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5/19/06 - Some thoughts and observations from a Fridays trip to 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.

5/19/06 - Some thoughts and observations from a Fridays trip to the Disneyland Resort

* After you read this report you may want to check out the pictorial updates in our Disneyland Resort Pictorial Update section

Hello everyone,

Wow hard to believe it's been almost a month since my last Disneyland trip. As you saw in the pictorial update things are really moving along around the resort as this abbreviated off season is rapidly transitioning into Summer with the holiday weekend next week. The crowds around both park seemed about "average". The early afternoon was pleasant with the crowd picking up steam through Remember. The wait times on most attractions were not too bad with a couple of exceptions, namely Splash Mountain and Space Mountain. All others at both parks seemed reasonable.


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

DCA & Disneyland Notes:

  • The one thing I ran into at both parks that seemed out of the ordinary was the number of attractions that were having problems. First as I rounded the Big Thunder Trail I could hear the CM on the loudspeaker announcing a train was to be set in motion, which meant the attraction was down. Later in the evening it was back online. As I was heading over to DCA I noticed more people than usually milling around Adventureland and noticed the Indiana Jones was down for some reason. Also saw on the line board that Cartoon Spin was down too. Next up over to DCA. Got in line for Monsters since it was short and as I entered the main building and got to the glass where you can see the load area the house lights came on and it went down. A little while later I was out near the Pier (actually on the phone while sitting in the amphitheater and I heard a loud clicking sound from Screamin. Glanced over and noticed it had just come to a halt. One train on the first incline and another near the end.

  • I road the Haunted Mansion twice to get a good view of the attic scene changes and see if anything else had changed. From what I could tell nothing else had changed. As for the attic there are now new props. I could not get a good picture but scattered around the scene are wedding portraits of the brides previous weddings. As you pass by the grooms' heads disappear. An interesting effect and much better than the old pop up characters that used to be in there. The other big change is the bride. She has moved to the left side and as you pass by you can see an ax appear in her hands. Something just does not seem right with the bride to me. Not sure what. Maybe its just new, maybe its the project technology, maybe its the sinister twist. not sure but something just seems off to me. The rest of the scene changes I really enjoyed and cannot wait to ride again to see what details I missed and to try my luck at some pictures of the wedding pictures.

  • As I walked by the line board on Main Street I noticed a new brochure. It was a Magical Beginnings guidemap. This map had both parks and was targeted at families with young children. For more information on this new program check out their website http://www.disneyland.com/littleones (If you want to see a scan of the brochure let me know and I will add it).

Disney's California Food and Wine Weekends 2006

Over at DCA the last Food and Wine weekend was in full swing. I was a little disappointed in these events. The first thing I noticed is that its not advertised very much. There were guidemaps available as you entered the park (but the events were not integrated into the main park guidemap or entertainment schedule which seemed to really slight them). Also there was a small sign up as you walked under the Golden Gate. As you approached the winery and farm area there were a couple banners and more of the small signs up to tell you what was going on.

  • I also found the name a little interesting.. Adventure was no where to be found in the title.. I think it works since it was a California Food and Wine Weekend, just seemed weird to have the phrase Disney's in front of Calfiornia without being followed by Adventure considering it was in DCA.. and it jumped out to me when I read the guide/event schedule.

  • There were two free events (read public) that were part of the weekend. The first were culinary demonstrations being held on the terrace of the winery. I would have liked to have seen one, but the timing did not work out and the attendance was extremely limited and I did not have the time to spend in line. The second were Wine, Beer, and Spirit Seminars going on the extended seating area off to the far side as you look at the winery. Both of these events had extremely limited capacities. I saw the line for both and it appeared to consist mostly of regular Disneyland guests(Annual Passholders and maybe some locals) and not "tourists". I thought they should have inverted where the events were held. Having the cooking demonstration down where more people could see and the seminar up on the terrace. I would venture to bet the average tourist visiting DCA for the day probably did not even notice the event because its footprint seemed so small.

  • There was a festival merchandise area that looked extremely well stocked considering it was the last weekend. I spend about 10 minutes there and I was the only guest in the area. There were a handful of CMs working the area and that was about it.

  • You could purchase food from the Farmers Market and the Lucky Fortune Cookie in the Wharf area. The food was priced between $4 and $5 and I thought the portions looked small, but similiar to those at EPCOT's food and wine festival. It was great to see both of these places open and being used. Too bad I did not see very many guests taking advantage of either. One of the times I walked by was around 5pm and there were no lines and only a couple of guests looking at the menus at each. So it did not really seem to catch on (unless the later dinner crowd or earlier lunch crowd were large).

  • The rest of the events were all hard ticket (meaning you had to pay a separate fee and have a reservation in most cases to attend), so I did not see them. If anyone did and wants to share the experience drop us a line. They had winemaker dinners, guest sommelier education seminars, celebrity chef dinners @ Napa Rose, Napa Rose cooking school and a program called lunch and learn.

  • Overall I found the event lacking. Not sure why, but it seemed extremely flat to me and did not draw a large crowd at all on Friday. Not sure if this was because it was the last weekend, because it was a Friday, or just because the public events did not engage the masses. From what I have read the hard ticket events were full/sold out mostly. My only reference point to compare to , which I know is unfair, is EPCOTs food and wine festival. Which is on a much grander scale.. I think the DCA event couple have benefited from more "public" events. Like a concert series or more booths/demonstrations where you do not have to wait in line or pay. I think that engaging atmosphere worked better. Also EPCOTs small booths selling items seemed to draw peoples interest more than the two converted food places DCA used. But I would guess the booths would be tough at DCA because there really is no reason to walk around where as at EPCOT you have the lake to walk around and the countries to visit. It should be interesting to see the event grow/morph.

  • Compared to other DCA events (the Super Soaps Weekend, the ABC Primetime Weekend, and the Summer Concert Series) it seemed small and not engaging to most guests in the park. I really found the ABC Primetime Weekend events to be interesting. Especially the first one where the entire park participated in the event. Including live shows of Whose Line in the Hyperion, special Millionaire shows, displays up around the park, screens, Q&A sessions, and the parade.

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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