Spring Break was in full swing this week, and it brought the Disneyland Resort to a crawl at times. The crowds seem to have brought the warmth as well, as southern California lived up to its sunny reputation with most days in the low 80s. Bunnies and eggs abound at the Disneyland Resort as we approach Easter.
An interesting aside: if you were at the parks on Monday afternoon, you probably noticed that a vast majority of attractions went down for about an hour. I headed to New Orleans for some beignets, I fell victim to this downtime. I watched cast members evacuate Haunted Mansion and checked the app to see that Splash, Pooh, Thunder, Space, Star Tours, and many other attractions were also down. That was just Disneyland, many attractions at California Adventure were down as well. They didn’t stay down long and I don’t know what the reason was for the mass closures.
The Bunny Arriveth
In a strange turn of events, Disney has opted to run their annual Easter Egg hunt for just sixteen days this April; a little over two weeks. Regardless of the short window to participate in the hunt, this year guests can choose between three different Easter Egg hunts: Disneyland, California Adventure and Downtown Disney. The addition of extra hunts should be great for families that are looking for more options during crowded days that don’t require waiting for long periods of time. I know I’m going to enjoy having three hunts, as it justifies purchasing multiple maps to receive multiple of the egg prizes when they’re finished! Having an egg hunt in Downtown Disney also allows for guests without park admission to participate.
Which Easter Egg Hunt at Disneyland is your favorite?Click To Tweet
And what’s Easter without candy? The Candy Palace on Main Street has you covered with their annual hand-made fudge Easter eggs. On Wednesday there was only one flavor, but eventually, the flavors will include Chocolate Cream, Chocolate-Nut, Vanilla-Nut, Black Walnut and Peanut Butter. My family has a tendency to buy them by the armful.
If you happen to be staying over Easter weekend at the hotels on property, there will also be a more traditional egg hunt on the lawn of the Disneyland Hotel. Guests can also sign up for Easter buffet reservations at the Storytellers Cafe or PCH Grill.
Main Street USA
Main Street was bustling this week with traffic! Needless to say, I avoided it like the plague for most of my visit this week. It was ridiculously crowded on Monday and Tuesday, even in the morning. But by Sunday, crowds had subsided a bit.
Limited Time Magic…a Little Less Limited
Disney announced this week that the Main Street Electrical Parade has been extended through the summer to August 20th (and it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke!). Crowds have been insane for the return of the classic parade, so this doesn’t really surprise anyone. For all the fans, though, this is great news, and all the summer vacationers will be able to experience the phenomenon one last time before it goes away.
I’ve probably mentioned it before, but during my College Program, I watched the Main Street Electrical Parade every night at the Magic Kingdom, so it’s an interesting experience watching it again at Disneyland. I’ve seen it a couple hundred times at this point, and it’s still a fun parade!
If you want to skip Main Street, Small World Mall is also always a fantastic and less crowded location to watch the parade. Keep that in mind if you want to see this classic, as both Monday and Tuesday had full viewing areas for the first showing. It really is that popular, as I’ve seen the viewing areas for this parade stop admitting more guests dozens of times in the last few weeks.
If you haven’t staked out a good spot to watch recently, definitely give Remember…Dreams Come True a try whenever you can next, as it’s easily the best fireworks show that Disney has ever done (at least at Disneyland).
Disneyland is bringing a one, two punch of nostalgia. Unfortunately, with the announcement of the extension of the Electrical Parade, there was no word on if there will be an extension in place for Remember…Dreams Come True or if there will be any replacement for it after it’s current end date in June.
New Orleans Square
New Orleans Square has really turned into a hot spot lately. The land has been surging with crowds even on lightly busy days for the park as a whole, and it’s really affecting guest flow in the narrow walkways. I spent a lot of time in this land this past week, and I can’t say that all of it was pleasant.
Something that needs to be fixed ASAP is the crazy churro cart lines. The golden churro is a hit, but there’s no way that the line should be routed in a way that blocks traffic like it has been this past week.
This is what it looked like Monday. I almost couldn’t get my party that had two wheel chairs through it, as the bottleneck was extreme against the churro cart line. And this was only Monday; when I returned Tuesday, instead of routing the line down this walkway, it went straight out into the main walkway outside the Mansion. Neither were good options.
When the park gets busy, guests in need of ADA truly get the brunt end of it, as it makes it incredibly difficult to get anywhere without people stepping over wheelchairs and ECVs.
Nearby, the Sailing Ship Columbia, was getting a nice paint job on Monday.
Over at the Haunted Mansion, the lines were actually surprisingly manageable for most of my visit. I was glad to see so, as it’s still my favorite attraction to photograph.
Pirates of the Caribbean, on the other hand, was not as easy to get on to. It commanded hour long lines even in the morning, which is just insane. At fifty years old, it’s still attracting people to wait for over an hour to ride it!
Something strange was going on when I entered the caverns, though. Not sure what happened here, but the skull and crossbones projector wasn’t working and what looked like work lights were on instead.
The line for ADA was incredible after I exited the ride! I’m not sure if this was people waiting for their return time or to receive one.
Over in Fantasyland, the Matterhorn is still down for construction, but the Disneyland website lists it as coming back on April 28th. The Snow White Grotto and the former Heraldry Shop are still closed as well, with no announcement of when either will be available to guests.
I feel like I shouldn’t have to point out the castle with every update, but every time I see it, it has deteriorated a bit more.
I spent about fifteen minutes looking at the castle and finding that the whole thing is just a mixed bag of themes. Most of the roofs are the 60th-anniversary diamond roofs, but some are actually the usual roofs, while roofs like the ones above are the base of the roofs without the shingle topping. Some spires have the 60th diamond ones, some have their usual gold spires with flags, and then there’s some that have the gold spires without the flags. The crown jewel of Disneyland shouldn’t be treated like this, but apparently, we’re not going to see a refurbishment of the castle for some time.
With how busy the parks were, it was a perfect time to relax and watch Mickey and the Magical Map. This is definitely one of the better options for filling up about twenty minutes of park time during peak traffic.
The Red Rose Taverne is still a popular dining location, and it seems like Disney still continues to work on it. I noticed some merchandise I hadn’t seen at the shop adjacent to the Taverne is now available there. Most of it I had seen elsewhere, but it’s still a good idea to have all the Beauty and the Beast merchandise in one location.
It’s been a while since we looked at the inside of Small World, so here’s an update of what’s going on at the happiest cruise that ever sailed.
Something I’ve noticed at this attraction is a weird mixed bag of different lighting situations. It can be exaggerated by my camera and edits, but I can say that the vast majority of my photos that I took were no good due to terrible lighting. This is a fifteen-minute long ride, I should have a couple hundred photos with many of them looking halfway decent, and that’s just not the case.
The lighting on most of the figures is downright awful with most lights suffering from either a placement issue (creating dark shadows with the brow), or a brightness issue (some figures are so dark you totally miss them). I really do hope that Disney doesn’t forget this attraction. It’s a great people-eater and the lines have been nuts for it lately; even worse during the holidays. It’s a beloved attraction and it deserves the very basic of “plussing” beyond what they’ve done thus far (tossing in a few Disney characters).
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ANNOUNCING THE 2017 GUMBALL RALLY
The World Famous Gumball Rally is a contest to see who can ride the most attractions at Disneyland and California Adventure in a single day. Are you the biggest Disney fan? Let’s find out. This year’s event pays tribute to the Pirates of the Caribbean, which turned 50 years old this year and remains beloved by generations of Disney fans. If you be brave enough to face a pirate’s curse, proceed!!! GUMBALL RALLY INFO AND TICKETS HERE
That’s it for the Disneyland Update this week. Thank you so much for stopping by, and make sure to stop by tomorrow for the California Adventure Update!