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07/13/17 - Thoughts and observations from Thursday 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.

07/13/17 - Thoughts and observations from Thursday at the Disneyland Resort.

Hello everyone,

I headed to the Disneyland Resort on Thursday for the D23 Expo and some time in the parks. I spent Thursday morning and early afternoon at the parks. The crowds were extremely light in the morning building to regular light in the early afternoon when I left.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Thursday morning I departed for Anaheim before sunrise. The hope was to avoid some of the morning commute traffic on the way to the park so I left at 5:30am. Arrived at the Mickey and Friends parking structure at 7:00am.. so took my 90 minutes to go the 75 miles. The Ball Road overpass was closed this morning, but I lucked out and only had to wait a few moments for a green light. The parking structure was open but only a couple toll booths. Of course I choose the one that took forever.. the other one was going about 3 cars to 1 from ours. Was directed into a spot in Pinocchio along the walkway to Downtown Disney.

  • Took a leisurely walk through Downtown Disney to start my morning since I was early, parks did not open until 8am. Once past the Monorail Downtown Disney was very quiet until I reached Starbucks.

  • The Splitsville building appears much larger than the House of Blues. It comes out further and fills all the space.

  • First stop this morning Disney California Adventure. A majority of the crowd was gathered in Hollywood Land and directed into two queues.. one for Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout! and the other for Fastpasses. There was a smaller group of guests waiting near Carthay Circle to head for Cars Land and Racers FastPasses. I joined that group at rope drop. They all turned left and I kept walking to Paradise Pier. Once I turned toward the Cove Bar the walkway was nearly empty. Only one or two random groups heading my way. All attractions on the Pier were a walk on as I made my way around. I decided to do Toy Story, Fun Wheel, and the Zephyr as I strolled around. A first for me on the Fun Wheel. Only my group and one swinging car were loaded then we were able to do two full rotations without stopping. It was a shorter ride but fun to keep moving. I have skipped a few stops before but never the entire load due to no other guests in the area.

  • Strolled through Cars Land and Hollywood Land. Both had more guests but were not overly busy.

  • Next stop Disneyland for the rest of my abbreviated day. Main Street USA had more guests on it and wait times seemed higher than DCA but still not a crowded day. It was pleasant to relax and take the Omnibus then stroll around the the park.

  • Walked through Frontierland and they had the 6th and final card I needed to complete my Rivers of America set, Fantasmic, in stock. The rest of my group had not done the quest so we picked up all 6 cards in under 20 minutes due to no crowds in the stores this morning.

  • I was on the raft to Tom Sawyer Island and we had to wait for the Mark Twain and a Canoe to pass. Great to see river traffic again! It was fun to see the Mark Twain circling the island, I am ready to go for some cruises again and get a better view of the rock work and new river sights.

  • From the Island you could see the new water falls in action on the northern edge of the Rivers of America. The water flow rate seemed lower than I had expected from the concept art. It looked good, but I was expecting more water. Wonder if it was dialed down or just exaggerated in the concept art.

  • I caught two Disneyland Band performances. The first in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. It featured a guest appearance by Belle and the Beast. I would have liked to have seen them dance to Beauty and the Beast vs Be Our Guest. It was a nice moment, but seemed a little off to me due to the song selection. This first set also included a Star Wars Medley and Guardians of the Galaxy which I thought was a nice mix of old and new. The Star Wars medley seemed a tad long compared to the others but the crowd loved it. The second performance I saw included classic characters (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Chip and Dale) as they led a march to Town Square. The set featured a couple songs at the castle, the march then one in Town Square. I always enjoy seeing the band but usually miss them due to my later arrival so it was fun to catch them today.

  • For lunch ate at the Plaza Inn. The chicken hit the spot as something different. I tend not to eat there in the evening due to crowds and time. But a leisurely lunch in the air conditioning visiting with friends was perfect this afternoon.

  • Paid a visit to Buzz Lightyear after lunch. The attraction really could use some TLC... the ride vehicles need some work and the guns the last several times always seemed off. This time I noticed several targets that were not quite right either. I would also like to see them integrate the photo with PhotoPass to save the email step. An upgrade to something closer to the Shanghai version would be great to see.

  • The Pizza Port is offering a family meal deal. For $70 you get a pizza, salad, dessert, and drinks. Compared to buying all that by itself it can save you some money, but it shows how feeding a family is a pricey ordeal now a days.

  • There were a fair number of characters out this afternoon. We saw the Alice in Wonderland group, Merida, Belle, Beast & Gaston in a span of a few minutes in Fantasyland. Always great to see the characters out and interacting with guests vs in contained meet and greet experiences. I think it is a much more memorable experience to be able to interact with the character vs the quick photo and signature after waiting in a line.

  • The trams back to the parking structure were slow and off cycle. We waited several minutes for one to arrive then three did. Of course ours took forever to load and at least one, maybe two, pulled by empty to return to structure. Seems to me they could do quicker loads and keep things moving to space them out vs sending empty trams around.

  • Concluded my time at Disneyland checking out the Star Wars construction from the Mickey and Friends parking structure. Our views are continuing to disappear and will be gone in a mater of months once the buildings get exterior walls.

Disneyland released the return dates for the Rivers of America, Railroad and Fantasmic:

  • Big Thunder Trail - Opened Thursday 6/8
  • Tom Sawyer Island - Opened 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

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

Geek’s Blog Postings Recap – June 20-27, 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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