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5/11/18 - 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.

5/11/18 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort

What a difference a week makes. Last week was hot, approaching the mid 90s. This week it was in the low 60s, cloudy and a slight drizzle from time to time. Crowds felt a little less to start the day but then the evening was heavier as usual with another Gradnite going on.

A quick note, I have the first three days from Tokyo now posted featuring the 35th Anniversary day at Tokyo Disneyland and a day at Tokyo DisneySea. Also all videos, thoughts, observations, and trip logs from both Shanghai and Tokyo are posted. As well as 5 of 6 days in Shanghai.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • My day started off with a frustrating wait through two lights to cross Ball Road. The light cycles are so long, this is not a fun way to start. No wait at the tollbooth and I choose the proper lane to reach the floor with no delays. Unfortunately I was directed into the very last spot on a row so I had a long walk to the escalators. Interesting they had me pull in the opposite direction because of the columns. Two positives came from this. It gave me a reason to check out the construction from the far corner of the garage which I normally do not hike to. Secondly, when leaving I was able to back up and head directly to the exit and did not have to circle the garage.

  • They have started to install utilities and continue preparations for the new parking structure. They are staging forms and other materials on site now. Part of the Lilo Parking lot has been fenced off and the construction trailers and deliveries are there.

  • I walked to the parks today because I had not done that since they put in the new route. It is actually a little shorter than the previous one because you do not have to loop through the garage and around the tram route. It is still a good hike to the parks though.

  • The repainting and preparations for the new dining locations in the former Build-a-bear and RideMakerz locations are slowly inching along. No real visible progress on anything else. In less than a month locations on the West End (closest to the Disneyland Hotel) will start closing with everything between the Monorail and Disneyland Hotel slated to be closed by July 1. Then demolition work will get underway to prepare for the new hotel.

  • I stopped by Tomorrowland and watched the March of the First Order. It drew a healthy crowd once it started. Partially due to the march going right through the heart of Tomorrowland and disrupting traffic. There were not crowds like last week, which is what I was assuming. Last week being the first week plus Star Wars Day really added to it. The opening sequence is fun to watch guests follow the sound as the ship approaches and lands. It is well done!

  • As I noted last week the Stage Door Cafe menu has changed recently. I decided to try the Chicken Strips, as expected they are same as Smoke Jumpers Grill at DCA, which is not bad.

  • On one of my trips through Fantasyland the wait for Casey Jr was mild, only 2 trains. The issue was only one was in operation so it still took some time to wait for two full cycles and then I just barely made it on. I was curious how bad the back of the new Dumbo queue looked in person, I had seen pictures online. I can confirm it is not that good. It is at best awkward. It is a plain painted fence/wall with one Dumbo sign on it. There are some plants along the perimeter but they are so small right now the giant wall dominates the Storybook Land view in that direction. It would be nice to see more mature plants, or more plants or even a mural or camouflage paint job would be nice on there. The Casey Jr. ride experience was a bit lacking too. The audio seemed to miss a zone and was out for several seconds of the trip (you can hear this in my video).

  • The next phases of Pixar Pier open in just over a month so there are a lot of projects moving very quickly which is always fun to see. Some appear to be wrapping up like the Fun Wheel and Knick's Knacks. Others like the Incredicoaster queue and gift shops have a ways to go. There are some awkward sight lines with the new entrance. For example if you are walking down the path in the Wharf from Cars Land between Ghiradelli and the Bakery you can see the bright red top drawing attention between/above the Wharf buildings.

  • I spent some more time in the Blue Sky Cellar and sat through the full video that is being shown. I would have liked to have seen more about the project and less about the Imagineer's families and personal experiences. I like to hear them talk about the project but the extended trips down memory lane seemed to dominate the video for me and not in a good way.

  • I was able to catch the Pixarmonic Orchestra and on a second viewing they were just as much fun as the first time around. I really enjoy the mix of music they play. The one improvement would be to let them ad lib a little more and maybe rotate the music vs the same set.

  • The Adorable Snowman Frozen Treats stand continues to be big draw. Even on a cloudy and cool day (it was just over 60 degrees and breezy when I walked by) the line was close to 50 guests deep and stretched down the boardwalk. I found it funny all those people in line for ice cream and across the way the heaters at the Cove Bar were turned up and you could feel the heat as you walked by.

  • Another long line I spotted this trip was for the Infinity Gauntlet Sipper. This was at the food truck in Hollywood Land. For about $20 you can have a plastic gauntlet to wear and sip a beverage out of. I spotted guests wearing them throughout both parks so it definitely seemed to be an "in" thing.

  • Also popular throughout the parks were the Sully popcorn buckets. These were also $20 but available at quite a few stands in both parks. I saw a long line on Buena Vista Street but other lines seemed shorter or non existent. No sign of Little Green Men AP buckets. A new supply is expected at some point this month.

  • The Pixar Short Films Festival was closed, and listed as under renovation on the website. I found this weird since it just opened last month. Wonder if they are preparing for a preview of the Incredibles 2 or the Ant Man movie?

  • While browsing the app for FastPasses using MaxPass I noticed the user interface had been tweaked. For some attractions it was showing a single box with the start of the FP window and a warning saying no results matched my time selection. This appeared to mimic what the myDisneyExperience app at Walt Disney World is like. So wonder if it is a sign of changes coming to MaxPass in the near future. I think it would be a positive to let you choose from a list of times. I just hope they do not go to a WDW system where you can book days/weeks/months in advance. I like it being limited to those guests in the park on a particular day. I did see speculation online that more attractions are coming to MaxPass and even some shows potentially. So it will be interesting to see how the system evolves.

  • Paint the Night arrived at Disney California Adventure about a month ago. Due to my trip and desire to see the Together Forever fireworks I had not seen it yet. Last night with the iffy weather I guessed they would cancel the fireworks so I went with the parade. Viewing a parade at Disney California Adventure has always been an easier experience than Disneyland due to the long parade route and usually less guests. Friday proved that again. I was able to secure a spot in the front row less than 10 minutes before the parade. In some of the more popular areas such as Hollywood Blvd and Buena Vista Street guests had been lined up for over an hour. As I walked the parade route trying to decide where to go there seemed to be a fair number of locations roped off for dining and other packages.

  • I enjoy the Paint the Night parade and this performance did not disappoint. The parade has had a couple minor tweaks to fit under the Red Car wires. Most notable is the removal of the Frozen float. Next month a new Incredibles unit will join the parade. I thought the parade lost a little of its impressiveness because of the wide open parade route where I viewed it. Unlike the two Disneylands where I had viewed it before (Hong Kong and Anaheim) that were much more confined and the scale of the parks made the parade seem more impressive and larger.

  • Thanks to being ahead of most of the parade exit traffic and Disneyland fireworks catching a tram back to the parking structure was a pleasant experience unlike my last two visits.

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

Geek’s Blog Postings Recap April 1- May 8, 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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