Get Excited: Downtown Disney Has Now Reopened Superthread!

  • amyg1975

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 21, 2012
    We went yesterday. We arrived at DTD at 10:45. We had an early lunch at Ballast Point and afterward, we scanned for Buena Vista Street and there were 356 ahead of us. While we waited, we got in line for World of Disney and spent lots of money on masks and other fun things. :). We were finally called into Buena Vista Street after about 1 1/2 hours (maybe only 1 1/4 hours?). You are given one hour to enter from the time they send you the text. We joined the virtual list for Trolley Treats and I never got a confirmation text, but the webpage said I was good to go (86 parties ahead of me). We walked around everywhere we could and then I got in the line for Elias and Company. It did not take too long, but it can get warm in the sun. We enjoyed taking a break by the waterfall and having a Mickey Ice Cream. :). We still had not heard from Trolley Treats, so I checked in with the Cast Members and they said we have been texted already. I showed them my phone that I never heard from them, so do check-in if you don't get a text. We still had to wait in line to go in, and then I waited in another line to buy churro toffee (they had tons!). Overall, it was a nice day, but lots of lines just to shop. As we were leaving at 4:30 I heard the CMs telling people you could still scan in to go to Buena Vista Street and that the return time was about 1 hour. I was surprised because I thought I read that they were not letting anyone else scan in yesterday after 3:30.
     

    midnight star

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 11, 2017
    I went to Buena Vista street this morning. If you want to park in Simba it opens at 9am, not 9:30am like the sign says. I parked at the Anaheim hotel for $10, and walked to the Downtown Entrance (not harbor). I did this because I saw vloggers mention that the main entrance is allowed in before the Harbor side. This was true for today. I arrived around 8:30am and the line had about 5-10 parties in front of me. We were let in a little before 9:30am.

    If you want Carthay sign up immediately when you arrive!! Don’t wait! I was one of the first few groups to sign up and it was automatically a 75-105 minute wait. I was seated around 11:30am. They do cut the reservations off for Carthay when the mobile wait gets too long, but midday they open them again for dinner.

    Starbucks is all mobile ordering. There are plenty of outdoor seats. The quietest and emptiest spot was by Soarin. Award Wieners you can do both mobile ordering or order at the window.

    Since I entered pretty early I had a very short wait for Five and Dime/Elias and Co/ Big Top toys. When I left, the line had grown. Same for Trolley treats and Kingswell.

    Thoughts: Had a great time. I loved hearing the waterfall, smelling the popcorn, and being near the rides. I may or may not have teared up when I heard a CM greet everyone with “ Welcome Home” 😭😭😭
     

    Disney Frenhines

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 28, 2013
    I see that they are opening Buena Vista Street in California Adventure, very clever way of getting past the rules in California, I presume it's free entry as it's only up as far a Cathay Circle. Still, it must be nice to be able to do that. I wonder if they will bring out characters to wave to guests from a distance.
     
  • theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    I see that they are opening Buena Vista Street in California Adventure, very clever way of getting past the rules in California, I presume it's free entry as it's only up as far a Cathay Circle. Still, it must be nice to be able to do that. I wonder if they will bring out characters to wave to guests from a distance.
    Disney has said that there will be no characters for the same reason that there is no Christmas tree in DCA this year -- they don't want anything that will attract crowds. It's just too risky right now. BVS is classified strictly as an extension of DTD, i.e. a shopping and dining experience (aka an outdoor mall) -- this is not meant to be a theme park experience right now so that it meets all the state requirements.
     

    theluckyrabbit

    Moderator
    Moderator
    Joined
    Jul 23, 2012
    Did anyone make reservations for Breakfast with Santa at Catal? I've seen a few posts on the Facebook group I'm in that some reservations are cancelled. But I guess Catal is trying their best to figure out how to keep them since they have to move all dining to outdoors.
    GR posted today that reservations for Catal's Breakfast with Santa are cancelled and that refunds are being processed.
    http://instagr.am/p/CH3UjZ0BanL/
     

    WonkaKid

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2009
    So, folks. I’m sitting about fifty feet from the Soarin’ entrance. I approached a CM a moment ago and asked where to get a FP for the attraction (kidding, of course). She replied that she believes that management aims to open it soon - perhaps December or January- because she saw them measuring the queue for social-distancing purposes. This is merely her speculation, of course. But hopefully there’s a grain of truth to it.
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  • dieumeye

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 17, 2019
    So, folks. I’m sitting about fifty feet from the Soarin’ entrance. I approached a CM a moment ago and asked where to get a FP for the attraction (kidding, of course). She replied that she believes that management aims to open it soon - perhaps December or January- because she saw them measuring the queue for social-distancing purposes. This is merely her speculation, of course. But hopefully there’s a grain of truth to it.
    View attachment 539770View attachment 539780View attachment 539781
    I know everyone has their opinions of when the parks could or should open, but what’s interesting to me is that other than the actual rides, Knott’s is effectively completely open.

    The entire “floor plan” of Knott’s is accessible and decorated, all the boardwalk games are open, the shops are open, there are independent vendors everywhere, multiple character meet & greets, entertainment performers, snack carts are open, all the quick service locations are open (although menus are limited/altered for the Taste events). Other than the actual rides, the experience is just like being in a fully operational theme park.

    So, at this point, what’s the difference? Stand in line for a hot dog OK, stand in line to get in a shop OK, stand in line to ride an attraction NOT OK. I guess you could debate inside vs outside attractions, but the distinction between what’s allowed and what’s not allowed is getting pretty small.

    Also, there’s a pretty good chance I was sitting just to the right of this Soarin’/Smokejumper picture when it was taken!!
     

    msteddom

    We always wait in line in California (something)
    Joined
    May 23, 2003
    I'm interested in hearing peoples' experiences parking/waiting in line/virtual queuing. I'm going to try and go tomorrow morning, and I want to set my expectations appropriately. I am most interested in doing lunch at Carthay and a little shopping/browsing on Buena Vista Street.
     

    midnight star

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Aug 11, 2017
    I'm interested in hearing peoples' experiences parking/waiting in line/virtual queuing. I'm going to try and go tomorrow morning, and I want to set my expectations appropriately. I am most interested in doing lunch at Carthay and a little shopping/browsing on Buena Vista Street.
    I parked offsite at Anaheim hotel. I made the 15 minute trek to the main DTD entrance instead of Harbor because that side is let in earliest (around 9:30). The hard part about coming in the main side is that loooong walk from Simba to BVS. I got my steps in LOL

    I didn’t use a virtual queue for shopping, but they don’t start using them until maybe 10am? There are a lot of lines, but don’t let it scare you, they go fast. In addition for the stores there are lines for Churro, Popcorn, Award Weiners, and The partner statue.

    For Carthay put your name down as soon as you enter BVS. Once they get enough reservations for lunch, they stop. Then they start again midday for dinner. On Thursday I heard the Carthay reservation were gone in a few minutes. Not sure about yesterday.
     

    dieumeye

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 17, 2019
    I'm interested in hearing peoples' experiences parking/waiting in line/virtual queuing. I'm going to try and go tomorrow morning, and I want to set my expectations appropriately. I am most interested in doing lunch at Carthay and a little shopping/browsing on Buena Vista Street.
    I went this morning. Got to Simba around 8:15 with the intention of just waiting. But the lot and lanes were coned off in a way that you couldn’t wait. We went around the block a couple times, but nothing had changed by 8:30 so we drove over to Anaheim Hotel. Parking $25 (but I think I saw a public parking sign $20 at IHOP for future reference).

    Decided to just use Harbor entrance even though everyone has been suggesting to go to the west end DTD entrance. Harbor line was waaaay longer than I expected. We were in line before 9am and we were on the other side of the fence from the Harbor drop off area. And the line was growing by the minute. Five minutes earlier or later and we would have been much further ahead or behind.

    Line started moving just before 9:30 and it actually went pretty quickly. It was a pretty constant shuffle but I’m not sure exactly what time we were thru security.

    Past security we moved with the mob who were mostly all headed to the Buena Vista line. Interesting note here. At the start of the Buena Vista line, there were two offshoot lines merging: one from DTD and one from Harbor. There was a CM “directing traffic” here. Alternating several groups from each side into the main BV Street line (that is, letting in a few groups from the DTD side, while holding people coming from Harbor, and then letting a few groups from the Harbor side while holding people from the DTD side). It was a good way to handle the merging of two large groups coming from opposite directions.

    The wait in the BV Street line didn’t seem long. Unfortunately we were toward the end. Just a bit after we were in, they must have started doing the virtual queue because they stopped letting people into the line. Though we were in line, we just missed the cutoff of getting right into BV Street and ended up having to wait about another 5-10 minutes right outside the DCA gates.

    My advice based on my experience is to just be prepared to wait. There are way too many people all trying to get into a place with limited capacity. And they are all willing to wait as long as it takes. So if you are line averse, or are on the fence about whether you want to take the time, then it could be a frustrating experience. Otherwise, if you’re determined to visit, just be as early as you can, and regardless, be prepared to wait.

    I will say it was nice being back on Buena Vista Street. But if I’m being totally honest, Taste of Knott’s was a more fulfilling “holiday in the park” experience vs Buena Vista Street. Of course, one is free and the other costs money, so maybe it’s not fair to compare.
     
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    Aurora0427

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 24, 2014
    We are spending the weekend at Knotts Berry Farm.... this morning we went to downtown Disney. After experiencing Knott’s at Halloween and now at Christmas, I have to say Disneyland was completely disappointing. All the waiting in line. For what? There’s barely any food, there’s absolutely nothing special going on, the decorations are a complete after thought. It’s like “come to Disney to stand in long lines to buy the same old merchandise we roll out year after year and eat in the same expensive mediocre DTD restaurants.” We couldn’t even get into any of the shops in BVS because the lines are so long due to capacity issues. Obviously this isn’t Disney’s fault, but this is the best they can do? Cuz the first amusement park in California down the 5 in Buena Park has them beat by a landslide.

    Knotts has done an absolutely incredible job. The food is unique and delicious, the character meet and greets are socially distant and just what my kids needed, the Christmas music is lovely, the decorations are gorgeous, they let you remove your mask for photos, mask compliance is 99.9999%, it’s not crowded, they’ve had several shows, and even had professional singers performing religious and secular carols. Hearing music, especially religious music sung in public again made me cry. It was beautiful. We left Disneyland after less than two hours and headed back to KBF. Oh. Did I mention we get to go see SANTA at 6pm?

    We’re done with Disney until Covid is over. We are moving anyway, but even if we weren’t, what they’re doing right now isn’t worth the $10 they’re charging for parking. We’ve happily taken our money to Knotts. Disney can do better.
     

    dieumeye

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 17, 2019
    We are spending the weekend at Knotts Berry Farm.... this morning we went to downtown Disney. After experiencing Knott’s at Halloween and now at Christmas, I have to say Disneyland was completely disappointing. All the waiting in line. For what? There’s barely any food, there’s absolutely nothing special going on, the decorations are a complete after thought. It’s like “come to Disney to stand in long lines to buy the same old merchandise we roll out year after year and eat in the same expensive mediocre DTD restaurants.” We couldn’t even get into any of the shops in BVS because the lines are so long due to capacity issues. Obviously this isn’t Disney’s fault, but this is the best they can do? Cuz the first amusement park in California down the 5 in Buena Park has them beat by a landslide.

    Knotts has done an absolutely incredible job. The food is unique and delicious, the character meet and greets are socially distant and just what my kids needed, the Christmas music is lovely, the decorations are gorgeous, they let you remove your mask for photos, mask compliance is 99.9999%, it’s not crowded, they’ve had several shows, and even had professional singers performing religious and secular carols. Hearing music, especially religious music sung in public again made me cry. It was beautiful. We left Disneyland after less than two hours and headed back to KBF. Oh. Did I mention we get to go see SANTA at 6pm?

    We’re done with Disney until Covid is over. We are moving anyway, but even if we weren’t, what they’re doing right now isn’t worth the $10 they’re charging for parking. We’ve happily taken our money to Knotts. Disney can do better.
    You are saying what I’ve been too nice to say. I’ve tried not to be too hard on Disney since their offering is free (minus $10 parking) but you are right. Knott’s planning and organization and handling of their events has blown Disney away all summer.

    It’s actually kind of surprising because Disney is supposed to be the masters of crowd control. All the employees at Knotts seem confident and clear in their duties and things run like clockwork. At Disney, even today at BV Street, there seem to be a lot of frazzled CMs, and a ton of what I assume are some kind of management or supervisor CMs wandering around talking and looking at stuff. It definitely seems way less planned, organized, and executed.

    Maybe it’s the fact that Knott’s has had several events (that started smaller and have grown larger each time) to continue to work on their plan, while it seems like Disney’s just trying to understand how crowds will work once they return to the actual parks.

    Again though, maybe it’s not fair to compare something free with something that is a paid ticket event. Either way, it seems like Disney has way too many people coming in for far too few offerings to handle them all.
     

    WonkaKid

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 2, 2009
    I'm interested in hearing peoples' experiences parking/waiting in line/virtual queuing.
    I parked residentially 3/4 of a mile from the property and walked over. I don’t mind walking - indeed, I enjoy it - and arrived at the queue at around 9:30. The line switched back eight times in the parking lot however it only took 20 minutes to get through it. I then proceeded to the QR scanning station and learned that I was 126th in line. However, I didn’t receive my initial confirmation text so I checked with a CM who suggested that I try again. I did and just a few mins later I was 183rd in line. I spoke with another CM who speculated that it would be about an hour until I received the next text which indicated that it was my turn, which was pretty close (70 mins).

    Long story short, it was nice to be back in DCA. I saw several people I knew at Carthay Circle. They’d arrived at 5:00 and 6:00 a.m. I’d do that for a special event at DL. But not simply to eat at DCA :-).

    A few pics.

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