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10/20/06 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays Disneyland Resort visit.
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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.

10/20/06 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays Disneyland Resort visit.

* After you read this report you may want to check out the pictorial updates in our Disneyland Resort Pictorial Update section

Hello all,

It was another perfect day in Southern California with the temperature peaking out in the mid 80s and a slight breeze most of the afternoon. The crowds at the Disneyland Resort were about what I would call the new average, which means fairly nice through most of the afternoon but as the sun sets the crowd grows and peaks around the time Remember starts. Lines for most of the big attractions were only around 30 minutes during the afternoon.


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


  • When I arrived at the Resort around 2:00pm there were only two parking toll booths open and the line stretched all the way back to the garage entrance again. This is really becoming a norm and is extremely annoying to sit there and watch your gas gauge move. Why were there only two lanes open and why were there not more cast members working the booths. It is not a mystery that Friday afternoon the crowds start to descend on the park. Later in the evening when the Lazygeek arrived he said it was odd that almost all the toll booths were open and they were basically just waving cars through. Also new in the garage the LED board that usually has the park hours on it was flashing between that and the $11 price for parking now.

  • I was really surprised to see the amount of Christmas merchandise that is finding its way into the Parks and World of Disney. As you saw in the pictorial update the main door at World of Disney that faces the parks is no longer 50th anniversary merchandise instead its a mix of Christmas and generic park merchandise. In the parks the store in Frontierland as well as the Grand Californian's gift shop both have quite a bit of Christmas merchandise out.

  • I caught several of the new entertainment offerings around the park, here is a quick run down and my first impressions:
    • Jambalaya Jazz - this group was spotted at the foot of the Disney Gallery steps and featured a handful of musicians and a lead singer. They had a healthy crowd around them and all seemed to be having a good time. I caught only the closing number and I thought it was good.
    • The Pearly Band - a group of musicians that was spotted out in the Small World Mall. They reminded me of a regular Main Street band, just a little more colorful in outfit. It would have been better if they were mic'd so you could hear them from a better distance (especially when they were talking and singing).
    • The Jedi Training Academy takes place on the Tomorrowland Terrace stage a half dozen times a day. In this show a Jedi Master comes out and talks to the audience, then selects several (I would say close to two dozen) kids from the audience to participate in the show. He then trains them in a series of lightsaber moves. Then two storm troopers arrive as well as Darth Vader. Now each child is brought up to fight one of the Star Wars villains using the moves they were just trained in. After everyone has cycled through there are some parting words and the show ends with good winning over evil (bet you did not see that coming). I thought this show is a great photo op if your child is selected. Having the chance to "fight" a Star Wars villain makes for a great home movie and memory. Not sure how the show is for those who were not chosen, I can image some parents having to spend quite a bit of time coming back several times to help get their child chosen. The show itself really boils down to an extended meet and greet more than a show and I think I would be hard pressed to watch it again unless I knew someone who was trying to get in the show.
    • Out at the Fantasyland Theater Princesses have taken over and its now the Disney Princess Faire. This event takes place almost all day (from 10am-6pm on Friday). It features a kids arts and crafts area, a store, a princess salon, a meet and greet area, and then an area where your child can learn to be a Disney Princess (oh yeah also the snack bar). As you saw in the pictures the theater has been changed a bit inside with the removal of almost all the benches and several new backdrops/set pieces moved in. I did not get to see the training sessions but my understanding is the children are taught a couple lessons then led on stage with some Disney princesses.. maybe next time I will catch that. I did not see any times posted. Also not to be left behind there was also a place to become a knight but I did not see many takers over there (seems the boys would rather fight with a lightsaber than hang out at the princess faire).
    • Over at DCA there is now a High School Musical Pep Rally that happens three times daily. This rolls along the parade route stopping in the Sunshine Plaza as well as near Golden Dreams out in the Bay Area. It consists of a dozen or so performers who go through a handful of song/dance routines from this popular Disney movie. I found it to be a very high energy show, but not much of a rally (guess when I think sports rally I think big bands, cheers, etc.. this was more broadway-ish to me, musical - song and dance than rally).
    • Lastly we received an email from Kevin in response to a question we had about the performer I spotted at the Halloween Round-Up with Farley the Fiddler.

      "Hey... just a quick FYI: I am 99% certain that the gentleman performing with Farley on page 32 is Tim Reeder, once the long-time outstanding tenor of the real Dapper Dans. He can be heard on the Dappers\' first CD, "Shave & a Haircut." In 2002 Tim was replaced permanently by Bob Whatley who was a long-time Dapper sub. Tim most recently has been singing and playing guitar with the pirates in NOS with, among others, Bill Lewis, another long-time Dapper who was unfortunately "let go" this past spring. Tim also has performed with the miner band (whose name escapes me at the moment - Geeks Note: its the Miner 49ers) over in front of GRR in DCA. (Before this, Tim and the bellhop band played in front of ToT when it first opened in 2005.) Seems as though he is a busy guy these days!"

  • I caught the Flag Retreat at 5pm on Main Street and there were two young kids, my guess is chosen at random from the park as part of the Year of a Million Dreams Celebration who participated in the ceremony. Once the Flag was folded they were led out and presented the flag. They held it during America the Beautiful and carried it away in the procession. I thought this was great and the kids and their family seemed to really enjoy it. Afterwards they came back out and the color guard spoke with them around the flag pole.

  • As you saw in the pictorial update the new store in Downtown Disney, Vault 28, is now open. This is an "upper end" Disney merchandise shop. I was really surprised by how small the shop was and by how expensive the items were... yes Disney is expensive but this even makes regular Disney prices look rock bottom. We saw several T-shirts in the $60 range (for a t-shirt)... I did find it interesting to look around, as did several others but I did not see many people buying things.

  • We ate dinner at White Water Snacks and I have to say the service there is getting even slower. There was a 30 minute backup on all grill orders, not sure why but that is what the CMs said. I ended up with the chicken strips, which have changed again. They arrived quickly but a bit on the cool side. My guess is they were waiting for the fries because the fries were hot.

  • Let me close on a funny note. We were walking through the hub (on our way from Buzz and to a spot to watch Remember) and had just entered the crowd control circle when the first shells from Remember started going off. At the same time the Snow Machine above our heads decided to go off too. It was kind of funny to watch everyone's reaction. At first there was some confusion then just smiles from the CMs and crowd. Guess it works...

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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