Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA
Oh my Porg, folks, it's a Disneyland update! We've only had like... three of them in the past three months. Well, now that Halloween season has wrapped up, we'll be a bit more regular about these things. So without further ado, lets get to it, shall we?
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Last Friday, Disney provided some additional information about what guests will be experiencing in a galaxy not that far far away at all, including the name of the remote, galactic outpost planet never before seen in Star Wars canon. Batuu will be Galaxy's Edge to which the themed land refers, and it be a haven for those looking to get away from the attention of galactic authorities.
Meanwhile, at the northwest side of Disneyland, the Galaxy's Edge is taking very tangible shape in the form of a rapidly completing building facade wrapping around the First Order ride building and the Millennium Falcon attraction building. In addition, the towering peaks of Batuu are taking shape more and more. Meanwhile, construction seems to have picked back up more over by the Critter Country side of "Star Wars" Land. This side will be more rustic and forested--both to blend into Critter Country and the Rivers of America more, and to serve as a wilderness base for the Resistance group fighting against the First Order. Speaking of which, the descendants of the Empire will be clustered more on the Frontierland entrance side of Galaxy's Edge, which will be more urban and active, with markets and shops and greater activity and buzz.
Just a year and a half to go! And they're moving at lightspeed.
River Belle Terrace Reopens
This past weekend, the River Belle Terrace had soft opens, following its refurbishment and kitchen renovations. The restaurant is actually largely the same--sit-down style, with reservations to be required once the soft open period is done. The menu features much of the same barbecue based fare as before, but the seating and interiors have been freshened up. This project was more infrastructure improvements than any dazzling makeover, but it's nice nonetheless.
Star Tours Gets Batuu
The announcement of Batuu wasn't just a white whale for Star Wars fans to salivate over until 2019. Batuu became a very real and accessible destination in the form of a new scene in Star Tours. But that wasn't the only addition. Inspired by the upcoming movie, The Last Jedi, Star Tours added an epic battle through the planet, Crait, to its line-up of scenes guests can experience. This adaptability has proven to give exciting updates and increase re-rideability to the classic Tomorrowland attraction, and following up on previous additions, such as the Jakku fly-through scene, shows that Disney is pretty serious about continuing the movie/attraction connection for the foreseeable future!
Meanwhile, over at Downtown Disney, construction on Splitsville continues humming right along. The building enclosure is growing more and more complete everyday, and the aesthetics are starting to become pretty prevalent. With sleek glass curtain walls and retro mid-century angles and horizontals, this bowling alley is sure shaping up to be a hip looking hangout. I don't see it open before the end of the year at its current pace, but by the early part of next year, it should be open and rocking business!
Christmas at Downtown Disney
Of course, with the holidays at the Disneyland Resort, Downtown Disney has also gotten Christmas-fied. Besides that, the Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire augmented reality attraction continues its work across from the Uva Bar. Meanwhile, Sephora's exterior facade facelift is complete, and Anna and Elsa's Boutique uncovered a retail fairy godmother and was transformed into the Dream Boutique early last month. I just didn't notice until this past weekend. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Dapper Day Recap
Earlier this month, we also saw the fall iteration of the biannual Dapper Day unofficial Disney dress-up event. This popular event continues to grow bigger and more mainstream--so much so that Disneyland is cashing in and starting its own nighttime version early next year (one that is more aimed at the original roots of Dapper Day, geared at a mid-century flair rather than the Disney Bounding that now dominates the day). Hey, it's fun to dress up and go to the parks and to see others decked out in their finest or Disney-inspired creatives, and there's a positive vibe all around. The next Dapper day is Sunday, April 22, 2018, but here's a brief look at what Fall 2017 Dapper Day was like.
That does it as far as general park updates go for the Disneyland Resort--at least for this week. But we'll be back soon with a look at this year's winter holiday festivities at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure. Christmas time is arguably the most magical time of the year to visit the parks, and of course, the Resort is once again decked out in its holiday finest, with plenty of attractions and special events to mark the season.
Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.