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4/12/13 - My thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort including Long Lost Friends and Iron Man Tech Limited Time Magic Events.
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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.

4/12/13 - My thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort including Long Lost Friends and Iron Man Tech Limited Time Magic Events.

Hello all,

Friday was a great spring afternoon and evening at the Disneyland Resort. Temps peaked in the low 70s and dropped to the 60s as night fell and their was a slight breeze with not a cloud in sight. The parks had what felt like a mild crowd meaning it was fairly easy to walk around and the waits were around the hour mark for the hour mark for the usual suspects.

** Disneyland News - On Saturday several attractions did not open with the rest of the park. Space Mountain, Matterhorn, Soarin Over California and the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. From all accounts it appears the first three have to do with DOSH findings. The subs were closed due to an incident earlier in the week (they were closed Friday too) and they did reopen later on Saturday. Here is the California DOSH report on Space Mountain. All the violations are for backstage/cast member safety and nothing to do with the attractions themselves or directly with guests from what I have seen. All three remained closed all day Saturday and according to several sites will remain closed indefinitely until fixes can be found.


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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • This week two Limited Time Magic Events were on my to-do list at the parks. First up Long Lost Friends Week in the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree. As you saw in the pictures the event had a good crowd at it and consisted of five sets of characters standing in front of backdrops for pictures. Every half hour they would switch out in mass with another set of five characters. The queues were marked on the ground with tape and the lines were kept moving by not allowing autographs, instead you received a signature card. Each line had a cast member or two to help with pictures and keep the line moving and a photo pass photographer.

  • I thought this was a very well run event. There was plenty of signage directing guests to it and a listing in the park entertainment guide to help you find out about the event. Once there the lines and guest flow seemed organized and to work efficiently when all were following the plan. The signature cards appeared to be a great success on both the front of keeping the lines moving and giving guests a nice keepsake to take home. (to see pictures of all the cards visit our guest update from 4/9).

  • I am curious if the event hit its mark/target audience. As I looked around I saw a lot of Annual Passholder wristbands and several familiar faces of annual passholders and cast members I have seen around the parks. If the goal was to give that group something to experience and for those tourists that found there way out there something then I think it worked. I am curious overall the audience the Limited Time Magic campaign is targeting. By announcing events so close to when they are happening and based on the scale and subject matter it seems they are targeting locals for the events and I am not sure who with the merchandising. The items are not really collectibles in a traditional sense. I was really surprised they did not pins and/or Vinylmation releases for each event. Also it seems the average guest has no idea what Limited Time Magic is, it does not seem to really be penetrating or gaining traction as its own entity.

  • The other Limited Time Magic Event was actually a 2fer. The first was the Iron Man Tech presented by Stark Industries in Innoventions. Then as a Disneyland Annual Passholder event they had a preview of this and kept select attractions in Tomorrowland open an additional two hours after park closing. I thought this was an ok event. I am not a big comic fan and have not seen the Iron Man films so the subject matter was not on the top of my to see list. I was at the park and had a light agenda, so decided to spend some time in line and attend the event. As with the other Annual Passholder events there was a rush/line near the opening. Both of the queue for wristbands and to get into the preview then things normalized a bit.

  • The distribution process seemed fairly well organized and they were ready for the line it appeared. At 1pm wristband distribution was to begin by Innoventions. A line formed well before from reports I saw online. I arrived around 1:30 and the line stretched out into Tomorrowland. It looked much worse than it was. It kept moving and I was on my way in under 15 minutes from when I first walked up (and that included taking some pictures). The process was similar to others, you walked up, a cast member scanned your annual pass, you moved forward and another put a wristband on you, and then you moved to a third at a table and received an Iron Man poster to take home. By the time I was leaving the line had shrunk to only a couple minutes and later in the afternoon there was no line at all. They were distributed wristbands up to around the 5pm hour, not sure exactly when they ran out. So the lesson here is if it is a large attendance event wait and let the rush go and you will save some time in line.

  • The posters were a nice idea, but carrying it around the park all day was annoying and I managed to damage mine quite a bit due to its size and me being too lazy to hike back to the car to store it properly. I wish they would have waited until you went in for the event in the evening. Or had something that folded up easier.

  • At 6:00pm the exhibit was to open. I arrived a little before 6:00 and the line filled the outside of the upper floor of Innoventions and stretched down the ramp. After I got in line it kept growing and stretched out to Tomorrowland. I was laughing because the wait for Space Mountain was posted at 25 minutes and we were waiting close to 45 minutes for Innoventions. This was the longest line I had ever seen there, probably was a record for the attraction. This line moved slowly due to them trying to keep the exhibit from over crowding. As you approached the doorway to enter they scanned your pass again and checked your wristband.

  • Once inside the exhibit itself is small. It fills the former Honda display area (and before that it was the Segway area). There are two parts. The first is the Hall of Armor where you see 8 Iron Man suits on display. I was not sure if these were real props or created for the exhibit. I saw no signage so I am assuming it was created for the exhibit. The second part was a Suit Up experience where you could virtually put on and test out an Iron Man suit. There were two stations for this and it took three minutes or so per person to cycle through. The line looked to be 45-60 minutes (I little hard to judge because some groups just let their kids do it, others just the adults, others everyone.

  • As I was leaving I looked at the line to get into Innoventions and again waiting would have been wiser as it was probably under 20 minutes.

  • Overall I thought it was a nice addition to Innoventions and it sure beats the empty space. It does not really fit into the theme directly but a stretch can be made that it is showcasing technology, just fantasy technology. Even though the exhibit was small and there were a lot of guests it really did not feel over crowded to me. It will be interesting to see after the opening week or so if the crowds hold up.

  • I did not stick around for the after hours time. Did anyone out there? If so how were the lines? What did you think? 

  • Glow Ears are still a miss which is too bad since I think it is a cool effect. While at Fantasmic I looked around and did not really see any. During Remember two people pushed in front of me, which normally annoys me, but they had glow ears on so at least that gave me something to different to see and lessen the frustration. One note on the crowd. I was able to stay through the finale of Fantasmic and walk with the crowd to Main Street and find a spot for Remember with about a minute to spare. I was surprised at how smoothly the crowd moved this time.

Interesting Web Finds/Notes:
Below are some interesting links, notes, and rumors I found/stumble across/or have been informed of since the last Geekspeaks column.

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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