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11/19/16 - Thoughts and observations from a rare Saturday trip to 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.

11/19/16 - Thoughts and observations from a rare Saturday trip to the Disneyland Resort

Hello everyone,

After arriving back from Tokyo on Friday morning my original game plan for the weekend was to relax and go through pictures from the trip. This changed when I received an invite to go to the park with some family members on Saturday. They wanted to see the Christmas festivities and I could not pass up the idea. So I decided to head to Anaheim for the morning and afternoon then home early to catch the USC vs UCLA game in the evening. The crowds overall were moderate. Wait times were about what you would expect for a Saturday with nothing too long (or short for that matter). Plus being the disneygeek that I am, I thought it would be fun to say I visited 4 Disney parks on 2 continents between Thursday & Saturday.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Started off the morning checking out the Star Wars construction. There were several crews working on this crisp Saturday morning. The rock work along the Rivers of America and the Big Thunder Trail continues to take shape and other support structures along the river are taking shape. The one show building has rebar rising out of the pit as it starts to take shape. Overall steady progress on the site.

  • The new security check point project is moving along too. In a section of the former Pinocchio Parking lot you can see the new tram path has been poured. Clearing at the original tram stop and other areas is underway. Over at Downtown Disney work is also underway to add more fencing and security check points there. Once completed I think having permanent facilities out further from the park is going to be a big plus and make a much better first impression for guests.

  • Downtown Disney has a very minimal Christmas presence this year. The tree is near the DVC storefront and there are a couple trees and some decorations up near the stage. Other than that nothing to note really. No ice rink nor shopping village this year.

  • I had a group of guests with me that usually do not visit the parks so they really wanted to experience a number of attractions so I did not have a lot of time to focus on the festivities nor details like I normally do. Instead my first view was walking by of most of the offerings in the parks. So I will skip commenting on the Festival of Holidays until I have more time to experience it next visit. I do want to note that there were a lot of guests walking around DCA, but many of the marketplaces had little to no line the couple of times including later in the day around 4pm when I would expect there to be. There are at least seven performing groups, a Princes Elena arrival and Viva Navidad that take place as part of the festival.

  • Stepping onto Main Street USA during Christmas is always a nice feeling with the great background track playing, garland and lights up everywhere and the tree in Town Square. I do really miss the garlands over the street, they are not up again this year due to Paint the Night running again.

  • At Disneyland we did visit all three holiday attractions. First up the Jingle Cruise. No substantial changes jumped out to me. The props looked to be on par with last year. The spiel was too. We all enjoyed our cruise and think it is a nice change of pace and a practical holiday overlay.

  • Small World Holiday turns 20 this year. Still hard to wrap my head around that since I remember it being new.. makes me feel old. This year to celebrate they added a half dozen hidden 20s inside the attraction. We were able to spot a handful of them on our first ride through. They are fairly well integrated and a nice touch. Surprised they did not do 20 though... no other changes jumped out to me on a first ride through. There were some technical problems with lights and some figures that were motionless though, not the best show.

  • A Christmas Fantasy Parade returns. No major changes to the parade this year either. The one omission I caught were the Toy Soldiers were MIA. Guess they were deployed? I saw a tweet that they made their appearance on Sunday though so glad to hear they are back.

  • I had to call it an early evening and was on my way to the car by 4:30pm. I needed to make it home for a 7:30pm kickoff and thanks to Los Angeles Traffic that was a challenge. I did make it home around 7:00pm thanks to taking 8 different freeways and a route that was about 10 miles further than I normally would go, but the original GPS time estimate was 2.5 hours so we saved at least 30 minutes and I think more judging by how the normal route appeared to get worse as we went.

  • The park times guide have been combined again to a tri-page fold out with Disneyland on one side and Disney California Adventure on the other. Also there handout for the Festival of Holidays listing the performing groups and marketplaces plus their locations.

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

Geek's Blog Postings Recap – October 26 - November 6, 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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