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Visit Date: 3/04/22
Steps: 23,355
Parks Miles: 12.0
Time in Parks: 9

 

Trip Log:

Arrived at the Disneyland Resort just before noon and was directed into a space on the Cars level of the Pixar Pals Parking Structure. Decided to walk to Downtown Disney to check out the demolition work on my way to the parks. Was able to use the north security checkpoint vs having to walk around to the hotel one. Strolled through Downtown Disney stopping to check out some of the work. Entered Disneyland first today and was greeted by a floral Minnie Mouse. Minnie has taken over for Mickey at the park entrance for Women's History month. Then strolled up Main Street USA checking out the ongoing projects. Made my way out to Toontown for a final look around before it closes next week. Wanted to visit Car Toon Spin but it was down. Walked through Fantasyland and Frontierland to the Rivers of America to take a look around. Then passed through Adventureland on my way back to Main Street USA. Caught a little of the Disneyland Band and listened to the Dapper Dans while I worked through some emails and picture posts then caught the Cavalcade before crossing over to Disney California Adventure. Wandered around Buena Vista Street and Carthay Circle before entering Hollywood Land. Found a spot at the intersection of Hollywood Blvd and Sunset Blvd for the Jammin' Chefs. Then moved over to the stage for the new Alice's Wonderland Bakery Unbirthday Party. After it finished walked back up Hollywood Blvd and turned up the performance corridor. Took a look at the marketplaces and other Food and Wine Festival offerings as I made my way to Paradise Gardens. Walked around there and caught a performance by Urban Music Society on the band stand. Then walked through Pixar Pier and out to the Wharf. Picked up something to eat from the Pacific Wharf Cafe via mobile order and choose to eat outside at Flo's. After eating walked up Route 66 and back to Paradise Gardens Park for a performance by Midnight Hour. Strolled through Grizzly Recreation Area and checked out the wait for Soarin' Over California (yes the original film is back for a limited time). It was longer than my patience so made my way to Disneyland. Hung around Town Square and watched the 4:30pm Flag Retreat. After the ceremony strolled up Main Street USA and through Adventureland to New Orleans Square. Pirates had a 20 minute wait posted but it looked shorter and I wanted to visit before it closed for renovation next week. So I wanted which turned out to be good choice with only an 11 minute wait. After my cruise walked along the Rivers of America, through Critter Country and Star Wars Galaxy's Edge on my way to Fantasyland. Continued on to Toontown and saw Car Toon Spin with a 20 min wait posted so hopped in line. Unfortunately due to Lightning Lane returns it was nearly a 20 minute wait. Took a final look around Toontown after dark then decided to return to DCA for another set of Midnight Hour and to check the Soarin' queue again. The wait was still too long for me so instead I made my way out to Downtown Disney and caught a performance by the Sarah Winchester Band on the west side stage. At this point the skies had some clearing and the wind was not bad so I opted to return to Disneyland. As I entered the park it because to sprinkle. I took cover in one of the tunnels at the entrance and after a few minutes it let up. Decided to continue on into the park. Walked up Main Street and into Tomorrowland where the rain started again. At this point decided I did not want to get too wet so made my way back to the entrance and out to the trams to return to the parking structure. Found my car and headed for home.

Other Interesting Stats:
* Moderate Walking Stats (meaning over 2.5mph): 18,895 steps, 163 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.

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My Thoughts & Observations:

Hello Everyone!

My primary objective this visit was to check in on a couple projects and enjoy the Food & Wine Festival Entertainment. The parks continue to feel busy most of the Fridays I visit. There have not been a lot of noticeable fluctuation in them as you roam the parks. Attraction wait times continue to vary dramatically and if you time things right you can visit some with mild waits and if not it can be a long and slow queue. The weather Friday was not great. The forecast shifted throughout the week ranging from 50s and rain to 60s and partly cloudy. Reality turned out to be along the optimistic. The clouds kept blowing through but no real rain. A light rain/drizzle around the time I left was all.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I choose poorly with my line at the parking toll booth today. All the lines looked about equal with a dozen or so cars in them and I wanted to make sure I had the best chances of being under cover with the forecast so I opted for the far right hand lane. We inched along. Other lanes were moving at least twice as fast. Once I got close enough to see I realized there was one cast member working two lanes from the booth, unlike all the others that had one cast member per lane.
  • As I walked along the garage it was nice to hear the familiar sounds of the parking lot trams outside. I opted not to go for a ride to the parks because I wanted to check out the Downtown Disney demolition work first.
  • The north side (between the former ESPN and Rainforest buildings) security check points have reopened for all guests. They were cast member entrance only on previous visits. This was a nice change and saved some steps.
  • The demolition team is methodically working its way through the west side building that housed the AMC Theater, Starbucks, Earl of Sandwich and other businesses over the years. They started closest to the Monorail beam so the down time would be minimal for the service. The portion that housed the Starbucks was gone as of Friday and the machines were at work moving toward the rest of the complex. The Monorail is slated to return to operation Monday the 7th. I did see Monorail Blue out on the beam way making test runs so all looks on track for reopening.
  • I thought it was interesting that World of Disney has stuck with the single entry path through the doors closest to La Brea Bakery and all other doors are exit only. This was done due to COVID protocols and looks to be staying around a while longer.
  • Speaking of COVID the signage at the parks now says masks are encouraged. Mask usage is definitely lower among guests than two weeks ago. A vast majority are not wearing them anywhere. You could still find pockets of guests wearing masks inside and out but the usage has noticeably decreased. A majority of cast members still had masks on, many two masks.
  • As you enter Disneyland Minnie Mouse now greets you as the floral display. This was done for women's history month and is the first time Minnie has replaced Mickey at Disneyland. She has appeared at other parks over the years.
  • Toontown is scheduled to close on March 9th so this was my final visit to see the construction and the land the way it is. When it reopens in 2023 there will be some significant changes to the feel of the land as well as the new Runaway Railway attraction. I will miss not being able to follow the changes. Due to the way the land is set up there will most likely not be any visibility into the project.
  • Out on the Rivers of America Fantasmic progress seems slow. The fountain platforms are still in dry dock and raised. It appears they have stripped them down more and have not started to rebuild them yet. The show is slated to return May 28th.
  • At the entrance to Avengers Campus a new plaque was recently installed honoring Stan Lee. I thought this was a nice tribute but it seems odd in its placement and execution. It came off looking like a memorial/grave site almost and just seemed out of place to me. I would have liked to have seen a more integrated tribute somehow.
  • The 2022 Disney California Adventure Food and Wine Festival opened Friday and runs through April 26th. Overall it had the same feel as the last several that ran. There are 12 marketplaces set up throughout the park plus special menu offerings at 13 locations. Merchandise is available in a half dozen locations in the park, Downtown Disney and the Grand Californian. There is a kids arts/crafts area. For adults a Beer Garden and some seminars. On the entertainment front the Jammin' Chefs have returned. New this year is Alice's Wonderland Bakery Unbirthday Party replacing Junior Chefs. Music has returned with different groups on the Paradise Gardens Bandstand throughout the day and then the afternoon into the evening on the stage in Paradise Gardens Park.
    • The festival had a big crowd as you would expect for opening day and several of the marketplaces had extremely long waits. At one point the line to pick up food from the Garlic Kissed location stretched from the booth out along Paradise Bay and almost to the stage. This was as long as the lines we saw during the Lunar New Year celebration. Since I am not into food I skipped that aspect of the festival so no comments on the food besides the crowds.
    • The Jammin' Chefs are located at the end of Hollywood Blvd this year. This means better guest flow but still a challenge to see the show since it is a flat area. There are four characters in the show this year, the three percussionists, and the host. The show itself was on par with previous years.
    • Chef Goofy greets guests in a spot on Sunset Blvd., near the rest rooms where the Captain America photo op used to be. It is a nice little set and Goofy was enjoying interacting with guests.
    • Alice's Wonderland Bakery Unbirthday Party features the new Disney Junior show characters on the screen at the Backlot Stage. This replaces the Jr. Chefs show. The idea is the same though. Children can be selected to decorate a cupcake they can take with them. A cast member/host is the MC for the show and talks to the animated characters as well as Minnie Mouse who makes an appearance as the kids decorate their cupcake. The way the show is set up the kids are up front near the stage and everyone else must be seated or standing outside the theater area. This makes it a challenge for parents trying to get pictures/video of their child decorating. Overall I thought the show was a little disappointing compared to previous Jr. Chef presentations years past. The kids that participated all had a ball so it was a success on that front.
    • For the festival Soarin' Over California has returned replacing the Soarin' Around the World film. The wait times were well over an hour and Lighting Lane was backed up so I did not go for a flight this visit. Hopefully on a future one.
    • Having two different live bands is great. I would have liked to have seen a little more variety in music style and looking ahead on the schedule I would have liked to see them rotate groups through the various days of the week so you can experience them all. The schedules appeared to be the same groups each day of the week for the entire festival for the most part.
  • The Nightly Flag Retreat Ceremony at Disneyland has been modified. This change rolled out right around the time of my last visit but I missed it so today was my first viewing of the new ceremony. They have plussed the show and it is turning into a major event. The Disneyland Band lead the Dapper Dans and honor guard to Town Square and then they take up positions on the train station and in the street. The same songs as the old full show are sung with one major change. The Dapper Dans now sing the armed forces medley as the band plays. There are ropes set up at the Flag Pole and military service members are encouraged to come up to the area when their branch is honored just as the pre-covid ceremony did. Overall I thought the changes were all great and the I continue to enjoy the ceremony.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean is scheduled to close for renovation on March 14th. No word on what if anything will be changed but I always like to try and visit before a closure to refresh my memory of its current state. I ended up having some good line timing too. The posted wait dropped to 20 minutes so I decided to give it a try. It turned out to be only 11 minutes.
  • My good line luck did not hold for Car Toon Spin as it had a posted 20 minute wait and took 18 minutes. It could have taken less but the mix of Lightning Lane to Standby was not great. At one point I was watching Lightning Lane guests having to rush to get on. I understand not wanting the Lightning Lane to back up but having those guests wait a minute or two or alternating with standby to keep both moving seems a much better guest experience.
  • There is a photo op available for Turning Red. This Pixar film arrives on Disney+ March 11th. The location was a bit odd. It is on the walkway between Jumpin Jellyfish and Paradise Bay. I would have thought it would be on Pixar Pier somewhere.
  • After sunset Downtown Disney had what felt like a normal Friday crowd. There were a lot of guests everywhere and lines to eat were backed up at most places. Most live entertainment has not returned though. There was only a band on the west side stage Friday, no other performers out along the walkway.
  • To wrap up my evening I made a series of poor choices... The band I was listening to wrapped up a little after 8pm. I could see some breaks in the clouds and the wind was blowing but not real hard so I decided vs walking back to the car I would walk back to Disneyland and stay for the fireworks. As I entered the park it started to drizzle. I had no rain gear with me so I hung out in the tunnel under the Disneyland Railroad for 5 minutes or so and waited out the passing cloud. The drizzle stopped so I ventured out to Main Street USA. The traffic flow was out of the park with more guests coming at me exiting than with me into the park at this point. I decided to walk through Tomorrowland since I had not visited that area yet and of course the rain picked up again. I checked the weather apps and they were no help saying there was no rain. The wind seemed to be picking up too so I opted to head for the tram and car vs waiting around 20 minutes or so to see if the fireworks would go off. Of course as I was exiting the parking structure they shot off as planned.
  • I did luck out and was able to walk right onto the first tram that pulled up to the second load station. The first load station had a 1-2 tram wait. It was nice to sit back and relax vs walking the tram route.

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