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7/18/14 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to the Disneyland Resort including the Music of Nashville and more Legends of Frontierland.
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7/18/14 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to the Disneyland Resort including the Music of Nashville and more Legends of Frontierland.

Hello everyone,

Friday was an entertaining day at the Disneyland resort. The weather was mild, the temperature topped out in the upper 70s and cooled to the lower 70s before I left the park and 60s by the time I reached home. The crowds in the park felt heavier than last week but still about normal. Wait times crept over an hour for only a couple of the usual attractions (Splash Mountain, Radiator Springs Racers..). Thursday the 17th Disneyland turned 59. The park marked the occasion with a public ceremony at 10am featuring characters, a replay of the dedication, as well as the unveiling of the logo for the 60th Anniversary. Disney officially announced the events will kick off Spring 2016 and announced a photo contest in addition to the new logo. No other details were announced. I was not able to attend the event, here is a video our friends over at DAPS Magic posted of the event. And here is the official Disney Press Release.


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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I exited the I5 South around 1pm at Disneyland Drive and the Ball Road bypass had been converted to exit traffic already, as has been the norm lately. Traffic was backed up to the freeway ramp. It took three cycles to make it past Ball Road. Once you did it was clear sailing to the tollbooth and parking spots. It really is too bad they did not build the overpass large enough to handle traffic both ways. It seems that would alleviate more of the traffic in the area. Also not sure why it converts to exit traffic so early now a days. Seems to me there are still more guests arriving vs leaving in the early afternoon.

  • I walked over to Downtown Disney to start my visit. This weekend the Summer Celebration is continuing with a Sand Volleyball tournament. When I walked by there was a youth tournament going on. The festivities look to be about the same as what they have done in the past. A single court, some chairs around the court, shaved ice, a couple merchandise booths, and a DJ. There was not a big crowd in the area. With the full day I had lined up I did not make it back out to see if a larger crowd showed up for any of the other festivities.

  • Since I was right by the Monorail station and there was no real line decided to take a ride into the park. This also allowed me to get a good look at the Submarine Lagoon. (I had been sitting on the other side for previous trips usually to photograph the Alice in Wonderland progress). Overall not a lot of visible progress in the lagoon. They are working on the props and ocean floor. The subs are slated to return September 27th.

  • Stopped by the Legends of Frontierland: Gold Rush to see how week two is going. There seemed to be about the same number of guests participating, but it really is hard to tell the way the game is spread out and interwoven with the land. There were no real waits at any of the stations. Spent about half an hour and managed to earn 10 bits for myself and someone playing with me earned 25. The game had been expanded a bit with the addition of LB's Elixirs down near the water. Neither of us tried the elixirs. Here is a video of LB performing the charm song:

  • We doubled back later in the afternoon to try and finish a task that we were given when we first started, to deliver a message to Runaway Rosanna... seems she ranaway to take a break earlier. We caught up with her this time by and delivered the message and earned some more bits. Stopped by a third time around 5:00pm to catch the Golden Horseshoe show (which this week was listed in the times guide (daily at 11:15, 12:15, 1:15, 3:00, 4:00, 5:00). The show was only about 10 minutes long. Maybe 12 if you stretch it. This week it featured Miss Violet. Wonder if all the sets are that short? It really gave the performers no time to do anything beyond a couple of numbers. After seeing the game in action twice now I am still not overly interested. I am not a big fan of role playing and this hinges on that. The DisneyParks blog has announced another similar game coming to Adventureland called the Adventure Trading Company opening August 1st. This sounds very similar to the one that was play tested at the D23 Expo. After playing a bit the one thing the experience seemed to do is try and get you and the cast members to interact more.. especially in the stores.

  • The Music of Nashville has moved into the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree for the rest of the summer. This show celebrates the music from the ABC television show Nashville. The area includes three live performances per day, a photo op with cut outs of the cast and a food cart. There are chairs set up as well as the picnic tables to sit at and enjoy the concert. Friday the Kelly Rea Band was performing (there are going to be two bands over the course of its run). The set included a mix of songs from show as well as a couple other country songs. In between the songs (and before the band took the stage) they talked about the show and tried to give some of the backstory for those who do not watch the show. Below are a couple video clips from the performance. We attended the middle set (2:30pm on Friday).

  • The Music of Nashville delivered exactly what the name says.. music from the TV show Nashville. I thought the band put on an entertaining performance. There was an average crowd for the Jamboree.. given it was the first day it seemed ok. Should be interesting to see if this grows. I thought there was not really enough to do or draw in the area in addition to the band. And having three sets in the early afternoon (the last show began at 4:00pm Friday, 5:00pm on the weekend this week) it was really early in the evening. Also curious if it will have the repeat viewing that say the Billies did.. since the Billies included some comedy/variance in the show. I had in mind this was going to be Nashville nights and offer almost a alternative programming to the Mad T Party or Tomorrowland Terrace Bands. With more of a festive atmosphere and dancing. The stage has a full lighting package and I would think after dark would look great. In the mid afternoon sun/shade it was hard to tell. As the weather heats up I would think the mid afternoon/heat of the day audiences would not have that much energy either. I am a country music listener, most of my radio presets are set to country, so I enjoyed most of the music they played and plan to stop by again on a future visit, but I thought the Jamboree lacked some energy. The crowd was seated and for the most part just sat back and watched the performance.

  • I spent some time walking through New Orleans Square in the day time to see how it looked now that Club 33 has re-opened. They are still applying finishing touches so its a work in progress but from what I have seen I am disappointed. I always thought some of the detail and quiet spaces have set Disneyland apart and piece by piece these are disappearing over the years. Especially in New Orleans Square. Another great example of this is the Disney Gallery closing, which was one of my favorite spots to go and visit. Now it sits as a mostly unoccupied Dream Suite. Now Club 33 has expended to really take over New Orleans Square. One of the compelling reasons to visit the original Club 33 for a disneygeek like me was to experience the history of the the location. From what I have seen that is now gone. In its place appears to be an upscale dining location. And since I am not a big food person it really does not have any pull for me. I would be much happier with a steak out at Steakhouse 55. As I said last week I thought the new Club 33 had too public of a profile now and with the unveiling of the new entrance that really solidified my opinion. The new door really stands out and has several Club 33 logos. So instead of a subtle tribute/marker it is really obvious now.

  • I was pleased to see the stairs in the Court of Angels survived mostly in tact. Too bad they are behind gates and off limits for most guests now. Thanks to a misaligned gate you could get a glimpse inside the courtyard on Friday. There was a steady stream of guests taking a look inside and I over heard quite a few talking about how they missed the courtyard and commenting on how it is where they used to take family photos.

  • Thursday the 17th also marked an anniversary for Splash Mountain. It opened back in 1989 (25 years ago for those of you who are mathematically challenged). Disneyland offered free commemorative posters to Annual Passholders to mark the occasion. I thought this was a nice touch and the distribution looked to be well set up and an effecient process. They had a one way queue set up as you walked through one cast member scanned your pass and another gave you your poster, which was in a bag for easy transport. As of Friday afternoon when I picked mine up they had stacks still left which was good to see they did not come up short. The only bad thing was I had to carry around a poster all day (or make the trip back to the car) and try not to destroy it. I managed to succeed though.

  • Stopped by the Guardians of the Galaxy preview since someone I was with had not seen it. Lucked out and only had a couple minute wait for the next show. The theater was not very full.. I would guess under 100 guests. Probably slightly lower than I was seeing in Captain EO before it closed down.

  • Tomorrowland Terrace still had the regular fries so I guess the shoe string fries were just a short test or goof up or something. This week the hamburger had a mutligrain bun, appeared to be the one I had seen for chicken sandwiches before. Not sure if this is new or was in use for some other reason.

  • Due to my arrival time and the shows at Disneyland I wanted to see I ended up spending very little time in Disney California Adventure this trip. Spent only about an hour walking around the park as the sun was setting and took in a partial set of the Mad T Party band along the way. From this brief tour nothing really jumped out at me and all seemed normal/average in the park.

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

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