home > Columns > Geekspeaks >
11/07/14 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to the Disneyland Resort and the unofficial start to the Christmas season.
 The Geek Speaks:

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.

11/07/14 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to the Disneyland Resort and the unofficial start to the Christmas season.

Hello everyone,

Friday was a great day at the Disneyland Resort. I call it the unofficial kickoff to the Christmas season. Most of the decorations are up and some of the entertainment kicked off. The crowds were mild and the few attraction wait times I saw were all short. Too bad I had a fairly full agenda and not a lot of time carved out to visit attractions.


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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Friday was one of those weather days that reminds you that Southern California is a dessert. When I arrived at the parks the car was reading just over 90 degrees outside. By the time I returned home it was under 50. You can usually tell the locals during these days because we are the ones carrying sweatshirts around in 90 degree weather. But come sun down and it dropping 20-30 degrees it sure feels nice to us.

  • Due to some work commitments I arrived at the parks later than usual which meant I missed the opportunity to go to the Big Hero 6 Meet and Greet. I walked out to Tomorrowland and the Cast Member said the last tickets were distributed about 90 minutes before I arrived. Unfortunately with this Meet and Greet they have continued the trend where you cannot even get a glimpse of the characters unless you wait in the line. They curtained off the back portion of the Starcade for this. Hopefully on a future visit I make it inside. I am not a big fan of these blocked off Meet and Greets. I like seeing the characters and I think they add energy to the areas. Having them back in a room seems to be under utilizing them. But then again it does lead to a better experience for guests who do have a ticket or wait in the line.

  • Big Hero 6 does have a presence in the parks. In addition to the Meet and Greet and regular merchandise there is a Baymax sipper available at several locations. Also some special menu items at Award Wieners. Lastly there are light up Baymax balloons available (for $14 each).

  • I watched the first performance of a A Christmas Fantasy parade from the Small World Mall. This year there were a couple minor tweaks to the parade. Mickey and Minnie have moved to the mail room float and ride along with Donald and Daisy. Mrs. Claus was no where to be seen. The Frozen group, Anna, Elsa and Olaf stay on the same float they used for the pre-parade and are in the traditional spot for that float in the Winter Wonderland segment. The snow flakes skaters this year are with out their snow flakes. Max is MIA again this year and Pluto rides on the gingerbread house with Goofy. Overall the parade was on par with previous years. I would recommend seeing the parade after dark if you can. I think the lights really do add to it. I went back for the second showing. The draw back to the after dark showing it is usually more crowded.

  • Went for a cruise on Small World Holiday. No major changes here this year either. The sea serpent has surfaced near the Little Mermaid and there is a new archway in the Latin America/south America room. Both are positive changes in my book. Nothing else jumped out to me on my first cruise of the season.

  • This weekend they are taping the annual Christmas Parade (sorry for spoiling it for all of you that thought they broadcast it live on Christmas morning). The stage for the musical performances was set up in front of the castle and looked slightly more elaborate this year to me. More of a set and less of a concert stage, or at least the parts that were up Friday. The big news though was the confirmation in the name change. This year it will be called the Disney Parks Frozen Christmas Celebration. No mention of the parade at all. This sort of makes sense given that the concerts and other activities have dominated the show in recent years and the parades have taken a backseat. Not quite sure about Frozen taking over everything though, but then again you include the name and it draws a crowd now a days. Should be interesting to see the ratings, bet they are up.

  • Tuesday is Veterans Day and there will be a special Flag Retreat in Town Square at 4:15pm, so if you are in the park be sure to stop by.

  • Made my way over to DCA for the Cars Land nightly lighting event. I was hoping to see the Christmas version but instead they ran the traditional one then turned the Christmas lights on after. I did run into (well he ran into me) John Lasseter giving a tour of Cars Land to Hayao Miyazaki. It was fun to see him walking around and pointing things out. Wish I could have been close enough to hear but I did not want to intrude on the group. They did stop for pictures in front of Flos. John also was taking pictures on his own cell phone and a couple guests did approach and ask for a picture with him and he stopped and spent a moment with them.

  • I asked a Cast Member near the World of Color FastPass distribution which version of the show was running Friday and they looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language. Another chimed in they were fairly certain Winter Dreams did not start until next week. I was curious because over at Disney Believe in Holiday Magic started Friday.

  • FastPass has returned to the Haunted Mansion. During Halloween Time they did not use it this year, but looks like it will be around for the Christmas season. Friday when I walked by there was no need. The posted wait was 20 minutes but in reality it was a walk on. So I went for my second trip of the season. I avoided the long lines during Halloween Time.

  • Small World Holiday had its lights on Friday but they were not doing the projection show. Hopefully the show does return, I have not seen anything saying one way or the other.

  • I made a second pass through DCA to see the lights and check out the Pier. This year there is garland on the Boardwalk area. Viva Navidad! returns next week, the food offerings were available this week.

  • I closed out my evening with Believe in Holiday Magic. I watched from near the Main Street Cinema and the volume was extremely loud in the area. Other than that the show appeared the same. White Christmas played and snow fell from the sky. Friday there were some gaps and it was non a good snowfall. Due to the Christmas Parade taping the garland that spans Main Street was not up yet so you had unobstructed views which always feels weird to me. After all the showings I have seen I expect to have partially obstructed fireworks and garland/wreaths with the snow.

  • 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

Stop by the Geek's Forum to discuss this and other Disney topics.. click here

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

Back to previous page


Quick Note

Check out the geek speaks archive for past updates.


Interested in Helping out?

If you are a fellow disneygeek and interested in sharing your insights, pictures, thoughts drop us an email here we are always looking for contributors.