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03/17/17 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday 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.

03/17/17 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday trip to the Disneyland Resort.

Hello everyone,

Friday was a great afternoon/evening at the Disneyland Resort from a weather perspective with temps topping out in the upper 70s and dropping to upper 60s. From the crowd perspective it was on the busy side especially after dark. Wait times were as you would expect with a couple stretching toward triple digits in the afternoon.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • My Disney day started off with some bad parking luck. I was directed into a spot in the last row only a couple cars from the end. So I was just about as far as you could get from the escalators. That is one of my biggest complaints with the structure.. that the escalators are in a corner vs the middle.. so a large number of spots are not close. My other complaint is how you have to drive in circles compared to how it was originally laid out where you would only have to travel down the row once. Now you get a scenic tour to find a spot then leave. The positive is there was no wait at the toll booth and no backup to be directed into the spot.

  • As has become the routine first item on my to-do list was to spend some time checking out the latest Star Wars construction. The two AT-ATs have risen into place (if you have not seen it Disney released a nice video showing them and a visualization of how they will look). Other than that a lot of activity around the site with new walls, foundations, rock work, trees, etc.. all moving along. Once in the park the Rivers of America look to be getting ready to pour the next segment and the walkway seems to be heading toward the final stretch.

  • At Disneyland there are two anniversaries this weekend. Friday marked twelve years for Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and Saturday marks 50 years for Pirates of the Caribbean. Disney advertised Pirates festivities occurring from Thursday through Sunday so I was looking forward to seeing them on Friday. Unfortunately the festivities on Friday consisted of some food items, limited edition pins for sale, and the regular entertainment. The attraction has returned from renovation but featured waits longer than my patience so I did not go for a cruise on Friday. The food items seemed to have steady flows of guests with the exception of the churros that had a long line the couple times I walked by. I really wish they would have done more for the 50th on the other days. Saturday they had more merchandise, buttons, cards, photo ops, etc.. but Friday was a fairly under whelming event.

  • Speaking of long lines the womens rest room lines in Critter Country and New Orleans Square were extremely long again.. close to 20 people outside the door in both. Interesting the expanded rest rooms in Adventureland had opened for women but it did not seem to help with these two. The mens rooms were busy but no lines or waits at either location.

  • Beauty and the Beast Red Rose Sippers were back in stock for some of Friday. The lines at both locations selling them, Maurice's Treats and the Red Rose Taverne were extremely long. The Fantasy Faire line was approximately 75 guests and almost wrapped around to itself. In Fantasyland the Taverne queue wrapped and still almost extended out into Fantasyland. It was well over an hour.

  • I finally caught a glimpse of Belle and the Beast roaming around Fantasyland. They were heading in as I was walking by but it was great to see them out in the crowd interacting with guests.

  • In Tomorrowland the new FastPass Return door has opened for Star Tours, it points out to the hub. This seems good except when it backs up, like it was on Friday with guests stretching out toward the rest rooms/Plaza Inn.

  • Over at Disney California Adventure the Guardians of the Galaxy facade had the tarps removed and some scaffolding on Friday so you could get a good look at the new scheme. It is drastically different. I think it looks rather awkward in the skyline of DCA and does not really fit into the area at all. If it was further away or in a different spot I think I would like it better. It just looks so different than everything else to me. Maybe once more of the Marvel expansion comes to be it will not look so different but for now it is odd to me.

  • The Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival entered week two on Friday. This week there was a new button and a different band at the bandstand. I was disappointed not to see a different group in Paradise Park. The lines at the Marketplaces were about the same with some stretching up to a double digits but most others walk-ups or one or two people at most. Wait times were minimal from what I saw. The walkways were busy though. With a good portion of the walkway taken up with the marketplaces, eating areas, and queues it made for a more narrow walkway that always felt busy.

  • In FastPass news the World of Color FastPass distribution has shifted to carts in the Bar Area, at the end of the Mermaid stroller parking area opposite the rest rooms. Curious why they made this move after all this time of sharing the old space with GRR. It never seemed too bad over there. I am still disappointed with only one World of Color per evening now a days and on weekends it is at 9:45pm. Seems to me if they would have a 9pm show it may help with some of the MSEP crowding to draw guests over to DCA. Also a 9:45 start time seems late for a family with kids. And having only one show means a large number of guests cannot see the show.

  • I decided to take a walk through Downtown Disney around 8pm. I was expecting to see something going on for St. Patricks day. Instead I saw the regular assortment of entertainment and happenings. This was a bit disappointing.

  • I decided to head for Disneyland around 8:30pm, which I knew was not the brightest idea, but I wanted to see what Pirates looked like and was hoping to beat the parade. Thanks to a very long wait at the entrance I missed my opportunity and reached the hub just as the start of the parade was passing. The crossing was already backing up and I did not get to cross until the final crossing before Elliot. That meant by the time I reached Pirates if I had ridden I would be exiting as the fireworks were wrapping up and the exit congestion would be bad so I opted to skip the ride and instead just do a circle of the park and exit. It took me approx 45 min for the complete loop from when I passed the tram stop on the way in till I was back at the tram stop waiting to head to the structure.

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

Geek's Blog Postings Recap – February 18-28, 2017

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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