• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

Disneyland Report

TROR

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#1
Back from the Disneyland Resort and it's time for my many opinions on the current state of the parks, technology, the new additions and changes, other guests, and cast members.

I'll start off by saying I got to the parks at around 9AM and just walked onto Pirates, Mansion, and Indiana Jones Adventure. First off, my take on the new Pirates auction: It's bad. The animatronics for the redhead is fantastic, of course, and the auctioneer is still a beautifully sculpted and well fashioned figure, but the dialogue and voice acting are just both so bad. The grotto change is nice and the return of the audio is wonderful. I didn't realize on video but the man in the booby trap blinks his eyes. I was thinking it was just a static figure and nothing more so it was good to see such an obvious and easy piece of motion in it that doesn't ruin the effect. The removal of the Davy Jones fog is also a very welcomed change as it makes it way easier to ignore the movie tie ins throughout the ride. I still call for the return of the original pirate captain with Paul Frees's voice work, but Geoffery Rush has a good voice which makes Barbossa probably the least offensive change from 2006.

Mansion and Indy were both of course fine. I completely forgot they brought back the Hatbox Ghost despite having been numerous times since they brought it back. The wall effect on Indiana Jones wasn't working unfortunately but that's always hit or miss. After I had gotten off Mansion, though, I sat down to buy Maxpass but was unable to as it kept telling me my information was invalid or incomplete, of which it was neither. My review on Maxpass is it sucks. It actually ended up being a good thing, however, as after Indiana Jones I headed off to DCA to get Fastpasses for Radiator Springs Racers. The return time wasn't until 6:15-7:15 so had I gotten Maxpass I wouldn't have been able to get another Fastpass until then. In fact RSR was the only Fastpass I used the entire day and I'm not sure I'll ever use one again after my experience yesterday, but more on that later. I did get 18 attractions done throughout the day (On my last trip I had done 16) so I'm not even sure I needed it.

I hadn't been in DCA since 2013 so it was nice to see Buena Vista Street, Cars Land, and Grizzly Peak all again. They really have done a fantastic job with Buena Vista Street that it only makes me angrier what they're doing to the park now. I'll get into Grizzly Peak more later on, but of course Cars Land is also a beautifully made land. The rock work for Cadillac Range is just so well done.

While in DCA I visited the "new" Pixar Pier. It's not good. Very meh. I don't care for the new color scheme and it just all feels very incomplete and not fully thought out. I will say I do like the Pixar Promenade. I did ride Incredicoaster using Single Rider. Again, my opinion is it's very meh. It's still a ton of fun but it feels like a temporary overlay. I don't see anyway California Screamin' isn't just brought back in a couple years. That's all I did at DCA until I came back for Radiator Springs Racers. I should note for any of you wanting to know, no I did not ride Mission Breakout. I simply did not have the time nor enough interest. I did walk by it, however, and it really just looks like Tower of Terror with a bunch of junk glued on top. Everything about it just screams low effort, particularly the Fastpass distribution which has still not been rethemed. Pathetic.

Back in Disneyland I hit up Big Thunder Mountain, Jungle Cruise, Mark Twain, and Space Mountain. Up until this point, everything had been basically a walk on or an incredibly short wait. The longest I had to wait for a single attraction was 25 minutes for Indiana Jones Adventure. Big Thunder had a posted time of 45 but it ended up only being 15 minutes. This all changed with Splash Mountain. Its posted wait time was 60 minutes. It was only about 3PM and I had done so much I didn't mind waiting an hour. It was hot so I understand that it would be popular. It did not end up being 60 minutes, however. It ended up being twice that. The reason? Fastpass. For every person they sent through in the stand-by line, they sent about five from Fastpass. It's ridiculous. The Fastpass should not take such a huge priority over the stand by. There's no excuse. They have a Fastpass, they're already bypassing the majority of the queue. It should be 1FP for every 2SB. If not for this flawed Fastpass system, I could've ridden the new Soarin' or a handful of other rides. Had I realized just how terrible the wait was going to be I would've just used Single Rider. I really felt bad for the person in front of me, though, who actually was by herself. I assumed she was part of a group and I didn't know she wasn't until they were asking for how many in our parties. Really just made me sad she waited 2 hours when she could've been on in 15 minutes. The people I do not feel sorry for were the Chinese family behind me who had no sense of personal space and kept bumping up against me. I don't know why they chose to come to California over Shanghai or Hong Kong, but it's probably because they know Shanghai Disneyland isn't really Disneyland. Splash Mountain, of course, was great save for the vultures weren't illuminated. The Fastpass system really needs to end, though.

After getting wet on Splash Mountain I thought it'd be a good idea to ride Grizzly River Run, an attraction I've never had done before. With still about an hour to kill before my Fastpass I headed back to DCA. Using the Single Rider for this I was able to bypass the 90 minute wait and just get right on and let me just say this attraction is wonderful. It's so beautiful and lush. The landscaping is incredible. This is not to mention the attraction is also just a ton of fun. If they decided to add grizzly bears, deer, wolves, and other wildlife animatronics to this ride, I will say it would be the best attraction in all of DCA, surpassing even Radiator Springs Racers. I did get soaked but not as bad as what I remember from the rapids ride at Six Flags. If I ever find myself at DCA again, however unlikely, Grizzly River Run and Radiator Springs Racers are probably the only two attractions I would make a strong effort to ride. Grizzly Peak really is just such a wonderful, quaint area. The pathway that runs underneath Grizzly River Run is easily the best part of DCA. At least, it would be if they removed the smoking section. The new Grizzly Airstrip is such an improvement over Condor Flats, particularly Smokejumper's Grill. Although I didn't end up eating there the atmosphere is just so improved.

Speaking of Radiator Springs Racers, I did go on it after Grizzly. I've been on it before but last time I got Luigi's and lost while this time I got Ramone's and won. Since I was still at DCA and figured it'd be a while before I ever return I wanted to hit up The Little Mermaid and get my own take. It's honestly a really nice ride. I get the complaints, it's definitely not a traditional Fantasyland dark ride but it's a great attraction for DCA. The audio animatronics on it are really great, too. No surprise there.

I left DCA and didn't end up spending the rest of my time in Disneyland. I would've liked to have ridden Soarin' but the wait time for that ride was never low enough. It was time for dinner so I hopped aboard the Disneyland Railroad, did the grand circle tour, and then got off in New Orleans Square. Using the Disneyland App I ordered the Hungry Bear Restaurant (I had eaten at the Golden Horseshoe earlier in the day, by the way, and while I love the atmosphere in the place the menu is just not what it once was) and got a chicken sandwich with onion rings. Fantastic. Probably the best food I've ever had at Disneyland. I had eaten there before and gotten onion rings but they were so good this time and the chicken was so crispy and juicy. If I had one complaint it's that they don't toast the bun.

After eating I pretty much lost all my focus and ended up wasting a bunch of time doing nothing. I did ride Space Mountain as well as go on Autopia before the fireworks but it felt very sloppy the way I handled it. Foolish of me I decided I wanted to watch the fireworks but not sit around for them so I simply decided not to ride anything during them. This was my biggest mistake. The wait times during the fireworks were about 15-35 for most everything. After the fireworks, Indiana Jones jumped from 25 minutes to 65 minutes almost instantly. Star Tours, the one ride I still hadn't gone on, jumped from 35 to 80. After the fireworks I attempted to make my way to Indiana Jones Adventure to get Single Rider but they turned me away. Big Thunder had gotten up to 45 minutes after the fireworks so that was out of the question. When leaving Adventureland I had gotten lost in the shuffle of people leaving the fireworks trying to get to Fantasmic. I ended up just riding Pirates again and got out just before the pirate section of Fantasmic. I decided to stick around and watch the show just to see the dragon. Huge mistake. The dragon was broken so it was just a projection on the mist screen and the rivers didn't even burst into flames. Seriously, just cancel Fantasmic already. It's not good!

I checked the Disneyland App and noticed Star Tours dropped down to 50 and when I got there it had gone down to 30 so I just got in line. It was already 11PM at this point. Again, the line's wait time had been inflated due to Fastpass users. It must stop. Still having not seen Lincoln, I realized I may miss it if the line didn't pick up. Fortunately I was able to get through and leave by 11:40PM just in time to see the final showing of Lincoln at midnight. Star Tours, though, it sucks. It's gotta go, too. I hope those rumors about its ride system moving to DCA are true. It's such a bland ride compared to what it once was. With the exception of the astromech droids, C-3PO, and R2-D2 in the queue, there's nothing good in that ride. I got Tatooine (I've gotten this all but once in my life time) and Coruscant (a new planet) so it was half beneficial, I suppose. I was hoping for the sequel trilogy set but I didn't get it. One thing to note was the man sitting next to me on Star Tours didn't properly stow his luggage and it ended up rolling to the front of the cabin during the ride. Overall I'd say the simulator I was on on the Midway in San Diego was better (not really tbh).

From there I headed to Lincoln to catch the last showing (this happened to me last time as well). Great show. Love it. Only thing left in Disneyland with any dignity. If I had one complain I'd like to see the original preshow return. I prefer learning about Illinois and Lincoln history over Disneyland history. Sorry Walt. Afterwards I got a churro and left for the trams.

Just a few other things to discuss, primarily relating to guests. I did encounter some nice folk, particularly a couple that cheer for the same baseball team as myself. That was nice. For the most part guests weren't too bad, but I won't pretend there weren't some disgusting people there. When entering the park the man in front of me was wearing a shirt advertising a nudist hot tub place. There was also a woman with a blouse that showed off her bra, a man covered from head to toe in tattoos and giant gages on his nose, a Cubs fan, some manchildren APs wearing Pixar everything, a hoard of 50 or so people all part of some tour group, and also the aforementioned Chinese family behind me on Splash Mountain. There were some other weirdos but nothing quite as notable. This really has to be dealt with in Disneyland, though. There needs to be a strict dress code and they can't be afraid to turn people away. No one should have their underwear exposed in a family theme park. It's disgusting. Get some class. The amount of trashy tattoos was disheartening, as well. Cover them up!

Last note, mostly in response to the ongoing discussion regarding Cast Members. Myself I did not have any trouble with the CM's and I found them all to be rather kind and helpful. Only one I'll point out was an old Asian man who took my ticket upon entry didn't say a word. Not exactly ruining my day. For all I know he was mute. I did, however, see a couple of CM's mistreat guests. In the CM's defense, these two cases both involved guests not obeying. The first instance was on Space Mountain in the Single Rider line, one of the people in front of me must've misheard the cast member about boarding and her respond was along the lines of "what do you think you're doing?" It was just unnecessary. The other came also in Tomorrowland. When I got off Autopia, Mike and Sully were walking with their cast member aids and some kid, high school age I think, tapped Mike and one of the CM's replied something like "Can you please not push them? Thanks," and then proceeded to get in the guy's face and started chewing him out. Again, just seemed like a huge overreaction. Just say "Please do not touch the characters," and it'd be fine. These both happened late in the day so I figure the cast members were tired but still just not the service I'd like to see from Disneyland employees. Lot of great cast members, though, that were incredibly friendly and fun.

That's my trip report. It was a great trip that just sort of fell apart after waiting 2 hours for Splash Mountain. I have three more tickets (one park one day) that are good until next August so next time I go Galaxy's Edge will be open and I'm not sure how I'm going to handle that. Anyway, thanks for reading.
 

Kram Sacul

Well-Known Member
#3
It’s so dense. There’s so much going on.

I still can’t believe you didn’t go on a Mission: Dimpster Dive. The façade might look like a rejected art project but the actual ride is a lot of fun. I said a lot of fun. :: check:: Thank you.
 

Stevek

Well-Known Member
#5
It’s so dense. There’s so much going on.

I still can’t believe you didn’t go on a Mission: Dimpster Dive. The façade might look like a rejected art project but the actual ride is a lot of fun. I said a lot of fun. :: check:: Thank you.
It’s great fun. I was more than happily surprised.
 

TROR

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#6
Are you under the assumption that if, in the morning, you get a fastpass that is valid at 6pm you can not get another fastpass until 6pm? That is a common misconception.
That’s what I was thinking too. Racers have a late in the day does not mean he has to wait until that late to get another one.
My hatred of the Fastpass grows.
 

dweezil78

Well-Known Member
#7
My hatred of the Fastpass grows.
There's a max of, I think (don't quote me on it), 90 minutes you could have to wait for a new FP. MaxPass would have been especially helpful as you would have A) been able to get an earlier window and B) eliminate the time walking over to DCA to get the FP from the aforementioned 90 min window.

No reason to hate it, you simply just don't fully understand it or how to use it to its full potential. Too many people conveniently forget how awful it was only being able to wait in standby lines. Those people also aren't taking into consideration how much busier the parks are now than they were pre-FP. Has it created some issues and bloated some lines? Yeah, sure. But I still would never go back to the old way... which I don't think even existed during your lifetime, eh?
 

BasiltheBatLord

Well-Known Member
#8
MaxPass is actually really nice if you get it, although it is of course annoying having to pay for it. It can drastically speed up your APH (attractions per hour, definitely just made that up). I'll admit I have never really understood the complaints against FastPass (it has always been easy to use and convenient for me), but the people who raise such complaints are people with much greater understandings of park logistics than me, so I blindly trust them.

By "wall effect" on Indy, do you mean the rotating doors? IIRC, that effect is permanently off now and the new projection effects are used in place of it.

Grizzly is a good ride but definitely agree that it would benefit so much from AA's. Something to look forward to seeing when riding it. I read some armchair imagineering somewhere recently (maybe here?) about theming the ride to Country Bears and putting some figures around the place which sounded like a neat idea.

One thing that you realize after going to the foreign parks a lot, or just traveling in general, is that Americans are total slobs. I think a strict dress code for guests is kinda pushing it (land of the free baby) but I agree the degree to which many people in the U.S. ignore common decency in their fashion sense is atrocious.
 

Phrubruh

Well-Known Member
#9
It's true. Chinese tourists have no clue what personal space is or even to wait their turn. When you leave in a place with a billion people, you have to push your way though the masses to get what you want. I noticed on my trip to Yellowstone that it is good idea to get things done early before the Chinese tour groups come. They will push you out of the way with a "Sorry. Sorry." over and over again. After a while you just got to stand your ground and tell them to back off. It's even worst at Universal Studios where they clump together especially at the Walking Dead attraction. They constantly scream and move in this slow mass that it's impossible to get around them. Halloween Horror Nights are great because you will never see these tour groups there.
 

TROR

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#10
There's a max of, I think (don't quote me on it), 90 minutes you could have to wait for a new FP. MaxPass would have been especially helpful as you would have A) been able to get an earlier window and B) eliminate the time walking over to DCA to get the FP from the aforementioned 90 min window.
Like I said, I tried to get MaxPass and it didn't work. If it's not going to even let me purchase it how can I give it anything but a negative review?

No reason to hate it, you simply just don't fully understand it or how to use it to its full potential. Too many people conveniently forget how awful it was only being able to wait in standby lines. Those people also aren't taking into consideration how much busier the parks are now than they were pre-FP. Has it created some issues and bloated some lines? Yeah, sure. But I still would never go back to the old way... which I don't think even existed during your lifetime, eh?
It caused a one hour line to be twice that. I only used Fastpass once (RSR) and was able to get 18 attractions done and could've done more if I was better organized at night. Fastpass is a useless tool that ruins the guest experience.
 

Phrubruh

Well-Known Member
#11
I'd blame the cast members that let in too many fast passes and few stand by in at a time. During Magic Mountain's Fright Feast, I noticed employees would let anyone with fright passes in to the maze instantly while holding up the stand by line for a half hour. There could be no one in the fright pass line and stand by would still have to wait. It was a very uneven distribution.

Disney's cast members seem to be getting worst on the mix of fast pass vs stand by. They seem to forget the stand by line exists and how long it has been since they let a group in. Disney needs to take the cast member traffic light out of fast pass and make a mechanical entry that guarantees a good mix of fast pass and stand by. Just because you have a fast pass doesn't mean you don't have to wait too.
 

TROR

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#12
Forgot to mention this, but when I went the two lowest tiers of AP's were blocked out. As a result, the walkways of the park were far less crowded. Only during the fireworks did I run into any crowds and they dispersed rather quickly. Adventureland and Tomorrowland, the two most bottlenecked areas of the park, were never shoulder to shoulder with people. End the Annual Pass system to get rid of the crowds.
 

Disneysea05

Well-Known Member
#13
Do not blame the cast members, they certainly aren’t enjoying it either. They are given a very specific ratio of fastpass/standby that they must follow which is dependent on the length of the fastpass queue.

It sucks but it is not their doing.
 
Last edited:

Phrubruh

Well-Known Member
#14
Do not blame the cast members, they certainly aren’t enjoying it either. They are given a very specific ratio of fastpass/standby that they must follow which is dependent on the length of the fastpass queue.

It sucks but it is not their doing.
The problem is when you watch them from the standby line, that specific ratio is rather random. It varies because the cast member is not paying attention.
 

SSG

Well-Known Member
#16
On my recent trip I tried out Max Pass for one day just to check it out. I confess that I really enjoyed the convenience of it. We were eating lunch in DCA and I booked Indy FPs for later that day. And the confirmation on my phone told me exactly when I could book another FP (I think it was 2 hours after booking; no more than that anyway). While I liked it, the $10 a day price is off-putting, at least for non-APs. For our 5-day passes, that would be another $100 for our tickets. Start adding kids on your trip and it really can add up. But if I had an AP and went several times a year, I'd spend the $75 to get it.
 
#17
On my recent trip I tried out Max Pass for one day just to check it out. I confess that I really enjoyed the convenience of it. We were eating lunch in DCA and I booked Indy FPs for later that day. And the confirmation on my phone told me exactly when I could book another FP (I think it was 2 hours after booking; no more than that anyway). While I liked it, the $10 a day price is off-putting, at least for non-APs. For our 5-day passes, that would be another $100 for our tickets. Start adding kids on your trip and it really can add up. But if I had an AP and went several times a year, I'd spend the $75 to get it.
I just look at it as MaxPass is Disney's version of the Front of the Line/Gold Pass that other parks around the would have. Which most cost $10-30 above the cost of the regular pass.

No one would even be blinking an eye if paper FP wasn't introduced. And I have a feeling very soon paper FP will go away.
 

TROR

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#18
I just look at it as MaxPass is Disney's version of the Front of the Line/Gold Pass that other parks around the would have. Which most cost $10-30 above the cost of the regular pass.

No one would even be blinking an eye if paper FP wasn't introduced. And I have a feeling very soon paper FP will go away.
Can we also triple the price of Maxpass while we're at it? The less people using Fastpasses the better!
 
#19
Can we also triple the price of Maxpass while we're at it? The less people using Fastpasses the better!
You have to make sure it’s in line with what the rest of the front of line passes cost. So if it’s $30 max for other equivalent passes across the world than that is all the market can bear.

However just by eliminating paper FPs and keeping MaxPass as it is will have less people using FP.

But I just want to say I don’t think eliminating FP will have the effect all opponents of FP think it will have. Crowding will not be eliminated, it just won’t. The issue is ride capacity not FP, they need to bring online attactions with large ride capacity again. Which hasn’t been done in decades. That is what will solve crowding, not eliminating FP. That’s just my opinion.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
#20
The issue is ride capacity not FP, they need to bring online attactions with large ride capacity again. Which hasn’t been done in decades. That is what will solve crowding, not eliminating FP. That’s just my opinion.
Hopefully they can start this with the Marvel attractions. Like I’ve said many times, I’m totally cool with another boat ride or old school themed coaster with some modern bells and whistles.
 
Top Bottom