A couple of weekends ago we made our first trip to Disneyland since 2014. We were very excited (obviously) to visit our old stomping grounds (we were AP's from 1998-2012) and of course to try out the new attractions.
We also decided to use the all new MaxPass to get the most out of our day. Read on to see how it went. We have lots of pics and videos to share.
Written by Gregg Condon
First let's take a look at Star Wars Land ...
Soon we'll only see the backs of buildings
We first headed into Disneyland. We wanted to spend our morning in Fantasyland and it's always fun to do a whole bunch of rides in a row when the park is slow in the morning.
We also set up our MaxPass and while we were walking to Fantasyland and got to get FastPasses for Space Mountain.
Hey Walt, long time no see ...
We skipped Peter Pan because, well, that line is just crazy and headed first to my favorite Fantasyland ride ... Mr Toad.
Video of this classic!!
Snow White's Scary Abrupt Ending Adventure's
Snow White has her Adventure ... Pinnochio has a Journey
Some fun on Ghost Galaxy ... one of the cool things about MaxPass is the free photos
While in line for Space Mtn we got some fastpasses for Star Tours, and then for Buzz ... Maxpass was working great so far.
After getting FastPasses for Haunted Mansion Holiday, it was time for a happy cruise
Headed to New Orleans Square, we had to check out the new stuff
Star Wars Land ... we'll see it in 2029 or something. Honestly, even though we are Southern California Locals I'm placing bets that we visit Star Wars Land in FL before we visit it here.
Love the changes to the RR
While waiting for our HMH fastpasses, we took a Pooh
And grabbed some Splash Mtn fastpasses ... we got soaked.
While I personally think they should keep the regular Mansion open through Halloween (haven't done the normal mansion since 2011 because all our visits have come during Holidays) I can't deny how fun this is.
LOVE the updates to the Railroad
While on the Railroad the parks got crazy busy ... seriously, between 11 and 1145 fastpasses for Soarin' went from 1:00pm to 9:00pm, Guardians fastpasses sold out (due to Monsters after dark) and the parks just seemed a lot busier.
The longest line of the day ... we didn't wait for it.
This is the AP problem in a nutshell ...
The Halloween decorations in CarsLand are AMAZING!!
I have to admit, this ride is growing on me
Love these posters ... wish they sold them
As close as we'd get to riding this ... sigh.
So, unknown to us, they cut off FastPasses for Guardians because Monsters After Dark was set to begin at 5:00. They closed Guardians at 4. Yes, their brand new ride, closed for an hour.
We tried to get Fastpasses for Monsters after dark at 3:00 when those were available ... which broke the MaxPass/FastPass system because so was everybody else.
I'm not sure if they've fixed this since (apparently everything was fine last Saturday), but the system was down for hours, which kind of messed us up fore the rest of the day.
What they SHOULD have done was made FastPasses available for both all day. And people could pick one or the other. For us, as infrequent visitors we would have picked Guardians in a second. While I have to believe most AP's would have picked Monsters After Dark. By trying to "reset" FastPasses at 3:00 for this one ride, it messed up EVERYBODY. Both MaxPass and FastPass users.
We did totally love the decorations at DCA
Hi Heady!! (No, Headley)
So we left DCA without being able to ride Guardians or Soarin' Over The World. We had planned on just doing Single Rider on Soarin', but they don't offer it anymore for some reason.
We'll catch them in 3 more years I guess.
Because it was snack time we figured we'd enjoy a dole whip in the quiet courtyard of the Tiki Room ... boy, we missed the news of the huge queue in there now. No more quiet courtyard. :(
Pure Disney Magic
Luckily the FP system came up so we got to get some FP's for Indy and Big Thunder ...
Side Note: We had totally forgotten they had made the updates to Indy ... loved them!!
We always love the Halloween Tree
LOVE they still do the swing dancing on Saturday Night!!
Jungle Cruise at night is the best!!
After Jungle Cruise and Pirates we exited just in time to catch the fireworks. We didn't know they did projections on the river now, they are awesome and we enjoyed it more than in front of the castle (less stress too).
We enjoyed a perfect unexpected family moment thus there are no pictures. Sorry. =)
So how did the MaxPass work for us? Watch the video below to find out.
We had a truly memorable day at Disneyland. We all agreed that we miss visiting Disneyland more often ... we don't miss the oppressive crowds however.
Because we are planning on making a few trips to FL over the next 18 months we may spring for the Premiere Pass next year to squeeze in a few DL visits, but we'll see.
Hope you all enjoyed our trip report and all of the videos!!
Last weekend Renée and Andrew made their way out to Disneyland for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend, and of course some Disneyland fun on one of the hottest weekends of the year.
Here is our first of two (yes, count em' two) Disneyland updates we'll have this month. The next one in a few weeks.
Written by Renée Girard and Andrew Cunningham
We're at Disneyland this weekend to run. Or walk. Or crawl, depending on how we feel in this excessive heat.
"Shade? No bag line?..."
Halloween signage starting to appear at DCA. Can't wait to see their new additions this year!
If you're out enjoying the SoCal parks this weekend- make sure you stay hydrated!
I'm sorry, the old DCA can't come to the phone right now.
CAUSE IT'S DEAD.
Hydrating or carb loading?
Walt's message on a breadstick packet. Dreams come true.
Rise and shine! It's time for the RunDisney Disneyland10k!
Loving the Pixar theme this year. The 10k is Monster's U
Current line for the Disneyland metal detectors...
Jk! People as far as the eye can see at the #rundisney #Disneyland10k starting line
We're already sweating 😖
Not a terrible view to be dying to
Starting to get some daylight around #NotMyTower 😜
Backstage areas decorated to look like a college campus!
Sun coming up around Disneyland
Really enjoyed our ride on Pirates at Disneyland with the woman in front of us filming the whole thing on a tablet. Vertically.
Delicious dinner at Blue Bayou tonight with the Fantasmic dining package. Worth waiting extra time to get seated next to the water.
Blue Bayou package seating for Fantasmic gives an amazing view of the show. And wow, we were impressed with the new updates!
The addition of Pirates was one of the many highlights. Can the WDW version please finally ditch Pocahontas for something like this??
Another early morning with several thousand sweaty friends. Stay safe and hydrated!!
The finish line will be a welcome sight in a few hours.
Jeff Galloway is in my corral!
Time to start! And sweat!
Here's a rare sight, no line at Cove Bar!
Still a warm morning run on Main Street, but grateful for the early start and clouds.
The horses of Disneyland were out in the backstage areas.
Running through Angel Stadium is always a highlight of the DisneylandHalfMarathon
It was a hot one out there today. Hope everyone stayed safe and hydrated!
Pizza Planet delivery truck at the finish area.
Well, I finished. Not my fastest or best, but the course was enjoyable and it's become my favorite Labor Day weekend tradition. -Renée
After running, we feast!
Decorative Mickey leaves seems to be the new water art at Disneyland.
Epcot and Pirates 50th merchandise from D23 being sold at store on Main Street in Disneyland.
Halloween theming is starting to show up in Cars Land at DCA.
A closer look at the Pirates 50th shirts at Disneyland.
Star Tours 30th anniversary merchandise from D23 is available in Tomorrowland at Disneyland.
Just noticed that Tower of Terror is still on the Disneyland drink cups.
So as of 12:15pm, California Screamin has a 90 min standby wait. FP return time is 12:35. I don't understand.
Wait time for California Screamin dropped to 45 minutes now but I'm about to board and can already get another FP.
Cove Bar, is it worth the hype? I've never been but every time I visit DCA, there's a huge line.
The new FP system at Disneyland seems really inefficient. Radiator Springs Racers return FP line wrapped all the way around the building!
Had a wonderful visit Disneyland resort this weekend for the runDisney marathon! Might just be making a trip for Halloween soon!
Today, not even a full 24 hours after the Rivers of America at Disneyland closed for approximately 18 months, Disney released the first concept art for the redesigned backside of the Rivers of America.
While we wish they had released this a few weeks ago to contain some of the online fervor going on it's definitely nice to see some of what they have planned for this area of the park.
While we were always confident they would do great things and it wouldn't just be a "wall" on the backside of the park we even have to admit we're pretty blown away by what they came up with.
(click on any of the pictures below for a larger version)
Now, to be fair, this is only "concept art" and the final product probably won't look exactly like this (as pointed out by FB fan Alan, the water is far too blue for the river) we are nevertheless going to look a bit closer and see what appears to be changing and what is staying.
Goes without saying that all of the artwork is Disney property.
As we look to the bottom left of this picture we do see a canoe off the shore and what looks like a Tom Sawyer raft. This could indicate that the rafts to Tom Sawyer Island will be moving or again, just part of the concept art.
Towards the middle left of the picture we see the train tracks and assume that this is right after the train has gone by the Hungry Bear.
Fans of the Disneyland Railroad will also notice that there aren't enough cars on the train, but again, concept art.
The trestles and waterfalls are a brilliant touch. We'll get into that a bit more as we move down the road a bit.
As we move down the middle of the picture we see a much larger DLRR trestle with some rock-work and waterfalls behind it, presumably to block the RoA from what's behind (namely Star Wars). Think of this as the new berm in this area of the park.
Down at the bottom we see the Keel Boat still a part of the river, although moved from it's current location (see below).
Also at the bottom we see what looks like Fort Wilderness which we predicted would be leaving the Island, but if not let's hope they do some work and reopen it on the Island. Let's also hope that Tom Sawyer's Island comes back without Pirate stuff (but with a new Pirate movie coming out that would be anybody's guess).
Towards the middle it also appears that the Settlers Cabin is still there, but again, concept art.
The last 3rd of the picture looks to be the most interesting of all though.
First off, as we guessed in our article last week (read it if you haven't) the Indian Village is indeed staying although obviously in a new location.
This area also has much more rock-work which looks to be hiding a tunnel for the Railroad.
Up in the top right corner we see some kind of bridge which could eventually be the entrance to Star Wars Land and some kind of transition from Frontierland to the new land.
So while this isn't ALL of it, it's a good start and will hopefully serve to alleviate some of the fears that many in the online community had regarding the changes to this area of the park.
The amount of rock-work being done has us very hopeful as Disney is pretty good at that when you look at Frontierland/Big Thunder/CarsLand/Expedition Everest ... the list goes on.
At the end of the day, whether or not this concept art is 100% of the finished product we feel that Disney, more than anybody has earned the respect and honor of us taking a "wait and see" approach before we complain about the final product. So that's what we're going to do.
What are your thoughts on this concept art? Does this help to see where they are going with this area of the park? Are you convinced that Disney is going to deliver a great finished product? Let us know in the comments below.