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7/13/18 - 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.

7/13/18 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort
The temperatures in Southern California are closer to normal summer so I ventured out to the Disneyland Resort for Friday the 13th. It was still a bit warm with the temps touching 90 degrees, still over 20 degrees cooler than last Friday though. For Southern California it was on the humid side (Florida people would be laughing though). Wait times were on the moderate site for most attractions. A couple spiked over the hour mark and beyond but a good number were walk ons or near walks most of the time we were there. Even the walkways felt a little more open in the evening as I was walking around, especially Tomorrowland.

Trip Updates: All the full picture sets from my spring trips to Shanghai, Tokyo and Orlando are now posted.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • The trip started off with a decent parking experience. The overpass was closed so I had to wait for the light but I managed to make it through by one car. Only a couple cars in each lane at the toll booth and no wait to be directed into a space since I choose the correct lane for once on the ramp. Even drew a spot only a dozen or so cars in from the walkway.

  • The new parking structure on the former Pinocchio Parking lot is continuing to rise with more support columns up and the decking/forms for the second floor by where the escalators will be going up already. In the two weeks since my last visit there had been a lot of visible progress.

  • Across Disneyland Drive the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge project had some visible progress too as scaffolding continues be removed we are getting some goo d looks at the new and various colors on the rock formations and spires. More are taking shape and even more support steel is rising on the perimeter of the site.

  • Across Magic way the new Disney hotel project seems to have slowed for the moment. Construction trailers are onsite in the parking lot area closest to Rain Forest/Monorail Station, all the locations west of the Monorail beam have closed. But as of Friday still business as usual for security and no fences up for demolition work. The new dining locations in the center of Downtown Disney seem to be moving slowly too.. or at least no real visible progress. Then down towards the park Naples and World of Disney projects continue.

  • I learned Friday how MaxPass has spoiled me a bit. It is included in the annual pass I purchased and I use it frequently, but Friday I had several people with me who did not have it. So that meant some hikes out to pick up FastPasses. I have not had to do that in a while since I have either been by myself or with someone else who had MaxPass on recent visits. So having to hike out to the Pier to pick up a Toy Story FastPass was something I had not done recently.

  • Found it interesting a blue wall/wrap is up around the perimeter of two of the World of Color platforms that were raised for renovation. In previous work periods wire fences were up but this I do not remember seeing. Not sure if it is a net gain or loss for how it looks. It did obstruct some of the equipment from view but it also seemed to call some extra attention to it.

  • On Pixar Pier work continues on the project with Bing Bong's sign being installed since my last visit and the photo op of the Pixar Ball by the billboards returning. The Zurg toy near Poulty Palace has been removed though. Anyone hear why? Was it damaged? Heat related? Or is it being relocated?

  • Ate a late lunch at Smokejumpers Grill. Turned out to be a decent meal but not the best of experiences. The air conditioning system seemed like it was unable to keep up with the temperatures and it was a warm, almost sweaty experience to sit and eat inside. We almost moved outside hoping for a breeze but only saw tables in the sun out there. I used mobile order and it did save some time in line which was great. I found it a nice plus that they had cups and cold water available for anyone at a self service location at the far end by the mobile order pick up. The downside to this is made the small area more crowded. It would be great to have a water fountain or something out by the condiment bar to ease up the congestion. I picked up the order for our group (5 meals) and asked the cast member for two cups of ice to go with it. They said they were not really supposed to be passing out ice today since they were running low. I thought this was rather poor that they could not stock enough ice during a slow meal time (it was mid afternoon by this point) and cast members were being put in this role of having to deal with guests like myself that were hot from outside, hot from being inside with minimal air conditioning, just ordered a lot of food, and then being told I could not have two cups of ice. In the end I received two small cups with a little ice in each, so the CM did try, but it was poor on Disney's part.

  • I had my 21 month old nephew with me this trip so we spent some time in Flik's Fun Fair and with Disney Jr. Dance party for him. Flik's Fun Fair has attractions that worked very well for him. He does not know the movie but enjoyed both the Chew Chew Train and Flik's Flyers. Also both had minimal waits which was perfect for a warm afternoon. I think loosing this area will really hurt the family experience of the park. Yes it is not the most immersive/Disney attractions or unique attractions but for the younger set it gives them something they can experience with their families. It fits that niche very well. Loosing the five attractions(including the theater) plus two water play areas for Marvel will be a big loss. Even with at least one attraction being relocated that means several kids like him can experience will be gone soon. I am assuming the Marvel attractions that will be going in will be aimed at an older audience and will most likely feature height restrictions too.

  • The Mission Breakout FastPass return queue was backed up well into Flik's Fun Fair. The cast member at the end of the line was telling guests the return wait would be 30 minutes or more at this point. I did not notice if all three shafts were in service. I did hear several guests commenting how they had come over because the Incredicoaster was down so that may have contributed to the wave of guests.

  • Stopped by the Disney Junior Dance Party. It was not overly crowded so was able to show up 10 minutes before the show and get in with no issues and even a seat inside. I do not think I had visited since it first opened so its been a while. The show seemed to be about the same as I remembered. One change I did notice was when the Racers arrived at the park they mentioned passing Pixar Pier and the video had been updated with the new color scheme.

  • Disneyland turns 63 this coming Tuesday the 17th. The park will be hosting two character celebrations (2:50 & 5:25pm) that will include 63 characters and many others. These moments will occur in Small World Mall, the Hub, Main Street USA and Town Square. So it sounds a little more involved than the traditional rededication and moment on Main Street this year.

  • I thought the large number of Play Disney Parks app signs up around Peter Pan were distracting and off theme for the area. I understand wanting to let people know about the new app and giving them something to do in that slow moving line but did it really need a handful of large/generic signs?

  • Stopped by Toontown to take a look at the Star Wars construction and noticed the backstage gate next to Minnie's house had been covered with a polka dot pattern. I thought this really stood out and was distracting, even by Toontown standards. The gate itself had a cartoon feel to it and worked well. This covering appeared temporary and really stood in contrast to the rest of the land. My guess is this is an attempt at a social media fad or photo op. It did not seem all that popular when I was in the area. Hopefully it fades away and the gate will be uncovered again soon.

  • Before the evening Pixar Play Parade Dance the Magic filled the parade route with performers. This group performs a couple of times a year at the park and this weekend is their summer event. It is a sight to see Main Street filled with dancers from end to end.

  • There is a renovation project going on in the area between the Jolly Holiday seating and Tiki Room Garden. The construction wall includes some concept art on the Adventureland side and Main Street posters on the other. I thought these were nice pluses for the walls vs being plain. Not sure what the project is behind them if it is just a general renovation or if things are going to be changed.

  • Some of my group went for a ride on the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and when they met up with me asked if the attraction had gotten darker. They said the projections were not clear and looked faded. We last experienced the attraction about a year ago and their memories were it was easier to see the projections. They also said the load/unload process was extremely inefficient. The line was relatively small but it inched along with several long pauses.

  • In Frontierland the backstage entrance near the Stage Door Cafe continues to be repainted. The return of the fireworks company artwork seems to be dragging on. It had been two weeks since my last visit and only a little visible progress appeared to have been made. I was expecting it to be finished by now.

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

Geek’s Blog Postings Recap June 19 - July 3, 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.

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