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12/19/14 - My thoughts and observations from Friday at the 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.

12/19/14 - My thoughts and observations from Friday at the Disneyland Resort.

Hello everyone,

It was nice to be "home". Last week I was at Walt Disney World. Friday was a surprisingly relaxing day at the Disneyland Resort. I went into the trip expecting it to be cold and crowded. The crowds turned out to be mild and the weather too. Wait times were light when I first arrived, most under 30 minutes. By nightfall they were up to the hour range for the usual suspects but nothing too high. The weather was forecast to be in the mid 60s and drop to the low 50s. Turned out to hit upper 60s and drop to the low 60s when I left (by the time I got home it was close to 50 though). Jason

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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I started my trip off with a pleasant surprise. I was fully expecting to spend the first part of my visit at guest relations. I upgraded my Disneyland pass last week in Orlando to a Premiere pass. Seems every time I do this the first trip to the resort I did not purchase it at means a trip to guest relations. Well Friday broke that rule. The pass worked perfectly for parking and for admission to the parks. So maybe the bugs are finally being worked out of that system. Or was I just lucky this time around. They still do not scan properly for the dining discount though.

  • At the front gates of Disney California Adventure the time schedules that were available expired yesterday. I thought this was odd but chalked it up to them not wanting to put out the Frozen Fun ones yet since it is not open/ready to go. But then at guest relations they had time guides that started Saturday. So looks like it was planned? Since the two Friday schedules (last and this one) were the same guess it did not matter but it was still odd. Speaking of Frozen Fun it was listed on the guide that starts the 20th but no real details or times. It says to check near the venues, so it really was not that helpful either.

  • Noticed that the Disney Visa Meet and Greet location is using the Blue Sky Cellar. Guessing this is due to the Backlot work. I walked by right before it closed for the day and the line was out the door so I did not go in. I did a quick online search and looks like the cellar still features Fantasy Faire displays.

  • I walked out to Hollywood Land to see the Frozen Fun additions. Was hoping for a preview since it was slated to start on Saturday but they appear to be behind schedule and still had work to do. For details on the additions here is the Disney Press Release.

  • At Disneyland Fantasmic! now has FastPass. You have three options just like World of Color. FastPass, Standby, and Dining Packages. For dining you have the following choices:
    • Dinner at Blue Bayou - $61.00/$23.00
    • Dinner at River Belle Terrace - $41.99/$21.99
    • On-the-Go from Aladdin's Oasis - $19.99/$13.99
    • Dessert Party at the Hungry Bear - $29.99

  • When I walked by around 2:30 they were already distributing FastPasses for the second show. Wonder if it means less guests will see Fantasmic since you no longer have that drop by option or if Standby will be adequate. I did not have time to stick around and see how traffic worked or how the areas were set up and they did not have a map anywhere that I saw showing the areas. I am curious how the guest reaction is. I can see the infrequent tourist or once in a life time guest may benefit from this since they no longer need to worry about camping out hours before the show for a prime spot but it also adds more confusion and makes more planning necessary for a trip to Disneyland. For the annual passholders who watch the show all the time I can see this being an obstacle since now they can no longer do what they have been doing for over 20 years. Time will tell how this impacts a Disneyland favorite.

  • The Storybook Land Canal Boats and Casey Jr. opened a day early. They now feature Arendelle from Frozen along the banks of the canal. The scene replaced the Old Mill. The scene is well done and fits in perfectly. Out of all the Frozen additions I have seen to the parks (both here and in Orlando) this seems to be the most natural and well executed so far. I took a look at it from both Casey Jr. as well as the Boats since the waits were not bad for either, about 15 minutes each. I am guessing this will increase once word spreads of the new addition. I hope they saved the Old Mill and it finds a new home.. too bad it cannot fit into Storybook Land too. I understand the replacement though as most people do not know the short now a days.

  • I finally remembered and managed to find/see the Monkey Bride in the Haunted Mansion Holiday. The bride is in the attic as is tradition and is to the left side between two presents and you can only see it for a brief second. I posted a couple blurry pictures in my full update if you were curious.

  • I caught the Small World Holiday Lighting moment and just like the tree lighting on Main Street if you want to watch it be sure not to blink. It is under a minute in length. Would be a nice touch to do something extra for this event. Maybe one of these years.

  • I watched the Wintertime Enchantment/snow moment from Main Street USA and again was disappointed that the cast members selling balloons did not move out of the street or at least off to the side so they blocked the view for guests looking both ways.

  • I had a FastPass for the Yellow section of World of Color. When I arrived in Paradise Park I noticed the stand by area was just about empty and I could find a spot near show center so I opted to skip my FastPass and instead stand in the Standby Area. I think this was a good decision since I was able to clearly see all the screens which you cannot really do from yellow. Also while waiting I noticed the arches that had plants on them had been removed. This really improved the sight lines and gives more viewing choices to guests. I was surprised it did not happen earlier. I know during the day the area looks plain now but short of having them retract somehow I think this was a good move.

  • If you were curious you can make it from an 8:45 World of Color: Winter Dreams show to a 9:15 Believe in Holiday Magic show if you leave as soon as the Happy Holidays comes up and walk very quickly through DCA encountering no delays at the exit nor at the Disneyland Entrance. I was able to do it and made my way onto Main Street just as the show was starting. I would guess this feat will be harder to do in the coming days as the holiday crowds arrive but it was possible.

  • When leaving the park after Believe the tram stops were really backed up. So I joined the large group of guests walking back to the garage. A tip for infrequent visitors. If it appears you are not going to get on the next tram you can usually walk faster than waiting for a second tram to pull up, especially when the tram stops are busy and trams take a while to load/unload.

  • Do you visit our pictorial updates using a mobile device? If so we would like your feedback. I have created a beta of a more mobile version of our Disneyland Picture sets at https://disneygeek.com/mobile Please give it a try and share your thoughts.

  • Video featuring my pictures:

Interesting Web Finds/Notes:

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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