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10/24/14 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to 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.

10/24/14 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to the Disneyland Resort.

Hello everyone,

Friday was a transition day at the Disneyland Resort. Temperatures were in the upper 80s when I arrived which felt more like summer than fall. The parks are in their last week of Halloween festivities and Christmas is popping up everywhere. The crowds felt lighter than they have been when I first arrived. As I walked around California Adventure they were mild with the Racers having a 45 min posted time when I walked by and Tower of Terror a 13 min, Screamin was a walkon and Toy Story only 30 minutes. As night fell and the Halloween Party kicked in the parks became more crowded. For example at DCA Tower of Terror was pushing an hour around 8pm.


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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • If you looked at any of the pictures from the day you know I spent a good amount of time in the gift shops. Christmas merchandise was out in many stores and since they were not crowded took some pictures to share. Also was curious at what was new for this year. The selection of items seemed slightly larger than years past, but I have to be honest I do not spend a lot of time with merchandise so that is a gut feeling, no real facts. Nothing really jumped out at me as a must have or spectacularly different than in years past. Everything seemed on par.

  • The compass in the center of the Esplanade has been renovated. The outer portions have been removed and replaced with plain concrete. It really looks like a temporary job. The remaining part appears to be more or less the same, no substantial improvement or changes. Wonder if the plain concrete is a placeholder and something is in the works? Or if this is a long term temporary fix.. sort of like the security tents and barriers in the Esplanade. To me it is disappointing that something better could not be created but the Esplanade seems to be quick neglected. Wonder if this is to enhance the contrast from there to the parks? Or because it does not generate revenue? Maybe a gift shop/news stand in middle would be interesting then.

  • I started my circling of the parks off in California Adventure this trip since I did not spend any day light hours there last trip. I walked the Pier and around the park and nothing too interesting too interesting to note. The renovation work out on the Pier appears to be inching along. Someday it may wrap up. Wonder why it has taken so long to replace the wood out there. The rest of my attention was taken up looking at Christmas preparations.. it is always interesting to me the sequencing and what is done when.

  • The last note is I wanted to mention the Flying Tires. The internet rumor/speculation is they are slated to go down in January and we will not be seeing them come back in their current form. Should be interesting to see if that pans out and what takes their place. Friday when I first walked by there were actually more empty tires than ones with guests. I had to wait for that cycle to end then went on the next one. As I have said from the beginning I enjoy the concept of the tires. I also thought no ability to turn coupled with the slow load/unload time really hurt the attraction. With no wait or a minimal one I think they are enjoyable. With anything over 15 minutes I can see the return on time waited going down quickly and if I wanted 45-60 minutes I would be really disappointed.

  • Over at Disneyland spent some time roaming around Main Street checking out the new curb and other work since it was dark my last visit. Nothing too noteworthy with the work in Town Square. The first aid and wish lounge on the other end do look really good, but seems odd they did not continue the facades over the entrance to the new walkway itself. Its just a plain gate and when you are at the 1st aid area you can see the unfinished backstage of Main Street.

  • As you saw in the pictures the Castle has had its annual snowfall. No ice or other lights on it yet. If they follow the pattern from the past couple years is followed most of that will hold off until after the TV taping in a couple weeks. So that means a couple weeks of a snowy castle that I think actually photographs better than with all the other lights on it, especially during the day.

  • Stopped by the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree a couple of times to check out the latest pumpkin creations and the Conjure a Villain wait time. The pumpkin creations were great and really the highlight of the season for me. I look forward each visit to seeing what has been created and what the talented cast members are working on. Unfortunately this season I never made it into the Conjure a Villain tent. I heard from several friends it was the same and I never had the patience to wait in the long and slow moving queue for it.

  • I was pleasantly surprised by dinner at the Village Haus. They had shoe string fries! They were hot and crisp when served even. A substantial improvement on the previous standard fries offered. Hopefully these stay. I spotted the same ones at the Tomorrowland Terrace so maybe this change is the new standard and the last one was just a trial run. They are not as good as the old shoe string ones at Award Wieners nor McDonalds but better than anything the parks have had since those two left in my book. Now if only they could go to a better bun.. I thought the old ones at Taste Pilots were better. I am sure these are more healthy and probably cheaper but they just are not as good to me. Still better than most at WDW though.

  • I am happy this is probably my last visit this year on a Halloween Party night. I really find them disruptive to the day and do not like the feel of the park. Had another poor experience Friday as the party transitioned. I was along the Rivers of America trying to take pictures of the fog (and failing) and there were a fair number of cast members milling around. All checking their watches and going over plans for the party. Right before 7 they started lining up to form their check points and as soon as the announcement that the regular hours had stopped they start speaking loudly to anyone in ear shot asking for wristbands. It was fairly aggressive and aided to that unwelcome feeling. This was literally seconds after the park closed. With the parties all selling out again this year I am guessing we will be in for even more next year. Wonder how many more years Christmas will remain untouched before they try for some sort of up charge event. Seems everything in Orlando now has one.

  • Wanted to comment on the current state of parents and their Disney character knowledge. I overheard two really sad answers on Friday. The first was on Buena Vista Street and a child did not know Oswald, that makes sense and I am guessing many adults do not either, well the parents answer really shocked me. They said Oswald was a young Mickey Mouse. They could not even get he was a rabbit not a mouse. The second one was during World of Color a family, a couple kids and parents, next to me went crazy when the Genie sequence came on, not surprising given Robin Williams but then they started yelling Mickey Mickey.. not sure why they thought a blue genie was Mickey.. is the main mouse that unknown now a days by the general public or did I happen upon two outliers (I really hope its two outliers).

  • I would close with some good news that broke Friday at Walt Disney World. The giant sorcerer hat that has been in the middle of the Disney Hollywood Studios park is going to finally be removed in early 2015. That hat appeared back in 2001 for the 100 years celebration and has managed to stick around. Interesting note it has actually been in the park longer than it was not. The studios opened in 1989. The hat appeared in 2001. I am going to be very happy to see the Chinese theater when you enter the park again. Hollywood Blvd just has not been the same with the giant blue hat as the focal point. The next question is what is going to go in its place? Are they going to keep erecting temporary stages in the area and blocking the view any ways? With all the other closures at that park, the Backlot Tour, American Idol, and now the planned Captain Jack Sparrow Experience in a few weeks things are really changing. Nothing has been announced but I would assume some plan has been approved. The park was really in bad shape to begin with but now its even a shell of that. Hopefully a Disney California Adventure type of plan is in its future.

  • 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.

  • Video featuring my pictures:

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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