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5/04/18 - 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.

5/04/18 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort

Friday was a warm (well hot) day at the Disneyland Resort with the temps climbing into the 90s and cooling down to the 70s. Walking around in the early afternoon the parks felt crowded for a Friday in early May but as the sun set there seemed to be a lull and the crowd felt more moderate. Gradnite season is underway so they were arriving in force as the sun set.

A quick note, I have posted more pictures from Shanghai, over 2,800 so far from the trip with one and half days to go. All videos and all thoughts & observations are now posted. This coming week I am going to work on posting several Tokyo days.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Parking was slow again with 15 minutes from tollbooth line to parking spot. The tollbooth line was maybe a handful of cars but it was not efficient. Also seems they were having some problems. My picture did not pop up. It did in the park though. From the ramp to the spot was a crawl. Security and tram were minimal waits today which was great.

  • First stop in the parks was the Blue Sky Cellar since last week I missed it. The new exhibit features a preview of Pixar Pier. The exhibits highlight/feature the first phase of projects with not a lot beyond that. I am guessing in June when these open they will update with more/future ones? I always enjoy the Blue Sky Cellar so seeing it reopened with a new exhibit was great. The hours seem a little short with it closing in the early evening, I forgot to ask what time and saw nothing posted. I did not watch the video this time through, will do that next trip hopefully. I always find the evolution of plans to be the most interesting. Seeing how the concept art is refined/altered/flushed out.

  • Arrived on Main Street USA at Disneyland as the Straw Hatters were performing in Town Square. Paused to watch their act and enjoyed seeing the interactions with Pluto, Donald, Mickey and Minnie. It had been a long time since I saw their full show, so not sure how much if any of it is new. I always seem to walk in at the end so I have seen the Mickey/Minnie section several times in recent months. But cannot remember the seeing the Pluto and Donald ones.

  • The Star Wars presence in Tomorrowland has increased again for the summer. This year HyperSpace Mountain has returned and they added a new March of the First Order. Since Friday was Star Wars Day (May 4th) they both premiered today. HyperSpace Mountain had almost a triple digit wait the couple times I checked. I did not experience it but heard it is the same as before. The March of the First Order takes place through the heart of Tomorrowland. The march stars at the upper level of the Launch Bay and they march down the ramp then through Tomorrowland to the Astro Orbitor and then back. Stopping a couple of times to scan/interact with the crowd. It is a very similar show as the one at Disney's Hollywood Studios. There were a large number of guests in the area watching. A fair number seemed to be there for the march. The rest just in the area and stopped to watch or were forced to watch since they could not get through the crowd.

  • Stopped by Pizza Planet again to take a second look around. It was much less crowded this week but still busy compared to my previous visits to Pizza Port on most days.

  • While walking toward Fantasyland noticed the Disneyland Emergency Services team was evacuating guests from a Finding Nemo sub. It appeared the sub got stuck just after leaving the dock.. guessing something to do with the track switch potentially since it seemed near that area. The process was orderly but slow going as the team helped guests up and out of the sub and into a small boat which was then taken to shore and that group got out and they repeated. Later in the evening the subs were back in operation so it was not a serious issue. From what I could see only one sub was being evacuated. Guessing the others were off loaded in the show building or at the dock.

  • I stopped by the Golden Horseshoe and Stage Door Cafe. Both have received updated menus in recent weeks and I did not make it there last week. They added more variety to both. I thought about eating there but with work still going on around the tree outside it was very crowded and hot today, temps were still pushing 90 when I was thinking about dinner.

  • I ended up at Smoke Jumpers Grill for dinner since it had A/C and I was walking by on my way to Pixar Pier. There was a cast member holding the line and directing you to a register line. I do not think they were doing a very good job. I was directed into a line with 4 groups ahead of me while most others had 2-3. She appeared to be counting people not groups. Then to top it off it was a slow cashier and every group had a challenge.. for example one wanted a special order appeared to be no seasoning or salt or something. Another group paid partially with cash and partially with a credit card. Then the third did not know if they had an annual pass or not and decided they did and had to find it.

  • Walked out to Pixar Pier to check out the construction and see the newly opened Ice Cream Stand called Adorable Snowman Frozen Treats. The lines for the new ice cream were extremely long. Being new plus a hot day meant the queue stretched well down the boardwalk. during the day I counted over 50 guests in line. In the evening closer to 100. The stand's specialty is yellow/lemon soft serve. I was surprised it did not sell snow cones since that is what he was selling in the film. But the soft serve seemed extremely popular and on par with the Dole Whip lines. Also interesting at night I walked by and the lighting package seemed minimal. Wonder if that is the final one?

  • Work on the Incredicoaster station and track continues. They were cycling trains throughout the afternoon, two on the track at a time.

  • Back at Disneyland stopped by the Small World Mall area at night to check out the lights. The new queue area looks great and really helps with the congestion in the area. It was nice to get a good look at the new location of the sea serpent. It is in the queue where more guests can see it now vs across the walkway.

  • While walking through Grizzly Peak Recreation area I passed by a Grad Nite Photo op that was set up near Soarin. They were using that gate as an entrance it appeared and this was the first photo op for those entering that way. It was odd to see it open for all during the day and in the middle of the walkway. I am not a fan of the mix in party. I am more old fashioned and like having Gradnite separate from day guests. I thought it was a better experience for both the grads and regular guests with isolated experiences.

  • I decided to give Together Forever a second try. I found it interesting a large number of guests just decided to sit in the middle of the street starting around 7pm and they stayed seated until cast members came and repeatedly asked everyone to stand up. I did join them, this was much better than standing the half hour, but it meant a lot of space used up and you could see cast members were frustrated because guests were not filling in space which was causing a backup of those guests coming in the park and looking for a spot to watch the show. The sidewalks looked to be flowing much better this week with the overflow corridors open on both sides.

  • On a second viewing Together Forever still did not connect with me. Again I thought some of the firework sequences were great as were some of the projection and other effects but overall the show just does not play well to me. I want to try it from it's a small world or Rivers of America.. curious how it plays there.

  • The Mickey and Friends Tram Stop was a mess after the fireworks to leave. They only had the first two stops, one on each side open. They were dropping guests off on the second one (further from the park entrance) and they were trying to wade through the mass of guests waiting to board and it was near gridlock. After several minutes they did open up the other set of tram stops but why are they waiting so long to do this? And when they do there is a near stampeded to get to the stop. Also we saw a large number of guests trying to find a walkway back and running into cast members then needing to figure back through the crowd. Not a positive way to end your day at the parks. They really need more signage to guide guests.

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

Geek’s Blog Postings Recap March 14-31, 2018

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.

Send comments, questions, any other email to: disneygeek@disneygeek.com

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