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5/25/18 - 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.

5/25/18 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort

I kicked off my holiday weekend at the Disneyland Resort. Originally I thought about waiting a week since I just returned from Walt Disney World on Tuesday and I am still behind on Shanghai & Tokyo posts from April. But in the end the promise of mild weather and the desire to get away from the computer won out. The parks had moderate crowds and the weather was pleasant. It was in the 70s with a slight breeze and cooled down to the low 60s. I think the mild crowd feel may have been due to the block outs for many annual passes as well as the expiration of the Southern California deal. For example I was able to book a FastPass for the Radiator Springs Racers during the 7pm hour when I first arrived in the park around 2pm.

Trip Updates: Asia - I have videos, thoughts & observations from all days posted. Full pictures sets from all but three days are posted. From Walt Disney World I only have my picture posts and trip logs posted. More coming to all three trips in the coming days/weeks.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • My parking experience today was the best it had been in months. The Ball Road overpass was open, only one car ahead of me at the toll booth and directed into a spot without having to inch along. There was only a two person wait at bag check too and I was able to board a tram as soon as I walked up. So the day could not have started off any better from that respect.

  • The new parking structure is starting to rise out of the ground with the first support column rebar columns being set up by crews. It appears almost all of the grading/earth moving is done and they are starting construction. They are off to a running start on this project with forms being pre-staged and other preparations underway as they race toward a 2019 opening.

  • On the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge front nothing too exciting to report. Seems only incremental visible progress is possible now with the rock work continuing to move along. Everything else is out of sight.

  • The efficient start to my day ground to a halt when I decided to stop by the ticket booths to renew my annual pass. There were no lines and plenty of empty windows and I had only a couple weeks left on my pass. Premier passes need to be re-purchased/renewed in person. You cannot do it online and there is no discount for renewing, you are basically purchasing a new pass. The process was slow going as always. It took almost 30 minutes. This pass is starting to take a larger bite out of the budget.. but since I am planning a couple WDW trips as well as wanting to keep my Disneyland Annual Pass it makes sense for me. This year the Premier pass passed the $1,600 mark. Looking at my purchase history this is the 8th Premier Pass I have purchased and the price this year is more than double the first one I bought in 2011.

  • To mark the opening of Solo: A Star Wars Story in theaters today as you entered the park the had buttons available. I only saw these on my first entry of the day, by the time I headed over to Disney California Adventure around 4pm they were gone.

  • When I arrived in Town Square the Omnibus was just pulling in and there was no one around so I took that as a sign to go for a ride. This was my first ride since the new bricks were installed. It felt a little more bumpy but hard to remember exactly how smooth it used to be. Or maybe my free hand videos are just getting worse :)

  • As I rode up Main Street my phone buzzed with an alert. The Disneyland App notified me that the Gibson Girl now has mobile order. Thought it was interesting the app was using my location to tell me this. Was curious if it was going to tell me every time I passed a location. Turns out it did not. This was the one and only alert I received about mobile ordering.

  • Went for a cruise on the Mark Twain. They altered the boarding process. All four walkways to the top deck were roped off, just like they do on bad weather days. This seemed odd since it was a great day and the cruise that just arrived had guests up there. Once the boat started moving a cast member came around and opened them. Is this a new process for all cruises?

  • Pirates of the Caribbean will return with FastPass. There are readers/scan posts and new clocks being installed at the entrance to the queue. It will be interesting to see how this works. They have FastPass entering on the left side. Wonder if FastPass will last longer this time around. It was discontinued back in 2004 on a first attempt. Back then one of the many issues was the standby waits became extremely long due to the mix/ratio that was being used. I am curious what it will do this time around.

  • In Adventureland walls are up and demolition is underway at Aladdin's Oasis as it is transformed into a Tropical Hideaway. I was really surprised this did not happen earlier with the Parks Blog announcement and permit filing several months ago.

  • Stopped by the Star Wars Launch Bay and it was extremely quiet. I guess all the Star Wars fans were out seeing the Solo film? Wait times for all four meet and greets were minimal. I was surprised to see they had nothing going on for Solo. Cast members did have some of the buttons, same as the front gate, and there were a couple merchandise offerings, but nothing new jumped out to me.

  • Disney announced that starting June 8th Ant-Man and the Wasp Sneak Peek will be taking over the Tomorrowland Theater. Star Wars: Path of the Jedi closes on Tuesday so if you want to see it this is your final weekend.

  • I ran into the Pixar Play Parade as I was leaving the park. I noticed Jack Jack had no fire, so guessing it is still off line as they continue to investigate the WDW Dragon Fire.

  • Disneyland is rolling out a new Mobile Order service at many quick service locations. The initial offering is at 15 locations and is currently open only to annual passholders. I gave the system a try on Friday and found it very easy to use. While I was waiting in Disneyland I called up the app, selected my restaurant of choice, in this case Smokejumpers, then proceeded to pick a time window I was planning to eat and select what I wanted to eat. When I went to the order summary page my annual pass discount was automatically applied and I could check out using the card I had previously added to my profile. When I arrived at restaurant I went back to the app and said I was there. A few minutes later they notified me that my food was ready and handed my my tray. Each location has a designated area for mobile pickup and there are signs when you are there. On Friday I did not see that many people using the system. I think with the block out days there were not that many passholders compared to regular days and with it being new and not widely publicize yet that contributed to the low usage. I think it will spread quickly as guests become aware of it. For now though with low usage it means minimal waits. I would recommend taking a look at it, especially if the lines are long it can save you time. I had a very positive first experience.

  • It seems the Disneyland Wi-Fi network has been expanded. I noticed a stronger signal and more spaces with a signal than on past trips. For example Smokejumpers and Radiator Springs Racers queue both had good signals this visit.

  • Pixar Pier is racing toward completion, less than a month now until the next phase opens. This should include the coaster, stores, dining locations and Fun Wheel. The carrousel and Inside Out attraction are coming at a later date. Most of the scaffolding is down from the coaster so you can clearly see the new colors. The new lighting on the tubes is interesting, not sure if it is a work in progress or complete yet so we shall see what happens. I am surprised they are doing a lighting package with it being closed during World of Color most nights. Wonder if the lights will be used for World of Color too?

  • An Incredibles 2 Sneak Peek has moved into the Sunset Showcase Theater. This includes signage in the area as well as some artwork in the lobby. The preview features the first 10 minutes of the film is presented in 3D and utilizes some of the theater's effects. I found these additions to be a nice little plus for the preview compared to the version I saw in Walt Disney World earlier in the week. The sequence is the same but seeing it in 3D and with the side screens you get a little plus in Anaheim.

  • I took a stroll through Downtown Disney to check out the latest changes. Naples has opened the new patio/bar area nearest the tram stop and the walls have moved over to the former entrance area. The new look has a different feel to it for sure. There was a healthy crowd inside on Friday night too. The dining locations on the far side of Downtown Disney will be closing in the coming weeks. ESPN Zone will be closing in early June with Rain Forest, Earl of Sandwich, the AMC and Starbucks following. All will be closed by the end of June as construction will begin for the new Disney Hotel.

  • I used a FastPass for Radiator Springs Racers this evening. There was no backup in the return line and it was a pleasant experience. They were not using the second scan point this evening and seemed some guests noticed this and were jumping the line from the single rider line. The cast members either did not notice or care. First time I can remember seeing this.

  • As I was walking through Disney California Adventure I noticed a line of guests waiting to get into the dining package reserved space for Paint the Night. They were there about an hour before the parade. It looked like a fair number of guests and this was just for a viewing only, they already ate their meals, no dessert party. I thought one of the advantages to these packages was you did not have to wait as long.

  • As Mickey was approaching for Paint the Night I decided to hike over to Disneyland see if I could squeeze in the fireworks there too. I walked along the parade and then over to Disneyland. The entrance lines were not too bad and I arrived on Main Street about 5 minutes before Together Forever was to launch. Thanks to the mild crowd there was plenty of space and I found an ok spot to watch the show.

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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