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Visit Date: 11/25/11
Steps: 21,295
Parks Miles: 8.0
Time in Parks: 10.5


Trip Log:

I arrived at the parks about 10am on this picture perfect morning. The Mickey and Friends tram stop was alive with activity and it was a two tram wait. Headed to DCA first and grabbed a Fastpass for World of Color(red section already). Then wandered out to the Pier and made my way around to the Fun Wheel for a spin. Once back on the ground strolled through Paradise Garden and around toward Little Mermaid. The line was longer than my patience so continued on to the Wharf area and the Blue Sky Cellar for some more Cars Land pictures. Then out to Buena Vista Street for a look at the progress. Walked back through Condor Flats and around GRR again to grab a Corn Dog out on the Pier for lunch. After lunch circled back to the Grand Californian to check out its Christmas Decorations, then over to the Paradise Pier Hotel followed by the Disneyland Hotel. Hopped on the Monorail to return to Disneyland, but noticed a short line so went back to back to get some construction shots before entering the park. Once in Disneyland made my way through the masses in Tomorrowland and out to the hub. Took some Castle shots and roamed down the parade route to Toontown to see it during the day. Decided to find a spot for the 2:30 Christmas Fantasy Parade. After the parade escaped the crowd with a quick ride on Small World Holiday. Then made my way through Fantasyland and out to the Reindeer Round-up. Checked Pirates and it was a 50 minute wait so continued on to Critter Country. Circled the area then wandered back to Frontierland to catch the 4:30pm Billy Hill show. After the show made my way to Main Street to catch the tree lighting moment. Then headeed back through the Castle to Fantasyland for dinner at the Village Haus. Once dinner was over headed back to Pirates which had a posted 25 minute line (turned out to be only 20). Hopped on Disneyland Railroad to Tomorrowland. Caught the opening of the Suburban Legends set before heading to DCA to find a spot for World of Color. After World of Color headed for the tram, car, and home, catching some of the Disneyland fireworks from the tram stop.

Other Interesting Stats:
* Moderate Walking Stats (meaning over 2.5mph): 15,772 steps, 139 minutes.

For Comparisons to other trips or more park miles click here to visit our park Miles Section.

Note: These totals may be skewed because the pedometer is zero'd when we start and then left alone and read when we leave. So attractions, and other things may cause extra "steps" to be counted. The pedometer that we use basically measures up/down motion as a step, so if your standing in line and moving up and down it may be counting steps, etc.. so the total distances traveled and steps may be off.. so use these as rough distance comparisons between trips and they may not be accurate in terms of actual distance traveled.

Pictures & Video From this Trip:

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My Thoughts & Observations:

Hello all,

I decided to head to the parks on black Friday vs doing some holiday shopping. The weather was picture perfect with incredible blue skies and mild temperatures. The crowds were heavy but not unbearable. I was really expecting it to be worse. Most of the big attractions hovered over the hour mark with Pirates creeping up to that neighborhood too. The crowds really did not effect my plans for the day since visiting attractions was not high on my priority list.


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

Disneyland & DCA Thoughts and Observations:

  • I arrived at the Mickey and Friends garage just before 10am and was pleasantly surprised not to find a big traffic back-up as I had experienced the last Thanksgiving weekend I stopped by the parks. The tram stop was alive with activity with trams everywhere waiting to load and pull out as quickly as possible. There was about a two tram wait only and they were loading from two stops.

  • First stop of the day for me was DCA to check out the construction. It had only been a week since my last visit but visible changes are occurring daily at both Cars Land and Buena Vista Street, so for geeks like me it is always great to see what has changed. Also wanted to get a spin in on the Fun Wheel before the crowds got out of hand.

  • While out on the Pier the Disney Channel Rocks show was going on. It had a small audience as usual. My guess is it will not be around too long after the holidays. I am surprised it never really caught on. Seems with the staging, fountains, and music mix it would draw some guests, but it just has not seemed to have panned out, especially compared to the crowds I have seen at the WDW version of the show. To me the audio always seems off at DCA, not sure if it is sound system or the performers. I do not think that is the reason for the lack of crowds though.

  • The Phineas and Ferb show continues to pull in healthy crowds. Wonder how that would play on the bigger stage? I noticed they had four fireside girls now to help with the larger crowds.

  • After lunch I made the rounds to all three Disney Hotels to check out their Christmas decorations. This year looked to be about the same at the Grand Californian and Paradise Pier Hotels with no major changes jumping out at me. The Disneyland Hotel had some nice touches with each Tower having a tree to fit its namesake.

  • The Disneyland Hotel continues to wrap up renovation project with the finishing touches being applied to the Fantasy Tower with new lobby carpet, the redone entrance, etc.. the overall look still seems really bare to me but then again maybe there is more to come still.

  • Spent some time roaming Disneyland during the afternoon taking in the Christmas happenings in the daylight (my previous visits have all been after dark it seemed). I was still really disappointed with the new trees out in Toontown. I would have thought for them to make the press release/promotional material for the season they would have been much more impressive. I guess if no fuss was made over them I would have thought they were still not as good, but ok. I had a much higher expectation though. It was odd for me to watch the Christmas Fantasy parade in the day time. I do think it looks better at night. It works during the day, but something about all the lights just feels better to me. Speaking of the parade thought I would add another complaint.. they turned the area in the hub that faces right down Main Street into a handicap area. I really enjoyed photographing from this area but now for most performances they will not let you stay in the back even.

  • I watched the Billy Hill show from the balcony. First time with the new railings. Once I moved beyond how poor the add on looked they really did not get in the way that badly and I was able to ignore them with no real problems. If you have not experienced the Billies, here is a clip from the show:

  • I was in the Hub during the tree lighting moment. Still not sure why they do not make a bigger show of it like they used to. It is basically a brief recording then the lights come on. They do not even play the audio in the hub, down near the tree.

  • I circled by Pirates of the Caribbean a couple of times because I wanted to go for a ride to see if anything jumped out at me after the long rehab. The attraction just reopened on Thursday (Thanksgiving Day). The only two noticeable changes to me was the additional space at the off load area as well as the alternating Blackbeard and Davy Jones clips on the midst screen. Nothing else jumped out to me on my ride through. I had read online that they rebuilt most of the caves at the beginning, but they were build the same so nothing should have looked different.

  • I concluded my evening with World of Color. Watched from the back terrace of Red, luckily managed to find a spot closer to Yellow so the view was not that bad, but making out the front projection screen was still nearly impossible. The back ones were nice and clear thanks to the lack of a breeze.

Interesting Web Finds/Notes:
Below are some interesting links, notes, and rumors I found/stumble across/or have been informed of since the last Geekspeaks column.

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

Stop by the Geek's Forum to discuss this and other Disney topics.. click here

Send comments, questions, any other email to: disneygeek@disneygeek.com

Pictures & Video From this Trip:

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