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6/08/18 - 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.

6/08/18 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort

Friday was a relaxing day at the Disneyland Resort. The parks were not overly crowded most of the day and the weather was very pleasant. Temps topped out in the mid 80s with a nice breeze most of the time.

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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • The day started off on a good note with the overpass open and no delays at the parking tollbooth nor to get into a spot. Unfortunately I was stuck on the roof (I like being under cover). Plus at the end of the first row so a good hike from the escalators but since I wanted to see the construction it worked out nicely and getting out from there is really easy.

  • The new parking structure is starting to rise up. Ramps are forming near the Mickey and Friends parking structure and other support columns are starting to take shape around the site. This project seems to be moving quickly. It cannot come soon enough for most who drive to the parks..

  • Across Disneyland Drive the views of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge do not reveal much. Visible progress has ground to a near stand still with the buildings and trees blocking just about everything except some rock work on the spires and rock formations. Same can be said from the views in the park. Just the top of rock formations highlight what we can see. I am guessing as soon as they wrap up that we are going to be quite a ways from opening and nothing to watch. Speaking of opening Disney has confirmed a summer 2019 target and last week announced new block out date rules for annual passes that point to a late June opening.

  • In Adventureland the Tropical Hideaway project is moving quickly with most of the entry structure and side stage structures removed. The Cave of Wonders is still visible. The area looks much more open now. Will be interesting to see how the new location changes the area.

  • The big news this week is Pirates of the Caribbean returned from renovation. The Imagineers altered the Auction scene as had been announced months ago but they also made some tweaks to the cave and transition sequence. The original audio has returned and a new scene acting as the transition has been added replacing the water projection effect with Davy Jones. FastPass has been added but was not in operation Friday. Wait times hovered between 30-60 minutes the times I paid attention. The attraction did go down several times throughout the day. I waited about 40 minutes in the early evening. I really enjoyed seeing the return of the classic score and narration in the cave. I think it sets up the attraction better and is not a distraction. The new transition scene showing the pirate go from skeleton to human was a nice plus little plus too. The auction scene is the same as the Magic Kingdoms with the same dialog. I think the visual change is not a big shift, it works ok. The new audio does not sound right/good to me.

  • I think it was a wise move to not have FastPass on opening day, and hopefully for a while until the attraction settles back into a routine. With it going down frequently after renovations having FastPass would have really been a mess. I really do not think high capacity attractions like Pirates should have FastPass. It just slows the queues down and makes everyone's wait longer. Plus the ripple effect of more guests roaming the sidewalks and more queue space needed for the stand by queues.

  • I thought it was a great touch to have trading cards available to mark the return of the attraction. These were free and available form many of the cast members in New Orleans Square.

  • The other new addition to New Orleans Square is Redd the Pirate. She roams the area throughout the day. Of course I managed to miss her every time I was in the area. Here is the original news release with a photo introducing Redd. I did not have the patience to camp out/wait around and instead just walked through the area a handful of times throughout the afternoon, which did not work. I asked several cast members and Disneyland Today via Twitter and no one had any type of appearance schedule or even when her day ends. So it was a little frustrating.

  • The Disneyland Today Twitter response was extremely frustrating. I asked when she may be roaming around New Orleans Square and the response I got was she will be making appearances in New Orleans Square. They have gotten really bad at answering questions. I had a similar response when I asked what time sunset was and the lights will come on in Cars Land recently and they replied at sunset. They used to reply with an approximate time. Hopefully Redd's schedule is added to the character schedules in the app at some point.

  • First time I noticed the relatively new 21 signs near the signs to the former Dream Suite and before that Gallery. These are for the dining room that use the former suite as the entry. The sign is red and draws your attention to it which seemed weird to me for something that is exclusive/private to make it stand out.

  • Ant-Man and the Wasp Sneak Peek has moved into Tomorrowland replacing Path of the Jedi. The signage and presentation are extremely minimal. No props or videos.. just some signs outside and a logo loop on the queue TVs. No theater effects were in use on Friday. It is showing in 3D and features a couple of scenes that were ok but did not sell the film to me. Compare this preview to that of the Incredibles 2 at DCA and it is night and day in terms of presentation and apparent effort. Also the cast member we had do the intro seemed extremely bored and no energy so that did not help either.

  • I had two sightings of Monorail Red on Friday. Red sports the little Green Aliens from Toy Story for Pixar Fest. The Monorail line was down most of the afternoon/evening. I never did see guests onboard. I did spot Orange cruise by once and Red in motion once. The overlay looked ok but nothing too interesting.

  • For dinner I used mobile order again at Smokejumpers Grill and it worked with no problems. The food took a while to come out of the kitchen but it was still more efficient than the regular queue which had several groups in each line so it probably saved 5-10 minutes. Overall adoption seems slow for mobile order. The regular queues at several locations throughout the afternoon/evening looked substantial and the number of people using the mobile order was minimal. I am sure over time it will gain traction, but for now it is a great time saver in most locations most of the time.

  • Took a walk through Downtown Disney and there are more closures. Both the kiosk and store location for Häagen-Dazs have closed. As well as ESPN Zone since my last visit. More of the far west end of Downtown Disney will be closing in the coming weeks with everything between the Monorail and Disneyland Hotel closed by the end of the month. On World of Disney two of three entrances have had their characters removed for some work during the renovation. I found it really odd to have the large TVs and signs on for ESPN but the building is walled off. Guess they are gutting the inside so figured they would leave those on so it does not look so abandoned.

  • The All-American College Band returns to Disneyland on Thursday to start their summer. This year the set times are late in the day. First one is 6:45pm in front of the Castle then 7:45pm in the Royal Theatre. They close out the day with two in Town Square 8:40 and 9:55. No mention of it but they may open with the Flag Retreat at 5:00pm since starting Thursday the Disneyland band added one set and shifted to an earlier start time.

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

Geek’s Blog Postings Recap May 9- June 5, 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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