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8/12/16 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday trip to the Disneyland Resort & some recent news.
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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.

8/12/16 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday trip to the Disneyland Resort & some recent news.

Hello everyone,

Friday was a relaxing day in the parks for me. I had no real agenda except to enjoy the final day of the All-American College Band. The weather was mild and the crowds were not bad either. Wait times were moderate to light for most attractions depending on your timing. Only the couple usual suspects had waits over an hour.

Recent News:

Before going into my thoughts and observations for the week some Disneyland news from the week and my two cents on it:

  • Disney Announced the Main Street Electrical Parade will end its run at Walt Disney World on October 9th then be shipped back to Anaheim in 2017 for a limited time run. They confirmed that Paint the Night will run at Disneyland this holiday season. No information was given what the future holds for Paint the Night nor what a limited time run for the MSEP is.

    I am a big fan of the Main Street Electrical Parade, I visited several times during its Farewell Season back in 96 and watched it numerous times at Disney California Adventure as well as the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. I was a bit disappointed with this news though. Bringing back a parade that you held a huge farewell for 20 years ago and then had across the Esplanade for several years does not sound like a big promotion for 2017. I am holding out hope they do some updates to. It would be great if they made it closer to the Dreamlights version that runs in Tokyo. As for Paint the Night it will be interesting where it ends up. Rumors are all over the map having it go to WDW, Paris or Shanghai as well as staying put in Anaheim. So time will tell what Disney decides to do.

  • Disney Announced the Eastern Gateway Project is moving forward and expected to open in 2018. This project entails building a new parking structure and moving the shuttle bus pick up/drop off location. Then connecting these new locations to the Esplanade using a new pedestrian overpass to by-pass Harbor Blvd. This is a long overdue project and additional parking cannot come soon enough for the Disneyland Resort. Easing the entrance/exit process for those coming from the I-5 south will be a huge benefit to the surface streets and those guests. Plus it will ease the burden on the Mickey and Friends structure and other lots. I was disappointed to see there is no transportation to/from the structure. Guests will be expected to walk the approximately 1/2 mile from the new center to the park entrance. And if you are in the far corner of the garage (which I somehow seem to always be directed to in M&F) it will be even further. This is not the best impression to start and end your day with. By the time it opens I would venture parking will be over $20, so you will pay that to park and then have to hike to the parks or even further for Downtown Disney where you will be walking around all day. The walk back to the car for families with sleeping kids and a lot of packages will be slow going. The plus side is no trams or buses to deal with. Disneyland has a long tradition of shuttling guests from their cars to the park and they seem to continue to move away from this. Many have questioned the impact on Harbor Blvd hotels that currently have a very short walk to the park. The plan seems to indicate security will be pushed out and screening will take place near the new center before the long walk to the parks, so it would appear those walking to the park will have to go that way. Wonder if something will be done with the western esplanade entrance to make it look more permanent and/or push security further out and make it more effecient.
Thoughts and Observations:
  • Started off as has become the routine at the Mickey and Friends parking structure taking a look at the Star Wars construction. More footers and walls are taking shape. I really would like to see an updated overhead picture to try and understand what we are looking at. With the distance and angle it is hard to piece it together from the structure. Hopefully my captions/guesses as to what we are looking at is not more confusing.

  • I walked around Disney California Adventure for while since I had time until the first College Band set there. I stopped to pick up a World of Color FastPass since there is less than a month left in the Celebrate versions run. As of early after they still had plenty of passes for the yellow section. I still think they should let guests choose the showtime. What if you want want a better view or a later show? Why not have one machine for the later show available?

  • I thought about going for a spin on the Fun Wheel to see what I could see but the app was saying 30 minutes and looking across Paradise Bay I could see guests in line so I instead opted to visit Cars Land. The waits there were mild, a posted 60 minutes for the Racers. I opted instead for single rider, which turned out to be about 10 people in front of me. Took less than 5 minutes from when I took a picture of the stand by wait until I took a picture of Tower of Terror from on the ride. The tractor tipping still is not working. Also we had a solo race, which makes it easy to win. I still had time to kill so I went for a spin on Luigis. This took about 10 minutes.

  • This week marked the end of the 2016 Disneyland Resort All-American College Band. They wrapped up their 11 week program to mark the end of the 46th year of the program. The band had a large following Friday including several alumni of the program who came back to enjoy the final performances. I was able to enjoy all their sets Friday and it made for an entertaining and relaxing evening. If you have never seen the band I highly recommend checking out their performances if you ar in the park during the summer (or on YouTube).

  • On the Rivers of America there was a change this week. The Columbia has been moved from Fowler's Harbor to a dock on the east side of Tom Sawyer Island. This meant that at some point this last week they had to move the Mark Twain forward and out of the way then back both boats around and into place. No indication of why this happened. It was nice to see the Columbia out in view again. They left the construction walls up around the harbor.

  • Speaking of switching places the Ernest S. Marsh has replaced the E.P. Ripley in the New Orleans Square. A similar large move had to happen to accomplish this with the C.K. Holliday and Ripley being moved back toward the roundhouse so the Marsh could pass and then returning the C.K. Holliday to Main Street. Great to see them switching up the engines and continuing to have them available for guests to look at up close.

  • Live music has returned to the Tomorrowland Terrace on weekend nights (Fri-Sun) for a limited time. Bands will be rotating through for a limited time, Disney gave no indication of how long this will be. Also as of my last check the Disneyland.com website & the official app do not list the bands either. The times guide featured them. This week Friday was Tomasina, Saturday Hard Day's Night and Sunday Instant Replay. Due to the large Star Wars Jedi Training set the band was set up in front of it which meant the stage could not be raised and lowered. So it was up the entire night and the band had to walk through the crowd to reach and exit the stage.

  • Speaking of the app when you view the entertainment schedule I found it interesting it lists Disneyland Forever as one item and Fireworks at Disneyland Park as another, both with the same start time. Why are the fireworks at Disneyland park not a description or sub head for Disneyland Forever? I understand people may not know the show name but having two items listed seems awkward to me.

  • I thought I would see the World of Color - Celebrate show one more time before it closes Labor Day weekend. After Labor Day the last version of the original show will be returning. I grabbed a FastPass early in the afternoon for the yellow section. I showed up about 10 minutes before the show and looked around and found a decent standby spot so I opted for that vs going off to the side in the yellow section. The projection screen on Mickeys Face on the Fun Wheel was not in use. Also it seemed like some other effects were not used either. But the projections on the center water screen were really clear this evening.

  • The World of Color ended and I had about 10 minutes until Disneyland Forever was going to start. My initial plan was to head for the car and catch the end of the show from the structure. But as I looked across the Esplanade I saw no wait to enter Disneyland so I called an audible and headed that direction. Worked my way onto Main Street and found a spot with a minute to spare. The only delay I encountered was having to work my way through the Esplanade and all the guests camped out there for the fireworks. This was really a challenge in the dark trying not to step on a someone laying down or seated. A walkway is really needed. Or better yet if they properly lit the esplanade guests would not want to sit there for the show since the lights would interfere with the fireworks or at the least make it easier to see people.

  • Interesting to note that the entire south end of Main Street had no projections on Friday. I assumed the area near the Market House would not with the scaffolding blocking some projectors and others not working properly on the wrap. But I had assumed the rest of the block would. Not sure if there was a technical problem or if the renovation caused this. In any event if you want to experience the projections be sure to make sure you are north of Center Street.

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

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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