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3/18/16 - 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.

3/18/16 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort.

Hello everyone,

Spring Break season has arrived and that means larger crowds, groups of kids (cheerleaders/dance teams), and higher prices around the parks. On Friday the parks felt crowded as I walked around. Wait times due to the influx of teenagers and other spring breakers were longer than usual for the thrill rides, but everything else seemed normal to moderate most of the day. For example Screamin and Tower were both over an hour the couple times I checked. The seasonal pricing for one day tickets is in effect and the new ticket booth signs showed $119 for a one day one park ticket since it is peak time. As I roamed the park I noticed some dining location prices have gone up, but it did not appear to be across the board. I have updated the Disneyland Dining section with some of these menu pictures. I will work to gather more in the coming weeks.

  • 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

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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I was directed to the 5th floor of the Mickey and Friends garage. There is some work going on the main entrance/exit aisle on the far side of the garage. Traffic is diverted around it. It was a little hard to tell what was going on as I drove by and I parked no where near there and did not hike over to see.

  • Clearing continues for the Star Wars themed land. From the parking structure you can now see into the park as more trees have been cleared from the berm and Rivers of America area. Dirt is starting to be moved around too on the form ranch sites. Inside the park the big change is the northern section of the Rivers of America has been drained. Crews are still boxing and removing trees. It appeared the removal of the river bed had not started yet. It is always interesting to listen to conversations while watching the construction. Everyone has a theory on what they are looking at. Some are very interesting, some fun, some unbelievable and some insightful. Friday I overheard a debate about where they going to move the dinosaurs along the railway to because they were in the Star Wars area.. both were convinced they were being moved, the point of contention was to where. I tried to stay clear of that discussion. For the record the dinos are between Tomorrowland and Main Street and no where near the land clearing project for Star Wars.

  • Arrived at the security tents to find no wait at all. Now a days that is a sure sign that you will be randomly selected. With no one else to choose from you seem to be chosen more easily (at least I am 2 for 2 for secondary screening when I chose a line with no other guests in it. The secondary screening is now handled by Disney security cast members. The outside company has ended their contract. There were a lot of Disney cast members on hand Friday when I went through. The process was really quick and no problems at all.

  • Spring has sprung in the parks with flowers in bloom throughout. This year there is a series of spring balloons featuring Thumper on the outside and colored Mickey ears on the inside. These looked great. As I walked around I really missed the Springtime Roundup. The egg painting and festive atmosphere was always fun to stop by this time of year. I was disappointed Disney did not find a location to relocate the egg painting and characters to this year. (Pictures and video from previous Springtime Roundups)

  • The annual egg-stravaganza is still going on for another week, it runs through the 27th. This is the egg hunt that has expanded to both parks and Downtown Disney this year. As I walked around in the afternoon I did not see as many guests participating as I did last visit. But as the day went I seemed to notice more, but still no where near as many as last visit. For more on the 2016 Egg-Stravaganza including pictures of the egg locations here is my post

  • I caught a Jedi Training session at the Tomorrowland Terrace. Kylo Ren has joined the show, he is not one of the villains you get to duel with instead he has been added to the end of the show for the finale. Thought it was interesting they had three villains available but choose to only use two for dueling part of the show. A third would cycle faster or allow for more guests.

  • Some changes to note for the upcoming weeks. The Super Hero HQ is slated to close on April 2nd. Spider-Man and Captain America will be heading to Hollywood Land in DCA. Disney has made no official announcement about what the 2nd floor of the expo center will be used for but internet speculation is Star Wars will be taking over and it will house the preview for the new land.

  • Continuing the change theme, Frozen is slowly scaling back around the parks. At Disneyland the Royal Theatre has switched back to the original two shows Tangled & Beauty and the Beast. At DCA the Trading Post has reverted back to the Studio Store name. The Frozen Sing along will be closing in April too. The Frozen Musical at the Hyperion opens May 27th.

  • As I walked around I am surprised by the lack of a Zootopia presence in the parks. There is a rack or two of merchandise in Big Top Toys but not a lot and it is not front and center. The character meet and greet that was announced several weeks ago still has not started. The only Zootopia references are in the Animation building with some posters and Try Everything in the rotation.

  • The Bugs Theater is hosting a sneak peek for the upcoming Jungle Book film. It opens on April 15th (Tax day and the anniversary of Tokyo Disneyland). The sneak peek follows the format of recent ones with some banners along the parade route, a sign out front, the director introducing the film, then a scene and some clips. This one seemed shorter than others. I did not time clips but it was probably around 8 minutes only judging by my before and after pictures. I thought the scene and clips that were shown were humorous and entertaining. The photo realism of the animals still seems off to me. The sneak peek had a much more positive effect of making me want to see the film than the trailers I have seen so far. Note the sneak peek is shown in 3D and does use some of the theater effects.

  • The Mad T Party ends its current run on March 30th, right before the Food and Wine Festival takes over DCA. I stopped by for a couple sets of the band on Friday and they had a healthy crowd during both. It will be interesting to see what happens after the Food and Wine Festival ends in April. If a new night time event takes over for the summer. There is a new Alice Through the Looking Glass film opening the end of May.

  • Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters had a posted wait between 30-60 minutes the times I checked. I opted not to wait this visit. Instead I watched several cycles. At one point I watched them bring an additional car onto the dance floor. This process introduced a several minute delay. It was quicker than during the AP Preview but it was still a 5-10 minute delay. As I was watching I did find it interesting to see how the cars are recharged between dances. I posted a couple pictures in the full picture set. I did over hear a couple of cast members referring to the cars by their name (each cousin has a name of course). I wish they would have that information posted somewhere.. either in the queue or area around the attraction. A reference onboard the car would be a nice touch too. I do not recall seeing anything from my one ride a few weeks ago. If you would like to see more pictures, video and read my first impressions here is my blog post from the AP Preview on 3/4.

  • After dark Disneyland was very crowded as expected but not holiday gridlock. Wait times were not that bad either. I had noticed quite a few groups of kids gathering so maybe the school/competition groups had something going on or left the park earlier.

  • I decided to find a spot on Main Street for Paint the Night and while waiting ended up talking with a family who were first time visitors to the parks. They had come from Canada. I always find it interesting to hear what first time guests have to say. This was their third and final day in the parks and they were all exhausted from the kids to the parents but they had a great time. They rolled through the list of attractions they had visited and their favorites, which seemed to be just about everything. The one disappointment they mentioned to me was they missed World of Color because the kids energy was gone by 9:15pm and they were begging for bed by that point. 9:45pm after all day in the parks was really late for them. The 8:30 Paint the Night seemed to be pushing it by the end of the third day. The parents were commenting how visiting the parks is not a vacation but rather an endurance test. I agreed it is a marathon and you need to have what I call theme park stamina. It was refreshing to hear their comments and perspective on the parks and a great way to wrap up the day. Also interesting to have an unsolicited data point that backed up one of my theories that a single 9:45pm showing of World of Color is too late for some families and having an earlier one would definitely help.

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

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

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