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8/22/14 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to 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.

8/22/14 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to the Disneyland Resort.

Hello everyone,

I was expecting the parks to be substantially more crowded this week since it is the first Friday since June that the two Southern California annual passes could visit. I was pleasantly surprised to arrive and find the parks were very mild. This lasted until the sun began to set then the masses I had anticipated began to show up as they normally do on a Friday evening. The walkways became much more crowded and when we exited a little after 8 the lines to get into both Disneyland and DCA were getting long. Full trams were arriving from the structure too.


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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • The Ball Road overpass was open for inbound traffic when I arrived around 12:30 which was a welcome change from recent weeks. It made reaching the garage and a parking spot very easy. But as I went to leave around 9pm the bridge was just being converted to exit traffic. This seemed really late in the day for the conversion. Guessing this was due to the anticipated heavy crowds with no passes blocked out.

  • As you saw in the pictures the new accessibility shuttle area has opened at the end of the Mickey and Friends tram stop. So you no longer need to cross the tram way and go into the Pinocchio lot for it. I think this should make it a smoother process and traffic flow for all. Also there seemed to be quite a few signs up to try and direct guests around. Due to their small size and rather plain look curious if they actually help much.

  • First stop of the day was Disney California Adventure. Not sure why but just ended up there. This week I had no real game plan and my picture list was really short so I thought I would just roam around. Not much to report from DCA. Was happy to find short waits in Cars Land which meant I was able to visit both the Racers and Luigis in under 20 minutes. I also spent some time in Off the Page checking out some of the newer releases.

  • Over at Disneyland my first stop was the Disneyana store to see the Haunted Mansion merchandise. I was a bit disappointed that they did not swap out the Disney Gallery exhibit to match. So only the store and center room have Haunted Mansion merchandise and artwork for sale. The Gallery still has the Mechanical Kingdom.

  • This weekend the Music of Nashville wrapped up its run on Saturday. Thought it was interesting the Times Guide list Friday and Saturday but in the description it said Fri, Sat, and Sun.. they did not think to edit that. The show had maybe 75 guests at it again. This time though several raised their hand and seemed to know the show unlike past visits.

  • Ate dinner at the Village Haus since I was walking by and hungry. While eating Anna and Elsa passed by the table twice and said hello... much nicer than the 2 hour wait to see them. Of course since I was eating the camera was not out so no picture. It is always fun to see the reaction of the other guests when they walk by. Sometimes the parents go a bit more crazy than the kids.

  • Caught the final show of the day in the Golden Horseshoe and they wrapped up the Legends of Frontierland for the day during the show with a Legends ceremony and then a land tally. Thought this was a fun way to conclude the day. The number of guests seeming to pay attention to the show felt small though. At several points the background noise of people talking seemed to drown out Miss Lilly. We were in the balcony so maybe it was echoing or something.. but it was odd.

  • Paid a final visit to the Haunted Mansion for this year. Monday it closes for the switch over to the Nightmare Before Christmas which will run from mid-September through January. Too bad for its 45th they did not do anything to the mansion itself and it has to go down for the switch over soon after.

  • After the Haunted Mansion noticed no line for the Disneyland Railroad so thought we would go for a ride. As we boarded the train Cast Members were warning everyone that the next stop would be the last. The trains were going offline during Soundsational. They would resume operation after the parade sometime between 7:15 & 7:30. This caught me off guard. Is this a new procedure? I had not heard of it before. I am assuming it has to do with the parade crossing backstage, but I never remember this happening in the past. Sometimes a train would be delayed leaving Toontown until a break in the parade but a full stoppage. Can anyone shed light on this?

  • Wanted to visit Alice in Wonderland since some in the group had not been on since it reopened, but the wait was much longer than our patience the couple of times we passed by.. in the 30-45 minute range. We did luck out and find Mr. Toad's Wild Ride with only about a 10 minute wait so went for a spin there too. I thought it would be interesting to try and record it. It had been years since I tried and my Alice ride through was not that miserable. Well Toad turned out not the best, seems it was a bit too dark/quick to really follow with a video. You can make out a couple of the scenes and if you are familiar with the attraction it makes a little sense but if you have never experienced it I do not thing this is a good representation of the experience. Then to top it off when I wrote my title/caption for YouTube I somehow managed to call it the Adventures of Mr. Toad.. assuming this was due to recently watching the blu-ray.. oops. It is correct now. Here is the video if you missed it:

  • Main Street windows are being decorated for the Fall already with pumpkins and other props finding their way in. I spent some time walking around and trying to photograph them. Hopefully the pictures in the update gave a good overview of what they look like so far. It seems really early to see pumpkins out before Labor Day. But it does make me more ready for Football season.

  • It was announced earlier this week that Elsa & Anna's Boutique will be opening in mid-September replacing Disney Studio 365 in Downtown Disney. I decided to take a quick look around the current store on the way out Friday. As luck would have it, it was almost completely empty of guests so I could take some wide pictures to show the current merchandise and configuration. It closes September 2.

  • As I walked back to the parking structure passed the near grid lock entering the Downtown Disney lot. It was approaching 9pm and the area was very crowded, as is the norm on a Friday night. The same could be said for Disneyland Drive. It had a lot of traffic too. It seems really poor to put guests through this on a regular occurrence.

  • Recently we launched two new test features here at disneygeek.com check them out and then share your thoughts:

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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