Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, June 20, 2014, featuring the Disneyland All-American College Band, who just began their summer performances on Thursday.
Laura Gilbreath was also at the parks that day and will be adding some of her comments along with Jason's photos.
Laura: My Disneyland day started a little earlier than Jason's - I arrived about 11:00 and met up with Nicole and Brad, friends from Team AllEars. They had been at the resort for several days and had done all the rides, and were interested in seeing some of the more overlooked attractions or out-of-the-way things they might have missed.
We went into DCA first and saw the Red Car News Boys. (The photo below is one Jason took later in the day.) This is a fun little show - I really enjoy the music and choreography - and it's great fun to see a "young" Mickey Mouse! One amusing incident during this show - an older lady actually boarded the trolley, totally oblivious that there was a show going on, and thought it was going to take her up the street. She was quickly, but politely, escorted off the trolley.
One disadvantage of the new "animated" character heads - it's now possible to get photos of the characters with a less-than-flattering expression... :-)
Our next event was Instant Concert...Just Add Water. Goofy "conducts" the World of Color fountains - which can get a bit out of control. :-) The concerts are not very long, but I find them fun, and very under-appreciated by most of the park guests. As you can see below we had a beautiful day - lovely blue sky.
We headed over to Disneyland after that. The park was surprisingly not busy - really very pleasant to wander around. We got Fastpasses for Big Thunder Mtn Railroad with a return time that was about 90 minutes away. Jason's photo below illustrates the wait times - nothing over an hour, not even Splash Mountain!
In Fantasy Faire we enjoyed the antics of those minstrels of merriment Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones, as they presented the hair-raising tale of Rapunzel. I showed Nicole and Brad some of the fun little touches in that area like Clopin's Music Box and the sleeping Figaro.
I hadn't seen Mickey and the Magical Map in a while, and Brad and Nicole had never seen it. I hadn't seen it since Stitch was added to the Hawaiian Roller Coast Ride number. (I never understood why Stitch and/or Lilo wasn't included in the first place.) This is a fun show - I don't understand why the attendance isn't better. The theater was less than half full.
It was time to use our Thunder Mountain Fastpasses. This is the first time I'd really had a chance to see the changes - when I rode it with an Imagineer last month, there were bright lights shining on me so I really couldn't see much of the interior at all. It's not that much different - the same ride with updated technology. And that's not a bad thing - it's still a really fun roller coaster! Brad and Nicole said they like this one at Disneyland more than the one at Magic Kingdom. The biggest change was to the "earthquake" scene - instead of an earthquake, now it's a a bunch of dynamite charges about to go off. (That reminded me of Grizzly Mountain at Hong Kong Disneyland.) I understand that the smoke effect has been troublesome - it was sort of working. I noticed that there seemed to be a bit more vegetation, and it looked more natural.
We met up with Jason after that - here's what he'd been doing before that.
Arriving at the Disneyland Resort.
Quite a bit is closed in Tomorrowland today.
First stop DCA.
Buena Vista Street was relatively calm this afternoon.
Some DCA waits around 1:18pm. Note FastPasses for World of Color are gone for the day already.
Laura: I was very surprised that there was only one World of Color show - it was a Friday night!
Grizzly River Run has returned from its annual renovation.
There seemed to be a little spin in the drop. Nothing like when it first opened but seemed like more than it had before (anyone ride yet?)
A quick look out to Paradise Pier. I did not have time to circle around. But on a quick glance all looked status quo.
Out on the Wharf some minor plussing going on. They have added some props. Notice the nets, clothes, etc..
A random picture as I passed through. Nothing of note going on this afternoon.
Laura: It really was a very quiet day in both parks.
Tower of Terror was back in operation today. And with no Grad Nite only a 25 min wait.
Showtime for the 2014 All-American College Band. Today was their second day in the park. They will be performing Tuesday through Saturday from now through early August. This set was their Jazz set. It included the Trolley Song, Friend Like Me from Aladdin, and a Count Basie song.
Laura: We didn't make it to the jazz set, but I only knew about it because Jason told me - it was NOT listed on DCA's Entertainment Times Guide. The band's Disneyland appearances are on the DL Guide - why don't they do the same for DCA?
Pluto was out with Goofy on Buena Vista Street.
Main Street USA
It was calm this warm afternoon (highs were in the mid 80s but the sun sure felt warmer)
Laura: It was a great day - I didn't think it was too uncomfortably warm even in the sun. But I was wearing shorts and Jason was wearing jeans.
The Dapper Dans of Disneyland performing in the Good Old Summer Time on Main Street USA (I posted a quick Instagram video)
Captain EO is closed as they prepare the theater for a Guardians of the Galaxy preview, it will start 4th of July. The Captain EO sign has been removed.
A check of the sub lagoon.
The green is filling in as you pass over Tomorrowland.
Time to check Alice in Wonderland. They were working on the concrete surface as I passed by on the Monorail.
Leaves and a walkway down below. The attraction re-opens July 4th.
Another look at the sub lagoon , note this was taken from the opposite side of the monorail through the tinted window.
Was passing through Fantasyland and it was not too crowded. Thought this was a nice shot with the Matterhorn behind Peter Pan's Flight.
Laura: I love this photo! Amazing to see this few people in a Fantasyland photo on a summer afternoon. (OK, so technically it wasn't "summer" until the next day, but close enough!)
Sleeping Beauty Castle
Time for the 3:25pm All-American College Band Castle Set. This time they only played two songs. They opened with this, A Dream is a Wish your Heart Makes then closed with the attraction medley. No introductions either.
Laura: This was only the band's second day of performing for guests in the park. I thought they were a lot more comfortable and engaged with the audience than the group they had last year on THEIR second day - these kids looked like they were having a ball. Great fun to watch, and sooooo talented! Yes, there were a few rough edges still - but just give them a few more weeks! I look forward to seeing them again in July.
Near Town Square they stopped and played Under the Sea from the Little Mermaid. A video clip of the end of the song.
The Frozen pre-parade making its way onto Main Street USA. Note: it only runs before the 4:00pm Soundsational Parade.
Laura: I'd been warned that this was rather underwhelming...and it was. The float played an instrumental version of "Let it Go", but the characters didn't sing. I understand that, but it would have been really nice if they had miked Anna and Elsa so that they could speak to the audience. I think that would make it a much more personal experience for the guests. Olaf spoke, but it was just canned lines. Anyway...I found this to be poorly executed.
Here is a video clip I took last week of the Frozen pre-parade.
Back to Disneyland, Partners Statue this evening.
The BBQ has switched to the All-American Roundup and Barbecue for the summer.
The Jamboree area was closed, no listing in the time guide either. Guessing it is switching over to the All-American Roundup again.
Disneyland Waits at 5:00pm
The All American College Band marching down Main Street USA to Town Square for the nightly Flag Retreat.
Work is nearing completion on the rooftops of New Orleans Square.
Looking toward Frontierland from the Pirates Bridge
New Orleans Square. Less than a month until Club 33 is to reopen, and assuming that means everything else will be done around then too.
You could see some lights on in Club 33 but not much else.
The All-American College Band performs on the parade route at 6:00pm. This year they stop in a couple locations but there is a lot more movement. So if you want to watch them you have to keep moving too.
Here is some video of their Tower of Power medley. I apologize in advance as some of the camera work is pretty bad since I was moving through the crowd to try and keep up with them.
A clip of the All-American College Band performing Goin Down the Bayou
Before the hub they stopped and performed Let it Go from Frozen. Here is a video clip.
As the All-American Band passed Fantasyland and entered the Small World Mall area they performed Celebration.
They stopped near its a Small World and performed a Disney movie medley.
Toad Hall and the Matterhorn
Random Frontierland picture.
Time for the 7:15 Train Station set of the All-American College Band.
Meet this year's band. They did introductions in a quicker fashion this year. Also they skipped the drum line for some reason.
This set included Bubbles was a Cheerleader, Michael Jackson Medley, Let It Go, and Earth, Wind & Fire Tribute.
All American College Band - Let it Go
Laura: I thought it was interesting that they performed Let it Go twice - along the parade route and at the train station. I'll bet they get tired of that song pretty quickly...
A clip from the Earth, Wind, and Fire Finale
Arrived on Route 66 right before the lights were to come on for the evening.
Laura: We wanted to see the lighting, so we dragged Jason over there with us. :-) The Times Guide just says "dusk", which is not very helpful. DJ was performing at 8:00, so the lighting didn't take place until after he had finished.
Oops.. someone lost three balloons and they are in the telephone lines.
Laura: Jason took this photo of Brad, Nicole and me in Cars Land after the lighting. I had to leave soon after that, so this was the last thing we did together. I had a very nice day - I don't have to ride a lot of rides to have a good time at Disneyland.
Disneyland waits as of 8:21pm Peter Pan is the longest at 45 minutes.
Sleeping Beauty Castle
Hard Days Night A Beatles Tribute was performing at Tomorrowland Terrace. Here are some pictures from their 8:35pm set which featured Sgt. Pepper
A video clip from the performance.
If you were curious Darth Vader popcorn buckets are still available.
Thought the choice of Disneyland Fantasyland and WDW Monorail System on the same glass was odd.
No signs of Tinkerbell or Dumbo during Magical tonight.
Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.
The previous post in this blog was E3 2014: Bring on the Games (Part 1).
The next post in this blog is Tokyo Disney Resort - Part 2.