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11/17/17 - 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.

11/17/17 - Thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort.
Friday was a relaxing day in the parks for me. I really wanted to just sit back and enjoy the holiday entertainment. I ended up visited several attractions because of the mild crowds around the parks. Plus even got into the blue section for the first World of Color.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I was surprised to see the Ball Road overpass closed when I exited the I-5 at Disneyland Drive. I thought this was a sign of a crowded day ahead. Luckily this first read was wrong. Also happy to see they had the Disneyland Drive entrance open and no real waits inside the structure, so parking was a breeze compared to last visit.

  • Nothing too interesting to note from the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge construction. Mostly incremental progress around the site. The big news came from Disney as they announced the name of the planet Galaxy's Edge is on.. you will be visiting Batuu.

  • More Christmas decorations were up in both parks. They appear to be just about fully decorated now. The big news is the return of garlands over Main Street USA at Disneyland. They had been gone the previous two years. It is a much more traditional look and feel with them up. On Friday the lights were not on yet, but great to see them up! Over in Cars Land more decorations were up including new movie posters for the holiday season for the Radiator Spring Drive In Theatre.

  • Stopped by Smoke Jumpers to grab a few pictures and saw the menu had changed since the last time I was there. The waffle fries have returned and chicken tenders have replaced the nuggets for the adult meal. Prices are also up. Also note burger and fries will run you a $1 more here than other locations.

  • I took advantage of MaxPass again this trip and it saved me quite a few steps and some time. I was able to book a couple of Star Tours and a its a small world holiday FastPass during my trip. At one point I wanted a later return time than was available so I had to keep checking and waiting.. I noticed return times were at times a couple of hours ahead of regular FastPass return times. I would really like to see them add the shows in and take it a step further so you could pick which show time and even which section if there was still space available. FastPass return queues throughout the afternoon and early evening were moving much more efficiently than last visit for the couple I experienced. Wonder if operations and numbers have been tweaked or just the fact that the park was less crowded accounted for this.

  • Star Tours destinations were updated on Friday as well as the attraction poster as you enter the park. The full random version has been put on hiatus again and now all trips were visiting Crait which is a planet from the upcoming Last Jedi Film and Batuu the new Galaxy's Edge planet. I thought the integration and introduction of Batuu was well done and it was interesting to see the model/concept art come to life in 3D. If you are in the park check out the new destinations.

  • The Holiday Toy Drummers are back as part of the Festival of Holidays. The performance is the same as last year, which is entertaining but I would have liked to have seen it tweaked a little for a fresh feel.

  • I stopped by the Grand Californian for a quiet dinner at White Water snacks and then spent some time in the lobby taking a look at the Christmas decorations including the now complete gingerbread house. Also caught a performance by the Beverly Belles. Live music and Christmas in the Grand lobby is a great combination. You are a world away from the theme parks that are only a couple hundred yards away.

  • At Disneyland saw one of the Wintertime Enchantment at Sleeping Beauty's Winter Castle moments. I really enjoy these brief snowfall events that take place twice nightly. The lights in the hub and garlands did not come on though, guessing they will be in the coming days. Luminaria still jumps to my mind with the music that is used though.

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

Geek’s Blog Postings Recap October 15 – November 6, 2017

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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