home > Columns > Geekspeaks >
7/11/14 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to the Disneyland Resort.
 The Geek Speaks:

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.

7/11/14 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to the Disneyland Resort.

Hello everyone,

Friday was a pleasant day in the parks. Temperatures topped out in the mid 80s and cooled down to the low 70s before I left. The crowds were mild again too with only a couple of attractions over an hour but most substantially shorter if you timed it correctly. I ended up meeting several family and friends and roaming the parks with them trying to catch some attractions they had not seen yet.


Trip logs and mileage reports are in the Park Miles section.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Some in my group today needed to renew their Annual Passes. They were changing from Premiere to Premium and the process took quite a while at the ticket booth. There was only a couple minute wait to get to a window but once there the processing took an extended period of time. They took advantage of the payment plan option (for those not familiar if you live in CA you can spread your pass cost out over 12 months with no interest). Learned (or more likely relearned) you do not have to pay the full one day rate up front when you renew you can take the full pass price and divide by 12. They asked how much of a deposit/up front payment. You do not have to do any, be warned that your first month will be charged right away, so if you do an initial payment too that both will be charged the first day.

  • Started the afternoon with a stroll through Disney California Adventure. Condor Flats is preparing for the upcoming Planes: Fire & Rescue film (opening next week). They have a merchandise location set up and the cast makes an appearance in the Soarin preflight film that is playing as you wait for the safety video. It is a very subtle addition again, just like they did for the first Planes film. It seems a little odd and out of place to be shoe horned in the way it is but at least it is not too over the top What I mean is the characters have really nothing to do with the hang glider experience of Soarin. I am still surprised they have not done more in Condor Flats to tie in with the film. Sure seems to me the location where Minnies plane is would make a prime photo op.. Or even the extended Soarin queue area near by. And with this newest film especially bridging GRR & Condor Flats seems like a natural fit since it takes place in a national park setting.

  • The big news in Disneyland this week is the new Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush! experience that has taken over the land. Disney describes it as "Create your own character and story in the Wild West!" in the times guide. It runs 11am to 6pm daily (note I heard that many elements close before 6pm though). I would describe it as a role playing game. The basic game play is you pick up a name badge with your western nickname. Choose which side you want to be on, Frontierland or Rainbow Ridge. Then you do various tasks to earn bits (currency for the game). This can be reading telegraphs, making signs, bounty hunting, gambling (yep you can gamble in Disneyland now through card games in the Golden Horseshoe). You can use your bits to purchase land or other game activities. My understanding is only a portion of the game is not operational and more will be coming online in the coming days/weeks as well as on the fly adjustments.

  • Some observations from the Legends of Frontierland
    • I did not play the game on Friday. I tried to talk the rest of the group I was with into it and they looked at me like I was crazy. This included a 7-year old boy as well as several retiredgeeks so it was multi generational no (all were Annual Passholders too). Not sure why they were not interested, no one would give me a coherent answer.. just they did not want to play. So that meant I quickly went around taking some pictures and video while they waited in the shade (and a few went on Big Thunder).
    • From what I saw those that were actively playing were really into it and having a great time. The Cast Members were engaging the guests and seemed to be having fun too.
    • I saw no posted schedule for the entertainment in the Golden Horseshoe. I happened upon a performance by Miss Lilly that included some classic songs. I thought this was a fun element, but with no show times not sure how you plan to see it. I guess the idea is to entertain those that are there to eat or who are participating in the game more than draw guests in? (Or did I just happen to miss the show times).
    • This seems targeted at the frequent visitor and seems more involved than what an average tourist would want to spend their limited Disneyland time on. But on the other hand it provides a different/unique experience.
    • It is too early to draw any conclusions about the experience and since I did not invest the time I do not want to go too far out on a limb. But compared to other in park experiences (Virtual Magic Kingdom, Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, Pirates Adventure, the Epcot Kim Possible, Phineas & Ferb or even Muppets Investigation Bureau) this one does not hold the same interest to me.
    • The crowds were fairly light on Friday, but from what I observed the Legends of Frontierland did not seem to cause any real congestion issues.
    • I saw a fair number of guests with name tags on, but due to the spread out nature of the game it was hard to get a handle on how many were actively playing. It seemed like a very small number were really engaged in the story/game.
    • From my first pass through (based entirely only the half hour or so I spent in the area) it seems like a very labor intensive experience for the small number of guests it impacts. It will be interesting to see how this grows/morphs over time and what direction they take the experience in.
    • The Parks Blog was on hand filming segments and taking pictures so guessing more information and publicity for the experience are on their way soon.

  • I stopped by New Orleans Square as the sun was setting to check out the progress on the Club 33 renovations now that most of the scaffolding has been removed. I found the area to be quite disappointing. I am hoping they still have finishing touches to apply, but from what I have seen it seems like much of place making of New Orleans Square has been sacrificed for the Club. The history and detail appears to be disappearing and that is disappointing to see. The entire concept of Club 33 is becoming a little too public. The large windows and bright interior seem to really highlight the fact that it exists and for those in the Club that they are there, above the rest of us, and looking down on the masses in the park. The old club where you would catch an occasional silhouette passing overhead or someone peaking out a window or a balcony appearance seems to be replaced with a more transparent approach. I understand the concept of the windows to provide better views for those inside, but is that really the purpose of the Club to provide unobstructed views of the park below? It seems as if the Club is no longer an integrated component of the area but instead a driving factor of the design and feel of New Orleans Square. It is going to be interesting to read and follow how members feel about their new Club and how the final product impacts the sight lines and feel of New Orleans Square for the average guest.

  • The La Mascarade d Orleans shop has reopened. It no longer features pins but instead New Orleans Square unique merchandise. I thought the store was interesting to look around and the props, signage, and detail fun to observe. The merchandise selection was nothing I found appealing for myself. Also note as of now they do not sell any of the masks on display.. those are all just props.

  • While in the store taking pictures I overheard a couple of guests talking with the cast members. The Cast Member was explaining about the renovations and the Court of Angels being taken over by Club 33. The guests had the same reaction as many expressing there disappointment. Seems on more trips than not in recent months during the work I have overheard similar conversations.

  • Note if you are planning to visit the park on the 17th for Disneylands 59th Anniversary the celebration is at 10am in Town Square vs the afternoon timeslot. For a sample of past celebration here is a video from the 55th -

Interesting Web Finds/Notes:

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

Stop by the Geek's Forum to discuss this and other Disney topics.. click here

Send comments, questions, any other email to: disneygeek@disneygeek.com

Back to previous page


Quick Note

Check out the geek speaks archive for past updates.


Interested in Helping out?

If you are a fellow disneygeek and interested in sharing your insights, pictures, thoughts drop us an email here we are always looking for contributors.