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9/02/16 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday trip to the Disneyland Resort as summer comes to an end.
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9/02/16 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday trip to the Disneyland Resort as summer comes to an end.

Hello everyone,

Started off my holiday weekend at the Disneyland Resort. This weekend marked the end of summer, the end of the Disneyland 60th Celebration and the Disneyland Half Marathon. So I was expecting the parks to be crowded and they met that expectation. There were substantially more guests roaming around than last week, but wait times were still not too crazy. They were long but not holiday long, for example I did not see any in triple digits.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • The Star Wars construction is moving ahead at a good pace. This week more concrete walls are visible and forms up for more. Retaining walls, support structures for the mountains, marina and railroad, and the hole for one of the structures are all taking shape.

  • The Disneyland Half Marathon race is Sunday with other races on Friday and Saturday. I stopped by the Expo which was being held at the Disneyland Hotel convention center. It was more or less the same as all the recent ones. I did a loop through the floor and then the store and nothing too new or different jumped out to me. It felt more crowded than the past couple of races, but it could have just been my timing.

  • Walked through Downtown Disney to reach the park and see what is new. No signs of progress on the former House of Blues or Quicksilver locations. I did see posts of a permit for Sprinkles Cupcakes to take over part of the former Quicksilver location. Nothing posted or confirmed that I saw. Stopped by the Lego store to check out the Disney Castle set. From the front it is impressive. I thought it was rather thin, it is basically the front facade then some interior space but it is flat. It costs $350 and they had plenty of them for purchase in the store. I caught a performance by Vocal Trip, the a capella group. They were out near the gallery performing. I do not understand why Downtown Disney does not do a better job of sharing performance time information. They send out a random tweet that a group is performing from xxx to yyy usually all day or evening but very light on details. For example a Navy Band was on the main stage and I caught them cleaning up. If I would have known a show time I probably would have tried to catch them. Seems they could post signs or use the app for show times.

  • Security lines to reach the parks were really long, out past La Brea Bakery. I got in line then after several minutes of not moving I abandoned that effort and walked back through Downtown Disney to the Monorail. There was no line there for security but it was a two train wait to reach the park. So in the end probably did not save any time but I felt better than waiting in that slow moving line.

  • In New Orleans Square I came across a roaming Pirate playing a guitar. We visited for a while while I walked then he performed a song. I forgot to grab his name though. He was just wandering around the river front interacting with guests. I thought this was a great bit of streetmosphere for the area. I had seen him on a couple previous trips but this was the first time interacting with him.

  • Decided to take a walk out to Harbor Blvd. to get a couple updated before pictures of the shuttle area and Carousel Inn. I was surprised by the number of people begging for money.. I passed a handful between the park exit and Carousel Inn. That was more than the last time I was out there (which was last year). I did not venture around to where the work has begun for the new Eastern Gateway complex. You could just barely make out some dirt mounds behind the Carousel Inn.

  • As I walked back to the parks noticed the ticket lines were short so I stopped by to upgrade my Annual Pass in preparation for some future WDW trips. Assuming my planned trips happen the math works out to save a little money with the Premier Pass, not as much as before but some. As usual the upgrade process was slow and ran into a hiccup, this time the printer did not work right. Also this marked an end of an era. They finally made me retake my photo. I had one of the old black pixel ones from the 90s. With the new pass that did not transfer or was deleted and the CM at the gate took a new. My next hurdle is to get the pass linked to my account, that has failed so far saying it linked to another account already so I need to resolve that. I was able to link it to my WDW myDisneyExperience but I still need to go to guest relations in Orlando and get the profile filled out. It shows as a shell only. It seems after all these years they should have better integration, especially for someone who has had one in the past. But I guess the volume is not enough to justify the effort or something.

  • While roaming around Disney California Adventure noticed there were still plenty of FastPasses for the 9:00pm World of Color as of 5:30pm. Cast Members were handing out 10:15pm tickets if you asked which was great to see, so maybe that was part of the reason.

  • Looking at the Timesguide this week they advertise the Annual Passholder - AP Days that start Tuesday. They will take place at the Stage 12 Patio as well as Paradise Pier Garden Gazebo throughout the day. Also interesting the Jammin' on the Backlot is not listed anymore as it limps to its conclusion. I found it funny that the crowd I saw at the event on Friday was probably among the biggest I had seen.

  • I was really surprised that around 6:50pm I was able to grab a FastPass for both Buzz and Star Tours for around 7:30pm.

  • The Season of the Force is entering its final weekend too. I took in a showing of the Path of the Jedi film. There were maybe 20 guests in the show with me. I had not gone since the opening week. I stopped by the Star Wars Launch Bay too. The lines for the Meet and Greets were minimal. For Kylo Ren it was a near walk in and Chewbacca was a 10-15 min wait. There seemed to be no energy as you walked around inside. Looking upstairs it was dark and no signs of work going on.

  • It is great to have the option of a live band at the Tomorrowland Terrace again. Friday was the Suburban Legends. I caught a set and a half of theirs and the dance floor was fairly crowded for both.

  • Paint the Night goes on a much needed break after the weekend until the Holiday season. Friday the Monsters Inc float was not in the parade nor Ana.

  • The winds stayed calm and Disneyland Forever went off as planned and as luck would have it my view did not have a lot of kids or ipads this week! A great final viewing experience for me. Disneyland Forever ends on Monday. It has been announced Fantasy in the Sky is going to play weekend nights when there is no Halloween Party. The working assumption is Believe in Holiday Magic will be back this year, but nothing has been announced. No word on what is in store for next year yet.

  • On the tram ride back to the parking structure I saw the usual Halloween decorations are out. Also it looked like several trees had been cut down on the Disneyland Drive side of the road. They may have been removed a long time ago. I just noticed quite a few stumps. It was dark so no pictures.. next trip I will try to get some during the daylight.

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

Geek's Blog Postings Recap – August 16 - 30, 2016

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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