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3/20/15 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort as Spring gets underway
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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.

3/20/15 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort as Spring gets underway

Hello everyone,

I marked the first day of Spring at the Disneyland Resort. The weather was picture perfect with clear skies and temps just about 80 degrees and cooling down to the 60s. The crowds felt moderate at the parks but wait times were slightly less than the crowds felt - meaning the waits seemed shorter than expected for most attractions given the large number of guests walking around.

logs and mileage reports are in the Park Miles section.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • When I arrived at the Disneyland Resort, just after lunch, they had the Ball Road overpass closed and the parking structure was blocked off too. Driving by the structure appeared mostly empty. They were directing guests into the Lion King lot on the far side of the Paradise Pier Hotel. I opted to circle around and park in the Toy Story lot. This meant it took about 20 minutes to park from exiting the freeway. The second parking structure is long overdue. If this is your first impression of Disneyland stuck in traffic and circling the park it is not a very positive one.

  • Once I finally reached the parks I headed for DCA first to grab a FastPass for World of Color. As anticipated I received a Yellow Section one. Due to the Airfield area still being blocked off this was quite a hike and with the path being a dead end the trail around Grizzly River Run was quite crowded.

  • The smoking area between Grizzly River Run and the Bay Area was more crowded than usual due to a closure of the area out on Paradise Pier. Thought this was interesting. Wonder if it means something will finally move forward in the old Maliboomer spot? The downside to this is the nice quiet nature trail puts you in the middle of a smoke cloud! Also I found it funny they were directing guests to the wilderness to smoke.

  • Smokejumpers Grill, the first piece of the new Grizzly Peak Airfield area of Disney California Adventure opened Friday. This dining location replaced the former Taste Pilots Grill in Condor Flats. The menu is virtually identical, a couple minor changes but its your burgers and chicken choices. The rest of Grizzly Peak Airfield will be opening over the next few months concluding with Soarin as the summer season kicks off. The improvements to the area were very noticable and I think positive. I enjoyed the aerospace theme of Condor Flats but it was sparse and not the most visually appealing. The new area features more trees, fences, and other elements to break up the sight lines and liven up the exterior. Inside they opened up the entrance area and added quite a few props around restaurant. The cast members also recieved new costumes. Someone even commented on the fresh smell outside due to the wood chips. I am really looking forward to seeing the rest of the makeover now. If you missed it I posted an extended look at the new dining location in our Disneyland Picture section.

  • At Disneyland Sleeping Beauty Castle is starting to receive the diamonds and other other bling for the 60th anniversary celebration. Also two new projector towers have been installed. The towers fit in nicely and look great. The diamond overlay on the Castle is a work in progress but so far I am not overly impressed by it. It is bright and shiney though. Curious if they will light up at night, if so it may be similar to the Christmas overlay where during the day it does not look that good but at night the effect is great.

  • The Springtime Roundup returned to the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree on Friday. The 2015 edition features the same basic offerings as last year. Egg artwork, character meet and greets, arts and crafts, food, and some entertainment. The characters include all your favorite rabbits from Roger Rabbit, Thumper, the White Rabbiet, Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh, Brer Rabbit and Mr. Easter Bunny to Pluto dressed as a rabbit as well as Mickey & Minnie in their springtime attire. The entertainment is provided by a trio (singer, piano, and guitar) and they play a variety of songs and are accompanied by a half dozen dancers. The Bunny Hop has returned and happens at 11:30, 1:00, 2:30, 3:30, 4:30 daily.

  • The highlight of the springtime roundup for me is always the egg artwork. I enjoy watching the artists at work and seeing their creations. On Friday the crowds were mild and the only real waits materialized for Mickey/Minnie and Roger Rabbit and even those were only 15-20 minutes the couple times I checked. Again I would recommend checking out the springtime round up if you want to relax a bit and get some character pictures.

  • In the afternoon only Monorail Blue was in service so it meant longer than usual waits. The cast member said the second train went in earlier in the day and they were unsure if it would return.. as the sun was setting I did spot a second train on the tracks.

  • Speaking of train... the Primeval World has returned along the Disneyland Railroad. It had been closed off for refurbishment for several weeks. Overall it looked good and no major changes jumped out in my one pass by.

  • Interesting note that the Tower of Terror was closed when I walked by and Cast Members were saying your best bet was to check back on Saturday. This seemed odd since usually they say later. I saw it was down on Saturday too. No indication of why.

  • I walked through the Frozen Fun area. Olaf was still drawing a crowd with nearly an hour wait. To play in the snow was about half an hour. Was surprised to find no wait for Anna and Elsa. They were allowing stand by guests right in when I walked through the Animation Building. As always this time of year I found it odd to walk through the night time area during the day thanks to the time change. So Freeze the Night kicks off at 6pm when it is still rather bright. For this event I think it works for families but the event does loose something in my opinion without the lights being able to take effect. There was a healthy crowd of families enjoying the area when I walked through.

  • I concluded my night with the World of Color. The regular show returned last Friday. Currently they are only running one show per evening. I picked up a FastPass but since it was for the Yellow section I again opted to use the Standby area for a straight on view. I arrived just under an hour before the show and managed to find a good standby location. No major changes to the show. During the renovation they upgraded/fixed the equipment and added new effects for the new show coming in May. On Friday the projections on the back water screens looked really sharp, I think the best I have seen. The front screen looked ok but no where near as good as the back ones to me. I am guessing they swapped out the projectors during the renovation? Or was it just my angle and favorable winds.

  • Do you visit our pictorial updates using a mobile device? If so we would like your feedback. I have created a beta of a more mobile version of our Disneyland Picture sets at https://disneygeek.com/mobile Please give it a try and share your thoughts.

Interesting Web Finds/Notes:

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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