Arrived on a picture perfect afternoon for late November. Temperatures were in the mid 70s and not a cloud in the sky. I was expecting a very busy day at the parks and the crowds were heavy but not unbearable. Wait times were in the hour range for the usual suspects with a few over, such as the Racers.
Trip logs and mileage reports are in the Park
Thoughts and Observations:
- Due to expected crowds and it getting dark so early now a days, there were three showings of World of Color - Winter Dreams scheduled for the evening. I arrived in time to get a blue Fastpass for the second showing. I always like having the option of the earlier showing (they ran at 7:45, 9:00, and 10:15).
- Spent some time walking around Viva Navidad! The crowd was mild there. I was there mid afternoon, not a meal time so that may have had something to do with it. There were a fair number of guests enjoying the performers but other areas were not as crowded. For example the arts and crafts area had more cast members than kids when I walked by. The character meet and greet averaged a handful of parties in line.
- I was able to catch the Street Party during the day. The high energy celebration drew a healthy crowd and all seemed to be having a good time. I thought it played well during the day, but still preferred the night time showing. There is something about the lights that add to it. I did return for a second viewing later in the evening and tried from the far edge, near the Jumpin Jellyfish and found it to be good from there too. You could see the performers much better and they interacted with the crowd.
- I noticed on the schedule that the Instant Concert... Just Add Water is not being performed. Not sure if this is permanent or just for the holidays or what. I always found this to be a fun addition to bring some life to Paradise Bay during the day. I was hoping for a Christmas inspired show this year... maybe next year?
- The winter Buena Vista Bugle hit news stands Wednesday afternoon. I posted some pictures in the update if you wanted to see the selection of stories. I think its great they are still taking the time to put this together and make it available. Interesting note there was no stand by the Red Car stop. So you had to go to guest relations. Not sure if there were any in the cafe, I did not stop by.
- I caught parts of 5 and Dime performing and I did not hear any Christmas music. So only the News Boys received a couple holiday songs this year? Anyone watch their full set and know?
- As I exited Small World I saw the I Conquered Small World Shirts. I saw tweets about these several weeks ago but never saw them in person until Wednesday. They bugged me a bit. I think the choice of words is in very poor taste. The point of the attraction is a peaceful world and they go and sell shirts with the word conquered on it. Seems they could have used survived or something equivalent and had the same effect without the poor choice.
I do not understand the push by the merchandising team to be hip.. the use of slang and phrases like this just bother me. Guess you can put me in the camp of Statler and Waldorf on this one.
- Caught Mickey and the Magical Map in the Fantasyland Theatre. The show has had some minor tweaks recently. The two most obvious are Stitch has been added to the Hawaiian Roller Coaster segment and Mickey now sports a Map Maker outfit for the finale vs his sorcerers apprentice garb. This makes much more sense with the story line and both changes enhanced the show to me.
- Spent some time in the Jingle Jangle Jamboree waiting for then watching the Billie, if you had not heard they will be going into retirement January 6th so if you want to catch a set you have just over a month left. Even with the healthy crowds in the park the characters roaming around the Jamboree were available for some great interaction and photo ops. I thought it was interesting to note they would take a picture or two then walk around a bit to try and keep lines from forming. I think this worked nicely and made for better guest experiences.
- I made a point to be on Main Street USA for the tree lighting to see if they changed anything this year. Unfortunately they did not... it is the same pre-recorded message and lighting moment as the last few years. So if you are looking for a nice tree lighting event and have a choice go to Buena Vista Street. The production that is put on over at DCA is very well done and will not disappoint. Where as the Disneyland one will leave you with a sense of that was all they could come up with?
Here is a video of Main Street USA followed by a video of Buena Vista Street:
- While on the subject of disappointments I made a quick pass through Innoventions. Since my last visit they have updated the XBox/Disney Infinity area to be XBox One now. There is a small area with Infinity still but the focus is XBox One. It is really sad what Innoventions has become. The promise/concept was interesting but if you do not keep updating it the entire area feels stale rather quickly. Now with Marvel taking over two spaces on the second story it is really an odd mix of experiences.. you have the Dream House which is several years old on the first floor surrounded by several small displays then upstairs you have ASIMO, a couple interactive games, XBox One, Thor, and Iron Man.
- I caught most of a Scot Bruce, Elvis set at the Tomorrowland Terrace. He had a packed dance floor and all seemed to be having a good time. A usual this time of year he added some Christmas songs to the set.
- Since missing World of Color - Winter Dreams last Friday due to technical difficulties I decided to see it back to back on Wednesday. I showed up and used the stand by area for the 7:45pm showing. I was in the back and had a fairly obstructed view of the show, but my objective was to see the projections on Screamin so it worked perfectly for that. Then the second showing I used a Fastpass and was in the blue section.
- Due to the scale and complexity of World of Color you can watch it several times and still see new effects/treats throughout.
- The one thing that can be done to enhance the viewing experience would be to ask guests not to hold anything above their heads.. that includes kids, iPads, balloons, etc..
- The first showing I focussed on the Screamin Loop projections and found there to be quite a few for this show and they really added to the show. On the Premiere night I missed them due to a lighting unit being in my line of sight.
- The new snow flakes were functioning and filling the sky on Wednesday. I had not seen them on opening night either. I heard they were going but none floating into my view. On Wednesday the wind was blowing perfectly they were floating up and over the show. I thought these were a nice addition to the show.
- Something slightly different since the last time I attended a later show with a Fastpass. The gathering point for blue was out on the Pier near the Christmas tree. This seemed to work nicely and was out of the way/walkway compared to before.
Interesting Web Finds/Notes:
Below are some interesting links, notes, and rumors I found/stumble across/or have been informed of since the last Geekspeaks column.
Be sure to check out the picture update that goes with this Geekspeak column,
it can be found in our updates section
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