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11/24/21 - Christmas Time at the parks
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11/24/21 - Christmas Time at the parks

Hello Everyone!

I kicked off my Thanksgiving Holiday weekend spending Wednesday at the Disneyland Resort visiting with friends and family and enjoying the Christmas festivities around the parks and hotels. The parks felt busy with the usual suspect wait times over an hour but not holiday crazy, which was nice. We were able to visit quite a few attractions with mild waits. The weather was mild too starting off in the 50s and then warming up to the 70s. As the sun set the winds picked up, it was a warm breeze so not that uncomfortable.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I was a few minutes later arriving at the parking structure this visit compared to the last several. I still found almost no wait at the tollbooths and no wait to park. The security lines were longer with a couple minute wait, of course I choose the wrong line and had a longer delay than most. It still took around 45 minutes from entering the parking structure until walking up Main Street USA.
  • Rise of the Resistance switched to a traditional stand by queue on Monday, so today was the third day. All guests wanting to ride were being directed to Frontierland to queue up. This was not communicated that broadly and we saw a number of guests go to Adventureland with the plan to enter through Critter Country. There were cast members along the way warning guests they would not be able to reach Galaxy's Edge that way. Some guests were quite mad/frustrated and of the cast member had to take the brunt of telling them the news. The crowd slowly formed into a line backing up through Frontierland and around the Rivers of America. I saw it reach the area near the Tom Sawyer Raft dock. Within 20 minutes through it had cleared and was no longer visible in the area. The wait hover between 90 and 120 minutes the few times I took a look throughout the day.
  • Since we had all experienced Rise of the Resistance we opted instead to let my 5 year old nephew pick the attractions so we rolled through several in the first 100 minutes the park was open including Haunted Mansion Holiday, Pirates, Jungle Cruise, Buzz & Pinocchio.
  • For lunch we ended up in Frontierland and I ordered from the Stage Door Cafe. The mobile order still does not seem optimized there. I ordered and had a return time in about 15 minutes. Another in our group did and at first had a return time of about 30 minutes out then checked again and was able to get one starting right away. We both arrived and said we were there and their food was ready for pickup almost 10 minutes before ours. As I waited I watched and only two other orders were processed between when they picked theirs up and I was able to go and get ours. This seemed rather slow and the cast members inside were just standing idle in between. And when it came time for me to get my food I still had to wait for the order inside. The register line had about a dozen groups in it so it was faster than that but just less than optimized.
  • We spent some time in the early afternoon visiting Redwood Creek. My nephew had not really had a chance to play there since reopening and he is a great age (5 years old) for most of the offerings. As expected he enjoyed all the climbing, slides and other activities. He was so focused on the normal ones he did not really care/realize the Christmas decorations/games nor Santa even.
  • The large gingerbread "house" is back in the Grand Californian Hotel lobby. We spent some time checking it out and looking for the hidden Mickeys. We managed to located about 20 of the 25. It was great to spend some time in the lobby with the Christmas decorations up and the piano player performing. The hand bell choir returns this weekend and will be performing select days through Christmas.
  • The Dapper Dans performed their traditional/full Christmas set in front of the fire station in Town Square at 4:00pm. The show drew a good crowd and was great to see!
  • We had some time before the parade so paid a visit to Fantasyland. My nephew wanted to visit Storybook land but the boats were longer than our patience. Casey Jr. was posted as a 10 minute wait but it extended down to the Dumbo queue. We decided to hop in line and see how it moved. Luckily two trains were running and it turned out to be a 12 minute wait only, so close to the 10 min estimate.
  • For dinner I picked up a quick bite at Smoke Jumpers Grill. Getting a mobile order time slot was no problem and there was only a couple minute wait to go inside. Once inside though there were 6 groups waiting for orders and they were coming up really slowly. Even when it was my turn the cast member had to wait quite a long time (our order was just a burger and chicken sandwich so nothing complicated). The food was all hot this time though so that was an improvement over the last visit.
  • Closed out my evening with Viva Navidad Street Party and the Holiday Concert by Phat Cat Swinger. It was a great double dose of Christmas to end the day. I would like to see Phat Cat Swinger switch up their sets. They perform different songs at the two sets but seem to always have the same play list for each time.
  • The walk back to the car this evening seemed busy considering it was before 9pm. I think many people assumed the fireworks would be cancelled and decided to leave like we did.

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

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