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11/04/16 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday trip to the Disneyland Resort
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11/04/16 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday trip to the Disneyland Resort

Hello everyone,

The Disneyland Resort is in a time of transition as Halloween is quickly replaced by Christmas. This year the holiday season kicks off on Thursday November 10th. So this week was a rare off season week between the two holidays. No one seemed to tell the crowds that though as both parks had moderate crowds. Attraction wait times were not too bad with only a couple over an hour but they were not as light as you would expect for this time of year.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I arrived at the parks later than usual thank to a work commitment then a lot of traffic. Took well over an hour to drive the 25 miles from Downtown. I was expecting parking challenges at the resort but instead was greeted with the Ball Road overpass open and no lines at the parking structure. It was a breeze to get from the freeway into a parking spot. A pleasant surprise to start my trip.

  • Spent the first part of my visit checking out the Star Wars work from the parking structure. As you will (or have seen) in the photos more of the rock work along the Big Thunder Trail and Rivers of America is taking shaping. Foundation work and other prep work for at least one show building is well underway as the infrastructure work appears to be wrapping up.

  • A new project is underway at the Mickey and Friends Tram stop. A new Western Gateway is underway at the structure. This will be similar to what is being created at the new eastern parking structure. Security checkpoints will be moved out here. To accommodate this the tram stop and tram route is being re-configured and part of the Pinocchio parking lot is being taken over/removed. Friday they had fences up and in the evening started to remove the parking lot. They have also created a larger opening on the first floor of the parking structure, which I assume will be where the trams will pass through.

  • As I mentioned Halloween was just under a week ago and most traces have been removed from the parks. The one exception being along the tram route the two displays are still up. They were among the first items set up and appear to be the last to come down.

  • Inside the parks Christmas is taking over. A majority of the decorations are up in both parks. The trees and final elements are still to come. The festivities kick off Thursday. From what has been announced and showing up in the guides the offerings at DCA have been expanded this year and Disneyland has returned to a traditional slate. At Disneyland the Christmas Fantasy Parade has returned and will run two times daily. Believe in Holiday Magic is back too. Santa appears to be heading back to Critter Country again this year. Paint the Night will be running on select nights too. Over at Disney California Adventure the new offerings include World of Color - Season of Light and Disney Festival of Holidays. The Festival features food marketplaces, Princess Elenas Musical Grand Arrival, Viva Navidad and Santa in the Redwood Creek area.

  • I was a little disappointed with the placement of the marketplaces. They have added more and they really seem to be intrusive/out of place now. For example one is placed on the main walkway from the Bay Area to Grizzly Recreation Area. So instead of a nice photo op of GRR you have a marketplace in the walkway. Also there is one front and center in front of the Little Mermaid building. This building takes up Stand-by space for World of Color plus will add to congestion in the area. It will be interesting to see how the crowds work with the new additions. Overall though they really do not fit into the theme and would not appear to be good show. The concept of holiday food offerings seems to fit well with guests desire for food but the execution seems to ignore the concept of theme integration. From what I have heard the park will have these for several months stretching through the holidays and then into the Food & Wine Season.

  • The parks felt rather quiet after dark this evening. At DCA World of Color was not until 9:45pm and nothing was really slated, entertainment wise, beyond 5 and Dime & Paradise Gardens Band Stand after 4:30pm. Also there were only 2 Frozen shows on the schedule this week. I was disappointed not to see a band scheduled for the Tomorrowland Terrace, so Disneyland was also quiet from a live entertainment standpoint after 5pm. With no night parade the second Soundsational moved to 7pm so you could watch it under the lights which adds a different feel to the parade.

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

Geek's Blog Postings Recap – October 12-25, 2016

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.

Send comments, questions, any other email to: disneygeek@disneygeek.com

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