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2/14/20 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort
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2/14/20 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort

Hello Everyone!

I started my long President's Day weekend off at the Disneyland Resort. With the three day weekend and it being Valentine's day I was expecting the parks to be crowded. They felt busy and wait times were definitely above average but not holiday busy if that makes sense. For example throughout my visit most attractions had waits posted under 60 minutes. Weather was on the mild side starting in the upper 60s and cooling to the low 50s.

This past week I wrapped up my picture posts from Disneyland Paris in November. Also all of my Walt Disney World in December pictures are available too.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • My first signs of the crowds came as soon as I made the left hand turn off the I-5 I could see brake lights and cars backed up to the Ball Road light. I missed the first green by a handful of cars so had to sit through a second. Then as I entered the parking lanes there were two Anaheim Police Cars there, looking like they do when they shut the garage down. I rounded the corner and saw brake lights coming almost all the back at me. It was a slow crawl to the tollbooth. Once through that they were directing cars to at least three levels may be. I was directed to the 5th level and once there did not see a sign of any cast member so it was a scramble/free for all to park. I really wish they would have told you that so you are not looking for guidance. I picked an aisle that said it has 17 spots on it. This turned out to be false. Many of the spots were in front of a parked car it seemed. I counted maybe a handful of spots that were actually able to be parked in. I choose one about half way up the aisle and after walking the rest of the way was happy I did. The security lines were a couple dozen guests long but only a half dozen or so were open. It moved slow but did move. Once through security there was no wait for a tram.

  • This past week Disneyland ticket prices were revised into 5 tiers and went up for many. Today was a tier 5 day meaning a one day park hopper was over $200. For more info here is a post looking at ticket prices in recent years including the new ones.

  • Valentine's Day this year was marked with heart shaped photo frames/props throughout the park and a photo op in Town Square. I did not spot any other decorations this year, like years past. The photo props were all the same in both parks from what I could tell. Some of them were with PhotoPass cast members but a majority were with regular cast members at an attraction or vending location. The Main Street photo op was a big draw. There were two lines and they snaked around the center of Town Square.

  • The panel renovation project on the north (left/Castle) side of the entrance to Tomorrowland has wrapped up. The scaffolding is all gone. The planter was still bare, just like the south side. No other visible signs of progress on the entrance renovation. I was expecting walls up to remove the last of the rocks and to finish the area during this off season but so far nothing.

  • The construction project near Space Mountain for the new stairs is also nearing completion. The scaffolding and scrims are all removed revealing the staircase. Looks like railing installation is underway. No indication of what the stairs are for but the assumption is an emergency exit for the Space Mountain queue and maybe an alternative entrance if needed. Wonder if a renovation is in the works for the regular entrance ramp area.

  • FastPass has returned to Autopia this past week. It has been several years since it was removed. Wait times seemed slightly higher Friday due to this. Distribution of the FastPasses was via MaxPass or the common kiosk near Space Mountain. There was no signage at the attraction entrance, just a digital clock with the time and standby wait. The greeter cast member was telling guests what to do. All guests walked up the ramp together then there was an umbrella with a cast member just past the second set of stairs and they had a hand scanner to check FastPasses and do the merge or if you were standby to direct you ahead to the queue. I did not ride, but from the outside I saw no signage to direct you.

  • It appears Out Door Vending/Merchandise is really itching to get into Galaxy's Edge with off world products. On Friday there was a cart on the Frontierland side of the entrance selling Rise of the Resistance merchandise. I saw pictures over the weekend of a second cart selling Mandalorian merchandise in a similar spot. When the land opened there was a big talking point of how the land would be immersive and that included merchandise and food. You would not see off world items inside. So far that seems to be holding but the merchandise is literally at the doorstep now.

  • I walked around Black Spire Outpost to see if I could spot R2-D2. No luck. Someday I hope to spot this famous droid out and about. I also did not spot any Resistance members, only a couple of storm troopers out this afternoon.

  • I was in Town Square at 3:30 when both the Dapper Dans and Disneyland Band had sets on the schedule. At 3:30 the Dapper Dans arrived at the Firehouse. They sung an introduction and then moved into the Emporium. I assumed the Disneyland Band would come out. No sign of the band so I followed the Dans inside and listened to a couple songs. I kept looking outside and no sign of the band. It was a little awkward to try and watch the Dapper Dans perform in such a small space while other guests were trying to shop.

  • At Disney California Adventure FastPass has been added to Monsters Inc, Mike and Sulley to the Rescue. Distribution for this attraction is via a cart near by the exit or on the app for MaxPass. I spotted one set of signs as you entered the queue but no other indications of FastPass on the attraction. Standby wait times seemed higher than normal.

  • Today was National Ferris Wheel Day. I had planned to visit the Pixar Pal-A-Round but every time I checked the wait time and when I walked by the wait was longer than my patience.. in the 45 minute plus range as it stretched nearly all the way up the exit ramp for the non swinging. So I had to settle for a couple of pictures form ground level.

  • I took a stroll through Downtown Disney to see if there was anything going on for Valentine's Day. It was crowded as you would expect with it being a Friday, holiday weekend and Valentine's day. Lines for the restaurants were several dozen guests long and stretched out into the walkways. I did not see any decorations or special entertainment. The west end stage had a band as usual. Noteworthy the stage lights were down/off. Not sure if this was by design or what but it was awkward. Since my last walk through the dining area in front of the former AMC has changed their banners. They now have attractions and characters on them.

  • To celebrate President Lincoln's birthday which was the 12th and president's day I paid a visit to Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. The show was lightly attended, maybe 50 guests. Always great to spend some time in the Opera House.

  • The Tomorrowland Theater is hosting a sneak peek of the upcoming Disney Pixar Film Onward. The signage features the film. There is no preshow only title graphics on the LCDs. Also no display. The preview is about 10 minutes long and shown in 3D. There are some lighting effects and wind, but I did not feel any motion or water. It shows an extended introductory scene then portions of the trailers and other clips that have been released so far to set up the story.

  • Made a second pass through Black Spire Outpost after dark. The crowd felt a little bit lighter this time through. Also I spotted the elusive Diet Coke Droid Cart. These new carts arrived back in December but I somehow kept missing this re-supply cart. Finally spotted it this time through. Rise of the Resistance had a great day today with groups over 150 called. I noticed by 9pm they concluded boarding for the day. Assuming that meant they called all regular and backup groups. Wonder if there is a plan to allow standby or bonus groups or something. There was still 2 hours left in the operating day. Seems one way to do this is random push notifications to Maxpass to invite guests.. that would be a fun lottery.

  • I closed out my visit with Mickey's Mix Magic. Even with the big crowds in the park Main Street was not that bad 10 minutes prior to show time. The area up by the Castle and hub was busy as usual but further down the street a lot of pavement was still visible.

  • Exiting this evening was not bad. I walked out, through the tram queue and boarded a tram with no real delay. I was ahead of most of the fireworks crowd and with the late World of Color no big crowd from DCA yet.

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

Walt Disney World Trip Summary (December 10-17)

Disneyland Paris Trip Summary (November 11-20)

Geek's Blog Postings Recap January 20 - February 3, 2020

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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