Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA
Welcome to another Disneyland Resort update! Before we begin, a few housekeeping notes:
- I am terrible at identifying non-obvious musical instruments. I love music but am not knowledgeable.
- Apparently that "Star Wars" Land satellite photo was posted on WDW Magic a month ago. I didn't see it till more recently, so ah well. But giving credit where it's due.
- After consecutive weeks of unintentional gaffs in these updates, I have intentionally placed an incorrect statement somewhere in this update. Lets see if you can find it.
- Based on last week's Disney update, our readers may be even more immature than we are. I take that as a challenge.
"Star Wars" Land
Construction continues. There's more dirt that's been moved around, more vertical building elements put up, more noodles for Guy Selga and other rebar aficionados, and more site infrastructure pieces delivered. It's going to look like this for a while, so that also means plenty of jokes by everyone in the world about how they're really just building a Tatooine or Jakku land.
Here's your Mickey and Friend's structure overview.
At a glance, things look the same.
Lets zoom in a little closer...
And do our usual pan.
Moving on rightward.
The Backside of Rivers!!! Of America.
What? Not close enough? Fine, we'll dive even deeper into the bosom of the new land.
Look at all those noodles! Standing there all stiff and embedded into the foundations.
Some new building piers have shown up on the back, plus some staggering on the concrete walls already erected.
In a few years, this view won't be so exposed and indecent. But right now, it's still very, very rough and dirty.
Moving over to those great mounds behind Fantasyland.
The tall, ribbed buttes of Big Thunder Mountain rise up as we move southward.
And on the far southwest corner of the site, we see the Hungry Bear, S.S. Columbia, the top of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, and the Tower of Terr--ific Sacred Vessel That No Longer Is Bad Tower But Must Be Preserved In Its Current State Forever Because It Is Just A Young 12 Year Old Ride But Is Also An Iconic Classic.
(Note: I'm not the biggest fan of this change either, but the exaggerated over-reaction of some--not most--people is very amusing.)
Anyway lets get down business, and defeat the Huns--I mean to what you're really interested in... construction details. Check out all those wide flanges... and those boxes? Those are trench shoring boxes. They shore those trenches good.
Here we see some pipes totally penetrating those wide flanges. That's some intimate "Star Wars" Land construction action.
The #PoopPies are scattered around too. They've really laid a lot of pipe here. Big pipes, medium pipes, small pipes. Pipes of all sizes and colors.
Behind Fantasyland Theater, we see some new steel erections. These piles have have been deeply driven and inserted into the ground to help with more wall erection.
More formwork for more concrete walls going up. More formwork for more concrete walls just totally stacked on the ground, ready for repositioning.
Aaaaaaaand... one last look at the au naturale backside of the Rivers of America.
A Disney Security Update
A few weeks ago, we reported that all guest entry was being subjective to metal detector screening, rather than randomized screenings. But then the Resort went back to randomized. Well, the past two weeks, it's been everyone again (at least when I've gone through). So again, budget extra time to get into the parks.
Lines ebb and flow at security, but when they ebb, they can get pretty long.
The barricades have been physically adjusted to divert all guests into the metal detectors. No more chancing out at all.
Frozen: Live at the Hyperion
We've been leading up to this for weeks. Over the weekend, I finally bit the bullet and waited to watch to new Frozen show that replaced the Aladdin show that ran for over a decade at the Hyperion Theater. My thoughts are probably similar to many others. Visually, the show is spectacular, with fantastic looking projections, Pepper's Ghost effects, a humorous aerial scene, and choreography reminiscent of Broadway productions. Clocking in at around an hour, the show basically goes through the major scenes of the movie, hitting all the big song numbers, with some musical reprises here and there. The cast is solid but not Broadway quality, and there are some fun humorous elements--though the improv nature brought by Genie in the Aladdin show is no longer present. Kids will love it, because it's Frozen. Adults will tolerate it because their kids love it. It's a cute show, but not incredible. So for those who don't care about stage shows, missing this is no big loss. For those who do, it's fun but not a must-see. So take that for what it's worth.
Two months in, and this show still hasn't flopped, so might as well check it out.
The attraction requires FastPass reservations for those looking to sit in the orchestra or mezzanine levels. Standby is available but only nets you balcony seating. Standby seems to have been filling up by 45-60 minutes in advance of showtime.
Inside, guests are greeted by a beautiful projected backdrop.
The scene is the back is made up ultra high def screens that allow dynamic scene changes.
Lets dive into the show. First, the ice harvesters create smoke with the intensity of their ice cutting.
Flash forward to young Anna and Elsa. Here, Elsa displays her deformed snowman making magic powers.
The hideousness of the snowman gives Anna the vapors and causes her to faint.
Fortunately, the King and Queen summon the Royal Chia Pet to revive her with a concoction of forest herbs and smelling salts.
The resulting tension of the incident causes Anna and Elsa to debate joining the First Order or the Resistance, respectively.
Anna, however, switches sides after learning about [[SPOILER ALERT!]] Han Solo's untimely demise.
Several years later, Anna has gotten over the incident with the help of her royal staff and an army of Lumiere clones, sent over from her pen pal, Belle.
But the evil Elsa arrives and shows that she, too, has changed, by revealing that she has mutilated the original Lumiere by cutting off both of his arms. She has also put Mrs. Potts in a deathly pall of eternal slumber.
The Arendale community is shocked by this and cries out for a hero to save them. Unfortunately, the guy next to Anna is disqualified because he is from neighboring Ghost Town and violates the Anachronistic Theme Prohibition Treaty.
Fortunately, Hans arrives and volunteers to take up the fight.
Unfortunately, since Hans is the runt of his family, his powers are no match for Elsa's, and the Ice Queen takes over Arendale in an chilling coup.
Anna begs for mercy for the land, and Elsa agrees that she might relinquish Arendale if she can be pleased with a magnificent dance.
The royal court obliges, desperate to try anything that might free them of Elsa's grasp.
This scene ties into the upcoming Dancing with the Stars: Arendale spin-off planned for ABC.
While Elsa isn't looking, Hans and Anna quietly discuss contingency plans in case the great dance does not sway Elsa.
They then tell the whole community of their plan, making sure to keep Elsa out of the frame so that she can't hear, since that's how it works.
Hans and Anna call Elsa to hear of her decision.
Unfortunately, Elsa is not swayed, and she freezes the entire land with her icy powers. For Arendale, Winter has come.
With everyone frozen, Elsa is free to have some peace and quiet.
She relaxes by pointing out her favorite ice formations.
Coming upon a bridge, Elsa breaks into a rousing song about the White Walkers.
The zombifying never bothered her anyway.
Meanwhile, in the wilderness far removed from Arendale, Sven the Reindeer is enjoying the snowy weather.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: OH MY F***ING GOD WHAT IS THIS ABOMINATION?!?!? - JD]
He happens upon the town drunk, Kristoff, who had wandered away from Arendale in an inebriated haze before Elsa froze the domain.
Sven uses his patented Reindeer Lick technique to wake Kristoff up.
Kristoff realizes that he is a far way from home. However, still being too drunk to drive, he hails an Arendale Uber. Lo and behold, his Uber driver is Anna, who had escaped the frozen curse.
[EDITOR'S NOTE: It's good to see Sean Penn getting work, huh? - JD]
Their journey back to Arendale takes them through the treacherous forest of Twilight Werewolves.
Fortunately, the trio are able to escape the emo lupines when they are saved by Olaf, the Enchanted Snowman.
Olaf possesses the power to turn cold things into warm, and Anna realizes that Olaf holds the key to saving Arendale.
Olaf demonstrates his powers by unfreezing a pair of Arendale citizens on the outskirts of the city.
Kristoff and Anna marvel at Olaf's powers, but the magical snowman simply explains, "It's all in the warm hugs."
Emboldened, Anna seeks out her evil sister and confronts her, ready to end her icy reign of terror.
However, before Anna can summon Olaf to undo Elsa's damage, Elsa strikes her sister with an Aurora Beam, rendering her incapacitated!
The move is so powerful that it sends the entire gang flying into the Chia Cave of Mystery.
As it turns out, the Chias have raised Kristoff as one of their own since he was young. This explains his hair.
Suddenly, Anna falls ill as the residual effects of the Aurora Beam finally hit her.
Hans arrives and tells Anna that he will fight for her and avenge her if she dies. Anna promptly proclaims that she's not dead, and that she's getting better.
And Olaf appears and apologizes for being too slow to defend Anna when Elsa attacked her. Anna forgives him, citing his tiny legs as an obstacle to fast movement.
Determined to finish what she started, Elsa follows her sister back to Arendale with a message in the form of her calling card steel chained mittens.
"Sir, the Ice Queen has been here! And she left her... Steel Chained Mittens!!"
Hans bravely ventures out to battle Elsa, but once again, his heroism is no match for her magical ice powers.
Summoning his last bit of strength, Hans pulls a sword out of a nearby Sorting Hat and prepares to strike Elsa with the killing blow. However, Elsa uses telekinesis to move her sister into the way!
The sword was enchanted, though, so rather than cleave our heroine, it simply turns her into ice.
Elsa, realizing what she has done, unfreezes her sister. But the blow has left an ever-lasting effect: Anna is now evil as well.
However, realizing that she and Anna can now rule the galaxy as sister and sister, Elsa casts a spell over the people of Arendale to make them now loyal to her reign, by making them think it's summer.
The illusion is so powerful that Olaf puts up no resistance either.
The show ends with Arendale living blissfully unaware ever after, as the power of evil triumphs over good.
And that, folks, is Frozen: Live at the Hyperion in a nutshell!
As you come out, you can also purchase Frozen memorabilia.
Just in case you missed the opportunity anywhere else.
And don't forget one very important thing, boys and girls...
He is with us...
And that is it! As always, comments and opinions are welcome in the form below. I definitely enjoy reading what you say, even if it is to correct my mistakes. Appreciate the attention, ya know?
We'll have more travel and Halloween stuff this week, and maybe some other surprises. Speaking of Halloween, if you've got nothing to do this weekend and enjoy congregating with other haunt fanatics, go check out the Midsummer Scream convention at the Long Beach Convention Center! Westcoaster will be there, bringing you all sorts of news goodies.
Until then... Grü Bah!!
Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.