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5/09/14 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to the Disneyland Resort.
 The Geek Speaks:

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.

5/09/14 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to the Disneyland Resort.

Hello all,

It was a pleasant afternoon/evening at the Disneyland Resort. Weather was on the mild side. Highs were in the 70s lows in the 60s. Crowds were higher than I was expecting with a fair number of guests moving around and wait times for the big attractions stretching toward the hour mark. With the number of attractions and areas closed for renovation I think that inflated these wait times a bit.


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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I received several comments and questions on the transition from being at Walt Disney World last week (I returned back to LA on Monday evening) and going to Disneyland so soon. For me Disneyland is a relaxing place since I tend not to rush from attraction to attraction on most visits. Instead I tend to wander around the parks and just take in the sites. I do move around a lot, as you can see from trying to follow any of my rambling trip logs or long pictorial updates but its not stressful like it is when you know you have a limited time or may not be back to see something again. Over the years I have come to treat WDW more like that too so even those trips are a lot more relaxing for me too.

  • I needed to renew my annual pass today. Since there was no discount for renewing at the Premiere level and I am not sure when my next WDW trip is I opted to go with the Premium pass. It is so easy to spend $629 now a days. It took me less than 5 minutes to complete the entire transaction. The current Disneyland Annual passes are very generic. They no longer list the type or expiration date on the back even.

  • Disneyland is in an off season mode with a long list of attractions closed and more closing down soon. Currently the Plaza Inn, Finding Nemo Subs, Small World, Go Coaster, Fantasyland Theater (Magical Map), Alice in Wonderland, and Pirates are closed at Disneyland. Over at DCA Grizzly River Run and the Blue Sky Cellar are closed. If you are planning a trip be sure to check the Disneyland website for current closures as there are quite a few more scheduled for the coming weeks/months.

  • First stop for me was Tomorrowland and a trip on the Monorail. This was a longer than anticipated event due to the fact only Monorail Orange was in service. No indications of what was going on or how long it had been that way. Later in the evening they had both Orange and Blue operating.

  • The Little Mermaid, Ariels Undersea Adventure had been closed for renovations for several weeks. It was slated to reopen on Saturday 5/10 but a luck would have it they were doing a soft opening on Friday and I was able to get a couple of spins in. The wait times were about average. Waited a couple minutes the first time then about 10 the second on my two visits. The big change that jumps out right away are some of the new sea creatures and the new paint/lighting for most of them. The overall effect is substantially better than it was and adds a little to the ride. Nice to see Disney investing in an attraction that is not that old and making tweaks. Should be interesting to see if they do the same to the Orlando version. I have three videos if you are curious the changes to the attraction. I created a blog entry that shows an original ride through in 2011. One in 2012 with the first round of revisions and then one featuring some clips from Friday. Click here to view video post.

  • After dinner I was going to pass through the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree to see what was going on. It was slated to be open under 5:00pm and it was about quarter till when I set off in that direction. As I arrived in the area the cast members were closing the gates and not allowing guests to enter. Those inside were allowed to stay and wander out. It was still a good 10 minutes before closing. While looking in the ranch side I noticed guests lined up and the cast members were setting up for the running of the goats. This is the nightly event as the goats from the petting zoo head back to their backstage home. I tried to get a video but I was in a bad location for it. Maybe next time.

  • It is always interesting to me to hear what others are saying about the parks and their days. Over the years roaming the parks I have heard quite a few interesting/fun things. This trip one that jumped out to me was while I was taking pictures of the sign in front of Pirates saying it was closed a group walked up and one of the women in said to the rest.. Since this is closed is the haunted thing too?

  • I took in a showing of Mickeys Soundsational Parade since it was going to start and I was near the beginning. I have been asked several times to compare Soundsational to Festival of Fantasy, the new parade at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. I think Soundsational is a more coherent parade. The floats all feature a common overall design and the sound track is more enjoyable to me. Part of this may be that you can actually hear and understand it at Disneyland. The Magic Kingdom audio drives me crazy most of the time. The Festival of Fantasy seemed to have a different feel for every float almost. Festival of Fantasy is a very good parade, hard to not enjoy seeing a large dragon breathing fire as it cruises down the parade route. But Soundsational I would rank higher on my list. Anyone else have some thoughts on comparing the two?

  • I was in Cars Land as the neon came on. Its one of my favorite times to visit. Watching everyone pause when they realize what is going on is fun. Plus the neon looks great with the setting sun.

  • Fantasmic turns 22 this week. It premiered at Disneyland on May 13, 1992. Seems like only yesterday I was reading the Disney News magazine feature on the show and trying to understand what the new show was going to be. I remember my first viewing that summer and just standing there being amazed at what I had just seen. I think it is an incredible compliment to the show that all years later it is more or less the same as the original (with some technology upgrades) and it still has guests setting up blankets 4 or 5 hours ahead of the show on a Friday night to hold a spot they want.

  • Magical returned as the evening Fireworks last week while I was in Orlando. Remember Dreams Come True is not run during the summer season. I enjoyed the show from Main Street on Friday and no major changed jumped out at me.

  • As I was leaving a tram was waiting in the second station so I decided to hop on and save the walk back to the garage. Within a minute or two we were on our way. As the tram slowed to make the left hand turn toward the parking structure (to the right is the backstage gate) it stopped. At first I thought maybe there was a tram in the way ahead of us. Then it became clear that the tram had lost power. The driver tried to reset the system several times and no luck. Looking behind us you could see trams starting to back up. After several minutes two other cast members pulled up behind us in a van and ran up to help the driver. Not sure if they did something or just luck but within a few seconds of the first person reaching the driver the tram restarted and we pulled around to the tram stop.

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

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