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06/16/17 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort.
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06/16/17 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort.

Hello everyone,

Friday was a busy day at the Disneyland Resort for me. There were quite a few changes I wanted to see plus the All-American College Band. I achieved most of my goal, but I missed Cruz Ramirez and the Summer of Heroes Showcase. It was a hot day at the parks with temps around 90 during the afternoon cooling down into the 70s as the sun set. The crowds were moderate in the parks. Attraction wait times for the usual suspects were over an hour most of the day.

This past week Disneyland released the return dates for the Rivers of America, Railroad and Fantasmic. A quick summary:

  • Big Thunder Trail - Thursday 6/8
  • Tom Sawyer Island - Friday 6/16
  • Fantasmic Monday 7/17
  • Disneyland Railroad - Saturday 7/29
  • Rivers of America - Mark Twain, Sailing Ship Columbia and Canoes - Saturday 7/29

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Started this trip the same as all other recent ones (and probably future ones until 2019) taking a look at the Star Wars Construction from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure. The steel structures for the two large show buildings continues to take shape. Work continues on the berms with the park and preparations for other structures appears to be underway. I would really like to see some updated aerial photography to see how the site looks. There is a lot you cannot see from the structure.

  • In Downtown Disney the steel structure for Splitsville is mostly up now. Friday they were also setting up for a Coca Cola promotion in front of the walls.

  • This past week DCA 2.0, Buena Vista Street & Cars Land turned 5 and World of Color turned 7. Time has really flown by. It is hard to believe it has been that long already.

  • The entrance to Cars Land from the parade route has been altered. The sign now welcomes Cruz Ramirez from Cars 3. The planter has been removed a small stone wall is now in front of the sign. This allows guests to go right up to the sign and opens up the walkway a bit more. It also means you can sit under the sign so your picture will include the entire sign and you. I thought the planter added a little more to the scene but I can see from an operational standpoint how this configuration is a plus. Cruz is making the rounds of Cars Land throughout the day. I had bad timing and the three times I walked through looking for her she was no where to be seen. Maybe next trip.

  • In Hollywood Land the Pirates Preview has ended and a Summer of Heroes Showcase has taken over. I did not have time to visit this trip but will next trip. The marketplace Knowhere Eats was open this visit so I think all the Summer of Heroes activities are now in place. Two other quick notes. Frozen is dark through the 26th and the Animation Building lobby is still closed for renovation but they Animation Academy and Turtle Talk shows have both returned using side doors.

  • Over at Disneyland a project has gotten underway in Adventureland to ease some of the congestions. The Indiana Jones Outpost and South Seas Traders have both closed. In their space will be seating for Bengal BBQ and relocated snacks from Tropical Imports. Some of the merchandise from the two locations has been added to the Adventureland Bazaar. The former Tropical Imports location will be stroller parking and the former BBQ seating area will become a wider walkway. The work is expected to be completed by July.

  • Tom Sawyer Island opened today. I spent some time exploring the island and taking in the new views of the Rivers of America. I circled the island and the guest areas remain virtually untouched. The only really noticeable change is the graveyard is gone and a storage building is there now. The Tree House remains, but is permanently closed. The Pirates Liar activities are still present.

  • From Tom Sawyer Island you get some great views of the new northern end of the river. You can see much of the rock work and train path. Once the Disneyland Railroad returns to service there are going to be some great photo ops as the train passes the Rivers of America. I am looking forward to seeing this. Having the train visible for a longer portion of the route is going to be nice, in Tokyo you can see the train throughout Westernland and Critter Country and it brings some extra kinetic energy to the area. From the island you can also see some of the Wildlife that is returning and new along the waters edge. The Indian Village is taking shape behind a construction fence too.

  • The 2017 All-American College Band started their summer performances on Thursday. So Friday was day two in the park. I was able to catch all of their sets, which is an easier feat this year since they band does not do any pre-parades. Another change this year is the band performs Monday through Friday, no weekend performances. The show locations and times are: 3:15pm Sleeping Beauty Castle, 5:15pm Flag Retreat, 6:10pm Town Square/Train Station, 7:15pm Royal Theatre and 8:05pm DCA Parade Route. For more information here is my full post on the band. If you have never caught a performance of the College Band and you find yourself in the park I would recommend it. They are entertaining and some great musicians.

  • The Big Thunder Trail opened since my last visit. So you can once again walk from Frontierland to Fantasyland. There is still work going on as the train path and Star Wars themed land entrances are moving toward completion. In addition to the two new entrances that will pass under the train tracks there is new rock work, retaining walls, and props along the trail. It is great to have this path open again and it makes moving around the park much easier, especially during parades.

  • I grabbed dinner at the Tomorrowland Terrace since I was in the area. Found it interesting the receipt still prints out saying Galactic Grill.

  • Stopped by the Golden Horseshoe to work in the A/C and caught a performance of the Laughing Stock Co. I really miss the Hillbillies. It would be great to see live music brought back. I was able to pick up the wi-fi signal from the park outside, it was weak but functional.

  • The Grad Nite season comes to an end this weekend. I am not a big fan of the mix in process and the transition to the party. I have had the same complaint with the Halloween Parties too. For Grad Nite walking through Cars Land in the 8pm hour, which is 2 hours before the party starts, I do not understand why the Grad Nite logo should be on the Cadillac Range. For regular day guests that want pictures of Ornament Valley after dark why do they need to see the logo?

  • Decided to watch most of the Main Street Electrical Parade from the Small World Mall area. It was not jammed and you could get some clear views with little wait on Friday. The parade encountered a problem and was stopped for nearly 10 minutes. I could not see which float it was, somewhere before the Cinderella Clock tower since I could see from there to the end and saw no signs of work going on.

  • The new FastPass/MaxPass scanners are rumored to be going into service in the coming week. The reporting says the scanners will be used to scan tickets for the traditional FastPasses at this point, not the FastPass itself but your park admission ticket. The paper ticket is your receipt/time notification. No official word on this or when MaxPass will be debuting but on Friday the scanners for Big Thunder were visible and had power.

  • I watched Remember Dreams Come True fireworks from New Orleans Square along the Rivers of America. The Fantasmic water screens are once again being used for projections during the show. The new projectors that have been installed for Fantasmic combined with the new animations for the show are incredibly clear and were a great plus. It is going to be great to see how Fantasmic! looks on them.

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

Geek’s Blog Postings Recap – May 28-June 6, 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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