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11/02/18 - 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.

11/02/18 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort
Friday was a relaxing day at the Disneyland Resort for me. The parks are in a transition state from Halloween, which ended a couple days before my visit to Christmas that officially begins a week from my visit. The crowds were moderate at both parks, with most waits well under an hour most of the day. The thermometer read just above 90 when I arrived at the parks and cooled to around 70 when I left.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Parking was about average today. The overpass for Ball Road was closed so I had to sit through two lights to cross Ball which is never a fun way to start a visit. I choose unwisely and the cast member working my lane and the one next to it was really really slow so even though there were only a handful of cars it seemed to take forever. Then I was directed into a spot on the far side of the roof maybe a dozen spots from the furthest corner. On the plus side security lines were short and moving quickly and I was able to walk right onto a waiting tram.

  • Preparations for the annual Festival of Holidays is well underway around Disney California Adventure. The marketplaces/food booths have not been installed but several stages and decorations are now in place. In Paradise Park the stage is set for entertainment and the present boxes for World of Color Season of Light are installed. Out on Paradise Bay the spot light barges are in place for the show and there were a lot of techs working on the platform. It appears they are on track for a return of World of Color at some point during the holiday season. As of Friday nothing on the calendar yet though.

  • At the entrance to Pixar Pier, Luxo Jr. (AKA the Pixar Lamp) has taken up its position on the archway. The lamp moves around and lights up. Overall it was a nice plus to the area. I was surprised how few guests seemed to stop and take a look. I walked by a couple of times and took pictures and video and noticed/overheard only a couple say anything or point it out. No visible progress on Bing Bong yet though.

  • The Disneyland app said there was only a 15 min wait for the Pixar Pal-A-Round so I decided to head that way first. By the time I got out there the board still said 15 minutes but the line was all the way up the ramp which is over 30 usually so I opted to keep moving.

  • Since I had a fairly light shot list and the crowds were mild I ended up making FastPass reservations for several attractions and thanks to some good luck I was able to fit in Haunted Mansion Holiday, Radiator Springs Racers, and Toy Story Midway Mania. I had a couple others that I opted not use because I was not in the area when they came up. None of these three were using secondary scans of FastPasses on Friday and poles were removed from two of them even. I guess that was slowing guests down too much. The FastPass return for Radiator Springs Racers was not overly fast with it taking about 15 minutes to reach the attraction and the scan line was backed up to the corner and the queue was to the bridge. The other two had much more efficient return processes Friday.

  • Speaking of Radiator Springs Racers the attraction could use a little TLC. The first Mater was not moving, one tractor was not tipping and there was quite a bit of water in Ramones on the ground.

  • Grizzly Recreation Area is decorated for the holidays and appears to be plussed this year. I spotted several boxes on the posts on the walkway between the Bay Area and Redwood Creek, plus speakers in the trees. Looks like they may be adding a holiday walk with snowfall possibly. This may be a fun addition. With this, Santa and Christmas merchandise taking over most of Rushin River Outfitters this seems to be a growing hub of Christmas activity. I do question having events on a main walkway. It may have been a good use of the back path that leads around Grizzly River Run to have a Christmas walk set up over there vs the heavily traffic walkway.

  • Across from Rushin' River Outfitters in the small out cove where once upon a time there was entertainment and recently just a place to sit they have installed two large dryers. For $5 you and up to four friends can stand in the machine and the heat lamps turn on and air is circulated to dry you off or just warm you up for about 3.5 minutes. I walked by a couple of times and saw one couple give it a try and use it as a photo booth/photo op. They were not wet or cold but thought it would make a fun picture and appeared to be having a good time with it as they swapped positions and took pictures and video of each other. I thought these were rather awkward and tacky. As someone I was talking to said, Disney has found a way to monetize air. Having something like this closer to the exit and maybe more out of the way would not be bad but making it almost an attraction in a visible spot seemed odd to me. It will be interesting to see how the use pattern is.

  • Over at Disneyland the annual snowfall on Sleeping Beauty Castle has occurred and Christmas decorations are up around the park, maybe a third to half or so appeared done already. As I roamed around I did not spot anything new or drastically different yet.

  • The top deck of the Mark Twain was once again roped off so I opted not to go for a cruise this week to check out the Star Wars work. This seems to be happening more than not on recent visits.

  • Encountered a hiccup with my mobile order at the Smokejumpers Grill. The app would not give me the option to say I was there. When I arrived I went to the counter and the cast member did it on their terminal. So it was a minor delay and the first real bug I have encountered in the dozen or so times I have used the system so far. The CM said they sometimes have network issues to that may be the issue.

  • The Coco Celebration in Paradise Gardens runs through this weekend so I took in the final performance of the Musical Celebration of Coco on Friday. I arrived about 20 minutes before the show and was 6 or 7 people from the front. The popularity of this show and demand have stayed strong all season long. If it returns next year it would be really nice to see it put in a location where more guests could enjoy/see it better. Paradise Park seems like a great choice. with the stage that is available there and terraced viewing area.

  • I returned to Disneyland after sunset and was roaming around. About 20 minutes before Fantasmic I decided to try and find a spot so headed toward the Rivers of America. I was able to find a good view about 15 minutes prior to show time. At show time though some guests stood up on the planters and were in the center of my view.. and then as the show went on the guest next to me with their kid up on their shoulders somehow ended up in front of me! So my good view became mostly obstructed and I had to relocate. The projections on Friday looked really clear. Guess the wind was favorable. Also noteworthy the Rivers of America did not catch on fire.

  • I quickly made my way back to Main Street USA for Remember Dreams Come True fireworks and found a spot just as the lights went out. As the Indiana Jones segment was coming to an end the house lights came up and the show abruptly e-stopped. They played the standard apology message saying the show cannot continue. No indication of why, the wind seemed quiet with the smoke rising straight up and nothing appeared abnormal from my vantage point.

Here are some recent posts to the Geek's Blog:

Geek’s Blog Postings Recap October 15-31, 2018

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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