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5/23/14 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to the Disneyland Resort and the Rock your Disney Side 24hr event
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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.

5/23/14 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to the Disneyland Resort and the Rock your Disney Side 24hr event

Hello all,

DisneyParks kicked off the Memorial Day weekend and summer with Rock your Disney Side. This was a 24 hour event on both coasts with Disneyland, Disney California Adventure and the Magic Kingdom all staying open from 6am Friday until 6am Saturday. I attended about 9 hours of the event from 1pm till 10pm at the Disneyland Resort. During that time the parks felt summer busy but were not holiday or special event grid locked. Attraction wait times seemed on par with a busy summer day too. Several times they seemed on the light side even given the crowd. Overall I did not think this years event was that strong, it seemed to be lacking in options that I enjoy.


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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I took the Disneyland Drive exit off the 5 South just after noon and promptly found out the Ball Road by-pass was closed as was the Mickey and Friends structure. They were directing cars to the Simba lot, which meant a backup on Disneyland Drive. I inched along and finally broke free of the traffic around the Grand Californian entrance and made my way around to the Toy Story lot. I decided Simba was a bad idea in case the city streets became gridlock later in the evening when I was trying to leave. At the Toy Story lot there was no backup at all. Pulled right up to the toll booth then was directed through the Toy Story Lot, past Pongo and eventually into Bambi. Then to the far corner of the lot. I think I was about as far away from the parks as you can park. It took me about 30 minutes from freeway exit until my car was turned off and parked in a spot. Not an encouraging way to start the day. On the positive side the bus service was efficient and in no time I was at the park.

  • I understand that due to a parking shortage on busy days the Disneyland Resort needs to take considerable measures to keep traffic moving, but I just do not understand why those guests that show up early to mid day have to be penalized for those arriving later. I talked to several who arrived as the sun set and they had a very pleasant parking experience, unlike me!

  • Exiting in the evening was just as bad. There was not a huge crowd and they were loading the buses fairly quickly. Even leaving empty seats, not the most efficient. Then the bus set off on a slow journey back to the parking lot. This took considerable time with the traffic. Once we reached the lot it went all the way to Toy Story and dropped off guests, driving right by my stop. There were no announcements made about additional stops so guests were confused and many including myself disembarked thinking you could just walk to the other lot.. I found out you could not walk between lots so I reboarded a bus and took it to the Pongo stop then had to hike to my car, there was no stop for Bambi. All in all it took nearly half an hour from when I started walking on Main Street until I was loading my trunk. Way too long after 9 hours in the park. I can only image those guests that stayed all night what they thought of that hike. It seems like it is past time for the Disneyland Resort to expand its guest parking options. It would be nice to see the originally planned second parking structure for those arriving from the South to finally be built.

  • Overall I was disappointed with the offerings at this years 24 hour event. Starting with the inconsistent theme or maybe it was just so broad of a theme it seemed that way. The merchandise was Hero and Villain but all the banners and signage were Rock your Disney Side and then there was Olaf as a focal point in the Esplanade. Also there was a dress up like your favorite character component as part of the Disney Side promotion. Inside the parks it was a random mix of offerings too ranging from Marvel Movies to a Frozen Sing-Along. Throughout the afternoon/evening there was nothing really special going on in terms of entertainment outside the movie screenings. The dance clubs and character meet and greets were all scheduled to take place overnight. So for those of us who like to sleep at night we were left with nothing.

  • The offerings really seemed geared toward the Disney regular and not the tourist. If you happened to be out here for the holiday weekend and spent the day at Disneyland wonder what you thought? If this enhanced your view of the parks or not? I overheard several confused tourists talking with CMs as well as each other about what they were seeing and some of their disappointment in not being able to truly experience the parks. Several were confused about the costumes as well as the night club atmosphere taking over.

  • As I walked around the parks it appeared the number of adults dressed up for the evening far outnumbered the kids. There were a number of great costumes and some guests really went all out, but as a kick off to summer this just seemed odd to me. Dressing up an costumes seem more fall/Halloween and do not read as summer in my mind.

  • I left before the parties got started but from what I read/saw it looks like it was basically a grad nite for adults. There was loud music, lights, and dancing throughout both parks all night long.

  • I found it interesting much of the normal entertainment offerings of the parks were not added to. For example there were still two Soundsationals.. just one pushed until 12:30am. Over at DCA the Mad T Party was pushed from 6pm till 9pm and ran a little longer than usual. World of Color added a second show at 3am, but up until this year they always ran two shows and sometimes three shows a night. There was swing dancing, but in years past this was a regular Friday activity too. Even in Tomorrowland the band ran its regular sets and was done.

  • This year there seemed to be a big push for special food items around the parks. Disneyland had 17 locations/items listed and DCA had a dozen. I realize in my photo update many of the pictures were just signs and descriptions. A couple locations had photos of the food which was nice. I did not see samples out as I have for items in the past.

  • On my last trip to the parks on 5/9 many readers commented on the large number of attractions and dining locations closed for renovations. This week most of them have returned with only a couple of the longer projects still going on. I went for a cruise on Small World to see if anything visible had changed. Nothing jumped out at me. Almost all the work was infrastructure/backstage so that makes sense. I did notice a couple dolls back/working that had issues in the past and the prairie dogs in the America area are gone. The exterior has not had anything done to it. It would have been nice to see some upgrades or tweaks since it was closed for so long. Also recently back is Mickey and the Magical Map in the Fantasyland Theatre. I took in a showing and again nothing jumped out at me as being drastically changed. Next trip I hope to finally make it on Indiana Jones and check out Pirates.

  • I ate dinner at Taste Pilots and noticed the fries were thinner and more crispy than in the past. Not sure if this was just some luck or a change. I would say they were more on par in size now to McDonalds fries. There were substantially better in my opinion than what they had been serving around the parks. I still miss the days when there was a variety of fries around the parks. That is one thing DCA 1.0 did well.. you had great shoe string fries at Award Wieners, waffle fries at Taste Pilots, and McDonalds Fries on the Pier to name a few.

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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