The off season has arrived and the construction is moving into high gear around the Disneyland Resort, as you saw in the pictorial update. The crowds were mild, but I have to admit I really did not pay much attention to the wait times since I had so many things I wanted to check out and get pictures of. Even more surprising was the mild weather again.
Trip logs and mileage reports are in the Park
Disneyland & DCA Thoughts and Observations:
- While taking the tram to the parks, something that I seem to overhear on almost every trip now is a group complaining about the doors. Personally I think they are a little awkward, especially when you have to disembark and try to squeeze your gear through them and hold them open but they don't seem that miserable. I would have liked to have seen some sort of automation to them, but I know at some point the cost and potential cost of repairs makes that option not worth looking into. What are you all hearing when you visit? Am I just lucky/unlucky or is this a widely held view?
- The rigging for the lights/speakers for the ElecTRONica party/event is starting to take over the Backlot. It seems a little more elaborate than the Glow Fest set up, but then again so far all that is up are some tube arches over the street. It will be fun to see what gets attached to it. I like that the wall has come down in front of the Hollywood and Dine, hopefully that will be used for the event.
- Its nice to see the Hyperion receiving a fresh coat of paint but I was really hoping for some more changes to the facade, guess all those are pushed to a later phase (or just dropped). In some of the early concept art/videos of the DCA work they showed some tweaks to the Hyperion look.
- As I walked around DCA and took a look at all the walls it was great to see the variety of graphics on them and how they are really being used to tease the upcoming changes. Also I thought it was great to see them using different graphics and not just repeating them, for example on the small set of walls by the Maliboomer/new park they have two different key/large images and that is a fairly small wall.
- Every time I visit the parks and see the ever expanding steel structure for the Cars Land rockwork the more impressed I am that they are spending that much time, money, and effort to really create a unique environment. From what I have seen Cars Land has the potential to really raise the bar in terms of Disney immersion (now I have not been to Tokyo Disneysea but from what I have seen this will be on par or maybe even surpass what was done over there).
- Wonder how the Disneyland films in the Main Street cinema were received. I see there summer run has ended, I think it would be great to see short events like this in the cinema from time to time. I really enjoyed and appreciated it.
- Had some time to take a look at the current park maps and was pleasantly surprised with how up to date the DCA one was. They had the Farm, Maliboomer and Rustworthy all gone. Also the street closure for the Red Car work was marked and a note about accessing the Tower of Terror was there. I noted the parade route was listed as the full run again, I did not make it over to verify but guess that is because of the work by Cars Land. Was the High School Musical float doing this too? Anyone see? Also noticed that the Main Street Vehicles were now presented by National Car Rental, is that new?
- In the evening I attended the World of Color party sponsored by Verizon and Vitamin Water. We won our tickets through the Vitamin Water online contest. We won four passes which included park hoppers that were good from 4pm through 1am, a World of Color fastpass for the private 10:15pm show, a drink voucher and food voucher per person. The pickup process was very smooth and they used an entire ticket booth, so there were plenty of windows and the line kept on moving. Also included in the packet you picked up was a schedule listing all the shows at both parks that were taking place, so you could plan your evening out. You had free time to roam the parks until the 10:15 show (which was after DCA closing). After the show the party ran from 10:45 through 1:00am. During the party they had Screamin, the Fun Wheel, King Tritons and the swings open as well as Free Play at the Games of the Boardwalk, so there was plenty to do. There was also a DJ out on the Pier and they kept the World of Color fountains running too. As you roamed the Pier area there were a couple of lounges set up with give-a-ways too.
- Overall I thought the party was a great prize and we had a good time. I only had a couple of small issues. I think it would have been better if they had let us redeem our meal/snack coupons earlier or if there would have been more carts available. As you saw in the pictures the lines were extremely long. I was a little disappointed to see Toy Story closed, I am sure when they planned the event they were hoping for it to be open too. They put both lounges/give away areas next to each other, this really created a bottleneck in the area and the other side, near say the Swings was quite empty. It would have be nice to see this spread out some to help with the traffic flow.
- Due to the long lines for the freebies and then the Fun Wheel and it way best when I wanted to head home I had to skip a night time ride to check out the World of Color fountains from above. I was disappointed in this but as it was I was pulling out about midnight and had a long drive home... hopefully I will have an opportunity sometime in the future to get shots of this (I am 0 for 2 now.. since the VIP kickoff party did not allow cameras and now this one I missed out due to the line/wait issues).
- In my continued quest to experience World of Color from many different vantage points this time around I found a great spot on the bridge leading up to Ariels. From here you look down on the Platform and are able to get a great wide angle view of the platform (I shot all the pictures with my wide lens to try and capture the view, but it really did not do it justice). The sound and projections were both good from here, not as good as the viewing area but definitely able to hear with no problem and see what was going on. I think this is one of my favorite spots now. In case you missed it Sunday I added four videos to the YouTube Channel showing what the view was like, so you can compare to the other clips I have from alternative locations if you are inclined to do so. Also making this great was the fact that there was no one around.. only a dozen or so guests choose to watch from up there, everyone else crowded into the viewing area (which really did not look that crowded either but it was much denser than where we were). At one point the crowd control CMs in the area out numbered the guests I think... a rare occurrence but it made the show even more enjoyable to have space.
Disney Aulani Resort (the DVC property in Hawaii):
- Last week I posted some pictures I took while out in Hawaii of the Aulani Resort in Ko Olina that Disney has under construction. It is slated to open in a little under a year and construction was in full swing. The main towers appeared to be receiving their finishing touches and detail work. The pool area and courtyard seemed to be a major construction area still. From the viewpoints we had we could not tell anything about the interior work.
- The resort has a large feel to it from the outside, maybe its due to the way the resort is constructed/the wings attached vs the other resorts in the area. Disney is definitely going to make its presence known in this quiet area. As I walked around the other resorts in the area there was really a calm to the region. Wonder how this will change with Disney moving in.
- I did not have time to do the sales tour and I never heard back from the Disney PR folks so I did not pick up any information or get on the property to share any insight with you.
- I received several requests for more Hawaii pictures, non-Disney, so over the next few weeks I will work to get them posted, be patient...
- 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.
- Interesting Web Finds
- Disney Press Releases
- We post some announcements on:
Be sure to check out the picture update that goes with this Geekspeak column,
it can be found in our updates section
Stop by the Geek's Forum to discuss this and other Disney topics.. click
Send comments, questions, any other email to: firstname.lastname@example.org