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05/25/17 - Thoughts and observations from Thursday at the Disneyland Resort for the opening of Gaurdians of the Galaxy - Mission:BREAKOUT! and the start of Summer of Heroes.
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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.

05/25/17 - Thoughts and observations from Thursday at the Disneyland Resort for the opening of Gaurdians of the Galaxy - Mission:BREAKOUT! and the start of Summer of Heroes.

Hello everyone,

Thursday I was at the Disneyland Resort for the Grand Opening Celebration of the Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission:BREAKOUT! Attraction and the soft openings of the Summer of Heroes and Disney Juniors Dance Party. I also managed to squeeze in a quick lap around Disneyland. The parks felt busy, especially for a Thursday. Wait times were on the high side too the two times I glanced at the boards. Thursday was the last day to use tickets purchased as part of the Southern California deal plus the holiday weekend.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • As I arrived at the Disneyland Resort around noon I was pleased to find the Ball Road overpass open and no delays. As soon as I rounded the corner for the garage though my good luck ended. All lanes were open and backed up nearly to the entrance. So it was a slow crawl to the ticket booth. They were directing cars to two different levels, of course I was directed to the line that was not moving so it was a slow idle to the parking ramp and toward the level too. Luckily I noticed they had both lanes open and everyone was staying in one lane so I took the other open lane which saved me a lot of time. It still took about twenty minutes from exiting the freeway until I was in a parking spot. If I would have waited in the slow moving line it probably would have been pushing 30 minutes. The Eastern Gateway and additional parking is definitely needed as soon as possible. It is too bad the project is stuck with the City Council still.

  • Found it interesting the security lines were short, maybe a handful of guests in each but the trams were backed up with two to three tram loads of guest at both load zones. Seems they had plenty of security cast members working but not enough trams to handle the crowd this afternoon. I walked to Downtown Disney and saw healthy lines at the entrance by ESPN, a couple dozen guests in each that were open, so I walked to the other entrance from the hotels and there was no one.

  • The Grand Californian Pool area renovation project was wrapping up Thursday. There was a small fence around the water slide area only and crews were finishing the landscaping and the team was out taking pictures. I had a friend staying at the hotel so we were able to walk around the pool area. The area looks nice. I did not see any drastic changes. It looked nice and new but more or less the same, just some slightly different materials used.

  • The story behind Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT! is Taneleer Tivan (the Collector) has brought his Fortress filled with the Tivan Collection to Disney California Adventure for tours to see his most prized possessions, the Guardians of the Galaxy. You enter the Fortress and your first stop is the lobby. Here there is a looping video where the Collector introduces some of his collection. As you wind through the queue you can see some of the items. You then enter the Collector's Office. Rocket appears. He has managed to escape and has a plan to free the rest of the Guardians. He wants to use the tour groups security clearance to gain access to the gantry lift and ride up to the roof to disable the generator and free everyone. So you are drafted into helping them breakout. (For more details and facts be sure to check out the press releases, also linked below).

  • The attraction received a complete overhaul both outside and in. The basic queue, rooms, and attraction machinery are the same, but with the new props, paths, video screens, AA figure, and ride profile and vignettes make for a completely new experience. The queue has a lot to look at with items collected from around the galaxy. Some you may recognize from the films, Marvel universe as well as Disneyland, others will be foreign.

  • The ride experience is as you would expect similar. The cars and concept of a free fall attraction have not changed, but the ride system is used in a different way. There are six different ride profiles, each featuring their own song and vignettes. For the media preview only the "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" one was running. This profile appeared more aggressive than the old Tower of Terror ones. The cars moved much more creating more air time.

  • The Avengers Training Initiative takes place on the Backlot Stage and features Black Widow and Hawkeye training your recruits. The show can be thought of as a Marvel version of the Jedi Training Academy. Sign ups are taken near Stage 17 for each show. During the show kids learn a few moves and then have a couple interaction opportunities and photo ops. If your child is participating it will be a memorable experience, but if you have no one in the show it seems to drag on a bit. It did not seem as repetitive as the Jedi Training and with a couple tasks to complete it seems slightly more engaging.

  • Disney Junior Dance Party has taken over the Disney Theater on Hollywood Blvd. The old puppet show is out and in its place video screens, DJs and character appearance/dancing. The show features Sophia the First, Doc McStuffins, Timon, Mickey and Minnie. Kids familiar with the Disney Junior shows will enjoy seeing clips, hearing music, and dancing with the characters. The format is the same as previous shows with limited seating and standing around the outside of the room and the middle of the room features everyone sitting or standing and dancing throughout the show. The young kids that were participating were mostly having a great time. The show also features bubbles, snow and confetti drops.

  • I had a small window mid afternoon so I took used it to pay a quick visit to Disneyland. Both DCA and Disneyland are decked out for the summer in traditional red, white and blue. Disneyland felt crowded, somewhere between summer busy and holiday busy. The line for Pirates was taking over a larger portion of New Orleans Square than usual. Even FastPass distribution had waits in some cases, for Matterhorn I saw probably around 20 guests waiting to get to the machines.

  • The Rivers of America construction is racing toward completion. Scaffolding is coming down and final details are emerging. Fantasmic rehearsals are in full swing after hours and during park hours tweaks and preparations are underway. So far Disney is only saying a summer opening for the railroad, river and Fantasmic! Internet rumors span from mid July through September. Interesting to note there was a large crane parked just beyond the Big Thunder Exit, before the trail work. No indication of what it was working on. That also meant no clear views of the trail which is expected to open very soon to ease some of the crowd flow issues in the park.

  • Taking place several times a day will be the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! This show features Star-Lord and Gamora trying to evade being tracked. They enlist audience members to dance to some familiar rock tunes. Groot makes an appearance at the end and stays for pictures. I thought the show was ok. Star-Lord seemed a little too aggressive in picking volunteers for my taste. Not sure if this is how the show always is or because our audience was media and invited guests. I am not a fan of shows trying to force you to participate. You should have the option to say no and stand there and enjoy the show.

  • I picked the wrong time to leave the park. I did not pay close enough attention to my watch and ended up leaving right as the World of Color show was exiting. Add to this the exit from Disneyland (it appeared the fireworks were cancelled) and it was extremely crowded. The trams were extremely slow in arriving and the stops were really backed up.

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

Geek’s Blog Postings Recap – April 25-May 20, 2017

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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