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12/16/22 - 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.

12/16/22 - Disneyland Resort

Hello Everyone!

I returned from Walt Disney World on Wednesday evening and less than 48 hours later I was back "home" at Disneyland. It is nice to visit WDW, but always nice to be back in Anaheim. One of the major differences, especially this time of year, are the entertainment offerings and Christmas decorations. Disneyland and Disney Californian Adventure offer so much more than you can find in Orlando.

My goal Friday was to just enjoy the parks and decompress a bit. The parks both were very busy and congestion and wait times matched what you would expect. Walkways were very busy and after events were their normal snails pace.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • My visit started off with a longer than usual drive to the parks, almost 30 minutes of extra traffic taking me about 2 hours to make the trek. Once I arrived though I was lucky with no wait at the toll booth or to get directed into a spot in the first row of the Mickey Level near the pass through to Pixar Pals (so close to the escalators). Also no wait at security or for the tram.
  • As you entered either park today there were buttons to celebrate the opening of Avatar: The Way of Water. I did not see anything else to mark the release.. I would have thought a photo opportunity or something in Hollywood Land, but I saw nothing.
  • One of my objectives today was to finally catch the Holiday Mickey and Friends Cavalcade. This runs only once per day at 12:45pm normally. I had missed it on previous visits due to park hopping no till 1pm, Candlelight, and Mickey/Minnie's birthday cavalcade in November. I really enjoy this version as it features the Christmas is Here music from the old Paris Christmas Parade, so I am taken back to my visit to France. It would be nice to see this have a second showing to give more people an opportunity to see it, something after 1pm park hopping.
  • I went for a round trip aboard the Monorail to check out the Downtown Disney work. Its still just a leveled dirt area but they have done some more excavation and infrastructure work around the site.
  • Ate lunch at Flo's using mobile order. Had no issues with the process but still find it annoying it will not retain your gift card and you have to type it in or scan it ever order which is a pain. The time from when I said I was there until the food was ready seemed really long given the low crowd inside. In the end the order was correct and hot so that is a plus.
  • In Cars Land Guido now sports a winter scarf matching his picture on the Luigi's Joy to the Whirl sign. This is a fun addition and nice to see.
  • Magic Key Passholders can pick up a reusable shopping bag until Dec 20th from 1:00-3:30pm under the Silly Symphony Swings. Unlike past distributions this one seems slower and there are longer queues for it. An extended queue to the Jumpin Jellyfish entrance was taped off. It was slightly shorter when I decided to get in line. As you enter the swings area the queue is split. They seemed to be sending strollers/wheelchairs and random people to the inner line and everyone else to the outer line. I was in the outer one and it is a longer queue. Instead of going straight around you snake in each out cropping around benches adding many more steps to the queue. The inner one was moving at a much faster clip. I found this frustrating that we could not choose and that the queues were not even. I thought maybe that means two cast members vs one or something, but no.. each had only one scanning and the longer one had a slower cast member. It took me about 20 minutes to get my bag. Definitely not worth it, but it was interesting to see.
  • I spent some time on Main Street USA and in Frontierland just sitting and relaxing as I replied to emails and did some other work. Both times were nice with the Christmas background loops playing and the park only moderately busy.
  • Decided to watch the 6:30pm A Christmas Fantasy Parade to see it under the lights, which I had not done yet this season. I always enjoy seeing the late parade on Main Street. All the lights seem to add to it in my opinion. While waiting it always amazes me how people are willing to force their way through crowds to make walkways vs using the pre-determined ones. Then when you tell them where the walkway is they get rather annoyed with you and most continue to push their way through.
  • Gone Hollywood has an assortment of Disney 100 merchandise. This was my first chance to see much of it in person. Overall its the stand offerings more or less with the new logos on it. If you are a fan of purple you are in luck as that was the dominate color.
  • I decided to stick around for Believe in Holiday Magic since I was too late for a World of Color virtual queue and I did not want to try stand by. Unfortunately the winds were moderate and they announced several times before the show that it may be canceled and right at 9:30 they canceled it and went to the alternative Wintertime Enchantment and White Christmas snowfall. It is a decent plan B and much better than nothing.
  • **Note long non Disney story/complaint **
    As I was turning to enter the freeway on ramp I was unable to avoid and hit a big pothole that made an awful sound. As I went a bit further down the freeway I received a low tire pressure warning and then was able to watch it drop to zero. The car has run flats so I was able to exit the freeway safely and ended up at a gas station on Beach, near Knotts. The tire was beyond use and the car has no spare so I had to call AAA just after 10pm. They first said a tow would arrive at 11 which was an hour and long but not unreasonable. Then I got a call saying 10:40 which was great.. but then things went south. It did not show. Then the ETA kept getting pushed back. Finally after several calls, checks of the app, etc.. at 1:15am the truck arrived. My car was loaded onto the truck and we were off. Unfortunately this truck could not get above 30mph and the driver was frustrated and worried about the hills and 67 miles to get me home. So at 2am and just a few exits down the freeway we pulled off and waited for a new truck to come and transferred the car to that. I finally made it home just after 4am and was in bed shortly after for a 23.5 hour day.. not a great way to end the day. I was extremely disappointed with AAA. Their eta's were bordering on useless and the wait was substantially longer than it should have been. This was my second time ever using a service call, first was for a dead battery at Disneyland years ago and that took about 2 hours, this was substantially worse.

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

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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