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10/21/22 - Disneyland Resort - Final Halloween visit
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10/21/22 - Disneyland Resort - Final Halloween visit

Hello Everyone!

Friday was a relaxing visit to the Disneyland Resort for me. I arrived earlier than usual and had nothing on my must see list. The plan was to just roam around and enjoy my final Halloween Time visit of the season and check out some of the early Christmas decorations and ongoing projects. The parks both felt busy and wait times fluctuated quite a bit. Overall I would say it was about average for this time of year. The weather was perfect topping out about 80 and cooling to 70 by the time I left.

Since my last visit prices have gone up on park tickets. Here is a chart with the new Disneyland Ticket prices and comparison to recent years. Unfortunately they no longer post the ticket prices at the ticket booths so no photo this year to mark the increase.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I ran into my first headache/obstacle with park reservations system prior to this trip. I went to the website (note it is still annoying that the system is not integrated into the App and requires you to go to a website) to remove my nephew and sister in law from our Friday reservation since they were not going to make it. When I tried to log in around lunch time I received an error saying the Disney Account System is having a problem try back later. So I waited and tried to log in around dinner time and got the same error. I was not able to successfully log into any Disney site with my account, I tried Disney World, Shop Disney, Gift Cards, etc.. . My sister in law was able to log in and cancel hers but not her son's, which is odd since his ticket is in her account. It said she did not have access. After trying several devices/browsers to make sure it was not an odd cache issue I tried to chat with tech support and they were closed. I then noticed the chat option in the Disneyland App was available to I contacted them there. After trying devices again they decided to try resetting my account. That worked and I was able to cancel his reservation. I noticed his ticket was not showing in my tickets anymore but decided to let that rest since he was not going this visit so it was not critical. Friday his ticket still was not showing but since he was not there I did not bother going to guest relations. On Saturday I was going to re-link his ticket and when I checked his pass was back magically. So no clue what is going on but something was odd with the accounts.
  • My parking luck was not good Friday. I missed the light on Ball by a car then was directed into a spot 3 cars from the end of a row on the far side of the Goofy level of the parking structure. The good news was I did not have to drive around the garage to park and when it came time to leave I was able to exit without driving around too so saved some time and gas.. but was forced out to the light at Ball again when exiting.
  • Decided to give the Car Locator function a try in the Disneyland App. It launched recently and I had not used it yet. The feature was a tad hidden as a text link in the menu near the bottom. I found it funny it said I was off the grid in my space. I was far away but seems anywhere in the garage should be found! So I had to manually enter the information. When returning I was expecting it to notify me I was back and help me out or something.. Instead I had to locate it and click into it to see where I was parked. Seemed like a lot of work for something I could have snapped a picture of or remembered or written down.
  • Walked through the Disneyland Hotel to check out the ongoing projects. There was a sign for daily celebrations for Diwali going on through the 24th with the Blue13 Dance Company. Having live entertainment and celebrations at the hotels are great to see throughout the year. The timing of only 4 & 5 pm seemed a little awkward though.
  • Magic Bands have arrived at the Disneyland Resort. This week they are available for purchase for Magic Key holders and Disney Vacation Club members then they will be open for all to purchase. There is a small store in Downtown Disney in the former ESPN Zone store space and an area in the Super Store in Disneyland and the Starcade in Tomorrowland. When I walked by the locations I saw a steady stream of guests purchasing them. It will be interesting to see if these catch on or are like Glow with the Show. For more on them here is the full press release. I am not a big Magic Band fan. The tech always seems buggy at Walt Disney World, for example the last three trips we have had issues opening our hotel room door with the bands. To get into the parks we have probably had problems 20% of the time with one person in the group. That usually has to do with the finger scanning not the band itself though. I still prefer the old plastic cards. They tended work all the time and were a nice included souvenir to mark the trip vs an additional charge.
  • I have not visited the World of Disney in Downtown Disney in quite a while so decided to stop by on my way to the parks today. They are still forcing all guests to enter through the doors by La Brea Bakery and exit by Starbucks. This traffic flow is less than ideal, especially if you are coming from Downtown Disney and heading to the parks.. you get to walk in circles. It would be really nice to see more doors open and options to enter and exit as you please again. This was originally done for COVID protocols but now appears to be done for a cost savings for the mobile check out so they do not have to staff all the doors for the service. I am guessing it also helps with guest flow through the store keeping most people moving the same direction, but I really like the freedom to choose more than the mild congestion easing.
  • Halloween has a little over a week left for the 2022 season, and Christmas is ready to go and already starting to show up throughout the parks. The annual snowfall on Sleeping Beauty Castle is just about finished and decorations are up throughout Grizzly Recreation Area and the Pacific Wharf. it's a small world has the lights installed on the facade and closes Monday for the interior transformation. The holiday season kicks off on November 11th this year.
  • The Lightning Lane returns for some attractions continue to back up. . For example I walked by Haunted Mansion and the standby wait was posted at 70 minutes. LL returned filled the queue and spilled out the gate and toward the exit. The CM at the end of the line was telling guests he was guessing about 20-25 wait for the LL return.
  • In its a small world mall area there are three new backdrops inspired by the facade in the character meet and greet area. I found it interesting the color scheme matches the overseas exteriors of the attraction and not the Disneyland one.
  • The attraction closes for the annual holiday overlay Monday so decided to go for a final cruise. The attraction could use some renovation time. There were several figure not working, missing and other things that needed to be cleaned up. The most obvious is the single hula dancer that remains. All her companions are gone. Outside the lights appear to all be installed and ready for the holiday season. I am still surprised they do not go with another lighting solution that is more permanent vs the installation and removal costs each year. Also then you would have the option of light shows throughout the year.
  • I was walking by and saw WEB Slingers posted at 15 minute standby line, so we hopped in line. No switchbacks were open and it was a short looking wait. It started good and we were moving along and were maybe 50 guests from entering the preshow when the line slowed. I noticed the Lightning Lane return backed up, this is now a standard Genie+ attraction not an individual purchase one. I noticed they changed the ratio of LL to standby. For each preshow load they were take 1-3 standby groups. One at the beginning then 1 or 2 at the end. This slowed the pace to a crawl and instead of what should have been a 5-10 minute wait turned into over 20. To top it off a cast member announced that Lightning Lane will have priority so wait times will be longer. Not an ideal guest experience.
  • We decided to eat at Flo's today. The meal was not ideal. We mobile ordered and it took over 20 minutes from when I said I was there until our order of 2 burgers and a sandwich came up. One burger was missing the toppings we had ordered and to top it off that one was cold not dry. We returned for the missing toppings and they gave us a nice bowl with them. We should have taken the burger back too but they were hungry and just ate it as is. Also they were not giving out cups of ice again/still either. It really bothers me to pay nearly $40 for a meal and get a look like I am crazy when I ask for two cups of ice to go with it. They will give you water cups but no ice in the water or by itself. It has been this way all summer.
  • The Animation Building lobby was open this visit, my past few guests were forced to use side entrances for the Animation Academy and Turtle Talk. No noticeable changes jumped out to me when I walked through. The Character Close-up was still closed.
  • Christmas decorations are up throughout Grizzly Recreation Area. I am not sure if they are finished yet or not, but as of now I did not see snow machines along the walkway so looks like that will not be returning to the area again.
  • The small Embarcdero Gifts in Disney California Adventure has reopened. When I first walked in there was a family inside then when they left just a case member for the few minutes I was there. Not a lot of foot traffic.
  • Another Genie+/Lightning Lane observation/story from the visit. I was walking by Star Tours and a family was hanging out near the return area. The mother said to the family that they had 20 minute until their return time and were just going to hang out there. I found this interesting because the posted standby was 15 minutes and looked to be a near walk on to the merge point. So they could have skipped Genie and gone right in but opted to stand outside waiting.
  • I finally made it onto the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. I checked the app and it said a 25 minute wait. So I headed that way. At the entrance the sign said 20 minutes and the line only went down and back, no switchbacks, so I got in line. We moved at the normal slow pace with only two subs loading at a time. I just missed boarding and had to wait for another pair to arrive which meant another 10 minutes in line nearly.. plus being the first one on meant I was way down the end and last to exit. The experience at night is not ideal as it is rather dark for the outside portion so I could not really see the colors.
  • I closed out my evening in Downtown Disney with a performance by the SCAREolers. I made sure to catch the alternate set this time. Its great they have two independent sets of music. I prefer the one I saw last time which is the 2nd and 4th show sets.

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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