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9/30/16 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday trip 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.

9/30/16 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday trip to the Disneyland Resort

Hello everyone,

Friday was a pleasant afternoon at the Disneyland Resort then a very crowded evening. While the sun was up the parks were both mild in terms of crowds moving around and wait times. For example Haunted Mansion seemed to be 30-45 minutes and FastPass return times were about the same. I had no problem picking up FastPasses. But as the sun set and Halloween Party guests arrived Disneyland became more crowded and come 7pm when Disneyland closed DCA became extremely crowded with long waits for food and even restrooms in some cases.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Started off my visit checking out the Star Wars Themed Land construction. You can now clearly see the entrance tunnel from Fantasyland and from Frontierland. Walls, paths, and some rock work are also starting to take shape around the site as they move full speed ahead to get the Rivers of America reopened next year. For the main portion of the new Star Wars area dirt is being moved around and some utility work but not much else is visible beyond the one basement yet. I stopped by the Hungry Bear for dinner and they were bringing in dirt and compacting it for the new walkway along the rivers edge. The dining area was vibrating and it was quite loud. Surprised they were working during a meal time in that area. As I was leaving the park, around 9:45pm, crews were working well into the evening on a Friday.

  • Walking around Disneyland this week several smaller projects dealing with crowd control are wrapping up or underway. These including relocating the canons in Town Square to be inside the planters and out of the walkways, curb work at the hub end of Main Street, as well as removal of turn stiles from the Tiki Room and Haunted Mansion. I saw a permit was filed recently for demo work to begin on the 2nd floor of Innoventions. It was for removal of all non-load barring walls. Friday I walked through the Launch Bay and could not make out any changes up above.

  • Did an afternoon walk through of Disney California Adventure. The back lot area has had some more of the Party infrastructure removed, the arches as you enter. Most of the light and sound rigging is still in place. Wonder if that means a new party is moving in. Seems if they were just going to remove it that would have happened already, or are they just really taking their time?

  • APDays wraps up this week. I stopped by for some water and to pick up the button of the week. The line to see the character was fairly long again and nothing else was going on so I did not spend much time. I stopped by the Paradise Gardens location and they had a RunDisney table and some stickers for the new iOS app too. Overall I thought the promotion this time around feels lacking compared to the first one. The Stage 12 area and Paradise Garden area both feel really small. Also there are just not a lot of activities happening in either place.

  • Every year I mention/complain about the impact of the Halloween Party on regular day guests. I am not a fan of it, I think it causes a lot of disruption and makes for bad show for regular guests. I understand why they run the party with the mix in vs clearing the park and setting up but I think it would be a better guest experience to have a gap between the two for set up. As soon as Soundsational finishes its run at 3pm party set up kicks into gear. Decorations, barriers, and other items come out. Also locations start to close. For example the Village Haus was closed by 4:15, Toontown closed at 5pm and other locations close down well before the 7pm park closure too. The other negative impact of this is what happens at Disney California Adventure. With Disneyland closing at 7pm on a Friday night the park gets extremely crowded with many food lines and even restroom lines stretching outside. The walkways are also very crowded.

  • I had some friends join my later in the evening after work with their family and they were pleasantly surprised by the relative ease to park in the Mickey and Friends Parking structure. It took them approximately half an hour from exiting at Harbor to park the car and text saying they were walking through DD to meet me. Unfortunately they ran into a massive backup at security and it took half an hour to get through the checkpoint. So in the end it took about 70 minutes from Harbor Blvd exit to reach Buena Vista Street.

  • The original version of the World of Color show has returned to Paradise Bay. I had a blue FastPass for Friday and found an ok spot right before show time. The show no longer has the Brave segment, features the Stranger Tides Pirates and it uses a couple of the effects from the Celebrate version, the rest is the original show. The projections looked better than ever on Friday. If you plan to visit be sure to check the times guides. There are 2 shows on Friday, and two different schedules for the other days.

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

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