My partner and I just returned from our annual four day Disneyland trip. Some observations:
On the positive side…
I actually enjoyed Pirates more with the Blackbeard change. I absolutely loathe the Johnny Depp movie additions to the ride, and Blackbeard is WAY less annoying than “Davey Jonessss-uhhhhh.” It was also great to end the ride without hearing that voice... "When NEXT you sail.... SAIL with Davey Jonesssssss... HA HA HA!" *shudder*
The Little Mermaid was so much better in person vs watching the Youtube video of it (obviously.) I wasn’t impressed with the ride after seeing a video of it, but experiencing it in person really made me appreciate it. Well done. And what a people-eater.
The new dining area in DCA is just gorgeous and very well done.
It’s Tough To Be a Bug is awesome every time. I hope it sticks around for awhile.
It was really exciting to see Buena Vista Street in its very earliest stages. I am more excited about that addition than about any other piece of the DCA makeover.
We encountered many people on classic Disneyland rides like the Haunted Mansion and Indiana Jones who had never ridden them before, and that was refreshing since we usually visit during October when it is primarily locals in the park. It was a really cool to experience the rides for the first time right along with them.
I was sad to see the Matterhorn closed, but very excited about the new bobsleds. No more lap sitting! Of course we’re still a ways off from that, but still.
The vegetable ragout with blackened chicken at Cafe Orleans is to die for.
On the negative side...
Way too many screaming things: babies, children, girls, boys, women, men… I know I have overly sensitive ears (this is why I always request to sit in the back of the train on Space Mountain and Big Thunder), but there is no need to scream at the top of your lungs for no reason (i.e. when the lights go out in the Haunted Mansion portrait room.) I understand screaming because you’re having fun, but gratuitous screaming is just rude.
Way too many people reaching over the boats on Splash, Pirates, etc to splash water at their friend/child/significant other/wife/husband/parent.
Way too much talking during quiet portions of rides. I will never understand why people don’t just sit quietly and enjoy the banjo strumming and fake bug sounds in the Blue Bayou area of pirates.
Way too many people taking flash pictures during dark rides of the rides or of their children and/or significant others riding said rides.
Way too many people texting or having their cell phone turned up to maximum brightness during dark rides. I know I’m in the minority, but I always leave my cell phone in my hotel room when I go to Disneyland. I want to be completely cut off from what is going on in the real world, and if anyone needs me, I’ll get back to them when I return to the hotel. Of course I don’t mind you using your cell phone while you are waiting in line to pass the time, but at least have the courtesy to turn it off when the ride starts.
I know this is preaching to the choir, but SOMEthing needs to be done about Tomorrowland. The stark contrast between the quality of that land and the rest of Disneyland is just embarrassing, and I absolutely dread going through that bottleneck created by the Astro Orbiter only to find out that all of the Space Mountain fast passes for the day were used up by 1 o’clock.
With the intense July crowds, I know there aren't many other options, but it really makes for an unpleasant experience when you’re already struggling to survive crossing through New Orleans Square during or right after Fantasmic and you have cast members waving their glow sticks and screaming at the top of their lungs to stay on one side or the other. We aren’t cattle.
On the neutral side…
A lady behind us in line for Haunted Mansion had a little girl who was probably about 2 and she asked if it was scary. I explained that certain parts were scarier than others but that she would probably be fine. And then she told me that the little girl was scared by Mr. Toad, and the second they entered the mansion the little girl freaked out and they left. After hearing this, when I rode all of the Fantasyland dark rides later on, I was pretty shocked by how scary they would seem to a small child. Snow White with the scary witches and the trees with scary faces and the skeletons in the dungeon… Pinocchio with that donkey scene. Enough said. “Mama! Papa!”… And of course Mr. Toad (which is one of my favorite rides in the whole resort) with the tongue-in-cheek hell scene, which I have always loved because it is so NOT typical Disney, but I could see how a child would be scared by it.
Anyway, that's my $.02.