Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Holidays Exit (Or do they?): Trip Report

Happy Tuesday, Everyone! know... that period between Christmas and New Years....when you still have the Christmas decorations and the tree up....but it all feels kind of awkward? It starts to blend into the background a little because it's been up for three weeks already? It's done its should just bow out?

Or that period after New Years...when it's still up because you can't get the boxes out of the garage because of the rain...and you're almost annoyed with your beloved decor?

OR (yeah, there's more), that sudden VOID when it's all gone? Your house suddenly looks barren. Well, what the heck did you have in here the rest of the year? It's depressing, all of a sudden!

Welcome to the post-holiday period for the Disneyland Resort.  The crazy crowds leave. The decorations come down.  The tree gets pulled backstage for what I'm sure is a fascinating re-packaging.

I went to the parks on Monday, the first days after the official end of the Holidays. Let's see how Disneyland was doing....

I went through the new baggage check. It was a tad slow, but certainly more space. Much nicer. And I'm sure, if you left something in your bag you shouldn't, easier to take your stuff back to the car!

Funny story- my aunt's youngest, Olivia, is quite paranoid about the baggage check. Once, she found an old digital watch in her bag and immediately insisted on throwing it out, for fear it would set something off.  And worse yet, back when they were just picking people at random for the metal detector, my aunt got put through a few visits in a row. We're not sure if Olivia thinks they'll kick her out of the park or what. I'm almost afraid to ask her for fear that a suggestion will take root in her neurotic little mind.

Anyway, it looks so much nicer once you get off the tram and into the park.
I think it's been reported enough.  Sorry, I was blocked out for two weeks.

Now, being the DAY after the end of the Holiday festivities, a lot was still up.

Walt hasn't taken down his tree yet, either.

It was a gloomy day, but a nice one. OK, I admit it, I like it gloomy.  If they did a Disney park in London, I'd be overjoyed at the fog...

The Christmas tree in the Coke Corner.

This Santa isn't Rolly Crump made, is it? I shouldn't think so.

Horticulture didn't come in overnight and rip out my beloved little gaggle of Christmas trees in a hub.
Think I could sneak one out under my jacket?

The castle was still snowy. In California. Magic...!!!!  💫

The Disneyland Ducks were out in full force.  I gather this kind of weather is agreeable to them. Also, a lot of the animals have been displaced with all the construction.

AND...once the holidays are over, rehab season the swallows returning to Capistrano!
It appears the Snow White Grotto area is getting a little TLC.

Since it keeps mistakenly getting used as a meet and greet area, I'm not surprised. (As I hold up my sarcasm sign.)

Looks more like the path might be getting work than the statues themselves.  Which is kind of a shame.  The last few times I've been to the Grotto, the little fish aren't working. 

Frontierland is fairly quiet without the Rivers of America working.  Silver lining, it was lovely to walk through it early in the morning with hardly a soul there.

I know the Western concept is kind of passé, but it would be nice if they could take what hasn't been used by Star Wars land and kind of....well, I don't know, either enhance it a bit, or at least preserve it a little. Disneyland is, bit by bit, losing its charm, it's nooks and crannies. While Imagineers like Tony Baxter seem to be trying to fight it, Frontierland seems like an idea place to preserve it. Everything doesn't need to be an E-Ticket. Sometimes all you want is a nice themed area to allow your own mind or imagination to create the story. Or allow the story to unfold in front of you. Ive probably said this before but Disney Parks need combat the ADD society we're creating, not bow down to it.

The Pioneer Mercantile is currently closed (though the shops connected to it are open).  I think it's because the Adventureland restrooms are getting some MUCH needed TLC.  The last time I used them, a few stalls were closed in both restrooms (not that I went into the men's room to check!) and the stalls closed shared a common wall.

I kind of wonder if the Pioneer Mercantile's closure is related to that, since it also shares common walls with the restroom.  I suppose we'll see when it opens back up.

Tom Saywer Island is still obviously quiet.  Pirates is down for a six week rehab, and I heard that the auctioneer Pirate will be update for current Audio Animatronic technology.  I'll get on that when it reopens. 

Haunted Manion, obviously went down quickly for it's return to its...unnatural state. (See what I did there?)

Funny, I often yearn to ride the Haunted Mansion just as it gets converted for the Holidays. So I'm looking forward to thing getting back to ABnormal. (ok, I'll stop).

Abby Someone...... (if you get the reference, respond in the comments below!)
OK, now I'm really done. 

The Mark Twain is docked but open for exploring.  I did spy Dr. Facilier, leaving the meet and greet area.

I was happier to meet this little fella.

Over the crowded holiday season, I heard the pathway between Fantasyland and Frontierland opened up for crowds.  Monday, it was closed again.

But who stuck her nosy little nose (and nosy little camera) in between the cracks?

Yeah, I did.  If you see me doing that, feel free to say hi.

But look! Rocks! Buildings! Actual things!!!!

The bridge remains intact, and I could see the branches of a few trees.  Seems like the Nature's Wonderland bridge has a few remnants left, or they haven't really gotten to that spot, yet.

They've got the concept art up there for viewing.

The sad part is the construction has left this little body of water neglected for the wildlife.

Over in Fantasyland, the Heraldry Shoppe was still open.  It's set to close in the next few days, but Disney hasn't revealed what's going in its place.

The announcement didn't exactly cause the kind of stir Disneyland fans are used to stirring up.  It's a tiny shop (or shoppe) with a niche interest.  I'm very interested to see what's going in there (to do with MyMagic+, perhaps?).

But hopefully, not another Princess shop.

I stopped into the Village Haus for lunch.  I didn't cover it as a Kanine Krunchies segment because its faire is...fairly basic.  Burgers, pizzas, not much to sneeze at (and why would you sneeze at something that wasn't a tissue?), but perfectly adequate when you just want a quick bite.

However, the detail in this area is always in a weird way, a comfort to me, so it's nice to explore.  Plus, with Star Wars land construction cutting off the path to Frontierland, it's been a little quieter in this space lately.

These flowers up here are beautiful, but I couldn't tell if they were real or not! Does someone get up there and water them?!

As I was heading in, I noticed this little clock-like balcony.  I wish something actually happened up there on the hour, but that's Imagineering detail for you.

The design inside the restaurant is just as charming.  Again, that intangible quality Disneyland has in spades, but is slowly losing.

On most rainy days, the Mad Tea Party goes down.  It was interesting to actually see Cast Members attempting to clean out the cups!

While Jingle Cruise and Haunted Mansion went down for de-Jollification immediately, Small World tends to stay up another couple of weeks so that SOMETHING remains open.

I'm sure the Jingle Cruise is a fairly easy rehab, and Haunted Mansion is up so long by the time January rolls around, even I'm screaming "TAKE IT DOWN!".  Love Nightmare Before Christmas, though I do....

OK, the stroller parking just...grabs my nerves. For one thing, I'm seeing children frankly too young to be in the parks, also children too old to be in strollers being wheeled around, contributing to the absolute FLOOD of strollers.  It's most obviously a problem in areas built in the 1950s when people made their children WALK, like in Adventureland, where expansion isn't really a possibility.

Seriously, parents, if they can't or don't want to walk, don't bring them and make them earn the day at the parks, or something! You're making the park look ugly with all these darn strollers about.

And DON'T take your double wide strollers into shops! I've seen more of that lately.....

OK....rant over.

Are the colors on this wreath faded? Or is it the light? Is it me? What's going on?
I'm sure they replace all ornaments the next time the overlay goes up, right?

I was lucky to sit in the front row so, here's some MORE holiday pictures!

Alright, I have a story about these Mexican dancing kids here....They never move! As a Mexican-American, I'm offended!

OK, not really....but it's interesting that all the other dolls dancing in a similar formation seem to have more movement than this set. The Mexicans just stand there....well, just recently, I saw some footage from the World's Fair and they did used to move a little more. It was a subtle movement, but certainly looked better than giving the appearance of standing on an eternal airport moving walkway!

Disney, can you fix this?
Also, the European dancers earlier in the attraction haven't been moving all season! Fix them too.

I'll keep an eye on this when the attraction re-opens.

OK, a little bending over...too much cerveza?

Also, all the dolls on the left in the America section weren't moving either. Just blinking loudly.

I love the finale, but for the Holidays, it's somehow 100 times better. It just fills you with the joy of the season. Full to the brim!

I never remember where the Menorah is on Main Street, and I happened onto it. OK, I feel better.
Hope everyone who celebrates had a Happy Hannukah!

A couple final notes.  The House of Blues closed late last year (ok, like a month ago) to make way for Splitsville.  Personally, I was hoping a Wahlburgers was going in there....

But coming into the parks on the tram, you can see demolition is already underway.  It was a little sad to see a banister on its own where I remember well seeing one of my favorite artists. *sniffle*

One final observance, in the rock work underneath the overpass as you make your way to the park, I spied a little blue plush creature wedged into the rocks.  Now, it isn't a pedestrian pathway, and was too carefully placed to have just been thrown in there.  Anyone have any information on this little guy? 

That's it.  I have a few posts coming in fast, so keep your eyes tuned to my Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Fred also likes to take over every so often. 

Also, on the front page of the blog, I've opened up a poll, so I can get a little more information about how people are using the blog.  I'd like to be of some use or entertainment to you, so just let me know, and PLEASE feel free to add suggestions in the comments.  I haven't done any film reviews in a while, if you find those helpful, or not, let me know.

Have a great week! 

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