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Visit Date: 9/01/23
Steps: 27,223
Parks Miles: 12.46
Time in Parks: 11.5


Trip Log:

Arrived at the Disneyland Resort around 10:30am and was directed into a spot in the last aisle of the Goofy level of the Mickey and Friends parking structure. Boarded a tram to the parks and made my way into Disneyland. Halloween Time kicked off today so spent some time roaming around Main Street USA then strolled through Adventureland, New Orleans Square and out to Critter Country checking on the ongoing projects. Spent some time on Batuu and managed to time it right and walk onto Rise of the Resistance with only a few minute wait. Continued on through Black Spire Outpost and Fantasyland. Some grabbed a bite to eat at the Troubadour Taverne and I roamed around Toontown. Then we all walked the parade route back to the front of the park. Crossed the Esplanade to Disney California Adventure and strolled up Buena Vista Street. Made our way to Cars Land for a bite to eat at Flo's V-8 Cafe. After eating took a look at the Haul-O-Ween decorations and then ventured into the now open San Fransokyo Square. Spotted Baymax and a number of finishing touches around the area. Cut my visit short and walked out to Paradise Gardens for the 2:00pm Musical Celebration of Coco show. Spent some time checking out the Plaza de Familia and then strolled through Pixar Pier and back to San Fransokyo Square. Passed through the Bay Area and around Grizzly River Run. Headed for Avengers Campus and then Hollywood Land before returning to Buena Vista Street. Crossed back to Disneyland and decided to give Haunted Mansion Holiday a try. It had been up for a while and hovering in the 45 min range. Got in line but noticed the Lightning Lane return was really backed up so I decided to abandon my attempt to ride and instead walked quickly over to and boarded the Mark Twain Riverboat for a cruise around the Rivers of America. Once back ashore returned to Main Street USA for the nightly Flag Retreat Ceremony. After the show the plan was to see the characters and Dapper Dans.. instead I ran for cover at the Opera House during a brief rain storm that blew through. Waited around and no sign of the Dapper Dans so took a walk through Downtown Disney then returned to California Adventure. Hung out in Cars Land waiting for the lighting moment (which was just after 7:15pm). Circled the area for a while then spent some time in San Fransokyo Square after dark before returning to Buena Vista Street. Returned to Disneyland to check out the Villains Dance Party then took a quick detour to see the Halloween Tree before returning to Main Street USA for Halloween Screams. After the show back to the tram, parking structure and headed for home. (Walking time 4:30 today)

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!

I spent Friday afternoon & evening at the Disneyland Resort, marking my 20th visit of 2023.. The weather was a tad odd for Southern California with it feeling like rain several times and finally we did get a down pour around 5pm for a few minutes. The crowds were moderate early in the day with some modest wait times if you lucked out, but as the sun set the crowds arrived in full force as you would expect on a Friday.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I started my visit with some ok luck parking. Drew a spot near the walkway but the far aisle of the Goofy level. No wait at security or to board a tram so it was about 20 minutes from car to Main Street today.
  • Today was the kickoff of Halloween Time around the resort. Both parks were decked out and almost all the festivities of recent years had returned. Interesting to note the pumpkin hunt and Downtown Disney kick off their seasons next week. Also missing this year is the character cavalcade, which was a great way to see their Halloween costumes the past few years. Speaking of which there are new costumes of the characters on Main Street again this year, matching a line of merchandise. Popcorn cart queues were long throughout the day in many locations with new buckets, sippers, and toppers available. The longest were on Main Street and in New Orleans Square. Other carts were more reasonable with some being only a couple guests if you were will to walk. The decorations around Disneyland were on par with recent years. Nothing new or drastically different jumped out to me on a first walk around the park. Haunted Mansion Holiday returned and as is the norm it had a number of hiccups and down times on opening day. Leading to quite a big backup in the Lightning Lane return queue and a very very slow moving stand by queue for most of the time I was there. It was just too maddening to stand there and watch hundreds of LL return guests go by while standby moved a few feet every now and then.
  • On the construction side of things, the Adventureland walkway project has finished with just the rockwork nearest the restrooms being worked on. The area is slightly larger now and traffic was flowing ok on Friday the few times I walked through. Further along the Tree House has scaffolding up again as they continue to work on the lower section closer to Pirates. This appears to be the last section to finish. No opening date from Disney yet, but only 3 months left to hit the 2023 target date. Tiana's Palace opens next week on the 7th and looked ready to go. The Mint Julep Bar was open with the walls moved back to accommodate this. Tiana's Bayou Adventure had no big visible change this week, just incremental facade work. The Briar Patch has had the Song of the South carving replaced with generic forest critters.
  • Stopped by Black Spire Outpost to see if Ahsoka was out. Found a spot in the shade to catch up on some things. No signs of her, but I did see Rise of the Resistance reopened so we walked there and walked right no. About 10 minutes from making decision to the briefing room. Kylo Ren at the finale was a no show so you watched the video screen instead. Most of the other effects were working, except for the long stopped guns moving.
  • For lunch stopped by Flo's V-8 Cafe and noticed the price of the burger had gone up. Two weeks ago it cost me $12.79 today $13.29. The cheaper buns are still present and it seemed like less fries, or maybe just a bad draw.
  • Halloween around Disney California Adventure was status quo again this year. Buena Vista Street, Cars Land and Paradise Gardens are decked out as usual with the same entertainment offerings as recent years. This makes for a strong line up but I would have liked to have seen something new offered. The after hours Oogie Boogie Bash kicks off next week and preparations for it are visible and intrusive as usual around the parks. I really find it lazy and poor that they will not move the party elements in right at party time but instead leave them out all day long for the entire season.
  • San Fransokyo Square opened Thursday the 31st so this was my first time to see the completed project. I still do not see why this was needed. This area of the park had a cohesive theme and a healthy crowds almost all the time, especially compared to some other areas of the park. The execution of the makeover had me a bit puzzled too. They removed dining capacity and took an area that felt crowded at times and made it more crowded. The Torii Gate Bridge looks interesting from a distance but when you get close to it the shiny look does not seem right and the facade panels do not fit properly and it looks rather poor in spots. At night it looks slightly better but with Pixar Pier in the background one direction it is a lot of visual clutter to me. The gift shop felt temporary and the selection of items did not interest me. The Meet and Greet was popular with the queue stretching toward Cars Land. All three dining locations seem in need of more registers with queues filling the space and extended space and then traveling on beyond that on Friday. This used to happen before too during busy times of the year like Halloween and Christmas. The amount of signage/graphics/etc.. seemed a little over the top to me too.
  • I went for a cruise on the Mark Twain around 4pm and the ship was held up a few minutes waiting for Princess Tiana to board. After taking pictures of the projects I headed down to find a seat and encountered Tiana on the mid-deck by herself. I took a couple pictures and said hi before continuing on.
  • I lucked out being on Main Street when it started to drizzle. I felt a few drops and decided to move toward the Opera House and cover. By the time I reached the overhang it started to rain then pour. It brought back a lot of Walt Disney World memories watching guests scurry for cover as the storm intensified. It was nothing like an Orlando shower but for us Southern Californians rain in September is a novelty.
  • Today Disney announced a promotion for Magic Key Holders. If you made a purchase at a select gift shop you would receive a free Magic Key Magic Band+. This appears to be the band they were selling to introduce Magic Band+ when it launched. It is blue and same Magic Key on it. Due to the design I was not interested at all. I spoke to a number of people that did participate and bought things to get one. By nightfall the available stock was gone it appeared. There seemed to be some inconsistency in what qualified. Some people were told anything that you could get a Magic Key discount on. Other people were told anything in the store. Also limits.. some were told one per key holder. While some were told one band per item purchased with up to 10 per person allowed.
  • Stopped by the Villains Dance party in Tomorrowland. It followed the same format as other recent ones with the characters on stage and the DJ spending what felt like a majority of the time doing the dance lessons. I preferred the original way dance parties were with the characters free roaming the dance floor. This is better in the sense you can see the character and get pictures but it is not nearly as interactive or interesting to me. Also the DJs talk way too much for my preference.
  • Halloween Screams has returned for its seasonal run and the weather cooperated and I was able to see the show for once. It appeared to be the same as recent years. Nothing new or changed jumped out to me.

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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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