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Visit Date: 11/19/21
Steps: 29,796
Parks Miles: 14.12
Time in Parks: 14.5


Trip Log:

Arrived in the Anaheim area just before 7am and stopped for breakfast then headed for the parking structures. Parked on the 4th floor and then walked over to Downtown Disney to take a look at the Christmas decorations on my way to the parks. Today I started at Disney California Adventure. I arrived on Buena Vista Street just as the rope drop announcement started. Walked through Grizzly Peak Airfield and around Grizzly River Run to the Bay Area. Continued out to Pixar Pier with the goal of Toy Story Midway Mania, but it was down. So opted to go for a spin on the Pixar Pal-A-Round then circle back. After a couple minute wait it finally opened. Continued around the Pier and then through the Wharf to Cars Land. Went for a spin with Luigi's cousins then continued on to Avengers Campus. Stopped to catch Spider-Man fly through the air. Made our way out to Paradise Gardens Park and a performance of the Holiday Toy Drummers. Stopped by Redwood Creek to check out the holiday decorations this year then decided to grab and early lunch on the Wharf. Some at the Wharf Cafe, I decided to go grab a corn dog and then join then. After eating listened to the Mistletoe perform. Walked through Avengers Campus then Hollywood Land. Found a spot to watch Mickey's Happy Holidays on Hollywood Blvd. At 1pm I hopped over to Disneyland. Wandered around Main Street USA and then through Adventureland on my way out to the Rivers of America. Paid a visit to the newly opened Pelican's Landing. Walked back through Frontierland to the hub and caught the Character Cavalcade. Followed the Cavalcade out to small world and made my way into Toontown. Spent some time roaming the area then caught the Pearly Band on my way back to Main Street. Once on Main Street listened to a performance by the Dapper Dans at the Train Station then saw the Disneyland Band with the characters. Some of the group enjoyed the 3pm A Christmas Fantasy Parade from a bench in Town Square. I opted to return to DCA and listen to Mostly Kosher. Stopped by Paradise Gardens and saw Mirabel. Next up Viva Navidad Street Party. Stopped by Smoke Jumpers for dinner then returned to Disneyland. Arrived in Town Square just as the Flag Retreat was wrapping up. Spent some time roaming around Main Street USA. Caught a performance by the Dickens Yuletide Band in front of the castle then found a spot for the 5:30pm A Christmas Fantasy Parade. After the parade walked through Adventureland and out to Pelican's Landing again. Then spent some time in New Orleans Square. Returned to Main Street USA and another performance of the Dickens Yuletide Band at the Train Station. Found a spot on Main Street USA for the 7:30 Wintertime Enchantment moment. Returned to DCA and walked through Grizzly Recreation Area and out to Paradise Gardens Park for the Phat Cat Singer Holiday Concert. After their set returned to Disneyland and listened to the Dickens Yuletide Band before finding a spot on Main Street USA for Believe in Holiday Magic. After the snowfall joined the masses heading back to the parking structure.

Other Interesting Stats:
* Moderate Walking Stats (meaning over 2.5mph): 23,513 steps, 207 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!

What a difference a week makes. This Friday the high temperature was about 30 degrees less than last week. The parks were busy but not nearly as crowded as the holiday weekend last week and with no Disney+ Day promotion the crowd arrived more slowly too. It felt more like a typical Friday at the parks from years past. With moderate crowds throughout the day and getting busy as the sun set.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I started my morning off walking over to Downtown Disney. Along the walkway there was a sign this week saying Cast Members Only on the way to the parking lot. I listened to the sign and it meant a substantially longer route to the parks since once again/as normal the security checkpoint was closed and you had to walk all the way around to the one between the hotel and Downtown Disney. This adds quiet a few extra steps to the route. I understand they do not want you in the parking lot. But why not make a more direct pathway or staff the security checkpoint. It really is a sub optimal way to start your visit. My pedometer was already at 1.5 miles when I reached Buena Vista Street to start my day.
  • The former ESPN Building is received new Disney+ banners/artwork on the exterior. The building is hosting a Star Wars VR Experience.
  • Downtown Disney is decorated. There are new plantings and Christmas trees throughout. The main tree for the district is located next to the West side stage this year and includes a snowman. There are also a couple of Nutcrackers and other props with the trees as you walk through. I did not visit at night to see them lit up. On Saturday Disney shared plans for the former AMC building space. They will be closing that area in January to clear it and will be reimagining/rebuilding that portion of Downtown Disney. Here is concept art for the new space -

  • Arrived on Buena Vista Street as the opening spiel was playing, so had perfect timing and no wait. Almost the entire crowd rushed toward Radiator Springs Racers and WEB Slingers. We took our time and wandered through Grizzly Recreation area and out to Pixar Pier. I had not thought ahead enough to check to see if the attractions were operating out there. When we arrived in the area Toy Story had not opened yet and several people were working on the attraction. So we hung around and went for a spin on the Pixar Pal-A-Round. They started to cycle Toy Story so waited a bit then were let into the queue. We were next to board and it stopped again. Two maintenance cast members walked into the building emerging a few minutes later then we were able to board and ride.
  • Saturday Disneyland Announced that World of Color will be returning in 2022. Not exactly a shocking announcement but nice to hear. The renovation work continues in Paradise Bay. Friday morning there were teams painting, teams on the platform and some more cast members below the platform working. The scaffolding/temporary decking for installation of the new projector housings was up but no sign of work atop the new concrete columns yet. The cables feeding the housing looked to have been pulled closer to being in position but that is about it.
  • Luigi and Mater's attractions in Cars Land both feature holiday sound tracks again. We went for a spin with Luigis Cousins since it had a posted 5 minute wait. It turned out to be over 10 but still not horrible. The time between cycles was long as the cast members doing the safety check seemed sluggish.
  • In other Cars Land news Fillmore's renovation work has wrapped up. The structure looks the same as before, only new again.
  • For lunch some decided to eat at the Pacific Wharf Cafe. We learned that mobile order will not give you the option to order the soup separate from the bread which meant the group had to wait in line to order. Overall mobile order seems to be a bit frustrating in some situations like this. On the other hand I went out to Corn Dog Castle and it saved me a bunch of time. I ordered while walking, picked up my food and walked back and the others were still in line at the Wharf Cafe.
  • Before the 1pm Park Hopping time there is not a lot of entertainment at Disney California Adventure. A bulk of the offerings are for the mid to late afternoon. As we left the park at 1pm the line to enter was backed up past the compass. They started to let guests in slightly before 1pm this week. Wonder if the park hopping times will ever be shifted or removed. Seems there really is no need for the restriction anymore most days as the morning crowds are not that heavy compared to later in the day.
  • The Sailing Ship Columbia has returned from renovation and was in use Friday afternoon. The Rivers of America were alive with activity with it, the Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer Island Rafts and canoes in operation.
  • The new seating/dining area near the Harbour Galley is now complete. The area is called Pelican's Landing. It consists of two levels. One a small extension of the previous seating on level with the restaurant and the other at a lower level taking up the space where the smoking section was located for years. The landing includes a sign, some pelicans and some signage talking about the boats and nautical topics. Overall is a nice area and offers some scenic views of the Rivers of America when there is no boat in Fowlers Harbour. It seems a bit odd to have a seating area with a name and sign even, but there are some nice details to the space. The lower seating area may be an issue with Fantasmic viewing cutting off some views of the stand by area. Wonder if the new area will be used for an up charge location or will it be open to anyone. We will find out in 2022 when Fantasmic returns to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
  • No real signs of progress at it's a small world. There is still equipment on the unload area and there were several workers onsite moving around but beyond that everything was out of sight. There were a full compliment of cast members stationed near by to tell guests the attraction is closed and there is no ETA when it will return.
  • For dinner we decided to grab a bite to eat at Smoke Jumpers. It was not a very good meal. The restaurant was nearly empty when I arrived except for two other mobile orders ahead of me and one behind me. The guys behind me decided to go place a regular order too since there was no one in line to order. They were able to get that order before their mobile order was ready. The food was all luke warm to cold. We really should have taken it back and complained but we did not feel like waiting any longer or dealing with the hassle. There was a lot of prepared food sitting in the warmers when I picked up my order, seems they were expecting a dinner rush that did not materialize.
  • The Dickens Yuletide Band was hard to find as always. I did find them for three of their sets. One in the small area to the left of the castle and another two on the Train Station. I really wish the app and/or website listed locations for the various Main Street performances. I have similar issues with the Disneyland Band and Dapper Dans too.
  • Also another complaint about the time schedule in the app and on the website not having the Cavalcade times. It would be nice/helpful to have that information.
  • Believe in Holiday Magic was delayed about 5 minutes on Friday. No indication of why. There was no wind to speak of, all the flags were limp. When the delay announcement started to play there was a fairly loud groan from the assembled audience on Main Street.

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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.

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Pictures & Video From this Trip:

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