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Visit Date: 5/22/15
Steps: 26,983
Parks Miles: 10.2
Time in Parks: 16


Trip Log:

Started off this morning before sunrise with a 4:30 wake up call. Was on my way toward the park and to meet friends by a little after 5:00am. We walked down Harbor. The security line was back most of the way toward Harbor when we arrived. Guests were moving but it was a long line. In the Esplanade there were a fair number of guests and the lines to get into DCA were fairly long. Disneyland had a really short line. We entered and stepped onto Main Street which was a sea of guests as far as you could see. We eventually made it to a spot to capture the opening and the guests entering the park to begin their 24 hours day. The crowd remained solid entering the park for over 30 minutes. As it finally thinned out made my way toward Town Square and some breakfast. After eating stopped by the new Peter Pan window on Main Street and then headed into the park to take a look around. Strolled down Main Street, around the hub and toward the Matterhorn. Walked around the Mountain and into toward it's a Small World. Ended up taking a quick look around Toontown then walked through Fantasyland and around the Big Thunder Trail. Picked up a FastPass for Fantasmic! and continued on along the Rivers of America. Walked throught Adventureland, pausing for a picture from Tarzans Treehouse and back to Main Street. Made my way over to Disney California Adventure and strolled down Buena Vista Street. Picked up a FastPass for the Radiator Springs Racers and then walked around Cars Land stopping by the Cozy Cone to check out the 60th Offerings. Walked out to Paradise Pier then around Grizzly Peak stopping to grab a World of Color Celebrate! FastPass. Had to go back to the Hotel at this point to check out and move my car. After a parking adventure ended up at the Toy Story lot and returned to the parks. First stop Disney California Adventure. Headed for Carthay Circle to find a spot for the Red Car Trolley News Boys show. Then went for a quick walk out to Paradise Pier circling all the way around and the back through Grizzly Peak to Carthay Circle to watch 5 and Dime. After their set walked down Hollywood Blvd, stopping in Off the Page. Returned to Buena Vista Street then back to Disneyland. Wandered down Main Street USA and out past the Matterhorn. Passed through Fantasyland took the Big Thunder Trail to the Rivers of America. Hiked out to the Hungry Bear for some to grab a bite to eat then doubled back to the Stage Door Cafe for the rest of us to get something. After eating went for a cruise on the Mark Twain (first attraction of the day at 4:30pm.. only 10.5 hours into the day). Stopped by the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree area and then walked through Fantasyland and out to Main Street. Circled the hub and walked into Tomorrowland. Saw soem of the Avengers out for pictures then caught the Hard Days Night set at the Tomorrowland Terrace. Returned to New Orleans Square by way of Frontierland to watch Fantasmic followed by Disneyland Forever. After the show worked through the crowd toward Main Street and used the west side by pass walkway to reach Town Square. Took a picture of Main Street then headed for the Toy Story buses to find my car and drive home.

Other Interesting Stats:
* Moderate Walking Stats (meaning over 2.5mph): 20,345 steps, 180 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,

Today is the final day of my Disneyland Marathon to kick off the Diamond Celebration. This is the 24 hour day with both parks opening at 6am and staying open until 6am tomorrow. Guests had been in line since the afternoon yesterday. The official first guest was at 6pm Thursday.. I saw some that said they were there since 3pm. When I left the parks last night around 11pm the transportation center on Harbor blvd. looked like a homeless camp with people everywhere preparing for the overnight hours. The first several thousand guests in each park received a free set of 60th anniversary mouse ears. Plus a story to share. I did the first 16 hours of the day and left around 10pm for the parking lot and home.

Before going into my observations for the day thought I would comment on the overall day. I have never been a big fan of the 24 hour events. To me spending that much time is gruelling and not that unique. I think this came from the many grad nites I had done over the years. Going into this event I really thought some poor decisions were made to hold it on a holiday weekend again, hype the kick off for the 60th and then to top it off premiere three big new night time shows. I really thought they should have done the shows at an earlier date or more previews to try and lessen the demand and potential for problems. It appears this year they had a different crowd control tactic in mind and they started restricting entry into Disneyland early in the afternoon. As of 1:50pm no new entry into Disneyland and soon after all entry was halted. Disneyland had a hard closure for the rest of the evening and did not completely reopen until the 3am hour. Disneyland tweeted out status updates throughout the closure. From what I have seen online and heard from people who were out there the Esplanade, Downtown Disney, and California Adventure were pretty bad most of the evening. For those of us in Disneyland it was not that bad.. it was very busy but not insane.. most guests were camped out for the parade and fireworks so the park itself outside of food and rest rooms was moderate in wait times for the most part. In the pre-internet days or if you ran out of battery and could not check you would not have known of the mess going on outside the berm. I understand the decision to cut off entry and the decision to keep it closed until after the second Paint the Night. This allowed for a more positive guest experience for those inside the park. But those outside had a very poor experience and it appears the communication out there was not very good. It really seems they needed some way to keep the masses informed about what was going on and to tell them of the hard closure and the plan not to reopen any time soon.

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

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I arrived at the Harbor entrance to the resort just before 5:30am and was greeted by a line that stretched nearly back to Harbor. It looked like it had wrapped around at one point but as of now was just a large mass heading toward the tents. They were inching along. Once through security the lines to enter Disneyland were only a couple guests long. Across the Esplanade at DCA it was backed-up substantially more. As soon as you stepped into Town Square though you ran into a wall of guests that had filled Main Street. I was escorted around the crowd to the north end of Main Street to capture the opening moment. There were several TV crews and other media members gathered to watch the event. A large banner, DJ, and thousands of guests filled the street. The DJ was pumping them up and trying to keep everyone entertained while waiting for the moment to arrive.

  • At 5:55am a brief countdown was held, fireworks went off and cast members set the pace to start walking the large crowd into the park. Guest started to stream by us. This solid pack of guests went on for over 30 minutes as we stood there and kept looking for a break in the crowd. It was an impressive start to the day and we all commented on how this was a sign of the craziness to come. Guests showed up in mass for the event and were ready to stay the duration, or at least through the new shows!

  • One of the new Emporium windows was ready and made its debut this morning, the Peter Pan scene. I thought it had a fair amount of movement and looked great! It was nearly impossible to really capture thanks to the morning glare though. Hopefully on later visits I can get better pictures and video. No word on when the remaining windows would be finished.

  • I did a walk of the park to check out the morning crowds after grabbing some breakfast. The Market House line stretched to Town Square. The line for lockers was out to Main Street.

  • The longest unconventional wait I saw this morning was for the new balloon shaped popcorn bucket on Main Street. They had the blue balloon there and the line started at the cart and went around the hub to Sleeping Beauty Castle. We counted just under 100 guests in line. Most did not even want the popcorn due to the early hour. I was really surprised by this considering it was an open edition item. Throughout the day lines for the buckets at Disneyland were long, not this long but long. Over at DCA the same buckets were available and the morning lines were only a couple guests.

  • If you are curious here are the options and locations as of Friday:
    • Red Balloon - Fantasyland Theater, Toon Town & Grizzly Peak
    • Purple Balloon - New Orleans Square & Paradise Pier
    • Blue Balloon - the Hub, Town Square & Buena Vista Street
    • Mine Car - Frontierland
    • Cinderella Coach - Town Square & it's a Small World
    • Han Solo - Tomorrowland

  • The Matterhorn opened to the public today and the wait was about 2.5 hours when I walked by according to the Cast Member I asked. They were prepared with a large extended/tape queue set up.

  • Walking through Fantasyland the lines were reasonable considering the park had been open a couple of hours by this point. For example Dumbo was posted at 20 minutes.

  • I found it very odd that there is a Mine Train popcorn bucket in Frontierland. It really does not fit with any of the attractions and seems out of place. It is a nice bucket and it was selling but it just seemed odd to me.

  • The food lines were already really long.. the River Belle Terrace Breakfast line stretched back to the Oasis (in the picture set you will see more examples if you have not checked it out already).

  • On Main Street guests were starting to claim spots for the Paint the Night parade already.. it was around 12 hours until kick off! That is a long wait.. but I guess if you have 24 hours it does not seem like that long? I did not ask but I was betting most of those people are annual pass holders.

  • Made my way to Disney California Adventure. No hand stamps required for Annual Passholders, only single day ticket guests, like usual. This surprised me. Guess they are relying on the computer system to tell you they were in the park already.

  • On Buena Vista Street the merchandise line for Elias and Company which had limited edition 60th items was out the door and stretched the entire block.

  • I spotted two new editions of the Buena Vista Bugle on news stands. There is a Summer edition that features the 60th Anniversary and there was a special edition for the 24 hour day. Great to see both!

  • Stopped by to pick up a FastPass for World of Color as a backup plan for the evening and was really impressed to see you had your choice of the 9pm show or the 3am one. Wish they did this on regular days too do let you pick your show.. same for Fantasmic!

  • I had to leave the parks at this point to check out of my hotel and move my car. I made a poor decision.. I decided to by pass the Toy Story lot, which I had to make a U-turn at because of where my hotel was and try for the garage.. thinking that would be easier to leave in the evening. Turns out the garage was full and there was a big traffic accident on Ball so it was a mess. Took me nearly 20 minutes to get back to Toy Story. I did get a good spot near the bus stop in Woody so all was not lost. Returned to DCA without a problem.

  • The Red Car Trolley News Boys feature a new song for the 60th. The end of the show has been revised and Mickey now sings about his dreams after Suitcase and a Dream. Minnie makes a quick appearance as Mickey Dreams of a girl... I thought the new number fit in nicely. It is a nod to the 60th but no explicit reference.

  • Did a quick walk of the park and it was not bad at. Attraction wait times were moderate and most merchandise, food & beverage, etc.. lines were shorter than what I saw at Disneyland earlier.

  • Five and Dime have a modified show too. There are three new songs and the guest interaction portions have been cut. The show worked ok.. but still felt like it was lacking something. Not sure what. I always thought the guest interaction was a bit odd.

  • I returned to Disneyland just before 1:30 and had no problem entering the park. I was heading for lunch and saw the notices that they had started to restrict park entry. So we had great timing for once!

  • We stopped by the Hungry Bear for lunch and found it to not be too busy. But of course they did not have what I wanted so some ate and then we walked back to Frontierland and the Stage Door cafe to get some more food. This was a mess. It took about half an hour to get through the line. It was moving at a glacial pace for some reason.

  • As you looked around Frontierland and New Orleans Square it was busy but no worse than a holiday period. With the large number of guests already on the parade route it still felt comfortable in the park.

  • Went on my first attraction of the day around 4:30.. almost 11 hours since I had arrived this morning. This turned out to be my only attraction too... the Mark Twain.

  • As the day went on and evening came the restroom lines began to get rather long in many places. Even ones that normally are not bad such as the Tomorrowland set past the Autopia had a line for the Womens side out to the gift shop. The mens room was not bad.

  • Stopped by the Springtime Roundup and it was peaceful as usual even on a busy day. Keep that in mind.

  • Moving around the park as the sunset was ok. I was expecting it to get worse but with entry cut off it was not bad at all. Main Street was very busy but most guests were waiting and not moving around.

  • I stopped by Tomorrowland for a set by the Hard Day's Night. There was a big crowd but no larger than holiday time.

  • Made my way over to Fantasmic just after 8pm for the 9pm show. Crossing through the hub was not a problem at all. The cast members kept things moving.. even though there was no backup or even a crowd they would not let you pause for a picture.

  • Arrived in Frontierland for my first experience with FastPass for Fantasmic. I had a ticket for the Green Section and it said show up in Frontierland. There were no signs or indications of where to go. I saw a Yellow sign but that was about it. I asked a cast member and they said to head toward the Pirates Bridge. Arrived there and again no signs or markings and asked another cast member who started to say go down by the Tarzan Treehouse exit then said to just give them the ticket and go under the rope. In the end find a good spot on the left side of the bridge in the second row. The downside to this was we were on that slope for over an hour which was tough on the legs. Fantasmic was great from here.

  • As Fantasmic was ending they took down the ropes as usual and other guest started to crowd in a bit for the fireworks. Not many maybe another row or two but it became tighter.

  • Disneyland Forever from here was good. You had a great view of the fireworks and the Fantasmic water screens run the entire show showing similar footage to what you see on Main Street. Also they fire off some shells from the Fantasmic points which adds to the show. I was really surprised they only had snow machines on the light towers... so that fell a little flat during Let it Go.

  • If you did not know what you were missing on Main Street this was a very solid alternative experience. It was a step up from the average fireworks show. Unfortunately you do not get the immersion effect and miss out on some rather well done effects. I think for repeat viewing and to get a different perspective it works but if you want to really experience the show out of the two locations I have tried so far Main Street is head and shoulders above Fantasmic.

  • I left as a Kiss Good Night was playing and had no problems walking through Frontierland and using the West bypass on Main Street to Town Square. Once there I walked out to the center of the street to get a look around. The crowd had really done a number on the street and the custodial crews had not made their sweep of the area yet. There was a lot of trash and debris around. A large number of guests were heading for the exit as we were.

  • Upon exiting the park we were in a roped off section and you could see a sea of guests on the far side of the Esplanade. No one was being allowed near Disneyland. If you wanted to cross to DCA you had to find a Cast member to escort you. The security lines appeared to be closed and a number of guests lined up outside. It was a little bit of challenge to get through them to the bus loading area for Toy Story... once they realized we were leaving they were happy to let us through. The Toy Story buses were slow loading but there were plenty and we were on our way fairly quickly. Found the car and headed for home. There was no traffic or problems getting to Katella and then onto the 5. I did see a backup on the Southbound 5 for the Disneyland Drive exit. The carpool and regular lanes were backed up. So I am guessing Ball Road and Disneyland Drive were a mess.

  • 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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