home > Columns > Geekspeaks >
10/10/14 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to the Disneyland Resort.
 The Geek Speaks:

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.

10/10/14 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to the Disneyland Resort.

Hello everyone,

Friday was another Halloween Party night (as are most this time of year) meaning the parks started off mild and built to be quite busy come sundown. The wait times I saw mid afternoon were moderate, for example the Subs were 30 minutes as was the Haunted Mansion and Big Thunder. Come evening at DCA lines grew. Just before 9pm the Little Mermaid had a half hour wait posted. In the 8pm hour Mater was 40 minutes and the Racers 90.


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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Friday started off well with no parking headaches for me. They had the Ball Rd overpass open and I was able to exit the freeway and head into a nearly empty garage and was on my way to a waiting tram in less than 10 minutes from exiting the freeway. This was thanks to the headaches the parking situation gave those who arrived earlier in the day or on Ball Rd and were directed elsewhere.

  • First stop was the new Anna and Elsa Boutique in Downtown Disney. This replaced Studio Disney 365 near the entrance to the Grand Californian. It was an extremely quick turn around, I want to say about two weeks and very little was done. They changed a little of the color scheme, removed some of the lights and swapped out the merchandise. It was such a rush job that the outside signage has no lights at night. I am assuming that is coming.. Or wonder if they are waiting to see if the concept works before investing in the signage? When I arrived the store was a little bit crazy due to a Disney film crew inside, so I would guess look for a Disney Parks Blog posting soon. I did not see anyone really participating in the make over aspect of the store but there were plenty of guests shopping and many had quite a bit in their arms as their children ran around picking out items.

  • I took the Monorail to the park because I wanted to see what was going on in the center of the Esplanade with the compass. From the brief glimpse it appears the work is nearly complete and they just replaced the area with more concrete than the original compass had. This should at least make it less of a safety hazard when it gets wet. I was hoping this would be the start of an upgrade to the Esplanade to make it more attractive. A fountain, some trees, permanent structures for the security tents and barriers.. all would really make your first impression of the Disneyland Resort much more positive.

  • The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage returned to service since my last visit. I waited about half an hour to go for a cruise. The experience seemed the same to me. Only difference is some of the plants have been replaced. If anything else was upgraded or substantially changed it did not stick out to me. Interesting note they were loading and dispatching the subs in groups of two vs three Friday. They seemed to be flowing better with less of a backup. I only saw one offline (not sure if there was one in the back dock or not I did not look when on the Monorail). One other note is the bubbles that are supposed to obscure the track switches were not working that well and you could see the spur track fairly clearly.

  • I walked the park next. The work on the Small World Facade looks to be wrapped up and not really noticeable. They have started the Christmas Light installation. this really seems like a labor intensive process to install then remove every year. The strands look to be the same as last year for standard bulbs. Was curious if they would go to LED this year.

  • Speaking of the Holidays at Disneyland Disney issued a press release detailing the season. Interesting note.. no Jingle Cruise listed and no new offerings. Wonder if there will be a second announcement or if they are sticking with the status quo and the interweb reports/rumors are false of new Frozen offerings this holiday season.

  • I know I gripe/complain about the Halloween Party and the impact it has on the average guest and Friday was no exception. For example I passed through Toontown in the mid afternoon, several hours before the party and they had a large photo backdrop set up in the middle of the Downtown Area. It seemed to be randomly placed in a location that allowed for a queue and no consideration to Toontown itself was given. It seemed really out of place mid afternoon. Maybe during the pre-party or the party it would be ok but not during the day.

  • The safety railings have been installed as you walk toward Sleeping Beauty Castle. I have heard several people describe them as they could have been worse. To me that seems like a very low bar to set, but I would have to agree. From a distance they sort of blend in. But up close the detail of the installation and the rails just seems lacking to me. Also the entire concept just bothers me that you need to have these after all these years because people will sue you now over anything and will not take responsibility for themselves or their kids. It will be interesting to see where they go next with these enhancements. I am sure the lawyers and liability teams are busy studying other aspects of the park. Why not enclose the park.. the air quality in Orange County is not the best and the sun is harmful. I did observe several guests doing things that would be considered unsafe. One group was thinking about sitting on the railings for a picture but choose otherwise when their photographer wandered away. Another parent put their kid on top of one of the other concrete areas by the bushes and had them stand up for a picture. So no matter what you do guests still do dumb and unsafe things.

  • Another impact of the Halloween Party struck around 5:30ish when I was looking for dinner. The Village Haus was closed in preparation for the party. Why would the main dining location in Fantasyland close before dinner? The park was open till 7. So people need a place to eat. So to find food I had to go to Tomorrowland.

  • Finally found my way to Main Street after dinner and stopped by the recently completed First Aid/Wish Lounge area near the Corn Dog Wagon. They added facades to extend Main Street and created a gate that can be opened for the new backstage walkway/bypass. The new facades look great and add to the area. The backstage gate seemed rather plain to me. The curbs/walkways were reconfigured for the new by pass too.

  • I made the mistake of heading over to Disney California Adventure around 7:30ish. The lines to get in were crazy thanks to Disneyland closing at 7:00pm and kicking all non-party guests out. They had almost all the turn stiles open and set to be an entrance but they were still overwhelmed and lines stretched past the compass construction in the middle of the Esplanade. Also today they were using the hand scanners/PDAs to scan annual passes again and they are very slow and buggy. For example they scanned my pass a couple of times and it just sat there. They then used the regular turn stile scanner and it worked instantly.

  • Lines inside DCA were growing as the crowd swelled and as become the norm the lines for food were extremely long at most locations. I did a walk through of the park and then decided to call it a day. I did notice that as of 9pm they still had FastPasses available for the 10:15pm World of Color. I talked to someone who attended and they said that the crowd for the show was light and they actually opened the yellow area up to standby guests before show time.

  • Do you visit our pictorial updates using a mobile device? If so we would like your feedback. I have created a beta of a more mobile version of our Disneyland Picture sets at https://disneygeek.com/mobile Please give it a try and share your thoughts.

  • Video featuring my pictures:

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

Stop by the Geek's Forum to discuss this and other Disney topics.. click here

Send comments, questions, any other email to: disneygeek@disneygeek.com

Back to previous page


Quick Note

Check out the geek speaks archive for past updates.


Interested in Helping out?

If you are a fellow disneygeek and interested in sharing your insights, pictures, thoughts drop us an email here we are always looking for contributors.