Observations from Disneyland: October 14, 2013

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 Welcome to Disneyland! We’re at that point of the year where weekdays see mid-level crowds and weekend see crowds at the upper end of the scale. For example, this last weekend saw a 9 out of 10 crowd on Saturday, and an 8 out of 10 on Sunday. This weekend will see similar crowds, with an 8 out of 10 on Saturday and a 6 out of 10 on a Sunday.

IMG_0264We predicted today (Monday, October 14) as a 7. Even though a 7 seems high the attraction wait times were actually quite manageable. Some queue lengths can be deceptively long on days like this. For example here is the Pirates of the Caribbean extended queue. It extends out of the regular queue and under the New Orleans Square bridge and to the right. It looks long but…

IMG_0263The posted wait time is only 25 minutes!

IMG_0267Another deceptively long queue is the one found at Haunted Mansion Holiday. The queue extends outside of the Mansion gates and fills up basically the entire Magnolia Park (the area in front of New Orleans Square Train Station).

IMG_0266Even after that huge amount of queue the wait time is only 30 minutes. It also seems like a lot less because it is constantly moving (thanks to no FASTPASS being offered this year).

IMG_0265The Rivers of America and Mark Twain are always peaceful, no matter how busy the park is.

IMG_0243Jumping back a bit here, as I was entering the park the wonderful Disneyland Band was playing its daily noon concert in Town Square. If you’ve never stopped and watched the band perform you should definitely make it a part of your next visit.

IMG_0244The band leader directs the band from his spot near the Disneyland dedication plaque.

IMG_0254Today I ate the Chicken Sausage in a Pretzel Roll from Village Haus Restaurant in Fantasyland. This is one of those items that I put in the “surprisingly good” category of Disneyland food. The sausage is a bit on the small side, but the taste is great. It has a pleasant snap as soon as you bite into it. But best of all is the pretzel roll. The world would be a better place if everything were served on a pretzel roll.

IMG_0251Moving on from the food, the decor of the Village Haus is very nice and perfectly matches the rest of Fantasyland. It actually reminds me a lot of Germany in World Showcase at Epcot. But then I guess that makes sense considering Epcot and 1983 Fantasyland were designed and built at the same time.

IMG_0250A close up of the Pleasure Island mural inside Village Haus.

IMG_0255The entrance is flanked by two identical wooden murals of Pinocchio.

IMG_0256Who could forget the classic Figaro exit sign? Legend sayd the sign is off-center thanks to an error during construction. But when Imagineers got a chance to build it again in Disneyland Paris, they got it right.  The Parisian version of the sign has Figaro giving a thumbs up.

IMG_0257Moving on to the pumpkin carving area of Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree… This area has been open since September 13, and by now Cast Members have created a number of amazing pumpkin sculptures. A pumpkin dragon is pretty much the coolest thing I will see all week.

IMG_0258Here’s King Candy from Wreck-It Ralph.

IMG_0259Splash Mountain

IMG_0260Pumpkin sculptors work throughout the day on new pumpkins. It’s fun to check back every week to see what they’ve been working on. It’s also fun to buy your own pumpkins and then try to replicate what they sculpt in the park. It’s ALSO fun to then smash your pumpkins on the ground after you realize you’ll never be as good as they are. Not that I’ve ever done that.

IMG_0268This week in merchandise brings us a fantastic new 2014 calendar. Usually the “year” merch is visually appalling (2013 tie-dye shirts!), but this piece is nice!

IMG_0270$19.99 gets you a a huge calendar featuring some of the classic attraction posters from Disneyland’s history. What makes it even better is that the calendar is printed on nice thick paper, and each page can be removed and placed in a 12×18-inch frame!

IMG_0271The calendar even features some attractions that are no longer with us. Try not to stain it with your tears like I did!

IMG_0272While waiting in line I noticed some of the first pieces of holiday merchandise have been added to The Emporium. These little Mickey gingerbread antenna toppers are $5.95 each.

IMG_0273Also $5.95 and new to me are these Mickey scarecrow antenna toppers.

IMG_0274I don’t want this post to turn in to a construction update, but I had to share the Starbucks Downtown Disney progress. They are really going to town on this thing!

IMG_0275The entire store front has been removed, and the inside looks like it has been stripped completely. They have a lot of work to go on this location, especially considering they have to install plumbing to a location that never had it before.

Anyway, that’s all for this time! Thanks for reading. If there’s anything in the parks you’d like to see, or if you have any questions, please leave them in the comment section below.


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Guy Selga Jr.

Disneyland writer for TouringPlans.com and co-author of the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland. Also a Disneyland local and appreciator of Disney theme park history. Twitter and Instagram: @guyselga

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