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10/18/13 - My thoughts and observations from Friday at 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.

10/18/13 - My thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort

Hello all,

I had a relaxing visit to the Disneyland Resort on Friday. My picture list was really short and there was not a lot going on so I just roamed around the parks. The crowds were mild in the early afternoon and kept increasing as expected as the evening approached. With Disneyland closing at 7pm for a Halloween party DCA was really crowded after dark. I really did not pay that much attention to the wait times this trip.


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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I do not enjoy visiting the park on days when they host Mickeys Halloween Party. In years past the parking situation has best been described as a pain and what the party does to the park really bothers me. This year the parking was a breeze for me. Not sure if things are better all around or if I came from the correct direction at the magic time or what.. but I arrived about 1pm and took the overpass directly into the garage and met no line at all.

  • Since I mentioned the Halloween Party bothering me thought I would share my two cents. I have nothing against the concept of an after hours party for an additional cost, but the two things that bother me with this one are the fact that they took elements that used to be for regular park guests and moved them to a pay event and secondly the impact it has on regular operations and the regular guests experience. What I mean by this is the set up for the party starts very early in the afternoon and as you walk the park there are displays, signs, etc.. going up throughout the afternoon. By night fall several areas of the park are off limits or have had the experience altered for the party. As you walk through the park you are dodging supply carts moving candy and other treats out. New this year is Toontown closing early and acting as a kick off location for the event. All this adds up to a shortened day and shorten experience for the regular day guest. If you plan poorly and visit the park with a one day ticket on a party day you are getting short changed compared to a non party day. Couple this with the added crowds the party brings into the park in the evening and it makes for a less than ideal experience to me. I understand the benefit of the mix in for those attending the party but I am not a fan of the effect it has on those not attending the party.

  • This past week Disney rolled out a new Disability Access Service on October 9th replacing the old system which became national news with some of the abuse going on. For more information on this service and other services for guests with disabilities refer to the official Disneyland website at: https://disneyland.disney.go.com/guest-services/guests-with-disabilities/ As part of the new system/service guests request and receive return times for attractions vs lining up and getting immediate access like before. It is also my understanding that they try to tailor service more to disability than the one size fits most of the old system. I never used the old system so I have no point of reference to say whether this is better or worse, but from what I observed in the parks it reduced the backup at several attractions. There were no longer long lines of ECVs or wheelchairs waiting to get onto Pirates or some of the Fantasyland attractions. So from a traffic congestion point of view it seems positive. The lines at City Hall and Chamber of Commerce seemed no worse than usual. The additional kiosks around the parks with guest relations cast members did not seem crowded either. I rarely saw more than one party waiting at them as I roamed around Friday.

  • As you saw in the pictures Christmas is creeping into the parks. I enjoy watching the transformation and find it interesting the sequencing of the decorations. I always enjoy the holidays at the parks. The extra energy and offerings really make for some fun visits. Looking forward to seeing how they expand on DCA this year with the new World of Color show and the Paradise Gardens festivities.

  • Most of the Fantasyland fall protection roof work is complete. I think the outcome works given the constraints and the time/effort Disney put into trying to make them blend in looks good. Now if they would only fix the Alice in Wonderland outdoor portion of the track, the temporary scaffolding is starting to feel quite permanent.

  • Over at Disney California Adventure, a new issue of the Buena Vista Bugle is on news stands. It is great to see them continuing this feature of Buena Vista Street. Finding a copy was a little bit of challenge yesterday as they did not seem to be stocking the rack by the Red Car, but the Chamber of Commerce had plenty. So if you are looking for one and do not see any out in the park stop by there and check the rack or ask the cast members.

  • I finally was able to find the new official album of Disneyland in stock. One copy was on the shelf in Off the Page and I bought it on sight. I have been looking for it since it was released and it always seems to be out. The cast member at the store said the same thing that I was lucky. I will do a posting to the Geeks Blog this week with my thoughts on the latest offering after I have a chance to listen to it a few times through.

  • The Limited Time Magic promotion from Disney Parks is continuing to limp along. I have been very disappointed with this and the number of misses seem to outnumber the hits for me. This week there was a Jack Skelington cookie available and at Bayside Brews they were celebrating Oktoberfest. I think with Oktoberfest they missed an opportunity. I was expecting to see some entertainment and other offerings in Paradise Gardens to go with the event. Instead the event consisted of a half dozen menu items at the Bayside Brews stand and a couple of signs. A very sad offering and no mention of it anywhere except on a couple signs at the stand. So I am betting most guests did not even know it was going on.

  • I thought the new backdrop for the Toy Story characters meet and greet on Paradise Pier is a nice addition. It works in the area and has some fun little details on it. Having a dedicated spot for Woody and Jessie should make it easier for guests to find them too. Before they would sometimes be under the swings, sometimes where the Maliboomer used to be, and other times along the Pier in the extended queue area for Toy Story near Screamin. I found the placement to be a little awkward. It seems too close to the walkway. Too bad they could not have put it up on the pads where the attraction used to be, or better yet have taken out the elevated portion from the attraction and just pushed it back further. Also wish they could re-locate/remove the smoking area.

  • I caught Minnies Fly Girls Charter Airlines since I read the show was going to be wrapping up its run soon. I always enjoyed the show and thought it was a great addition to the area and a fun way to work characters into the park. Hopefully something new and equally entertaining will be replacing it. If you missed the show below is a video I took shortly after the show premiered.

  • Someone asked me earlier in the week if I had seen the lighting moment for the Haunted Mansion and if it was new for this year. I had no idea what they were talking about so I made a point to visit the Mansion around sunset and check it out. The moment happened just after 6:30pm (6:37pm according to the timestamp on my camera). I thought this was a fun little event. Below is a video if you missed it in the update.

  • Not sure what the entertainment scheduling folks were thinking but there was only one World of Color slated for Friday night. By mid afternoon they were playing park wide announcements of an encore at 10:15pm and were distributing Fastpasses for the event in the afternoon. Not sure why they have cut back to only one scheduled performance, especially on a night like Friday with the park open until midnight since Disneyland closed at 7pm due to the party.

  • For World of Color Friday the stand by area was enlarged. Paradise Pier was very crowded by the time I arrived in the area around 8:30pm (the show was at 9:00pm). The area in front of the Little Mermaid was extended and the walkway seemed to be about half maybe 2/3 as wide as usual. Over on the bridge there was a second area taped off behind the blue section for standby that filled up about half the bridge/walkway. Is this the new normal? Or are they trying out additional viewing options in preparation for the upcoming Christmas show? Or was the original plan to have extended viewing and only one show Friday?

Interesting Web Finds/Notes:
Below are some interesting links, notes, and rumors I found/stumble across/or have been informed of since the last Geekspeaks column.

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

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