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12/21/17 - Thoughts and observations from Thursday 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.

12/21/17 - Thoughts and observations from Thursday at the Disneyland Resort.
I decided to start my holidays at the Disneyland Resort on Thursday with most likely my last visit of 2017. Winter was making itself known with a cold and windy day. The highs were in the low 60s and it cooled down to the low 50s before I left. Winds calmed down by the evening as the temps fell. The parks both felt crowded with a lot of guests moving around. Wait times were on the heavy side, but not overly insane, for example I only saw one triple digit wait (for Toy Story in the afternoon at 120 min). .

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I thought the parks may be a little bit more mild this week with all passes except signature and premier blocked out and with the cold weather. It seems originally Disney thought the same with an 8pm closure of DCA and 10pm Disneyland scheduled. The week turned out to be busing and both closures were bumped later by a couple hours and a second showing of World of Color was added a couple of days out as the crowds showed up for the week.

  • Upon arriving at the parks the ticket booth queues were all full. I would think in the modern era more guests would purchase online or in the app so these lines would get shorter, but on busy days it is not uncommon to see them overflowing most of the day still. Unlike some other days the lines were completely gone by sunset with most windows closed and no waits at all.

  • I originally thought about heading to Disneyland to try and catch the Christmas Fantasy Parade which should have been arriving on Main Street as I entered, but the lines to enter were well beyond the Monorail and I did not think I would make it in. So instead I strolled across the Esplanade and right into DCA which had only a couple guests per line.

  • I did a lap of the park taking in some entertainment and a look around. Plus stopped by the Redwood Creek area since I had not walked through it this holiday season yet. Several attractions were down including Goofy's Sky School (which just returned from renovation), the Little Mermaid, and the Golden Zephyr (assuming wind). Out on Paradise Pier the walkway was very crowded and Screamin was using an extended queue. Speaking of Screamin some merchandise marking the January closure of the coaster is showing up. Toy Story had a 120 min stand by posted but the queue was not even full, so guess that means the mix of FastPass to Standby was heavily in favor of FastPass or the sign was wrong.

  • At Disneyland I used a FastPass for small world holiday. The queue area was a mob of guests. The cast members were not really in control of the area and the FastPass return had filled its area causing the problem. In the end it took a little over 10 minutes to make it onboard and a little over 30 min total from entering queue until walking through gift shop at the end.

  • Thanks to MaxPass I actually ended up visiting more attractions than I typically would have on a busy day like Thursday. I used it for small world, Star Tours, and Buzz Lightyear since they fit into my schedule. Interesting note on Buzz Lightyear. I was looking through app to see wait times and noticed a return time in about 10 minutes. So I grabbed the FastPass. When I walked over the regular return window was listed about 2 hours out and the standby posted at 50 minutes. So I waited a total of 5 minutes. That was a nice bonus experience.

  • I was talking to someone last week and realized I had not been out to the Disneyland Hotel this year, nor last year, to see the Christmas decorations. So I headed that way after dinner to have a look around. I walked through the lobbies of all three towers and the decorations looked about the same as always with a couple of trees in each, the large gingerbread castle and lights at the front entrance, and some decorations near the restaurants/convention center area.

  • Due to no Fantasmic! being scheduled the Rivers of America Holiday Celebration was going on. This was about the same as last year. The Royal Street Bachelors cruise the Rivers of America on a raft playing music and the finale is snowfall along the river. I think this is a nice plus and livens up the area after dark. Also it did give those in the long line for Pirates something to watch as they waited.

  • Another great plus of no Fantasmic! this evening was the availability of night cruises on the Mark Twain. I made time to go for one and check out sights. I would have liked to have seen a little more lighting on some of the new sights along the river. It was pretty dark along the northern edge. Seeing a train go by at night was nice, but if it were not for all the guests with lights on it would have been really dark too. Unfortunately the trees are still a little too thin and most of the light you see right now is from the parking structure beyond the park.

  • Low level winds came to a virtual stand still as firework time approached but unfortunately higher up they were still fairly strong. When a balloon got free you could see it float straight up then shoot toward Adventureland. So it was unfortunately obvious that the fireworks were not going to happen. I ended up staying on Main Street to see the snow fall since I was there and had 45 min until World of Color.

  • It was really nice to have a second World of Color show starting at 9:30pm vs the usual 10:15pm, especially on the cold evening like tonight.

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

Geek’s Blog Postings Recap November 25 - December 18, 2017

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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