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Visit Date: 1/07/12
Steps: 25,102
Parks Miles: 9.5
Time in Parks: 11


Trip Log:

Started off this cool and overcast morning walking to the parks from McDs on Harbor. Stopped by the ticket booth to buy some tickets for some of the group while the others parked the car in the garage. Then we queued up to enter Disneyland. Ended up having to wait for the others since it took longer than expected for them to arrive. Once we all assembled we headed down Main Street. At this point I went to check out the Jolly Holiday Bakery, others to Star Tours for Fastpasses and another group to Matterhorn. All met up near Alice and I headed up to the Small World Mall area to watch the Toy Soldier Jam and the others over to Mr. Toad. I then headed through Fantasyland and around the Big Thunder Trail and into Frontierland to check out the area for the Three Kings Celebration that was going on this weekend. Then walked along the Rivers of America and turned around at the Haunted Mansion and doubled back through New Orleans Square and Adventureland. The others went to Space Mountain then met me on Main Street so we could head over to DCA for the rope drop. Picked up Soarin and World of Color Fastpasses then waited to join the herd heading for Toy Story. Went for a spin and then on to the Fun Wheel for some Cars Land pictures. Continued on to the Swings then some went on Goofy and then we stopped by the Zephyr. Walked by GRR and into Condor Flats. The group decided to use their Soarin Fastpasses and I decided to go take pictures of the Buena Vista Street work then wander through the Backlot, around through Bugs Land and out to the Wharf. Stopped by the bread tour and then over to the Blue Sky Cellar. We rejoined the group in the Wharf area for lunch (I hiked over to grab a corn dog). After lunch headed for the Hyperion and just barely made it into Aladdin. Then went for a ride on Monsters Inc before returning to Disneyland. Strolled down Main Street USA and over to Star Tours to use our Fastpasses. A couple broke off from the group to get Fastpasses for Haunted Mansion. We crossed the parade traffic and some went for a Dole Whip, I went to check out the Three Kings Festivities, then we met up and went for a ride on Indy (others went to see the Billies, which I missed due to Indy taking three times longer than the posted wait!). After Indy used the Haunted Mansion Fastpasses then they went on Big Thunder and I hung around the Three Kings Celebration for a while then roamed out to the ranch for a final look this year. Continued on through Fantasyland and out to grab a picture of the Toontown Train Station as well as Matterhorn before rejoining the group on Main Street. Decided to go to DCA and Taste Pilots for dinner. After dinner wandered by Buena Vista Street and up the parade route. Visited the Little Mermaid then strolled by GRR and out to Downtown Disney so they could do some shopping. The group decided it was time to go... so we called it an early evening and headed for the tram, car, and home.

Other Interesting Stats:
* Moderate Walking Stats (meaning over 2.5mph): 18,214 steps, 160 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:

Happy New Year all,

The Holiday rush is slowly fading away and the parks are returning to normal. I avoided the holiday madness at the parks even though the perfect weather made it extremely tempting but the near capacity crowds every day convinced me it was ok to wait a bit so what seemed like a long time away from the parks was only two weeks.


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

Disneyland & DCA Thoughts and Observations:

  • Since I normally do not visit on Saturdays I am not sure how the crowd Saturday compares to normal but to me it felt like it was a regular summer day. The lines crept up to the hour range but did not stay there long and seemed to fluctuate throughout the day.

  • On this trip I had a larger group than normal with me as well as some friends who we took advantage of the Southern California resident deal for. So this meant less random time roaming around taking pictures and more time on attractions than I normal do. Always fun to hear what infrequent guests of the park have to say (they visit once or twice a year).

  • First stop of the morning for me was the Jolly Holiday Bakery and Cafe that just opened. This has taken the place of the Plaza Pavilion which for the last several years had been an Annual Pass processing center. As the Bakery has opened the old one on Main Street has closed (as has the entire west side of the street from Carnation Cafe to Coke Corner for some re-configuring). The biggest change is the old Bakery will be removed and the Carnation Cafe will gain indoor seating in that space.

    The Jolly Holiday Bakery had a steady line all day. Every time I walked by there seemed to be a fair number of guests enjoying the food and a long line. I made one pass first thing to try and grab some pictures to showcase some of the highlights and I hope on later trips to go back and fill in some of the missed detail and get some better pictures. But I think what I put in the pictorial update will give you a flavor for the new location. Has anyone eaten there? Your thoughts/review??

    I thought the Bakery looked great. The Mary Poppins references are fairly subtle for the most part. Little things here and there as well as the background music. It is not over the top and really works in the location nicely.

  • The Christmas season came to an official end on Sunday so I used this as my last chance to take in the sights, sounds, and of course entertainment. Due to most of the group wanting to leave early I was unable to see any of the evening entertainment. I am assuming Believe in Holiday Magic went off as planned. I did not hear/read of any cancellations.

  • This weekend the park was celebrating Dia De Reyes, Three Kings Day Celebration. The best way to describe this celebration is a mini Family Fun Days (for those not familiar with the reference last winter Disneyland hosted a series of weekend special events each around a unique theme such as Country or Characters). It had the same core elements. Some light decorations, special food offerings, character photo opportunities, and some live entertainment, except this time it was in the heart of Frontierland and not out in the festival arena.

  • I think these small events are a nice plus to the park and atmosphere and have been done well. I have two small gripes with this one. First like many they do not like to publish the entertainment schedule so you cannot plan to come back or to see something that you would really like to. The second is the choice of venue for this one made it feel really cramped. This was held in the small park area in Frontierland. Due to Big Thunder having its extended queue set up there really was not that much space for the event. For example the character line stretched out into Frontierland, blocking access to the restaurant, and all the way down to the shooting gallery because there was no where for it to be wrap/go. Or for some of the concerts it was a wall of people crammed into the small park area trying to see what was going on. Did anyone else attend, what did you think? Did you try any of the food? As usual now a days there were plenty of cast members surveying the guests as they left the area.

  • Over at California Adventure not much of interest to note beyond the continued progress in Cars Land and Buena Vista Street as they race toward the finish. I did wander through the Blue Sky Cellar and nothing new jumped out to me. Was hoping for some nice prints of the pictures that showed up on the blog this past week, but no such luck. Or maybe one of the Racers testing. Wonder if there are any more updates scheduled to the Cellar. I am guessing not.

  • I do think it is great they are working on the Midway shop facades. Was starting to loose hope of those being changed to match the rest of the Pier makeover. So the last area would be to see where they go with the Maliboomer park area.

  • I somehow ended up at DCA for both lunch and dinner on Saturday and at both I encountered under cooked food.. which is something I had not had an issue with in years at the park. For lunch I had a corn dog from Corn Dog Castle and the corn meal was not fully cooked and rather runny on one side. The hot dog was hot and cooked though so I ate it. For dinner had a hamburger at taste pilots and it was rather pink. Usually no sign of pink at all in the burgers. I took it back after two bites to see if it was that way all the way through and they promptly gave me a replacement. That one was fine. So no harm in the end just a delay but thought it was weird that both meals had similar issues.

  • I got sucked into Indiana Jones. It had a 20 minute wait posted so I thought that was reasonable and opted to go with the group vs skipping it and taking pictures. We were right on track for that until it broke down. Then they got it running and it went down for a few more brief stints too. Then noticed they were asking those who were already on when it went down if they wanted to go again, which I thought was good, but then those that opted to leave instead of filling the seats they just sent it on. So there were quite a few empty rows which I thought was poor. So the 20 minute wait turned into about an hour. Which meant I missed the Billies I had planned on seeing after riding (the show time was 30 minutes after we entered the line so I thought a 20 minute posted time worked perfectly... oh well guess I will have to wait till next year to see the Holiday Spectacular again.

  • For those of you that like anniversaries/birthdays... Star Tours at Disneyland turns 25 today and the Disneyana Store turns 36 (1/9).

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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