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Visit Date: 12/15/17
Steps: 21,172
Parks Miles: 8.0
Time in Parks: 9


Trip Log:

Arrived at a warm Disneyland Resort just after lunch (temps were in the 80s) and was slowly directed into a spot on the roof of the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure. Took a look at the Star Wars construction then headed for security, the trams and the parks. First stop today Disney California Adventure. Once in the park booked a it's a small world FastPass for later then strolled through Grizzly Peak Recreation Area to the Bay Area where I picked up a World of Color Season of Light FastPass. Continued on to Paradise Pier taking a look around. The south side of the Pier from the entrance around to Paradise Gardens is going to be transformed into Pixar Pier this winter (much of it closing in early January and reopening in April). Made my way around to Paradise Gardens and took a look around then caught the 2:15pm Viva Navidad Street Party. After the show finished my loop of the Pier and decided to head for Disneyland. Strolled up Main Street USA, around the hub and continued on to it's a small world. Used my FastPass, and along the way booked one for Haunted Mansion Holiday. After my cruise stopped by Toon Town and Donald's Boat. Walked the parade route back to Main Street and found a spot for A Christmas Fantasy near the cinema. After the parade walked inched my way up Main Street then through the Castle. Strolled through Fantasyland then around the Big Thunder Trail and Rivers of America to Critter Country. Decided to grab some dinner at the Hungry Bear and enjoyed a great view of the Rivers of America as I ate. After dinner booked a Toy Story FastPass for later then used my Haunted Mansion Holiday one as I walked by. After visiting the mansion strolled through Adventureland and then the hub on my way to Tomorrowland. Stopped by the Star Wars Launch Bay to see some of the new displays. Returned to Main Street USA for the 5:30pm set of the Disneyland Band then walked up the parade route and out to the small world mall area for the 6:00pm Wintertime Enchantment moment. Wandered back through the park and over to Disney California Adventure. Passed through the Festival of Holidays booths and stopped by the Bakery for some bread. Caught a performance on the Wharf stage then out to Paradise Pier for the Sunset Concert. Around 7:15pm started to make my way back to Disneyland. As I walked received notice that Toy Story is down and my FastPass was converted to a multi-experience one. At Disneyland found a spot on Main Street to watch the 7:30pm Wintertime Enchantment Moment. Then returned to Disney California Adventure. The plan was to visit Toy Story but it was still down. So instead walked through Hollywood Land, Fliks Fun Fair, then into Cars Land. Hung out there for a while then made my way out to Paradise Pier to use my World of Color FastPass. Left the show slightly early to make it over to Disneyland for Believe in Holiday Magic. Thanks to the entrance lines stretching to the Monorail I arrived on Main Street just as the lights went out so was in a less than ideal spot for the fireworks. After the show joined the crowd heading for the exit and made my way to the tram, parking structure, my car and home.

Other Interesting Stats:
* Moderate Walking Stats (meaning over 2.5mph): 16,256 steps, 141 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:
I returned from a week at Walt Disney World earlier in the week and was happy to spend some relaxing time at the Disneyland Resort enjoying the holiday entertainment. Disneyland feels like "home" to me and I appreciate all the details and entertainment even more after visiting Walt Disney World. On Friday the weather was great with highs in the low to mid 80s and dropping down to the low 60s by the time I left. No noticeable smoke in the air, unlike at home for me. Crowds were slightly more than normal but I would not say extremely busy. Most waits were well under an hour most of the day with only a couple topping the hour mark and I do not recall seeing any triple digit waits. For example after 1pm there were still Fastpasses for the first World of Color show in the blue/first section.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • My day started off with a slow procession from the toll booth up to a parking spot. Traffic was backed up almost all the way to the booths. On a positive note there was no delay entering the garage or scanning my pass. But to get into a spot was slow going for some reason. Also interesting there was no cast member on the row to guide to a spot.. just at the end of the row. So that slowed things down a bit. There were cast members in the area just not directing traffic for some reason.

  • The big news at the tram stops are all the survey work and markings that are showing up as they prepare to start construction in a few weeks on the new parking structure. This structure cannot come soon enough as Disneyland parking is regularly stretched to its limits. I am looking forward to seeing what the final product is and hoping it will make parking more a routine task and not an adventure. I am guessing in the short term though it could be a bumpy 2018 at the Mickey and Friends structure with construction interfering with many aspects of arrival/departure and loosing all the spots in the Pinocchio lot for construction.

  • I spent some time walking around Paradise Pier taking some before pictures. Much of the Pier from Avalon Cove around to Paradise Gardens is slated to close the first week of January. The areas will be transformed to Pixar Pier which is slated to open in April. Disney has released some concept art and a brief video of a model for the area. I am taking a wait and see approach. I thought much of the last redo of the Pier to give it a real sense of place and time was well done. Not sure how dividing it up into neighborhoods and placing Pixar Characters everywhere is going to strengthen this theme. I would have rather seen new attractions or something done to the Backlot area. I know this is the first piece of the long term puzzle to be worked on so it will be interesting to see as what I am calling DCA 3.0 gets underway.

  • I continue to use MaxPass throughout my visits. After using MyDisneyExperience for a week and dealing with the FastPass+ I have really grown to like MaxPass. The system seems more flexible and less limiting than the WDW version. I have found myself visiting more attractions than I normally would on a visit. This is good news for me, but for the average day guest not so good as I am not taking up seats on attractions I normally would not thus creating longer stand by lines or less regular FastPass availability. I found it interesting that Toy Story went down during my visit. About 15 minutes before my scheduled window was to open I received a notification from the Disneyland App that they modified my FastPass and made it a multi-experience one good for Toy Story, Soarin, Grizzly River Run, or Screamin. Interesting to note Racers and Guardians were not included nor anything at Disneyland. In the end I did not use the pass since Toy Story was down and none of the others drew my interest.

  • As you entered the parks throughout the afternoon they were distributing Star Wars: Last Jedi Buttons to mark the opening of the film. They were gone before sunset though, so less buttons than previous films. Also new on the Star Wars front is a BB-8 balloon. I saw them for sale on Main Street and floating around throughout both parks.

  • Decided to find a spot on Main Street USA to watch the 3:30pm Christmas Fantasy Parade. I was pleasantly surprised to find plenty of room 5 minutes before parade time. I still would have preferred the traditional later parade times where the second one takes place under the lights. I think the Christmas lights add a lot to the parade.

  • Grabbed dinner at the Hungry Bear this evening because it was not crowded and I was able to find a nice table overlooking the Rivers of America. It was great to sit back, relax and watch the Mark Twain and Disneyland Railroad make the rounds.

  • The Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland has been updated recently. It features props/models from the Last Jedi film in the first two display cases when you enter. In the space beyond the video where Rey's Speeder and BB-8 were there is now a portion of the large D23 Expo model showing some of Galaxy's Edge. In the video game area there are now two Lego build tables and a small kiosk selling Lego sets. Also new to me is they had Kylo Ren and Darth Vader both meeting. No one on the light side when I walked by. I thought the props were on par with previous ones, but nice to see them continue to update the space. I was disappointed that they did not bring more of the model from D23. I though they could have put the entire model plus more concept art up on the second floor and had a proper preview center for the new land. Maybe it will still come. The Lego addition seemed awkward to me. Again I thought they could have done more instead of throwing it in the middle of the video games.

  • I watched both Wintertime Enchantment moments on Friday. For the 6:00pm one I decided to try the it's a small world mall. Unfortunately the moment started as the clock sequence was still going and the small world projectors were not used. Snow did fall and eventually the area lighting caught up. But it was a bit awkward. For the 7:30pm moment I found a spot on Main Street. It was a much better experience with the lights, snow and even projections on the buildings being used. I still think the hub is lacking without the lights in the trees but the rest of the moment looks great.

  • Since I had a FastPass in Blue for World of Color - Season of Light I decided to watch the first 2/3 of the show. I was disappointed to see the projection screen was not used again for the Fun Wheel. Seems they have given up on it again? I ended up leaving just after the Goofy decorating segment (that is a nice finale) so I could have 15 minutes to get to Disneyland for Believe. Turns out I needed all that time then some thanks to the Disneyland entrance lines being out to the Monorail beam and moving extremely slow. I rounded the corner on Main Street just as the lights went out. So I quickly found a spot against the curb to watch the show. The nice advantage to being all the way on one side is I could clearly see the projections on the other side of the street. They use several on the buildings throughout the show now.

Here are some recent posts to the Geek's Blog:

Geek’s Blog Postings Recap November 7-24, 2017

Disney Related Press Releases

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

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

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

Pictures & Video From this Trip:

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