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11/20/18 - Thoughts and observations from Tuesday at the Disneyland Resort, marking my 30th visit of 2018
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11/20/18 - Thoughts and observations from Tuesday at the Disneyland Resort, marking my 30th visit of 2018
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Hope you are having a great long weekend. Tuesday marked my 30th visit to the Disneyland Resort in 2018. My objective for the visit was to relax and enjoy the holiday entertainment around both parks and Downtown Disney, which I did by seeing over a dozen different live performances plus the parade, fireworks, and a couple of snow fall events. The parks were in holiday mode with peak pricing and the crowds felt heavier than last week as I walked around. Attraction wait times were on the higher side too but no holiday madness yet.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • My first stop today was Disneyland. More Christmas decorations are up and I think the installation is complete for this year. In Town Square there are some new hanging baskets for the season that feature a Mickey touch to them. The traditional garlands that span Main Street USA have returned. These just complete the look for me. Main Street without them looks like it is missing something.

  • The Mark Twain has returned from its brief renovation and Friday both it and the Columbia were making the rounds. Interesting when boarding the top deck was closed again but once we set sail they opened it up.

  • This time of year I really miss the Big Thunder Ranch at Disneyland. It was always great to visit and see Santa in the cabin and holiday entertainment. Plus for several years the turkeys pardoned by the President were on hand too. It was always a fun place to visit and spend some time.

  • Since it was a Tuesday I was able to catch several performances of the Dickens Yuletide Band on Main Street USA. Their regular schedule is Sunday through Thursday so I typically miss them. I really enjoy the classic Christmas music. This group is really the only choice for it right now. The Dickens Carolers have not been in the park in years and the Buena Vista Street Bell Ringers are long gone now too.

  • Over at Disney California Adventure I spent some time walking through Santa's Holiday Visit at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. I noticed the reindeer props on the roof are not up this year, the rest seems about the same as prior years. Santa's wait time seemed mild too, maybe 20 minutes when I walked by.

  • After dinner I was walking through Carthay Circle and Goofy came strolling toward me high fiving guests and just being goofy. He walked over to the Churro cart and was looking at them then somehow got his hand on a receipt and gave it to the cast member and wanted a churro. After some back and forth he received one and set off down Buena Vista Street with it. I thought this was a fun little bit and those that noticed it were having a great time.

  • Out on Pixar Pier I noticed Luxo Jr. was moving but there were fairly long pauses between sequences vs the first time I saw it in action a few weeks ago where it was almost always moving. Out on the Bay, World of Color continues to move toward returning. I saw pictures from last week of after hours testing taken by guests at the hotel. So hopefully it returns sooner rather than later. Lastly Bing Bong is on site now and being installed. You could see him covered in plastic over the wall in his store on Pixar Pier.

  • Used a FastPass for it's a small world holiday and almost had perfect timing to arrive as the lights came on for the evening. I had just made it to the top of the steps when they did. The lighting moments this holiday season for both the trees and small world are just short recordings and the lights pop on. I do miss the days of the mini shows and extended moments to make them more events. Especially for the tree lightings. The old Buena Vista Street production with the Bell Ringers was very well done. And years ago Disneyland had a good one in Town Square too.

  • Speaking of FastPass I noticed several instances of really large backups at the FastPass Return queues on Tuesday. The worst was at Soarin. It came up the ramp, filled a series of switchbacks before the scan point, went out to the walkway then down to the rest rooms. Not sure if a theater was down or what but it was an extremely long return line. Radiator Springs Racers also filled its queue and extended out to to Cross Street. Roger Rabbit also filled the inside queue and spilled out into Toontown. All three had substantial waits if you were trying to return and use your FastPass. They looked anything but fast. So something to keep in mind this holiday season if you are planning to use FastPass it may take more time than usual.

  • I watched A Christmas Fantasy Parade from the hub. The after dark parade from this vantage point is one of my favorite spots with Main Street USA lit up for the holidays behind it.

  • Walked through Downtown Disney after dark to see some of the decorations and catch a couple of performances. I also stopped to look at the World of Disney windows which are updated for the holidays and feature three magic windows for the season.

  • There seems to be some electrical hiccups this year at the Disneyland Resort. I saw a trio of high profile failures on Tuesday. First up the Festival of Holidays sign had several letters not on. Seems to me it may be better show to just turn the entire sign off if it will not light. It looks very poor on a big entrance marquee to have it not functional. In Disneyland one strand of garland that spanned the street was not lit. And out in Toontown Mickey's garland was not lit either.

  • The Wintertime Enchantment at Sleeping Beauty's Castle was late on Tuesday. It was scheduled for 7:30 and 8:30 but the 7:30 was around 15 minutes late. Also noteworthy neither the garland nor the tree turned white for the finale. It is still a fun event and great flashback to Luminaria (the music used for the moment is from the Disney California Adventure show, if you have not seen it here is my video from 2001).

  • For a more relaxing snowfall event I would recommend spending some time in Grizzly Recreation Area on the trail/walkway near the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail entrance. The snow happens throughout the evening and is a very peaceful event most of the time and it looks great. It is a nice plus to see this year..

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

Geek’s Blog Postings Recap November 1-14, 2018

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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