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12/16/16 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday trip to the Disneyland Resort
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12/16/16 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday trip to the Disneyland Resort

Hello Everyone,

The weather cleared so I decided to spend Friday afternoon/evening at the Disneyland Resort. It was a very pleasant afternoon with mild weather, periods of sunshine, and light crowds. As the sun set the crowds built, temperature dropped and wind picked up. Wait times were good with most well under an hour most of the day, even HyperSpace Mountain. Tower of Terror grew into the evening and was at 80 minutes one time by.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I was happy to be back home. It had been a busy month for me with a November trip to Tokyo then December trip to Orlando. In between the two I squeezed in several Disneyland trips too. If anyone is interested I can do a blog post comparing the three resorts at Christmas.. drop me an email, tweet or something.

  • As of Thursday the Disneyland Resort changed its security perimeter. Downtown Disney was moved into the secure zone and the checkpoints were pushed out to the Mickey & Friends structure and Downtown Disney. As part of this re-configuration the walking path from Disneyland Drive to the parks that paralleled the tram route has been closed. So if you plan to walk to the parks you have to go through Downtown Disney. There was also some reporting saying that the Grand Californian exit from DCA was to be restricted to resort guests. As of Friday they were letting everyone exit (and in the afternoon enter too). I used it to reach the hotel and it was the same as always.

  • Arrived at the parking structure just after lunch and I had no problems parking. I heard the Disneyland Drive entrance was closed, just the fly over was open. The preferred parking was mostly empty on the couple floors I took a look at.

  • The new security check point at the garage was working very smoothly when I arrived. There were not a lot of guests but a steady stream. Most were setting off the detectors with jacket zippers, etc.. myself included, so that slowed things down but it was not a long wait. I think in the long run having more entrances should help with the congestion. No longer having the need to go through security for Downtown Disney was great. I am curious if the plan is to have the tents the way they are permanently or if this is a test configuration and a more permanent solution is in the works. Kept thinking this with the old one and it lasted over a decade. It had been forever since the Esplanade to Downtown Disney was wide open. I think close to 15 years, I forget exactly when the barriers went up, I know initially it was at the park entrance, but not long after 9/11. It felt really strange and looked really open.

  • I was really surprised to be able to get a World of Color FastPass for the first show in the blue section at 1pm. Normally you get yellow or the second show by afternoon. The morning rain and cold forecast really helped me out on that one.

  • Our group was stopped by a guest research cast member as we headed from Grizzly Peak Airfield to Buena Vista Street. It was interesting they wanted to know about our experience in Grizzly Peak Recreation area. How much time, what we did, our thoughts, etc.. Wonder what they are surveying for.

  • Over at Disneyland there was plenty of space on Main Street for the 1:30pm Christmas Fantasy Parade 10 minutes before the parade. Noticed there were no skiers or skaters in the parade. Later in the day from the Monorail spotted them in the second parade though.

  • Was surprised to see the one set of figures in Small World Holiday still lifeless, I do not think they have been on since opening this season. Wonder if something happened when they installed the over lay? Seems like a long time to have them all out commission though. It is not very good show, that is for sure.

  • The Tower of Terror continues to limp toward its closing next month. Lines have been long with guests wanting a last ride, plus it is operating at 2/3 capacity with one elevator down for renovation. The exterior is now completely surrounded with scaffolding. One of the upper sections had the tarp removed to reveal what appears to be a color test. Also note the late checkout version is still running after dark, this is where they turn off all the lights as you ride. They have now started offering FastPasses for this version.

  • Throughout the afternoon and evening I enjoyed the Festival of Holidays entertainment taking in performances by almost all the groups. To close out the evening there is a concert held in Paradise Park where they have RAISE, Mariachi Divas and Mostly Kosher perform back to back to back. I thought this was great.. the down side was it was very cold and windy Friday night. My favorite group this year are the Holiday Toy Drummers.

  • I walked through the Festival several times and the trend of no lines or very small ones at the Marketplaces continue. The one that serves the Beer and Wine had a consistent line, but the others usually had more cast members than guests again.

  • The Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland was also very empty feeling. I stopped by to see what they had for Rogue One. Free buttons were being passed out for opening day and the two display cases when you enter have props and models from the film. Everything was nearly empty inside. Both character meet and greets had only 1 or 2 groups in line.

  • Closed out my evening with World of Color - Season of Light. Due to the high winds I did not even try to go Disneyland for fireworks, they were cancelled so I made the right call. World of Color ran as scheduled. The wind blew the water but the projections were still really clear and the effects looked good still.

  • On the way back to the parking structure noticed the tram went in motion then they played the safety spiel. Is this a new sequence or did someone just goof up on my tram?

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

Geek's Blog Postings Recap – November 19-28, 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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