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August 14, 2017

Disneyland Resort Updates from August 11

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, August 11, 2017.

Summer is quickly drawing to an end at the Disneyland Resort. Friday I met up with Laura and we enjoyed the the final day of the 2017 Disneyland Resort All-American College Band and caught up.

Starting off with a check of the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge construction from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure. Here is a video overview.

The concrete building on the right of the Battle Escape Building has all the forms removed now from the walls.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

Panning left to the Battle Escape building.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

In the distance the Millennium Falcon building.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

Crews working on the roof and the exterior wall preparations on the Battle Escape building. On the roof the last section is being prepared for a concrete pour.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

Rebar starting to bridge the gap and connect the concrete building to the wall on the right to close off the backstage area.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

A steel support structure for the facade/rock work over the Millennium Falcon building.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

First stop Buena Vista Street. Julius Katz and Sons no longer has pins, they moved next door to Atwater Ink and Paint. In that area now are figures and music boxes. The pins are in the front section closest to the street in Atwater.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

Disneyland Railroad passing by the Rivers of America, as seen from the Mark Twain.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

Behind the train you can see the steel that will be mountains in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

On the east side of the river you can see more of the exterior wall for the Battle Escape building and some of the steel for more facade/rock work.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

A look through the fence into Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge. The mound of dirt is gone.. but equipment parked in the line of sight today.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

The 2017 All American-College Band got off to a rough start for their last day. They arrived for the first set and instead of introducing them the speakers started blaring noise..
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

The 2017 Disneyland Resort All-American College Band performing their Moana Medley.

Stopped by the Jungle Cruise since the wait was under 10 minutes.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

Gathered in Town Square for the 5:15pm Flag Retreat Ceremony.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

Next up a trip through the Tree House. Another view of the River Belle roof work.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge from the Tree House
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

The band starting their set.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

The 2017 Disneyland Resort All-American College Band performing their Earth, Wind and Fire Tribute for the last time.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

The 2017 Disneyland Resort All-American College Band preparing for their final set at the Royal Theatre
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

Ron joined them for one song.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

A couple of video clips from the final set of the 2017 Disneyland Resort All-American College Band.

The 2017 All-American College Band - A final introduction and Disney Medley to conclude their season.

Found a spot for the Main Street Electrical Parade out by "it's a small world." The parade runs through next weekend, August 20th. So this is likely my last viewing of it.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

Here are several video clips from the Disneyland Main Street Electrical Parade.

Mickey and Minnie on the drum float.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

Some of the Alice in Wonderland group.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

Clock striking midnight.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

Dopey driving the mine train.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

Elliot and Pete
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

The finale to Honor America
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 11, 2017

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.









August 4, 2017

Disney MaxPass - First Impressions

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MaxPass

The Disneyland Resort rolled out the new Disney MaxPass feature on July 19. You can read about Maxpass HERE, but essentially, for an extra fee, it gives guests unlimited PhotoPass downloads and the ability to make digital Fastpass selections.

Unlimited PhotoPass downloads really isn't anything new - several Disneyland annual passes have that feature, and it's available in several forms for purchase. With MaxPass you can use the Disneyland app to link attraction photos and character dining photos to your account, in addition to any park photos taken during the day.

MaxPass

I think the most intriguing feature of MaxPass is digital Fastpasses. Lee and I tried it on Saturday, so here are some of my thoughts on our experience with it.

First, some things to know about the digital Fastpass feature of MaxPass:

MaxPass does not replace traditional Fastpasses. Those are still free, and are obtained by going to an attraction's Fastpass kiosk. In recent months Disney changed from using paper Fastpasses to scanning a barcode at an attraction's Fastpass entry points. (BTW, we think that the barcode scanning works much better/faster than the Magic Bands at Walt Disney World.)

MaxPass

The barcode is either the one on your park ticket or the one on your phone generated by MaxPass. (While the Fastpass kiosk still generates a ticket, it's simply a reminder of your Fastpass return time and when you can obtain your next Fastpass. It is no longer used at the attraction's Fastpass entrance.)

MaxPass

MaxPass can only be used to make Fastpass selections for the 16 Fastpass attractions - 9 in Disneyland, 7 in Disney California Adventure. You can not use it to get Fastpasses for shows like Fantasmic! and World of Color.

MaxPass is included with Disneyland Signature Plus and Premier annual passports, but for single and multi-day tickets and other types of annual passports it's an add-on of $10 per person per day. Those Disneyland AP holders who don't have it can purchase MaxPass as an add-on for $75 and it will be valid until the pass expires. That could be ten months or two months away, but it's still $75 no matter when the pass expires. Passholders don't have to get the add-on - they can choose to purchase it day-by-day instead.

At least one member of your party must have the Disneyland app on their mobile device to use MaxPass. All members must have MaxPass to use the digital Fastpass feature. While technically each person could manage their own Fastpasses, we found that it was easier for one person to do it - that way the return times were coordinated.

MaxPass

Unlike Fastpass+ at Walt Disney World, you can not use MaxPass to reserve Fastpasses in advance. In fact, you can not do anything useful with MaxPass until you have entered one of the parks. If you need to purchase MaxPass for the day you can't even do that until you have entered a park.

MaxPass does not give you unlimited Fastpasses, nor guarantee that you'll be able to get a certain number of Fastpasses. You can not select a return time. Just like traditional Fastpasses, you'll receive the next available Fastpass return time. The exception is that a MaxPass user can cancel a Fastpass, and if they do, that Fastpass will become available to another MaxPass user.

You can use MaxPass to make a Fastpass selection at either park, no matter which park you're physically in. We got a Fastpass for Indiana Jones while we were still in Disney California Adventure.

Lee and I have Disneyland Signature APs, so MaxPass is not included. We were at Disneyland with Lee's family, who had MaxPass on their tickets, so we bought it for the day. Besides, we wanted to try it out.

I'll have a step-by-step with screen shots later, but essentially to get a digital Fastpass the process is:

1. Enter either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure.

2. Bring up the Disneyland app and "Create a Fastpass Party". The first time you'll need to link any additional tickets for other members of your group.

3. Purchase MaxPass for anyone who doesn't have it. You do this within the app, and you'll need a credit card.

4. Continue the Fastpass selection process and "Choose a Park". This brings up a list of Fastpass attractions in whichever park you select, and you can see the available return times.

MaxPass

5. Tap on the return time for the attraction and confirm the Fastpass time.

6. When the Fastpass time arrives and you are ready to use the Fastpass, tap "Redeem Fastpass". Scan the barcode at each Fastpass point (some attractions have two, so don't put the phone away too soon).

7. Tap "Get a Fastpass" to make a new Fastpass selection. Note that you can do this as soon as you are allowed to do so - you don't have to redeem an existing Fastpass first. You also have the advantage that you don't have to visit the new attraction to do it.

We were at the parks on a day that was not very busy. Wait times for the really popular attractions were about an hour, and many attractions were only 15-20 minutes. Fastpasses were available for Radiator Springs Racers until after noon, and still available for Space Mountain at 7:00 p.m. We easily made eight Fastpass selections with MaxPass throughout the day, and after about 5:00 we stopped trying. That's certainly better than I've ever done with traditional Fastpasses. But I don't know if our experience would be typical on a busier day.

I'd say the best thing about MaxPass is the ability to reserve Fastpasses without having to go to the attraction to do it. That really saves a lot of time! In the MaxPass part of the app it's also very easy to tell which attractions still have Fastpasses available. While you can see the available Fastpass return times in the Disneyland app, it's not as straightforward - or at least I haven't found an easy way to do it. With MaxPass we felt like we had better visibility into what Fastpasses were available at what times, and could better analyze which attraction to choose next. And sometimes the standby waits were short enough that we didn't even need a Fastpass. On a busy day, that combination of visibility and not having to go to the attraction might help you be able to get a few more Fastpasses than you could without MaxPass. Also, as I mentioned before, we could reserve a Fastpass for an attraction in the other park. That gave us a head start when we moved from Disney California Adventure to Disneyland.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked. The app was pretty straightforward and easy to use. The most complex part was purchasing MaxPass and linking the tickets.

Prior to using it, one of my questions about MaxPass was whether or not different people in your Fastpass Party could have different Fastpasses. And yes, they can. Each time you "Get a Fastpass" you have to create a Fastpass party from the linked tickets. This allows you to get separate Fastpasses if you wish.

MaxPass

My experience with traditional Fastpasses has been that the return time will always be at least 30 minutes in the future - but with MaxPass we found that the return time was sometimes only a few minutes away! Unfortunately I never remembered to check at those attractions to see if the advertised return time there was the same. The one time I did check, at Indiana Jones, the Fastpass return time matched what was in the app, and was more than an hour in the future.

We had a few time anomalies. I was managing the Fastpasses for Lee and me, and his brother was managing the four for his family. On multiple occasions, even though we were booking Fastpasses at the same time, his Fastpass return time was 5-10 minutes sooner than mine. In one case it was 45 minutes sooner! That one might have been a canceled Fastpass, but that doesn't explain all of the others.

It is worth the extra $10/person? If you are trying to maximize your attraction experience, then I'd say yes. You'll also do a lot less walking since you won't need to visit each Fastpass attraction twice. If it were me, I'd probably pick one day of my trip to use MaxPass, rather than get it every day.

I haven't said too much about the PhotoPass aspect. As I mentioned before, there are other ways to get unlimited PhotoPass downloads. Though at this point MaxPass is the least expensive option. If you were using it just for PhotoPass, then only one person in your party would have to purchase it. I found it was quite easy to link attraction photos - just remember to take a picture of the photo so that you have a record of the code that you need!

MaxPass

One change to annual pass benefits with the introduction of MaxPass: The PhotoPass download feature, which had been a benefit of the Signature, Signature Plus, and Premier APs, is no longer a benefit for new Signature APs. (It's still part of the other two, since they include MaxPass.) Those like us who already have Signature APs will be allowed to keep the PhotoPass download feature as long as we renew prior to the expiration date. Something for us to keep in mind when renewal time rolls around.

Here's a more detailed look at how MaxPass and digital Fastpasses work.

As I mentioned earlier, the first thing you have to do is go through the entrance turnstiles at one of the parks. If you don't, you'll eventually see this message:

MaxPass

Then start the Disneyland app. You'll need to sign into your account if you haven't already done so. The first time it took me straight to MaxPass, but subsequently I had to go to the "My Plans" page and tap "Get Fastpass".

MaxPass

Create a Fastpass Party. If your ticket/AP is already linked to the account it will show up. The first time you use it you'll need to link the tickets for other people in your Fastpass party by tapping "Link a ticket or pass". Each time you get a new Fastpass you'll have to select the people in the Fastpass party, but you'll only have to link the tickets the first time.

MaxPass

On the next screen you can use the camera on your phone to scan the barcode of the ticket, or you can enter the number manually. We found that the barcode scan worked very well. Annual passes will show up with the name of the passholder, but for regular tickets you'll want to use the "Note" field to identify who it belongs to. Remember that everyone has to have entered a park that day.

MaxPass

Once you've scanned the tickets for everyone in your party, tap on "Continue to Purchase" to pay for MaxPass for anyone who does not already have the feature for the day.

MaxPass

Follow the instructions for payment. You can use the phone camera to scan your credit card or input the information manually.

MaxPass

You'll repeat the "Create a Fastpass Party" step and all of the steps below anytime you get a new Fastpass.

"Choose a Park". This brings up a list of Fastpass attractions in whichever park you select, and you can see the available Fastpass return times.

MaxPass

Select the attraction by tapping on the return time. If you tap on the name of the attraction the app brings up information on the attraction instead.

MaxPass

If the return time is acceptable, tap "Confirm", otherwise go back to the previous screen to select a different attraction.

MaxPass

When you confirm the next screen will tell you when you can make your next Fastpass selection.

MaxPass

If the Fastpass return time was more than 90 minutes away, then our next Fastpass seemed to be available 90 minutes later.

MaxPass

You can always go to "My Plans" to see your current Fastpass selection(s).

MaxPass

When your Fastpass time arrives, tap "Redeem Fastpass" to pull up the barcode screen. At that time you can also make another Fastpass selection - you don't need to redeem your first Fastpass before you can get another one.

The app will have Fastpasses for all members of your party. After scanning the first one at the Fastpass entrance, simply swipe left to get to each subsequent Fastpass. Rather than using the app each member of your party could scan their park ticket, or if they also have the Disneyland app with their ticket linked to it they will have the barcode for their own Fastpass in the app.

MaxPass

Repeat the process to get additional Fastpasses.

As I said, we had a good experience with it. We don't often go the parks to ride a lot of attractions, but if we did, it would be fun to use every once in a while. For guests who are not frequent visitors, and/or really do want to maximize their ride experiences, I think it's worth considering the purchase of MaxPass for a day.


Do you have additional questions on MaxPass? Do you think it's something you would use? Click on the "Feedback Form" below to submit any questions or comments, and I'll do my best to address them.







July 4, 2017

Disneyland Resort Updates from June 30

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, June 30, 2017 to kick off the 4th of July weekend.

Let's start with a video overview of the Disneyland Star Wars construction site from the Mickey and Friends parking structure.


A steel tower that will support the rock facade of the Millennium Falcon building is now in place.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

Looking toward Critter Country, trees have started to be planted on the new berm.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

The support structure for the exterior (and interior) walls of the battle escape building is taking shape.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

To the right of the large show building this concrete structure continues to grow. Looks like supports being set up inside for a second story.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

Splitsville steel structure is being assembled in Downtown Disney.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

I finally spotted Cruz Ramirez in Cars Land. She has been making the rounds for a couple of weeks but I have had bad timing and missed her.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

A video clip of Cruz on the move.


The U.S. Air Force Honor Guard performing for the holiday. Here is a series of video clips from the United States Air Force Honor Guard performing at Disney California Adventure.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

Work has wrapped up on the Adventureland re-organization/renovation project. Tropical Imports is now stroller parking.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

South Seas Traders and the Outpost are now a seating area and the fruit stand moved in.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017
Shrunken Ned is in the center of the room.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017
In the back there is a bar area to stand around, some standing tables and some regular tables.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

The former Outpost, the upper seating area, is much smaller and was busy so only a couple quick pictures of the area.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

Beyond Bengal you can see a new palm tree. The small seating area that was there is now removed opening up the walkway more.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

Moving out to Tom Sawyer Island now. Looking toward the Hungry Bear and what will eventually be a walk way into the Star Wars area, more concrete has been poured and most of the walkway looks complete now. Just one section was still awaiting concrete.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

The scaffolding is being removed on the eastern/Frontierland side rock work.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017
The eagle has a new nest and is in a more visible location.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017
In the distance scaffolding is removed and they are patching up the holes from where the toothpick/steel was.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

The train trestle in Critter Country is complete.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017
To mark the return of the Rivers of America there is a small scavenger hunt going on.There are six cards available at various locations in Critter Country, New Orleans Square and Frontierland highlighting the returning attractions. These are free while supplies last (they were out of the Fantasmic cards on Friday).
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

If you flip the cards over they form a map of Tom Sawyer Island. Note my missing spot since they were out of the Fantasmic cards.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

The United States Air Force Honor Guard arriving for its Town Square performance.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

A video clip of the US Air Force Honor Guard in Town Square at Disneyland.


Returned to Town Square for the Flag Retreat.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

The Disneyland All-American College Band Star Wars Medley during their 6:05 p.m. set.


Stopped by the Royal Theatre at 7:15 p.m. to see the All-American College Band.This evening they were joined by Wayne Bergeron.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

Wayne Bergeron performing with the 2017 All-American College Band in the Royal Theatre.


The Cars 3 preview has ended and Tough to Be a Bug has returned.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

To Honor America.. fitting for this 4th of July weekend.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 30, 2017

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.








June 27, 2017

Disneyland Resort Updates - FastPass Scanners, Disneyland Railroad Readies for Opening

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, June 23, 2017. This week Jason noted that the new FastPass scanners were operational, and that the Disneyland Railroad was running tests in preparation for its reopening next month. A couple video clips of the Star Wars Construction taken from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.

The large battle escape attraction building continues to grow.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

To the right and park side of the building more forms are up.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

The Millennium Falcon attraction building: on the right you can see the curve on the front of the building.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Looking toward Critter Country.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

My first stop today was Disney California Adventure. The Summer Of Heroes Showcase has movie posters over the Award Wieners seating area.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

In the main waiting area are Four Avenger costumes and props. The film consisted of a series of clips from most of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was presented in 2D and had a running time of under 7 minutes.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Mr. Incredible in Paradise Pier, Mrs. Incredible was nearby, too.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

The new FastPass scanners are now in use. They scan your park ticket. Paper FastPasses are now considered "Reminder notices".
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Signs are up at the distribution points informing you of the new process. The guide maps do NOT note this.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Because of the low crowds and quick return times for some attractions you could hold several FastPasses at once.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

The 2017 All-American College Band was performing in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. This is the All-American College Band performing a Disneyland attraction medley.


Another section of concrete was poured on the new walkway along the Rivers of America in Critter Country, which will one day lead to the Star Wars area.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Note the walls/scrim on the second floor of the Hungry Bear Restaurant were partially removed.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017
Over on the east side of the island, the Indian Village appears to have gone backwards. On the left note plants waiting to be planted.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

More wildlife showing up along the Rivers of America.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

A beaver has joined the scene.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Back on the mainland, the view from Critter Country.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

The walls are down where the temporary walkway used to connect to the Hungry Bear lower level and water has returned to the creek.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Here you can see all the walls on the right are gone as they prepare to reopen this Hungry Bear seating area.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

A sign near the New Orleans Square station announces the return of the railroad. I also spotted this same sign in Town Square.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

From the Monorail, here's a view of the Splitsville work.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Back in New Orleans Square a poster on the return of the Rivers of America and Fantasmic!
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Stopped by the New Orleans Square station and saw the C.K. Holliday arriving. They have started to conduct test runs of the Disneyland Railroad after the construction crews finish for the day.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

A video clip of the C.K. Holliday arriving at New Orleans Square Station.


I moved over to the Big Thunder Trail to see the train go by there. Here are some video clips of the Holliday passing by the Big Thunder Trail area.


The Holliday steaming by.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

You should get some nice views of Big Thunder from the train now.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017
The Lily Belle passing by.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Spotted the Ward Kimball making the rounds too.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Some of the cars were not quite show-ready yet.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

The Lilly Belle passing by the Big Thunder Trail.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Ron Carter was a guest of the All-American College Band this evening.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Ron Carter with the All-American College Band.


The Backlot Dance Party takes place nightly from 8 p.m. to park closing.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Back to Disneyland, Scot Bruce was performing Elvis music at Tomorrowland Terrace this evening.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Toad Hall this evening. Quiet because the area is closed off for the fireworks.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017
I returned to the Rivers of America to take pictures of the projections during Remember Dreams Come True. The area is pleasant right now with no Fantasmic! running.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 23, 2017


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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.






June 20, 2017

Disneyland Star Wars Land Progress, All-American College Band and More!

laura%27s%20masthead%20copy2.jpg
Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com already shared some photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, June 16, 2017. In addition to those, which dealt mostly with attractions that had opened in Disneyland, he has sent us these other updates from around the Disneyland Resort. This update includes videos of the progress being made on the new Star Wars-themed land, as well as videos of the return of the All-American College Band.

Let's start off with a couple video clips showing the Star Wars-themed land construction, taken from the Mickey and Friends parking structure.


The Millennium Falcon attraction show building.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017

The forms and temporary supports have been removed from the concrete around the circular structure. Steel for this show building is now going up in the area nearest the parking structure.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017

Steel staged and ready to be lifted into place for the roof support.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017

The Splitsville building is taking shape. To the right they are setting up a Coke promotion. I did not make it back out there in the evening to see what it was.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017

To celebrate the opening of Cars 3, buttons were available at both parks today as you entered.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017
This past week the re-launched DCA turned 5 years old. This includes Buena Vista Street and Cars Land. Also World of Color turned 7.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017

The Cars Land entrance is now out from behind walls. In addition to including Cruz Ramirez, the planter has been removed so you can go right up to the sign. Cruz has started to make appearances in Cars Land. I stopped by three times and did not see her out, guess I kept missing her.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017

The Animation Building lobby is still closed, but the Animation Academy has reopened and is using the side door.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017

Frozen is dark until June 26.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017

Knowhere Eats is open.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017

Pirates is gone and now a Summer of Heroes Showcase is inside. I did not have time to visit this trip though.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017

Over in Disneyland, Adventureland started a series of renovation projects last week to try and ease congestion. South Seas Traders and Indiana Jones Outpost have closed. Some of the merchandise from those two shops is now in Adventureland Bazaar.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017

Walls are up in front of the closed locations. They will become indoor seating for Bengal BBQ and Tropical Imports will relocate, too. The current Tropical Imports area will become stroller parking. The work is expected to be completed by July.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017

2017 All-American College Band started performing in the park yesterday. Here is a video from their 3:15 p.m. Sleeping Beauty Castle Set - A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017
Meet the 2017 All-American College Band


This year the band has added a Moana medley to the Castle set.

Later in the day, gathered in Town Square with the All-American College Band for the Flag Retreat.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017

The All-American College Band in Town Square for the 6:10 p.m. Train Station Set.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017
The 2017 All-American College Band performing Bubbles was a Cheerleader


Clips from the All-American College Band Train Station set.

At 7:15 the All-American College Band performs at the Royal Theatre in Fantasy Faire.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017

Normally the band will do their Jazz set here sitting down. This being the first week, they are standing and playing songs from their other sets. Here is a video clip of When You Wish Upon a Star.

The College Band arriving for their final set of the day, 8:05 p.m. at DCA.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017
The All-American College Band performing Uptown Funk at Disney California Adventure.

Caught some of the Main Street Electrical Parade from the Small World mall area. Dopey driving the mine train.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017

Here is a video of Remember Dreams Come True fireworks from New Orleans Square showcasing the new projection screen video.


Now a couple of cell phone pictures of the show (since I was using the SLR for the video). The projections were clearer and sharper than the previous ones and better in person than the phone captured.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 16, 2017

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.








June 5, 2017

Disneyland Resort Updates - 6/02/17

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, June 2, 2017.

Starting off with a check of the Star Wars Themed Land Construction from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Starting on the left/north of the site and working our way to the right.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Steel is up on the far side of the Millennium Falcon attraction show building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

More forms and walls taking shape on the right side of the steel for the large show building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Toward Critter Country they are working on back filling and leveling off the the dirt on the right. On the left the trestle for the train.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

More steel for Splitsville is visible in Downtown Disney.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Work being done to the Cars Land entrance sign for Cars 3.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

The Animation Building is closed for renovation work.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

In the garden on Sunset near the Red Car stop was this hint of more Marvel to come.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

A quick video clip to help with location of this.

Extended queue for Guardians set up leading backstage but not needed this afternoon.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Black Widow is on the move through Hollywood Land. She comes out a half dozen times a day for a Heroic Encounter. She walks/rides through the area then stops for a meet and greet. As the truck turned onto Hollywood Blvd she got on board to ride.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Here are some video clips of the event.

A marketplace is being set up in front of Stage 12. It looked just about ready to open.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

PhotoPass photo op.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

In case you were wondering the Red Car marker now says Sunset Blvd instead of Hollywood Tower Hotel.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

The Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! This occurs a half dozen times a day. A couple video clips from the Dance Off.

Face Painting is complimentary for the Summer of Heroes.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

The Frozen characters have moved to Stage 17 with the Animation Building closed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Over at Disneyland the crane is still parked just past the exit to Big Thunder so no view of the trail today. But in the new guide maps the trail is not listed as closed...so the opening is close.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Parked on the far bank is another crane this one doing tree placement.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Some scaffolding remains up, the light colored spots are patches for the scaffolding that was there that have not been painted yet.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Quite a few trees are in the area now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Looking through the fence.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Well my guess of a waterfall was wrong for the terraces...they are planting trees in them today.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

A closer look

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Gathered around the Flagpole with the Disneyland Band for the nightly Flag Retreat.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

The purple artichoke flowers at the entrance to Tomorrowland really popped as you walked by.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

The FastPass return structure for Matterhorn is finished.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Mickey and the Magical Map was just about to get underway so I found a seat and sat back to enjoy the show.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

The permanent FastPass distribution area for the Matterhorn is now open. The machines each have a carved animal on them (the crate is the hardware for the system).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

The Galactic Grill and Season of the Force signs are all gone from Tomorrowland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Bands have returned to Tomorrowland Terrace on Fri-Sun nights. Hard Days Night, a tribute to the Beatles performing tonight.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

A couple video clips from their show.

Classic Space Mountain has returned.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Tomorrowland signs at the entrance.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Back to Tomorrowland Terrace for a second set.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

Remember Dreams Come True Fireworks were cancelled due to wind (this happens frequently). In its place they ran the opening and closing sequences without the pyro...so soundtrack, projections and spot lights. Here is some video of the alternate show. They skipped the E-Ticket in the sky section. Also no Tinkerbell.

The current park maps. Inisde the maps now indicate where Wi-Fi hotspots are throughout both parks.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 2, 2017

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.






May 28, 2017

Preview of Summer of Heroes at Disney California Adventure

Summer of Heroes

Jeanine, Jason, and Laura continue with their coverage of the Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT! opening at Disney California Adventure with this preview of the Summer of Heroes.

The Summer of Heroes promotion includes limited time food and beverage, merchandise, and entertainment opportunities featuring Marvel Super Heroes. It runs until September 10.

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Avengers Training Initiative gives youngsters a chance to interact with Black Widow, Hawkeye, and Avengers special agents. Along the lines of the Jedi Training Academy, but with an Avengers theme. Training sessions take place several times a day on the Hollywood Backlot stage. Signups are available on a first come-first serve basis - on the day we were there the kiosk was outside Stage 17. If your child wishes to participate, we recommend making sign-up your first order of the day.

Summer of Heroes

Kids are separated into several groups where they have to work as a team. The also learn a sequence of defensive, evasive, and even offensive moves, which they later demonstrate against a HYDRA villain. (The Captain America shields they used had some entertaining Frisbee-like qualities when flung at the villain.)

Summer of Heroes


Jeanine: So when I saw the sneak peek presentation on it a little while ago (seen here) I thought this looked like a pretty interesting show. I would have been impressed if it actually did show kids some basic self-defense moves, which doesn't seem like a bad thing for anyone to know nowadays. My other thought on walking up to the show a little late, was that Iron Man sounds a lot like Tom Hanks doing Woody for some reason.

Black Widow Encounter - She patrols the Hollywood Backlot in her black armored vehicle, and interacts with guests. The more traditional meet-and-greet opportunity with Spider-Man and Captain America is also still available.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Dance Off! - As you'll see in the video below, we experienced a version of this during the Grand Opening event, though this may not be quite what guests will experience. The Disneyland web site lists it as an activity for kids and tweens. The Dance Off concludes with a visit by Groot, who "sticks" around for a meet and greet afterward.

Hero Action Center - What Super Hero are you most like? Is it Captain America, Black Panther, Dr. Strange, Black Widow? Or perhaps Iron Man, Thor, Hulk, or Spider-Man? At the Hero Action Center in the Hollywood Backlot you can take an interactive quiz that asks a series of questions to determine what Super Hero is most like you. The quiz is administered via a touch screen tablet. Afterward you'll receive a comic book and a sticker representing your Super Hero. There's a photo backdrop with a Photo Pass photographer, also.

Summer of Heroes

Jeanine: Considering I usually get "You are Ursula" on all these tests, this was pretty vindicating.

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Food for Super Heroes (or mere mortals)

There are a number of new food and beverages choices, in multiple locations around Hollywood Land.

Award Weiners - Three words: Funnel Cake Fries. Laura is really looking forward to these. They are available separately or included in the Angry Little Pudding Cup (below), a chocolate pudding, chocolate cookie, and whipped cream parfait.

Summer of Heroes

Schmoozies - Schmoozies will now be open in the morning, serving doughnuts in addition to smoothies and hot beverages . Doughnuts are available while they last. The Hulk-themed doughnut, filled with blackberry and black currant, will be available every day. As you might expect, it's huge. The other three will rotate. The Captain America doughnut is an apple pie doughnut, the "Spider Bite" is cinnamon spiced (think Red Hot candies), and the Groot doughnut is maple and bacon.

Summer of Heroes

Summer of Heroes

Cosmic Canteen - This is located on the far end of the Hollywood Backlot next to the Monsters, Inc. attraction. It will have a variety of "Cosmic Cocktails" and non-alcoholic "Breakout Beverages". Groot-shaped bread will be available - it's sourdough bread with cheese or jalapeno cheese. The eyes are black olives. The bread will also be available at Fairfax Market.

Summer of Heroes

Studio Catering Co. - the food truck in the backlot. A number of different items here! The Super Hero sub includes peppered salami, capocollo, mortadela and provolone, topped with lettuce, tomato, pickled onions, and pepperoncini.

Summer of Heroes

Multiverse Parfait with chocolate cake, white and dark chocolate mousse and cherry jelly, topped with chocolate ganache.

Falafel pitas: Chickpea fritters served with two different accompaniments - spinach, cucumber/mint slaw and yogurt sauce or pickled red cabbage, yellow peppers and charamoula sauce. Laura worked with a Disney chef to make some fritters:

Knowhere Eats will be a food kiosk (re-purposed from the Food and Wine Festival). It opens June 6, and in the meantime these items will be available at the Cosmic Canteen and Studio Catering Co. All of the food items are available with a vegetarian version.

The Most Dangerous Tacos in the Galaxy - Barbacoa beef tacos on green tortillas.

Summer of Heroes

Obviously Nachos - Blue corn tortilla chips with mojo-marinated chicken, red pepper cheese sauce and chipotle crema. Laura tried these and thought they were very good - not too spicy at all.

Summer of Heroes

Space Outpost Tacos - chicken street tacos with chopped cilantro and onions.

Summer of Heroes

Several alcoholic beverages are also available.

Summer of Heroes Merchandise - most is available only in Disney California Adventure, much of it exclusive to the Collector's Warehouse at the exit of the Mission: BREAKOUT! attraction. Lots of cute Baby Groot items. We got an overview:

While it's not a part of the Summer of Heroes, another new attraction also opened at Disney California Adventure: Disney Junior Dance Party!. This show for pre-school kids includes some of their favorite Disney Junior characters, like Doc McStuffins, Sophia the First, and characters from The Lion Guard and Mickey and Minnie Mouse from Mickey and the Roadster Racers. There's special effects like bubbles, snow, and confetti, and the kids are encouraged to get up and dance to the music.

Jeanine: I'm not sure I ever actually saw the show that preceded this one, but the dance party seemed high energy and fast-paced enough to keep most of the children's attention engaged. I would only make the additional observation that anyone going should probably expect exposure to the sights, sounds, and olfactory stimuli characteristic of a youthful audience.

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Jeanine: So between "Mission: BREAKOUT!" and "Summer of Heroes," there's a lot coming to Hollywood Land this season. Frankly, I'm just glad the three of us were able to cover it all and get out without any mishaps.

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...Oops.





May 17, 2017

Disneyland Resort Updates - 5/12/17

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us this subset of photos from his trip to the Disneyland Resort on Friday, May 12, 2017.

Laura will cover the Tinker Bell Half Marathon Expo so I am going to focus on what has changed since my last visit three weeks ago. Starting off with a video clip overview of the Star Wars construction from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.

In the three weeks since my last visit the attraction show building steel has expanded more and a second crane is onsite starting the second show building.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Here is the second crane on the left (north) side of the other.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Steel rising up for the second atrtraction building.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017


Here you can see some of the concrete work for the second attraction building foundation.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

The planters throughout Downtown Disney have been replanted for spring.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

The directory for Downtown Disney has been updated.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Tour Gardens is being renovated so the tour assembly point is now the west Esplanade information booth.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

First stop Disneyland. A look through the fence at the end of the Big Thunder Trail. The walkway looks to be be just about done.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

A new structure on the roof of Pirates. A second control room for Fantasmic has been added.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Looking up river a barge is at the cofferdam as they work to remove it.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

The Tom Sawyer Island raft sign is gone. Looks like they just cut it down.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

The view as you enter Critter Country.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

The river is full of water again.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

A look through the fence by the Hungry Bear at the new train bridge and the entrance tunnel to Star Wars from Critter Country.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

In New Orleans Square, the tracks are clear and the station is returning to normal as the railroad reopening preparations are underway.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Indiana Jones is closed for renovation.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Snow White Grotto has reopened.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

A video clip of Snow White Grotto

The Matterhorn has returned from its annual renovation. It now features FastPass.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

FastPass distribution is across the walkway in the corner where the 60th photo op was. Walls are up so guessing a permanent set is on the way. For now just carts.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Work in one of the planters at the Tomorrowland Terrace. The tree and all plants are gone.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Light and dark side churros in Tomorrowland now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

The Buzz Lightyear sign is functional again with wait time, time and return time.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Over at Disney California Adventure, the Pixar Play Parade returned on Friday. The parade has returned to traveling from Paradise Pier to Hollywood Land.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

The Incredibles

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Jack Jack

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Buzz Lightyear

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Cars 3 banners along the parade route.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Unlike past films which had more elaborate signs the Cars 3 one is just a banner.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

It appears there will be no major changes to the Guardians FastPass distribution area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

The walls are down and the exterior work appears to be wrapped up for the attraction. Two weeks until Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout! opens.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Just some small barriers around the entrance and left side of the attraction.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

The sign on the corner is covered up still.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

At Disney's Grand Californian Hotel one pool and spa have reopened.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Guardians lit up for the evening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

A couple video clips of the area.

Disneyland Drive looked like a parking lot when I was leaving with traffic at a near standstill as far as you could see.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 12, 2017

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.







April 24, 2017

Disneyland Resort Updates - 4/21/17

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, April 21, 2017.

A video overview of the Star Wars Construction site from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

Looking toward Critter Country forms are still up for the new railroad bridge.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

More steel being added to the large show building. It now extends out over half the basement/pit.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

The circular structure now appears to be a spiral perhaps, notice the left side higher than the right.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

The Downtown Disney banners have been updated to reflect the new end date, August 20th.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

A Canadian Anaheim Music Festival taking place in Stage 17 today and Saturday. A workshop was wrapping up when I stopped by.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout! opens in about 5 weeks on May 27th. The exterior is receiving the finishing touches. Scaffolding is all removed now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

A look at the entrance way.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

Ornament Valley this afternoon.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

Some cactus are starting to bloom in Ornament Valley.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is hosting Earthweek activities.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

Nature play sets in the camp circle area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

The Environmentality Art Challenge entries have been moved from the Opera House to this area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

Cast Members hosting more activities.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

From Critter Country you can see the rail for the boats is being installed and the rock work is moving along on the north side of the Rivers of America.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

A closer look.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

The new bridge for the Disneyland Railroad over the walkway leading to Star Wars.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

In some of the planters of New Orleans Square some new statues have appeared over top of utility plates.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

Mary Poppins and the Pearly Band.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

The Castle Holiday Shoppe opened Thursday replacing the Castle Heraldry Shoppe in Fantasyland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

A quick look around inside.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

The pools at the Grand Californian have been closed since early this year for a major refurbishment. The pool closest to the walkway looks close to reopening. The decking looks complete and it is filled.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

Returned to use a Toy Story FastPass and at 5:24pm this was the posted wait time and return window.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

Elena of Avalor photo opportunity in Paradise Gardens.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

Corn Dog Castle is closed for renovation. Paradise Garden Grill has a new menu featuring corn dogs and other fried items.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

Cars 3 merchandise in Sarges

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

The Sunset Showcase Theater is hosting a Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Men Tell No Tales Sneak Peek.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

A display case houses some costumes and props. A little hard to get a good angle with guests waiting right in front.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

Captain Jack Sparrow Costume

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

Carina Smyth costume worn by Kaya Scodelario

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

A family of ducks out for a walk at Disneyland near Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 21, 2017

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.







April 10, 2017

Disneyland Resort Updates - 4/07/17

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, April 7, 2017.

A video overview of the Star Wars / Rivers of America Construction site this afternoon from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure

An overview picture of the site.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Starting on the left with the massive show building that continues to take shape.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Walls going up near the circular structure. Looks like the forms are all in for the interior walls. Guessing concrete will be poured soon there if it has not been already.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

A new bridge taking shape in Critter Country where the Disneyland Railroad will pass over the walkay leading to the Star Wars area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Arriving at the parks. The annual Eggstravaganza Easter Egg hunt is underway. There are 36 eggs...12 in Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, and Downtown Disney. I spotted my first one as soon as I exited the tram. I will be doing some extended posts on my site with all the eggs.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Here are the prizes this year, same ones for all three quests. Maps are $5.99.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

First park today Disney California Adventure. Oswald was greeting guests near his service station.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

A Cast Member in front of the Five and Dime on Buena Vista Street showcasing the DCA Egg-Stravaganza

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Spring treats in the window of Trolley Treats

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

FastPass has been extended to Toy Story Midway Mania

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

My ticket.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

At the attraction the standby wait is posted at 45 only. Half the line board time of 90 and less than the app which said 80.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

The Annual Passholder button this week features Donald.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Nick Wilde from Zootopia was out in the Bay Area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

The Camp Notices board has seen better days.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

The FastPass return line for Soarin' was backed up out into the walkway this afternoon.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Mickey and the Red Car News Boys cruising by.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Almost all the scaffolding from the Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT! has been removed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Next stop Disneyland. Inside the Opera House Lobby in front of the Disneyland Map are several finalists in the Cast Member Environmentality Art Challenge. There were too many people to get a nice wide picture so here is a look at each sign and entry. Each team/department created an original piece of art using recycled items from the resort.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

This one actually moved

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

The winner this year was from the Golden Vine Winery.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Here is a video look at the finalists for the 2017 Disney Environmentality Art Challenge.

A mother duck and ducklings out for a walk in the hub.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Out at the Big Thunder Trail some fence has been moved so you can see a little more clearly into the new walkway. Guessing it was moved so they can work on the new walkway. A tree has been brought in and is waiting to be planted.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

The view as you approach Critter Country.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Looking through the fence.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

The lower level of the Hungry Bear was quiet today. The signs have been moved off the wall on the left to be along the new walkway. A wall up as they restore the area that was used as the temporary walkway entrance during construction.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

The new walkway has opened to reach the lower level of the Hungry Bear.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Passing over the stream that will flow through Critter Country to the river.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

The moon over Ornament Valley in Cars Land

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Flo's this evening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

Found a spot for the Main Street Electrical Parade

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, April 7, 2017

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.







March 27, 2017

Disneyland Resort Updates - 3/24/17

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, March 24, 2017. For a more indepth look be sure to visit his full picture set.


An overview of the Star Wars / Rivers of America from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure -


Over the past few weeks more and more trees are being planted along the new berm.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

The retaining wall and footers are going in for the new train trestle that will cross the entrance walkway leading from Critter Country to the Star Wars area.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

A look at the marina structure which looks like it is being prepared for trees to be planted on the roof.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

The show building status for this week. It is slowly being extended toward us.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

A wider view of the area.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

Spring Time at the Disneyland Resort.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

A check of the work from the end of the Big Thunder Trail.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

Over on the Critter Country side, the next section of rebar for the riverbed is installed and waiting for concrete.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

The Autopia reopened Friday after a quick renovation project. Several scenes featuring Honda's ASIMO Robot and a new Bird character have been added along the roadway. Here is the first one from the queue.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

The queue video screen features ASIMO and Bird watching films and then showing vacation photos.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

ASIMO & Bird recreating a scene from Tangled
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

Here is a video clip of my walk through the indoor queue area.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

ASIMO and Bird setting off on their adventure.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

A closer look at bird.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017
ASIMO by a car.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

The next scene Bird is caught up in a flying contraption.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

Bird is caught on a kite.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

Here is the reverse angle taken from the Matterhorn walkway.Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

ASIMO and Bird camping.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

A Honda Jet billboard at the finish line.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

In Fantasyland spotted Belle and Beast enjoying King Arthur Carrousel.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017



Mickey's Soundsational Parade returned Friday
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

At the nightly Flag Retreat Ceremony the Tuskegee Airmen were honored this evening.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

Here are a couple video clips from the Flag Retreat honoring the Tuskegee Airmen at Disneyland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

After the ceremony the flag was presented to the group.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

Smiles all around.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxay - Mission: Breakout! opens in about 2 months.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

One of the towers is out from behind scaffolding.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

Food & Wine Festival AP Buttons (Week 2 on the left and 3 on the right)

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

Pirates of the Caribbean turned 50 last Saturday, so I went for a cruise to close out my evening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 24, 2017

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.







March 8, 2017

Disneyland's Red Rose Taverne and AP Days

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Disneyland Red Rose Taverne

Disneyland has re-imagined the Village Haus Restaurant in Fantasyland and transformed it into the Red Rose Taverne. The decor and menu is inspired by the new Beauty and the Beast movie.

The Taverne opened on February 24th, and it has been extremely popular. There were 1-2 hour waits to get in the first weekend! We visited mid-afternoon on Friday, March 3, and were able to walk right in. But there were still plenty of people inside and business was brisk. (As Jason reported in his blog, later that evening the line was out the door again, so timing is everything!)

Disneyland Red Rose Taverne

For something that is supposed to be temporary, I thought it was very well-done. The ordering area has always felt like a village town square, and of course that ties in very well with Beauty and the Beast and the opening scene of the movie. It's quite charming.

Disneyland Red Rose Taverne
Disneyland Red Rose Taverne
Disneyland Red Rose Taverne
Disneyland Red Rose Taverne

There are dining rooms on both sides of the restaurant. The one on the left is Belle-themed. There's murals on the walls and lots of books, cabinets, and china.

Disneyland Red Rose Taverne
Disneyland Red Rose Taverne
Red Rose Taverne china
Disneyland Red Rose Taverne

And several stained glass windows.

Disneyland Red Rose Taverne
Disneyland Red Rose Taverne

The stained glass roses on the exterior windows are really beautiful.

Disneyland Red Rose Taverne

The room on the right is Gaston-themed. Where of course they use antlers in all of the decorating. :-)

Disneyland Red Rose Taverne
Disneyland Red Rose Taverne
Disneyland Red Rose Taverne
Disneyland Red Rose Taverne

The menu offers items like Beast's Burger, Slow-cooked Beef Poutine, and Chicken Sandwich a la Lumiere. One of the available sides is Pomme Frites - fries with Parmesan cheese. For dessert there's a Grey Stuff Gateau and a Lemon Rose Cake. There's also a specialty beverage: Gaston's Brew - apple-mango punch with passion fruit foam.

Red Rose Taverne Menu

At the registers these Mrs. Potts crispy treats were available.

Disneyland Red Rose Taverne

When the restaurant opened, these rose beverage cups were available, but they sold out quickly. No word on whether or not they will be back.

Red Rose Taverne rose cup

I ordered the Enchanted Cauli-Flower Sandwich. A grilled cauliflower "steak" with lettuce, tomato, tempura-fried green beans, and lime aioli. I ordered it with the pommes frites, but sliced apples are also an option. This was really good - the cauliflower was cooked perfectly - not too soft and not too crisp. The roasting/grilling brought out a nice flavor, and I enjoyed the tempura green beans, too. The pommes frites were very good, though not as good as the ones at Cafe Orleans. They needed some garlic.

Disneyland Red Rose Taverne

Lee tried the Poutine Flatbread - slow-cooked beef, pommes frites, roasted garlic aioli, cheese curds, gravy, and herb oil. He really enjoyed this as well. It also had pickled onions on top.

Disneyland Red Rose Taverne

For dessert we of course had to try the Grey Stuff Gateau. It was red velvet cake with a raspberry filling, covered with white chocolate mousse and pearls.

Disneyland Red Rose Taverne

It was delicious. The raspberry filling was an actual raspberry. Lee got that in his half, though I could taste some raspberry flavor in my half. The mousse wasn't too sweet, and didn't have that cloying mouth feel that mousse/icing sometimes leaves behind.

Disneyland Red Rose Taverne

Jason noticed this little detail above the exit as we were leaving. Very cute!

Disneyland Red Rose Taverne

The restaurant is really lovely. I enjoyed everything that we tried, and I hope I get the opportunity to return. It will be interesting to see how long this restaurant overlay remains in place. Since the Star Wars-inspired Galactic Grill is over a year old, I suppose the precedent exists for it to stay around for a while. With the Big Thunder Trail closed (due to Star Wars Land construction) there hasn't been much reason for guests to visit that quiet corner of Fantasyland until now. It's certainly proving to be very popular.

It's the final week of AP Days at Disneyland, which have a Main Street Electrical Parade theme. The final button is Elliott the dragon.

AP Days

And the pennant available for coloring is Elliott, also. I was surprised that the craft offerings were also different every week.

AP Days

The "make-your-own Electrical Parade" sheet features the last few floats in the parade.

AP Days

The Country Bears were again the featured characters at the meet and greet - we saw Wendell and Liver Lips. They alternated with Shaker and Big Al.

AP Days

Lee hadn't seen the Beauty and the Beast sneak peek, so we saw that at Disney California Adventure. I was able to get a photo of the enchanted mirrors in action.

Disneyland Red Rose Taverne

The next big event at the Disneyland Resort is the Disney California Food and Wine Festival, which starts on March 10 and runs through April 16. There are more food booths and more events this year, and I'm looking forward to it.








March 7, 2017

Disneyland Resort Updates - 3/3/17

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, March 3, 2017.

These pictures take a look at some of the ongoing projects as well as my regular assortment of random pictures. Laura will have a separate post on the Red Rose Taverne and AP Days Week 4.

Starting off the day at the Mickey and Friends parking structure with an overview of the Star Wars and Rivers of America Construction.

Looks like vents have been added to the top of the marina structure as the rocks on the park side continue to take shape.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Forms for the ground level of the circular part of the building are being constructed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Steel continues to be erected for the large show building. Notice what appears to be a new floor taking shape on the left between the ground level and upper floor.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

A closer look at what looks to be a new floor taking shape.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

On the far side of the site more rock framing being installed and dirt being moved around.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Gaston and Belle were out in Fantasy Faire talking with guests.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Noticed these moisture monitors around a pine tree on the walkway to Frontierland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Approaching the construction at the end of the Big Thunder Trail. More color has been applied.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Here you can see the trestle has been painted brown (it was white when installed).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Looking through the fence.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Some renovation work happening aboard the Mark Twain.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

No signs of a cover for the projector out on the island. Just the netting which is rolled up today.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

The Columbia was in the harbor today. More rigging has been set up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

The bowsprit of the Columbia has been re-installed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

As you enter Critter Country you can see the trestle is taking shape.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Looking through the fence. You can clearly see the river path as it makes it turn. The small posts on the right are the concrete pads the steel guide rail for the ships will go on.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Goofy strolling near the Carthay Circle Restaurant.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

The Food and Wine Festival kicks off next weekend. The Marketplaces were set up and had their name signs. No menu signage yet.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Over at the Guardians you can see a couple new elements sticking out the top. On the backside the tarps and scaffolding are coming down.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Mr. and Mrs. Incredible walking by the Hyperion.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Marketplaces line the parade route.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Poles for FastPass/MaxPass at the entrance to Toy Story.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Here you can see the wrap for the tower has been removed on the side.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

More marketplaces.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017


The Curlsurf shop opened a few weeks ago in Downtown Disney.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

On the bridge area there are some new tables and chairs.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

A little dark but you can see a line extending out the door for the Red Rose Taverne but not that bad compared to last week.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Over at Tomorrowland Terrace (or Galactic Grill) the lines were to the steps so just as busy as the Red Rose Taverne maybe more so.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Found a spot for the Main Street Electrical Parade.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Prior to the start of Remember Dreams Come True they made wind announcements but the show started on time. But then come the Indiana Jones segment it stopped.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 3, 2017

Here is the announcement that played when the lights came back on.

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.








February 27, 2017

Disneyland Resort Updates - 2/24/17

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 24, 2017.

Prices have gone up at the Disneyland Resort since my last visit. Current parking rates.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

An overview of the Star Wars/Rivers of America construction site from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.

A building is taking shape in the back corner.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

The round lower level portion of the large show building has reached ground level now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

The building has spanned the full width and height.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Ticket prices went up since my last visit.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

The entrance to Star Tours is being reconfigured.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

The walls in the middle of the walkway are down. They removed the planter so now it is just a support column. This creates a little more space for strollers and/or walkway.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

This week the Country Bears are the featured characters for AP Days. Shaker and Big Al were out when I stopped by.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Arts and crafts activities.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

They also had the button from last week available if you did not get one.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Some barges out on the river now as they prepare to bring Fantasmic back this summer.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

The Columbia masts are back and rigging is being added.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017"

The concrete riverbed is being poured for the Rivers of America.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Poles near the entrance for the Haunted Mansion are an indication that the rollout or at least testing of maxPass is coming.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

The Moana meet and greet has been removed...

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

The Red Rose Taverne officially opened today in Fantasyland. This temporary overlay of Beauty and the Beast to the Village Haus.

The line reached the sidewalk when I stopped by at 3:30. This was a little deceiving since they were holding the line inside and guiding people to registers with only one or two groups at each registered vs the normal lines at each. I was told it took about 10 minutes to get to order. The orders were taking a while though so total time was pushing 20-30 minutes from entering the queue till you were eating.

This was good compared to reports I read from over the weekend of wait times up to two hours.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Inside props and new artwork have been added to change it from Pinocchio and his German Village Haus to Belle and France.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Even the window glass was changed out.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

They were sold out of all desserts for the day already. Here is a look at the enchanted cauli-flower sandwich.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Poutine flatbread

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

The other side of the restaurant Gaston helped to decorate. So it features antlers and of course a large picture of him.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Antlers added to the chandeliers.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Over at Disney California Adventure, the scaffolding and wrap have returned to fully cover the Guardians of the Galaxy Breakout Attraction with about three months to go until the May 27th opening.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

World of Color is not running for a couple weeks for annual refurbishment work. Two of the three platforms were raised to be worked on.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Class of 2017 mouse ears are available throughout the resort.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

In New Orleans Square Mlle Antoinettes is closed for some work.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

The Red Rose cups are at Maurice's too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

Found a spot for the Main Street Electrical Parade to wrap up my visit with the parade then Remember Dreams Come True Fireworks.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 24, 2017

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.








February 13, 2017

Disneyland Resort Updates - 2/10/17

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 10, 2017.

Laura wrote a blog featuring the Beauty and the Beast Preview as well as AP Days 2017, so I am going to focus on some of projects around the resort.

A video clip overview of the Star Wars Construction site (note the second half is really shaky since I was shooting freehand with a telephoto lens...)

The site from the Mickey and Friends parking structure on this cloudy afternoon.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017


Work continues along the top of the berm as they prepare it for the next step.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

The hill between the two entrance tunnels has been sprayed, assuming to help hold the dirt in place with all the rain we have been having.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

On the far north side of the project it appears they are working on footers and the foundation for another building. Even with the looming rain they were pouring concrete today.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

Construction has gone vertical for Star Wars. The very large show building nearest the parking structure has steel going up now.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

A rock formation taking shape along the Rivers of America.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

Trees have been planted on the new berm between where the train will run and Star Wars.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

First park today, Disneyland. Big Thunder has received a new entrance structure, that building we saw near the Rivers of America was moved here once completed. The Stand By Entrance is here and the FastPass on the left side of the building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

Moving over to Critter Country, the rocks along the back of the Rivers of America

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

Down in the riverbed they have started to install the footers that will support the track the boats run on.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

The former Royal Reception location in Fantasyland is now a Beauty and the Beast shop.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

The Matterhorn is closed for annual renovation work and the installation of FastPass.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

"it's a small world" has a new entrance and wait time sign.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

A quick video clip of it in action.

Moving over to Disney California Adventure, the new color scheme and exterior for Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout! is being unveiled.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

A closer look.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

From the Monorail a look at the former House of Blues future Splitsville project.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017


The Grand Californain is undergoing a major renovation. In the lobby are some displays taking a look at the new rooms including sample material and pictures.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

The new room look.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

A closer look at the materials used.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

The hallway carpet and how it will be laid out.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

The Curl Surf Shop in Downtown Disney looks ready to open any day now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

The rains showed up as the sun set, Main Street USA around 6pm

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

Passing by Sleeping Beauty Castle...
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017


A quick video clip of the Hatbox Ghost.

A final look at Main Street USA before leaving, it was 9:30pm.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 10, 2017

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.







February 12, 2017

AP Days at Disneyland and Beauty and the Beast Sneak Peek

laura%27s%20masthead%20copy2.jpg

A couple of new limited time events started at Disneyland on Friday, February 10. So I decided to make a quick trip to Disneyland to check them out.

A sneak peek of the upcoming "Beauty and the Beast" movie is showing in the Sunset Showcase Theater in Disney California Adventure. The movie opens on March 17, so the preview will probably run through March 19th.

Beauty and the Beast Sneak Peek

Lots of movie artwork along the entrance to the theater.

Beauty and the Beast Sneak Peek

The entry and lobby area of the theater have been redesigned - all traces of Arendelle have been removed, and now it looks more like a generic theater.

In the lobby are two display cases with props from the movie. This one has Belle's "town" dress and the "Magic Atlas."

Beauty and the Beast Sneak Peek

The other has the rose and the "Enchanted Mirror."

Beauty and the Beast Sneak Peek

The preview is in 3D and is about 10 minutes long. It features the entire opening "Belle" song with the townspeople and Gaston followed by a short trailer. (Josh Gad is excellent as Lefou.) While you're waiting for the preview to start, take a look at the "Enchanted Mirrors" on both sides of the theaters above the entrance and exit doors. You'll see some familiar characters.

I really enjoyed it - I'm looking forward to seeing the movie.

Beauty and the Beast Sneak Peek

Also at DCA...work on the Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT continues - part of the facade was visible. I thought it looked better than I was expecting.

Tower of Terror Mission Breakout

In the Paradise Pier area there are construction walls up along the bay in front of the Carousel - this would seem to be the logical location for the new Fastpass kiosks for Toy Story Midway Mania. No word on when those Fastpasses will be available.

Toy Story Mania Fastpass

Over at Disneyland, AP Days, a celebration for Annual Passholders, runs through March 9. This time it has a Main Street Electrical Parade theme.

Disneyland AP Days

The Welcome Center is in the Starcade in Tomorrowland.

Disneyland AP Days

There was a pretty long line to get in when I was there - they had a queue set up in front of Path of the Jedi.

Disneyland AP Days

Each Friday there's a new button. Cast members were scanning passes (one button per pass) outside the Welcome Center, so there was no need to wait in line to get the button.

Disneyland AP Days

There's an AP Adventures brochure that has some additional information. Inside there is information on the Electrical Parade and some trivia questions.

Disneyland AP Days

There's additional information on the back - including an announcement for the next AP event, which will be at DCA during the Food and Wine Festival from March 10-April 16.

Disneyland AP Days

Once inside the Welcome Center, I would recommend that you first find the cast members who are distributing tickets (basically a Fastpass) for the character greeting area. They were not letting people simply line up for the characters - everyone needed a ticket. You can leave the Welcome Center while you're waiting for your return time - once you're inside your window you can show your ticket at the door so you don't need to wait in line again to enter.

Disneyland AP Days

The characters are "retro" characters. For this week there were Robin Hood and Friar Tuck.

Disneyland AP Days

Alternating with the Sheriff of Nottingham and Prince John.

Disneyland AP Days

Just inside the entrance is a special photo backdrop with a PhotoPass photographer.

Disneyland AP Days

Also as you enter are the retro video games: Donkey Kong Jr., Missile Command, PacMan, and Asteroids.

Disneyland AP Days

The token machine is next to the - authentic STARCADE tokens. These looked brand new.

Disneyland AP Days

Special AP merchandise is available in the Welcome Center - it's also available in Disney Showcase on Main Street. There were wine glasses, pins, lanyard, hat, and tumbler.

Disneyland AP Days

Also shirts. Here's the back of the men's version (you can see the front logo on the left of the photo above).

Disneyland AP Days

This is the women's shirt.

Disneyland AP Days

There's a lounge area with comfortable-looking sofas and chairs.

Disneyland AP Days

With a charging station.

Disneyland AP Days

Some artwork outside the lounge area.

Disneyland AP Days

There are a couple of different activities in the "Activities and Fun" area.

Disneyland AP Days

You can color your own MSEP pennant:

Disneyland AP Days

Or you can build your own parade - this card has perforations to separate each photo. And then there were pieces of ribbon available to tie them together.

Disneyland AP Days

During AP Days, recipe cards, a new one each week, will be available at several locations in Disneyland. The same card is available at each restaurant. You have to ask for the cards. Participating locations are Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe, Redd Rockett's Pizza Port, Gibson Girl, and Main Street Refreshment Corner.

AP Days Oscar's Potatoes recipe

Another part of AP Days is daily screenings in the Opera House at 5:00, 6:30, and 8:00 p.m. Wristbands are distributed at the Opera House entrance earlier in the day, until they are all gone.

Disneyland AP Days

I didn't see it, but Jason did, and said it was the Disney Channel Backstage Disney show on the Main Street Electrical parade from 1986.

Disneyland AP Days

A special offer for Passholders at the moment is a refillable popcorn bucket. It's $15 for the initial purchase (which includes popcorn), After that, you can get refills for $1 (you also must present your AP) through April 16. There's a DCA version of the popcorn bucket, also. I was required to show both my AP and my id to purchase it.

Disneyland AP Popcorn Bucket

There are also supposed to be special menu items available at a few quick service restaurants, but I was not successful in my attempt to order the Fried Chicken and Waffles that are supposed to be at the Plaza Inn. The cast member seemed to have no idea what I was talking about.

There are many other Main Street Electrical Parade-inspired treats that are not secret and are easier to find. Many of them are at the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe. I tried the PB&J Eclair. Which yes, was an eclair filled with a soft peanut butter filling and a layer of strawberry jam. I thought it was just ok.

Special Electrical Parade treats

I also tried the Cheshire Cat Shortbread Cookie. Also with a strawberry jam filling. This was better - though I think I would've preferred the shortbread without the filling. The filling made it soft, and I like shortbread to have a little bit of crunch.

Special Electrical Parade treats

Also available at the Bakery are a Pineapple Coconut Parfait and Ladybug Macarons. The Raspberry Drum Cake that I'd seen at the preview is at River Belle Terrace. There's a Hazelnut Tart at the Market House (I'll have to try that one), Fantasia Mousse Cake (shaped like a turtle) at Blue Bayou, and Fantasia Ice Cream at Gibson Girl. I've never understood the attraction of the ice cream - the combination of pistachio, cherry, and banana does not appeal to me at all.

At the Plaza Inn there's a colorful "puzzle" cake.

Disneyland AP Days

With Valentine's Day and Beauty and the Beast coming up, various treats are available around the resort. At Trolley Treats in DCA I saw these Minnie Mouse and Belle cupcakes:

Disneyland Valentine Treats

Also these heart cookies:

Disneyland Valentine cookies

And at the Candy Palace in Disneyland there were rose and pink frosted cake pops as well as pink frosted krispy treats.

Disneyland Valentine treats

The specialty caramel apple of the month is covered with dark chocolate, cherries, and nuts.

February Disneyland Specialty Apple

Special cherry vanilla swirl cotton candy is available at a few locations. I only saw it on Main Street.

Disneyland Valentine Cotton Candy

Jason will have a much more complete construction update, but I took a few photos from the construction wall area near Big Thunder Mountain. There's some rock work visible now.

Disneyland Star Wars Land

Bob Iger announced earlier this week during the Walt Disney Company Q1 FY17 Earnings call that Star Wars Lands at both Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios will open in 2019. So I guess we still have two years to wait.

Disneyland Star Wars Land

As I mentioned, look for Jason's update in the next couple of days - he has more construction photos, the new entrance to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Grand Californian refurbishment updates, etc.,







January 16, 2017

Disneyland Resort Updates - 1/13/17

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, January 13, 2017.

Since Laura is covering the Star Wars Half Marathon events I will focus on everything else. A quick video overview of the Star Wars construction site from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.




A pan across the site from the left (north) to right.

Looks like utility work on the far side nearest Toon Town.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017



In the foreground notice the footers and foundation work for a large show building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017


The concrete structure in the middle is the backstage marina for Fantasmic.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017


Continuing to the right you can see more rock work sticking up above the wall nearest the Rivers of America.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Looking toward Critter Country.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

For a more in depth look at the Star Wars Construction check out the full picture set on disneygeek.com The fencing around the Downtown Disney security areas features ads for the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade next week. It features floats from the parade in front of Los Angeles landmarks including the beach, observatory, and Disney Concert Hall. This compliments the commercial that has been airing showing the parade coming out of a warehouse featuring retired Disneyland attractions.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

The current state of the former House of Blues removal. Splitsville is moving in.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Most signs of Christmas have been removed from the parks. A look at Main Street USA this afternoon

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

The castle is now snowless. Some diamond overlays are visible. Not sure if those are going back on or if they were under the snow.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

The grotto is walled off for some renovation work.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

The Castle Heraldry Shoppe in Fantasyland is now closed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

A check of the Star Wars work from the Big Thunder Trail.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

No visible progress on the Columbia.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Nor the stage area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

The Haunted Mansion is closed for the removal of the holiday overlay.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

The rock work along the rivers of america continues to expand.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Looking through the fence at the new walkway.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Stopped by the New Orleans Train Station and the Ernest S. Marsh is in the station and open for pictures plus the Lilly Belle.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

New Orleans Square still features Christmas decorations.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

The Jungle Cruise is closed for removal of the holiday overlay.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

The Adventureland Restrooms are closed for renovation and expansion.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

The Pioneer Mercantile is also closed for renovation work.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Star Wars Season of the Force signage has returned to Tomorrowland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Season of the Force Banners include some Rogue One Cast

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

The Dark Side...

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

A couple of Storm Troopers on patrol

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

The Toons have taken down all their Christmas decorations.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Over to DCA.. Christmas is gone from Buena Vista Street.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

The Festival of Holidays are gone too and the marketplaces have been removed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

More scaffolding up at Tower

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Items tagged for removal. It appears the lobby has been taken down to the studs.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Paradise Pier this evening as the sun was setting.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Viva Navidad! is gone. Lunar New Year moves in next week.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Grizzly River Run is closed for annual renovation

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Christmas is gone from Redwood Creek.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

The Cozy Cone is partially decorated. Notice the fountain was working today.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Spotlights and projections have returned as part of Season of the Force.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Video clip of the Star Wars Season of the Force spotlights in Tomorrowland.

Tomorrowland Terrace was not in use this evening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Only two seagulls out in the sub lagoon today.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Small World Holiday at night. No projections when I was around though..

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

An upcoming hand painted cell release for the MSEP.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017

Star Tours turned 30 this past week. An Annual Passholder T-Shirt is available

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 13, 2017


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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.







January 1, 2017

Disneyland Resort Updates - 12/30/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, December 30, 2016.

Arrived at the Mickey and Friends parking structure just past noon with clearing skies.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

A video overview of the Star Wars Construction. For an in-depth look check out my full picture set at https://disneygeek.com

Looking to the right, behind Critter Country, parallel to the tram route you can see they have put a layer of asphalt down for the backstage perimeter road. Also looks like a parking lot off on the right through the trees.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Tower of Terror is fully covered again.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

The foundation work for the show building nearest the structure is moving along. You can see the outline for the building taking shape.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

A look at where the train will come out from Critter Country.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Hard to see the new walkway between the Hungry Bear and river now with the wall.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

The wall looks complete to the left of the Fantasyland tunnel now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Concrete has been poured in the basement portion of the show building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Demolition work on the former House of Blues, future Splitsville continues.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

You can now see through the building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Sleeping Beauty Castle has lights and screens for New Years also notice how the blue skies have disappeared.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Was hoping to be able to walk the Big Thunder Trail today, but unfortunately the park is not crowded enough for them to open it.. the one time I wanted a big crowd!

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

The Castle Heraldry Shoppe is closing in January.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Went for a cruise on it's a small world holiday since there was no line.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

A New Years Eve stage set up in the Small World Mall area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

In Town Square they were setting up for a Pep Rally by the Spirit of Troy, the University of Southern California Trojan Marching Band. Donald warming up the crowd that was waiting for the rally.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Here are several video clips from the USC Band performance. Below a few pictures, I posted many more in my full set.

Tribute to Troy starts off the event, as you would expect. FightOn!

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

A wider look at the USC Band, USC Song Girls and USC Spirit Leaders in Town Square.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

After their performance the band turned and marched the parade route.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

On the Rivers of America a stage was set up for New Years Eve festivities since the Island stage is still being worked on.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Making my way to Critter Country. The rock work is filling in along the train path and the Rivers of America.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

A band was from Mexico and in town for the Tournament of Roses Parade on Monday. Today they marched through Disneyland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

It was 4:24pm, some guests waiting for the 4:15pm parade to start. They kept announcing it was delayed because of weather.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Stopped by the Emporium to get out of the rain. They had a selection of 2017 items.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Celebration Buttons were available at the Opera House today, not City Hall.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

The parade stepped off at 4:30, only 15 min late, and ran without and dancers/performers on the street. Only the floats came out and they were packed a little closer together than normal.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

The rain picked up as the parade went on (I was under a tree and fairly dry).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

In DCA walked through Grizzly Peak Recreation Area. Noticed the back of the sweater lights up too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Paradise Bay was being prepped for World of Color.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

A little after 5:00pm and they were playing the cancellation announcement for the 5:15pm Viva Navidad! Performance.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Walking through Cars Land. They were set up for New Years Eve. This is a control console. Lights and assuming a stage will be added in the middle of the street.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

All the cousins at Luigi's covered up due to the weather.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Really surprised only three Frozen performances on the schedule.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Another stage in HollywoodLand for New Years Eve

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Over to Disneyland. I assumed they were going to cancel Paint the Night, but as I entered they made the announcement that it was starting in a couple minutes.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

No dancers but they did have limited characters walking.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

The parade felt very different without performers.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Stopped by Sleeping Beauty Castle to see if there would be a Wintertime Enchantment moment at 7:30, there was not.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

"it's a small world" Holiday

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Then headed for the Haunted Mansion Holiday. There was a posted 5 minute wait. It turned out to be a literal walk on...I did not break stride till I was in the foyer.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

A video clip of the singing pumpkins since I was stopped there for a few moments.

2017 light up headbands.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Tomorrowland walkways were calm too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

Found a spot for Believe in Holiday Magic just before 9pm.

The show started 5 minutes early at 9:25pm.. ok since it was drizzling..

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

I returned to DCA. Had a Yellow Fastpass, but there was a low turnout and they opened blue to anyone. I opted to stay in Standby for World of Color - Season of Light.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 30, 2016

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.







December 21, 2016

Disneyland Resort Update - 12/16/15

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I've been traveling a lot, but I wanted to make another visit to Disneyland during the holiday season. When I renewed my annual pass earlier this year I opted for the Signature AP, which is blocked out during the Christmas holidays - December 19-January 1 - so this weekend was my final opportunity before that. (I really don't WANT to be at Disneyland during those two weeks anyway!) Jason (Disneygeek) met me there on Friday afternoon and we wandered around for the rest of the day and evening.

We had a rare southern California rainstorm on Thursday and Friday, but according to the forecast the rain would be over in Anaheim by noon. When I left San Diego at 10:30 it was still raining there, but by the time I reached Anaheim the roads were dry and there was even a little bit of blue sky. As the day went on the clouds completely cleared off and we had a sunny day, though it was cool by southern California standards - only about 60 degrees.

Some major changes at Disneyland this week: most of the security checkpoints have been moved. Downtown Disney is now a "secure" area, so guests coming from the Mickey and Friends garage go through security before boarding a tram. I was surprised to see a fence up along the tram route where it goes through the garage. If you park on the first level then you cross the tram route inside the garage rather than from the Pinocchio parking lot as it was before.

Disneyland security fence

The bag check is still done manually, and then everyone goes through a metal detector. I wish they'd installed x-ray machines rather than the manual check. I arrived about 12:20, and things weren't very busy then, so I got through quickly.

Disneyland security

There are additional security checkpoints set up at the other entrances to Downtown Disney. From the Downtown Disney parking lot:

Downtown Disney security checkpoint

From the Grand Californian:

Grand Californian Security checkpoint

There's also one from the Disneyland Hotel, though I didn't get a photo of it. The security setup on the east side of the esplanade (for guests coming from the Toy Story parking lot and the hotels on Harbor Blvd) is unchanged. They still go through security on the east side of the esplanade.

From the tram I could see the demolition that's occurring at the former House of Blues location. According to a recent Disney Parks Blog post, Splitsville Luxury Lanes will be opening there in late 2017.

House of Blues demolition

When I got off the tram, it was great to be able to walk directly to the esplanade without going through security! And the esplanade looks so open now! Jason reminded me that the security tents at the esplanade had been in place for over 15 years. Wow.

Disneyland esplanade

This was the first time I'd been to DCA during the day this holiday season.

Festival of Holidays

My first order was to have something to eat, so I visited a couple of the Festival of Holidays Marketplaces. I never saw any lines at any of the booths except the Brews & Bites booth that sells beer. As I mentioned in my initial review of the Festival, I think the prices are just too high.

This time I tried the Harvest Puff Pastry with Leeks and Parmesan from the "Treats for Santa" booth. $4.25. I was surprised that it wasn't served warm. But it was pretty tasty, and I thought $4.25 wasn't a bad price, since it was a good-sized serving. Much more in line with the price I expect.

Festival of Holidays Harvest Puff Pastry

From "Mosaic Delights" I tried the Mini Falafel Donuts with Pickled Vegetables & Tahini Drizzle. This one was $7.00 - and it should have been $4.25. :-) Though it says "donuts", it's really a savory dish. I liked the flavor of the falafel and the pickled vegetables. It was just too expensive.

Festival of Holidays Falafel Donuts

I felt really badly for the cast members working the food booths - they had very little to do, and I'm sure that makes their shifts seem really long.

Jason and I met at the World of Color Fastpass machines. Even though it was almost 1:00, we were still able to get Fastpasses in the Blue section (the best of the non-dining package sections) for the 9:00 showing of Season of Light. Because of the rain there weren't too many people out and about yet. There was a second show scheduled for 10:15...I have a feeling it was very sparsely attended.

Since I'm writing this resort update instead of Jason there's going to be more words than photos, so if you're interested in Jason's excellent photos and construction update please visit his web site: www.disneygeek.com.

There's an AP Corner for Annual Passholders set up in the Grizzly Peak Recreation area. It opened November 11 and is available through January 8. Pretty minimal offerings compared to some of these in the past. There's a button, a photo backdrop, and a coloring area. But no character greeting opportunity or refreshments like water and popcorn as there have been at previous AP areas. Also, there's only a single button for the event, rather than a different one each week (you can see my button on the left in the photo below). There were no guests there when we arrived, and the cast members looked pretty cold! The location is out of the way, and a little hard to find, though there were signs for it at the entrance.

Festival of Holidays

There were additional craft opportunities along the parade corridor. This one was Christmas-themed, but I saw one for Kwanzaa also.

Festival of Holidays

Our next destination was Disneyland, so that I could see the "A Christmas Fantasy Parade" for the first time this season. We went all the way back to the parade start at "it's a small world". Not real crowded, but there were more people back there than i expected. We still had a spot behind just one row of people, though.

A Christmas Fantasy Parade

For some reason the toy soldiers were missing when the parade first started this holiday season, but they are back now. Always one of my favorite parts of the parade.

We left our viewing spot just before the final float appeared so that we could get in line for "it's a small world" Holiday before the crowds descended on it after the parade was over. We had a good view of that last float with Santa Claus from the line.

A Christmas Fantasy parade

"it's a small world" Holiday is celebrating its 20th holiday season this year. In recognition of that, some number of "hidden 20s" have been placed in the attraction this year. Jason is very good at spotting them and pointed them out to me, though the only one I was able to photograph was this one at the exit.

it's a small world holiday hidden 20

We went back to Frontierland to take a look at the Star Wars Land construction progress. This is the first time I've seen anything other than piles of dirt!

Star Wars Land

And this looks interesting. No idea what it is, though. There's still no official word out of Disney as to when Star Wars Land might open, but at least now there's actual construction underway. As I mentioned, Jason has a lot more (and better) photos available on his www.disneygeek.com site.

Star Wars Land

On Main Street we caught the end of the performance of the Dickens Yuletide Band. In the clip below they perform a medley from "The Nutcracker."

We were planning to see some of the holiday entertainment over at DCA, so went across the esplanade back over there. But first we went back to Hollywood to check on Fastpasses for Tower of Terror. After dark, the Tower of Terror offers "Late Check-Out", where the attraction takes place in the dark, with no soundtrack. Fastpasses were not originally available for the after dark part, but that changed recently. We were there about 3:00, and there was a sign out to that effect.

Tower of Terror Late Check-Out

And the Fastpasses themselves denote Late Check-Out.

Tower of Terror Late Check-out

We still had some time before the first holiday act, so we went for a spin on Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters, since it had a short line. For the holiday season there's a new song: Jingle Bells. We heard it as we were walking to the attraction, but it wasn't the song that played for our ride.

The Holiday Toy Drummers was the first entertainment offering we saw, and they are my new favorites. They were so much fun to watch - especially since they seem to be having so much fun themselves. This is a video Jason took of them several weeks ago - they don't have any variation in their sets.

Holiday entertainment takes place in a number of different locations around DCA. The drummers were near the Boudin Bakery in Pacific Wharf, and from there we went to Paradise Gardens to see Princess Elena's Musical Grand Arrival. It was pretty well-attended. Elena sang several songs, including two Christmas songs.

Festival of Holidays Elena of Avalor

The Stilt Circus performs along the parade corridor, though both time we saw them they were in Carthay Circle.

Festival of Holidays stilt circus

To get to Downtown Disney we exited through the Grand Californian. I hadn't seen the gingerbread hotel in its finished state - they were still decorating it when I was there in November. Pretty impressive structure.

Grand Californian Gingerbread house

There's a new Pandora store in Downtown Disney now, right next to Jamba Juice.

Downtown Disney Pandora Store

I was surprised to see a very large outdoor seating area outside Tortilla Jo's. During most of the year that might be pretty attractive, but it was a chilly afternoon and we didn't see anyone sitting outside.

Tortilla Jo's outdoor seating

The tree in Downtown Disney is in a new location this year. No skating rink, probably because of the construction of the fence for the security perimeter.

Downtown Disney Christmas tree

We took the monorail back to Disneyland from Downtown Disney. It was very nice not to have to go through a bag check there. And there was no line for the monorail, in fact some of the cars were empty. Jason and I were the only people in our car. We saw the start of sunset on our ride.

Disneyland sunset

At the Star Wars Launch Bay cast members were distributing Rogue One - A Star Wars Story buttons since the movie had just opened. There were a couple of display cases with costumes and props from the movie - pretty much the same as what I saw in Florida the week before.

Rogue One button

The lights weren't on yet, but the castle was decorated for the holidays.

Sleeping Beauty castle

We had dinner at Village Haus, largely so that we could sit inside where it was warm. There weren't very many people in there, and it was so quiet that we could actually hear the background music! It was the same holiday track that is played on Main Street. It was very nice to hear it.

The castle lights were on as we walked through the castle after dinner.

Sleeping Beauty ice castle

The Jambalaya Jazz group has added some holiday cheer to their set.

After dark their last song is White Christmas, and it snows.

snow in New Orleans Square

When we walked by Tropical Imports in Adventureland we noticed a sign for a new dessert - a Pineapple Parfait. Layered pineapple mousse, vanilla cake and pineapple topped with whipped cream and a chocolate Heart of Tefiti pendant. Normally I would've tried this, but it was a cold dessert and I was already cold enough.

Pineapple Parfait

Back to DCA to catch some more of the Festival of Holidays entertainment. Starting at 5:30 there are four different acts in a row at the stage in Paradise Park. We missed the first one, but we saw RAISE - an acapella group, Mariachi Divas, and Mostly Kosher. The latter are pictured below. They were surprisingly entertaining.

Festival of Holidays

The wind had come up and it was quite chilly by the water after we'd been sitting there for almost an hour. I suggested we go "under the sea" to warm up. :-) We walked right onto the clamshell vehicle.

There was still over an hour until it was time to be back for World of Color. I was looking for warm places, and we went into the Animation Building. There were a number of other people with the same idea, but we lucked out and there was a sofa we could sit on. I always enjoy sitting in there and watching the animation clips and artwork and listening to the music. I saw something I hadn't noticed before - it looks like there was a "Coppertone moment" in Frozen during the "In Summer" song. Cute.

DCA Animation Building

On the way back to Paradise Bay we stopped at Award Weiners so that I could get some hot chocolate. That tasted pretty good - and it felt good in my hands. :-)

Jason knows the spots, and found us an excellent location to watch World of Color - Season of Light. We were just behind the dessert party area, so there was no one standing in front of us.

It was windy, but not enough to cancel the show. It made for some interesting effects on the fountains. I was surprised at how clear the projections still were, despite the wind.

World of Color - Season of Light

This is such a good show. All of the effects work so well together.

World of Color - Season of Light

We made the right decision to choose to see World of Color and not the fireworks show at Disneyland - it was canceled because of the wind.

That was the end of our day. When we arrived back at the Mickey and Friends garage I was surprised to see that almost all of the security check lanes were still open. It was almost 10:00 - not too many people arriving at that time of night.

It was a good day - I was able to see all of the entertainment that I'd wanted to see. And thanks to the rain and the cool weather the parks weren't very crowded at all.







November 8, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 11/4/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos and video clips from his latest trip to the parks on Friday, November 4, 2016.

A video overview of the Star Wars construction site from the Mickey and Friends parking structure.

An overview of the site.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016
Footers are in for the wall to the left of the Fantasyland entrance tunnel.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

The Fantasmic! marina looks to be enclosed now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

The new path from Critter Country to Star Wars is slowly taking shape. Dirt has been removed from behind the large retaining wall behind Critter Country.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Footers for the foundation of the show building are also taking shape.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Moving on to the Tram stop work: The closest section of the Pinocchio lot is now fenced off and equipment looks ready to start. Also, the crosswalk has been moved closer to the structure right now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

A closer look at the removed hedges and security barriers:

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

World of Color Season of Light billboards are at the tram stop now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Halloween was still present on the tram route.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Over the entrance gates, though, Halloween is gone, but Christmas has yet to arrive.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Christmas has arrived at the Train Station, note that there's no train out front this week. The traditional Christmas decorations are up on the Train Station.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Town Square is looking festive.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

The tree has yet to be installed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Snow has fallen on Sleeping Beauty Castle. Nice to see it back this year.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

A look around the hub:

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

The Partners Statue with Sleeping Beauty Castle

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Frontierland has been decorated, too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Approaching the end of the Big Thunder Trail... The rockwork is taking shape along the trail.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

New Orleans Square has been decorated.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Critter Country decorations are up, too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Taking a look at the Star Wars work from Critter Country, it looks like the first trestle is taking shape as well as "toothpicks" for the rockwork support structure.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Winnie the Pooh was out near what will be Santa's meet-and-greet in a week.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

The trestle over Critter Country is under wraps and looks like it is being rebuilt/renovated.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Scaffolding in Toontown has moved to the Five and Dime.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

The Toons have decorated already. The fire truck is back and looks good as new.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Mickey's House:

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016


"it's a small world" is closed while the holiday show is being installed. It reopens November 10.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Hyperspace Mountain has returned.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

The Dapper Dans performing on Main Street USA:

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Next stop, Disney California Adventure! Buena Vista Street is partially decorated. No tree yet and the window displays are not done.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Disney Festival of Holidays is taking over DCA starting Thursday, November 10.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

The marketplaces that were used in the Food and Wine Festival have returned.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Menus are not posted yet, just names for the locations (I have pictures of all of them in my full set if you wanted to see them)

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Work continues in the Hollywood Studios area:

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Scaffolding continues to go up on the Tower of Terror. There was a posted wait time of 90 minutes this afternoon.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

A side view of the Tower of Terror. Looks like scaffolding is up on three of the four sides so far. Just this side to go:

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Cars Land holiday decorations are almost all up, too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Paradise Park is ready for the new World of Color show, Season of Light, which starts this Thursday. The fountains were warming up for the regular show this evening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

There are actually more marketplaces for the holiday than the Food and Wine event had. Here is one in front of the Little Mermaid.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

A couple more marketplaces near the Zephyr.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

New boxes/barges with equipment are out in Paradise Bay for the new World of Color show.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

There's been a tweak to the Toy Story queue -- a new entrance point. Rumor is that FastPass is coming to this attraction. If that's true, this change to the queue to accommodate it makes sense.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

A small stage set up in the Wharf area:

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

And another marketplace near Grizzly Rapids Run.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Santa will be in Redwood Creek this year.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Back in Disneyland park, Frontierland lights were on this evening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

I found a spot under the lights on Main Street for Soundsational.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Noted a few things on my way out of the parks.

Tupua performing in Downtown Disney tonight.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Route 66 after dark.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

A lot of activity going on in the Pinocchio lot this evening. They were removing the asphalt and other debris from near the parking structure.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

They are enlarging an opening into the Mickey and Friends parking structure on the first floor.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

And finally, the Fantasy in the Sky finale from the structure.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 4, 2016

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.


October 24, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 10/21/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, October 21, 2016.

This set features a look around both parks and Downtown Disney. As always visit disneygeek.com for the full set.

First up a video clip of the Star Wars Construction site from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.

In the center of the site you can see the two entrance tunnels and other structures taking shape.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

A new wall taking shape along the new backstage roadway. The path for the new road is between that wall and the tramway fence.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

A closer look at the tunnel toward Fantasyland. Looks like they are extending the walls to the left. You can see the footer and some re-bar.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

In the lot closest to the structure work continues on the foundation and basement for one of the show buildings.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The rock work on the point of the island looks to be moving along.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

New landscaping is going in along the tram way.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The Christmas tree has arrived onsite and will be assembled in the coming days for an early November trip to Main Street USA

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

In Town Square the cannon has been placed in its new location.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The Disney Showcase has switched over to Christmas merchandise now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

There was one rack of Halloween left.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The hub trees have received their Christmas lights.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Star Wars from the Big Thunder Trail. A steel support structure for the rock work.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Work continues on the Fantasmic stage area. Notice the projector under the netting. Looks like some projection mapping testing was going on.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

No real visible progress on the Columbia.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Main Street USA at 2:34pm.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The facade work on Peter Pan has wrapped up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Lights continue to be installed on Small World in preparation for the Holidays. The attraction closes Monday, October 24 for the holiday installation.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The scaffolding is down from Roger Rabbit.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Work has moved up the block now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The Toon Town fire truck must be on a call... (backstage for renovation).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The Nemo seagulls were MIA today.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Mickey leading Soundsational through the hub.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Critter Country is closed. A sign on the main walkway. It was closed just before the bridge by Splash Mountain.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The display in the Main Street Opera House has been updated with Star Wars concept art.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Time for the Flag Retreat.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Work continues on removing the Mad Tea Party set. Wonder if the statue will return?

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Doctor Strange has moved into the Sunset Showcase Theater.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

A narrow path by Monsters right now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Now that AP Days have concluded it's all clear around Stage 12 now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The FastPass machines for Frozen are gone. I read they have switched to only busy days. Most days are now standby for all. Also interesting only 3 shows listed on the marquee today.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The Tower of Terror continues to be surrounded by scaffolding. The attraction is operating at 2/3 capacity (one shaft is down for renovation work) as it limps towards a full closure in January.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The Bugs have decorated for Christmas already.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The Moana sneak peek has moved into the Bugs Theater.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The poles on the right side of Route 66 have been installed for the Christmas decorations.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Work has wrapped up on the Rushin River Outfitters.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

In the lobby of the Grand Californian is a Halloween display.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Some stats/info on the display.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

A closer look at the display.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Walked through Downtown Disney. Something Silver is behind walls.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

No visible progress on removal of the House of Blues building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

A fun polka band performing on the main stage in celebration of Oktoberfest.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Here are several clips from their set. It was nearly 50 minutes long.

A seating area, lights and three trucks were set up in the park area near ESPN.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Work continues on the new store near Jamba Juice.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

The World of Disney entrance near Starbucks is under wraps.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

"Scareolers" performing between La Brea and World of Disney.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Several video clips of the Scareolers performing.

Tower of Terror, a sign for the Late Check Out

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Wait times were up this evening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

A Doctor Strange costume in the lobby of the Sunset Showcase Theater, which is hosting a preview of the film.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

A selection of Moana merchandise in Elias and Company.

Here are a couple items.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

Crews working into the night on the Star Wars project.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 21, 2016

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.







October 9, 2016

Halloween Time 2016 - Trick or Tea and This and That

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Trick or Tea at Disneyland Hotel

A new Halloween Time event this year is Trick or Tea at the Disneyland Hotel. It's a seasonal version of the existing afternoon tea served at Steakhouse 55. It's available on Friday-Sunday from September 30-October 30. Service is from noon until 3:00 p.m.

I went on the first day - September 30. Steakhouse 55 is a very nice, quiet restaurant, and very appropriate for a relaxing afternoon tea.

Trick or Tea at Disneyland Hotel

Trick or Tea at Disneyland Hotel

I was a little surprised that there wasn't a specially decorated menu - the only difference in the menu was the addition of some seasonal teas. After I'd sat at my place for a while I finally took a closer look at the flowers on the table - and that made me chuckle. Very clever.

Trick or Tea at Disneyland Hotel

There are two different tea choices for adults: The Classic Tea Party, and The Premium Tea Party. Both include scones, tea sandwiches, dessert, and choice of tea. The premium party adds a glass of Fairy Tale Cuvee, salad, and truffles.

I chose the Premium Tea Party. Since it was a very warm day I opted for iced tea instead of hot tea. I selected one of the seasonal teas: Apple Pie Green Tea. It had a hint of cinnamon. It needed just a little bit of sugar to bring out the apple pie flavor. The salad was nice and fresh - it's served with green goddess dressing.

Trick or Tea at Disneyland Hotel

Once I'd finished the salad my server brought out the tiered platter with the scones, sandwiches, and desserts, and described them to me. It's so pretty!

Trick or Tea at Disneyland Hotel

I had a traditional currant scone as well as the new seasonal maple-pecan scone. The latter was especially good. Lots of chopped pecans inside, so you had better like pecans. I do, so that wasn't an issue.

Trick or Tea at Disneyland Hotel

There was a plate of lemon curd, marmalade, and Devonshire cream to go with the scones. Way more than I needed, especially since I don't care for marmalade or lemon curd.

Trick or Tea at Disneyland Hotel

There were no seasonal selections in the tea sandwiches. Egg salad, cucumber and watercress, smoked salmon, and caprese. The bread on the caprese sandwich was toasted, which seemed a little strange. They were all very tasty.

Trick or Tea at Disneyland Hotel

The highlight of the dessert plate was the Jack Skellington chocolate-dipped strawberry. The mini pumpkin bundt cake was excellent, especially with a little Devonshire cream on it. There are a number of different macarons available, and it's always luck of the draw as to which two you receive. The strawberry pistachio was ok, but the other was a speculoos (cookie butter) macaron and that was really excellent.

Trick or Tea at Disneyland Hotel

The truffles are served in a little takeaway box. There were two of them, and I ate them the next day. They were good, but I've had better.

Trick or Tea at Disneyland Hotel

The Premium Tea was $65, and I received a 15% Annual Passholder discount. The Classic Tea is $50.

I was a little disappointed in my server - when I was here the first time back in January the server asked me at the end if there was any tea that I wanted to take away in a ToGo cup. This time, though I heard her offer that to the table next to me, she did not offer it to me, and in fact I had to ask her for a cup so that I could take the rest of my Apple Pie tea.

The tea was very nice, though of the various Disney teas I've had, the Grand Floridian at Walt Disney World is still my favorite.

During Halloween Time there are always things going on at the Disneyland Resort. I attended a Media Day recently and spoke to several different people about some of the events.

Halloween Time and what's new in Haunted Mansion Holiday:

One of the things Brian is responsible for is the large pumpkins on Main Street and over the entrance turnstiles.

Disneyland Entrance pumpkins

During Halloween Time Jack and Sally are available for Meet and Greets near the Haunted Mansion.

Jack and Sally at Disneyland

The traditional Tower of Terror is in its final days - it will close on January 2, and will be re-imagined into an attraction based on Guardians of the Galaxy. Mission:Breakout will open in the summer of 2017. In the meantime something called Late Checkout is going on - every night after twilight the lights and sound are turned off in the Tower of Terror, and riders experience it in complete darkness, not even with any of the usual audio cues to warn them of what is coming next.

Through October 31, the Silver Lake Sisters are performing at various times during the day in the lobby of the Hollywood Tower Hotel, for the entertainment of guests waiting in line. (I think it's unfortunate that they aren't performing some place that's more accessible, where guests can watch them for a longer time.) The Silver Lake Sisters are also known as Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical. You'll find their cafe on Buena Vista Street, where the walls are decorated with photos and other memorabilia of their career. I understand that people come for miles for their coffee. :-)

Silver Lake Sisters

Disneyland always comes up with different Halloween treats every year. Those interviews are always a lot of fun for me since I get the opportunity to do something - and I usually get to sample afterwards.

As Rob mentioned, one of the new treats this year is this Evil Queen Caramel Apple.

Disneyland Evil Queen Caramel Apple

I didn't get to take the apple that I actually made home with me, but I received one just like it. And it was good. Apple, chocolate, and caramel - yum. Though my favorite is still the apple dipped in caramel and chocolate and covered in English toffee.

Minnie Witch Caramel Applel

Lee and I had dinner at the Hungry Bear Restaurant Mostly because I wanted dessert there. :-)

I ordered the Crispy Chicken Sandwich. It comes with fries or zesty slaw, but they will substitute onion rings upon request. Yes, please. The chicken was battered and fried but not greasy, and there was a honey-mustard sauce on it along with lettuce and tomato. It was pretty tasty, and the onion rings were quite good.

Disneyland Hungry Bear Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Lee had the Classic Cheeseburger with French fries. Your basic hamburger, so nothing special about it.

Disneyland Hungry Bear Cheeseburger

But as I mentioned we really came here for dessert. The Churro Funnel Cake. This was a special last summer, but apparently it was so popular that it's been added to the permanent menu. Fried dough covered in lots of cinnamon sugar and topped with caramel sauce and whipped cream. No redeeming qualities about it whatsoever - but it's sooooo good! And a large serving - we couldn't finish it.

Disneyland Hungry Bear Churro Funnel Cake

After dark we could see the Halloween Tree lit up in Frontierland. The tree is inspired by the Ray Bradbury novel of the same name. Bradbury was a long-time Disney fan and the tree was dedicated to him on October 31, 2007. It's nice to see it every year.

Disneyland Halloween Tree

There you have it...a few of the other tricks and treats at Halloween Time this year.







October 4, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 9/30/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, September 30, 2016.

Since Laura was in the parks to cover Halloween Time and the Halloween Party I will focus on some other aspects from the day. First up a check of the Star Wars Construction. This week just a quick video clip overview site (for a more in dept photo look visit my site).



Along the Mickey and Friends Tramway landscape work is underway.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


A lot of rocks have been brought in on both sides.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016



Here you can get an idea of where they are heading with the look.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016



In Disneyland's Town Square the cannons have been removed and the ground leveled where they were.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016



Looks like they are being relocated to the planter nearby


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016



This weekend is Gay Days and there are some specialty items available at select locations. This is at Tomorrowland Terrace.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016



Over in DCA the arches for the Mad T Party have been removed.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016



AP Days continue near Stage 12. The offerings are the same as my previous visit, buttons, water, coloring, and a photo op are the highlights.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


Buttons..


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


A closer look at the button.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


The Hollywood Tower Hotel sign and other facade elements have been removed from the Tower of Terror. Scaffolding is going up around the building as it begins the transformation to the new Guardians of the Galaxy attraction.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


Where the sign and some other elements were attached.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


The Bugs Land 60th photo op is gone.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


APDays in Paradise Gardens featured a Run Disney table this week. Big discounts for the upcoming Super Heroes Half Marathon Weekend events in November.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016



Stickers were also available for a new iPhone app.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


This week's activity guide and button for AP Days


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


Gay Days offerings at Clarabelle's on Buena Vista Street


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


Back to Disneyland. Town Square pumpkins...


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


The Village Haus was closed already for Halloween party prep (it was 4:18pm only and the party kicked off at 7pm).


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


At 7pm when the party started I made my way out of the park.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


DCA was very crowded thanks to Disneyland now being closed to day guests. This is the end of the line for Smoke Jumpers. (Restroom lines were also out the door)


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


The line for Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta was out the door and down the walkway. I am at the end of it. Cast members were at the exits to guide you to the line. It looked worse than it was. It was under 15 minutes from this point until we were seated and eating.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


Paradise Pier was very crowded. The standby area for World of Color was moved out and marked by tape. But with the near gridlock in the walkways, it was a mess to walk through.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


5 minutes until World of Color. The version of the World of Color show from early 2015 has returned - minus the Brave segment.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


The projections looked great tonight. The animation clips were really crisp. The projectors that were put in for World of Color - Celebrate! make a big difference. Other elements that were added for Celebrate! that were incorporated into the older version of the show were lights on California Screamin' and air/smoke blasts in the viewing area.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016



A video clip of the Pirates segment.



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016


A fall hidden Mickey on the walkway...


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 30, 2016



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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.







September 14, 2016

Halloween Time Returns to the Disneyland Resort

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Halloween Time

Halloween Time is one of my favorite times of year at Disneyland...I might like it even better than the holidays.

But like the holidays, it seems to start earlier every year - this year it began on September 9 - just four days after Labor Day! It runs through October 31. I was there on opening day - Friday, September 9.

At the Mickey and Friends tram stop, I was a little surprised that the large signs there advertise the Tower of Terror closure and not Halloween Time.

Halloween Time

This Halloween display along the tram route is always fun to see. There's a second and longer part on the other side, but I was on the wrong side of the tram to get a photo of it.

Halloween Time

The large character pumpkins above the entrance turnstiles were back.

Halloween Time

The Mickey floral and the train station are no longer decorated for the 60th anniversary.

Halloween Time

The Mickey pumpkin has returned to Town Square.

Halloween Time

Halloween Time

The Main Street Pumpkin Festival includes lots of jack-o-lanterns peeking out from the buildings on Main Street.

Halloween Time

The candy shop has a number of Halloween-themed treats, like Mickey jack-o-lantern krispie treats, Maleficent krispie treats, skull caramel apples, and these Dia de los Muertos krispie treats.

Halloween Time

The new map and Times Guide. That night was the first showing of the Fantasy in the Sky fireworks show, which has returned now that Disneyland Forever ended along with the Diamond Celebration. Fantasy in the Sky will run (probably on weekends only) until the Holiday celebration kicks off on November 10 and Believe...in Holiday Magic returns.

Halloween Time maps

Speaking of the Diamond Celebration...an unadorned castle. It looks rather plain.

Sleeping Beauty Castle

I was there at park opening, so I hustled over to Tomorrowland to get a Fastpass for Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. Hyperspace Mountain seems to be the only piece of the "limited time offerings" of Season of the Force that is no longer around - Path of the Jedi and the Galactic Grill are still there.

Star Wars Launch Bay

I was surprised to see that most of the photo ops from the 60th anniversary celebration are still in place.

Matterhorn photo op

The jack-o-lanterns themed to each land surround the Walt and Mickey Partners statue in the Hub.

Halloween Time

The Vampire Mickey popcorn bucket has been "re-vamped" this year. :-)

Halloween Vampire Mickey popcorn bucket

There's a new Halloween-themed bucket, also, with Disney characters drawn in the older style. (I think Daisy looks pretty creepy, personally.)

Halloween Disneyland popcorn bucket

Haunted Mansion Holiday opened for the season, and many of us were eager to see how Jack had "decked the halls" this year. The standby line was posted as 40 minutes, but it was less than 20.

Halloween Time Haunted Mansion Holiday

Haunted Mansion Holiday

The advances in projection technology have certainly changed the look of a lot of things in the mansion over the years, starting with the Stretch Room. It's always fun to see what happens when two holidays collide...

Haunted Mansion Holiday

The loading area:

Haunted Mansion Holiday

This year's Gingerbread House in the ballroom. I was fortunate to have a brief stop almost right in front of the house.

Haunted Mansion Holiday

New this year: a life-size audio-animatronic figure of Sally was added to the graveyard scene. Her eyes blink as she gazes across at Jack Skellington and she kicks her foot up and down.

Haunted Mansion  Holiday Sally

After exiting Haunted Mansion I was in my Ghost Galaxy Fastpass window so I got a Fastpass for Haunted Mansion Holiday, figuring the line would be longer later. I wandered back to Tomorrowland by way of the Mint Julep Bar, thinking maybe I'd get some beignets. But to my dismay this year there are no pumpkin beignets! The special this year is regular beignets sprinkled with butterscotch sugar. Not very appealing to me.

I also went through Frontierland and the Dia de los Muertos display outside Rancho del Zocalo. It seems the same as previous years. There's a face painting (free) station set up there.

Halloween Time

Halloween Time

The entrance to the Rancho del Zocalo restaurant is also decorated.

Halloween Time Ghost Galaxy

Lots of Halloween merchandise available - here's just a few samples.

Halloween Time merchandise

Halloween Time merchandise

I used my Fastpass for Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. I didn't notice anything new about it this year, and I found it not nearly as exciting and immersive as Hyperspace Mountain. I hope that will return...

Halloween Time Ghost Galaxy

In Town Square some of the characters were out in their Halloween costumes. They always seem to have the same costumes every year - don't they get tired of them? :-)

Halloween Time Vampire Mickey

Halloween Time witch Minnie

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique is offering a Halloween Minnie makeover for the season.

Halloween Minnie Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

The entrance to Toontown has some Halloween decorations.

Halloween Time

New maps and Times Guide in Disney California Adventure. The classic World of Color show has returned to replace the Celebrate! version.

DCA map

AP Days, a special event for Annual Passholders, has begun, and will run through October 31.

AP Days

There are activities for Annual Passholders in two different areas of the park. In Hollywood Land, the AP Days Showcase is at Studio 12 (which was the Tron arcade).

AP Days

Outside were a few tables where kids (or adults) could color some Halloween-themed drawings. Inside was a special character meet and greet.

AP Days

This area looks like it recycled a lot of props and decor from the Scare-dy Crow shack at the former Big Thunder Ranch area.

AP Days

AP Days

There's a different AP button each week - they change on Mondays. My AP was scanned when they gave me a button, so it seems like they are limiting the buttons to one per passholder. They also gave me a small bottle of water.

AP Days

There were some benches outside a small demonstration kitchen - apparently there are food demonstrations that take place a couple of times a day. I wasn't around for any of that, though. The displays outside have descriptions of some of the seasonal food offerings around the resort.

AP Days

One of them is a seasonal smoothie at Schmoozies - a caramel apple smoothie. I tried it. It has apple pureed in it, and a hint of cinnamon. But most of what I tasted was sweet - too sweet for me.

Caramel apple smoothie

The second location for AP Days is in the Paradise Gardens area. Mainly an AP Days photo opportunity.

AP Days

There was a scavenger hunt-type of activity available. I don't know if the activity changes each week, but this week it was solving a word phrase. The letter clues asked questions about which was more or less, e.g. "Which is MORE? The number of gas pumps at Flo's V8 Cafe or the number of animal spirits within the Spirit Cave at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail?" There's a different letter choice for each answer. No prize for solving it - just the satisfaction.

AP Days

There are several special things going on at the Tower of Terror during its final Halloween season. The Silver Lake Sisters - also known as Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical (they own the cafe on Buena Vista Street) perform throughout the day in the lobby. Unfortunately you have to actually be in line to see them. I thought that was odd. At night there's Late Check Out, where the Tower of Terror ride takes place in total darkness. I didn't stay late enough to try that. There's also special merchandise available in the shop.

Outside the Tower is a new PhotoPass location with a few props.

Tower of Terror photo op

Trader Sam's at the Disneyland Hotel also has a seasonal item - a drink called "This Chilling Challenge" available with a souvenir Hitchhiking Ghosts Tiki Mug. They are $30 each. I went over there to see if I could get one. The line wasn't too bad (apparently it had been very long earlier in the day), but I could sit outside on the patio and order there right away. So I ordered the chicken lettuce wraps and the drink. The drink was a stronger than I expected it to be. It was made with pineapple juice and spiced rum, I think - not sure what else.

Trader Sam's This Chilling Challenge

And here's the mug. There was a limit of two per person, yet these still sold out on Friday. The Parks blog reports that another shipment will arrive closer to Halloween. I continue to be amazed at how poorly Disney estimates the demand for these sorts of items.

Trader Sam's Hitchhiking Ghosts Mug

Downtown Disney had a couple types of Halloween banners.

Tower of Terror banner

When I went back to DCA around 5:00 the bag check line on the Downtown Disney side was really long. It stretched back into the tram area on one side, and past the entrance to Downtown Disney on the other. Wow. I'd like to see them implement a "no bags" line like they do at Disney World. That wouldn't have helped me at all, but it might help things move along faster overall.

There are lots of new seasonal food items for the Halloween season. The Disney Parks blog posted this list.

Here are a few of them. Cupcake from Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe:

Halloween Time Cupcake

These poison apple mugs were first released last year, but they must have sold out quickly. They are EVERYWHERE this year - I think I saw them at most of the quick service locations in Disneyland (and some in DCA), and even at Mortimer's Market, which is more of a fruit stand. Depending on where they are purchased, they are available with a beverage, ice cream, or fruit.

Halloween Time Poison Apple Mug

The French Market has this multi-layer Cookies and Cream Mousse Coffin Cake.

Halloween Time Coffin Cake

It seemed to me as though a number of the food items were not yet available - I didn't see signs posted like I usually do. Except for the Poison Apple mugs - did I mention that those were EVERYWHERE? :-)

I had a really good day. Crowds were not too bad, and I got to ride Haunted Mansion Holiday four times!







August 29, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 8/26/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, August 26, 2016.


A quick video look at the Star Wars Construction site from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.



An overview of the site


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


Closer to Fantasyland the retaining wall is slowly taking shape with more wood being inserted between the steel i-beams.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016

In the distance notice trucks working on the old Skyway hill. In the center of the site it looks like a maze of walls right now as the retaining walls, Fantasmic marina, and river all continue to take shape.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


Excavation work for what looks to be one of the show buildings is underway.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016

World of Disney rolled out Halloween merchandise.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


Some renovation work on the west side of the Main Street Train Station

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


Main Street USA this picture perfect afternoon.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


Work continues on the Market House


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016

The Shooting Exposition has re-opened.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


No real visible changes jumped out to me.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


The Columbia has moved again since my last visit. It is no longer docked on the island. The dock is still out, though.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


The Columbia is back in the harbor. Note the top of the masts and a fair amount of rigging is gone.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016

The Haunted Mansion is closed for the annual transformation as Jack decks the halls.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016

Walls now extend all the way to the Hungry Bear ramp. You cannot access the lower level from this area.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016

You now enter using a temporary walkway that is over the small stream area. You enter to the right of the Winnie the Pooh entrance.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


Looking toward the Haunted Mansion from the top of Tarzan's Treehouse

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016

Gaston was admiring his reflection in the windows of Fantasyland

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016

Exterior renovation work is underway on Peter Pan. .


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


Captain Hook was out at the old motor boat dock.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016

Halloween merchandise is out on Buena Vista Street in Disney California Adventure.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


Stopped by the Disneyland Flag Retreat and this evening they were honoring members of the 9th & 10th Cavalry, the Buffalo Soldiers, who are celebrating their 150th anniversary this year. Several members were on hand as well as other veterans for the ceremony.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


The Disneyland Band has resumed the Flag Retreat duties now that the College Band has ended its season.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


After the ceremony members of the Disneyland Security Honor Detail came back out to present the Buffalo Soldiers with Challenge Coins.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


Then they all gathered for group pictures.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


Hopped back to DCA for a sunset race on Radiator Springs Racers

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016

Tower Gifts has Halloween Merchandise too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


The Pete's Dragon preview has ended so nothing is showing in the Sunset Showcase Theater.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016

Goofy trying to hitch a ride with 5 & Dime


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


Elias & Co Halloween window.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


Some Halloween Merchandise in the Five and Dime


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016

This little sorcerer making his way up Main Street USA drew a lot of attention.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016

Decided to continue the nautical theme this visit was taking on and go for a Jungle Cruise. (Plus it was only a two boat wait).


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016

Found another cruise to take.. .Small World was only a 5 minute wait.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


Tomorrowland was not bad for a Friday night at 8:15pm


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


Found a spot for Paint the Night near Coke Corner.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016


Mike on the back of the float


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 26, 2016

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.







August 15, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 8/12/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, August 12, 2016.


Some work on the upper floor exit ramp at the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


A couple pictures to check of the Star Wars progress this visit.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


A video clip taking a look around the site before we get into the pictures.




More footers and walls as the entrance ways to Star Wars, the Rivers of America and the train path are taking shape.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016

First Park Today is Disney California Adventure. Passing through Ornament Valley. The Racers had a posted 60 min standby time today.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016

The tractors were not tipping today.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


Next up decided to go for a spin on Luigis. It was about a 10 min wait from entering the queue until I was in my car. My dance partner for today was Rosa.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016

Tower of Terror from Flik's Fun Fair


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016

A Red Car passing by the Hollywood Tower Hotel.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


The Frozen pop up store has moved closer to the Hyperion queue.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


Nothing has gone in its old location.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016

Today marked the last day for the 2016 All-American College Band.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


A couple clips from the All-American College Band Backlot stage performance.



Next stop Disneyland. The Frontierland Shootin Exposition is closed for renovation.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


Interesting the Columbia has been moved from the harbor to the far side of the island (the east side, the Big Thunder side).

To do this means they had to move the Mark Twain forward past the harbor toward Splash Mountain then back the Columbia around and then back the Mark Twain up, since the back half of the river does not exist yet.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016

Most of the scaffolding is gone from the front of the island.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


The Mark Twain in port.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


Fowler's Harbor is empty today. Note the construction walls are still up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


Looking up river from the Canoe Dock in Critter Country.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016

Tarps up between the Pooh queue and Hungry Bear as some work is being done in the stream area.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016

The Ernest S. Marsh has replaced the E.P. Ripley in the New Orleans Square Station this week.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016

The Market House and some of Center Street have exterior renovation going on (Starbucks is still open)

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016

Time for the nightly Flag Retreat Ceremony


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


Due to a technical glitch the volume of the pre-recordings was too low so they called an audible and one of the Dapper Dans read those parts.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


The All-American College Band


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


Passing by the Matterhorn


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016

The band arriving for their final castle set.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016

The band on the move on Main Street USA


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


Going Down the Bayou


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


The All-American College Band highlighting their percussion section during Under the Sea from the Little Mermaid.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


A clip of the percussion section solo.




Time for the final Train Station set of the 2016 All-American College Band.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


A young fan of the band is honored.


A video of the finale to the Train Station set.




Tomorrowland Terrace now hosts bands again on weekend nights. Between sets the stage is left up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


Tonight the stage features Tomasina


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016



The All-American College Band marching into place for their finale set of the season, the 8:15pm pre-parade.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016

The band performing Let it Go on Main Street USA


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


Their final stop in front of the Train Station features Star Wars to conclude their season.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


I made my way over to Disney California Adventure. Found a spot for World of Color - Celebrate, opted to go with a Standby spot vs using my Yellow FastPass


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


The center screen projections were really clear this evening.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


One set of Glow with the Show (Made With Magic) Ears in my view today. I saw maybe a handful scattered throughout the audience.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016

The fire jet to kick off the Star Tours / Star Wars segment.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


Walt and Mickey on the way out.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


There was no line for Disneyland so instead of leaving I headed in to find a spot for Disneyland Forever. Found an OK spot for Disneyland forever with literally 1 minute to spare, this was taken at 9:29pm.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


Show time.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


No projections on the South portion of Main Street tonight. From Center Street to Town Square was dark (both sides of the street).


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016


Here you can see the difference in the portion with projection vs without.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 12, 2016

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.







Electric Vehicle Charging at Disneyland

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Disneyland Electric Vehicle Charging

Lee and I recently purchased an electric vehicle, a Chevy Volt. A friend and fellow Volt owner (Hi Chelsi!) had told me that there are electric vehicle charging stations in the Mickey & Friends parking garage, so I checked that out before the Volt's first (of many, I'm sure) trips to Disneyland. I found this information on the Disney Parks Blog. There are 20 of them on the first floor of the garage in the Chip and Dale section. They are not free - you must have a Chargepoint account to use them.

Disneyland Electric Vehicle Charging

Now...getting to the Mickey and Friends garage is often a challenge for us these days, because we come from the south, and access the garage by turning left from Ball Road onto Disneyland Drive. More often than not of late, the entrance to the garage from there is closed and we get re-routed to a parking area a couple of miles away. Grumble. To avoid that this time we went further north on I5, then exited and turned back south so we could use the elevated ramp that goes straight to the parking garage.

There's a sign on the parking booths that says "Ask about Electric Vehicle Charging". So we did. The cast member placed a colored tag on our windshield, and told us the parking attendants would direct us accordingly. We had entered via one of the parking lanes over toward the right, so we had a brief wait while the attendant stopped traffic so that we could go to the left.

Disneyland Electric Vehicle Charging

From there we were in the correct part of the garage, but we were kind of on our own to find the charging stations. The charging stations are in row 7, and we should've turned left a little sooner. Eventually we managed to get ourselves parked. At that point, about 10:00 in the morning, there were at least 12 charging stations still available.

To use the station, you either need a Chargepoint smart card or their phone app. I had just signed up so don't have a card yet, but I was able to use the app quite easily. I identified which charge station I was using, but the charger "nozzle" was locked into place until I authorized a payment from my account. (There's a $1.50 minimum.) Then we plugged it into the car, and both the app and the car indicated that it was charging.

Disneyland Electric Vehicle Charging

Throughout the day I was able to use the app to check on the progress, and at 3:21 p.m. I received an email that charging was complete. Fortunately the Disneyland Resort does not require that vehicle owners return to the garage to move their car when finished charging. For EV owners traveling to the resort, the app indicates how many charging stations are available.

Disneyland Electric Vehicle Charging

We returned to the car about 8:20 that evening. ALL of the EV spaces were full by then, and it looked like all of the stations were in use. There was an interesting variety of EVs along the row. While I didn't take an inventory I saw several Volts, a couple of Teslas and a Hyundai. I did not see any Nissan Leafs, though.

Disneyland Electric Vehicle Charging

I had to use the app (since I didn't have a card) to terminate our charging session. My phone was getting low on battery, but it worked ok. Worst case I could've plugged the phone into the car to charge it so that I could unplug the car! :-) I almost immediately received an email receipt from Chargepoint indicating how much power we had used and how much we were charged for it. (It was plugged in longer than 5 hours but it only drew power for 5 hours.) As it turned out it would have been cheaper for us to just use the Volt's gas engine for the entire trip home (since it gets ~40 mpg), but it was interesting to try out the charging station on our car's first lengthy trip from home.

Disneyland Electric Vehicle Charging







August 12, 2016

A Disneyland Day - 8/5/16

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Lee and I went to Disneyland on Friday, August 5...here are some thoughts, observations, etc.

It was the first trip to Disneyland for our new Chevy Volt, so we checked out (and used) the Electric Vehicle charging stations that are located on the ground floor of the Mickey & Friends parking garage. I have an entire upcoming blog post on that so I'm not going to say much more now. It worked fine for us.

Disneyland Electric Vehicle Charging

We arrived at the security checkpoint around 10:30. The lines weren't too bad, and moved well. It wasn't looking like it was a really busy day. Really nice weather that day, too - overcast and 70s in the morning, and maybe 82 in the afternoon. Very comfortable.

Our main objectives for the day were the Frozen Lunch Package (blog to come) and to see the Disneyland All-American College Band. We had some time to wander around DCA before lunch. The Paradise Garden Grill restaurant is open again - it had closed for a while. There were several people ordering when we were there, which was good to see. The menu is unchanged - still Mediterranean skewers. That's not a complaint - I like them.

Paradise Garden Grill

Disney recently announced that the Tower of Terror would be turned into a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction. Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT is supposed to open in the summer of 2017. No announcement yet as to when the current ToT attraction will close. Hmmm. I'm not sure how well this fits into the Hollywood Land area, but if DCA is going to become the Pixar/Marvel park, then I guess this is another step along that road. (As a reminder, Captain Marvel and Spider Man moved to DCA from Disneyland earlier this summer.)

Tower of Terror

Lucky Fortune Cookery has added a Chicken and Vegetable Potsticker offering to their menu. It's $4.99. Or maybe it never left after the Food and Wine Festival, where it was the Festival item available at Lucky Fortune Cookery.

When we were in the Pacific Wharf area, the Mariachi Divas were performing the Linda Ronstadt song "Blue Bayou". Not what I would expect from a mariachi group, but they did it beautifully.

Mariachi Divas

Award Wieners has a Crush the Turtle souvenir sipper for $12.99. It looks like it would be rather awkward to carry, though. Their current specialty hot dog is named "nacho ordinary chili dog". It's an all beef hot dog with chili, pepper jack cheese, nacho chips and jalapenos, for $8.19.

Clarabelle's has added a mango sorbet bar to their menu in addition to the mixed berry sorbet bar. And of course they still have chocolate and vanilla ice cream bars, too! I keep meaning to have one of those again.

The "confection of the month" in the candy stores is S'Mores. So the specialty caramel apple and crispy treat are topped with graham crackers and marshmallows this month. I had one of the s'mores caramel apples last year - not really impressed. The graham crackers (not surprisingly) were soft.

S'Mores caramel apple

In anticipation of the release of the upcoming "Pete's Dragon" movie, there is an Elliott apple, too.

Pete's Dragon Elliott caramel apple

Speaking of Elliott...we went to the sneak peek of the movie in the Sunset Showcase Theater - originally the Muppets theater. Though most recently it hosted the Frozen Sing-a-long, and the waiting area still has a lot of Arendelle elements.

Pete's Dragon preview


Sunset Showcase Theater

The cast member who gave us all of the usual pre-show warnings was very entertaining. He approached it as though we were viewing footage that proved the existence of creatures like Elliott and Nessie. Fun. As we were leaving, Jason pointed out to me that Elliott made some appearances in the forest projections that were on the walls above the exit doors. The movie itself...not really my thing, I don't think.

Pete's Dragon preview

Olaf's greeting spot is just to the right of Stage 17. It's kind of hidden, and there was no line, so we stopped by for a warm hug. :-)

Olaf Meet and Greet

When we went to check in for our Frozen pre-show they told us that the 4:00 show had been canceled, so we would be seeing the 5:50 show instead. That messed with our plans to see the College Band at 6:15 in Disneyland. :-( Our pre-show was still going on as scheduled from 2:40-3:40.

Since the Frozen pre-show is held in Stage 17 we were able to duck out of it at 3:00 to catch a little bit of the College Band's jazz set. They perform that on the Backlot Stage.

All-American College Band Jazz set

Instead of hanging around DCA waiting for Frozen (we were supposed to return by 5:30) we went over to Disneyland to wander around for a while. We started at the Main Street train station. With the Disneyland Railroad closed because of Star Wars construction (and the re-routing of the tracks), Disney is putting trains out at Main Street and New Orleans Square, with train engineers available to talk to guests about them.

Disneyland CK Holliday train

We saw the C.K. Holliday at Main Street, which had just completed a refurbishment and was looking pristine and beautiful. While Lee was talking to the engineer, I sat in the Fireman's seat.

Disneyland Train

Carlos talked to Lee for quite a while about the controls in the cab and how they work to run the engine. We got a lesson in Disney train history, too. Really very interesting - I highly recommend going up to the train station and taking advantage of this opportunity. We were there for about 20 minutes and only a few other people came up there.

Disneyland Train controls

Hyperspace Mountain is still very popular (100 minute standby line at 4:30 in the afternoon) - but enjoy it while you can. The attraction is closed September 6-8 so that the Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy overlay can be applied. No word on whether or not Hyperspace Mountain will return after the Halloween season ends on October 31.

As previously announced, all of the 60th anniversary nighttime shows - Paint the Night, Disneyland Forever, and World of Color - Celebrate - will be ending on September 5. Fantasy in the Sky will be the nighttime fireworks show at Disneyland until the holiday season starts - the assumption being that Believe...in Holiday Magic will return. Mickey's Soundsational Parade will continue to be the afternoon parade, but will add an additional evening performance on busy days starting on September 9. And it's expected that A Christmas Fantasy Parade will return for the holiday season.

But Paint the Night isn't quite done yet - on August 10, Disney announced that it "will return on select nights during the holiday season later this year." Perhaps bigger news in that same announcement was that the Main Street Electrical Parade will be returning to Disneyland next year.

Over at DCA, the "original" World of Color show will return until the holiday season. (Given the public's demand for all things Frozen, I would be shocked if World of Color Winter Dreams was not back during the holidays.) I say "original", because there were a number of versions of the show during its first five years, so it will be interesting to see which version reappears - and if any of the new elements added for Celebrate will be used.

But I digress...we were wandering around Disneyland. We stopped for a look at the newish Star Wars Land artwork on the construction wall near Big Thunder Mountain. It's a full-sized version of the image released last month, and it was nice to get a larger view of it.

Disneyland Star Wars Land

The Hungry Bear Restaurant is pretty quiet these days. With all of the construction fence up, it's not nearly so appealing to sit there and enjoy your meal since you can no longer watch the activity on the Rivers of America. And the lower level of the restaurant is a dark cave, since all of the light gets blocked. While that might be appropriate for bears, it doesn't have much charm for humans.

Hungry Bear Restaurant

The Country Bear artwork along the exit ramp is nice, though.

Hungry Bear Restaurant

There are a few specials being offered at the Hungry Bear - maybe in an effort to try to bring in more guests? The Churro Funnel Cake looked really good, but we didn't get to try it. There's also a Peach Cobbler Funnel Cake.

Hungry Bear Restaurant funnel cake specials

And a Country Bears Jug sipper, for $12.99.

Hungry Bear Restaurant jug sipper

I mentioned the train at the Main Street Station - there was one at the New Orleans Square station, too. And there we could even walk across the tracks to get a close look at the inner workings of a steam boiler which had been opened up so we could see how it works. Engineer Jim was there to answer all of Lee's questions this time and described some of the safety mechanisms. We could have stayed even longer, but we had to get back to DCA to see the Frozen show.

Disneyland train steam boiler

There will be more info on the Frozen show in the other blog - but by getting the package we had our choice of seats on the Orchestra level, and that was quite an advantage. The show went off almost perfectly - just one small sound glitch and the "rolling troll" did not make its appearance, which made that scene change seem longer.

Frozen - Live at the Hyperion

After the show we hustled back to Disneyland to see the College Band perform their 7:15 set at the train station.

Disneyland All-American College Band

I hadn't seen their new Jungle Book number, and that was excellent. At the 7:15 set they often perform a Michael Jackson medley, but we lucked out and saw their Star Wars medley instead. That was phenomenal. They finished with the Earth, Wind, and Fire set, which we've seen many times over the years. It's always very good, but for me it didn't have nearly the impact of the Star Wars number.

We headed for home after that. If you've noticed, we didn't do any rides at all, but still we had a really good day. We enjoyed our lunch very much, and also enjoyed wandering around the parks, speaking to the train engineers, and watching the College Band.








August 1, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 7/29/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, July 29, 2016.

An overview of the Star Wars Themed Land construction at Disneyland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

Here is a video look around the site.




The wall nearest Fantasyland has had a coating applied to it.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

The walls along the Big Thunder trail have been coated too and are being extended.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

A lot of activity toward Critter Country this visit.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

Some columns on the wall structure and looks like dirt is being put in between the wall and columns.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

A closer look at the far side of the site where they are stalling large steel i-beams. They bore a hole then lower the beam in and fill the hole with concrete. Guessing this will be the support steel for rockwork.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

In the center of the site a lot of footers taking shape for the retaining walls for the river, rock work and the backstage Fantasmic marina.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

A retaining wall near what appears to be the new tip of the island.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

Most of the pipes that were staged here are now installed. More I-beams are on site now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

A closer look at what appears to be the curve of the river with the forms on the left and outhouse on the right.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

The new Starbucks in Downtown Disney is open.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

Most outdoor vending carts now feature a small podium with a cash register, this one in Paradise Pier.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

The Tower of Terror from Sunset Blvd.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

The old Mad T Party props are now gone.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

Over to Disneyland, a look through the fence at the end of the Big Thunder Trail shows the new wall along the old walkway.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

Pocahontas was out meeting guests along the trail.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

Some scaffolding has come down on Tom Sawyer Island revealing a new color scheme.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

A check of the work from near the canoe dock in Critter Country.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

In New Orleans Square some renovation work going on at the Train Station. You can still visit the train during the work.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

Time for the nightly Flag Retreat.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

The old workshop near the Village Haus is now called the Royal Reception and it appears to be a check-in area for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. I did not venture inside.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

A check of the former Skyway area. The walkways have been removed and new plants and trees brought in.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

Casey Jr. had no wait so went for a ride.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

Casey Jr traveling over Storybook Land

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

Another example of an outdoor vending podium

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

The Toontown Depot is behind walls for some renovation work.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

Walls up under the monorail.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

Jambalaya Jazz performing on the Rivers of America

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

Time for Paint the Night.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016

Disneyland Forever fireworks were cancelled so instead a couple minute projection/light/laser finale.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 29, 2016


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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.







July 23, 2016

A Trip to Disneyland in Summerrrrrrr

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Frozen - In Summer

Lee and I, along with our friends Matt and Kristin, spent a summer Saturday at Disneyland. Lee and I, of course, are frequent visitors, but Matt and Kristin are not, so we wanted to get in as many of the newer/favorite attractions as possible.

I was the only one who had seen the new Frozen - Live at the Hyperion show, and none of us had seen the new Soarin' Around the World, so those were both high on our list.

We arrived at the Mickey and Friends parking garage just a couple of minutes after 8:00 - I was surprised at how long the line was to get in. It took probably 15 minutes before we were finally parked. And then we had to wait for a parking lot tram. Usually they are one right after the other, but this time, even though they were loading two at a time, there was a 1-2 minute gap between when one left and another arrived to fill its place.

Though I wondered if that was intentional to keep the security lines down - they were relatively short. Only 10-12 people in each line. The bag checkers were being a lot more thorough, though, and that took extra time. And now everyone goes through the metal detectors - it's no longer random like it used to be. But that went pretty quickly.

With everything that's been going on in the United States and around the world recently, I was not surprised to see much more of a security presence this time. There were significantly more uniformed security personnel in the parks, Downtown Disney, and the Esplanade. And that doesn't count the plainclothes security that I know is also around.

We got Fastpasses for Frozen and Radiator Springs Racers, and then rode a number of other attractions standby. Midway Mania was about 20 minutes, but California Screamin' and Mater's Junkyard Jamboree were less than 10, and Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters was under 15 minutes. Matt and Kristin had been fans of the former Luigi's Flying Tires attraction, so were somewhat disappointed at the change, but thought the new ride was cute.

We went over to Disneyland to get a Fastpass for Hyperspace Mountain. It sounds like that will be going away soon, since Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy is returning for the Halloween season.

It was not a particularly busy day at Disneyland. I waited at Space Mountain for about 15 minutes while the others went to get coffee, because (surprisingly!) the Fastpass return time was still too early and overlapped with our Radiator Springs Racers Fastpass. The standby line for Hyperspace Mountain was only 45 minutes.

Weather-wise it was a very nice day - it might have gotten into the low 80s, but not warmer than that. For a July day it was really very pleasant, and cooler than usual.

We went back to DCA and got a Fastpass for Soarin' Around the World - the return time was only 50 minutes away! That surprised me.

It was not a very busy day in either park - certainly not what I would normally expect on a Saturday in the middle of summer. But maybe the new seasonal pricing scheme, where this day was a "Peak" day for one-day tickets, is starting to have an affect. It was also a blockout day for most annual passes - everything except Signature/Signature Plus and Premier. While things seemed busier than usual first thing in the morning, the crowds did not pick up appreciably throughout the morning like they usually do. Maybe if you're going to pay that much for a one-day ticket, you're going to be sure you arrive at park opening? The seasonal pricing does not apply to multi-day tickets (yet), and I saw lots of people using those.

We returned to use our Soarin' Around the World Fastpasses. I find it frustrating that Fastpasses for Soarin' never have worked as efficiently as they do for most other attractions. Even with a Fastpass we waited about 15 minutes.

I was wondering if the interior would be different, but it's not - you still walk through the California Aviators Wings of Fameexhibit. It seems odd that there's not a more international focus now.

Soarin' Around the World

The logo is slightly different.

Soarin' Around the World

I had already heard this, but I was happy to see that Patrick was still our flight attendant. :-)

Soarin' - Patrick your flight attendant

This was my first time to see the new movie in person (I had seen it on-line). I was disappointed. The scenery is beautiful, but I found the gratuitous use of CGI to be very distracting. Most of the scenes had added elements that obviously weren't really there. And we won't even talk about the Taj Mahal scene, which was entirely computer-generated. The locations they chose were beautiful, and could stand on their own - they didn't need any effects added to them.

Though speaking of effects...the "speed-up" effect that we experienced a couple of times was really well-done. I felt like I was moving a lot faster.

While I was underwhelmed, I will say that Lee really liked it, and says I spoiled it for him by pointing out all of the things that weren't real. Kristin said she preferred the original California version.

I liked the grass scent - though I'm not convinced that's really what the plains of Tanzania really smell like. :-) The ocean scent was similar to what we smelled in the original attraction. I did not detect the rosewater fragrance that was supposed to accompany the Taj Mahal scene. But I may have been too focused on how fake it looked. I really loved the Iguazu Falls scene - I think that was my favorite.

It was time to use our Radiator Springs Racers Fastpasses. Now this is how Fastpass SHOULD work - we were on the ride about 5 minutes after entering the queue. Afterwards I used a feature of my AP that I hadn't tried before - I took a cell phone photo of our attraction photo, then put that number into my AP Photopass account after we returned home, and was able to download our photo for free. Nice. (The free Photopass download is available with Signature, Signature Plus, and Premier APs.)

Radiator Springs Racers Photo

Apparently regular guests can purchase a single day Memory Maker package for $39, which includes all attraction photos as well as any other Photopass photos. That almost seems reasonable.

On Buena Vista Street, a number of the "Citizens of Buena Vista Street" were out and about. This was the first time that I'd seen both of the messengers, Molly and Millie, out at the same time. They are twins, and they squabble over which one gets to ride the bike. :-) Molly is on the left in the photo below.

Citizens of Buena Vista Street Molly and Millie

We'd ended up with several Fastpasses in a row, so we went back to Disneyland to ride Hyperspace Mountain. Unfortunately it was down. But the good news was that our Fastpasses would be valid any time for the rest of the day - assuming it came back up.

On our way to Hyperspace Mountain we'd stopped to get Fastpasses for Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. The return time was only 35 minutes away. So we went and got Dole Whips (Matt's request) while waiting. Even the Dole Whip line was not particularly long, and it moved quickly.

Dole Pineapple Juice sign

We defeated the Evil Emperor Zurg, and although we didn't quite make it to Galactic Hero status we had fun.

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters

We had Fastpasses for the 4:00 performance of Frozen, but wanted to be in line about 3:15, so we went back to DCA to do what we like to call the Wine and Beer Ride. :-) Normally we would've gone to the Al Fresco Tasting Terrace but we really didn't have enough time for that, so we went to the Sonoma Terrace instead. They have a good selection of craft beers (though they are all in bottles - none on tap), and a few wines by the glass. The guys each had a beer, and Kristin and I both had glasses of the St. Hilaire sparkling wine. The cast member who poured the latter filled the glasses ALL the way to the top - we had to take a sip before we could carry it to a table! We also got one of the cheese plates to share.

Sonoma Terrace wine and cheese plate

The Sonoma Terrace is next to the Wine Country Trattoria on the Paradise Pier side. There's a nice large seating area there, and most of it is shaded. It's usually pretty quiet and it's a great place to sit and relax.

We enjoyed the opportunity to sit down for a while before we had to deal with all of the Frozen Frenzy. On our way to the Hyperion Theater we stopped at the 60th anniversary photo stop in "a bug's land". This one is a lot of fun, though the photographer didn't have the butterfly net prop for Matt to use. My AP is also my Photopass card, and again, free downloads!

Disneyland 60th Ant-iversary

But back to Frozen - Live at the Hyperion Theater. This was my first time experiencing it as a regular guest - I'd only see the media preview. The show started at 4:00. Our Fastpasses said to arrive between 3:00 and 3:40. (The Fastpass line closes 20 minutes before the show and those in the Standby line are allowed to fill any available seats.) We arrived at the Hyperion about 3:20. Each Fastpass specifies which section of the theater it is for: Orchestra, Mezzanine, or Balcony. We had Fastpasses for the Mezzanine. Those who had Fastpasses for the Orchestra section were already packed in like sardines (which used to be an export of Norway's - we toured an old cannery in Stavanger last year), and there were still people arriving. The Mezzanine section was filling up quickly, also. There was a huge line of people trying for standby in any section they could get into. I should mention that the 11:00 show had gotten canceled that day, so my guess is that many people who had Fastpasses for that show were now trying for standby.

We were admitted to the theater closer to 3:45 than 3:40. We were able to get seats in the third row center of the Mezzanine. The Mezzanine was always my favorite section for Aladdin, so I wanted to see how it was for this show. (I saw Frozen from Orchestra the first time, at the Media preview. I was in about the 6th row, which seemed like a fine choice at the time, but ended up being too close.)

Frozen Hyperion from Mezzanine

There's what I assume is a safety bar about 15" above the railing of the Mezzanine, and if you were in the first two rows it obscured your view of the stage somewhat. Even in row three it was in our view when the actors were towards the front of the stage.

Frozen - In Summer

There still seem to be some issues with this show. As I mentioned, the first show of the day was canceled, and our show had a technical issue of some kind less than 10 minutes from the end. Fortunately after a few minutes they were able to continue. I know it's a very complex show, but since it's been running for over six weeks I was surprised that there still seem to be so many problems.

Frozen Finale

I still really enjoyed the show. The viewing was much better overall from the Mezzanine than it was when I'd seen it from row 6'ish of Orchestra. There was a good view of Elsa on her ice staircase. Though I think the best seats might be the first couple of rows in the second tier of Orchestra (Loge?).

Frozen - Elsa on ice staircase

I thought the "Aurora Curtain" effect was much more pronounced from this seat location and I felt more immersed in Arendelle. There's one scene where Elsa is walking forward and a zoom effect on the projections at the back of the stage and on the curtains makes it look like she's really moving towards us much more quickly.

The acting and singing were still excellent. The Kristoff, Hans, and "Weaseltown" characters were played by the same actors that I saw before, but Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and the King and Queen were different. I thought this Anna/Elsa pair was better. The Olaf was just as good as the first - both of the actors I've seen were outstanding, and really captured the character.

Frozen - Anna and Elsa

Kristin and Lee both thought the show was very good. Matt had never see the movie, but still enjoyed the show. Though parts of it were a little confusing since there's a few plot points that were in the movie that are skipped in the show. If you haven't seen the movie, the climactic Elsa-Hans-Anna-Kristoff-on-the-ice scene is a "where are they and what's going on?" kind of thing.

Frozen Anna and Elsa

Disney is currently scheduling four shows a day - and that doesn't even come close to meeting the demand. Even with Fastpasses people are lining up as soon as possible to try to get good seats. That makes for a long wait even before the show starts. The $49 that Disney is charging for the pre-show experience and priority seats is looking more appealing to me all the time.

I was concerned about big crowds getting out of the theater but it wasn't too bad. We had a 5:30 priority seating for Cafe Orleans in Disneyland that I'd made in advance before I knew what Frozen show we'd be seeing. Once we had the Fastpasses I knew it would be a little tight, but I thought we'd be ok - but then we had the delay in the show. It was 5:15 before the show ended. We made it, but just barely. As it turned out the restaurant was still accepting walk-ups, so it wasn't really a problem. I'll have a separate blog with a review of our meal.

After dinner the Disneyland app showed us that Hyperspace Mountain was running again so we went over to use our Fastpasses. No problem, and we were on the attraction quickly. I was again able to use my AP Photopass feature to download our ride photos. Though unfortunately the CM seated us in two different cars, so we aren't all in the same picture.

Hyperspace Mountain

We had planned to head home after that, but the Disneyland All-American College Band was performing a set at the train station so we stopped to hear the rest of it. This is the first time we'd seen them this summer. They are always so talented, and a lot of fun to watch.

Disneyland All American College Band

We really had a very nice day! We were able to do all the attractions we really wanted to and we had a few opportunities to relax, also. I was pleasantly surprised that the parks were relatively uncrowded - that wasn't what I had expected that day.

I enjoyed the Frozen show as much the second time - I predict it's going to be around for a long, long time...it might even beat Aladdin's 13 year run at the Hyperion Theater.

Though I'm hoping the new Soarin' film is NOT around for 13 years...I was really disappointed in that.







July 11, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 7/8/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, July 8, 2016.



An overview of the Star Wars site from the Parking Structure.



A wall is taking shape on the far side of the site, near Fantasyland.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


The mound is where the Skyway building once stood.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


Another wall is taking shape along the former Big Thunder Trail.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


A closer look at the far wall. a crew is working on the rebar that will be in the wall.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016



Here you can see the conduit coming in from the left into the junction/access box.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016



A new fence along Disneyland Drive is taking shape right behind the existing one.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


Pipes are onsite waiting to be installed. Assuming there is a trench along the fence line where the new road will be going and these will be buried there. But you cannot really see from this angle.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


A lot of conduit and piping is run to this area near the center of the site.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016

A small structure taking shape. Guessing it is one of the two utility buildings that there are permits for.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


Stopped by Oswalds. Ortensia is now on several pieces of merchandise.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016



There is some new Oswald merchandise too.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016



The fountains were on this afternoon. Seems like it has been a long time since I saw them in action.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


Ghirardelli was back to handing out minis as the freebie today..


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


A preview for Pete's Dragon has moved into the Sunset Showcase (formerly Muppets) Theater. It runs every 20 minutes (top of the hour, 20 and 40). Nice to know there is a schedule, but it is not published. The cast members out front were telling guests this.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


At the Studio Store a couple pieces of merchandise for the film.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


Elliot is $19.99


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


The seating in the Animation Building has changed to six hard benches in the center of the room.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


Nick was out when I walked back by. They seemed to be looking for Judy.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


Headed into the preview next. The preshow room appeared untouched. The theater was open to go and sit down and wait for the next show. I had about 5 minutes to wait. Inside they were projecting a forest on the screens above the doors and had a 3D placeholder on the screen for the film until it started.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


Next stop Disneyland.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016

Out on Tom Sawyer Island most structures are now surrounded by scaffolding. This is the pirate ship.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


Making my way to the end of the Big Thunder Trail. You can see the new wall taking shape through the trees.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016



A look through the fence. You can see the walls going up right along the walkway. Assuming these will be rock work along the Big Thunder trail.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016

Dance the Magic was at the parks this weekend for their summer program. Before Soundsational they filled the parade route with dancers. This year their music was from the Jungle Book.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016



It was about a 5 minute stream of dancers. Here are a couple video clips of Dance the Magic passing by.



Scaffolding up around the cabin.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016

Interesting to see scaffolding up around the tree house. I saw rumors it may be removed. But seems it is staying in some form.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016

Looking through the fence by the Canoes.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016



The far seating area of the Hungry Bear was closed off again this week.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


No scaffolding on the fort though.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


Several Disneyland security cast members showed up for the flag retreat today.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


Walking by Autopia, the new green car really stands out.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016

It looks like most if not all of the cars sport the new colors now.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016



Walked through the Star Wars Launch Bay to see what was going on. It was really quiet. Only a 5 minute wait for one of the meet and greets. The upstairs is still closed with no signs of any work going on.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


Sleeping Beauty Castle

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016

Sleeping Beauty Castle


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


A small crowd along the Rivers of America enjoying the Jambalaya Jazz. They now perform four sets on the river (6:20, 7:45, 8:55 and 10:25 on Friday).



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016



The light tower does look bare right now with a majority of the equipment removed. This is the center Fantasmic tower.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016

A couple video clips of the All-American College Band performing Let it Go.




In the Paint the Night parade Jessie was MIA...her cowgirls were all there, though.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016


Disneyland Forever Finale


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 8, 2016

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.







June 19, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 6/17/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, June 17, 2016.

An overview of the Star Wars site from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.

Now a pan across the site from left to right.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

The large mound of dirt is shrinking as trucks haul it away.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

The Skyway building is now gone this week. Almost all the demolition work is done and major clearing. They have now started to build.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Soarin' Around the World premiered today here (as well as in Epcot; Shanghai opened yesterday). Only change outside I noticed is the "Around the World" replaced "California".

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

FastPass logo has been updated. Not surprisingly they were almost gone for the day at 1:35pm.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Since the wait was posted at 75 minutes and looked slightly shorter I decided to get in line at 1:38pm.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

FastPass distribution ended around 1:50pm and they closed it up while I stood in line waiting. They made an announcement of technical difficulties and they would be down to one theater. Which doubled the wait time.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Almost to the front door at 2:36pm, an hour in. They were letting less than 10 standby guests into each cycle. So we were moving very slowly. The FastPass return line stretched out toward the entrance of Smokejumpers Grill (it turned the corner and I could not see the end).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Finally made it inside the door at 2:58pm I saw no changes to the interior queue. Background music seemed the same loop too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Watching the pre-flight video at 3:33pm. Instead of clouds and cities the new one has a map that features the locations.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

The safety video is the same, just no over California in it. I was seated and ready for my flight at 3:38pm

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

On my way up the exit at 3:45pm. So it was 127 minutes from when I entered the queue till I exited the building.

My first impressions - The clarity of the new film is impressive and the scenic locations are amazing. Though I felt they went to the computer graphics well too many times. The locations themselves are visually stunning and in almost all cases did not need the "enhancements". Sometimes they seemed to dominate and distract from the amazing sights. I also found the transitions between scenes to be annoying - the abrupt motion and sound versus a peaceful transition bothered me. I would have liked to have seen them show a little more restraint and pick/choose where to use the effects more.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

The Silly Symphony Swings are back in operation.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Frozen Live at the Hyperion is up to four shows daily now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Next stop Disneyland. Surprised there was nothing going on for Finding Dory. First stop for me was the Big Thunder Trail. A second fence with mesh has gone up blocking the nice clear view we had of the Star Wars construction.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

There was a small crack left with no fence, so here are a couple quick pics. The forms look to be up near the old Big Thunder Trail, wonder if it is for a retaining wall or structure that will be the visual barrier for the new walkway.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

The hole in the fence here is still available (this week at least).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

The 2016 All-American College Band started their summer in the park on Thursday. Here is Ron at the nightly Flag Retreat.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

The All-American College Band performing a Disneyland Attraction Medley during their 6:15pm The Castle Set



The band moves to Main Street to perform music from the Incredibles

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

As they move toward Town Square they play Gonna Take You There from Princess and the Frog.



They stop again near the Emporium and perform Under the Sea from the Little Mermaid.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

After their performance I headed for Tomorrowland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Autopia was down for some reason.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

Time for the 7:15pm All-American College Band set at the Train Station in Town Square. The set opens with "Bubbles was a Cheerleader."



Meet the 2016 All-American College Band.



The set features a Jungle Book medley this year.



The band plays a pre-parade starting at 8:15pm near Small World with their Disney Movie Medley.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

They then move to the hub and perform Uptown Funk.



The band stops on Main Street and performs Let it Go.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

The last stop for pre-parade is Town Square and they performed a Star Wars Medley.



Since I was in Town Square I found a spot for Paint the Night

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

I closed out my evening with Disneyland Forever

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 17, 2016

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.







June 16, 2016

Disneyland Resort - Jammin' on the Backlot & Polynesian Nights - 6/10/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, June 10, 2016.

This posting will focus on two of the summer evening entertainment options. For a look at other happenings on Friday visit the full picture set on my site.

Jammin' on the Backlot has taken over for the Mad T Party this summer. It kicked off at 6pm and runs until park closing.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

The benches are turned to watch the DJ and dance party. Not much happening on the dance floor right now. Just a couple kids out there. This was around 6:15pm

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

The DJ for the evening on stage. She was playing a mix of music including current tracks and some Disney ones on occasion.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

A couple of set pieces on the stage.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

A few more families join the dancing.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

The DJ was working to try and engage the guests.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

The decorations are minimal for this event compared to previous events like the Mad T Party and ElecTRONica.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

The food truck is open. Here is the menu.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

Picnic tables to sit at in the former House of Cards stage area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

A closer look at the tables

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

The former House of Cards Bar is un-named with covered menus, but it was open in the evening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

Here is the menu. Guessing this will change after Grad Nite season concludes.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

The face painting area has returned, this was open throughout the day too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

The Backlot Stage does not appear to be in use for the party.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

This was around 6:40pm

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

In Downtown Disney this summer each night has a musical theme. Fridays are Polynesian nights..

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

Tupua has returned again and the show is nearly identical to previous years. You travel the South Pacific through music and dance.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

Hawaii

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

Samoa

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

I returned to California Adventure and took another walk through the Backlot. This was just before 8pm

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

A few more guests around the dance floor vs a earlier.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 10, 2016

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.








May 31, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates Including Star Wars Land Construction - 5/27/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, May 27, 2016.

In this post I will take a look at the Star Wars construction and some other random pictures as I walked the park. It will be "Frozen-Free" for the most part because Laura and Jeanine will be covering that new attraction in depth. If you want to see the view from the balcony you can check out my full picture set.

I started off checking out the Star Wars construction progress. They have done a lot more clearing since I was last at the park. Looking to the right, the berm is gone and the concrete that the backstage buildings were on is now gone, too. No berm or other obstructions.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

In the foreground it looks like a hole is being dug on the left. With the trees you really could not see.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Interesting to note that the tunnel is still there, but the dirt around it is now gone.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

The skyway building is still standing.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

What appears to be a path with dirt built up on both sides is taking shape in the middle of the site. Maybe it is one of the entrances where the train will pass overhead.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Going to the far right of the site now -- In the distance is the Hungry Bear. In the middle is where the berm ends now. To the right, equipment breaking up and removing concrete from the former backstage support buildings.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

A couple video clips taken from the parking structure of the construction.

One last wide shot of the site before heading to the parks.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Frozen billboards at the Mickey and Friends Tram Stop

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Donald was out on Buena Vista Street. I do not recall seeing this costume before.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Moving over to Disneyland... Donald and Minnie were greeting guests near the entrance.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

At the Main Street Train Station they have opened the cab of the Ernest S. Marsh so you can go inside and take pictures.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Time for the nightly Flag Retreat, a good way to mark the Memorial Day weekend.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Taking a look at the Star Wars construction from the end of the Big Thunder Trail.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Pirates of the Caribbean has reopened. This area was very congested because the bridge is closed (due to treehouse work).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Walking up the trail to Critter Country. The parking structure is clearly visible giving a reverse angle on my opening pictures.

You can see the berm is gone and you can see clear through to the tramway fence.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

A look through the fence from near the canoe dock.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

That is the Hungry Bear dining area screen on the left.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

From the second story of the Hungry Bear you can see what appears to be the new path for the river taking shape.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

A better look at what appears to be the new river path.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Looking to the left they are still sorting and clearing.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

A couple video clips of the work from inside the park.

There are quite a few promotions going on right now. The Hungry Bear registers are looking really cluttered.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

A Disneyland cat was making the rounds of the Hungry Bear dining area as I ate. It was begging for food from guests.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

The Bootstrappers were performing as I walked through New Orleans Square. Here are some clips.

As I mentioned earlier the Pirates bridge is closed due to treehouse work.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

The reason the bridge is closed -- the scaffolding takes up the walkway.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

The Space Mountain Restrooms have reopened.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

You can now buy Mickey popcorn buckets with prepackaged popcorn.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

One seagull is MIA this week.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Paid a visit to the skyway building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Finally found one of the new cans. I spotted two, both near the corn dog truck.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

I returned to Disney California Adventure. The challenge trail is closed in the evenings now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

The swings are being re-assembled.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

One AP promotion this summer is a refillable popcorn bucket. It's $15 for the bucket and $1 for each refill.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Noticed the screen was not over Mickey tonight on the Fun Wheel, so there were no projections there during World of Color.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Instead they had them on the Screamin' loop.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

I opted to watch Disneyland Forever from the parking structure to avoid some of the congestion. This is from the Finding Nemo segment. With the trees gone you get an OK view.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

Finally, here are the new park guides for the summer.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 27, 2016

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.

May 16, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 5/13/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, May 13, 2016.

Since Laura covered the re-opened and new attractions I will use this post to check in on the projects around the resort. This trip marked my 13th trip of the year, appropriately enough on Friday the 13th.

Let us start off with a check of the Star Wars construction. They have removed more backstage buildings since my last visit and it appears they have now done the initial demo work on all the buildings and the fence line/perimeter of the project is set. Here you can see the far end of it stretches all the way to the Winnie the Pooh show building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

A short video overview of the site taken from the Mickey and Friends parking structure.





Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Looking toward where the Big Thunder Ranch used to be. In the distance you can see the old Fantasyland Skyway building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

There were several large earth movers cruising the site adding to the large mound of dirt on the former Circle D site.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Another video clip of the site.

A large mound of dirt has been created on the former ranch site using the old berm and river banks dirt.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Working on clearing the plants and other debris from the berm near Critter Country.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

A second Starbucks is slated to open this summer, it is being painted now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The Monorail is closed for renovation.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The House of Blues closes the end of the month.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

LittleMissMatched is gone and Chapel Hats has moved in.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The closure list for today.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Pirates is closed and rumor is FastPass is returning.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

From the bridge near Splash Mountain. In the distance you can see the parking structure where I took the earlier pictures.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Looking through the fence.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

From the Hungry Bear.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

A video clip of the Star Wars work from the Hungry Bear.



Star Wars work from the Big Thunder Trail.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

A video clip from the Big Thunder Trail of the Star Wars work.



Big Thunder this afternoon.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The Super Hero HQ sign has been removed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The Paradise Garden Grill closed several weeks ago, internet reporting is due to budget cutbacks around the resort.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The swings are closed for renovation.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Grizzly River Run is closed for renovation too. No signs of work going on, though.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The Rambler had the tailgate open today.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

There was audio coming from the car too. Here is a video clip so you can hear the music playing.

Gone Hollywood has become a Star Wars and Marvel store.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

A look around. On the right when you enter is Marvel.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

On the left Star Wars

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The Pixar Play Parade rolling by

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The Studio Store in Hollywood Land now features some Alice & Dory merchandise.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Zootopia has been removed from the Animation Building.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

The animation building was busy this afternoon.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Soarin' will receive a new film on June 17th featuring global sights. In preparation for this the signage now sports the new logo and many California references have been removed over the past several months.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Walked through Elias and Company. A lot of Finding Dory merchandise is available now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Back to Disneyland. The restrooms at the Space Mountain exit are closed for renovation.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Watched Paint the Night from Main Street.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Found a spot for Disneyland Forever

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

Showtime

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, May 13, 2016

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.







May 14, 2016

Disneyland and DCA - New Attractions and Shows

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On our recent trip I had the opportunity to experience some new shows and attractions that have recently opened. I say "new", but two of them were actually updates of existing attractions that just came out of lengthy refurbishments.

The first is the Jungle Cruise, which just re-opened on May 6. The biggest change was to the dock area, to help keep the boats more stable during the loading/unloading process. The dock that you seen on the right side of this photo was added, which helps to confine the boats and limit their movement.

Jungle Cruise dock

Here's a view from the boat - you can see the boats also had bumpers added to them.

Jungle Cruise dock

A closer view of the bumper.

Jungle Cruise dock

There really weren't any changes to the ride itself - everything was just freshened up. The skippers still tell the same corny jokes. (Here was our first sign of "Danger.")

Jungle Cruise

I thought the piranhas sprayed more than I've seen before.

Jungle Cruise

We had a slight wait before going to the dock to unload, so heard a longer version of the menu at the "Cannibal Cafe" - rump roast, toe-fu, ladyfingers, Girl Scout cookies, cold shoulder...

Jungle Cruise Trader Sam

The elephant was added to the roof above Tropical Imports.

Jungle Cruise

It was nice to see the Jungle Cruise return - it's a classic attraction.

Another refurbished classic attraction is the Tomorrowland Autopia. The big change is that Honda is now the sponsor rather than Chevron. There's a whole new color scheme now.

Autopia

Autopia

Autopia

Autopia

The cars are still the same, though some of them have an updated body with a Honda logo. Others appear completely unchanged.

Autopia

You can see some of the old and new cars in this photo.

Autopia

The load process is still the same.

Autopia

I hadn't done this ride in a long time. I thought that the graphics on the screen in the loading area and inside the building part of the queue were new, but I could be wrong.

Autopia

Autopia

Some of the graphics on the outdoor screen were fun.

Autopia

Autopia

Autopia

The track is still the same - some interesting views.

Autopia

There is still a short "off-road" section. It had rained earlier on the day we did it, so that area was a little muddy.

Autopia

There's still the booths on the exit ramp where for $5 you can get a photo taken to put onto your Autopia Driver License.

Autopia

Autopia

We had to laugh when looking around the queue - I'd say that 2/3 of those riding were parties of adults WITHOUT children. Pretty high nostalgia factor for this one.

Autopia

One change: Autopia is no longer a Fastpass attraction.

Over in DCA...

Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters, which replaced Luigi's Flying Tires, opened in March. It's the first attraction in the U.S. Disney parks to use the trackless vehicle technology that they have in the overseas parks. The cars are Luigi's cousins from Carsoli, Italy, who are demonstrating some of the traditional dances from their village. The cars move all around the floor as they whirl around each other, and at the end they all dance and spin in formation.

Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters

There are five different songs, most of them accompanied by lots of beeping.

It's quite finicky about operating conditions, though. I saw it E-stop because someone's hat blew onto the surface, and on this recent trip I was on the ride when it stopped because of light drizzle. (Cast members had warned us that might happen - they gave us a pass that was good for almost any ride in either park.)

Autopia

It's a cute ride, and the spinning at the end is fun, but a lot of us preferred the Flying Tires.

Over in the Animation Building, the Turtle Talk with Crush show has been updated to include characters from the upcoming "Finding Dory" movie. Dory and Destiny the Whale Shark appear together in an extended scene, as does Bailey the Beluga.

Turtle Talk with Crush and Finding Dory

Turtle Talk with Crush and Dory

There's also Marlin, Hank the Octopus, and a hermit crab.

Turtle Talk with Crush and Finding Dory

Turtle Talk with Crush and Finding Dory

Turtle Talk with Crush and Dory

I saw this several times - it seemed much more scripted than it has in the past. I think that's mostly to get the appearances of the "Finding Dory" characters in there. Still a cute show, though, and it was very popular with the kids.

Finally, I saw the new sneak peek of the upcoming Alice in Wonderland film: "Alice Through the Looking Glass." Instead of the "It's tough to be a bug" theater, where the sneak peeks are usually held, this one is in the former Muppets Theater, now that the "Frozen" sing-along has moved out. The theater has been renamed the "Sunset Showcase Theater." On the outside are some of the oversize props from the Mad T Party.

Through the Looking Glass preview

On the inside, though, it still looks like a hall in the Kingdom of Arendelle.

Sunset Showcase Theater

There's something fun in the pre-show area: two booths that will transform you into different characters from Alice in Wonderland. I thought it was pretty well-done. To get started you answer a few questions on the touch panel in front of you, and then look into the mirror above. After some initial process takes places you can use the touch panel to select which characters you want to see yourself as - Mad Hatter:

Alice Mad Hatter

Queen of Hearts:

Alice Queen of Hearts

White Queen:

Alice White Queen

Cheshire Cat:

Alice Cheshire Cat

White Rabbit:

Alice White Rabbit

At the end you choose one of them and mug for the camera. Then, if you have supplied an email address during the introductory portion, it will email you a video.

It was fun to do, and fun to watch. There's a line off to the side for those who wish to try it. It takes several minutes for each person.

The movie clip itself was in 3D. There were just a couple of "4D" effects. Not really my cup of "tea", though. The movie opens June 10; the sneak peek is scheduled to run through June 12.

Alice Through the Looking Glass

While this wasn't a new attraction or show, it was still something new...ducklings! They were in one of the planters near the hub. It's always fun to see the new babies every spring.

Disneyland ducklings

We still have some more new things to look forward to - the new Frozen - Live at the Hyperion musical, as well as the new Soarin' Around the World film. Frozen opens May 27; Soarin' is scheduled for June 17.







April 26, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 4/21/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Thursday, April 21, 2016.

Starting off my trip at the Mickey and Friends garage with an overview of the Star Wars construction site.



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

This week several large earth movers are onsite and working to transform the landscape.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

The old berm is disappearing. The earth around this tunnel is gone and very little of the tunnel is still around.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

The cabin and tree are no longer on the riverbank. Assuming they have been moved somewhere waiting for their new home.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

Disneyland Park Tickets, still 60th Anniversary.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

Walking through Adventureland you could hear the Jungle Cruise boats cycling and some of the effects. The countdown to re-opening continues.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Toontown Hills renovation work has wrapped up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Matterhorn is closed during the week for some renovation work. Walls up on the west side.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

A new finish line sign at the Autopia is visible over the wall.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Monorail is closed for renovation.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

Work continues on Autopia

The scaffolding is down but the new entrance sign has not been installed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

Next stop Disney California Adventure. The Food & Wine Festival continues. During the week the Marketplaces are open and the lines on Thursday afternoon were very mild.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is hosting the top 10 finalists for the Environmentality Art competition. The art projects were on display in the lower area around the shake-a-log.

Each entry had a card next to it indicating the team that created it, where they worked, and info about the creation.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Silly Symphony Swings are closed for renovation and the mechanism is currently removed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

In Cars Land cactus is blooming.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Kelloggs truck from the Backlot was parked near the Bakery/Child Car Station in the Wharf today. I forgot to check the Backlot to see what was in its former spot. It is is back to almost near where it started in DCA.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Incredibles Heros In Training is back and being performed twice daily in Paradise Pier. The show appears to be basically the same as the last time it ran.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mrs. Incredible warming up/stretching with the recruits.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

Mr. Incredible bring the weights out.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

I did not record any video on Thursday. Here is a look at the show from 2011.

The AP button and recipe for this week at the Food & Wine Festival.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

Walls up around the Muppet Theater as the Frozen Sing along moves out. A preview of the upcoming Alice film is moving in.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Thursday, April 21, 2016

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.







April 13, 2016

Disneyland Resort Updates - 4/10/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Sunday, April 10, 2016.

Laura covered the Food & Wine Festival in a separate post so I have included some general park update pictures from the visit. My day started off with a calm drive through Los Angeles, but came to a stand still waiting to enter the parking structure at 8:05am.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

An overview of the Star Wars construction site on this cloudy morning. The backstage buildings on the left have been cleared.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

Here is a pan across the site from left to right.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

In the foreground the buildings that were removed this past week. The green fences mark a road connecting the two parts of backstage right now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

No visible progress on the rest of the LCD screens for the ticket booths. The project appears to have stalled.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

The current park map and inside ads.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

Only 26 days until the Jungle Cruise returns (scheduled to re-open on May 6) and this skipper was excited.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

Trees now obstructed most of the parking structure. I am assuming these are the ones they saved from the berm/island.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

The views up river are getting more limited. Here is one of the few left from near the Canoes.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

Critter Country was empty and I was waiting for the rest of my group so took a look at the critter benches.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

Decided to take a hike up the tree house to see what can be seen. A clear view backstage beyond Big Thunder.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

Looking up river the other direction you can see the trees right behind the screen and the bare berm beyond.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

Moving on to the far end of the Big Thunder Trail.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

More cleanup/removal in the Ranch area but not much else visible through the fence.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

Scaffolding still up on the hills of Toontown as the final details are replaced.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Autopia refurbishment continues. The blue matches the Monorail station.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

Super Hero HQ signage is still up even though the area is closed and the meet and greet has moved to DCA.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

The skies were turning darker on us...there was a 10-30% chance of rain in the forecast.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Lilly Belle was not out today. Guessing with the rain they moved it back to the round house.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

Stopped by Off the Page in Disney California Adventure. There is a rack of vinyl records now. They had some film sound tracks and these.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

Captain America and Spider-Man are on Sunset Blvd, where the Monsters University space was. There was a healthy line and no good angle to get them without waiting.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

A look at some of the props.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

Captain America heading off, to the left you can see Spider-Man

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

Spider-Man

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

Laura went to a seminar/tasting, I stopped by the Lifestyle stage and Jenn Fujikawa was talking about Food & Fandom: The Recipes of Star Wars. As she talked and answered questions a slide show of some of her creations played in the background.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

Something new to me...today they had all the popcorn flavors available at the Cozy Cone and you could pick what you wanted instead of just the two for the day.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

By Disney Jr they were passing out free buttons.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

To close out some brighter views from the parking structure.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Sunday, April 10, 2016

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, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.







February 29, 2016

Disneyland Resort - A Walk Around the Parks 2/26/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 26, 2016.

Trees are being removed from the berm. You can see more clearly into the park now from the parking structure.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

A closer picture of the berm.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

This is the last week of APDays. Today the feature was the Plausible Impossible.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Steam Trains have taken over the Gallery Space.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

The exhibit has the same format and footprint as other recent ones.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

A look at the Train exhibit. The first display features the Disneyland Locomotives. This is on the same wall as the Steve Martin video (which is still playing). Surprised they did not cover or swap out the title bar on the top.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

One of the display cases features original tickets for the Santa Fe & Disneyland RR.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

This wall featured a look at Walt and his trains.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Next the trains of Paris (top) and Tokyo (bottom).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

The Lilly Belle has her own display.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

The last section featured Walt Disney World.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Limited edition ear hats. The complete purchase price goes to Make A Wish Foundation. They were available at several locations around the parks and World of Disney.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Up river you can see the start of the cofferdam. The white bags spanning the river near the base of Splash Mountain.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Informational signs up around the original Frontierland Station across from the New Orleans Square Station. The signs are printed on both sides and cast members said the plan is to move the crates out and open that area for guests too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Explaining how telegraphs work.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

A cast member showed me the back side...so this is standing in the original station waiting area looking toward the track.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

An illustration of the training boiler showing the components of the boiler.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

The Jambalaya Jazz were on the mid-deck performing.

There was an LCD replaying the opening day telecast when I walked by.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Looking up the river you can see the other cofferdam

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

The hills are green again in Toontown.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Signs up at the PhotoPass locations for the Share Your Ears promotion.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Ran into Mary and Bert

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

The same sign that is on the gallery is also on Main Street Station.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Inside the station are several displays featuring the same pictures as the ones in the gallery.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

The back of the board has attraction posters from around the world.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

A board featuring Walt and his railroads (same as the gallery).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Week 4 of APDays was going on. Here is a quick look in the Blue Sky Cellar. They had recipe cards from all 4 weeks as well as left over buttons from earlier weeks.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

The full set of buttons.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

For those who track chocolate, Ghirardelli was handing out regular squares of caramel on Friday, not minis.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

No visible progress at Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters as testing is still going on. It officially opens on March 7th with previews leading up to that.

Disney released some fun facts as well as a video. I posted those along with a brief history of Disney trackless systems and my thoughts

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Cast Members out front passing out buttons.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Award Wieners has Zootopia offerings now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

At the Disneyland Hotel, some of the pool area is still closed for renovation but looks close to reopening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

The pools around the slides were open but the slides were not this evening, they had closed for the day already.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

A rack of Zootopia merchandise in Big Top Toys

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

Olaf was MIA today in Paint the Night.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 26, 2016

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.







February 16, 2016

Disneyland Resort - 2/12/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 12, 2016.





Annual Passholder Days continued this week with the theme: "Live the Adventure." The opera house feature today was Disneyland 61 / Olympic Elk.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016

Some Valentine's Day decorations are back in Town Square this week.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016


The Music Company has re-opened after a couple week closure for renovation.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016


Inside no major changes jumped out at me, looked to be a regular renovation.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



The display shelf along the wall has been removed or is not back yet.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016

A check of the Star Wars project this week, looking up river trees are starting to disappear.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016

Splash Mountain is closed for annual renovation work.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



Moving around to the area just past the Big Thunder Exit.

Through the trees you can see they have cleared most of the ranch area and you can see right through to the Jamboree stage now.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



Several of the trees have bloomed thanks to the warm weather lately they think it is spring (it felt like summer on Friday with temps well into the 80s)


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016

A check of the Autopia renovation progress


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



Louis was on the Mark Twain this afternoon.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



More tables on the mid deck by the band stand area.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016

Stopped by the Opera House to visit President Lincoln. Today would have been his 207th birthday.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016


The Blue Sky Cellar is hosting the AP Days for week two. There were still items left from last week and they were passing them out.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



Some of the items I picked up this week.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



The activity for this week is a "Treasure Hunt". The map shows photos, with clues, of various things around both parks. On the back is a "clue page", with letters corresponding to each answer. There are more clues than photos. The correct letters will spell a phrase. No prize - just the satisfaction of completing it successfully.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



Cookies and Cream Churro and regular Churros at Cozy Cone #1 in Cars Land

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016

The posters at the Animation building feature Zootopia now.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



As you enter there is a cityscape poster


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



A segment from the song "Try Everything" is now inserted into the lobby film loop. Between Let it Go and Cars.




A Valentine's Day message in Trolley Treats


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016


Class of 2016 merchandise is out in the Five & Dime


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



Out in Toontown scaffolding has gone up around the perimeter of the Downtown area. All the attractions and stores are open. No FastPass for Car Toon Spin though.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016


Found a spot on Main Street for Paint the Night.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016



Video clip of the Cars group.




Video clip of the Jellyfish




Video clip of the princess group making its way toward Town Square.




I wrapped up my visit with Disneyland Forever

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, February 12, 2016

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.







February 5, 2016

2016 Disneyland Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend - Part 4 - Dining

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During our three days at Disneyland for the Star Wars Half Marathon Weekend, we tried a few different dining options. We (gasp!) did not have any meals at our usual pre-race favorite, Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta!

Friday evening we were tired after a long week at work, driving in traffic to Anaheim, visiting the Expo, and checking into our hotel. So we wanted something fairly easy, and went to Earl of Sandwich in Downtown Disney. It was about 6:00, and we were surprised that the line wasn't very long.

They have some new items on the "Get the Skinny" menu, which are under 400 calories. There's a BBQ Chicken Flatbread, Quinoa Chicken Salad, and Turkey Wrap. They looked interesting but I opted for one of my favorites: The Holiday Turkey, with turkey, cranberry sauce, dressing, and gravy. Yum.

Earl of Sandwich Holiday Turkey

I also had a cup of the Chicken Noodle soup. It was good, but it was a small serving - they didn't fill the cup very full.

Earl of Sandwich Chicken Noodle

Lee had The Original 1762 - roast beef with horseradish sauce.

Earl of Sandwich Original 1762

Lee also picked up a container of Brownie Bites. These were surprisingly good! Moist and chewy and very chocolaty and satisfying. We really enjoyed these - we still had a couple left on Monday, and even then they were still very good!

Earl of Sandwich Brownie Bite

Earl of Sandwich Menu

On Saturday morning after the 10K and Kids Races we went into Disneyland - I wanted to try the breakfast menu at the Galactic Grill, which has Star Wars-inspired menu items.

I tried the Bantha Blue Milk Bread. This was essentially French toast, served with bacon and fresh fruit. It was pretty good.

Galactic Grill Bantha Blue Milk Bread

Lee went with the Darth Tamale. A blue corn tamale with scrambled eggs, chorizo, red chili sauce and tomatillo salsa. I had a bite and found that the chili sauce was pretty spicy. I couldn't have eaten this but Lee really enjoyed it, enough that he recommended it to several other people. Though with the caution that it was for people who like spicy food.

Galactic Grill Darth Tamale

Galactic Grill Breakfast Menu

That afternoon we had something from Lucky Fortune Cookery. I like the idea of rice bowls and veggies with choice of meat and sauce, but they use peppers in the veggie mix, which makes it inedible for me. But on the kid's menu there's a chicken and brown rice offering, served with oranges and carrots - but no peppers. So I tried that. It was a good-sized serving and I liked it. The oranges were on top of the chicken, and the carrots were in a bag. There was a mild teriyaki type of sauce on the chicken. I'd get that again.

Lucky Fortune Cookery Kids Chicken and Rice

Lee ordered the beef bowl with teriyaki sauce. He liked it.

Lucky Fortune Cookery Teriyaki Beef

Lucky Fortune Cookery Menu

That evening a group of us went to Naples in Downtown Disney for dinner. We had a reservation for 5:30. As you might expect, it was a popular choice on the night before a race, and there was a long line to check in. Some in our party knew from previous experience that it was for walk-ups, and that those with reservations checked in at the podium inside. Once our fearless leader did that, we were soon seated at an outside table.

It was coolish evening, but there were gas heaters around us, so that was fine - until they ran out of propane. And then apparently there were no additional gas canisters to be had, so it got a little chilly by the time we left.

Unlike our experience at Italian restaurants at Walt Disney World, Naples had a couple of "runner's specials" in addition to their regular menu. These included salad as well as pasta choices. We didn't go for any of those, though.

Our server (Amazing Amanda!) brought us fresh bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Must...Not...Fill...Up...On...Bread....(But it's sooo good!)

As an entree I ordered Agnolotti - housemade cheese ravioli with fresh tomato and basil sauce. I requested marinara rather than basil sauce - I love pesto, but it can be too garlicky the night before a race. It was very good.

Naples Restaurant Agnolotti

Lee tried the Lasagna, a traditional eight layer lasagna with Bolognese meat sauce, béchamel and Parmesan cheese. He enjoyed it.

Naples Restaurant Lasagna

Some of our dining companions ordered the Spaghetti and Meatballs.

Naples Restaurant Spaghetti and Meatballs

The restaurant was quite busy, but we didn't feel rushed to finish, and had a very nice meal. Naples is not my favorite restaurant but this was a very nice experience.

Naples Restaurant Menu

Sunday morning after the half marathon and a hot shower we met friends at the UVA Bar for breakfast. Lee and I had never had breakfast here before, but our friend Eddie really likes it - and he had already gotten a table for all of us. It's outdoor seating, but there was a heat lamp nearby (that had plenty of propane ;-) ) and we were warm enough. It was fun to people-watch and see all of the runners coming by in their medals and costumes. We saw several people we knew.

We started with celebratory mimosas, and then ordered breakfast. :-) I went with "2 Organic Eggs", served with potatoes and choice of toast. Thankfully there were no peppers in the eggs! Nothing fancy, but it was nicely prepared.

UVA Bar Two Organic Eggs Breakfast

Lee went with the Breakfast Burrito with scrambled eggs, potatoes, applewood smoked bacon, mild red chile sauce, and aged cheddar. This looked very good, and he liked it.

UVA Bar Breakfast Burrito

Eddie tried the Buttermilk Pancakes, and enjoyed those.

UVA Bar Buttermilk Pancakes

Phill ordered the Steel Cut Oats, which was served with honey, raisins, and almonds. I didn't get a picture of that - oatmeal is just not very photogenic. :-)

We enjoyed the food and ambiance and especially the company - definitely a place we'll consider returning to for breakfast on a future Disneyland trip.

UVA Bar & Cafe Breakfast Menu

We didn't really have lunch - we had an afternoon snack at Ghirardelli. :-) I had my new favorite Nob Hill Chill, though it wasn't quite as thick this time as I like it.

Ghirardelli Nob Hill Chill

Lee had the Sea Salt Caramel Sundae.

Ghirardelli Sea Salt Caramel Sundae

For dinner, we joined several friends at Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen. Lee and I have eaten here several times before and have always enjoyed the food, and there's a lot of variety on the menu. Our friends told us later that it was the best meal they had on their visit - and they'd eaten at several other Disney table service restaurants.

We had an early reservation, and were seated in the corner of the big room upstairs. That was nice and out of the way. It was quiet when we arrived, but it got a lot noisier as the place filled up. Oh well...we enjoyed it while we could.

There were several specialty cocktails on the menu. This is The Blue Marquise, in honor of Disneyland's 60th anniversary. The color apparently came from 44th North Huckleberry Vodka. It was very pretty and quite tasty.

Ralph Brennans Blue Marquise

Lee and I shared an appetizer: Boudin Balls. Slow roasted cochon pork, dirty rice, Creole mustard aioli with Tabasco pepper jelly. They were deep-fried, and they were really, really good.

Ralph Brennans Boudin Balls

Another couple shared the Louisiana Crab Cake - with fire roasted corn cucumber salsa and Creole mustard drizzle. They liked it.

Ralph Brennans Crab Cake

Since I knew I wanted dessert, I didn't order an entree, and instead ordered soup and salad. The soup of the day was tomato and artichoke, and it was excellent.

Ralph Brennans Soup of the Day

I ordered the house French Quarter salad - mixed greens, candied pecans, cherry tomatoes and cider vinaigrette. Not too exciting, but it was a nice salad.

Ralph Brennans French Quarter Salad

Lee ordered the classic BBQ Shrimp and Grits with barbecue sauce and andouille-parmesan grits. Very good.

Ralph Brennans BBQ Shrimp & Grits

Other entrees:

Blackened Chicken Mac & Cheese - Applewood smoked bacon, caramelized onions, oven roasted tomatoes, baby arugula and rosemary garlic ciabatta bread.

Ralph Brennans Blackened Chicken Mac & Cheese

Grilled Medallions of Beef - Filet mignon, crawfish mashed potatoes, bacon & pecan-crusted green beans and a zinfandel reduction.

Ralph Brennans Grilled Medallions of Beef

Gumbo Ya-Ya - Chicken, andouille sausage, dark roux, Creole seasoning and rice.

Ralph Brennans Crab Cake Gumbo Ya-Ya

Southern Fried Chicken - highly recommended by our server, and a winner. With smoked gouda mac & cheese, bacon braised turnip greens, lemon-pepper gravy.

Ralph Brennans Southern Fried Chicken

As I mentioned, I didn't order an entree because I knew what I wanted for dessert: Double Chocolate Bread Pudding. It takes about 25 minutes to prepare and should be pre-ordered - the servers should ask about it in plenty of time so that you don't end up waiting for it. It's served with dark chocolate and white chocolate sauce - use one or the other or both. This is a dessert for two (or more) people to share...Lee and I only got through about 2/3 of ours. Really good.

Ralph Brennans Double Chocolate Bread Pudding

This was a wonderful meal with great company, and we really enjoyed it.

Ralph Brennan's Jazz Kitchen Dinner Menu

Monday morning a group of us did early entry at DCA. After two rides on Radiator Springs Racers (for our first ride we were in the first group of cars for the day!) and a wrist and arm workout on Toy Story Midway Mania, we went in search of breakfast.

Pacific Wharf Cafe is no longer serving breakfast, and neither is Cozy Cone #3. :-( That left Fiddler, Fifer and Practical Cafe (Starbucks) and Flo's V8 Cafe as our only options. So we went to Flo's. I decided I wanted some Churro Bites from Cozy Cone #1, but when I got there was very disappointed to find that they no longer serve Churro Bites - just regular churros. Not what I wanted.

I don't like the scrambled eggs at Flo's - they are baked or steamed or something and have a weird texture. I had the fruit plate, which came with yogurt and a mini oat bran muffin.

Flo's Breakfast Fruit Plate

Lee had the American Breakfast, with the aforementioned weird eggs, potatoes, bacon and a biscuit. That's another thing I don't like about Flo's - the potatoes have peppers in them.

Flo's American Breakfast

Kim had the Kids Waffles - this came with turkey bacon and fruit. It's a pretty decent-sized breakfast, I think!

Flo's Kids Waffle Breakfast

Someone else had the Chicken Tamale, topped with scrambled eggs and salsa verde. This is pretty good, except that I think the tamale has too much masa and not enough filling. It's very attractive, though.

Flo's Chicken Tamale

Flo's V8 Cafe Breakfast Menu

By lunch time almost all of our playmates had departed for the airport, but there were still four of us left, so Dave and Holly and Lee and I all went to Trader Sam's. We were just in time to get a table inside as another party was leaving. It's noisier in there, but more fun. The one bartender was really into all of the special drink effects, and that made it a lot more entertaining.

Trader Sam's

I had a Passionate Python, with a couple different types of rum, passion fruit juice, and other tropical juices.

Trader Sam's Passionate Python

Lee went with the Piranha Pool - Strawberry vodka blended with pineapple juice, cream of coconut, strawberry puree, and blue Curacao. This is a good one.

Trader Sam's Piranha Pool

I think Holly has not yet forgiven me for suggesting the Murky Mojito to her. :-) Rum, fresh lime juice, mint and agave nectar topped with Angostura Bitters - she said it was really strong.

Trader Sam's Murky Mojito

We had food, too. I tried the Shrimp Tacos, which were new to me. They were quite good.

Trader Sam's Shrimp Tacos

Lee and Dave both had the Kalua Pork Flatbread, which I did not photograph, but you can see the corner of it in the Piranha Pool photo above.

Holly had part of Dave's flatbread, but also ordered the Panko-Crusted Chinese Long Beans, which she shared with the rest of us - those are so good.

Trader Sam's Panko-Crusted Long Beans

Trader Sam's Menu

That was our final meal for this particular trip. It was fun to have some new experiences this time, and especially to share a number of meals with good friends.








February 2, 2016

Disneyland Resort - 1/29/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, January 29, 2016. In this set of pictures I focus on the closures and ongoing projects around the parks.
The support facility in the Pinocchio lot is nearing completion. Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016
A quick look at the future Star Wars site. Not a lot of visible progress yet.
Equipment is being brought in and fences are up around some of the site. Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016
First stop today, Disneyland. Minnie Rocks the Dots display inside Disney Clothiers Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016
Not much has changed on the Rivers of America since my last trip. With the exception of the Mark Twain & Columbia switching places. Looking up river you can see some ribbons tied on the trees. Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016
The construction wall in Critter Country stretches from the Hungry Bear all the way to the outdoor vending location/ the trail that leads to the small eating area for the Galley. It now features some attraction posters.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

The wall on the lower level of the Hungry Bear features the Rivers of America. Including the overall story, Mark Twain, and then the rivers it represents.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Barn doors have been installed on the tunnel by the Hungry Bear.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

The current wait is only 3 months for the Jungle Cruise.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Time for the Land Cruise... during which the skippers recreate the Jungle Cruise experience with 100% less water and boats.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Their recreation of the lost safari scene

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016


Here is a video of the experience.




Made my way to the New Orleans Square Train Station. New since my last visit you can now cross the tracks to the original Frontierland Station.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

It was fun to be able to see the original station up close.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

The hand cart has been brought to the area for display too. Cast Members say more is hopefully coming soon.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016


Next up made my way over to the Mark Twain which was in port in Frontierland.

A couple of signs with historical photos and information on the Mark Twain have been added to the queue area. This sign features entertainment and special guests.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Princess Tiana was onboard for pictures

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016



Tables and chairs have been brought on board on the lower and mid decks and chairs on the upper deck.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Looking up river.. you really cannot see any changes yet.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Walls are set up on the Big Thunder trail past the Big Thunder Exit area and the cave, but before the pond and tunnel area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016



A sign to warn you of the dead end ahead and how to find your way to Fantasyland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016



A sign in Fantasyland to help you find Frontierland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

The gates are closed just past the restrooms to block off the Big Thunder trail on the Fantasyland side.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Small World is closed to have the holiday overlay removed and for some renovation work.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

The Autopia is closed for renovation too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Walked through the Star Wars Launch Bay. Only a 20 minute wait for Kylo Ren, for comparison 30 minutes for Chewbacca and 25 for Spider-man

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016


Closures are not just for attractions, the 20th Century Music Company on Main Street is also closed

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Made my way across the Esplanade to DCA.. which turns 15 on Feb 8th.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016


Thought you may be interested.. here is a video clip of the Esplanade and Entrance to Disney's California Adventure I shot back in January 2001 a few weeks before the park opened.

Some work on the back wall of the Blue Sky Cellar

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016


Zootopia has moved into the Bugs Theater. Some banners on the parade route in the area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016


Continuing my tour of closed attractions. World of Color is currently dark.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016


Red rolling out for pictures, no real visible signs of progress at Luigis, maybe a few new banners peaking over the wall.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

The new attraction is listed in the park guidemap now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

And is on the map.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

New editions of the Buena Vista Bugle are available.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

A display and cash register has been added to the cafe to sell Starbucks merchandise.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Breaking the trend of the day... Soarin' was open today. It is only open weekends right now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

Stopped by the Silver Spur Supplies in Frontierland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016

In the back of the store is a music box / jukebox. It costs a quarter for a song.

A video clip of the music box in action.


The Haunted Mansion has returned since my last visit the return times and wait times did not line up with my day this trip so I will try to visit next trip.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 29, 2016



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.







January 29, 2016

Disneyland Update - 1/22/16

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For a change Jason didn't go to the parks, so you get a Disneyland update from me instead. :-) It won't be as thorough or have nearly as many photos, though. I didn't make it to DCA since I was with a friend who didn't have a park hopper ticket.

We arrived at the Toy Story lot about 11:40. I was surprised that we were still able to park in the "Woody" section - though we were in the last row. While I would rather park in Mickey and Friends, I have found that when coming in from Ball Rd. I more often than not am diverted south on Disneyland Drive over to parking at either Garden Walk or Toy Story, so I just go straight to Toy Story now. I avoid a lot of traffic and aggravation that way.

I was pleasantly surprised that there was no line at the security checkpoint. We presented our bags and breezed through. We were not randomly selected to walk through the metal detector.

A number of Disneyland attractions were closed - the Rivers of America attractions will be closed for an extended period of time (at least into spring of 2017) because of Star Wars land construction:
Disneyland Railroad
Mark Twain Riverboat
Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes
Sailing Ship Columbia
Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
Fantasmic!
Jungle Cruise
Autopia

Tomorrowland was the most crowded area of the park - Season of the Force is still very popular. Still, we were able to get a Fastpass for Hyperspace Mountain with a return time of 3:15 - a little over three hours later.

Hyperspace Mountain

We walked into Path of the Jedi just a couple of minutes before the show started. Kristin was happy for the refresher, since she was planning to see "The Force Awakens" two days later. And she's told me since then that seeing Path of the Jedi helped her enjoy the movie more.

Star Tours had a standby wait of 50 minutes, but we were able to pop across the way and blast some astros at Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.

Though it's not running, the Mark Twain was at the Frontierland dock and open to visitors, though apart from wandering around on board there wasn't anything to do. I heard later that there are sometimes characters on board for meet and greet opportunities, such as Princess Tiana and Louis. On other days the Sailing Ship Columbia is at the dock instead.

Mark Twain Riverboat

Big Thunder Trail is now closed. On the Frontierland side it's closed just beyond the exit of Big Thunder Mountain.

Frontierland closed


Frontierland closed

Outside the Jungle Cruise there are skippers who interact with guests and pose for photos. They also conduct Skipper School several times a day.

Jungle Cruise Skipper School

When Lee and I were there a couple of weeks ago we had more of an opportunity to talk to the skippers about this and what's going on with the attraction. Guests who participate get to tell a Jungle Cruise joke and receive a Skipper certificate. When the attraction reopens (April?) you can bring your certificate to the attraction exit and use it as a Fastpass.

And, again according to the skippers, among the changes being made are modifications to the load/unload process. Instead of using ropes and "skipper power" to hold the floating boats next to the docks, the boats will go into some kind of dock container that will compress and hold them in place for loading and unloading. This should be safer and hopefully speed up the process.

Part of the Adventureland bridge/walkway was closed though the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Dole Whip stand were still accessible from the Main Street side.

Adventureland construction wall

Here's a look at attraction wait times at 12:50.

Disneyland wait times

By this time we needed to head over to the Disneyland Hotel for our Classic Afternoon Tea (follow the link to read my review on that). It was a lovely experience.

Practically Perfect Tea

After tea we took the monorail back from Downtown Disney - I haven't done that in a long time.

You can see the train pulled up at the Main Street station - although the railroad is closed, Disneyland has a train available at the Main Street station where guests can talk to one of the engineers about them.

Disneyland train

First stop was to get Fastpasses for Star Tours and Buzz Lightyear. The Fastpass machines for those two attractions are co-located. Since the Buzz Fastpass machines are not linked to the rest of the system, you can get a Fastpass for Buzz even when you have a Fastpass for something else!

It wasn't quite time for our Hyperspace Mountain Fastpasses, so we went on Holiday "it's a small world". This was the final weekend before the short refurb period to remove the holiday overlay. I was surprised that it was a very short wait - 5 minutes, maybe.

small world holiday

After that it WAS time to ride Hyperspace Mountain! It was great - I really enjoy this attraction and all of the new visuals, and especially the music. I think you really want to be in rows 4-6 and not 1-3: there are a few effects that you don't see very well if you're in the front.

Hyperspace Mountain

We went from battling one evil empire to battling another, as we then used our Buzz Lightyear Fastpasses to defeat the Evil Emperor Zurg.

The Haunted Mansion had just reopened that day after the holiday overlay was removed. I always find it strange to ride this attraction when it's not in holiday mode. The Fastpass machines were in use, which is unusual, as they are typically only used during the holiday period. The Standby line was posted as 20 minutes, but I don't think it took that long.

Haunted Mansion

We wandered back to Critter Country. The Hungry Bear restaurant is surrounded by scrims and looks closed. But there's a cast member out in front with menus so that guests will know that it's open.

Hungry Bear construction walls

Splash Mountain was basically a walk-on - I haven't decided whether it's because no one wanted to get wet (it had been a sunny day, though by then the sun was behind clouds and the temp was around 66) or if people thought nothing back there was open because so much of the Rivers of America area is closed. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh was a walk-on for us. We both love Tigger.

Tigger, Rabbit, and Pooh were outside Pooh's Corner greeting guests, and there were quite a few guests waiting in line. So at least there was something in the area that was drawing more of a crowd. Otherwise, Critter Country seems a little sad right now.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad had been down earlier, and now had a long standby line, but we could get a Fastpass with a return time of less than an hour later. We still had an hour to go before our Star Tours Fastpass was valid, and we went to Redd Rockett's Pizza Port for dinner. I wanted to try one of the Season of the Force specials - the Dark Side Chicken Curry Pizza. It had curry chicken, roasted cauliflower, Gouda and mozzarella cheese, cumin, pickled vegetables and fried beans. The sauce was a little too spicy for me, which is unfortunate, because otherwise I enjoyed it. But because of the spice level I wouldn't get it again.

Dark Side Chicken Curry Pizza

There are a couple other Season of the Force specials: The Fields of Naboo salad and Forest of Endor pasta. There's also a Chewbacca Cheesecake. And this is one of the locations where the BB-8 beverage container is available for purchase.

Redd Rockett's Pizza Port Menu

Chewbacca cheesecake

I liked the Season of the Force posters in the dining area.

Season of the Force posters

Time to take a trip on Star Tours! During Season of the Force most of the random elements have been removed and the first planet visited is always Jakku, and BB-8 is the holographic character in the next scene. All three times I'd done it before I'd seen the security droid as the first scene, and Naboo as the final scene, so I was wondering if that was the only configuration. But this time Vader was the opening scene and Coruscant was the final scene, so I saw something a little different.

For our final attraction of the day we used our Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Fastpasses. This ride is so much more fun at night!

We had a great day. Even though we didn't arrive until noon, and had a two-hour break, we still managed to get four Fastpasses and experience 10 different attractions before we left at 7:00. It's always fun for me to visit Disneyland with someone who isn't a frequent visitor and experience it through their eyes. Even with all of the construction and closures there's still a lot to do, and there were a number of other things we would've done if we'd had more time.







January 18, 2016

Disneyland Resort - 1/15/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, January 15, 2016.

What appears to be utility work going on along the tram load/unload area for the Mickey and Friends garage.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016

Out in the Pinocchio lot work continues on the support facility.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


The billboards at the tram stop feature the cars characters. no slogans.. really surprised no Cars Land logo on it.. just characters.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


At the Disneyland Hotel the swimming pools are closed and being renovated. They were jack hammering this afternoon.

The Monorail slide and pool area is open but the other two are closed.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016



The closure list is substantial.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016
With the railroad closed for the next year+ they have trains pulled into Main Street and New Orleans Stations. The EP Ripley with the Lilly Belle were on Main Street.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016
You could get up close to the train for pictures. There were cast members around to answer questions about the trains.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


One car available for pictures.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


The Lilly Belle. It was closed but cast members were opening the door to get a look in from time to time.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


The area in front of the castle was roped off as they were preparing for a taping this evening for the upcoming Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60 special on ABC.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


The Royal Theatre has reopened. Frozen is now performed only in the morning then Tangled in the afternoon.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016

Crossed paths with the Evil Queen in Fantasyland
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016
The Big Thunder Trail is open through the weekend then slated to close for Star Wars work.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


The park maps show it closed now. Also note they photo spot is moved down the trail.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016
No signs of work on the Ranch Area yet.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


Some repainting of the Fantasmic light tower housing covers.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


The Columbia was in port and open to walk through and take pictures. No visible progress on the River this week.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


The Mark Twain is in the dry dock at Fowler's Harbor

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016
Continuing up river.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016

No visible changes here yet either.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


Walls and mesh are up at the Hungry Bear. It is open for business.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


The lower level has a brand new custom made wall.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


Upstairs the mesh has a forest print on it. Not too bad.. but I would have rather watched the construction :)

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


The side facing away from the River features bears.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016

The rail and ties have been removed from the visible area after the trestle assuming they removed them all the way around toward Toontown.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


The Haunted Mansion is closed for removal of the holiday overlay.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


The New Orleans Square station is open with the Ernest S Marsh parked there.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


The Jungle Cruise is closed for removal of the Holiday overlay as well as some dock work for the next several months.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


Thought this was really cool. An attraction poster saying it is closed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


The wall features concept art.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


Next door they now sell Paint the Night meals since Fantasmic is dark for the next year+.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


Approaching the hub they were rehearsing for this evening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


This taped off and roped off area was for dinner package guests. I believe the grab and go guests were in the Small World Mall.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016

A couple of clips from Paint the Night.


Several of the units were short performers today. For example, only four yo-yo cowgirls with Jessie tonight instead of six.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016

Around 8pm Elton John took the stage and performed Circle of Life a couple of times and his new song Wonderful Crazy Night.



I had to shoot through a sea of cameras, arms, and people... so the pics are not the best..

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


Here are a couple video clips from the performances of Circle of Life (he sang it several times).


Next up his new song which was accompanied by Fireworks and will be the finale for the TV show.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


Some clips of Elton John performing his new song with fireworks.


Over at Disney California Adventure Aladdin is gone and the Hyperion is advertising the upcoming Frozen show.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016


In Cars Land a new sign for Luigis.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 15, 2016



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.







January 11, 2016

Disneyland Resort - 1/8/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, January 8, 2016.

For this picture set I will focus on some "last visits". The full picture set is on my site as always. On January 10th quite a few attractions around the Disneyland Resort will be closing. Some forever, some for annual renovation, some seasonal transformations and others for modifications. At Disneyland preparations for the new Star Wars area are kicking off. The Big Thunder Ranch & BBQ area will close forever. The Rivers of America area attractions and entertainment will be closed for over the next year as the river is modified. This means the Columbia, Mark Twain, Canoes, Tom Sawyer Island, Fantasmic! & Disneyland Railroad. The Jungle Cruise is closing for several months for dock modifications. Haunted Mansion Holiday and Small World Holiday will be closed for a few weeks each to convert back to the classic attractions. Autopia is going down for some work as a new sponsor is taking over. Over at Disney California Adventure Aladdin is ending its run to make way for a new Frozen show. Soarin' is closed for some work. Grizzly River Run is closing for off-season renovation. Also World of Color goes dark for some work. There are other projects too. All work is subject to change and if you are planning a visit check the refurbishment lists for the latest information.


I start off my tour of soon-to-be-closed attractions with a cruise on the Columbia.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Some video clips from my trip aboard the Columbia.


The Island was also popular today, look at the line going off to the left in this picture.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


If all is to be believed this view will change substantially the next time I am able to see it from a boat.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


The canoes were operating and busy too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Heading below decks on the Columbia.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Next up a cruise on the Mark Twain. I opted to stay on the lower deck to get some eye level pictures of the show scenes.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


The Ernest S. Marsh chugging along the banks of the River.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


A large crowd waiting to board.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Next up the Disneyland Railroad.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


I am really going to miss this view. Curious what they have in store for the new route.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Primeval World.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016

My understanding is this will be changing too thanks to Star Wars.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


A last visit to the ranch.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


There was a good size crowd for the "Running of the Goats" event.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Farley the Fiddler provided music and Woody and Jessie joined him after the running.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Here are some clips of the running of the goats and after.


Here is a second camera (cell phone) of the full event.


A last look at the cabin before exiting the ranch.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


The old rock formations from the Mine Train attraction.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


At Disney California Adventure Aladdin is ending its long run this weekend too. FastPasses were gone earlier in the day and the standby line was incredibly long. This mass of guests houses the line. It stretches from the theater, wraps around a little there then comes down Sunset to the House of Cards area and wraps around by the bar and food truck. The end of the line was near the air hockey tables when I was there. Cast Members were saying this was standby for the 6:20pm show (I was there as they were closing the doors for the 4:45pm show).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


I took one more final cruise on the Mark Twain. The last one of the evening at 5:45pm which meant it was a rare after dark cruise.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Going to miss this view for the next year or so.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Fantasmic! will be dark for the year too because of the River work. So I took in the 9pm showing from a standby location.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, January 8, 2016


A couple of cell phone video clips from Fantasmic!

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.






December 23, 2015

Disneyland Resort - 12/18/15

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, December 18, 2015.


The tram/vehicle support facility is moving along in the Pinocchio lot.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015



The signs in the garage and at the tram stop have been updated to have the new security policies on them and not just the selfie stick ban like before.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015



The big news story this week is the addition of metal detectors. There were several at all entrances to the resort and guests were randomly being selected to walk through them.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015

As you entered Cast Members were passing out commemorative pins for Star Wars: the Force Awakens.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015



The last Emporium window has been unveiled. It features Aladdin. I have a separate post here on AllEars.net looking at the window.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015

I went for a cruise on Small World Holiday to start my day and we were stuck for about 15 minutes in the US scene right before the finale. For the first 5 minutes the music played then they muted it for us. Here is a video clip with the music on.



Here is a video clip with the music muted.. so you could hear the dolls' movement.





I caught the Dapper Dans performing at Refreshment Corner.


The Hook and Ladder Co was out so stopped for their set too since I was in no hurry.



A couple video clips from the Hook & Ladder performance including Cruella de Vil and Chip & Dale.





At Disney California Adventure, for the final weeks of Aladdin they are offering FastPass using these mobile units to distribute them.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015

No visible progress on Luigi's from ground level. Thought they may open for the holiday rush.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015

Tough to Be A Bug has returned as the Good Dinosaur preview has ended.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015

The Cove Bar expansion appears to be just about ready to open.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015




From across the water way near the Screamin launch.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015

While walking through Grizzly Recreation Area noticed the Christmas decorations were lit up today. They were not my last trip.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015
Work continues on the restroom facade.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015

Arrived back in Disneyland as the 3:15pm parade was making its way through Town Square. So traffic was bottled up.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015

Walked through the Launch Bay, nothing was going on. Waits for Star Wars characters were 30 minutes, Spider-Man upstairs 20 minutes.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015


They did give me a Aurebesh Decoder upon entering.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015



There's a new version of the Jedi Training Academy: Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple. The Jedi Master and recruits prepare.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015


The temple rises.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015


Darth Vader comes out to try to convince them to join the dark side.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015


Seventh Sister from Star Wars Rebels joins in. Darth Maul is no longer part of the show.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015

After the Jedi Training the Tomorrowland Terrace dance floor is roped off and not in use the last 7 hours of the Disneyland operating day.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015

Time for a night cruise on the Mark Twain. Our Captain working the spot light.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015

Main Street after the 5:45pm Paint the Night Parade, a large number of guests were exiting after the parade (the crowd on the left).


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015



The lights in the trees look great this year.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015

Next stop Grizzly Peak Recreation area. I was really disappointed with how these pictures came out. The jars look substantially better in person and my pictures do not do them justice at all.



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015



The lights were on for the Cove Bar expansion this evening.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015

The Tweedles were MIA tonight at the Mad T Party.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015


A Star Wars window in World of Disney.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015


The D-Street window features Star Wars: The Force Awakens


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015

The AMC theater has extra security now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015



As does the Monorail entrance.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015


D-Street features mostly Star Wars merchandise now. Surprised they did not rename it like they did the one in Orlando to Galactic Outpost.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015


A quick look inside.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015



There was some Vinylmation and other merchandise toward the back.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015



A group of Carolers performing, several video clips from their performance. They opened with Star Wars and the set included Frozen. In between those Christmas carols.


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.









December 22, 2015

Disneyland Resort - 12/18/15 - Aladdin Emporium Window

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, December 18, 2015.

The final new Emporium window on Main Street USA has been unveiled and it features a scene from Aladdin. The scene starts off with the magic lamp.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015

Aladdin approaches the lamp.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015
Jafar watches from the entrance to the cave.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015
Abu reaching for a jewel and Carpet trying to stop him as Aladdin rubs the lamp and the magic is released.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015
The Genie appears
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015
Abu gets his jewel.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, December 18, 2015
Video of the full sequence of the new Aladdin window.

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.







December 19, 2015

Disneyland Resort - Super Hero HQ

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks featuring a look at the Super Hero HQ in the Tomorrowland Expo Center (formerly Innoventions). This space re-opened on Monday 11/16 and is located on the upper floor. The ground floor is the Star Wars Launch Bay.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

Looking at the central core from near the VAULT area. To the right is the gift shop to my left is Iron Man and Thor. Behind me the VAULT with Spider-Man.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015
The V.A.U.L.T. is currently hosting Spider-Man. It was about half an hour to meet him this afternoon..
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015
Interesting the props are from Ant Man and Guardians of the Galaxy though. Hints of future meet and greets?
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015
A look around the gift shop which is in the former ASIMO space.   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

D-Tech On Demand smart phone cases are available.
  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  
I found this sign very interesting. Notice the characters it highlights. Hints of things to come? None of these are currently meeting...right now it is Thor and Spider-Man.

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015



Moving on..



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015  

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015  

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  

Looks like more to come...a sign but nothing in the space.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015


The Microsoft video game area is still here. Some new signage and colors.

  

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015
  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015



Iron Man area remains just as it was before  

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015


The Thor exhibits and meet and greet are still the same.  

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015



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.








November 25, 2015

Disneyland Resort - 11/25/15

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Wednesday, November 25, 2015.

To kick off my Thanksgiving weekend I spent the afternoon/evening at the Disneyland Resort enjoying some of the entertainment Disneyland Park has to offer this time of year. As always to see the full picture set visit my site.



First up A Christmas Fantasy Parade as I entered the park. Also notice the lights for the Candlelight Processional are up, the Candlelight is December 5 & 6 this year.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Dickens Yuletide Band performing on Main Street USA


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015



Video of most of the Dickens Yuletide Band performance.


  
Had the fortunate timing to take a raft back to the Mainland with the Bootstrappers.

  


A video of the tree lighting moment in Town Square which happened just past 5pm.


The Dapper Dans of Disneyland performing a Christmas set.

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The opening announcement for Paint the Night which started at 5:45pm this evening.

  



Paint the Night - Monsters, Inc


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015



Paint the Night - Cars - Mack making his way toward Town Square.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Paint the Night - Olaf

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Ready for the first Disneyland Forever showing of the evening. It started at 6:30pm

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Disneyland Forever opening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Dancing on the garland...

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Under the Sea...

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Snow fall during Disneyland Forever.. not quite the traditional White Christmas but better than none...

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Looking back at the crowd as the spot lights were on while a Kiss Good Night played.
  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Christmas lights in the trees were on after the show.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sleeping Beauty Castle after Disneyland Forever

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

I stopped by Tomorrowland to see the lights for Star Wars Season of the Force.. it is not really a show.. more just spotlights that were on while Star Wars music played.
  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015
  
A video clip of the lights. As you can see not a lot of movement this evening.




Made my way out to Small World to see the quarter hour projection show.




Stopped to watch most of Fantasmic from a stand by location in New Orleans Square.
  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Back to Main Street, 5 minutes until the second Disneyland Forever this evening. All week the Disneyland Resort is experimenting and running two fireworks show nightly in an effort to reduce gridlock in the park at night.
  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Plenty of space around me just before show time.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Round two of Disneyland Forever at 9:30pm

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

One last snow picture to wrap up the trip.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Wednesday, November 25, 2015

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.







November 22, 2015

Disneyland Resort Hotels Christmas Decorations

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks.

This subset of pictures will focus on the three Disney Hotels and a couple Downtown Disney pictures, to view the full set visit disneygeek.com.

I started off my tour at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel. The lobby is decorated the same as the past several years.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015
The Gingerbread house is returning this year and is still under construction..
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015
Another look at the tree this year.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015
A closer look at the tree.   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015
Out front the trees have lights as usual.   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015   
Next stop the Paradise Pier Hotel across Disneyland Drive.   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015   
Entering the lobby.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015   
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  
I continued on to the Disneyland Hotel stopping first at the Frontier Tower.

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  

The Tangaroa Terrace tree

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  

Made my way to the main lobby in the Fantasy Tower. Christmas trees flank the gift shop

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  

Outside lights in the planters as usual behind Mickey and Minnie.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  
The gingerbread inspired Sleeping Beauty Castle is back at the entrance to the Disneyland Hotel lobby.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  

There are two trees in the reception area, here is the one furthest from the main door (they looked identical).
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015



In Downtown Disney the Winter Village and Olaf's Ice Rink have returned.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  
Skating session times and costs.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  

A Good Dinosaur photo op is set up adjacent to the Rainforest Cafe across from ESPN.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015



A Ghirardelli store has opened next door to the Disney Vacation Club offices (across from Rain Forest).
  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015

  
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 20, 2015


Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour from 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.








November 18, 2015

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/14/15

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Saturday, November 14, 2015. These pictures take a look at what's new around both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure this holiday season. For a more in depth look at all of the decorations and holiday festivities visit my full picture set on disneygeek.com

Arriving at the Disneyland Resort the parking toll booth wreaths have blue bows.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


A Ghirardelli store has opened in Downtown Disney. This is only a temporary location.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


A look inside, it was not open for the day since it was only 8:30am when I walked by.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Grizzly Peak Airfield has received some decorations this year.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Notice the wind sock.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The large trees by the fire tower have been decorated too.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The lamp posts along the walkway to Grizzly River Run have decorations this year.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Over at Disneyland on the Jingle Cruise the African Veldt has more props this year including snowflakes, and plastic snowmen.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Mint Julep Window has candy cane beignets this year.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Santa has been relocated to Critter Country taking over the Winnie the Pooh Meet and Greet Location.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Winnie and Piglet are around in snow form.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Santa in his new location.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


On Main Street USA the garland and wreaths all have blue ribbon and other diamond touches. Also no garland over the street this year or snow on Sleeping Beauty Castle.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Main Street Christmas Tree has blue ribbon and seemed like more blue ornaments this year.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


In "A Christmas Fantasy" parade the Green Army Men have taken over the Toy Factory float. The Pinocchio characters are no longer in the parade.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Pacific Wharf at Disney California Adventure has new decorations this year.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


On the bridge leading into the area.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


In the water a decorated buoy.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Pacific Wharf Cafe


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


A closer look at the bread garland.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015


The Lucky Fortune Cookery


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Saturday, November 14, 2015

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.







November 11, 2015

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/06/15

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, November 6, 2015. He noticed that Halloween was over, and more Christmas decorations were up around the parks.

In addition, another new animated window opened at the Emporium in Disneyland -- this one featuring Anna and Elsa from "Frozen."

---------------

Three popular attractions were closed on Friday. Soarin' and Jungle Cruise reopen November 13 and Space Mountain on November 16.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Christmas decorations are up around Main Street USA and they incorporate the Diamond Anniversary decorations.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

The pumpkin is gone and waiting for the Christmas tree, which was still backstage along the tram route.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

The Main Street Fire Truck wreath.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Blue bows on the garland this year for the 60th.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Winter plantings in the hub.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Sleeping Beauty Castle has some garland and wreath.Will be interesting to see what happens this year for the holidays. No snow or ice.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

In Tomorrowland the tape for the stroller parking has a Star Tours feel to it this week.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

The Super Hero HQ signage is up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

The Hyperspace Mountain signage is up, too.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015
It includes a Season of the Force sign.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Heading into Toontown -- Halloween is gone and more Christmas decorations are up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

The Ranch is celebrating Halloween for a few more days, though.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

The rest of Frontierland has Christmas decorations up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

The Jungle Cruise is closed to become the Jingle Cruise, opening next Friday.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Walking through New Orleans Square.

A photo location for Jack Skellington and Sally (from "The Nightmare Before Christmas") has been set up in the Royal Courtyard.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

"it's a small world" Holiday opened today.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Here are a couple video clips from this first cruise through "it's a small world" Holiday 2015.

Over to Disney California Adventure

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Buena Vista Street is decorated.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

The Buena Vista Street tree.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Surprised to see that Cars Land is not fully decorated yet. They had lines up but no overhead decorations yet.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Soarin' is closed this week.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Paradise Park is getting ready for World of Color Winter Dreams, which starts next Friday.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

During the Pixar Play Parade, noticed the Incredibles were walking today.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Some video clips of the Pixar Play Parade.

The Paradise Garden Grill menu is for Viva Navidad this week.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

The Buena Vista Street Tree at night.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Back over at Disneyland some of the garland was lit up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

A new Frozen window debuted at the Emporium this past week.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Here is a video of the full cycle for the Frozen window.

Small World Holiday was lit up this evening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Made my way back to Main Street to find a spot for Paint the Night.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

Moved out to the street for Disneyland Forever.

It was initially delayed due to winds, and was eventually cancelled.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, November 6, 2015

In its place the Live the Magic Finale projections were run along with a lighting sequence for the castle. Here is a video of the alternative show.

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.

November 3, 2015

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 10/30/15

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, October 30, 2015.


Arriving at the Disneyland Resort. Visible progress is slow on the work in the Pinocchio Parking lot.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

Most of the Winter Village is in place in Downtown Disney and the Christmas tree is up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015


I took Monorail Red to the park. Passing by the front entrance to Disneyland. It is still decorated for Halloween. Other areas of the park have moved on to Christmas already.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

The Tomorrowland Terrace Stage is being renovated for the new Jedi Training Academy opening in a couple weeks. The top of the band stand has been removed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

The Star Wars Launch Bay sign is now up, the attraction opens on November 16th.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

Looks like the Marvel sign will be installed any day now.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

The Mark Twain was boarding when I walked by so I decided to go for a cruise and shoot a point of view video from the bow of the ship of the cruise. Here is the result.


Christmas has arrived in New Orleans Square.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015


A new walkway has been installed spanning from the second floor of New Orleans Square near the Club 33 Jazz Lounge to the Train Station near the exit/wheelchair ramp. It appears to be temporary with some minor theming elements on it. My best guess is this will be used by cast members during the upcoming railroad closure.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

Fall plants in the hub with the Matterhorn in the background.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

Next stop Disney California Adventure. The car is still MIA from Oswald's.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

Cars Land is ready for Christmas decorations. The poles on the right side of Route 66 have been installed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015


Christmas merchandise out at Sarge's.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

The word "Flying" has been removed from Luigi's so the windows now just say Tires.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

ShellieMay has arrived and is for sale along with Duffy. Wonder if that means Gelatoni will be arriving at some point.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

Treasures in Paradise has an interesting assortment of merchandise... Duffy, princess, Star Wars and Christmas are the big sections.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

Star Wars Christmas "sweater" t-shirts.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

The Good Dinosaur merchandise

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

Donald passed by as I was walking the Pier.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

From the Fun Wheel you can see the work on the Cove Bar expansion, well if I would have actually allowed the camera to focus you could...
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

A car was visible at Luigis.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

Flik is ready for Christmas

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

Monorail Orange passing by the front entrance as the sun was setting.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

The Haunted Mansion Holiday was a popular draw as always. The queue filled the Magnolia Park area.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

Small World is closed for the holiday makeover. It returns next week.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

Heading into Toontown. The entrance is still set up for Halloween with one more party to go on Halloween night.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

But inside Christmas is taking over.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

Jingle Cruise shirts are available in Adventureland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

The Star Wars Launch Bay sign after dark.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

Disneyland waits at 8:15pm. Notice the 2 hr wait for Haunted Mansion and Ghost Galaxy.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

Critter Country has some Christmas decorations up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

I closed out my evening with Fantasmic! which will be closed next year due to Star Wars land construction.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 30, 2015

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.







October 20, 2015

Disneyland Photo Update - Toy Story Emporium Window

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, October 16, 2015, taking a look at the latest Emporium window to be unveiled. This one features Toy Story and is the fourth with the others being Peter Pan, Cinderella, and Princess & the Frog. This is part of the Disneyland Resort Diamond Celebration. There are still two more windows to go.

There are two sequences in the window. One features Andy playing with Buzz and Woody and the other toys watching.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015

Then once Andy leaves the toys start to play and Buzz/Jessie dance.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015
A video of the full sequence of the window showing Andy playing and then the toys coming alive.
The video below features a closer look around taken early in the day when the reflection/glare was a problem with for a wider picture.



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.







October 19, 2015

Disneyland Photo Update - A check of what's new from 10/16

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, October 16, 2015.

It has been nearly a month since my last Disneyland visit due to a trip to Disneyland Paris and scheduling conflicts. This picture set includes a look at some of the changes and new additions at th Disneyland Resort.

The photo below is taken from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure, they are removing asphalt and some trees in the Pinocchio parking lot area that is used for the trams. My understanding from internet rumor/reporting is they are relocating some support facilities here from backstage as part of the Star Wars project.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015


The windows at the tram stop now advertise Aladdin on Home Video and The Good Dinosaur coming to theaters in November.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015

Annual Pass prices have increased substantially since my last visit.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015

Signage at the FastPass machines now saying what show they are for and time. This is in preparation for Christmas when they will be running both World of Color Celebrate and World of Color Winter Dreams.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015

The Cove Bar is expanding. The Meet and Greet has been removed and that area will be used for additional seating for the bar. The line for the bar is currently in front of the construction wall.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015

A dual purpose picture. The Halloween Mickey popcorn buckets are out at most stands around both parks. Also notice the Pop Secret logo is now on the sign as well as most of the carts. Has anyone tried the popcorn? Has it changed at all in terms of taste?
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015

A sneak peek of the upcoming Disney/Pixar film, The Good Dinosaur, is playing in the Bugs Theater now.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015



The sign for the preview


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015

The preview was about 10 minutes long and featured a series of clips and an introduction from the director.

No pictures nor video allowed during the preview.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015

The Grand Californian Hotel has a large Halloween "Treet-t" Cake on display in the center of the lobby.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015


Some stats on the cake.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015
A quick cell phone video looking at the cake/tree.




Lights are being installed on the "small world" facade for the Holidays. They kick off in less than a month.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015

Pumpkins have returned to the hill overlooking the queue of Haunted Mansion Holiday.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015



A video clip of the singing pumpkins in the graveyard of the Haunted Mansion Holiday.




A Flower Market has been installed on Center Street off Main Street USA.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015



Peering over the construction wall at Innoventions. Too bad the building does not rotate anymore...would be interesting to read as it moved.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015

Over in Sarge's in DCA a large model from Mattel (looks to be the same one that was at the D23 Expo) has taken over part of the hut.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015


A closer look at the model.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, October 16, 2015



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.







September 17, 2015

Disneyland Photo Update - Halloween Time from 9/11

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, September 11, 2015 with a first look at Halloween Time at the Disneyland Resort. For more pictures from this trip be sure to check out my full picture set on disneygeek.com


Halloween Time has arrived from now through November 1st. Here are the Mickey and Friends tram stop billboards.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


The same characters/decorations are along the tramway as recent years.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



The large character pumpkins have returned over the park entrance/exits.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



The floral Mickey has been switched for the season.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


A lot of the blue for the Diamond Celebration is gone and Halloween orange has replaced it.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



Goofy was out in his Halloween Costume greeting guests.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Mickey was also out greeting guests in his Halloween Costume this afternoon (by evening they were back to their 60th outfits).


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



A look around Town Square.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



Halloween meets Diamond Days on Main Street USA
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



Stopped to listen to the Dapper Dans of Disneyland perform a Halloween set.



A look back toward Town Square


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



The pumpkins have returned to the hub as usual.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



Pioneer Mercantile has some fall/Halloween props out.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



The Halloween Tree has returned in Frontierland.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Zocalo Park is celebrating Dia De Los Muertos.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



The Zero popcorn buckets are back this year.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



Jack and Sally walking through New Orleans Square
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


A posted 30 minute wait. Turned out to be just over 20 but thanks to the 95 degree weather it felt much longer.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Today was the first day for Haunted Mansion Holiday.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015




Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



The gingerbread house this year is a house of cards.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



I missed the Monkey bride this first trip through...it is in a cage to the right before you leave the attic.



The Hatbox Ghost is there and there are a few holiday props around him.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



Here is a full video of my second ride through.



Crossed paths with the Bootstrappers in New Orleans Square.




The Big Thunder Ranch has the Halloween Round-up starting today.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


This will be the last Halloween for the ranch.



The Scare-Dy-Crow Shack is back.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



The Jamboree is not in use this year. So no carnival, pumpkin carving or characters.



The BBQ area has switched to the Halloween Time event too.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



Poison Apple Mugs are available in several locations around the parks.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



Halloween popcorn buckets


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Tomorrowland Terrace has a burger combo for the holiday.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy has returned.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



Halloween caramel apples


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



Halloween treats at Trolley Treats

on Buena Vista Street
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



Some Halloween chocolate at Ghirardelli.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



The Diamond Mad T Party was going on...no Halloween this year or at least not yet).


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



Back to Disneyland.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Found a spot for Paint the Night.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



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.







September 16, 2015

Disneyland Patriot Day Flag Retreat & Challenge Coin Presentation

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, September 11, 2015, with a look at the Patriot Day Flag Retreat Ceremony.

Disneyland and Walt Disney World have a nightly flag retreat ceremony as the Town Square flag is lowered for the evening. At Disneyland this show varies, but most nights features the Disneyland Band, Dapper Dans, and a security honor guard. They honor those who have served or are currently serving in the armed forces. Throughout the year the ceremony is used to mark other occasions too such as Veterans Day or, in this case, Patriot Day.

Signage for the nightly Flag Retreat which will honor Patriot Day today, notice the America Sings characters on the sign.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



Before the Ceremony, Ernie, a Disneyland Security Cast Member, presented a challenge coin to a veteran. Here he is showing the coin.

This tradition was started earlier this year. Here is a Disneyland News Release about the addition.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


A closer view


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


The other side of the coin.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Disneyland security and first responder cast members were part of the procession for the flag retreat to mark Patriot Day.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


The honor guard arriving.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Cast members and guests watching the Flag Retreat


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


The group that marched in was positioned on the steps of the train station.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015
The flags were at half staff to commemorate 9/11


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


A video of the flags being lowered.




After being lowered and folded the flags are marched backstage.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, September 11, 2015



Hope you enjoyed this highlight from my visit to 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.







August 31, 2015

Photo Update from Disneyland Resort 8/28

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, August 28, 2015.

It has been a while since I posted a look at the projects and changes around the parks on AllEars.net so here is a look at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure then some Disneyland Forever pictures from in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle to close out the set.

Arriving at the Tram stop in Downtown Disney, the Aladdin Home Video release and Inside Out are being advertised.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

A couple of attractions down during this brief off season time between summer and Halloween.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

First stop Disney California Adventure. Some work going on as you enter Paradise Pier.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

Looks like they are working on the joint between the pavement and boardwalk. This is the open side of the walkway.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

More work going on, again at the transition point.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

Went for a spin on the Fun Wheel to see if you could see anything. From this angle you cannot really tell anything about the progress on Luigi's in Cars Land.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

Back on the ground some barriers up at the Toy Story Meet and Greet

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

Guess the fountains in Paradise Park are not going to return. You would think if they were the 100 degree weather is the perfect time to run them.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

The sixth and final Disneyland 60 Diamond Photo Spot opened since my last visit. It is near the entrance to Flik's Fun Faire in "a bugs land".

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

A look at the backdrop.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

How the effect is created..

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

Next stop Disneyland. The third Emporium Enchanted Window was unveiled a few weeks ago featuring the Princess and the Frog.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

A couple video clips of the Princess and the Frog window. This visit the audio was working.

Halloween is creeping into the windows along Main Street.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

A look at the work between Fantasy Faire and Frontierland... no visible progress

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

Some work going on along the walkway along the Rivers of America

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

The Haunted Mansion is closed for the Holiday transformation until September 11th.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

Le Bat en Rouge was closed.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

During the D23 Expo a few weeks ago the house of Patrick Begorra the Little Man of Disneyland magically re-appeared at Disneyland. It is located at the base of the tree that supports the sign for the Indiana Jones Adventure.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015



Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015/

The Disneyland Band performs on Main Street USA at 4:10pm as a pre-parade for Soundsational. Today they stopped here and performed their attraction medley.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

Video clips of the Disneyland Band Main Street performances.

More Halloween in the windows as I headed to Town Square.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

The Disneyland Band performs at the Nightly Flag Retreat.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

A video clip of the band performing the Armed Forces Medley at the Flag Retreat.

Tomorrowland... work on the Star Wars Launch Bay & Marvel meet and greets continues. No signage up, I thought they might have a coming soon sign.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

No visible progress on the Starcade

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

A clip of the Dapper Dans performing.



Some Halloween merchandise.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

Halloween Pins are now available.

Notice they are generic DisneyParks not Disneyland.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

Star Wars Halloween pins

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

No Summer or Hawaiian Nights promotion in Downtown Disney like last year when there were signs up...this year, though, the same group is back performing. This time on the main stage by ESPN.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

A couple video clips from their show.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

I returned to Disneyland at this point and found a spot for Disneyland Forever in front of the Castle about 7:50pm. As the Paint the Night Introduction plays Sleeping Beauty Castle puts on a small show with lights. Here is a video clip of it.

Show time. Here is a video clip from the opening of Disneyland Forever.




Tangled...

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015


The Lion King

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

The Matterhorn during the Nemo segment

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015


A video clip of the Let it Go segment during Disneyland Forever


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, August 28, 2015

A clip of the Finale to Disneyland Forever

A couple video clips of the Live the Magic and Kiss Good Night exit/post show.



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.







August 3, 2015

Photo Update from Disneyland Resort 7/31 - Entertainment!

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, July 31, 2015.

I spent a "lazy summer" afternoon/evening at the Disneyland Resort. As I wandered around the parks I stopped to enjoy a variety of live entertainment. Here is a look at the various groups I saw on Friday. I have the full picture set from the trip on my site, disneygeek.com

First up the Straw Hatters were performing in the hub near the line board.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

The Boot Strappers performing in New Orleans Square.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

The Disneyland Band marching through the hub playing the theme from Indiana Jones

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

The Disneyland Band performing their Western set in Frontierland (guess Western plus Princess and the Frog)

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

Lightning rolling through Radiator Springs (while not a performing group decided to include him and Olaf below).
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

The All-American College Band has a few weeks left in its run. I stopped by to watch the 3:00pm set.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

No signs of guests by Olaf so I wandered over. Olaf no longer requires a FastPass. They stopped distribution recently. There was no one around so I stopped by to say hi and grab a couple pictures.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

The Dapper Dans of Disneyland wrapping up a performance.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

The Pearly Band posing for a picture during their performance in Fantasyland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

At the French Market in New Orleans Square

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

Stopped by Town Square for the nightly Flag Retreat featuring the All-American College Band and the Dapper Dans this evening.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

A Mariachi Band performing in Frontierland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

A video clip of the Mariachi band.

Because of the filming the College Band audible and performed on Main Street instead of in front of the Castle

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

This weekend is the 45th anniversary reunion weekend for the band. There were some alums enjoying the performances.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

Tomasina performing at the Tomorrowland Terrace

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

The All American College Band performing in Town Square.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

Ron enlisted several alums for the Stevie Wonder medley.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015

The Alums were treated to a seat in the middle of the parade route to watch the pre-parade at 8:15pm.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 31, 2015


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.






July 21, 2015

Happy 60th Birthday, Disneyland!

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"To all who come to this happy place... Welcome. Disneyland is your land. Here age relives fond memories of the past... and here youth may savor the challenge and promise of the future.

"Disneyland is dedicated to the ideals, the dreams, and the hard facts that have created America... with the hope that it will be a source of joy and inspiration to all the world."
-- Walt Disney, July 17, 1955

Disneyland 7/17/15

Disneyland celebrated its 60th birthday on Friday, July 17, 2015. Jason and I, along with thousands of other Disneyland fans, were there to help celebrate.

I will admit that I was quite concerned about what the crowds would be like on Friday, after the disaster that was the 24-hour day back in May. I arrived at the park about 6:40 on Friday morning, and I breezed through security. Guests were already being allowed into both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, so the lines at the turnstiles were very short.

Disneyland 071715 entrance

As guests came through Security they received a special edition of the Orange County Register, and at the turnstiles an "I was there" button. There were also special maps at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.

Disneyland 60th birthday gifts

The Register had a special insert, “Premiere Souvenir Edition Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom.” This was a reprint of a 16-page Register special edition published on Disneyland's opening weekend in 1955.

Disneyland 60th OC Register souvenir edition

It's very interesting! There's even an ad for "The Wizard of Bras" on Main Street. :-)

Disneyland Wizard of Bras ad

(These special editions were gone by 8:00, but they are still available from the Orange County Register. See this page for more information.)

Disneyland 1955

The maps for both Disneyland and DCA included the original Disneyland park map in addition to the current park map.

Disneyland and DCA 7/17/15 park maps

The map also included the list of special events for the day:
July 17 Celebration Ceremony - 10:00 a.m. at the Castle Forecourt
Pre-parade honoring 1955 Cast - 4:15 p.m., Parade Route
1955 Themed Photo Spots - Critter Country, Big Thunder Trail, Mickey's Toontown, Tomorrowland, Hollywood Land, Grizzly Peak Waterfall
Cupcakes - available in both parks
Anniversary Buttons - available at the entrance to both parks
1955 Dance Clubs - Tomorrowland Terrace, 7-11:30 p.m.; Carthay Circle, 6-10:30 p.m.

Once inside the park I found that Main Street wasn't packed, since guests were already being allowed into the rest of the park instead of being held at the end of Main Street. (A lesson learned from the 24-hour day?) There were enthusiastic cast members on both sides of the street greeting guests as they walked by.

Disneyland 60th cast members

Here's the pin that cast members received - very nice!

Disneyland 60th birthday cast member pin

There were lots of photographers on Main Street (and other areas of the park) with these signs - it was a very popular photo all day.

Disneyland 60th I was There

The Emporium on Main Street was quite busy with guests who were buying t-shirts, and pins and other merchandise that was only available for the day. There were men's and women's t-shirts that were package in a string backpack for $29.95.

Disneyland 60th t-shirts

There was also an annual passholder version (I'll admit that I purchased this one).

Disneyland 60th Annual Passholder t-shirt

I saw this pin, also.

Disneyland 7/7/15 pin

The shirts were also available at Disney California Adventure. There were plenty of them - good job Disney. There were also two new "Made with Magic" light-up items. Here is the Chernabog beverage sipper available at Disneyland:

Chernabog sipper

And the World of Color sipper available in DCA. Each is "only" $28 - but hey, that includes a beverage!

World of Color sipper

On Thursday a new "search" opportunity began at the two parks, the "Looking for Mickey Quest". There were different maps for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, each with clues inside to locations of various hidden Mickeys. For each clue there were three suggested answers about the specific location of the Mickey, with a "scratch-off" next to each to reveal whether or not it was the correct answer. There's no penalty for wrong answers. And as with other events of this type, you don't need to actually complete the quest to redeem it for the prize. When I purchased mine it was recommended that I immediately redeem them for the prize, which was the pin.

Disneyland Looking for Mickey Quest

Each map came with a lanyard - as you can see the lanyard was dated.

Looking for Mickey Lanyard

The "quest" is available until July 31, or while supplies last. The maps are $19.95 at Disneyland (which has 20 questions) and $12.95 at DCA (10 questions). No annual passholder discounts for this one.

DCA Looking for Mickey Quest

As I mentioned before, there were free Disneyland birthday cupcakes available at multiple locations in both parks. There were plenty of them.

Disneyland 60th birthday cupcakes
Disneyland 60th birthday cupcakes
Disneyland 60th birthday cupcakes

The 1955 themed photo spots were a nice addition to the day. The Skyway spot was in Toontown. These were quite popular, but I stood in line for this one, since Lee used to work at the Skyway when he was a Disneyland Cast Member.

Disneyland Skyway photo spot

There was an actual stagecoach at the photo spot along Big Thunder Trail.

Disneyland 60th stagecoach photo spot

And the final Diamond Celebration Photo Spot in Disneyland, at the Haunted Mansion was in place.

Haunted Mansion photo spot

Disneyland was getting pretty busy, though the crowds were still nothing like they were back on the 24-hour day in May. Disney seems to have learned a lesson from that. They really downplayed the actual birthday celebration, and there were no big premieres or events - even most of the merchandise went on sale the day before. But a lot of people came and stood waiting for the 10:00 Celebration Ceremony at the Castle.

Disneyland 071715

Though they didn't have to, since there were large viewing displays in multiple areas, including one in Carthay Circle in DCA. I was fortunate to have media viewing, but if I hadn't, I would've watched from one of the satellite locations.

Disneyland 071715
Disneyland 071715

During the ceremony, Disneyland President Michael Colglazier announced the Million Dollar Dazzle program. Every month during the Diamond Celebration Disneyland will donate $60,000 to a local non-profit organization. The Girl Scouts of Orange County were the first recipients, and were in attendance.

Disneyland Million Dollar Dazzle Girl  Scouts

Richard Sherman and Ashley Brown performed "Feed the Birds" from Mary Poppins - one of Walt Disney's favorite songs.

Disneyland 60th Ashley Brown Richard Sherman Feed the Birds

Then they led all of us as we sang "Happy Birthday" to Disneyland.

Happy Birthday dear Disneyland

While there were a lot of people in the park early, a big difference from the 24-hour day is that many of them left after the ceremony. For the remainder of the day the crowds were those of a typical Friday in the summer time.

July 17 had been the announced date for the "new" Disneyland Band, and they made their first appearance in a not-on-the-schedule performance at 10:30 in front of the train station. I happened to be on my way to DCA, so I saw most of it.

Disneyland Band 7/17/15

It was a wonderful performance and I really enjoyed it - but they are much more like the Disneyland All-American College Band now. Their attraction medley (video below) has music and choreography similar to that of the medley performed by the College Band. And a number of the new band members were one-time members of the College Band.

I personally think that during the summer was not the right time to introduce the new band, just because it's similar to the College Band. It's two different groups doing similar performances. And I think this new band might overshadow the College Band, when it should be their turn to shine during the summer months.

As I mentioned, I was park-hopping when I was distracted by the new band...when I got to Disney California Adventure I found it was much less busy than Disneyland. There were also various photo opportunities available there.

DCA 7/17/15 I Was There

This may be my favorite of the 1955 photo backdrops: The Parking Lot. Because remember, DCA was built on the site of the old Disneyland parking lot! :-)

Disneyland 1955 photo spot parking lot

The other 1955 backdrop was in Hollywood Land,and featured the old Disneyland entrance sign, which would have stood not far from where the backdrop was located.

Disneyland 1955 entrance sign photo spot

One of the reasons Jason and I had gone to DCA was to see the Diamond Celebration Photo Spot in "a bug's land", which was supposed to be in place that day - but it wasn't. We asked a couple of cast members, but they didn't know anything about it.

We went back over to Disneyland to see the new band perform at 11:30 at the train station - which was the first performance listed on the actual schedule. :-) It was the same set that I had seen at 10:30. Their finale was "Hooked on a Feeling" (more well-known recently because of Guardians of the Galaxy).

We continued stalking the band after lunch, when they marched from Main Street to Frontierland, performed a song at the flagpole in Frontierland, and then performed the rest of the set in front of The Golden Horseshoe. This set included things like the theme from Davy Crockett, "You've Got a Friend in Me", and the theme from "Zorro".

Because we were at lunch we missed their 12:30 set, which was at the Castle, and then featured the new interactive "Diamond March" down Main Street.

While we were waiting for the band's final set, also in Frontierland (and with the same musical selections), we saw Tiana aboard the Mark Twain riverboat.

Disneyland Tiana

One of the other special events of the day was the afternoon pre-parade honoring the 1955 cast. We weren't sure what to expect with this, but thought it was nicely done. (This was a joint effort - Jason took the stills and I shot the video with his camera.)

Ron Dominguez and Bob Penfield were in the lead car.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 17, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 17, 2015

Cast Members representing the current cast walked in between the cars.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 17, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 17, 2015

Opening day cast member Harold Christopher.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 17, 2015

The Seven Dwarfs were on hand.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 17, 2015

A second Runabout car with Disney Legends Marty Sklar and Bob Gurr.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 17, 2015

Bob was playing to the crowd.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 17, 2015

Tom Nabbe and Bill Sullivan

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 17, 2015

Jack Lindquist (right) and Dick Nunis (left) in the fire truck.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 17, 2015

Current cast members in the Omnibus wrap up the procession.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 17, 2015

Video of the procession.


After the parade Jason and I made a trip back over to DCA - we hadn't been out to Paradise Pier yet. The Citizens of Buena Vista Street were doing an impromptu photo shoot - I'd never seen all four of them together in one spot before.

DCA Citizens of Buena Vista Street

We found cast members at the cupcake location near the site of the former Maliboomer attraction trying desperately to give birthday cupcakes away. Who'd have thought that Disney would be unable to give away FREE cupcakes? :-)

Disneyland cupcakes

DCA was really not busy at all. We decided to check out the single rider line at Radiator Springs Racers, and we almost walked right into a car. The standby line was only 45 minutes.

Jason went back to Disneyland and I had something to eat, then hit the road for home.

Thank you, Disneyland, for throwing such a nice birthday party to let us celebrate 60 wonderful years!





July 8, 2015

Disneyland Trip Report - July 3, 2015

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Lee and I visited Disneyland on Friday, July 3. We hadn't been able to get to the parks since the end of May. Our main goal for the day was to see the All-American College Band. We were hoping that some of the 4th of July festivities might also take place on July 3 (that's happened in the past), but not this year.

We arrived at the Toy Story parking lot about 9:45. I've given up trying to get into the Mickey and Friends parking lot when coming from the south - if I get re-routed, it adds an extra 20-30 minutes to the whole parking experience. In addition to the parking ticket, the attendant also handed us this pamphlet. In nine different languages it says that Selfie Sticks are not allowed in the parks, because they "have become a growing safety concern for both our Guests and Cast." There were also signs at the tram stops and outside the bag check tents. I don't know if it was because of the selfie sticks or for some other reason, but the bag checkers were doing a more thorough job, so that process took a little longer.

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We went into Disney California Adventure first, though at that point (10:00) neither park had much of a line at the turnstiles. We met up with Jason and his family and went to Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe - aka Starbucks. In case you didn't realize it, they serve one version of the special Diamond Anniversary Cupcakes here. :-)

Disneyland Anniversary Cupcake

This one is the orange cupcake with berry filling. In the name of research I tried it, even though I think orange as a cupcake flavor is just wrong. The sacrifices I make! :-) For a flavored cupcake it was pretty good, though I prefer the lemon version that is available at Disneyland (and I still can't believe they didn't make a CHOCOLATE cupcake!).

Diamond Anniversary cupcake

In addition to the berry filling (which there wasn't much of) there were little bits of fruit in the cake, which I think were currants. The cream cheese icing was very tasty but there was a LOT of it - Lee used some on his scone and there was still a lot left. The "pearls" were interesting - we never really figured out what they were. Some kind of candy-coated crispy thing. And the blue icing is very blue, and it will dye your tongue and your fingers, and anything else it comes into contact with.

Diamond Anniversary cupcake

Also offered here was a 4th of July cookie. I didn't think there was much of a 4th of July presence in the parks this year - usually there are banners on Main Street and Buena Vista Street, but this year it's all of the Diamond Anniversary stuff instead.

Disneyland 4th of July cookie

In addition to the band, the other group we wanted to see was the United States Air Force Honor Guard. For July 2-6, there were several different military groups that were performing in the parks, and on Friday it was the Air Force group. We saw their first set in Disney California Adventure (Jason also saw them later in Disneyland).

U.S.  Air Force Honor Guard

They did some really well-choreographed and synchronized routines. Jason has more in his blog, but here is a short video he put together of some clips. They told us that those rifles they are flipping around to effortlessly weigh 13 pounds!

While it wasn't a hot day, it would have been very warm standing in the sun in those dark uniforms. I'd find it very challenging to never change expression or scratch an itch or wipe my face, but they did it.

U.S.  Air Force Honor Guard

A sneak peek of the upcoming Ant-Man movie is showing (appropriately) in the "It's Tough to be a Bug" theater. Where it takes advantage of all of the special effects used for the regular show. :-)

Ant-Man sneak peak

The Ant-Man suit was on display outside. I can't say that seeing the preview really gave me much desire to see the movie. But there were quite a few people in the theater. And there were Disney survey takers outside afterward asking about the experience.

Ant-Man suit

For lunch we went to Flo's in Cars Land. It had been quite a while since we had eaten lunch/dinner there - much of the menu has changed since the last time we ate there. I had the Spit-Fired Rotisserie 1/4 Chicken served with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables. The chicken was ok - the roasted vegetables were actually very good.

Flo's Rotisserie Chicken

Lee tried the BBQ Pork Ribs with Coca-cola barbecue sauce, mashed potatoes, and coleslaw. Lee enjoyed them, and said the sauce was very good. I thought the ribs were a little dry.

Flo's BBQ Ribs

Flo's offers their Pie-o-Rama for dessert. Mud pie and apple cheddar are always available, but there is a seasonal, which was coconut cream. That's Lee's favorite pie, so we tried it. But it was disappointing - the filling didn't taste much like coconut at all. Most of the coconut flavor came from what was sprinkled on top.

Flo's Coconut Cream pie

We didn't really have any plans until 3:00, so I suggested the Wilderness Explorer Ceremony at Redwood Creek. It was very exciting - we learned the Wilderness Explorer Oath, the Wilderness Explorer Call. Ok, so apparently I was the only person in our group who was excited. :-)

Wilderness Explorer ceremony

There was our senior scout, and Russell, and we even saw Kevin! I don't remember Kevin's appearance from the last time I saw it (which admittedly was a number of years ago).

Wilderness Explorer ceremony

We made a short detour into the Grand Californian Hotel to see the Sleeping Beauty Castle Cake in the lobby. It's very pretty. Lots of marshmallows, white chocolate, rice cereal, and fondant.

Sleeping Beauty Castle Cake

The 2015 All-American College Band's first performance of the day was their jazz set at the Hollywood Backlot stage. This is their 45th season - 45 years of bringing together some of the best college musicians to perform at Disneyland during the summer. These kids are so talented. This set even included vocals - one of the guys sang "Zero to Hero" from Hercules.

College Band Jazz set

Time for a snack - so we went to Ghirardelli. I had my new favorite Nob Hill Chill. The hot fudge sundae you can drink. :-)

Ghirardelli Nob Hill Chill

Over in Disneyland we checked out the second of Enchanted Windows on Main Street. This one switches between Cinderella's transformation and dancing at the ball. The reflections make them very difficult to photograph, especially during the day.

Cinderella Enchanted Window
Cinderella Enchanted Window

We continued to stalk...I mean follow...the College Band, as they performed during the nightly Flag Retreat. There's only 21 of them, but they put out a lot of sound!

College Band Flag Retreat

The parks were surprisingly not that busy, especially considering that it was a holiday for many people. Maybe most were waiting until July 4 to visit. The line for Splash Mountain was over an hour, but all of the other big attractions were less than an hour. Peter Pan just re-opened after a pretty lengthy refurbishment and it was very popular, with a 50-minute wait. Lee and I didn't get there but Jason did, and he has video and photos in his blog.

At 6:15 we watched the band perform their set at Sleeping Beauty Castle. Their medley of music from different Disneyland attractions is always very popular.

College Band Sleeping Beauty Castle

They marched down Main Street, stopping to perform a couple of different songs.

College Band Main Street

The band didn't have much of a break before their next set in front of the train station. This year they are performing a Stevie Wonder medley, as well as their Earth, Wind, and Fire finale. They are so talented and so much fun to watch!

College Band Train Station

I'd hope to eat dinner at the Plaza Inn, but the line was way out the door. Lee suggested Jolly Holiday Bakery. I had the Artisan BLT. I'm not exactly sure what was "artisanal" about it. :-) But it was tasty. I really like the house chips they serve here.

Jolly Holiday Artisan BLT Sandwich

Lee suggested the Bakery because he recalled the excellent Oven-roasted Turkey Sandwich he'd had before, which is what he ordered this time. It's REAL turkey breast, and that makes a huge difference.

Jolly Holiday Turkey Sandwich

I wasn't paying attention to the drink menu, and missed my opportunity to try another of the specialty tea beverages that are available during the Diamond Anniversary. Jolly Holiday offers the Frozen Pomegranate Silver Sparkler, which I really like, but there's also another one I hadn't seen before: Very Berry Diamond Tea. It's $3.59, or $7.59 with a diamond glow cube.

Jason texted us to tell us there were still spots for Paint the Night where he was standing on Main Street. We hadn't planned to stay for the parade and fireworks, but at this point the start of the parade was only 30 minutes away, so we figured we should grab the opportunity. While we were in the back of the section, it was still a really good view of the parade.

Paint the Night Tinker Bell and Peter Pan

And this is still a spectacular parade. This was only the second time we'd seen it, so I'm still seeing and especially hearing new things. I really like the music.

Paint the Night Cinderella float

The dancers' costumes are fantastic, but they are in almost constant motion so it's very hard for me to get good photos of them.

Paint the Night Coral Dancers

As soon as the parade ended we rushed into the street to get in place for the fireworks. We were next to the Crystal Arcade, so we had a fairly clear expanse of buildings on either side of us. The immersive effect of being on Main Street is something you really have to experience with this show.

Disneyland Forever Tangled Projection

The crowd really gets into it when they hear The Lion King music begin.

Disneyland Forever Lion King Projection

The search lights overhead are interesting to watch, also.

Disneyland Forever

Oh, and there are fireworks, too. :-)

Disneyland Forever Mermaid fireworks

While roaming around the parks earlier in the day we had picked up this S'mores Mickey Crispy Treat. We tried it the next day at home. It was just ok. The graham crackers had gotten soft. If they had been crisp it might have been better - but I still don't think it would have made much difference.

S'mores Mickey Crispy Treat

We had a wonderful day at the parks - the weather was great, and the crowds weren't bad at all. Though we didn't really experience the crowds that much since we weren't trying to do attractions. We can have a good time just wandering around and taking advantage of all of the entertainment options.






July 6, 2015

Photo Update from Disneyland Resort 7/3 - U.S. Air Force Honor Guard & Peter Pan's Flight Return

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, July 3, 2015.

In this posting I will take a quick look at the recently reopened Peter Pan's Flight attraction and then the rest of the post will be of the United States Air Force Honor Guard that was performing for the 4th of July holiday weekend.

For my full set of pictures and video visit my site. Laura will have a post with food and her pictures from the day, soon.

I arrived at Disneyland prior to opening due to light traffic. The hope was to experience Peter Pan, which had reopened earlier this week, with a minimal wait. I was in the hub and only a few guests back of the rope as the park opened. Here is a video featuring the opening announcement then what happened at rope drop as a large number of guests ran and walked quickly toward Fantasyland and I was in the middle of the crowd.

The scene as I inched through the Castle and into Fantasyland.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015


A posted 70 minute wait time.. this was 8:08am

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015


The queue was moving at a normal pace and looked like we on pace for a 40 minute or so wait then something happened and they cycled through and emptied all the boats, shut down briefly, then restarted the attraction which introduced a 15 minute or so delay. As we approached the load/unload area a look at the murals and ships.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015

8:58am - Just about to board.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015


A video of my first ride through the updated Peter Pan's Flight attraction. It was just after 9am when I returned to Fantasyland and was ready to move onto my next attraction of the morning so just under an hour wait.

Overall I thought the upgrades were a nice refresh of the attraction. They were not as noteworthy or impressive to me as the Alice in Wonderland ones.

This weekend to celebrate the 4th of July Disneyland hosted several military groups. The first being the United States Air Force Honor Guard. This group performed three shows at Disney California Adventure then twice over at Disneyland Thursday through Sunday. Here they are arriving for the 11:30am performance on Friday..

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015

A video of most of the United States Air Force Honor Guard performance.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015


Several clips from their performance taken with my SLR camera

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015


I also attended the 3:15pm performance in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland. The United States Air Force Honor Guard approaching.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015


Video clips of the United States Air Force Honor Guard performing in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle

They wrapped up their day with a pre-parade march and performance before Mickey's Soundsational Parade. The group gathered with Mickey & Minnie for a picture before the march.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015

Time for the pre-parade

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015

They stopped on Main Street for an abbreviated performance.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, July 3, 2015

A video clip of the United States Air Force Honor Guard marching by.

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.







June 30, 2015

Another Look Disneyland Forever from Small World Mall

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, June 26, 2015 -- he takes a look at Disneyland Forever as viewed from the Small World Mall area.

I posted the full picture set from this trip on my site. I found a spot in the terraced viewing area of the Small World Mall where I could see Paint the Night then Disneyland Forever without having to move.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


After Paint the Night guests were cleared out of the area near "it's a small world." Those of us on the terrace side of the parade route were allowed to stay. Guests were pushed back/being held before the main courtyard.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


At 9:30 the projectors were turned on and an alignment test was run.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


Shortly after Disneyland Forever started.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


Video of the opening of Disneyland Forever


Rapunzel from Tangled

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


Winnie the Pooh

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


Video clip of the Winnie the Pooh segment


The Lion King - Circle of Life

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


In case you were wondering, there was a fireworks show going on overhead. My focus this evening was the projections so the lens I chose was not wide enough to get both the projections and fireworks. They do not really align, so it would have been fireworks bursting off to the left and projections to the right in the pictures.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


Little Mermaid segment

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


This video features Under the Sea, Finding Nemo and Frozen segments.


The finale to Disneyland Forever


A couple clips comparing the projections from Main Street and its a Small World.


After the show this mob of guests was between me and the exit.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


Eventually, I made it to the hub as a Kiss Goodnight was wrapping up. Here is a video clip of the castle as the song ended. After this continued on to the Town Square then exited the park. It took about 15 minutes from when I started walking until I reached Town Square including the stop at Sleeping Beauty Castle.

Hope you enjoyed this look at Disneyland Forever. 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.







June 29, 2015

Photo Update from Disneyland Resort 6/26 - Grand Californian & Downtown Disney

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip on Friday, June 26, 2015.

This picture set takes a look around the Grand Californian and Downtown Disney. The Grand California has a digital sign for the Word of the Day.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


The Grand Californian Word of the Day sign in action.


The lobby of the Grand Californian is hosting a Sleeping Beauty Castle Cake
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


The back side.
Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


The front of the castle cake:

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


Another DVC kiosk/stand/information area. This one at the entrance/exit to the Grand Californian from Downtown Disney.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


The Downtown Disney Monorail station word of the day sign is also digital.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


A mural created to mark the opening of Inside Out is in Downtown Disney.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


Another side of the Mural (there are three)

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


The last side.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


A Disney Performing Arts stage has been set up at the far end of Downtown Disney near the Disneyland Hotel.There is very limited seating and no shade at all.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


The schedule for the day.., times would be helpful.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


This is the Arizona Dance Studio group

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, June 26, 2015


Hope you enjoyed this quick look at the Grand Californian and Downtown Disney. 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.







June 23, 2015

Inside Out Pre-parade at Disney California Adventure

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos of the Disney/Pixar Inside Out pre-parade at Disney California Adventure. The pre-parade started on Friday to coincide with the release of the film. For more from Friday, June 19, 2015 visit the full picture set on my site. I will have a separate posting on the 2015 Disneyland Resort All-American College Band here on Allears.net.


The Pre-Parade made the times guide. Here is how it is listed.

Inside Out Pre-parade

Inside Out pre-parade as it started its first run through the park. This is stepping off at the Parade Gate in Hollywood Land.

Inside Out Pre-parade

Inside Out Pre-parade

All five emotions are on the float. Sadness in front, Joy at the controls, Anger up above, Disgust and Fear are on the back.

Inside Out Pre-parade

Sadness rides on the front of the float.

Inside Out Pre-parade

Anger on the top.

Inside Out Pre-parade

Joy at the controls

Inside Out Pre-parade

Disgust on the back of the float

Inside Out Pre-parade

Fear was clinging to a post on the other side, so I could not get a good picture

Inside Out Pre-parade

Inside Out Pre-parade

Inside Out Pre-parade

I walked through Bugs Land and out to the parade route to get some video of the pre-parade.

Video of the Inside Out Pre-parade. I kept the long lead time so you could hear the dialog track, if you want to see just the float skip ahead a couple of minutes.

To mark the release of the film, Award Wieners in Hollywood Land has some special Inside Out items.

Inside Out Pre-parade

Inside Out Pre-parade

Hope you enjoyed this look at Inside Out at 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.


June 22, 2015

2015 Disneyland Resort All-American College Band

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos of the 2015 Disneyland Resort All-American College Band from Friday, June 19, 2015.

The 2015 All-American College Band started their season yesterday. Their first performance today is at the Hollywood Backlot Stage at 3:00pm. Since it was their second day in the park they performed some of their other set music and not a Jazz set today.

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One USC member of the band this year...Emma, the sax player in the middle of the picture - FIGHT ON!

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This is out of order.. but before listening to them play thought it would be good to Introduce the Band. Here are some clips featuring the introductions.

A video clip of the All-American College Band performing Gonna Take You There from Princess and the Frog.

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The 2015 All-American College Band performing at the nightly Flag Retreat at 5:15pm

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The All-American College Band performing in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle at 6:15pm

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2015 Disneyland All-American College Band - A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

2015 Disneyland All-American College Band - Disneyland Attraction Medley

The band made their way up the street after two songs at the Castle. First stop was near the Arcade and featured the Incredibles.

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Their last stop was near Town Square and featured Under the Sea

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The 2015 All-American College Band next set was at 7:15pm in Town Square.

The band kicking off their set with Bubbles was a Cheerleader. A toddler showed up to help get things started.

The band performs the Stevie Wonder tribute this year instead of Michael Jackson

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The 2015 All-American College Band concluding their set with the Earth, Wind and Fire tribute

The 2015 All-American College Band at their first stop of their pre-parade performances. This one features the Disney Movie Medley,

Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf

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A couple clips from this performance.

The band moves down the parade route and stops just short of the Fantasyland walkway and performs Let it Go.

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The band stops at the head of Main Street in the hub and performs. Thanks to the Paint the Night crowds it is a challenge to follow the band for the pre-parade.

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Their last stop is near the Cinema.

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Hope you enjoyed the pictures & video of the All-American College Band. 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.



June 17, 2015

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, June 12, 2015.

I arrived at the Disneyland Resort this afternoon a bit later than usual thanks to traffic and work. Here's the Word of the Day board as I entered. Note only one attraction listed as closed: Peter Pan. They did not list the two theaters that were closed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

The Disney Gallery features Drawing Disneyland the Early Years. Here is a sampling of the exhibit.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

Each land is represented with drawings and a featured artist. Tomorrowland featured John Hench.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

There is a sign for land/artist

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

And a picture of them, in most cases with Walt.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

Frontierland - Sam McKim

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

For the 60th anniversary, most (maybe all) of the pressed penny machines received new designs. Here is one in the exit area of the Opera House.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

Took a quick look in the Jolly Holiday Bakery and there is a large cupcake advertising the special 60th one. This is a Diamond Celebration Cupcake - Lemon Cupcake, White Chocolate Crunchy Pearls, Strawberry Filling, White Chocolate Champagne Mousse and White Chocolate Pearls Silver Coated for $5.99 plus tax. (for the regular size not the large display one)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

They are transitioning to the All American Round-up for the summer.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

The BBQ has switched over to the All American Round-up and Barbecue already.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

A new photo spot for the Diamond Celebration featuring Big Thunder opened today on the Big Thunder trail.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

Like the others it is a forced perspective op. Here is the front view.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

The smoking area has been closed along the trail. If you want to smoke you are limited to the smoking area in Fantasyland near Matterhorn or the one along the Rivers of America, but that one closes early for Fantasmic! The park is getting closer to being smoke-free.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

Tomorrow Landing features Marvel merchandise now

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15
Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

The line for the Avenger meet and greet was posted as 30 minutes.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

The Tomorrowland Sneak Peek has closed at the Magic Eye Theatre. No indication of what is coming next. Ant-Man is going into DCA so it will not be that.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

The movie prop exhibit has closed too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

The Diamond Celebration droid.. R2-D60

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

Star Wars Father's Day shirts

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

Buzz Lightyear has FastPass again. The two machines on the far right are for Buzz, the others are for Star Tours.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

Star Wars balloons are available now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

The second new Emporium Window was unveiled recently. It features Cinderella, and there are two scenes that it rotates between. One is the balllroom and the other the garden/transformation.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

A video clip of the window in action. I really need to stop by after dark or find a time with less glare.

A look at the Peter Pan window across the walkway.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

The Bugs Theater is closed as they prepare for Ant-Man.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

Ghirardelli has a new display featuring chocolate-covered fruits and nuts. It was installed earlier this week. The chocolates are $9.95 per half-pound

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

Chocolate-covered Cherries

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

A Disneyland 60th photo spot for Screamin'. This opened several weeks ago.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

The current Disneyland Resort photo book, this one found in Off the Page.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

The display window facing the restrooms has been updated for the 60th. The old TV is gone.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

The Diamond Mad T Party entrance sign

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

The 7:30 and 9:30 sets of the Mad T Party Band feature a Disney finale.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

The floral Mickey at the entrance to Disneyland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

Mickey and Minnie out front greeting guests.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

A quick program note: The Disneyland Resort All-American College Band starts next week. Here are their sets at Disneyland. Plus a 3 p.m. one at the Hollywood Land Backlot Stage in DCA.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

Paint the Night making its way down Main Street USA

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

The Little Green Men have their own float now. I believe this was added within the last week.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

The LCD behind Belle was having problems and 3/4 of it was black.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

Show time for Disneyland Forever.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15
Winnie the Pooh
Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15
Circle of Life
Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

Under the Sea

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

Frozen

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

The scene on Main Street after the show. This wraps up my picture set for this trip.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 6/12/15

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.



June 1, 2015

Disneyland Forever: Disney in the Sky With Diamonds

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As part of the nighttime trifecta Disneyland debuted for its Diamond 60th Anniversary Celebration, the longtime favorite firework show (debuted ten years ago for the 50th Anniversary) "Remember...Dreams Come True" was replaced by "Disneyland Forever."

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The major innovation for "Disneyland Forever" is the projection technology utilized to turn a variety of surfaces throughout the park into multi-dimensional screens for images enhancing the show experience. Guests can experience the pyrotechnic spectacular differently depending on where in the park they view it--near "it's a small world," by Rivers of America, at the Hub, or on Main Street.

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While the show is bookended by references to Disneyland's orange grove origins and its "Forever Young" magic, the bulk of the show calls back to musical numbers from a variety of classical Disney films. From the rooftops of London in "Step in Time," to the African plains of "Circle of Life," to the depths of the ocean 'Under the Sea," to the fairy tale lands of Corona ("I See the Light") and Arendelle ("Let It Go,") the show travels quickly throughout the Disney Studios film catalog.

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From all the different vantage points, each view has its strong and weak points: The projections are by far sharper and best visualized on Main Street. The flying elements--Tinker Bell and Nemo--along with the specialized Matterhorn effect during the "Mount Wannahockaloogie" section are only well seen from the Hub area. While I haven't seen the show from the "it's a small world" arcade yet, I would assume that as at Rivers of America, it's a trade-off between a slightly decreased theatrical impact and a greatly increased ease of viewing.

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While to my mind, the show lacks the nostalgic elements that "Remember..." packed with its great use of park audio, the projections are impressive, and Disneyland can now join Magic Kingdom, Disneyland Paris and Tokyo Disneyland in having a big, projection-heavy nighttime show. The pyrotechnics are wonderful and the new Richard Sherman song "A Kiss Goodnight" lovely, if a bit melancholy for a show that purports to go on "Forever."

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Here's a view of the fireworks and projections on the Castle and Matterhorn from the Hub:

The whole "Disneyland Forever" show, as viewed from Main Street and Rivers of America, can also be viewed over on the AllEars.Net YouTube channel.


May 14, 2015

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, May 8, 2015.

Friday marked two weeks until the 60th Anniversary kicks off at the Disneyland Resort. This picture set features a look at the decorations that are showing up around the parks and hotels. Also this weekend was the Tinker Bell Half Marathon & the premiere of the Tomorrowland film in Downtown Disney.

Frozen Fun billboards are still up at the Mickey and Friends Tram stop. The 60th ones should be up soon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

The ticket booths have received some signage for the 60th.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

The Downtown Disney sign repainting and renovation is complete.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Because of the Tomorrowland movie premiere & after party on Saturday, Tomorrowland will be closing early for day guests.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

60th decorations are showing up on the entrance and train station (the flags and banners)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

The lamp posts have received their decorations.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Main Street is decked out in a lot of blue for the occasion.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Sleeping Beauty Castle looks more or less the same as last visit. The final items have not been installed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

The scaffolding is down around Buzz, but the work is not complete yet. It sports a new color scheme matching the character and not really Tomorrowland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

The entrance sign received a new look too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

The Monorails featured wraps/ads for the Tomorrowland film.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

A check of the Mad T Party installation progress as we pass over Hollywood Land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Unfortunately I was stuck shooting through a window so not the clearest of pictures. But you can see Grizzly Peak Airfield is nearing completion. It is scheduled to open next Friday.

Humphreys replaced the Fly n Buy shop.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Looks like all the pavement is in.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

The AMC Theater will be hosting the Tomorrowland Premiere Saturday afternoon/evening.

Props were being installed this afternoon

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

The blue carpet will be here leading to the theater.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Where the press line will be.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Next stop the Disneyland Hotel. 60th Anniversary signage as you enter the lobby.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

This weekend was the Tinker Bell Half Marathon. Laura will be covering it in depth since she ran in the races. I will skip the Expo pictures in this set.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Outside work still continues on the fall protection.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

The Paradise Pier Hotel has a sign up for the 60th anniversary

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

New 60th banners on the driveway entrance to the Paradise Pier Hotel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Some of the windows on Buena Vista Street have received diamonds. (the glare was not helpful this afternoon)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

A closer look in the window of the Atwater Ink & Paint store

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

The Carthay Circle Restaurant has started to receive diamonds too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Work continues on the facades in the Bay Area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Most of the Frozen Fun has ended. The Snow Fest has closed and the signage removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

You can still meet Olaf, but he is outside now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

More diamonds, this time the Elias & Co windows

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Interesting...noticed some marking around the hub on the ground. Looks like they will be drilling new holes for more crowd control ropes.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Peter Pan is still behind walls and the project was pushed to a July 1 opening date now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

The facade of Pinocchio is still being worked on too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

The Mark Twain now has 60th banners.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

The Haunted Mansion remained closed. It reopens Saturday with the new Hat Box Ghost... was hoping for a soft opening Friday.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

The Fantasyland side of Sleeping Beauty Castle

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Soundsational passing through the hub.

No drum for the Chip/Dale/Goofy/Pluto they were just dancing along the parade route.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

No real visible progress above Tropical Imports

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Pizza Port has a promotion going on for the Avengers with special food items and a print available. Laura will be doing a food blog, she tried some of the treats.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

A lamp post on Main Street with 60th Anniversary decorations.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15

Over at Disney California Adventure, on Buena Vista Street, the Julius Katz window features some diamonds now too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/08/15


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.



April 30, 2015

Disneyland Resort Photos - Sleeping Beauty Castle 60th Anniversary preparations (4/24/15)

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, April 24, 2015.

This posting will feature a look at Sleeping Beauty Castle as it prepares for the Disneyland 60th Anniversary Celebration that officially starts May 22, 2015. Most of the overlay is now complete. Just finishing details are yet to come, such as the logo for the 60th.

Approaching the castle from the hub.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

The East (Tomorrowland) side.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

New projector/light housing have been installed and these are larger (higher) than before.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

The Fantasyland side of Sleeping Beauty Castle

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

The West/Frontierland side

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

The two boxes on the west side have returned and are higher than the old ones (just as the one on the east side)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Too bad the sky was not blue today...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Sleeping Beauty Castle with regular lighting. Once the celebration begins there will be special lighting on/from the castle.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15


Hope you enjoyed this look at Sleeping Beauty Castle at 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.



April 29, 2015

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, April 24, 2015.

A Tomorrowland movie sneak peek poster as you enter the park.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

A Sneak Peek of the upcoming Tomorrowland film has moved into the theater.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

The trashcans right around the theater have the logo for the film on them.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

The entrance area for the theater features a look at how the World's Fair was brought to the film with concept art and other pieces.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

A look at the World's Fair Exhibit in the waiting area. It shows the original reference material and how it was interpreted for the film. The film shows the World's Fair through the lens of a persons' memory so it may not be 100% accurate because of his memory.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

While waiting for the next film the LCD screens show concept art and eventually a video.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Walked into the theater and found a seat. As usual no pictures or video allowed during the preview. The preview shows an extended sequence from the World's Fair and then some other clips/trailer sequences from the film.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

The back portion of the Starcade features an exhibit on the movie.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

The one wall features concept art from the film and videos talking about the movie.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

There are four other main display cases with props from the film in the space.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Hall of Invention showcase

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Spacesuits

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Monitor Console

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Doubling back to the large wall and a closer look at some of the artwork on it.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Tomorrowland Sneak Peek

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.



April 27, 2015

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, April 24, 2015.

It has been nearly a month since my last visit to the Disneyland Resort. I paid a visit to Hong Kong Disneyland and the Tokyo Disney Resort for two weeks. During my absence a couple projects wrapped up, some new ones began, and others moving toward the finish line. Most of the work is set to be completed for the kickoff of the 60th Anniversary and the Summer Season on May 22.

Thispicture set takes a look at some of the ongoing and recently completed projects around the resort. I have separate posts on the Tomorrowland film sneak peek as well as Sleeping Beauty Castle or you can view my full picture set on my site. Arriving on the Mickey and Friends tram, the back side of Naples is under wraps for some refurbishment.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

The Friday closures at the parks.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

The Downtown Disney sign is still under wraps.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

The porch area on Main Street is behind walls for some work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

In Tomorrowland the facade for Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters is under wraps. The attraction remains open.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

A temporary wait time sign on the wall. The attraction was just reopening when I walked by.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Innoventions is currently closed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

The entrance sign on Harbor Blvd is under wraps and being repainted.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

The Mad T Party is being reinstalled as Freeze the Night has ended its run in the Hollywood Land area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

The rest of the Frozen Fun continues for a couple more weeks.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Most of the concrete in front of Soarin' and the planters are in. A large watch tower has replaced the steel structure that used to be there.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Several trees in the area now too look great. Looks like they are ready to pour the concrete for the primary walkway.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

A couple of large steel beams backstage near Indy (which is closed for renovation).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

A new cooling tower has been installed backstage in Tomorrowland replacing the several older ones.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Out by Small World two of the towers are under wraps for some renovation work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Most of the Small World facade work is complete.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

The area where the small fire was several weeks ago is still being worked on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Heading into Toontown, the gazebo in the middle of Toontown is being worked on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

The facade of Pinocchio is being worked on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Mickey was out for pictures in the Springtime Roundup at the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

For the Bunny Hop only one rabbit showed up. Pluto and Minnie joined in mid song.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Critter Country has reopened since my last visit.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

The Hungry Bear Restaurant had cast members with menus at the entrance.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Looks like the safety railing on this bridge was redone during the renovation work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

The Briar Patch received a new roof.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Some work going on outside Mlle Antoniettes Parfumerie

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

The facade for Le Bat en Rouge is being worked on, but the store is open.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Indiana Jones is currently closed for renovation.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

The roof of Tropical Imports has been cleared. The extended queue, props, and signage are all gone. Wonder what is coming... more queue space? Level queue space? A return of the band stage?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Some filming going on in front of the Castle now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Tom Bergeron was taping a segment. I could not tell which of his shows it was for.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

No signs of 60th decorations on the Carthay yet.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Work continues on the rock work at the entrance to the Grizzly Peak Airfield area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Frozen Fun is coming to an end soon. Freeze the Night is closed and the area is walled off as they transition back to the Mad T Party.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Mad T Party props are up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

No visible progress in Cars Land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

The Bay Area is under wraps for some facade renovation.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

At the Grand Californian the one pool that was closed looks about ready to reopen.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

The Downtown Disney entrance arch near ESPN is now blue.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Wood paneled trashcans at the Disneyland Hotel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

The fall protection work at the Disneyland Hotel seems to have stalled...that looks about the same as it did on my last visit.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

A new Disney Vacation Club store front/office has opened in Downtown Disney.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Back to Disneyland. On Main Street plenty of snow machines are visible. So looks like year round snow is coming for the new offerings.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Spotted a projector on the roof for the new fireworks show.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15

Spotted some scaffolding up on the side of City Hall on the way out.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/24/15


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.



April 4, 2015

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

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Lee and I hadn't been to Disneyland in a while to just walk around and enjoy the parks. I wanted to do the Egg-stravaganza (which we missed last year) so we went on Sunday morning. I wrote a separate blog on the Egg-stravaganza, which you can read HERE.

For whatever reason, Disney has been forcing those who come from the south to park in the Toy Story lot, even if we try to go to Mickey and Friends. There are ways around it, but rather than fight it, I just drove straight to the Toy Story lot this time. It's not as busy or as big, so it's faster to get parked and walk to the bus stop, but it takes longer to ride the bus to the parks because the route is on the regular streets with traffic and stop lights and pedestrians. The Mickey and Friends tram route is on a private road. Still, all things considered, it's probably a wash as to which one allows you to get to the parks quicker. My main objection to Toy Story is that it's a regular open parking lot, so the car sits out in the sun all day. In the parking garage it's more than likely going to be in the shade.

Anyway...we arrived at the parks about 9:30 and went straight to Disneyland, since it was going to be more crowded as the day went on. It was a really lovely day in Anaheim! I know those of you on the east coast probably don't want to hear this, but we have had an unseasonably warm March in southern California - with temperatures in the 90s on multiple days. Including just a few days ago. The forecast called for it to be 84 in Anaheim on Sunday, but I don't think it got above 78 while we were there. It was really a great day to be there.

A lot of work has been done on Sleeping Beauty Castle to prepare it for the upcoming Diamond Anniversary celebration, and it looks very pretty - very sparkly when you look at it from the right angle.

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

In Fantasyland I noticed that the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique has the new Cinderella dress in the window. Very pretty. Though I didn't see any little girls wearing that dress on Sunday - still LOTS of Elsas and a few Annas.

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

We had not been to Storybook Land since scenes from "Frozen" were added to it late last year. We rode in the caboose of Casey Jr. Circus Train - I hadn't been in that car before. We were facing backward, so that gave us a slightly different perspective! We didn't have as good a view of the new scenes as we would have if we'd been on the water on the Storybook Land Canal Boats, but we still got a look at the town of Arendelle.

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

One our way into the park we'd gotten a Fastpass for Star Tours so we rode that. The line got stopped for a while when we were near the wise-cracking droid with the infrared scanner. It was really interesting since he detected that the line wasn't moving and made appropriate comments about that!

Once we boarded our Star Speeder I was all set to go to Hoth again, because we ALWAYS get Hoth, but we went pod racing this time! I think that's my favorite. The sequence that we almost never get is Kashykk. We had that one the very first time we rode it, and only once or twice since then. I know this version of Star Tours is several years old now, but it's still a great ride!

I'd read that Innoventions will be closing soon (though Disneyland still doesn't have it listed on their refurbishment calendar), so I asked a cast member there, who told me that yes, March 31 is the final day, and as of April 1 it will be closed for about 8 months. No information on what will be done, though. I'd like to see something Marvel-related go in there. In the meantime I hope they will find an alternate meet and greet location for Captain America and Thor!

The Tomorrowland Theater will be featuring a sneak peek of the new Tomorrowland movie - looks like that will open around April 10 and run through May 22 when the movie opens in theaters.

The construction walls were still up at Critter Country, but it will have re-opened by the time you read this, except for the Hungry Bear Restaurant, which doesn't open until April 3.

It's spring, and that always means baby ducks at Disneyland! We spotted a mama and her ducklings in the water along the path to Big Thunder Ranch.

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

It's time for the Springtime Roundup at Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree. Jason did a pretty comprehensive blog on this, which you can read HERE. But Lee and I still popped in to take a look for ourselves.

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

There were two baby goats in the petting corral - they were getting lots of attention, and were pretty unfazed by it.

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

Jessie was even taking a peek at the activities in the corral!

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

Back in the Jamboree area the Puyallup High School Symphony Band was performing on-stage. They were on their last number when we arrived - didn't recognize the piece, but they were pretty good. They had a good-sized audience.

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

The egg painters had still been hard at work.

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

There were several character greeting areas set up, though only Rabbit (from Winnie-the-Pooh) and the Easter Bunny were out. This is still a great area if you want to see the characters. The lines weren't long at all, and the characters spend a lot of time with guests.

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

Pluto came out a little later. Love the bunny ears. :-)

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

It would have been fun to buy one of the cookie decorating kits and decorate a cookie, but it was lunchtime and we were hungry.

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

We had lunch at Rancho del Zocalo. Several Disneyland locations have special food offerings right now. Zocalo has a Street Taco special, with chicken, beef, and carnitas tacos, along with rice and beans. I ordered that, though I gave Lee the beef taco. The carnitas and chicken tacos were good, though there was too much of the green stuff on top - I think it was jalapeno, but it was too strong for me, so I scraped most of it off.

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

Lee ordered his favorite Carne Asada and Cheese Enchilada plate. The carne asada is normally medium rare, but they sliced it and cooked it a little longer for him, and he said it was really good. He also liked my beef taco. (I had some of his cheese enchilada.)

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

While we were eating, Lee noticed one of the Disneyland cats asleep on the roof. :-) I have just recently discovered that the Cats of Disneyland have their own Facebook page. It's fairly entertaining, with posts like: "I'm working on figuring out how to climb the new mini-towers in front of the castle in a single bound" and: "I wonder if the ASIMO robot has a new gig lined up now that Innoventions is closing. He could be my butler..."

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

Though we didn't try these, here are two of the other limited time foods available at Disneyland:

Linguica and Pineapple skewer from Bengal Barbecue

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

Cookies and Cream Funnel Cake from Stage Door Cafe

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

After lunch we went over to Disney California Adventure. Frozen Fun is still going strong in Hollywood. There was still a line to go into Olaf's Snow Fest, and there was a 70-minute wait to meet Olaf! Olaf's Snow Fest ends on April 30 and Freeze the Night ends on May 15, but the "Frozen" singalong and the Anna and Elsa Meet and Greet have been extended, at least through the summer.

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

We wandered through the Off the Page shop next to the Animation Building. This ornament made me laugh. "Rat, schmat!" :-)

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

Luigi's Flying Tires is closed, but there were cast members in front of the entrance who had a bean bag toss game set up. They were encouraging guests to play. There didn't seem to be any kind of prize, though.

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

DCA was not as busy as Disneyland. The standby line for Radiator Springs Racers was less than an hour. We rode it using the single rider line, and were on in less than 5 minutes - neither of us won our race, though. Oh well. The landscaping in Ornament Valley is really well-done - and at this time a year a lot of it is blooming, like this cactus.

Springtime Fun at Disneyland


The Cove Bar was busy; even at 1:30 in the afternoon there were people waiting to get in. This area used to be pretty dead, but not any more.

But we went to the Sonoma Terrace and Lee ordered a beer. While we were sitting there it occurred to me how much I miss the Food and Wine Festival. The terrace was one of the areas they used for wine tastings and other events. I was really hoping that after all the major construction was done that Disney would bring it back...

The Al Fresco Tasting Terrace is somewhat Food and Wine'ish, but it still doesn't open until 2:00 - and there was a line of people waiting for it to open. We didn't go up there this time, though.

Before we left the park we wandered over to Smokejumpers Grill. With the construction wall still up, it's like the end of the world there! Soarin' over California is due to re-open on May 15, so the walls should be coming down sometime before that.

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

Jason wrote a blog with lots of photos on Smokejumpers Grill so I'm not going to talk about it here. The menu is pretty much the same as the old Taste Pilot's Grill menu - burgers, a salad, and a chicken sandwich. No more ribs, though. We didn't eat here, so I can't offer any opinion on the food. They have a veggie burger (in addition to the chicken sandwich), so maybe I'll try it sometime.

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

There are some pretty odd photos inside...this does not look like a comfortable sleeping position to me - I wondered if these are firemen who are just trying to catch a little sleep in any way they can.

Springtime Fun at Disneyland

We made our way back to the Toy Story lot after that and headed home. We had an excellent day even if it seems like we didn't do very much. Considering how nice the weather was and that it's Spring Break I was surprised the parks weren't more crowded, but it was great for us.



March 31, 2015

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, March 27, 2015.

The side of the Soarin' building facing Downtown Disney is being repainted.

Here you can see the second coat is being applied and what the final color will be.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

The annual Egg-stravaganza kicked off today at both parks (plus Epcot in WDW).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

The way it works is you purchase your map and then set off to find the various eggs and match the character sticker to the location you find.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

Here is the kit you get.. a map, sticker, and then a prize egg. In this example it is Tinkerbell.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

You can redeem your map at any point and pick your prize.

Under each egg is a character. The one you pick is the one you get. To keep this post spoiler free I will not include any pictures of the eggs or locations here (I do have a separate picture set on my site with them if you wanted to see).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

Dale came running by while I was walking through Town Square.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

Work continues on decorating Sleeping Beauty Castle for the 60th Anniversary.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

I think this confirms the new items will be lit at night. Notice the light bars under the jeweled roof section.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

Two turrets have what appears to be a plastic diamond on them.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

The Big Hero 6 signage is all gone as the theater prepares for the sneak peek of the Tomorrowland movie.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

A check of the Grizzly Peak Airfield from the Monorail. A large crane is in place to install trees.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

Time to check out the latest egg creations at the Springtime Roundup in the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

A closer look at a couple of the eggs. Bunny Olaf and snow babies.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

The Merlin egg we saw in progress last week.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

The Hatbox Ghost

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

An in progress egg of Sleeping Beauty

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

The Hungry Bear is just about ready to reopen along with the rest of Critter Country.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

Passing through the Candy Palace

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

DCA maps for the Egg-stravaganza are available in Elias & Co and that is also the redemption point.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

The redemption area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

At Clarabelles.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

The Spring Buena Vista Bugle is now on newsstands.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

The rock work at the entrance to Grizzly Peak Airfield is taking shape.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

The Cinderella preview has ended and the regular "It's Tough to Be a Bug" film has returned. The cast members were enticing guests to enter by saying plenty of ice cold air conditioning inside.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

The show building mural is showing some wear.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

Spotted a butterfly in the garden area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

The pool closest to Storytellers is walled off at the Grand Californian for some work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

Work continues on this store at Downtown Disney

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

Looks like they split the space. No indication of what is going in on the left side. But the right has a Disney Vacation Club sign.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

Work continues very slowly on the fall protection at the Disneyland Hotel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

Work on the Downtown Disney entrance arch is still going on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

An ice chair at Freeze the Night

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

The Spring Break shirts

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

A look at Sleeping Beauty Castle this evening

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/27/15

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.



March 30, 2015

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza, 2015

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Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

It's almost Easter - that means it's time for the annual Egg-stravaganza Easter Egg Hunt at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. (It is also being held at Epcot at Walt Disney World.) This year the event runs from Friday, March 27-Sunday, April 5, or while supplies last.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

The Easter Bunny has placed large Easter eggs, decorated like Disney characters, around the parks, and guests get to find them. Luckily the Easter Bunny has also provided a map. :-) There are different maps for Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. The maps are available are various locations in both parks, at a cost of $5.35, including tax.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

There's a sheet of stickers included, with pictures of the various character eggs. Once you find the egg, you apply the appropriate sticker onto the designated space on the map.

In each park there is a redemption location, and the maps can be redeemed there for a character Easter egg - there are six different characters available. You don't have to complete the map to get your egg - you can redeem it at any time. You get to keep the map no matter what: a cast member will stamp it on the back to show that you have received your prize. I saw a number of people purchase their maps and then immediately get their prizes.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

We started at Disneyland, figuring (correctly) that it would be the busier of the two parks as the day went on. We purchased our map at Disney Showcase on Main Street.

The maps give you approximate locations of the eggs, but not an "x marks the spot" kind of thing. For example: "Emporium (Outside)", "Emporium (Inside)", "Frontierland (Entrance)". There were quite a few other people also hunting for them, so sometimes it was easier to just watch for a small crowd of people. :-) Cast members were also happy to provide clues - we had a couple who told us one of the eggs (which was harder to spot than many of them) was at an "Eggs-it". (Groan.)

I'll have spoiler photos at the bottom of this blog - with plenty of warning in case you don't want to know where the eggs are located.

We had fun hunting the eggs - we did it while wandering the park doing other things, so we weren't just going from egg location to location all of the time. Once we'd finished we went to the redemption center, next to Disney Showcase on Main Street. There were several tables set up, each with six eggs of different sizes and colors set up. You point to the egg you want, and the cast member picks it up to reveal the egg you have won - though you receive a new packaged egg from one of the bins behind them.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

The different eggs are: Goofy, Pluto,Tinker Bell, Thumper, White Rabbit, and Mr. Toad.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

If you want a specific egg, you can just watch for a while and see what other people choose, and determine which egg to pick. It's not a shell game - the cast members don't rearrange the eggs in between guests. :-)

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

After we'd finished in Disneyland we went over to Disney California Adventure. There weren't quite as many people hunting eggs over there - in general the park was a lot less busy than Disneyland. We bought our maps in Elias & Co, which is also where the redemption center was located. This time we went ahead and redeemed the map for the prize before actually hunting the eggs.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Most of the character eggs were the same in the two parks, but there were a couple of differences: Disneyland had Mr. Toad and Tinker Bell, and instead of those two DCA had Mater and Lightning McQueen. The prize eggs were identical, though.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

It seemed to me that the hunt at DCA was a little easier, but neither of them was difficult. Though it would be a lot harder at night, since there's no lights on any of the eggs and they would be hard to see.

We really enjoyed this - it was a fun way to spend a few hours in the parks. We saw a lot of other adults on the hunt also - I think there were more adults than kids! I thought the price was reasonable, too. I ended up with the Mr. Toad egg, and Lee got Pluto.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

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Mickey at the Emporium.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Minnie in the toy section of the Emporium - this was hard to find.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Goofy near the Astro Orbitor.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Tink near Pixie Hollow.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Chip in Snow White's Grotto.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Mr. Toad at Dumbo.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Dale behind Stromboli's Wagon.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

White Rabbit at Fantasy Faire gifts.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Donald Duck, near the Frontierland entrance.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Daisy at the Adventureland Bazaar.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Thumper near the fountain in New Orleans Square.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Pluto at the "Eggs-it" of Haunted Mansion

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza
Disneyland Egg-stravaganza


Mickey above the entrance to Trolley Treats.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Minnie at Disney Jr.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Dale in the window of Tower Gifts.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Chip on the wall outside Tower of Terror.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Thumper at It's Tough to be a Bug.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Mater on the roof of the jukebox.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Lightning McQueen watching the cars at Radiator Springs Racers - I thought this one was very creatively placed.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

White Rabbit at Ghirardelli.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Daisy at Treasures in Paradise.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Pluto at Boardwalk Games.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Donald at Silly Symphony Swings.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza

Goofy at the Embarcadero.

Disneyland Egg-stravaganza


March 24, 2015

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, March 20, 2015.

Starting off on Buena Vista Street this trip. Trolley Treats has some Cinderella inspired offerings.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Grizzly River Run has returned to operation after its annual refurbishment.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Part of the Bay Area is under refurbishment.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

The entrance arch to Paradise Pier is being refurbished.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Over at Disneyland, work continues on Sleeping Beauty Castle. The turrets are in various stages of decorations. They are overlaying the blink/diamonds on top of the existing structure. Much like they do with the snow each holiday season.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Here you can see some of the shinier 60th and some areas that have yet to be covered.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Over on the east side the new tower

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

A closer look at the new tower

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

A closer look at the overlay.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15
Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

The tower on the west side

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

The rest of the Frozen snow has been removed from Fantasyland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Passing over Grizzly Peak Airfield onboard the Monorail.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Most of the scaffolding is down from Small World.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Back to Disney California Adventure. In Paradise Pier where the Maliboomer used to be they have closed the smoking area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

A sign directing smokers to Grizzly Peak.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Now that Smokejumpers Grill has opened the menu at Paradise Garden Grill menu has returned to Mediterranean specialties.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Fountains warming up for their performance this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Freeze the Night had started for the evening and due to the time change kicks off in the daylight now.

Marshmallow out for pictures.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Some Cinderella merchandise in Elias & Co

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

A few items based on the new live action film

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Back to Disneyland. The Primeval World has returned to the Disneyland Railroad.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

World of Color returned last week. The show is the regular one and will be until May when the new 60th Anniversary Celebrate! show starts.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15

A video clip of the Pocahontas segment from this viewpoint.


The back screens looked sharper. Not sure if it was my position, wind, or new equipment. My guess is a combination of all three.
Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/20/15


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.



March 8, 2015

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, March 6, 2015.

In this picture set I take a look around the resort at many of the ongoing and recently completed projects.

The posted closure list by the security tents.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

Since my last visit prices have gone up. Here are the current Disneyland Resort posted options/rates.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

First stop for me Disneyland. The Big Hero 6 poster as you enter has been removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

It was a great spring afternoon with many of the trees and flowers in bloom on Main Street (temperatures were in the upper 80s when I arrived and cooled down to the low 70s/upper 60 when I left).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

The scaffolding has been taken down and Sleeping Beauty Castle is now a lighter shade of pink and much of the gold added for the 50th has been removed or repainted to silver.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

The silver trim used to be gold

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

The light/projector housings around the Castle moat have been removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

Scaffolding still up in the grotto area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

Moving around to the Fantasyland side.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

Another wall set up in the extended queue for Buzz near Pixie Hollow.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

Work continues on the Small World facade. Some of the tarps were down. Not sure if it was wind-related or because they are done.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

A closer look

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

This is where the small fire was last week. You can sort of see some of the facade looks a little charred but hard to tell from this angle.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

In Fantasyland Olaf is MIA... did he learn what happens in Summer?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

Splash Mountain is still closed and has scaffolding over the drop this week.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15


The new roof for the Hungry Bear is being installed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

A new wood fence has been installed along the Briar Patch.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

The Fortuosity Shop clock is back on Main Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

Over to Disney California Adventure...

Work continues on Grizzly Peak Airfield. A look from Carthay Circle. Some new trees have been planted.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15


The former Taste Pilots Grill has a new wood/worn look and a new wood overhang is visible.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

Water has returned to Paradise Bay since my last trip. World of Color returns next Friday, March 12.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

As of now they have not done anything to the roof or Downtown Disney side of Soarin'. Scaffolding is still covering the park side of the building.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

A look down at the submerged World of Color platform from the Fun Wheel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

From this angle no visible progress on the Flying Tires replacement

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

Redwood Creek Challenge has reopened.

I took a very quick look around. No big changes jumped out to me. Just some new railings, paint, etc.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15


Grizzly River Run remains closed for annual refurbishment.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

Storytellers Cafe at the Grand Californian has reopened since my last trip. Looking through the windows no major changes jumped out to me.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

A look at the Grizzly Peak Airfield work. Taste Pilots is now brown and green and trees are being planted.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

More concrete has been removed. So all that is left is some right up next to the buildings. All the rest is being replaced. The restroom building is now brown and green to match Taste Pilots and blend in with the Grizzly Peak feel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

In Downtown Disney, the Winter Village and ice rink are all gone.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

They are repainting the entrance sign near ESPN.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

Work continues on the Fantasy Tower of the Disneyland Hotel

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

The Monorail slide refurbishment at the Disneyland Hotel is complete. Monorail blue is gone, it is now yellow. So we have Red and Yellow (I commented in my tweet on this that there must be a USC fan at Imagineering!)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15

To close out this picture set, Sleeping Beauty Castle after dark.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/06/15


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.



February 25, 2015

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/20/15