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3/09/18 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort including the 2018 Food and Wine Festival.
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3/09/18 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort including the 2018 Food and Wine Festival.
Friday was a cool and overcast day at the Disneyland Resort. It felt more like Fall weather than Spring.. or maybe even winter with the temps in the low 60s for most of the time I was there. Both parks felt crowded with guests moving about, but attraction wait times were moderate to low so it seems everyone was in the walkways and not in line today.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I was pleased to find the Ball Road by pass open so I getting from the freeway to the parking structure was quick and easy. The tollbooth lines were relatively short too with under 10 cars in each lane.. I found one with only a handful of cars, so no problem there. Then the line barely moved. I noticed to my right the line of cars going up to the parking level was stopped. It seemed they had cars backed up from the parking spots all the way through the toll booth. Seemed to be the same problem as last time where instead of shifting cars to keep the lanes flowing they instead let it back up as filled some spots. It took nearly 20 minutes from entering the structure until my car was in a spot. That is terrible for an average day at the park. As the day went on parking was just as bad if not worse. I talked to someone who arrived after dark and the report was cars backed up to the freeway and Toy Story parking the far portion of the lot and only operating one shuttle stop. It took them almost an hour from the freeway to the park (including a long bus ride due to traffic). When exiting Disneyland Drive outbound was backed up but luckily the overpass was not so I stayed in the left lane and had no delays where as those in the right and on Disneyland Drive were not moving.

  • First stop was to check out the construction. Nothing too interesting on the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge front, just more rock work visible. The parking structure project is moving ahead full speed. A majority of the Pinocchio lot is gone and grading is underway. The remaining sections where the tram stop was and tram parking is starting to be cleared. It will be interesting to see how this structure is built. If it will be traditional concrete or something more along the lines of how the new structure in Disney Springs is being assembled with pre-made concrete pieces. The quicker the structure opens the better from a parking perspective.

  • The Tram Stop and Security layout has changed to accommodate construction. There are now two dedicated drop off locations near the escalator and two pick up locations on the Chip and Dale level after security. I found it interesting they were holding guests as you entered the structure and trying to keep the lines at each check point short. I liked this as it balanced things out and kept the line moving.. where as before if you choose unwisely your line may just inch along while all the others move. Also it made it seem less chaotic. The downside to this is a large queue space was needed outside. Will be interesting to see if this procedure sticks around. Being inside and protected from the weather could be a benefit for the checkpoints during the rainy days and hot ones. The downside to this set up is how bad it looks. Everything is temporary with power lines hanging from above, bare concrete and just a non inviting feel to it. It is definitely not a good first impression for the park. It would be nice to see something in the area.. maybe some concept art showing what is coming? Or even something more Disney on the temporary walls to make it more inviting. It is odd with the Welcome sign/billboards where the primary drop off/exit area is so most do not see it. Another odd feeling to the area was the large presence of security. There seemed to be a large number of Disneyland, K9 and Anaheim PD officers present. It is a nice show for some but off putting for others. Not as bad as Disneyland Paris police that had assault weapons near security, but still a heavy and visible presence.

  • The 2018 Food & Wine Festival began last Friday at Disney California Adventure. Due to the weather last week I did not go so this was my first look at it. The festival is on par with last year. There are Marketplace kiosks in Hollywood Land and lining the parade route to Paradise Gardens. 13 in all this year. The lines at the marketplaces appeared long and constant all afternoon and evening. They seemed longer than last year. I could not tell if it was because of volume or speed of service or a combination. The walkways and kiosks all felt crowded. The seminars and entertainment seemed less so. Several seemed nearly empty as I wandered around and took in some festivities. This year I was not overly impressed with the entertainment selection. There are a fair number of groups so hopefully I will catch some others more to my liking on future visits. The most popular activity appeared to be the Jr Chef presentation. That was the only full house I saw. They expanded it since last year with more openings and it was full. This year there seemed to be more merchandise and more locations to purchase it with a good amount targeted at Annual Passholders. The AP Corner area was really out of the way this year. It was not heavily visited the two times I stopped by, guessing because of the out of the way corner it is in, or maybe I was just lucky. This year they are only doing one button for the entire event, which is too bad. They were not using any indoor venues for the seminars or events on Friday, except for one spotlight/hard ticketed event in the Hyperion.

  • Pixar Pier is moving along with just over 3 months until opening. The new color schemes are starting to show up with blue/teal taking over the Fun Wheel and Toy Story buildings. The red for the coaster is still minimal but more is coming to balance the area out.

  • This past week time schedules for April started to show up on the Disneyland website. It confirms World of Color is going down for renovation when Paint the Night returns. Paint the Night is scheduled twice nightly in April. No times for Pixar Play Parade at Disneyland yet.

  • How long have they been selling alcohol at the outdoor vending carts as you enter the Hyperion? Probably a long time but I just noticed it this trip. It seemed odd to me to be selling beer and wine along with popcorn and other traditional items.

  • It seemed everywhere I turned on Friday I was crossing paths with Pixar characters at DCA. I saw Mrs. Incredible and Frozone in Paradise Pier. Woody and Sully in Hollywood Land plus the Cars in Cars Land.

  • I also seemed to be near the Red Car quite a few times too hearing its horn as I tried to cross the tracks or walk up the street. I think this happened almost every time I was near the tracks..

  • Over at Disneyland some more walls are removed on Main Street as the streetcar track project is heading toward the finish line. A majority of the remaining walls should be gone by next weekend and the return of Remember Dreams Come True fireworks. I thought it was great to see a street car out in Town Square for pictures. The cast members are excited for the return of the cars and horses.

  • I caught the Flag Retreat in Town Square. The ceremony was on hiatus for several weeks when Town Square was behind walls. They made a tweak to the show. There is now a recorded thank you to those serving and who have served where as before this line was delivered live by a member of the honor guard. I was reading some are upset about this change. I can see both sides of the argument. Making it pre-recorded means everyone can hear it where as before only those within ear shot of the CM yelling it. But it was more personal before.

  • In Fantasyland more walls have popped up. Now they are working on the planters near Pinocchio. Assuming the walkway is being widened. Casey Jr has returned to operation. Out in the Small World Mall area several patches of concrete have been replaced. It is good to see the work being done, but the new concrete does not look anything like the original and really sticks out.

  • I learned something interesting. I opened the Disney World App while in the park to look up a reservation for an upcoming trip and the app informed me that I was at Disneyland and asked if I wanted to use that app instead. Wonder if this happens frequently that people get confused? Or accidently click the wrong one?

  • Went for a cruise on Pirates of the Caribbean. The attraction is supposed to have a renovation soon and as part of it the auction scene will be changed. No dates have been released by Disney for the closure or reopening. The WDW version is currently closed for its renovation.

  • Used a FastPass for the Haunted Mansion. Reached the end of the hallway by the busts and the ride stopped. They restarted it after several minutes but were not loading guests, only unloading. Then it stopped again. At this point we were told it was closed and we would be issued a FastPass good for any attraction in Disneyland except for Peter Pan. I had planned to head for home but since I had the Fastpass decided to head to Fantasyland and use it for Alice in Wonderland. When I arrived there of course it was down too! Thought about back tracking for Mr. Toad but decided I would rather get ahead of the exit crowds from Fantasmic! and World of Color so called it a night instead.

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

Geek’s Blog Postings Recap February 15-28, 2018

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.

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