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2/19/16 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at 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.

2/19/16 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort.

Hello everyone,

Friday was a nice afternoon at the parks. I had a relatively small shot list and I spent time visiting with friends and enjoying the APDays events. The crowds at the park felt heavy for a late February weekend. The weather was mild which may have contributed to this. I did not pay attention to wait times that much but one stood out to me the 55 posted wait for Car Toon Spin seemed really high considering there was no FastPass.

  • Grizzly River Run- Annual Refurbishment
  • Jungle Cruise - Reopening in Spring
  • Autopia - 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

  • Note this week Splash Mountain reopened from its closure. Also note Soarin is closed Monday through Thursday right now.

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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • From the Mickey and Friends Garage you could see the heavy equipment at work backstage at Disneyland as the last pieces of the Circle D Ranch area were being cleared. This clearing will expand over the next several months as more facilities are vacated and turned over for the Star Wars Project.

  • The Disneyland Ticket Booths are receiving new digital displays on the ends. I was wondering how long before these moved in after WDW received theirs a while ago. It makes sense to allow for more messaging and easier updates. They will be able to test this out when prices go up. It is expected to happen soon.. last year was February 22.

  • Main Street and Buena Vista Street have both received their Diamond Anniversary decorations again so the blue everywhere is back unfortunately.

  • APDays week three was going on Friday. The offerings were the same as previous weeks with a screening in the Opera House, a character in Stage 17 and handouts in the Blue Sky Cellar. I visited all three locations.
    • There seemed to be plenty of wristbands for the Opera House presentation. I attended the 6:30 one and the were some empty seats. Maybe 3/4 full. As part of the screening you could pick up popcorn and water in the lobby and eat inside. The film was a Disneyland TV show on the Silly Symphonies. This was the first film I attended as part of APDays. It featured a video introduction by the Disneyland Ambassadors about the various weeks. I enjoyed the seeing the shorts on the big screen and listening to Walt. Those seats really are not that comfortable for longer events though. All in all I thought it was a great event.

    • Stage 17 this week featured Roger Rabbit as well as the usual assortment of pins, coloring, popcorn, and water. The atmosphere seemed relaxed again but more guests inside than the first week when I visited.

    • Blue Sky Cellar - Same offerings as previous weeks. I was surprised to see they still had buttons available from the first week as well as the second. The activity sheets from the first two weeks were there too. This week the activity is PhotoPass pictures so nothing really to take and do. The gist is PhotoPass Photographers were in unique more AP focused locations. For example Fowlers Harbour. I thought it was an interesting idea but I liked the trivia and matching of the first two weeks better.

  • I stopped by the Hungry Bear to check out the Rivers of America work. A table was open along the scrim so I put my bag down and took a look up river. While doing this the family at the next table asked me if there was something special there. They said while they have been eating I was the 4th person to do the same thing, bring a big camera and look out that way. I explained about the Star Wars Project and the clearing. They found it interesting the parade of photographers/bloggers.

  • Spent some daylight time in Toontown to check out the refurbishment. What a huge different already in the sections that have been worked on, even through the scrim and scaffolding they pop. It shows how overdue the area was.

  • Stopped by the New Orleans Square Station and they have shifted things around a bit and added a training boiler to demonstrate how the boilers and steam work to power the trains. I thought this was great and the other guests in the area seemed to be enjoying it too. I talked to several cast members and they said more is planned over the coming weeks/months. So be sure to stop by either Main Street Station or New Orleans Square. On Friday when I stopped by Main Street was really quiet. Cast Members were coloring since no guests were as they waited for more to find their way up. I really think a sign or two would go a long way. Also some re-training of the CMs at the bottom of the steps.. They started off their spiel saying the train is closed. I would venture to guess most guests would tune out at that point. They should be saying what is open and then indicating it will not be traveling anywhere.

  • As I was coming down the steps from Main Street Station the Straw Hatters were performing in Town Square. Chip and Dale were nearby greeting guests and they started dancing. Pluto came over and tried to dance but at first the chipmunks pushed him away. They gave in eventually. Mickey and Minnie then joined the group. This went on for several minutes and as it was ending Goofy showed up briefly too. It was hard to tell if this was part of the Hatters set or an impromptu experience. Either way I thought it was great. The guests who were participating were having fun and those watching and walking by all seemed to be enjoying it too. Such a better character experience than the all too common now fixed location or line experience. Yes there were no autographs but there were plenty of memories made, photos and video too. All in all it was great to see. Also I worth noting the guests were really into it and taking turns and not being aggressive either which made for a great atmosphere.

  • Over at Disney California Adventure stopped by the Animation Building and noticed the Zootopia clip is in the rotation twice. About 10 minutes apart.

  • I stopped by the Diamond Mad T Party to see the second set closing which features Walt. It was announced this past week the current run of the party will close on March 30th. It would seem to make way for the Food and Wine Festival that runs the month of April. No word yet on what happens after April, but I would be willing to bet some sort of night time event returns for the summer. There is a new Alice movie, Through the Looking Glass out the end of May.

  • I really am not a big fan of a single World of Color show and it being at 9:45pm. That seems really late for families and for people like me :) I am enjoying the earlier Paint the Night and Disneyland Forever. This will be shifting a half hour later in March when the clocks change. World of Color will stay the same through April according to Disneyland.com.

  • 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

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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

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