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Visit Date: 1/25/19
Steps: 23,328
Parks Miles: 11.0
Time in Parks: 11

 

Trip Log:

Arrived at the Disneyland Resort around 10:30am and was greeted by a line of cars stretching out of the parking structure in all lanes. It took approximately 20 minutes to go through the line and be directed into a parking space on the roof. Walked to the end of the row and took pictures of the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge construction then walked over to the other side of the garage and took a look at the new parking structure. Decided to walk over to Downtown Disney and then to the parks. Made my way to Disney California Adventure and out to Paradise Garden Park to check out the Lunar New Year Celebration. Took a quick look at the various marketplaces and then found a spot for Mulan's Lunar New Year Procession. After the procession I spent some in Paradise Gardens checking out festivities and then continued on to Pixar Pier. Went for a spin on the Pixar Pal-A-Round and then finished the loop of the Pier. Decided to grab some lunch at Smokejumpers Grill and then made our way to Disneyland. Wandered around Main Street checking out some of the Valentine's Day decorations and started Minnie's Valentine's Day Surprise Quest. There are a dozen Valentines throughout the park to find. Stopped by to pick up the next chapter from Esmeralda as I made my way up Main Street. Walked through Frontierland and then out to New Orleans Sqaure. Visited Fortune Red as I continued my Valentine's quest and then out to Critter Country. Doubled back to Frontierland to find one we missed and then returned to the hub. Walked up the parade route and then into Fantasyland. Continued on out to Small World Mall and found a spot for Mickey's Soundsational Parade. After the parade walked around the Matterhorn and into Tomorrowland to find the remaining Valentine's Cards. Returned to Main Street and headed back to DCA. Walked out to Paradise Gardens to meet a friend then back through Grizzly Recreation Area and into the Grand Californian Hotel. Stopped by White Water Snacks and then strolled through the hotel and out to Downtown Disney. Walked through World of Disney and then decided to return to California Adventure. Made our way out to the Pacific Wharf and at dinner at the Pacific Wharf Cafe. After dinner strolled through Cars Land and then made my way to Hollywood Land to look around. Circled the backlot area before returning to Buena Vista Street. Headed back across the Esplanade to Disneyland and boarded the train. Took it around to Tomorrowland and disembarked to check out the Get Your Ears On Dance Party at the Tomorrowland Terrace. Took some pictures then strolled through Tomorrowland and the hub on my way to Adventureland. Stopped by the Tropical Hideaway and then made my way back to Main Street. Wandered through some shops and around Town Square before finding a spot for Mickey's Mix Magic. After the show followed the crowd leaving the park. Made my way to the tram stop, boarded a tram back to the structure, found my car and headed for home.

Other Interesting Stats:
* Moderate Walking Stats (meaning over 2.5mph): 17,231 steps, 154 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!

Friday was a picture perfect January day in Southern California. The highs topped out just shy of 80 degrees with small hint of a breeze and not a cloud in a the sky most of the day. It dropped down into the 60s by the time I left the park in the evening. Crowds were on the moderate side. Parking and security were slow, but park hopping and most of what I wanted to do had not real waits. Attraction waits seemed about average most of the day.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • Parking was really backed up when I arrived. I had hoped to arrive after the morning rush, but I mistimed it. I arrived at 10:30am and it took about 20 minutes from entering the line which stretched out of the structure until I was in a parking spot on the roof. They had every toll booth open, but most only had one cast member working it so they were doing two lines. This is slightly slower than having a dedicated cast member but not that much since it gives cars time to pull away and another to pull up while they are handling the other lane. Wonder when we will see progress on the new entry lanes? Those are needed almost as badly as the additional spaces.

  • Not much to report on the construction front given it was only a week. On the Star Wars side it looked like some more scaffolding is removed but no major visible changes. On the parking garage side the 3rd floor escalators are installed and steel is on site for the roof structures. A stairwell was being installed and another steel structure was visible on the roof level. No signs of the bridge though when you walk along Magic Way.

  • Decided to walk to the park today and the security line by ESPN/Rainforest was backed up again so walked over to the hotel side. They had most of the lanes open with a handful of guests in each. It was busy but moving.

  • Disney California Adventure is celebrating Lunar New Year again this year. The Year of the Pig celebration started Friday and runs through February 17th. The event is approximately the same size and scope as previous years. The festivities are focused in the Paradise Garden Park area through Paradise Garden.
    • Mulan's Lunar New Year Procession is the highlight event. It has shifted locations and is performed in Paradise Garden Park this year on the water fountain area in the middle. It featured a number of performers and characters that enter from the Pixar Pier parade gate and march around to the park where they perform then march back. This viewing area gives more options and better sight lines than the flat area near Goofy's Sky School that has been used in previous years. To celebrate the Year of the Pig the Three Little Pigs join the procession this year along with Mulan, Mushu, Goofy, Chip and Dale. One complaint I have is all shows are in the afternoon between noon and 4:15pm. This means the heat of the day and that they end early. DCA could really use something in the evening with all entertainment wrapped up sunset or early evening at the latest there is not a lot going on at night. Seems this could have been shifted later to offer something. Or some other entertainment added on the stage in the evening since there is no World of Color.
    • As with any event now a days food plays a big role. There are four marketplaces set up as well as a special menu at Paradise Garden Grill and a couple carts. The Sip and Savor pass which has tear off coupons for six items has returned and costs $39 plus tax. Note the vouchers are good on a subset of the menu items so look at the menu and what you want before purchasing to see if it saves you any money.
    • There is a merchandise tent set up near the Little Mermaid and an assortment of items are available. The merchandise line on Friday was quite long due to it being the first day I think.
    • There is an Annual Passholder area set up under the Silly Symphony Swings featuring a button, card and photo op. If you are interested by sure to check the hours, it closes by 5pm most days.
    • Paradise Garden Bandstand features live entertainment. Friday Dat Nguyen was performing. This year on Sat & Sunday there will be community groups and on weekdays Day as well as a new group Melody of China.
    • Paradise Gardens also has a meet and greet from 11am to 5pm daily with a rotating group of characters. I spotted Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse, Mulan and Mushu the two times I walked by.

  • At Disneyland Valentine's Day has taken over Main Street and all the Get Your Ears on decorations have been augmented to celebrate for the next couple of weeks. There are decorations on lamp posts, buildings, and even Main Street Transportation this year. Also new for this year is Minnie's Valentine's Day Surprise. To participate in this in park quest you purchase a clue sheet for $6.99 plus tax from one of a handful of stores then set off to find the 12 valentines day cards throughout the park, just like the egg hunts for Easter. You place a sticker on each clue to reveal a secret phrase. The price is 1 of 2 packs of 6 Valentine Card sets matching those that you found on the quest. I though the cards throughout the park were wall done and not overly intrusive. The locations were mixed and the clues were interesting vs a traditional map. I spotted some guests playing but not nearly as many as the egg hunts have had over the years.

  • For the Get Your Ears On Celebration Mickey, Minnie and the gang all have new costumes. On Friday they were meeting guests in their new costumes in Town Square throughout the day and into the evening.

  • I visited Esmeralda and Fortune Red to pick up the next chapters in the Play Disney Parks App activity. Esmeralda is still acting a bit buggy. She dispensed a card but it did not register with the app so I had to do it a second time. Plus side is I got a bonus/duplicate card. Drawback is it took more time and if I had not been paying attention I would show up next visit and get the previous card vs next card. As it is I am already one visit behind due to that happening on a previous week.

  • The scaffolding around Sleeping Beauty Castle continues to rise. Once completed a scrim with artwork will be added to both sides. No end date has been given for the project but it is expected to be sometime before summer.

  • The Astro Orbitor renovation continues with most of the ride system now removed. It looks to the point where they started to re-add elements back in 2009 when it was last rebuilt.

  • Mickey's Soundsational Parade has returned to Disneyland after being on Hiatus for over a year. The parade last ran in November 2017 then gave way to the Christmas parade, Main Street renovation and the Pixar Play Parade in 2018. The parade has returned with two new elements. The first is a birthday cake for Mickey Mouse that Chip and Dale push right behind the lead float instead of a drum. Behind it is a new float featuring Mickey and a drum. This float is from the Tokyo Disneyland Happiness is Here Parade (which was retired in 2018 for the Dreaming Up! parade). It was fun to see a float I last saw in 2016 in Tokyo at Disneyland. The two additions work seemlessly into the parade. I thought it was nice to see the parade plused a little. It would have been nicer to see a couple more changes to a parade that is soon to turn 8 years old. A new parade for Mickey's 90th would have been great!

  • White Water Snacks reopened on the 22nd at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel. They have renovated it and added a new food counter, reconfigured the food area a bit and changed up the menu. The location seems to feel slightly more up scale now and prices reflect his. A burger and fries will run you $15 now. It was fairly quiet when I walked through but with the construction outside many may not know it is open. Also you can now mobile order.

  • Speaking of Mobile Order I used it for the first time at the Pacific Wharf Cafe. They were treating orders slightly different than other locations. They were asking for your number and then getting your food vs going off the computer. Not sure if this was due to a problem or procedure. Overall it worked really efficiently for us and it sure beat the slow moving line that was out the door.

  • Walked by Ghirardelli and there was no greeter and no free samples at the door as a result.

  • A new Dance Party has taken over Tomorrowland Terrace, the Get Your Ears On Dance Party. It appears the dance party fad is here to stay and live entertainment may be a thing of the past. The party followed the format of the last couple of parties with a DJ on stage and a couple characters at a time that would be rotated with another group. I saw Mickey and Pluto, the Tweedles, Clarice, Chip and Dale, the White Rabbit and the Queen of Hearts on Friday. The dance floor was full and guests seemed to be having a great time. For the most part they were not crowding the characters and all was working smoothly, even with Mickey Mouse on the floor.

  • Decided to give Mickey's Mix Magic a second try. I watched again from Main Street USA, this time further back near the Cinema. The street was fairly full but not as crowded as I would have thought given no Fantasmic or other night entertainment this evening at DCA nor Disneyland. Tonight the show was more disappointing. Due to the castle renovation work there were no lasers nor projections on the castle. The loss of the laser effects left a void in the show. So I show that I would not rate highly was even less impressive Friday. The crowd once again seemed to really enjoy it with a good size cheer at the end so guess I am still in the minority.

  • When it came time to exit as I approached the Mickey and Friends Tram stop there were metal barriers set up and cast members directing everyone into a series of switch backs. They had a queue set up and were dispatching guests from the queue to four tram stops. I was sent to the third stop (first one on the right). The system was flowing fairly well, it took about 6 minutes from when I entered the queue until my tram was moving. For me this may have been slightly longer than a good night but for many I think it was a time savings since traffic did not bottle up at the first tram stop. Will be interesting to see if this change becomes permanent or how it is modified. I am guessing this is to address the tram crowding/near grid lock that happens as well as the additional guests that will be added once the new parking structure opens. The metal barrier switchbacks gave me flashbacks to the Shanghai Disneyland entrance queues!


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

Geek’s Blog Postings Recap January 9-21, 2019


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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