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12/30/16 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday trip to the Disneyland Resort
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12/30/16 - Thoughts and observations from a Friday trip to the Disneyland Resort

Hello Everyone,

I was on the fence about heading to the Disneyland Resort today. With the high crowds this time of year and a wet forecast I was not sure. The skies cleared in the late morning and I headed down. Arrived around 12:30 to clearing skies that quickly clouded up. Seems a 5-20% chance on weather.com translates to me getting rained on for my 33rd and final visit of the year to the Anaheim parks. It started to rain around 4pm and kept raining/drizzling on/off most of the remainder of the night. The cloud cover did keep the temps stable. It was in the mid to upper 60s when I arrived and about 60 when I left.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I was expecting to find a moderate to maybe summer busy crowd at the Disneyland Resort on Friday. I was pleasantly surprised to find a very light crowd, especially into the evening. Most attractions were well under an hour with only a couple topping out over an hour at various points throughout the afternoon/evening. By early evening quite a few were near walk on status. I had not planned to visit many but with no waits at all for Jingle Cruise, Haunted Mansion Holiday and Pirates I took advantage of that. Walking around the parks in the afternoon it felt like a healthy crowd but as the rains came and night fell they disappeared.

  • Parking, security, and the trams were all very easy too. Parking was aided by the fact that the entrance from Disneyland Drive was closed so only the by pass was open for the structure. Security had a lot of cast members as well as a platoon of CSC people on hand and there was no wait at all. So far I am a really big fan of the new security set up in terms of ease to get to the parks and distributing the waits more evenly.

  • The Star Wars project keeps chugging along as you would expect with more rock work and foundation taking shape each week. This week the new backstage perimeter road is laid and final touches being made on that. So looks like it will open soon and the construction site will no longer be bisected by the old road. I was really hoping to get to walk through the Big Thunder Trail and see some of the work up close, but due to the rain and no crowd they never opened it, guess I will not get to see that area till they finish. From in the park you can see more rock work and not much else.

  • One of the reasons I wanted to go Friday, vs other days this week, was to see the USC Pep Rally in Town Square. As part of their Rose Bowl festivities the USC Trojan Marching Band, Song Girls and Spirit Leaders were on hand in Town Square for a 3pm Pep Rally. A good crowd of Trojan Fans were on hand to cheer along and several other guests stopped to watch the event. It was a fun event and always great to see two of my favorite things collide.

  • Because of the rain entertainment and activities throughout the park were altered or cancelled throughout the day. A Christmas Fantasy Parade was stuck behind Main Street due to the weather so the decision was made to run the parade without performers on the street. So the floats cruised by with characters on board but no one walking. I was surprised they did not provide any sort of cover for the characters. Assuming this is because they just do not have it here.. where as parks that have weather, such as Tokyo, have rain gear. It was a different experience to see the floats with no one on the street and so close together. It was a nice alternate experience for guests though. They did a similar run in the evening for Paint the Night. The rain had subsided so they rain the parade even though the parade route was wet. This time they just cut the dancers.. but performers who walked, such as the Jellyfish were present. I was really surprised to see Paint the Night run given the weather. Not sure if they made it back before the rains came or if they ran the second parade earlier than scheduled. It was raining pretty good when I left DCA around 10:45pm, it was scheduled to start at 10:30.

  • Same was true at Disney California Adventure with Viva Navidad! Street Party cancelled and other festivities curtailed too. I found it interesting they only had three performances of Frozen scheduled each day this week. The busiest week of the year and the signature show only runs three times a day. Festival of Holidays had to run alternate schedules too because of the weather.

  • It was disappointing to walk around Disneyland after Paint the Night and before Believe (so 7ish till 9:30), there was very little on the schedule this evening with all the shows scheduled to end before and no live bands scheduled anywhere this evening. Guess they were assuming everyone would be stuck in the long lines or gridlock so no need for entertainment? Turns out there were no lines and the park felt very quiet with nothing going on.

  • I was really surprised to see Believe in Holiday Magic go on without any problems. The winds winds were calm and a slight drizzle started right before the show but then let up. It was great to see the show, my plan was to try and get some pictures of the castle projections but the close spots were taken and I had only an ok spot just outside the hub. They did start the show at 9:25 vs 9:30 as published.

  • Closed out my evening at World of Color - Season of Light. I showed up as the FastPass guests were just being let in. I had a Yellow FastPass but decided to wait and stay in the Stand By area. After everyone was in, there was a lot of room and no crowds so they opened all viewing to everyone. I opted to stay in stand by since I had a straight on view with no one round me (had a good 5-10 feet in all directions at the start of the show).

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

Geek's Blog Postings Recap – November 29- December 18, 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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