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12/15/06 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays trip to the Merriest Place on Earth
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12/15/06 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays trip to the Merriest Place on Earth

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

Hello all,

Friday was a mild day here in Southern California. Overall it was nice to be back on "home turf" after nine days at WDW. There is just something about Disneyland that makes it feel more like "home" to me. WDW is great but its just so large and expansive that I do not get the same feel from the parks (especially the Magic Kingdom).

The crowds at the Disneyland Resort were mild most of the day until the evening. Throughout the afternoon most wait times were under 30 minutes at both parks with many of them near walkons. For example I road Monsters and the car in front of me was empty, my car had only me in it, and the car behind me was also empty. This was the first time I experienced that. Pirates is still packing them in at Disneyland, the shortest wait I saw there was 20 minutes. By the time Believe kicked off Main Street was jammed and I image the rest of the park's prime viewing locations were too.


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

Disneyland & DCA Thoughts and Observations:

  • The big story at both parks seemed to be the construction. Over at Disneyland the final touches on the Monorail platform are going on for an expected temporary re-opening this week(it was originally slated for last week). It should be really interesting to see how the new route goes. If anyone is there this week and takes any pictures send them over. I will not be down to the park till after Christmas (possibly till after New Years). At DCA it appears the ground is cleared for the new attraction(Midway Mania), wonder when it will be officially announced.

  • On Monsters Inc in the segment where you see the door open to reveal a Monster they had a Christmas scene. It was a monster decorating their Christmas Tree. I did not get a good picture of this unfortunately, I found this to be a great addition and wonder if more seasonal animations will be played there.

  • I caught the Flag Retreat Friday and noticed quite a few guests in attendance.. nice to see the crowds growing for this great ceremony. After seeing Walt Disney World's version last week I was even more impressed with the showmanship, precision, and presentation of Disneyland's current retreat. At WDW's Magic Kingdom they bring out the Main Street Band and three security CMs approach the flag pole. They march in single file, a brief medley of the armed forces is played (basically the chorus from each branch) and then the national anthem is played as the flag is lowered and folded. No real precision just a simple folding then they walk out single file again. Its a nice little ceremony but nothing like Disneylands. On the other hand for the lighting of the Christmas Tree WDW blows away Disneyland. At Disneyland this year they play a brief recorded message and the lights come on. At WDW there is a short show with singers, the band, children, and characters that takes place nightly on the train station.

  • Buzz Lightyear seemed to need some TLC. We spotted several non-functioning elements.. some obvious like the large orange robot or the carosuel in the third room. Others such as some of the pop up targets non popping up but instead stuck up or down. Hopefully they are minor tweaks. To the best of my memory the attraction has not been down since its opening for any real period of rehab work. Also wonder if they will ever move to system like they are using at EPCOT's Test Track now for on ride photos where you just swipe your photopass card. If so I think that would greatly reduce the wait time at the exit. Or even better yet for us annual passholders if the photopass was linked to our annual pass... which is linked to our online account.. one card does it all that would be nice.

  • White Water Snacks at the Grand Californian continues its downward spiral in my book. This used to be one of my favorite places to eat.. good food, "reasonable prices", and a quiet atmosphere. This trip they could not even get my order right. I wanted a plain (dry, no cheese) hamburger and it came out with everything on it and to top it off it was semi-charred and the reasonable prices seemed to go out the window a year or two ago for the most part.

  • I saw the electrical parade was back for the holiay week. Wonder if they will ever bring the holiday soundtrack to the parade here. They ran it in Paris for several years and I have heard recordings. It seems like a cost effective way to draw some guests to the park to ease up the over crowding at Disneland.

  • Speaking of the crowding at Disneyland, Main Street really filled up fast on Friday. At about 8:45 we walked down the street and here were a lot of guests coming into the park but by no means gridlock. I boarded the train and went out to NOS and watched the first half of Fantasmic just before 0pm and made it back to Main Street about 9:15 and the street was jammed. In that 15-20 minutes it went from looking somewhat busy to near gridlock. By the time the fireworks started the street was packed from Town Square to the Castle.

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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