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10/16/15 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort
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10/16/15 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort

Hello everyone,

It had been just shy of a month since my last Disneyland Resort visit, due to my trip to my Disneyland Paris trip and the way the calendar fell. The parks felt really busy to me on Friday, even in the mid afternoon when I first arrived there seemed to be more guests than usual enjoying the parks. Wait times at many attractions looked to be summerish or worse. By evening when the Halloween Party guests arrived it was a very busy time and once Disneyland closed for the day DCA was very crowded, especially when it came to the restrooms and food.


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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • While in Paris Disneyland altered the Annual Pass program adding more options and raising prices considerably again. Regular park tickets were not effected but those should be happening soon, I would imagine before the holiday season. One of the rumors is they may move to demand based pricing charging more for holiday periods, just as you see with hotels & airlines. This seems like a logical step and surprised it had not been tried before. I was a little surprised by large increase in Annual Pass pricing if you want to visit during the last two weeks of December. It is approximately $200 for that time period. Wonder the percentage of Annual Passholders that visit during that very busy time normally? Seems to me it would be relatively small since most try to avoid the massive crowds. But it must be enough that Disney decided to do this to try and reduce visits.

  • I noticed a new edition of the Buena Vista Bugle out on news stands so I picked up a copy. I really think this is a great detail and happy to see it continuing. If you are in the park be sure to pick one up. It is a great souvenir and FREE. One interesting story to note inside is they have the backstory for the new Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters that is set to open next year replacing the Flying Tires. It boils down to Luigi invited his family from Italy to visit for Race Day.

  • World of Color FastPass distribution is preparing for the holidays with signage up to indicate what show the tickets are for. Seems they can test it further by allowing you to choose what time you want now.

  • The upcoming Disney/Pixar film The Good Dinosaur has moved into Bugsland. A large mural has been added to the side of the theater to promote the film and inside they show a series of clips from the film that are introduced by the director. The presentation lasts about 10 minutes. Interesting it is only 2D no 3D. Be warned they do use the theater effects so there is some water, wind, seat poking, etc.. I was really surprised by the reaction of the crowd during these moments. It appeared most had never experienced it before. Also noteworthy the theater was fairly full maybe 2/3 or 3/4 much more than previous sneak peaks I have seen there. Maybe because the park was more crowded? Or because it was the first day?

  • The Grand Californian Hotel has an impressive Halloween Cake in the center of the lobby. The detail on these bakery creations is always impressive to me and fun to see. I really am enjoying how they are doing more of these displays. Looking forward to see what they do for Christmas this year.

  • At Disneyland they unveiled the next new window at the Emporium since my last visit. This one features Toy Story and has two sequences. One with Andy playing and one with the Toys dancing when he is not around. I thought it was a fun window with a lot of movement. It is not as complicated as the others with the transitions and movement but it works and had a steady crowd every time I walked by.

  • The Flower Market has returned to Main Street USA on center street between the ODV stand and lockers. Hopefully it lasts longer this time around. It is a nice little touch for the area and adds a little detail and color to the street.

  • As I walked around Disneyland, I really missed the wide open walkways and spread out feeling of Disneyland Paris. The layout of the park in Paris really seemed to take into account lessons learned from the earlier parks and apply those, especially when it came to walkways. There seemed to be plenty to choose from, most were fairly wide, and several were covered/protected from the weather. Also the two arcades that parallel Main Street were great.

  • After walking around Disneyland Paris and seeing their Halloween decorations what Disneyland has rolled out seemed rather light and basic in comparison. Also the entertainment and character opportunities available at no additional cost was a real treat to experience. For example they were passing out bon bons (marshmallow treats) to those who went through the character meet and greets.

  • I grabbed a quick dinner at the Village Haus and as usual my Premiere Pass did not swipe. But this time the cast member pulled out a hand scanner and scanned it and that worked to apply the discount. She said the scanners are new and work with the passes.. so much better than them having to type in the number manually. Great to see progress after so many years.

  • Looking at the Times Guides for the park there is nothing for Halloween listed. Which is disappointing that your only real Halloween entertainment choices are during the party or if you know the Dapper Dans perform Halloween sets. They do not share that information in the schedule. It was good to see the Good Dinosaur sneak peek on the DCA one. Also both have a blurb about the new official app. If you are visiting the parks this time of year be sure to check the park hours. It seems as if every day has a different set of opening/closing times due to the parties, etc..

  • Halloween is becoming one of my least favorite times to visit the Disneyland Resort. This has to do with the Halloween Party and its impact on the park. If you are not attending the party it can really effect your experience. This ranges from the parking situation and crowds to the way it starts to take over the park in the mid afternoon. I have complained before by 4pm they start to set up for the party and areas of the park really loose their feel because of this and attractions and areas start to close down hours before the party too. Two examples are Toontown which closed at 5pm and the Mark Twain which had a 4:30pm last cruise Friday. I have complained before the unwelcome feeling you get as closing approaches and how this is a poor way to end your day at the park. Friday this point was really driven home by a cast member to me. I was on Main Street when the park closed at 7pm taking some pictures of the Toy Story window. They announced Main Street was available for an hour for shopping and your enjoyment. I was near the Cinema watching the projections and a guest services cast member came up to me and asked if I was staying for the party. I said no. They replied that I need to get going. I replied the announcement said we had an hour which would be 8pm and it was only 7:15. Their reply was you need to clear the park by 7:30 and to start walking. I found this rather interesting and a bit off putting. First it conflicted with the information being broadcast. Secondly it was not like I was trying to enter the park or even stay there, I was all the way down by the Cinema almost in Town Square already. And thirdly their tone and demeanor was not very friendly. Not sure if this was because I was just standing there watching the projections or what? If it is about the projections seems to me if they did not want day guests to experience them they should not turn them on until Main Street officially closed for day guests or not to make the announcement that you can shop for an additional hour.

  • Disney California Adventure had become very crowded in the evening as many of the day guests and annual passholders went there with Disneyland being closed for the party. As has happened in years past the lines for food were extremely long at most locations and the restroom lines were out the door for many of the womens rooms. Mens rooms were backed up but not nearly as bad.

  • I closed out my evening with World of Color Celebrate. I waited about 30 minutes in a stand by area and was in the 2nd row standing which I thought was decent. Working through the crowd to leave the park after was a bit more of a challenge than usual but once I reached the trams the crowd had thinned, guess I was ahead of it, and there was no backup or issues this evening.

  • 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.

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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