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Visit Date: 5/25/12
Steps: 26,138
Parks Miles: 9.9
Time in Parks: 9.5

 

Trip Log:

Started off this cloudy afternoon hopping on a busy tram filled with grad nite students from the Mickey and Friends garage to the parks. La Brea Bakery opened earlier today, so stopped by to see the newly rennovated building. Then continued on into the parks. First stop Disney California Adventure. Not much to see from the entrance, walked around Soarin and through Condor Flats to approach Carthay Circle. The walls have been removed from the Carthay and pushed back so the fountain is now accessible. Took three passes through the area taking pictures (wide angle, mid range, and telephoto) then eventually made my way down Hollywood Blvd and through the Mad T Party area. After taking my fill of pictures followed Sunset Blvd toward Tower of Terror then strolled through Fliks on my way to the Blue Sky Cellar. Took some pictures from the Patio and a quick look inside before going through the Wharf area and out to the Pier. Walked by Ariels and the Cove Bar area then around by Screamin and Toy Story. The objective was a ride on the Fun Wheel, but with a 45 minute wait I did not have time so I kept on walking. Made my way past Paradise Gardens by the Little Mermaid. Opted to walk down the Parade route to approach Carthay Circle again. Decided it was time to head to Disneyland. Walked acorss the Esplanade and wandered down Main Street to the hub and eventually all the way to Small World to catch the very end of the Brave Meet and Greet session. Took a quick walk through Toontown then wandered back through Fantasyland and around the Big Thunder Trail. Checked in on the Jamboree at Big Thunder Ranch then made my way over to the Shooting Exposition which has reopened. Walked back through Frontierland and around to Adventureland on my way back to the hub and over to Tomorrowland. Went for back to back rides on Manny Monorail then headed for Main Street via Tomorrowland. Worked my way down the street to arrive in Town Square just ahead of the Flag Retreat. Watched the ceremony then stopped by the Opera House to take in Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln (it is Memorial Day weekend). After the show headed for Downtown Disney. Made my way down to the Lego Store to check out their grand re-opening celebration/build, then the Earl of Sandwhich progress before doubling back through Downtown Disney and heading for DCA and dinner at Taste Pilots. After dinner spend a few minutes in Carthay Circle before heading down Hollywood Blvd to await the grand opening of the Mad T Party. Listened to the first set from the band and roamed around through the arcade and other areas before deciding to move on through Fliks and back to the Blue Sky Cellar. Took some more Cars Land pictures from the patio then headed for Disneyland. Walked down Main Street and out to Small World to watch the premiere of the summer edition of the Magic, the Memories, and You! After the show waded through the crowd waiting for Magical and headed back to DCA for some after dark photos. Spent some time in Carthay Circle before making my way back to the Mad T Party. Made a second pass through the area now that the lights were visible. It was nearing 10pm and park close so I headed back to the tram area which was jammed with guests that had just finished watching Magical at Disneyland so I opted to walk back to the garage. Made it to the garage, found my car, and headed for home.

Other Interesting Stats:
* Moderate Walking Stats (meaning over 2.5mph): 18,660 steps, 161 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 kicked off my Memorial Day weekend with a stop at the Disneyland Resort. The parks were still under a cloudy sky and was a bit cool and breezy when I arrived around lunch time. The goal this visit was to check out the progress around the parks with only three weeks till the big grand openings as well as see two premieres today. The crowds were healthy for a holiday weekend kickoff plus Grad Nite. Wait times in the early afternoon were below 45 minutes for most attractions but as the evening went on they increased dramatically. The worst I saw was Tower of Terror at 135 minutes!

Jason

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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • On the way into the parks I took a quick detour to walk through the La Brea Bakery that reopened Friday morning. They still had finishing touches to apply like some counters and canopies but more or less everything was done. I thought the new look of the expanded Express side was great and the cast members inside all seemed excited about their new look and layout. I was a little surprised that Disney did not take the time to rework the planters/out door seating area to make it work better with the security fences so the area would not look so temporary (the security side not the eating area). I would assume the security check points are here to stay so why not build them out so they do not look so temporary.

  • First stop of the day for me was Disney California Adventure. With only three weeks till opening and really two weeks till most of the previews are underway I was not expecting much visible progress this trip since the focus has shifted to details and finishing touches which are hard to see from our vantage points.

  • The big news on the construction front is some of Buena Vista Street was revealed Thursday and more today. The Carthay Circle Theater is out from behind its walls and looks great! The attention to detail on the facade was fun to explore. It really helps to heighten the anticipation for the grand opening. Also they have pushed the walls back to unveil the Carthay Circle Fountain which was equally as nice. Having the wall footprint reduced did help with the overall feel of the park, loosing the corridor of walls makes things feel so much more open and alive. This small glimpse into Buena Vista Street gives a great preview of what to expect when we are finally able to explore the rest of it in a few short weeks.

  • As I walked around Disney California Adventure it was great to see all the work going on to touch up the park, from small painting projects to large ones to new billboards to new trees things are making the final push and I hope all the effort pays off. I know quite a few Disney geeks are happy.

  • Walking by Cars Land it was fun to see Route 66 alive with activity that did not involve hard hats. The street was filled with a flow of cast members heading to Maters to preview the attraction. Very little in the way of construction progress was visible this trip, I was unable to tolerate a 45 minute wait for the Fun Wheel but I am assuming that vantage point was not going to offer too much in the way of new progress either.

  • I walked through the Jamboree and again found it to be very quiet. This will change toward the end of June once the Billies take the stage throughout the day. That should help draw some crowds to the area. Till then I would say enjoy the time to see and interact with the characters.

  • I was disappointed that Mandy Monorail (blue) was not on the beam way Friday. I am curious to hear the spiel firsthand and round out my collection.

  • This weekend is Memorial Day weekend so I thought it was only fitting to spend some time remembering... first up was the daily Flag Retreat then I paid a visit to Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln. If you have never experienced one of the flag retreat ceremonies I would recommend them. They are a nice touch that happens daily at Disneyland as well as the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Here is a blog posting I did with several Flag Retreat videos I took.

  • The Mad T Party started special sneak previews on Friday (it is going to run on the weekends until June 15th when it premieres is what I am hearing). I was their for the opening at 7:00pm and spent some time wading through the large crowd and enjoying the entertainment. I made a second pass later in the evening to see it after the sun had set so you can really experience the lights.
    • The current schedule is for three performances. One at 7, 8 and 9. All start with the Mad T Party Band then the White Rabbit DJ takes over and the focus changes to the House of Cards stage for various performers. It appeared that the show more or less repeats itself with some different music mixed in.
    • The crowd at the 7:00pm opening was healthy and the area was tough to walk through but it felt smaller/lighter to me than the opening night ElecTRONica. I think part of it is this was not really announced.
    • The Mad T Party Band played a decent mix of music. Overall I thought they were entertaining. The light and video package for the stage and area really augments their performance. I would recommend the 2nd or even 3rd set to really experience it. For the first one many of the effects were not really visible since it was still to bright out.
    • The House of Cards area includes the bar, stage, and food truck. The stage brought out an odd/interesting act the Who R U (rainbow caterpillar) that the audience all seemed to enjoy. The dance crew was ok (I think they were called Deck of Cards but of course I was not taking notes and did not have the video camera rolling for the intro).
    • Walked through the Mad Arcade. I thought the games were ok, they are lightly themed to go with the Alice and Wonderland idea. I liked the retro arcade games of Flynns over the as someone called it the Chuck E Cheese style games in this one.
    • Overall I enjoyed the Mad T Party. It seemed to combine some of the festive atmosphere and live entertainment excitement from Glow Fest with the technology and theme overlay of ElecTRONica to produce this third generation show. The formula for all three has been very similar yet the experiences have been varied which I have enjoyed seeing the evolution. I think the introduction of a live band is great and will keep the Mad T Party dynamic. I am curious if something is going to be coming to the Backlot Stage. It had lights but no activity Friday that I saw in my couple of passes through the area.
    • If you missed any of my videos or are curious to see ElecTRONica or a couple Glow Fest ones check out this recent blog posting I did with playlists of each.

  • Also premiering Friday evening was the summer edition of the Magic, the Memories, and You! over at Small World. For those of you that enjoyed the romance addition it is still present. More sections of the original show were replaced this time around. I thought the new additions were ok, nothing that blew me away but fun to see the show being updated. Unfortunately there were some technical difficulties with the show and the left and center projectors were lagging for a while then went pixilated and at one point turned off. It appeared to be a computer, not projector issue.



    As I have mentioned before I think the Walt Disney World version is much more impressive and the clarity seems better on the castle. Maybe it is the vertical layout vs the horizontal Small World one here at Disneyland. The crowd that showed up for the show was relatively small but as it went out the crowd did build. This seems to be the norm with people stopping to take in the show but very few seem to make it a scheduled stop.

    For comparison here is a video of the WDW taken in April:



  • The Lazygeek was with me Friday night. He somehow had not seen the Magic, the Memories, and You! before and thought it was a good show. He enjoyed it and commented on how it actually liked it better than the Mad T Party... he did say the band at the Mad T Party was good, but the crow/noise/etc.. were not his cup of tea (sorry could not resist the bad pun).

  • Last comment, with the return of healthy crowds it meant that the cell phone network at the parks was annoying at best. I have Verizon but heard complaints from others with other carriers. The network connections were spotty and when I did get one it was slower than it should have been. Hopefully something is in the works otherwise if the crowds materialize this summer as hoped its going to be a pain to use a phone in the parks.

  • I continued to test and evaluate a new method of posting images as I roamed the park. I am now posting directly to the Geeks Blog So those of you who do not use twitter or follow us, you can see the images too. Any thoughts? Is this better/worse/the same as the way I was posting before? If you were not aware as I roam the parks I post some thoughts/pictures throughout the visit. So follow me @disneygeekcom


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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