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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.

4/12/24 - Disneyland Resort - Season of the Force

Hello Everyone!

Friday was a relaxing day at the Disneyland Resort. I had very few scheduled items and was able to just roam the parks. The weather was less than ideal. It was cloudy/overcast all day and temps did not get above the mid 60s. At time there was a cool breeze. The crowds was moderate most of the day. Wait times were under an hour for most attractions most of the day. With good timing substantially less for some. The walkways felt busy as usual, but were not gridlock.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • My visit started off on a good note. There were only a couple cars in each queue in the parking structure and I was sent into a space in the first aisle of the Mickey level relatively close to the escalators. No wait at security or for a tram either.
  • Pixar Fest is starting to take over the parks. The celebration starts in a couple weeks on April 26th. Banners are up throughout the Esplanade, on Main Street USA and on Buena Vista Street. Plus in Downtown Disney there are decorations up in the planters already. I am not a fan of how the in park decorations look. The very bright rainbows do not go well on either street and really clash with the park's environments. The medallions seem to be a slightly better fit.
  • As you entered both parks there were signs advertising Magic Keys. These really seem out of place in the parks. Why are they not outside. Maybe at security or the ticket booths? Then a push on the app in the parks? Vs out of place signs.
  • Star Wars: Season of the Force is underway. It started last week and runs through June 2nd this year. At Disneyland there are some new and special offerings. The decorations seemed more muted this year and overall the seasonal event seemed to just fit within the park and not be in your face, the opposite of what Pixar Fest is looking like.
    • There is a Seek and Find Challenge you can participate in. There is no addition charge to play. You pick up a game board at the Star Trader in Tomorrowland then head to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge to find six cylinders. You need to record the color and inscription on each. Then return to Tomorrowland to decode them. The final step is to return to the Star Trader to have your answer validated and receive your keepsake trading card. There will be a new card every two weeks. We had fun participating in the activity. I thought the Black Spire Outpost portion was very well done. The cylinders fit the land and are much more challenging to find than other hunts the parks have hosted. It is definitely geared toward an older audience. The Tomorrowland decoding portion was on the weak side to me. The large signs did not fit into the land at all and were disruptive to the environment.
    • In Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge a new team of droids are visiting. The BDX droids can be found throughout the day in Black Spire Outpost. They were hanging out at the Speeder Garage the two times I saw them. These little droids interact with their environment and with guests. From an operation stand point I see why they were behind the fence at the garage but it really made the experience seem like a zoo exhibit almost, not a natural one. The droids themselves are impressive technology and were fun to watch.
    • There are several popcorn buckets, sippers and other merchandise available for the event. We did not see any long lines today since it was the second week of the celebration. The popcorn bucket queue seemed constant but not insane.
    • Star Tours: The Adventures Continue received new scenes. I paid a visit for a flight and experienced flying with the purrgil space whales with Ahsoka as well as a message from Cassian Andor. It is nice to see them continuing to add to the attraction. Wait times were surprisingly mild on Friday. Several of the times I walked by it was under 20 minutes.
    • I was unable to see two of the entertainment offerings. Fire of the Rising Moons is a new sound track for the Disneyland Fireworks. Due to the breezy conditions I decided not to wait around, and my bet was correct as the show was cancelled Friday. Also new for Season of the Force is Sabine Wren. Due to bad timing I missed her and opted not to stick around waiting for her. Note most of the characters in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge now have times shown in the Disneyland App. There were about 10 listed on Friday. Some were not, for example R2D2 was out but not listed.
    • Disney's Grand Californian Hotel has a Millennium Falcon created by the pastry team on display in the lobby. It is always impressive to see what these talented teams create.
    • HyperSpace Mountain has returned this year too and some food offerings.
  • Since my last visit a new statue of Louis has been added outside Tiana's Palace. He is just to the right before the entrance. The placement and style seem odd to me. Not quite sure why he was added. He seems out of place in New Orleans Square to me.
  • Further along in New Orleans Square the queue and gift shop projects for the Haunted Mansion continue. You really cannot tell much about the progress from the few vantage points you have. The mound of dirt seems to be higher than my previous visit but that was about all I could see.
  • In Critter Country Tiana's Bayou Adventure construction continues. Most of Critter Country will be closing May 1st to accommodate the project. The mountain itself has received more plants and paint since my last visit and the trees out front are being created. It looks very similar in terms of progress as to what I saw in December at the Magic Kingdom.
  • Downtown Disney continues to be a work in progress. Last week Disney Parks announced a series of upcoming changes including a new steak house/BBQ concept that will be taking over Tortilla Jo's. Tortilla Jo's is now closed. The Paseo & Centrico restaurants will be opening in a few weeks (May 2nd). Also some renovation is underway so the Disney Dress Shop has moved to the WonderGround Gallery. Some of the art work has moved next door to the Disney Home Store. Marcelines Confectionery will be closing for renovation soon too. Out on the west side the trailer that will be the temporary Earl of Sandwich has been wrapped and looks like it is near to opening. The parkside market continues to take shape with more steel in place since my last visit.
  • If you are a member of the Wetzel's Pretzels reward program the Downtown Disney location does honor the free birthday pretzel. The Earl of Sandwich will do the free cookie redemption too.
  • There is a National Geographic photo op to celebrate the upcoming Secrets of the Octopus film. The photo op has the gold rectangle, chalk art and plants. Having the octopus be part chalk art and part plant is a different idea.
  • I circled Disney California Adventure. Everything seemed status quo with the projects and the Food and Wine Festival which has one more week to go. The marketplace queues were on the shorter side when I passed by in the late afternoon. Also interesting I spotted both the Black Panther in Avengers Campus and Hiro in San Fransokyo and neither had a queue.
  • I took a stroll through Disneyland as the sun was just about set. There was almost no entertainment going on. The only evening live entertainment is the Jambalaya Jazz and they were not performing for a good hour still and all the other options had wrapped up by 6:30pm. All the stages and other venues were dark. For a Friday night this really seemed lacking.
  • I closed out my visit with some good luck with the trams. As I approached it looked to be a two to three tram wait. I walked up toward the front and as I did they opened the second load zone so I was able to walk right out and right up to a tram.


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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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