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Visit Date: 1/05/24
Steps: 18,715
Parks Miles: 8.57
Time in Parks: 10.5


Trip Log:

Arrived at the Disneyland Resort around 10am and was directed into a spot on the roof of the Pixar Pals parking structure. No wait for security or the tram and I was in the park within 30 minutes of exiting the freeway today. Strolled up Main Street USA and around the hub before venturing into Adventureland. Continued on to New Orleans Square and Critter Country before passing through Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. Made my way to Frontierland to watch the Disneyland Band then walked through Fantasy Faire and Fantasyland to reach Toontown. Walked around the Matterhorn and into Tomorrowland. Went for a ride on the highway in the sky taking the Monorail to Downtown Disney. Took a look at the projects in Downtown Disney on my way to Disney California Adventure. Once in DCA strolled along Buena Vista Street then made my way to Cars Land for lunch at Flo's. After eating took Cross Street to Avengers Campus. Ran into Mickey's Happy Holidays by Guardians of the Galaxy, then took a look around Hollywood Land before returning to Buena Vista Street. Returned to Disneyland and listened to the Dapper Dans while waiting to board a train for Toontown. Disembarked and found a spot for the 2:00pm A Christmas Fantasy Parade. Took advantage of a short wait for a final cruise of the season on it's a small world holiday. Once back ashore walked the parade route and crossed back to DCA. Walked through Grizzly Recreation area where I crossed paths with Nick and Judy Hopps on my way to watch the Holiday Toy Drummers. After their performance visited Paradise Gardens to see the Three Kings celebration this year and the Mariachi Divas before catching Viva Navidad Street Party. Found a spot to relax in Paradise Gardens Park while I waited for the 5:30pm Phat Cat Swinger Holiday Concert. After the concert visited with several friends before setting off on a walk around the park. Passed through San Fransokyo Square, Cars Land, Avengers Campus, Hollywood Land, Buena Vista Street and took the Performance Corridor back to catch the 6:45pm Phat Cat Swinger Performance. After their show returned to Disneyland for the 7:30pm Wintertime Enchantment. Visited with some friends and then decided to call it a night vs sticking around for fireworks (which ended up being cancelled due to wind). Took a tram back to the parking structure, found my car, and headed for home. (Walking time 3:09 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:

Happy New Year Everyone!

Friday marked my first visit of 2024 and first since mid December due to the block out period for all Magic Keys. My goal for the day was to just relax and enjoy the parks while visiting with some family and friends. We anticipated a big crowd, and were correct. The wait times were on the long side for most attractions all day. The parks were both crowded but they were not the gridlock of old. You would find pockets of congestion but overall people were moving usually. We lucked out with the weather and the morning clouds/overcast cleared by mid day and the sun made the 60s feel comfortable. As the sun set the temperature dropped back to the 50s.

A couple quick links in case you missed them - .

Thoughts and Observations:

  • We had an OK arrival experience today. Opted to go through the light at Ball road and missed the light by 1 car so had to wait several minutes. I choose a good lane for the tollbooth and did not have to wait. Unfortunately a handful of cars ahead of us they blocked off the path to levels 3 & 4 so we were sent to the roof. Drew a decent spot a half dozen cars from the walkway about the middle of the Pixar Pals garage. Then no wait for security, the tram or park entrance.
  • Speaking of the park entrance I saw there was a permit for new turnstiles and gates for the parks filed last month. No signs of the project were visible on Friday. It will be interesting what the new gates look like. The permit lists them as new automatic guest entry gates. They also have a small number of fixed manual gates and removable railings listed on the permit for each entry point.
  • This is the last weekend of Christmas so we made a point to check out some of the entertainment one last time at both parks as we walked around. The crowds were still healthy for the attractions as well as shows. Haunted Mansion Holiday was in the 45-60 min. range every time I walked by. Small world holiday was similar. I timed it well and waited only 15 minutes for small world. I did not make it onto the Mansion this visit. Small world's final day is Sunday. The Haunted Mansion remains open through the 21st then will close for most of the year due to the renovation work to the queue and exit.
  • it's a small world holiday had a number of dolls not in motion or limited motion as it seemed to be limping to the finish line for the season.
  • This is also the last weekend to see Tale of the Lion King. I watched a portion of the show while some in my group grabbed a snack. The theater was maybe 2/3 full. There is no replacement show announced and the theater looks like it is going to be dark for a while. In general the parks are going into an off season lull with no scheduled parades, shows and limited night time offerings with World of Color closed for renovation, Fantasmic not returning until May. Mickey's Mix Magic is slated to return with projections most nights. Other than that large entertainment is a void. Lunar New Year Celebration returns to DCA in a couple weeks (23rd).
  • The Disney100 celebration is over but a couple things remain from it. Monorail Blue still sports its wrap and the Minnie Mouse statue is in the hub. Almost all of the merchandise is gone and other references to the event.
  • Checking in on the ongoing projects. The Mark Twain Riverboat was being inspected and much of the renovation looked to be complete. Tiana's Bayou Adventure had the most workers visible on site that I can recall seeing. I was expecting to see more of the mountain patched up given it had been three weeks since my last visit. Guess they took some time off for the holidays too. Downtown Disney the buildings are slowly moving along and the concrete replacement has shifted to the Star Wars Trading Post area. I was also expecting more the shade structure to be done in Downtown Disney.
  • Decided to take the train from Main Street to Toontown to save some steps. We just missed one and had a 15 minute wait for the next train. There were three on the tracks this afternoon according to the board in the station but of course we arrived during the big space between them as the next train was just leaving Toontown when we arrived. It was good to see three operating again and the board back in service. I want to say this started back in early December but I had not had a chance/time to go for a ride and check it out.
  • Decided to watch A Christmas Fantasy Parade one last time, it runs through Sunday. Goofy was having some sort of issue as he passed by us. He stopped dancing and crossed his arms. The parade came to a halt just past us and a cast member checked on him. After a couple conversations (we couldn't see what was going on since the float had passed) the cast member moved away and the parade resumed, with him still on the float. As Santa's float was stepping off a loud thump
  • Dia de Reyes is being celebrated at Disney California Adventure. The event in is minimal again this year with a small corner featuring a photo op and information display. Looks like there were some arts/crafts earlier in the day but by the time I visited in the 3pm hour they were long gone. It is disappointing the event has been cut back to almost nothing.
  • Trolley Treats featured a Mickey Mouse - Steamboat Willie chocolate art piece in the window most of the day. It reminded me that I missed all the Candy Cane days this year at the parks... usually my visits seem to overlap with at least one day but it appears I missed them all this year.
  • As I walked around the parks the impact of Genie+ is still negative in many ways. For example the Lightning Lane return lanes were backed up in a number of locations. The worst we saw was for Radiator Springs Racers. In the early afternoon it was out of the queue and to Route 66 but as evening came we saw it turn down Route 66 then again onto Cross street and stretch past Ramones. We also saw several switchbacks in use at the Haunted Mansion. The standby waits for attractions also backed up due to this. We saw Monsters Inc at 60 minutes with a fairly full queue and Little Mermaid was using the extended queue with a posted 20 min wait. In the coming weeks Pirates of the Caribbean will be added to the system. It will be interesting to see if this time around it is a better experience.. the last few times they tried FastPass there it led to long stand by queues and long return queues.
  • Friday were the final performances of Phat Cat Swinger for the Festival of Holidays. I stopped by both sets and they had larger crowds than usual. The big crowd and the band were both really into it making it a great way to wrap up the season.
  • I ended my day on Main Street USA with the Wintertime Enchantment snow fall. I enjoy these moments more than the White Christmas finale as they are usually a little less crowded. I would like to see the overhead garland lights return to the show and hub tree lights.
  • We decided to call it a night after visiting a bit before the fireworks. Turned out to be a good call as they were cancelled due to wind.

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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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