home > Columns > Geekspeaks >
7/17/05 - Some thoughts and observations from this milestone day at 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.

7/17/05 - Some thoughts and observations from this milestone day at the Disneyland Resort.

* After you read this report you may want to check out the pictorial updates in our Disneyland Resort Pictorial Update section

Hello all,

Well the 50th has now come and gone and we were lucky enough to spend the day at the Disneyland Resort. Going into the day I had no idea what to expect. Whether the park would be wall to wall guests with overflow crowds as some were speculating, or if it would just be a regular busy summer day, or if it would be complete gridlock. I made the decision that none of the limited merchandise really was a "must have" so camping out overnight was not in the cards for me. I instead decided to arrive around 7am at the park. Hoping to be after the first rush and before the second. Everything went according to plan, arrived in the area a little ahead of schedule so stopped for a quick breakfast even (which was a very smart move). Arrived at the park a couple minutes ahead of my plan and pulled right up, showed my pass, and drove through the parking toll booth with no wait at all, up the ramp and right onto Daisy, without even slowing down really drove around the garage and was directed into a spot in the first row about a half dozen cars in from the first spots (ignoring the handicap reserved spots). Wow that was easy. Road down the escalator and walked onto the waiting tram, it pulled away and we were off, again no wait at all. Something was definitely up. As we approached the tram stop I noticed a line of people in Downtown Disney. The tram stopped and a couple CMs directed us to move to the right hand side because we were already in line. From here I could see the line go down toward the security checkpoint, around the fountain and back toward me on the Downtown Disney side, it kept going out of sight and then I could see it come back on the other side and head toward the security tents. That line started moving a couple minutes after we departed the tram. Wow getting in already, that was cool. After almost 20 minutes our part of the line began to move, wow this was a long line. It actually snaked all the way down to the Monorail station before returning. It took an hour and a half from when I was off the tram till I was in the park, not as bad as it looked. The crowd was peaceful for the most part (except when a couple tried to cut in line and they were yelled at repeatedly till security stopped them). Ok enough of the long winded story and onto some other notes.

Just wanted to say overall the day was great, the crowd pleasant for the most part, and the park looked and felt better than ever.


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

Disneyland (and a DCA note or two too):

  • The morning crowd was what I expected and I thought it would build and hold all day long. Instead it appeared to keep building and peak around lunch time. As the heat of the day came and went there was a noticable decline in the crowd. The park never felt overcrowded or gridlocked to me. The crowd control measures Disney had in place worked. When we left around 8pm it felt less crowded than your average Friday during the summer. I think the combination of the heat and early arrivials plus maybe some of the hype helped to keep the crowds down.

  • Everyone who entered the park for the day was given a gold set of mouse ears with the date on the back as well as a guidemap that folded out to reveal the original Disneyland map, what a great touch! Even DCA got special guidemaps with a Disneyland photo on the cover. The time guide for Disneyland had gold highlights, it was obvious some thought went into these great FREE keepsakes from the day for all. Also there were cupcakes available to all throughout the day with no real limit.

  • There were two main events planned and advertised for the 50th. A 10am 50th Anniversary Ceremony and then the 4:45pm Walt Disney Dedication Moment.

  • The 10am Ceremony was the main event of the day. The crowd gathered from opening until showtime. I queued up near Adventureland around 9am and was quite a distance away but I thought I would have a good view. I was wrong. The stage was not elevated enough and I could barely see the ceremony (as you saw in the pictorial update), add in the ODV cart that obstructed part of the view and the trees blocking most of the screen and it was not a good spot, but still better than others and I could tell what was going on. I thought Art Linkletter stole the show and was entertianing and interesting (a couple repeated stories but well worth it). The other highlight was hearing from Diane Disney-Miller as she talked about the park and her dad. Plus the very obvious appeals for the Tiki Room. Iger and Eisner both spoke, but nothing too memorable as well as our governers speech.

  • Anticipating large crowds for the day we signed up for the free VMK tour we earned on the last visit (if you complete the three in park quests you get the tour). The tour lasted roughly two hours and included some info on the upcoming Tomorrowland and Frontierland additions to the game, as well as the opportunity to ride Jungle Cruise, Big Thunder, Haunted Mansion, the Disneyland Railroad and visit Innoventions with no waits in line. I thought the tour moved along and featured a good mix of virtual and real stories. Also there was an oportunity to answer trivia questions and win virtual prizes, a nice touch. Another highlight is the Haunted Mansion Quest that you do with on the tour. A great plus. I would recommend this to regular park visitors and to VMK players.. its FREE.. its fun.. and did I mention again its FREE!!

  • The 4:45pm Dedication Moment consisted of a replay of the Dedication speech as well as a music video by Leann Rymes. It was kind of fun to be in Town Square and know what took place there 50 years ago to the minute almost. Also it was a nice touch to see Mickey down by the flag. The Leann Rymes video I thought was very well done and I hope to see it show up in more places. It was the theme song, Remember When.

  • Here's an interesting side story.. as we were looking for a place to watch the speech (this was probably only 10 minutes or so before the scheduled start time) I noticed two people standing off to the right hand side of the train station away from the crowd. One I did not recognize, the other I did. It was Tony Baxtor, the Walt Disney Imagineer. He was also looking for a place. I thought maybe he knew something I didn't so I walked that direction, only to realize the trees completely blocked everything. I said hello and commented on the trees and headed off to the other side where all the other guests were lined up, he did the same. Not sure where he ended up but thought it was kind of interesting to see him experiencing the moment the same way as the rest of us were, craning and searching for a good spot.

  • A couple other notes in closing. I thought the addition of the video screens scattered around the park was a great way to disburse the crowd and provided a great break throughout the day. These giant screens showed the events live, and then went into a loop of old Disneyland clips as well as replays of the days events. A great idea!!

  • Lastly just wanted to mention the Cast Members. I would image everyone who could work was there and everyone we encountered was in a great mood, friendly, and helpful even with the large crowd, heat, and I am sure long hours of the day. Everything seemed to go off smoothly and effeciently for the most part.

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

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.