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3/18/22 - 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.

3/18/22 - Disneyland Resort

Hello Everyone!

I spent Friday at the Disneyland Resort. The parks were busy as usual, maybe slightly tourists more as Spring Break season is underway. Also some local area schools were off Thursday and Friday. Also some renovation projects are underway meaning less capacity and space in the park. This translated into some longer wait times in general. The weather turned out to be perfect topping out around 80 degrees and cooling off to the mid 60s during my visit.

A question I am asked frequently is about masks in the parks. Right now there are no requirements. The signage recommends it. In practice I saw a small minority of guests wearing masks. Still a noticeable amount but less than last visit. This went for outdoors, in crowds, queues, and on attractions. If you are uncomfortable being around a lot of people without masks on right now you may want to avoid the parks and Downtown Disney.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Once again I started my day walking to the parks. It was a pleasant morning and I wanted to check out the projects. The rest of my group opted to take tram. I was able to walk through the Disneyland Hotel, security and Downtown Disney and we all arrived at the World of Disney about the same time. As I was walking by they were just exiting their tram. Seems they drew some bad luck and their driver was chatting or something. They said three or four trams pulled out and passed them in the structure before they left.
  • As I passed through the Disneyland Hotel there was a lot of activity with guests leaving and arriving. Since it was late morning I was right at that window, which I normally am way earlier or slightly later.
  • The beginnings of the Disney Vacation club tower is just starting to be visible over the construction walls. The first rebar structures for the columns and walls are rising up and visible in spots. It will be interesting to see how this tower looks with the other three around it.
  • There are two great pieces of dimensional artwork on the ground. One at the hotel featuring Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast and one in Downtown Disney near the west end stage featuring Luisa from Encanto. It was great to see these, I was not sure how long they would be around, they were created last weekend.
  • The big story in Downtown Disney is the demolition work for the west end buildings is nearing the end of its initial stage. All but a small portion of the building that faces north has been reduced to rubble. With the Monorail operating again you get some great views of the project. It will be fun to watch this new area take shape. Looking at the concept art it is interesting they opted to put the building up with the Monorail on the backside and open to the hotel. guessing this was done for future expansion possibilities maybe?
  • The two renovations on Main Street have wrapped up and the buildings look new again. No other current projects are underway on the main part of the street. The gift shop just before the east train tunnel, near the Bank, is under wraps for some work right now.
  • This visit my two young nephews (almost 3 and 5 years old) were in tow. So when we saw 15 minutes posted for it's a small world we headed that way. The app, tip screen, and sign at the attraction all said 15 minutes. The queue looked longer than that assuming there would be Lightning Lane returns. But we decided to trust it and got in line. We moved in spurts with a fair amount of stopping for Lightning Lane returns. In the end it took us about 35 minutes to board a boat. So the 15 min was off by quite a bit. During our wait it did climb to 20 then 25min which both would have been low too as the line looked longer behind us than when we first entered the queue.
  • The Toontown renovation project should be in high gear now that the land is closed. Unfortunately there is no way to see into the site so we are in the dark waiting for Disney to post an official update. It would have been interesting/nice if they had put a couple windows into the construction wall to give a glimpse into the project.
  • In Fantasy Faire the Royal Theatre renovation project is nearing completion. I have not seen any official announcement at what will be in the theatre but on Friday afternoon a team was working on some touch up paint and other details. All the walls/scrims were down and lights were working.
  • Zocalo Park in Frontierland is hosting Miguel from Coco and Mirabel from Encanto. Unlike other character interactions there was a queue to get into the area and viewing for those who did not want to wait in the queue was fairly limited due to the setting. The couple times I walked by there were healthy waits.
  • Frontierland felt busy in general the couple times I walked through. The pinch point from Zocalo Park to Big Thunder seems to be approaching what Adventureland gets like in terms of congestion. With the large queues for Big Thunder (standby and many times Lightning Lane returns) coupled with increased traffic in the area heading to/from Galaxy's Edge it felt really busy before and now add another queue for characters into the mix and Frontierland is a busy place.
  • I spent two brief stints of time in Disney California Adventure this visit. Just long enough for some of the group to experience a little of the Food & Wine Festival. As we walked around the park felt crowded, very similar to the past couple visits so it did not feel like Spring break bump. We were eating around 2pm and found many of the tables in the Wharf area and even at Flo's were taken. Especially if you wanted shade. We did end up with a great one in the shade on an end but it took some effort and waiting. By the time we were done eating availability was easier to find so seems we hit the tail end of the lunch rush that we were trying to avoid. I still find it a little odd that the Hollywood Land Festival entertainment is over before 3pm so those that park hop only have a chance at a couple shows.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean celebrated its 55th anniversary. Unfortunately it was closed for renovation so no cruises. The anniversary was marked by three posters on the construction walls in New Orleans Square. One at the attraction entrance and then two further into the land. Walking through New Orleans is a challenge right now with the elevated terrace and planters that ran furthest from the Rivers/closet to the buildings behind walls. Internet reporting is the area is being returned to a flattened state to give more space for the Pirates queue and help with general traffic flow in the land. Will be interesting to see how this effects Fantasmic viewing options. The project is slated to wrap up before Fantasmic returns in May.
  • I had another run of bad luck with Buzz Lightyear. The nephews really wanted to go on it all day long so when the posted wait time showed 25 minutes for a while and it did not look too bad we opted to get in line. The line inched along, stopping for decent periods of time. In the end it took us 30 minutes to board so longer than posted but no where near as bad as small world earlier today. Again the issue was Lightning Lane arrivals. Those guests were being sent right on with no waiting and stand by was stopped waiting for them. Learned in addition to being painfully long to travel a short distance all the longer stops make it much more likely kids will find a way to get themselves into trouble in the queue playing with the chains, ropes, lights, anything else they could get their hands on. Being stopped gave them more time to explore and get yelled at.
  • The Pixar Pals dance party takes over Tomorrowland Terrace from 7pm until 11pm. The format has changed from previous dance parties with the characters no only on the stage. They did not enter the crowd and dance. Also there seemed to be more "dance lesson' activities than I remembered. We saw friends from Incredibles, Up! and Toy Story while in the area. The dance party did draw a healthy crowd onto the dance floor and to the tables to watch. The Pixar over the top decorations seemed out of place in Tomorrowland but this is not the first time the stage area has been out of theme for the land.
  • Paid a visit to Merlin's Marvelous Miscellany in Fantasyland. This small store has opened in Fantasyland replacing the former Holiday shoppe that was there. The merchandise selection was mostly Peter Pan and then some generic Disneyland items. Some of the props related to Merlin but I did not see any specific merchandise in my quick tour of the store that did.
  • I lucked out again and was able to walk right onto a waiting tram to return to the parking structure. I really appreciated the ride and saving all those steps.

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

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

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