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3/04/05 - Some thoughts and observations from this Friday's 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.

3/04/05 - Some thoughts and observations from this Friday's trip to the Disneyland Resort.

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

Hello all,

The skies threatened all afternoon and we had hail in the morning in Downtown LA, but we managed to get in a great Disneyland Resort trip. Our goal of the evening was to get on Buzz, which I accomplished three times. Also wanted to see what else was going on around the park. The number of closed attractions has headed northward again with the Jungle Cruise and Mr. Toad joining the list of rehabs since last week's visit. Overall the crowds were surprisingly heavy. With the morning weather and the dark clouds I was expecting there to be a mild crowd, but the line to get into Disneyland was 15-20 minutes when I arrived and hovered around there several more times during the day. The average posted wait time appeared to be about 30 minutes or so, so not too bad but I was expected a lot less.


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

Disneyland & DCA:

  • I was finally able to catch the two new Character Celebrations, Sleeping Beauty's Royal Celebration and Mickey's Magic Kingdom Celebration in their entirety. Overall I would have to say that I found them to be good additions. Not as good as a new parade but definitely better than the Parade of the Stars and better than nothing. I think its a great stop gap and would not be surprised to see some similiar version appear later too. The crowds seemed to be full for all three shows on Friday.

    For those who do not know about the shows, a brief description. Each show features one float unit, two push units and a couple dozen characters and dancers. They run about 20-30 minutes including the parade portions. They consists of a prosession down Main Street heading straight out of the Town Sqaure gate and down the street, then hanging a left at the hub to go around to the castle where they stop to perform. After the show they continue on the hub loop and back down Main Street and a quick left into the parade gate to end.

  • A quick note, it was 10 years ago last week that Indiana Jones opened at Disneyland. Hard to believe... we took a spin to "celebrate" this anniversary and the attraction is looking as good as ever. As we wandered through the queue, with the details blurring by because we were walking qiuckly we commented on how this was the last great queue really and wondered if we would ever see another with this level of detail at the park. We were also talking about the first couple trips to the park to ride Indy and how we would line up in the hub and then travel around the hub and into Adventureland and wrap a couple times before entering the Indy queue.. how times have changed...

  • The highlight of the day for us was to get on the new Buzz Lightyear's Astroblasters attraction. They were having a "preview"/softopening. The attraction was open from when I arrived after lunch until 5ish when it went down with a problem then reopened around 9pm. I managed to get on three times, once early in the day with a 5 minute wait, around 4pm with a 20 minute wait then in the evening when it reopened with a 15 minute wait or so. The word seemed to spread quickly that the soft opening was occurring and as the evening progressed the line for Buzz grew, there were probably a couple hundred people in line waiting for it to reopen.

  • My first impression of the ride is mixed. Overall I think its a great addition to Disneyland and will be a must see for most who visit the park. Below are some thoughts and comparisons to Florida.

  • This attraction is definitely the next generation of the Buzz compared to the Floriday attraction. Some stark differences. First the guns are no longer bolted to the car, they are on a cable and you can move them at will. Secondly the guns and targets both indicate hits, which is extremely useful. The third change seemed to be a more complex scoring system with different shaped targets being worth more as well as direct and off center hits with different values (cannot verify this, just seemed like it).

    The Disneyland version is noticibly shorter and the sets do not seem as grand. Also the number of targets to shoot at seems less, but this might just be because of the ride length.

  • I thought it was kind of weird how cast members were describing the ride to park guests. They were talking about it as a cross between the teacups and Haunted Mansion with many using Haunted Mansion as the guide. This seemed ok, but I don't understand why they do not talk about Cartoon Spin since its really closer to that in terms of you having control. Speed and timing are closer to Haunted Mansion, but concept seems closer to Roger to me.. Seems like it should be a motorized Roger Rabbit combined with the shooting arcade to really be accurate. Anyone know why CMs are describing it that way?

  • Added 3/7/05: One possible problem I see with the attraction is the exit/on ride photo system the way its working. When you finish your trip and walk toward the exit you eventually get to an area that has a handful or so of computer terminals where you can view and email on ride photos (which include your score) to yourself or others. The way the system works is you scroll through pages that have thumbnails of images on them till you find yours. Once you do you select yours and then fill out the email addresses and off it goes. In theory I really like this idea. No more having to purchase the photos and now you get a low res digital copy for free. There are still some bugs in the system. For example the first time I went through my picture was not available, as well as three or four around where I should have been. On a later trip I found my picture, but the scores were zero'd out. So some minor bugs in the software. Also now its Monday and I still have not received any emails with my picture. So not sure what's going on there. Another problem with the system I see is the number of terminals. There needs to be more I think. The line was probably a half dozen people deep or so for each screen. It ended up being a longer wait to get to my picture than it was to get on the ride itself. It did take some time to locate your picture then to type in the email address, but not too long. One hold up we noticed were several groups of kids (high school and junior high ages) who thought it was cool to scroll through and send pictures of random people, or poeple with hats, or with strange appearances to their friends. So they would take quite a long time. Another occurrance we saw a couple times was guests coming off the attraction and just pushing their way to the kiosk in front of others. Not a problem for a couple of Disneygeeks over six feet tall, but a problem for younger kids waiting patiently in line along with us. Both of these could probably be solved with a CM in the room to keep some order along with maybe some markings on the ground for lines..

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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