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11/1/05 - Some thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to the Disneyland Resort.
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11/1/05 - Some thoughts and observations from Fridays visit to the Disneyland Resort.

* After you read this report you may want to check out the pictorial updates in our Disneyland Resort Pictorial Update section

Hello all,

Spent a great afternoon/evening at the Disneyland Resort Friday. I was expecting a large crowd, it being Veterans day and the kick off of the holiday season at the resort, but I was not prepared for what I found. Upon arriving at the M&F garage I was greeted by every lane backed up with cars. As the ticket booth signs came into focus I realized by Disneyland they said "FULL" instead of the park hours. As you paid to park the Cast Member was informing all guests that Disneyland was full and closed and they handed you a little green piece of paper saying as much too. It says "Disneyland Park is being enjoyed by a large number of Guests today, and Park entry is currently restricted. Please visit Disney's California Adventure Park or Downtown Disney District, or come back and see us on another day..." Several cars around us ended up getting exit notices and leaving.. I did not. Instead parked and headed for DCA. Noticed that the line to get into Disneyland was nonexistent and guests were being allowed in, but I wanted DCA shots so headed over there first for a quick tour then over to Disneyland.

The crowds in both parks were heavy, but not unbearable. Even Disneyland with its near capacity crowd was not wall to wall guests as we have seen in years past.. not sure if this was due to every attraction being opened, less fastpass, people leaving, or what... but the crowd definitely was heavy but not jammed as I expected to see after the parking garage notices.


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


  • Upon entering the park you are greeted by Santa's Beach Party again this year. Nothing too noticeable has changed and there were a fair number of guests enjoying the band and lined up for pictures.

  • DCA had more guests roaming around than I have seen in what seems like years.. nice to see for a change. Most of the big attractions had lines around an hour only though, so still not over crowded.

  • DCA got a Christmas tree again, after none last year. They placed it out near Golden Dreams, as you saw in the pictorial update. I really thought this was a weird placement. It looked good, especially with the landscaping cleaned up in the area, but it just seemed awkward to me.

  • Noticed a couple guidemap changes... the dino is now green out in the Pier to match the new paint scheme. Also the logo for Monster Inc is larger than before. The map also highlights where the holiday decorations and the tree are located.


  • As I headed across the Esplanade I was expecting a large crowd to greet me and long waits.. I headed through the turnstiles with no wait at all. Was greeted by the Main Street Municipal band playing in front of the Train Station and I headed off to Main Street.

  • Small World Holiday was my first destination. The ride is virtually untouched from last year on the inside. Everything looks great as usual and nothing really jumped out to me as being new or changed. Even Stitch is back on the surfboard. There is no Fastpass available this year, so you must wait in the queue, which moved rather quickly.

  • Santa's Reindeer Roundup has taken up residency in the Big Thunder Ranch and it is using both the seating area as well as the cabin/petting zoo area. Santa is located in the cabin for pictures and Mrs. Claus roams the crowd. The stage near the barn is also quite active with entertainment geared toward young children with lots of interaction and singing. Also in the area you can take a family picture in a Sleigh or buy some sweets. The reindeer are in the pen that the goats were in during the Little Patch of Heaven area.. Overall I thought the area was really well done. There are a lot of props out and around as well as decorations. I think this is a great improvement and hopefully goes over well. I always thought Santa taking over Town Square led to a lot of congestion as well as a visual intrusion.

  • As dusk came I waited in front of Small World for the Lighting moment. It was scheduled to be at 5:15pm according to the Disneyland website.. luckily I was there early. At around 5:10ish a voice came over the PA saying something about Peace on Earth (it was really hard to hear) then all of a sudden all the lights came on. No fanfare really, kind of disappointing from my standpoint. I was expecting more. But then again the website did say moment and the park time guide did not even mention it.

  • At 5:15 the clock chimed and ran through its normal cycle.. then the lights flickered and the music changed. A projection show ensured for a minute or two with a variety of holiday tunes. I thought this was extremely well done and a great plus. I would have liked to have seen the show be a little less abstract, but that is about all I would question. I think the concept of a small show is just an extra "plus" that makes Disneyland, Disneyland and its great to see the park regaining some of these.

  • Later in the evening when I came back to take pictures of the projections show I noticed while the lights were on that the projectors were still running and they were projecting ABC blocks onto the facade spelling out happy holidays I think as well as several other projections. It was a little hard to make out if you did not pay attention, and really hard for me to get a good photograph of.. but another great addition.

  • Caught Remember from the West side of the hub. I had never stood there for the show so gave it a shot. It was ok, as you saw from the pictures. After the show concludes Julie Andrews comes back on and talks about the holidays and then White Christmas plays and the snow falls. The area I was in the effect did not work that well.. I headed back to Main Street and the effect looked much better from there. I thought the transition was a bit awkward from the show to the finale and I miss the holiday version of the fireworks... even though Remember is an incredible show and not to be missed I still liked the season themed shows... hopefully next year it will be back (or even better a holiday version of Remember somehow...)

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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