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Visit Date: 5/21/15
Steps: 25,026
Parks Miles: 9.4
Time in Parks: 13


Trip Log:

Started off my morning walking to Disneyland. Arrived at the park around 9am. Wandered around Main Street and eventually into New Orleans Square. Went for a ride on the Haunted Mansion then walked through New Orleans Square. Hopped on the train and exited in Toontown. Walked by Small World and around the Matterhorn to Tomorrowland and back to Main Street. Decided to head over to DCA and paid a visit to Soarin. After my flight started to walk down the Hollywood Blvd and ran into a friend and was invited along on an interview so headed back to Disneyland and had the opportunity to visit the Dream Suite. Took some pictures then walked through the hub and out to Fantasyland. Some of the group went for a couple rides on the Matterhorn and then we returned to Main Street to watch the Castle event. After the event met some friends from Orlando then returned to DCA and Hollywood Land. Rested for a while and caught up with some other friends before returned to Disneyland and grabbing a late lunch/early dinner at the Village Haus. After eating walked through Tomorrowland and then back to Main Street. Returned to DCA and Hollywood Land for a while. Then went on a walk around DCA. Passed through Bugs Land and then into the Wharf area. Walked around GRR and into the airfield area. Went for another ride on Soarin and then returned to Hollywood Land for the Mad T Party. After their set it was off to Disneyland for the Premiere Party. Visited wtih friends and ate along the Rivers of America and then went for a ride on the Haunted Mansion before returning to Main Street for the Premiere of Paint the Night followed by Disneyland Forever. After the fireworks walked back to the hotel to call it a night.

Other Interesting Stats:
* Moderate Walking Stats (meaning over 2.5mph): 19,054 steps, 168 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 everyone,

Day two of my three day adventure to kick off the Disneyland Diamond Celebration started off with a relaxing morning before arriving at the park just after 9am. The crowds appeared moderate throughout the day based on the couple times I looked at the line board.

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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • When I arrived at Disneyland the park was alive with activity on Main Street with guests buying 60th Anniversary Merchandise, a TV show (The Social) broadcasting from Town Square and various media interview spots set up throughout.

  • As I walked through the park there were a number of attractions down already, or maybe not opened? These included the Jungle Cruise, Indiana Jones, and Space Mountain. This meant those that were open such as Star Tours had above average waits.

  • My first stop of the morning was the Haunted Mansion. The Hatbox Ghost had re-materialized a week and a half ago and I had not seen him yet. I was surprised to see FastPass was in operation again, guess they are going to do this for the summer because of the new addition? The Hatbox Ghost himself is very well done and he looks great! Unfortunately while cruising by at normal speed in your doom buggy getting a good picture is a challenge! If you are riding and looking for him he is just outside the attic before you head down into the graveyard. You will be hard pressed to miss him since the buggy turns directly toward him. For those of you unfamiliar with the backstory here. When the Mansion first opened in 1969 a ghost called the Hatbox Ghost was inside. His head would disappear and reappear in a hatbox. The ghost was removed after a very short time for various reasons and had been a legend among the Disney fan community ever since. For years he would show up on merchandise, references, etc... and even had quite a following by fans of the mansion, almost all of whom had never seen him. Bringing him back for the 60th is a great plus and sure to please the geeks out there as well as the average guest with another great effect in a true Disneyland Classic!

  • I did a quick walk through of the park from Small World back to Main Street just to see if there was anything going on and nothing jumped out to me. So I made my way over to Disney California Adventure.

  • I went for a flight on Soarin'. The interior queue has remained virtually untouched. Nothing jumped out as changed. The preshow video has returned to the original so no more Planes characters making appearances. The film itself is the same as it has always been but it is projected using a digital projection system. This makes for a cleaner look and will allow for a higher definition film in the future. For now those it restored the film slightly but due to the transfer from film to digital some of the color is off and they really did not gain anything in terms of clarity/resolution. It does look good and a step forward. I was disappointed with the way the start and end of the film are staged now. They project blue on to the screen as you fly up into the screen and then descend out. I always thought the black and dramatic reveal were great! The flight profile itself is more or less the same. I road twice.. once from the 1st row center and once from the third row far side. I thought the top came down a bit more or the seats were angled down a bit for the front row.. I did not see the top of the screen as much as I had in the past.. but it may have been how I was sitting. All in all it is an incremental update from a guest perspective inside.

  • After Soarin' I set off to roam the park and I ran into a friend who was on their way to an interview and asked if I wanted to tag along and take some pictures. They were en route to the Dream Suite to learn about the Diamond Days Sweepstakes. I could not pass up that opportunity so I went along. Unfortunately they were running behind when we arrived and due to schedule the interview was cancelled so I did not learn about the new sweepstakes.. but they did let us do a quick walk through of the Dream Suite and see the glass slipper prize for the sweepstakes. I had not been in the Dream Suite before so this was a first for me. I was last up here the final week of the Disney Gallery. The suite consists of two bedrooms, two baths, a living room, and an outdoor courtyard. I did not have time to really delve into the details, instead it was a quick walk through and snap as many pictures a possible type of event. Seeing the suite and a nearly $30,000 slipper up close was great!

  • The Matterhorn reopens tomorrow but today they are doing media previews. I was the designated Sherpa and held/watched the camera gear as several of my fellow bloggers went for a couple of rides.. they took my video camera along for the trip. They experienced both sides and came off commenting how the Tomorrowland side was much rougher than the Fantasyland one.. which was not smooth by any means! The new effects were ok but hard to enjoy with the roughness of the ride and speed you travel. I posted the video as well as a Disney released video looking at the new additions.

  • At 1pm there was a brief ceremony to mark the finishing touch for the Diamond Celebration at Sleeping Beauty Castle as the 60th logo was unveiled a thank you given to the cast members. The event was for the cast and was broadcast live on cast TV throughout the resort and a large number were on hand to see the festivities. The ceremony was brief but featured cast member representatives and characters. I thought it was a great event for the cast and the ones we talked to were all excited and ready for the busy months ahead.

  • In Tomorrowland a new Avengers Meet and Greet location opened. It is right next to the TomorrowLanding store, between it and the fruit stand behind the popcorn cart if that makes any sense. There are two backdrops. Thursday Captain America was out for pictures. On Friday I saw Captain America and Thor out at the same time. So one line got you the chance to meet two characters. The wait was only around 20 minutes when we walked by. Across the way at Innoventions there is very little visible progress besides what appears to be demo work still going on.

  • Returned to DCA because of Disneyland's early closing and made another pass through the park including a trip on Soarin. The Diamond Mad T Party had a soft opening today and featured a very large and vocal crowd for the opening. When the band took the stage for the first time the decibel level was off the charts.. just thinking about it now makes my ears ring. Even though it was an unannounced soft opening the place was packed with fans that knew and the bar lines were healthy, longer than I had seen during most of the Freeze the Night evenings.. and this was 6pm on a Thursday!

  • This evening was the Premiere events at Disneyland for Paint the Night and Disneyland Forever. The event was held in Frontierland, along the Rivers of America and New Orleans Square. It was great to see the Mark Twain pull up and stop for a show. It reminded me of how much I enjoyed the brief run of the Showboat Jubilee to mark the opening of Princess and the Frog. I also had another trip back on memory lane seeing a steel drum band in Adventureland.

  • The official event kicked off with opening remarks by Bob Iger featuring some slight modifications to Walt's dedication speech. Then we quickly had to find a spot for Paint the Night which meant I had a less than ideal vantage point.

  • Paint the Night - I had been looking forward to seeing the parade since I saw the Hong Kong version in April. It did not disappoint. The parade is just as energetic and fun as the Hong Kong version. The numbers are impressive with over 1.5 million sources of light, 500 strobes, 200 universes of control used in the 8 sections.

  • A couple comparisons to Hong Kong's version. Disneyland has been extended with a drum unit and Frozen float. Also some of the costumes/in between elements have been tweaked. For example the addition of Tigger, Genie, and Lumiere as well as some Jellyfish. Some of the spinner elements from Hong Kong are gone. With no show stop in Anaheim the parade seemed shorter but it still runs nearly 20 minutes but with the music, lights, and pacing it felt short to me. The floats themselves seemed the same and on a first viewing no drastic changes jumped out to me. It was a bit odd for me to hear it all in English after first experiencing it in Chinese and English.

  • Disneyland Forever is the new fireworks show for the 60th Anniversary. In addition to a traditional Disney fireworks show this show immerses you into the experience as you Step into the Magic. This is done by using projection mapping throughout the park as well as new special effects. The show opens with spotlights filling the air. On Main Street the buildings come alive with projections from 17 projectors hidden in the windows that have actuators and open on queue and play throughout the performance. There are another 8 projectors in use around the park including Small World, Fantasmic, Sleeping Beauty Castle and the Matterhorn. Many of us on Main Street found ourselves turning around and watching the projections and forgetting about the fireworks show going on overhead. It was quite an experience and I look forward to repeat viewing. Other effects include snow fall, inflatable seaweed, Nemo flying high above, fire, lasers, and fog.

  • Looking back at the segments in the show it is your average mix of Disney movie references including Tangled, Lion King, Jungle Book, Little Mermaid, Finding Nemo, Mary Poppins and of course Let it Go from Frozen. The new songs created for the show including the Diamond Fanfare, Live the Magic and the exit A Kiss Good night are all great! I would have really liked to have seen more from the park. I thought World of Color paid a better tribute to the park itself than Forever did. For me the E-ticket in the sky segment from the 50th show, Remember Dreams Come True is an ideal fireworks show. I would have really liked to have seen a version of that return with the projectors.. imagine being on Main Street and projections from the Rivers of America surrounding you as the Mark Twain whistle blows or sailing along Small Worlds canal... maybe for the next show!

  • There are also projections on the castle but due to the size of the castle it was really hard to see them from down Main Street where I was so not sure if they were better/worse or the same as previous ones. I will definitely have to watch from a better vantage point. That is one of the objectives of this new show is to try and offer unique experiences throughout the park so you want to watch from various locations and not all crowded onto Main Street. For example in New Orleans Square the Fantasmic screens and some effects will be used (I will experience this tomorrow night) or projections out on it's a Small World.

  • It was a great day at the Disneyland Resort and the new Paint the Night and Disneyland Forever shows did not disappoint, which means we are in for some very crowded evenings over then coming months as guests crowd the park to experience these shows. If you plan to see them be sure to allow yourself enough time to find the spot you want and be patient.

  • For a complete listing of all my coverage of the Disneyland Diamond Celebration Kick Off visit the Summary Page on the Geek's Blog

  • Do you visit our pictorial updates using a mobile device? If so we would like your feedback. I have created a beta of a more mobile version of our Disneyland Picture sets at https://disneygeek.com/mobile Please give it a try and share your thoughts.

Interesting Web Finds/Notes:

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

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

Pictures & Video From this Trip:

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