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10/15/21 - Halloween Time
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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.

10/15/21 - Halloween Time

Hello Everyone!

Friday I spent the day at the Disneyland Resort. Due to scheduling and Magic Key availability this was most likely my final visit of the Halloween 2021 season. Of course the temperatures spiked for the weekend and it was another 90 degree day at the parks, but luckily a fairly steady breeze kept it comfortable in the shade. The crowds in the parks felt heavier than the past couple trips all day all, starting with breakfast. I found out it was Fall Break for Utah school districts and probably several others so they had a four day weekend.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I mentioned Magic Key availability above. Over the past two weeks park reservation availability has become much more scarce for the Disneyland Resort. At several points all days in October and all Friday-Sunday for the rest of the year were full. As availability started to shrink it seems people started to book even more as placeholders and this spiral led to where we are now. Disney did open more slots, but they seemed to be mid week only. This has led to a fair amount of complaints online and difficulty for others. For example I had wanted to add my nephew to our group for Friday and I checked a couple times a day for the past week plus and never lucked out to find a slot to add him. Also after Friday I went to book another visit aiming for late December and the first two dates I wanted were not available so I opted instead to book a January one.
  • My day started off with a bit of bad luck. At 7am I tried for the Rise of Resistance and failed to secure a boarding group. I was in the app and when I went to refresh at 7am the app glitched and needed to be restarted. By the time it did (only a few seconds later) they were gone for the morning already. If this was my one day at Disneyland I would not have been pleased with this as my first experience with the park. Wonder when or if Anaheim will will switch to a standard queue like Walt Disney World has for the attraction.
  • I again had no delays parking or walking to the park but it still took nearly 40 minutes. I did take the more leisurely route through Downtown Disney but still be sure to plan extra time for the walk if you are visiting.
  • We were walking through Tomorrowland and saw no wait for Buzz Lightyear so went for a spin, my first time since reopening. I emailed myself our scores and ended up receiving three copies of each email and all the graphics in the emails were not loading properly. I did get our pictures with the score so that worked at least, but it is definitely time to update the cameras in the attraction. The image quality is extremely poor.
  • Spent the morning wandering around the park visiting several attractions that had no or short waits since we had no real objective for the morning. It was nice to walk through a nearly empty Black Spire Outpost. Also lucked out and only our group was in our cockpit for Smugglers run due to the small crowd. We even had a short walk to the attraction again as they were directing guests up the FastPass return queue instead of the longer stand by queue. Also noteworthy there was no time for pictures before boarding. They kept us walking from the preshow till we were onboard.
  • The Disneyland Monorail returned to service today. They had been closed since March 2020 when the parks shut down for COVID. I went for a round trip voyage in the late morning with no wait. The Downtown Disney station looked to be a two train wait. Throughout the day it seemed like only Monorail was in service most of the time, with 2 trains running only briefly so the wait times were on the longer side. I enjoyed being back aboard the highway in the sky and seeing the park from above.
  • I stopped by Toontown to check out the Runaway Railway status and I really enjoyed the new graphics on the construction walls. The Imagineering team spent some time/effort on them and it was fun to read the information shared from the El Capitoon Theater project.
  • We decided to eat an early lunch at Stage Door Cafe. As we were walking to Frontierland I went to the app to order and the next available return time was almost an hour out. The Golden Horseshoe had a similar time frame. This was odd for so early in the day based on the past several visits and the time of day, it was just after 11am, not a busy meal time traditionally. We decided to go check out the area and it was slightly more busy than in the past but no one in the mobile order pick up area and only two guests in line to order at the register. No indication of delays with orders either so seems the app times were off or something odd was going on. I hopped in line which moved quickly since a second station was added to order. The second station only took credit cards and was a kiosk not a full register. Also interesting to note it did not scan my Magic Key properly so the cast member had to type in all the digits.
  • Stopped by the Disney Gallery after lunch. The Haunted Mansion exhibit has been expanded and now includes a couple displays of items from the Muppets Haunted Mansion film. I thought the choices in objects were a bit lacking and I was expecting more. I thought some additional artwork, signage, images would have gone a long way to compliment the pieces and add to the exhibit. On the plus side it was great to see something new and timely added.
  • Speaking of timely it seems it is well past time to update the display case that showcases the past, present and tomorrow at Disneyland. A couple pieces of Runaway Railway artwork seem appropriate.
  • We hung around Main Street USA and relaxed for a bit waiting for 1pm and the option to park hop over to DCA. As we did we saw a number of guests entering Disneyland but the lines were short, over at DCA the lines were probably twice as long to enter. This seems to be a trend based on what we have seen the past couple of visits.
  • I circled Disney California Adventure checking out the ongoing projects and seeing what was going on. Overall the park was busy with guests but quiet with entertainment options as I walked around. This week the Disney Jr Dance Party reopened and I opted not to visit since I am sure I will be there soon enough with my nephews. The Wharf area was very busy
  • DCA nothing exciting, a lot of people, Wharf area very full when we walked by just before 2pm. There were guests sitting on pavement and curbs leading to Cars Land since the tables were full.
  • On Friday Disneyland announced more details of their Holiday 2021 offerings including a couple images of the new Holiday Attire for Mickey and Minnie. Magic Key holders can preview their new looks at the Starcade in Tomorrowland. In the lounge area Halloween has become Christmas already. There are several Christmas trees and the character photo op has changed season. The Muppets and Haunted Mansion Holiday photo ops have stayed though. We stopped by and the lounge was the least crowded we have seen it so far. This was great with no wait, seating and plenty of space to move around and take pictures. Mickey and Minnie were alternating sets greeting guests. I am not a huge fan of their new attire. They say more winter than holidays to me. Mickey looks more ready for the ski slopes or snow storm than Christmas.
  • I finally caught the Frozen Friends Cavalcade. A float with Anna, Elsa and Olaf makes its way down the parade route a couple of times a day (usually 3pm and 4pm). I was in the hub for the 4pm one. The single float travels the route with a looping instrumental. It felt very minimal, even compared to cavalcades at Disney World. The character cavalcade held earlier in the day offers more to see. Also seems these should be listed in the park app.
  • As the sun sets the entertainment choices and character interactions around the parks dwindles. By 6pm there is very little left on the schedule. Downtown Disney has some live music but in the parks between 6 and the fireworks at 9pm there are only a few character opportunities. All the live performances and other entertainment had concluded for the day. It would be nice to see some more choices during this time block.
  • I was successful in picking up a boarding group for WEB Slingers at the noon distribution time. My group was close to being called around 6pm so I walked through Avengers Campus and saw the return queue was full and backed up to the exit of the attraction. I do not understand the point of a virtual queue if you are still going to have to wait a significant portion of time to ride when your group is called. Why not slow down calling groups and have less of an actual wait? The other times I had no such delays, but several friends commented they had experienced long waits, a couple around an hour. Due to the long wait and my impatience I ended up skipping my ride once called and just hung out in Downtown Disney enjoying some live entertainment.
  • The Mickey and Friends tram stop has a new Muppets Haunted Mansion addition since my last visit. The photo op is still there in the middle and now on the far end is a Honda truck with a wrap for the film and some crates for a photo op. The placement of the truck is prominent for those walking the tram route but fairly hidden if you are in Downtown Disney and out of the way.
  • This evening Downtown Disney felt crowded, pretty close to a normal Friday night crowd with guests everywhere and healthy waits for most dining locations.

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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