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Visit Date: 12/02/23
Steps: 20,936
Parks Miles: 9.58
Time in Parks: 12.5


Trip Log:

I arrived at the Disneyland Resort to find traffic backed up on the Ball Road overpass and to even merge toward the parking structure. So I decided to give the Magic Way entrance a try. My timing was off by a couple minutes.. a cast member was just opening the gate when I drove by but had yet to move the cones. So I circled the block and was able to get in line the second time, along with a bunch of other cars as they had closed parking structure entrance Disneyland Drive. I was directed up to the 5th floor and then it was free for all parking so I ended up with a great spot a few cars from the escalator. I was on my way to the parks just after 8:00am. No wait at security but the trams were slow this morning. Made it to the park at 8:30am and stepped onto Main Street USA. Town Square was set up for the Candlelight Ceremony this evening. The curb seating and benches were already claimed for the 5:30pm show. I wandered around Town Square then Main Street USA. Stopped by Candy Palace to pick up a Candy Cane schedule card then strolled through Adventureland and out to New Orleans Square. Paused to listen to the Bootstrappers then walked onto Haunted Mansion Holiday. Walked along the Rivers of America then through Frontierland and the hub to Matterhorn Way and out to it's a small world holiday. Along the way stopped to listen to the Disneyland Band. The attraction was a walk on also so went for a cruise. After my cruise stopped by Toontown. Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway was posted at 15 minutes so thought I would go for a ride. Turned out to be about 10 minutes to the preshow only. After my adventure circled Toontown then made my way to Sleeping Beauty Castle for a performance by the Disneyland Band. Walked through Fantasyland and Star Wars Galaxy's Edge to reach Critter Country. Took a look at the construction work for Tiana's Bayou Adventure and renovation work on the Mark Twain. As I was walking along the Rivers of America crossed paths with Sandy Claws. Decided to take the train from New Orleans Square to Toontown. Walked back to the hub and took a look at the Astro Orbitor Renovation walls then passed through Fantasy Faire. Paused for a little of the Tangled show at the Royal Theatre then the Disneyland Band in Frontierland. Walked through Adventureland and then back to Main Street USA to do a lap. Caught the Pearly Band performing with Mary Poppins in front of the Castle the took the Monorail to Downtown Disney. Strolled through Downtown Disney checking out the projects and decorations as I made my way to Disney California Adventure. Took Buena Vista Street to the Performance Corridor and saw a performance by the Holiday Toy Drummers before grabbing a bite to eat at Flos. After eating passed through San Fransokyo Square and then out to Paradise Gardens to watch Viva Navidad Street Party. Took the Performance Corridor to Avengers Campus then into Hollywood Land. Crossed back to Disneyland and found some friends in Town Square and decided to wait for the Candlelight with them. While waiting watched A Christmas Fantasy Parade and the Flag Retreat. After the 5:30 Candlelight I crossed back to Disney California Adventure and caught the 6:45pm Holiday concert. Made my way to Downtown Disney for the 7:30pm Snowfall then listened to the band on the stage for a while, saw the 8:00pm snowfall then the 8:30 performance of Holiday Harmony on the stage. Decided to call it an early evening and walk back to parking structure, found my car and headed for home. (Walking time 3:15 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.

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My Thoughts & Observations:

Hello Everyone!

I ventured down to Anaheim on a rare Saturday to see the annual Candlelight Processional. The weather forecast turned very favorable as the week went on. It started out chilly in the 40s when I left home but 50s when I reached the park and climbed to the 60s then fell back to the 50s by the time I left with clear skies and only occasional mild breezes. The crowds were heavy as you would expect during this time of year combined with Candlelight. Wait times were great the first couple of hours then climbed to the moderate to high range depending on your preferences.

Thoughts and Observations:

  • I decided to leave for the park when I work up vs setting an alarm and leaving early or going later in the day. I was hoping to minimize traffic, which I succeeded in. The drive down to the park was easy with no delays. Once I exited the freeway at Disneyland Drive that changed. I could see the traffic backed up on the Ball Road overpass so I opted to go through the light. This backed up too and I almost got stuck in the intersection. I decided to go try the entrance on Magic Way. My timing was poor and a cast member was just unlocking the gates so I could not enter there. I decided to try my luck and go around the block. By this time they were sending all cars to Magic Way. So it was backed up to turn. Luckily it moved fairly smoothly and I was at the tollbooth in a few minutes. They directed me to the 5th floor of the Pixar Pals Parking Structure. The cast members had just finished parking the first aisle (closest to the ramp) and were walking back to rest the next aisle. There were no other cast members at the end of the aisle telling you were to go so it was free for all parking. I opted for a few spots from the escalator so all worked out well.
  • No wait at security. Once through though only one tram stop was in use and it was backed up a couple of trams. The trams were pulling in then holding for a few minutes. As I was next to board they opened a second station. Eventually I reached the Esplanade and found no wait to enter the park. It took over 45 minutes from the freeway to park today.
  • Main Street USA was disjointed today due to the Candlelight. Much of the entertainment was altered or cancelled and there were no vehicles in operation. The parade did run twice but earlier in the day and other groups like the Disneyland Band performed but relocated to small world mall for a set. There were no Dapper Dans or Yuletide Band today and I did not see many characters out, only a few against the east side buildings the couple times I walked through the area.
  • The curbs in Town Square and the few benches that would be available for the Candlelight were all full when I entered and I heard they were filled as soon as the turn stiles opened, well before park opening. That is a long day for those willing to wait the 10+ hours.
  • I decided my target was a 2.5-3.5 hour wait so I set off to enjoy the parks. I had some great timing and was able to walk onto Haunted Mansion Holiday and it's a small world holiday. My wait for Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway was only about 10 minutes. I also went for a ride on the railroad and was able to board a train that just pulled in so no real wait there either. So four attractions with under 20 minutes combined wait time was a good way to start the day. The majority of my day was entertainment focused though. By the time I left I saw the Bootstrappers, 3 sets of the Disneyland Band, 1 of the Pearly Band, Holiday Toy Drummers, Viva Navidad Street Party, Christmas Fantasy Parade, Holiday Concert, Downtown Disney snow moment twice, then two sets at the band stand in Downtown Disney.
  • It was a bit of a challenge to enjoy the Bootstrappers. They were performing along the main walkway and most guests were moving by on their way to their first attractions of the day and not really interested in stopping to enjoy some music.
  • Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway could use some TLC. I thought this last visit so gave it a try today and the same issues were still there. The two largest being Mickey and Minnie's car no longer moves, it is at the end of the road only. Then at the end when Goofy rejoins the train the door is up and you can see the other trains waiting to join in.
  • I was strolling along the Rivers of America and crossed paths with Sandy Claws. He spotted me from a distance and did some poses as he passed by for the camera. Always great to have a chance encounter with a character.
  • Had a peaceful ride along the rails of the Disneyland Railroad. I think this was my first time hearing the mention of Tiana's Bayou Adventure. The line has been longer than my patience or timing hasn't worked out in the months since that was changed.
  • It was nice to see the Astro Oribitor graphics on the renovation wall. Wonder what happened to the WDW one though...
  • Downtown Disney was pleasant to walk through this afternoon. The ongoing projects did not have a lot of visible progress since my last visit though.
  • Disney California Adventure felt busy to walk around for it being early afternoon. I typically do not visit on weekends, so this may be normal.
  • Flo's was extremely slow and disorganized again. I used mobile order and it took a good 15 minutes for my order to be visible. I could see it come up then eventually a CM moved it to a counter, but it was third up and the CM was only inputting one number at a time. After a few minutes of watching what appeared to be my food get cold I walked up and ask the CM who verified it was my order and gave it to me.
  • I crossed back to Disneyland just after 2pm and ran into some friend who were waiting for the Candlelight. I was catching up with them and decided to hang out and stand for the 3+ hours until show time. I ended up in front of the Opera House with a clear view of most of the show. The wait was uneventful for the most part. We had an unexpectedly good view of A Christmas Fantasy Parade, the Flag Retreat and Tree Lighting.
  • For the Flag Retreat this evening they did a silent retreat. It would have been nice to at least announce it was going on..
  • The tree lighting moment continues to disappoint. It is about a minute long recording and the light come on.
  • The Candlelight Procession was spectacular as always. Brie Larson was the guest narrator and did a sound job with the readings. She seemed to add some emotion to it which is a slightly different feel than some other narrators. Leaving after the ceremony was slow going waiting for the choir to clear then things flowed well.
  • I returned to Disney California Adventure to see Tina and the Sounds of Celebration Holiday Concert. They put on a performance that for the most part I thought would have worked better of the Food & Wine Festival. They only had a couple Christmas songs in the set I saw. They talked about holiday traditions which was nice but the musical choices did not match up.
  • This year Downtown Disney has added snow every half hour nightly. This happens in the courtyard where the Christmas Tree is. It reminding me of the Streets of America Snow at Walt Disney World. The music was a bit hard to hear depending on where you stood and the snow varied from nothing to over the top depending on your location and wind. They played different music and recordings for the two moments I saw.
  • Closed out my evening with a performance by Holiday Harmony on the recently opened stage. The lawn had an ok crowd, many moved their chairs and set up blankets in front of the band stand. The stage was pleasant to watch the show on and plenty of good viewing spots. I did find it awkward you can walk right up behind a group performing. Seems the side facing the walkway could use some additional barrier.. or maybe groups will start to try and play more in the round?
  • I walked back to the parking structure from Downtown Disney since I was parked in a aisle right near that side of the garage. No delays getting to my car. I was behind some extremely slow cars leaving.. 5mph all the way to the freeway almost.

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

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