D. Its a digital SLR camera (we have links to the amazon pages with more info in the about us section). We have been using a 70-300mm canon lens with image stabalizer and USM for most shots (and for the wider angle shots the standard kit 28-55mm lens). For the attraction and night shots we shoot in full manual mode. Usually 800 or 1600 ISO. With a shutter speed around 1/20th of a second and the aperture all the way open.


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

DCA & Disneyland Notes:

  • As we mentioned in the pictorial update the Monorail is running in a shuttle/bi-directional mode. Friday they were running only one train, Purple on the track. According to the CM working the DD station the goal is a 7 minute cycle time for the route. We waited about 10 minutes for the monorail to return to DD. You are required to disembark on both ends (one way trips only) and can get right back in line for a return trip if needed. The segment of track they are using is a fairly straight shot out of the park, along Harbor, through DCA and to the DD stop so it is a quick ride. Their is a new spiel too so it makes sense as you go each direction and it says Nemo is coming in 2007. Also since they are not using the segment of track nearest the castle the monorail can continue to run during the fireworks.

  • The crowds at the park were really light. For Aladdin the 1st level did not even fill up for the show (I went to the 6pm show). Fantasmic had quite a few guests milling around but I found a spot in the second row behind the center light rig 10 minutes till show time. Remember had main street looking fairly full, but not mobbed. As for attractions managed to walk right on Indy and could have Soarin but I used the single rider line, what a mistake, cost me 15 minutes or so.

  • Speaking of Soarin I was really disappointed with the CMs working the attraction. They seemed quite bored and were definitely not in the mood to help out guests waiting in the single rider line. A great example of this is a small child somehow managed to get into the loading area without being measured. After the rows were assigned the CMs noticed her and measured and found out she was too short to ride. So the parent and child left via the entrance. That opened two spots. Instead of taking a couple from the regular line or two single riders the CMs did nothing. The safety spiel had not started so there was plenty of time to add two people to have a full flight. The CMs instead just talked amongst themselves. Quite disappointing.

  • I thought the Aladdin show was ok, but seems to me its time for a new show in the Hyperion.

  • Also we caught the Wave Riders band, which this week was a group called the Beach Toys. They are the same group we spotted a couple of visits ago and I really enjoyed their set. As you can guess from the name and outfits they play Beach Boy songs and do it quite well. Wonder if they are going to be regulars or just fillins or if there is a rotation now?

  • DCA turned 5 this past Wednesday. The event went by with a couple mentions on various websites (including ours) but without much hype, interest, or even a ripple. Maybe by the time the park turns six some energy and excitement will be flowing. I thought it would be interesting to take a look back at the big changes to the park since its opening. There have been a handful of new attractions: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Bugsland(Chew Chew Train, Rockem Buggies, Lady Bug Spin, Fliks Flyers) and Tower of Terror. A couple replacement attractions/shows have appears. Recently Monsters Inc replaced Superstar Limo. Playhouse Disney replaced the ABC Soap Opera Bistro. Turtle Talk replaced One Mans Dream which replaced the Art of Animation Film. The Animation Academy replaced Drawn to Animation. All the "big name" sponsored restaurants are now gone.. Wolf Gang Puck and Modavi as well as several other dining placed The Hollywood & Dine, the Lucky Fortune Cookie and the Farmers Market(I forget its real name the fried chicken place in the farm area). Some vocabulary changes have occurred. namely the Performance Corridor has been replaced by Parade Route and the Bountiful Valley Farm has gone from an area into being just a part of Bugsland. Also gone is the Paradise Pier hotel entrance (well not really gone just not opened anymore from what I can tell).

    As you can see the park has started to transform in its first five years, but no real identity has emerged. It still seems to be a place for Annual Passholders to escape the crowd, a place for Disneylands overflow, and a place for tourists to stop by and visit for part of the day. It does not have its own identity yet. Maybe by the time the park turns 10 a true niche will be carved out by this newest Anaheim park. With the recent changes at Disney (namely the Pixar acquisition and last year the new leadership team) rumors are flying so it will be fun to watch this park grow and evolve.

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

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