Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Holiday Success and Disneyland Fails: A Trip Report

Afternoon, Everyone!

So, my family decided to go to Disneyland yesterday to experience our Holiday happiness in the parks on what TouringPlans.com listed as a 3 out of 10 day, crowd-wise.

And here's where our story starts. (There will be a LOT of pictures to compensate for the complaints.)

We arrived not long after the 10 AM opening time and it took AN HOUR to park...and an additional half hour to get into the park. Now, it took me a while to get into the parks when I was there two weeks ago, but I didn't pay it that much mind...WHAT is going on? Are they not letting people into the parking structure until later? I seriously cannot explain this, and if someone with more expertise could, I'd be grateful.  AN HOUR to get in? Or is TouringPlans off its game?

For those who don't know, TouringPlans.com is a website with crowd calendars and wait times (this is a gross reduction of their work, by the way).  I've always found it helpful and informative, so I hope this was an anomaly of a day. The site often graphs what the projected versus what the reality was, so when I see that, I will create a blog post with a link to it so we could see what happened.

And here is some Star Wars land construction to appease you...

Once in the park, we spent more time experiencing the Festival of Holidays. Again, it will get a post of its own this week, but MAN the food was still good! I tried a few different things, and my family helped cover more ground (Don't try a food festival on your own! You won't make it!).

Also, we (finally) got to experience the lovely street party.  Now, see where we sat? DON'T sit there! It was just too far from the action, but you DO get surprised by a few of the party figures coming in from that end, though I couldn't figure out from where!

We took a little peek into the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, but the long wait to meet Santa took up most of the area (Seriously, children, go to the mall and leave Disney Santa for the grown ups!)

Now, throughout the area, many of the trees had these decorated Mason jars with lights inside. And when i say throughout, I mean it.  This picture was taken while we were watching people board the Grizzle River Run, and as we walked closer to Soarin' we kept seeing them.  But in the daylight, they're just not as visible.  I would LOVE to come back in the evening to see how it looks.

What size sweater do you think this is?

Soarin' has a great little tree apparently put together by the pilots of the area.  The attention to detail, again, is just astonishing.

Admittedly, Fiddler, Fifer, & Practical was a little low on decorations, but it was also hard to find a lot of spots to PUT decorations, so I'll give them a pass.

Clarabelle's has great theming on a regular day...

 In Hollywoodland, in a window connected to Off the Page, this little display caught our attention.

As requested, this picture is for you, Mom.

Elias & Company's tree...

Back at the Jingle Cruise...

OK, now we're going to have a little chat about Haunted Mansion Holidays.....

Part one, this pumpkin is cute, but please look at the children STANDING on the brick behind it.  Parents...WHY?!?! This is not safe! And I can't tell you how many times the poor Cast Member had to politely holler at the parents to get them to come down.  Really?

So, we got in line with a 25 minute listed wait.  As we were heading into the actual Haunted Mansion property (out of the extended queue), it had gone up to 35 minutes.  We were in line a minimum of an hour.  Had the wait time been more accurate, we would have skipped it in favor of getting good seats for the A Christmas Fantasy Parade.

And THEN, as we are walking into the foyer, the Cast Member shouts "AND PLEASE FEEL FREE TO PUSH AND SHOVE!"


You're serious?

Why would a Cast Member encourage that kind of behavior? Even as a joke? We didn't get to get her name, but this Cast Member should not be giving out that kind of instruction.

Third, once through the stretching room, we were stuck for a good 10 minutes in the hallway due to technical difficulties.  I imagine they were having these issues all day because after we eventually saw the parade sitting at the Jolly Holiday, the wait times board listed it as closed due to technical difficulties.

Disneyland Operations is obviously having a MAJOR problem of late.  Once I got home, I saw Big Thunder Mountain also had a lot of problems. What is going on, Disney? Is it bad enough Tower of Terror is in scaffolding, part of Frontierland is closed and the parking lot is half in pieces, you can't take care of what IS up and running?

And now....prettiness....

Again, inaccurate wait time....are we really supposed to get Fastpass+ the way things are lately?

The hippo has been redone.  She no longer has two eyelids that blink on their own.  Am I the only person that constantly took pictures where the poor dear looked drunk?

So, there we have it.  If anyone has experiences to add to what we encountered yesterday, please let us know in the comments.  I should be getting another post up and out quickly.

Have a good week! 

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