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6/10/16 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday the 10th @ Disneyland Resort including first impressions of Jammin on the Backlot
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6/10/16 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday the 10th @ Disneyland Resort including first impressions of Jammin on the Backlot

Hello everyone,

The summer season is ramping up at the Disneyland Resort. Some of the summer entertainment kicked off recently and I spent some time taking it in this week as well as a final flight on Soarin. The crowds in the park have picked up to match the summer season. There were a larger than normal (or maybe I was more observant) number of 1st time visitor buttons as I roamed the parks. Also Grad Nite season goes for another week and there were a large number of those kids in the parks too. Wait times were in the moderate range for most attractions with a couple in the hour plus to triple digit range.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I spent a portion of my trip as usual checking out the ongoing construction projects around the parks. The scale of the Star Wars project is very interesting to me and it is great to see the landscape starting to take shape now. I was disappointed to see one of the better unobstructed views is now gone. The far stairs of the Hungry Bear are unusable so they have walled off the area and with it the vantage point.

  • An odd occurrence as I walked up to the Mickey and Friends Tram stop. The tram on the left was getting ready to pull away and one on the right was boarding so I went to the right and angled for the last row since it was empty. As I approached the tram a CM stopped me saying no more boarding. I paused since this is normal. Then realized all other cars were boarding and no cast member was at the back of the tram. I asked if I could board since everyone else was and he said they had made the no more boarding announcement. I pointed out there was not even a CM to make the announcement. He spoke to the CM next to him and she said she had not heard the announcement. He held firm and would not let me get into the empty row. People continued to show up and board other cars but he was determined not to let me board. I should have just walked up to one of the others but I decided to listen and just go over to the other side. I boarded a tram that just pulled in there and watched as he then let a family get into the row I had tried to board. It was very odd. In the end we actually got there ahead of that tram because they were so slow boarding but it was strange his insistence that no boarding was allowed and he refused to deviate from that given the facts and what was going on.

  • I took a brief look at the times guide once at the parks. A couple of notes. The All American College Band Starts Thursday. They perform at 3pm in the Backlot at DCA. Then over at Disneyland - 5:15 Flag Retreat, 6:15 Castle, 7:15 Town Square, 8:15 parade route. Also interesting still no Zootopia references in the character listing. Lastly note starting next Friday there will be four Frozen shows daily. I hear they are working up to five a day.

  • Next Friday the new Soarin Around the World version of the attraction premieres. The current California version plays through the 15th. I wanted to go for a final flight with a good seat so I grabbed a FastPass for later vs a single rider wait. Then when I used it requested a middle seat. It is great to see the film clearly with the new projectors. The smells were not working in my row (or maybe my nose was not). I am going to miss the familiar sites, but looking forward to seeing a new film.

  • For the summer a new event has moved in to the Backlot replacing the Mad T Party, it is called Jammin' on the Backlot. It is billed as a neighborhood party and runs from 6pm until park closing daily. It started a few weeks ago but this was the first visit for me. I was really disappointed with the offering. Compared to the energy of the previous night time parties this one is really lacking. It consisted of a DJ and scaled back lighting & decorations. I walked through the area three times over the course of a couple hours and nothing more was happening. I hope there is more planned. When I first arrived there were more people sitting in the benches enjoying a break than dancing. The numbers evened out a bit but it was not a big crowd. The young kids in the audience were enjoying themselves dancing as their parents chased them but it was really quiet. If nothing else they could have had some characters like WDW does at their dance parties. I do not see myself spending much (if any) time here in the coming weeks/months except to see if anything new has been added.

  • Polynesian Nights have returned to Downtown Disney on Fridays this summer. There are several themed nights throughout the week. Sat/Sun are Dance Parties, Monday Reggae, Tuesday Latin, Wednesday Country/Cajun, Thursday oldies & classic rock. The Polynesian Night offerings are the same as recent years with performances on the main stage featuring a musical and dance trip through the islands of the South Pacific. It is a good offering and I would recommend it over the Jammin on the Backlot. The shows are at the top of the hour from 6-10pm. Also since it is in Downtown Disney it is free for everyone, no theme park admission required.

  • Another Downtown Disney note, the House of Blues closed down the end of last month and all signage and evidence of what was there before is now gone. Nothing indicating what is coming yet. If you are looking for the House of Blues they are moving a couple blocks away to the Garden Walk.

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

Geek's Blog Postings Recap – May 31 - June 4, 2016

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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