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06/02/17 - 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.

06/02/17 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort.

Hello everyone,

Friday was a relaxing day at the Disneyland Resort for me. I had almost nothing on my picture list and the plan was to just enjoy some shows and wander around. The crowds at the parks felt moderate. Less than the previous visits but the wait times were still over an hour for several attractions throughout the afternoon/evening. Free Wi-Fi Hotspots have made the park guide maps and appear to be in the production mode vs testing. They are scattered around both parks and were working smoothly on Friday when I tested them. The biggest downside is the reception areas are rather small and isolated so you cannot move around. But it was nice to pull up a table and have Wi-Fi in the park. Speeds were decent and I had no problems when I was showing a strong signal (on the edges it became a little more unstable as you would expect).

Thoughts and Observations:

  • The trip started off of the wrong foot with the Ball Road overpass already closed when I arrived. That meant having to go through the light at Ball Road which took three cycles to get through. My luck turned better from there in with no waits at all at the parking tollbooths and no wait to be directed into a spot on the Goofy level. When I headed for security there was only one person in front of me and I was able to walk right onto the first tram that pulled in.

  • Started this trip like many other recent ones checking out the Star Wars construction. The project continues to have a lot of visible changes each week as the buildings continue to take shape and the final pieces are put into place for the Rivers of America, Railroad and Big Thunder Trail. All are slated to open this summer with the trail opening seeming sooner rather than later. The word of the day at the construction site seemed to be crane with quite a few visible and working. On the Rivers of America side trees were going in on the river bend that is visible from Critter Country.

  • I spent some time walking around Hollywood Land at DCA taking a second look at the Summer of Heroes. There were healthy crowds at all the activities. The front page of the DCA time guide lists all the hours and show times.

  • Caught the Heroic Encounter with the Black Widow. She comes out of the parade gate near the Fortress and proceeds on Sunset to Hollywood Blvd. and over to the Monsters Inc area for a Meet and Greet. I thought the concept of having her walk through and be seen was great. The execution was a bit awkward for me. The audio that played over the park speakers was a bit odd to me and not very engaging.

  • Speaking of audio.. the background music in Hollywood Land has changed for the summer. The new track on a first listen/glance is not too bad, but after spending some time there it was not enjoyable for me.

  • Groot was out near the Fortress taking pictures when I first arrived. He had a line that stretched a couple dozen groups. I like how he is out in the open and able to be seen even by though who are not waiting in line to meet him, breaking the trend of many recent Meet and Greets where you cannot really see the character unless you wait.

  • Caught a performance of the Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! The show was the same as what I saw during the preview but the crowd interaction was a little different. For the opening they selected random guests again, older kids and adults. then for the dance off portion they selected only younger kids. It seemed to work well and those who were around enjoyed it and many danced along. At the end before Groot took guests from the his queue he posed for a group photo with the kids who participated.

  • The wait times for Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission:BREAKOUT! were a little lower than I was expecting. In the afternoon it was 70 minutes then rose slightly as night fell. FastPasses were gone when I arrived for the day. On Grad Nite days waits like this for Tower of Terror were not uncommon.

  • Walked by Stage 17 which is hosting the Frozen Meet and Greet because the Animation Building is closed for renovation work. There were only a handful of guests waiting outside (no clue if there was a line inside too, but the area seemed calm so I do not think it was a long wait).

  • At Disneyland ate dinner at the Red Rose Taverne. There was no wait when I stopped by, around 4:30, with plenty of seating. It was definitely more crowded than when it was the Village Haus but seems to have settled into a normal routine vs the massive queues.

  • Enjoyed the nightly Flag Retreat Ceremony in Town Square and followed that up with Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln since I had not been there in a while.

  • Took in a showing of Mickey and the Magical Map. I arrived about about a minute before show time and there was plenty of seating. As the opening numbers wrapped up the crowd continued to fill in. Wonder if there are any plans to swap out any of the musical numbers with something new. Originally the team hinted at that, but we are now four years in and only a couple minor character changes to the show, no musical ones. I think a new song could work to re-ignite interest.

  • The FastPass Return and Distribution areas for the Matterhorn were both finished and in operation on Friday. The return is a new covered area on the west (Fantasyland) side of the mountain. Distribution is in the corner where the 60th photo op was. It features several machines each with their own carving/animal on them. Plus a billboard/sign for the Matterhorn. I think the area looks nice and they are among the better looking FastPass machines in the parks. Also each being unique is nice. Only negative I saw is there is no indication of what time they are dispensing. You have to push through the crowd to the attraction entrance to figure that out. Seems that should be moved to this area or a second clock at this area.

  • Bands have returned to Tomorrowland Terrace for the summer. Friday was one of my favorites, Hard Days Night, a tribute to the Beatles. I enjoyed their first two sets of the evening, as did a full dance floor at both performances. I found it odd the printed time schedule only said Tomorrowland Band vs listing who was actually performing. The website had the info a few weeks ago.

  • The Season of the Force has ended and Tomorrowland has reverted back to its classic self. This means the singage, sound track, Space Mountain and Tomorrowland Terrace. The Galactic Grill and other signs that stayed up last year are now gone too.

  • I made my way out to Main Street as the Electrical Parade was wrapping up. I was able to cross right before Elliot and did not have a long wait (just barely made it though, they closed the rope right after me). Main Street was busy but no where near what it had been. You could still move around and even find a spot if you were willing to be back several people.

  • There was a mild wind. I stopped to watch the parade then looked up and noticed the flags blowing. I assumed that meant a cancellation of Remember Dreams Come True but decided to stick around to see since I was already there and it was only a few minutes. They postponed then cancelled as expected. But unexpected they announced a special show would be show instead. I was curious so I stayed put on Main Street. Turns out they ran the opening and closing sections of the show with audio, projections and spotlights. They skipped the attraction medley. Also no Tinker Bell. I thought this was better than nothing but viewing from near the Main Street Cinema was extremely poor. Unlike Disneyland Forever where projections were around you everything for this show is at the castle which is hard to see any details from this distance. Those that had waited up front had a nice alternate experience though..

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

Geek’s Blog Postings Recap – May 21-27, 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.

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