Observations

Observations From Disneyland and DCA: May 19, 2014

by on May 21, 2014


IMG_0662The big news this week at Disneyland Resort was the sudden price increases for all park tickets and annual passes. Unlike last year, there was no warning before the prices went up. Disneyland simply closed one day with the old prices, and opened the next day with new prices. I won’t go into much here, but the price increases have had a negative reaction. Also like clockwork, the local media has picked up on it again.

IMG_0601It’s been almost 2 weeks since Little Mermaid ~Ariel’s Undersea Adventure reopened with its improvements. I went into detail about the changes on this post, but now I’ve had some time to really soak in all the details. It really blows my mind that something as simple as a new paint job can make the ride so much better. In my opinion these changes took the Little Mermaid attraction from a simple dark ride, and made it into a future classic. I think people would consider it a must-do if this ride would have opened in the heyday of the Little Mermaid craze in the early 90s.

More pictures and observations after the jump.

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Observations: May 17, 2014 – a 2 park feature!

by on May 20, 2014

Hi Everyone!  I had the best Saturday of park hopping and I wanted to share some observations with you.  My day started when we parked at Animal Kingdom at 8:45am.  While we were walking in we noticed it was much more crowded than we’d expected.  Umm… oops… your trusty host had forgotten about Extra Magic Hours!  I was so delighted to get a Fastpass+ for the Kilimanjaro Safaris at 9:05am that I hadn’t paid attention.  Well, we decided to walk back and check the wait time to see if we could sneak on then use the Fastpass+ for a second ride.  Luckily, it wasn’t too crowded.  We were able to pretty much walk on the first time but 30 minutes later we were so glad we had the Fastpass for a quick second ride!  The line was already very slow moving for standby.

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Observations From Disneyland: May 15, 2014

by on May 17, 2014

IMG_8704Over the years I’ve noticed that Disneylanders avoid the park if the weather is extremely bad in either direction. Anaheim has great weather for most of the year, but there are the few weeks when it is either cold and rainy or, like today, very hot. Here I caught Snow White walking through the hub, and no one bothered her. No one bothered her because no one was around.

IMG_8696This was the wait time board at 11 AM. Wait times for the past week or so have been a bit higher than usual because so many attractions are down for refurbishment. Today that factor was hardly even noticeable.

More pictures after the jump:

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May 7, 2014: Magic Kingdom and the Fourth Fastpass+

by on May 13, 2014

Hi Everyone! Hope you’re ready for a report full of pixie dust! I’d originally planned on doing a post about May the 4th at Disney’s Hollywood Studios but it seems like everyone has been talking about that this week. Instead I decided to take you on a fun filled night at the Magic Kingdom. Let’s get started! Of course, Mickey was there to greet me before I even arrived to the park…

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I decided to take some video as we rolled into the Magic Kingdom Monorail station. Unfortunately, it’s complete with authentic kid finger prints on the glass. No matter where I moved around the window was just covered.

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Observations From Disneyland and Disney California Adventure: April 30, 2014

by on May 3, 2014

IMG_8438Take a look at the Disneyland side of that unavailable attractions list. That’s a lot of rides down for refurbishment. It’s not like the list is made up of second tier attractions, there are some major rides closed. More importantly some huge people eaters are down, like Pirates of the Caribbean and “It’s a Small World.” Because of these closures, Disneyland has seen some higher than usual wait times thanks to several rides being closed that would normally soak up thousands of people per hour.

DSC02112In other news the churro carts around Disneyland Resort have raised their price to $4.00 per a churro.

More pictures after the jump:

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April 22, 2014: Magic Kingdom Observations and FastPass+ Fun

by on April 28, 2014

It’s been a while since I’ve taken you guys with me on one of my after work weeknight adventures and I thought we were due for a few magical hours in the Magic Kingdom. Taking a look at the photo below you can tell the crowds certainly haven’t cleared out from Easter yet! I was worried we wouldn’t get the most out of the night because it was so busy. But I managed to snag some great FastPass+ times that I’m excited to tell you about! Unfortunately, if you take a look at the clock in the photo below you’ll see that I was going to be late for my first FastPass+ reservation that expired at 6:45pm. Eek! Let’s hurry!

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Luckily, even though I was a solid 10 minutes late for my appointment with the Haunted Mansion they let us through with no issue. I’ve heard you can be up to 15 minutes late for a FastPass+ and 5 minutes early without getting into trouble. I’m glad they let us in because I was able to get this photo of the grave digger. He’s still a little out of focus but this is the closest I’ve gotten to a decent photo of him. He’s sort of my white whale of photography!! ;)

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Obervations: Epcot April 10, 2014

by on April 17, 2014

Date: April 10, 2014
Crowd Level: 3
Weather: 77°F at 5 p.m. with no rain

It’s time for a walk around Epcot during the middle of what is Spring Break season down here. I actually started out in Future World this time around, which is kind of rare for me as I like to come in the back gate at the International Gateway. I took some shots of the entrance topiary, but instead of focusing on the characters I wanted to catch the riot of wildflowers around them. To my surprise, there are glass flowers intermingled with real flowers, and they’re fantastic! Here are a few shots.

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Observations from Downtown Disney for April 10, 2014 (Construction Walls, T-Rex, Food Trucks, New Merchandise)

by on April 14, 2014

It has been several months since I have been to Downtown Disney, so it’s time to check in to see what is going on lately. After several trips in which I had to scream “Serenity Now!” while trying to find a parking spot, I realized what I needed to do in order to fix that problem: I rope-dropped Downtown Disney.

The only two places to park in front of Downtown Disney itself and these are the lot by the Marketplace and way down the other end by Cirque du Soleil. Even at 10 AM, the sign leading to the Marketplace lot said it was “full,” so we parked down by Cirque du Soleil. This lack of parking is caused by the two parking garages Downtown Disney is in the process of building. Many people are hoping for these to be done by the holiday season of this year, but guest services said it wouldn’t be until early 2015.  There is also parking across the street in which you can take a Disney shuttle to Downtown Disney.

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Status of the parking garage closest to Cirque du Soleil

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April 5, 2014: Epcot Observations and Muppets Scavenger Hunt

by on April 7, 2014

Hi, everyone! Glad you’re able to stop by for a look at the beautiful, sunny weather at Epcot on April 5, 2014! I have a lot to show you, including the new Muppets Scavenger Hunt that just started today. As always, I have lots of photos and video to share. If you were hoping for a look at the Flower & Garden Festival you can look here, this week is more about random fun in the park. Of course, this time of year you almost can’t take a photo without capturing some lovely flowers. So why don’t we start there?

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Pretty, aren’t they? But just so you don’t miss the full experience, I grabbed a few seconds of the tram ride in. Doesn’t it feel like you’re really there? :)

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Epcot Observations: March 23, 2014

by on March 26, 2014

Despite the overcast skies, Sunday, March 23, was a beautiful day to visit Epcot. But it wasn’t the first park I tried that day. At 8:30am I was rolling up to the parking plaza for Magic Kingdom, but it looked more like a parking lot. The crowds were unreal, with bumper to bumper traffic several lanes deep. I chose to stay in the left lane and head straight for the exit with my fingers crossed crowds would be more manageable at Epcot. Luckily, they were, and I have lots of fun to share! For starters, check out these flower beds!

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But, I’m getting ahead of myself! I took several photos of the deep lines at bag check and entrance gates. I’m guessing those aren’t as fun to look at as the topiaries at the park entrance. Sorry for the odd angle, but this was just mobbed with folks taking photos! (Don’t worry – there are lots more coming!)

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