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7/28/06 - Some thoughts and observations from Fridays trip to the Disneyland Resort, including the Cars Characters @ DCA
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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.

7/28/06 - Some thoughts and observations from Fridays trip to the Disneyland Resort, including the Cars Characters @ DCA

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

Hello all,

Friday was a great afternoon/evening at the Disneyland Resort. The heat wave has broken a bit and we were close to normal temperatures. It was still a bit on the humid side for Southern California but not really bad. The crowds at the park were about normal for this summer, the park was alive with activity but not wall to wall people. As you saw in the pictorial updates most of the attraction wait times were not that bad, most under 30 minutes with a couple exceptions. One note we saw Indy was down for a good part of the evening so that inflated some of the other lines. Also heard some guests saying Pirates was down earlier in the day, but it was running while we were there.


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

DCA & Disneyland Notes:

  • Its been a while since I ranted a bit about the parking garage.. so bear with me.. I still do not understand why several years ago they re-stripped the entire Mickey & Friends garage and now to park your car you have to drive around in a circle to park then to leave you drive around in a circle again to get to the exit. Originally the garage was set up you pull in, your directed down an aisle (parking from furthest point to closest point then the next row and so on then when you leave you continued down the aisle, turned toward the exit and left. It was extremely straightforward and efficient. The current stripping and system seems like an inefficient waste of time, resources, and patience. I am sure there is a good explanation but I have never heard it.. while making the loop to park I thought I'd watch the trip odometer on the car. It was nearly 2/3rd's of a mile from when I reached the top of the ramp until I was in my parking spot. I forgot to look while exiting but it would have been at least that. So for arguments sake let's say the total driving distance in the garage was about 1.5 miles. Now if you assume you would have to do at least half that for the old stripping that means you wasted approx 0.8 miles. Now the garage holds 10,000 cars so let's say its half full only, so 5,000 cars x .8 miles per car = approx 4,000 miles wasted each day. Now assume the cars average 20 miles per gallon (with all the SUVs in the lot I bet's it less at those speeds), so that would be 200 gallons of gas wasted each day just because of the stripping and with gas well over $3 a gallon here in Southern California Disneyland guests are wasting over $600 a day in gas driving around the parking garage for no apparent reason. Now I am not an environmentalist in the strict sense but on the other hand I hate to see resources (natural and financial) wasted and just don't see how this makes any sense... ok enough ranting.. onto the rest of my thoughts and observations..

  • One of our two "missions" this trip was to check out the new Cars Meet & Greet as well as the pre-parade at DCA. The Meet and Greet consists of Lightning McQueen and Mater rolling out from the far gate on the Pier and traveling to the area right in front of Golden Dreams where they back into a spot for photos right next to the pin cart. There are a handful of CMs that escort the cars (all dressed as pit crew people except for one who is supposed to be his agent I think,but it was not clear to me). I thought it was great that people could go up and take pictures with the cars as well as touch them. I was really surprised that they did not mind guests leaning, touching, playing with the cars exteriors. Neither character talk, Lighting makes a loud rumbling sound and revs his engine quite frequently. Also there are speakers onboard playing a couple songs from the soundtrack (I remember hearing Real Gone and Life is a Highway). Also a radio DJ would come on occasionally. I was disappointed not to hear more songs off the soundtrack. Especially while they were rolling out. Mater was also playing the same thing. He would honk his horn quite frequently and flash his light. Overall I thought this was a great opportunity and I wish it would have been going on since before the movie launch. I asked the CM if these were the two cars that were on the tour and they did not know (or did not want to share the info with me). This happens four times daily right now and is listed in the show schedule.

  • The Pre-parade is not listed in the show schedule, but is listed on the website. It happens at 4:45, a full 30 minutes before the Block Party Bash. It consists of a banner, some photographers, Lightning, a handful of girls on roller skates, Mater, then two CMs carrying a rope that looks like a fuel hose to mark the end of it. Its a short procession that works its way down the parade route starting in Sunshine Plaza. The music that was being played was not from the soundtrack and seemed kind of odd. I thought Route 66 would have been appropriate or some other driving music. I couldn't remember what is played down at WDW during the Cars and Stars Parade.. the DCA version seemed about the same as the Orlando version in terms of scope, characters and other performers.

  • We completed two Virtual Magic Kingdom(VMK) quests on Friday. The 50th Anniversary one and the High School Musical One. I really enjoy these and think its a great way to explore the park and make you take some of the details. If you have ever done one and have some extra time in the park or want something more than just going on rides or visiting attractions give them a try. They are free and even if you don't play the VMK the questions are fun and the trading cards you get don't make that bad of a collectors item.

  • Lastly a note on Crowd Control for Remember. It really appears they have gotten it under control. The new lighted signs and more assertive CMs really seem to keep things moving before, during and after the show.

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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