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6/26/09 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays trip to the Disneyland Resort as well as the D23 Studio and Archive Tour
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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.

6/26/09 - My thoughts and observations from Fridays trip to the Disneyland Resort as well as the D23 Studio and Archive Tour

* After you read this report you may want to check out the pictorial updates in our Disneyland Resort Pictorial Update section

Hello all,

Friday was a great afternoon at the Disneyland Resort. The parks had quite a few people roaming around but with some good timing and Fastpass you could still visit quite a few attractions. Most of the waits for the E-ticket attractions were pushing an hour throughout the afternoon. I did not spend that long at DCA, but in my brief visit the lines did not seem too long either, about average summer.

After my Disneyland thoughts I have some thoughts and observations from the D23 Day at the Walt Disney Studio and Arcvhives.


Jason

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

Disneyland & DCA Thoughts and Observations:

  • As you saw in the pictorial update the new Studio Disney 365 is now open at Downtown Disney. I walked by twice and both times saw a handful of people roaming around, but no real lines or crush of people. Since it is a new store people are still trying to figure out what it is. I think the name is a little hard to remember/get correct. I overhead several people and I keep wanting to do the same and call it Disney Studio 365 instead... I am guessing the name is a takeoff on the Disney 365 commercials that run on Disney Channel. For more information, including some pricing, check out the press release.

  • I took a look at the Disneyland Time Schedule for Friday and was disappointed to see the Billys are no longer listed, wonder how that has effected the crowds there? Also surprised to see Pixie Hollow still closes at 8pm.. so they added the light show but still close down before dark, that seems odd to me. I guess in the winter it will be dark earlier but if its one of the Summer offerings it seemed a little strange to close down so early.

  • We ate dinner at the Rancho Del Zocalo and I learned they do not offer the large size drinks, the CM said it is because they still offer refills on your soda if you want. So keep that in mind when you are looking for dining options... prices are the same and you get free refills there.

  • The crowd for Fantasmic showed up early and the lower viewing areas seemed full by dinner time. We walked through the area around 8pm and the show was nearly full. Note the dragon is still not running... but rumors are she is getting close to debuting in the next few weeks.

  • I watched Magical from near Small World with the goal of checking out the projections on the facade. I would definitely recommend this to someone who wants to avoid the crowd/mass of humanity on Main Street. It was a very peaceful way to watch the show. You do not get to see Tinkerbell or Dumbo on the wire and you miss the Castle fireworks, but you get a great view of most of the shells plus you get to watch film clips and other animations projected onto the Small World Facade. Add in have plenty of space to move around and an unobstructed view of the shells and it was a great way to watch the show.

  • I also noticed the Disneyland Railroad keeps running throughout the show now, before they paused during the shows I believe (I know WDW does and I thought Disneyland was too during Remember).

  • The one downside to watching the show from Small World is you have to hike all the way through the park and the crowd to exit. I was moving along with no problems or hesitation until I reached the hub. Then things came to a stand still. I managed to wade through the crowd and take the backstage walkway that was open. This made the trip much easier.

  • The trams seemed quite inefficient Friday. I still think having the Electrical Parade, DCA Closing, and the Disneyland fireworks all end close to each other really makes for an overwhelming crowd at the tram stops. Friday things seemed to be even a little slower than usual with one tram being worked on and causing some traffic delays (gridlock) in the load/unload area.


    D23 Days at The Walt Disney Studios and Archives

    Below is a brief description of the day and my thoughts/observations from it (be sure to check out the pictures in the By Request section)

  • Saturday was the first D23 day at the Studios in Burbank and I was lucky enough to get a ticket. This event was free to D23 members and you were allowed to bring one guest with you. I really did not know what to expect with the day and my expectations were on the low end. I was envisioning walking around, learning a bit about the Studio lot, then a quick trip through a couple exhibit from the archives. Add to this the glitches with the initial offering of tickets, namely the fact that both events were sold out before the start time and I was curious how the day was going to go. I was lucky to be on the waiting list and when they added more tours I managed to get into the noon tour on Saturday. We arrived at the Studio gate a little early due to there being light traffic and we were asked to come back at checkin time, so off we went to spend 20 minutes or so in Burbank. Once checkin time arrived we headed back, showed our IDs, and were directed to the parking lot, then to the sign in area. From then forward the day went great! The D23 CMs as well as the Disney security personal that were around were all accommodating and friendly and they all wanted to make the experience the best it could be. They were running two groups of approximately 25 guests at a time. It seemed we were in the second time slot of the day and there were going to be a couple more later in the day, so my guess is there were 6-8 groups of 25. There were two parts to the tour, each approximately an hour long. The entire production seemed to be well planned and went off very smoothly. Everything from the small details such as having water available since it was a hot day, to larger ones such as having Dave Smith on hand to talk about the archives was great! Then to top things off there were very few photo restrictions so I was able to snap away as we walked around (in the two hours I took just over 500 pictures). My only disappointment for the day was how brief it was. The tour was supposed to be two hours, ours ran long (as I am guessing most did). Everyone involved apologized for having to keep things moving but its understandable that they needed to in order for others to take part in the experience.

  • Our group was taken on the Studio tour first. This was a great experience. We walked around the Disney lot and learned some of the history of the lot, its building, and the work that was done here. We were able to spend time inside several buildings including a sound stage, the original Animation Building, the Ink and Paint Building, the tunnel that connects the two, the Legends Courtyard as well as several other buildings on the lot. The access we were given was incredible and everyone in the group had a blast. The CM leading our group was great also. Her knowledge and excitement for the Studio and her eagerness to share this with us was incredible. I have been on the lot before but never on a tour and never inside the buildings, so this was great! Its still fun to walk the same halls and buildings that produced the original Disney films, such as the building where Snow White was made...

  • The second part of our tour took place inside the Disney Archives which have offices in the Frank G Wells building.. and to top things off Dave Smith was on hand to talk about the archives and share some of the collection with us. This was a great treat for us disneygeeks. Dave explained the various exhibits in the room (I missed the room we were in, the signs said Archives, but it was more of a working, exhibit space, than an archives in a traditional sense...) and highlighted several pieces that were in each display. Then he brought out some items for a show and tell.. included in here were first ticket to Disneyland, the Steamboat Willie script, and an Oscar. At the end we were able to take our picture holding the Oscar as well as with Dave and ask any questions.

  • Overall I had a great time and feel very lucky to have gotten a ticket and able to experience this great D23 event. The D23 CMs worked hard to put on a great event and it showed and all those who were in our group were extremely appreciative. I cannot wait for the next event... hopefully I luck out and get tickets to it too...

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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