Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA
We've come to the last day of the month, but we've got another update from the Happiest Place on Earth for you before we leave. This time around, we continue our coverage of "Star Wars" Land construction, take a peek at this week's AP Day's offerings, and conclude with a look at the new live action Beauty and the Beast movie cross promotion occurring at the park.
"Star Wars" Land
Another week brings more construction progress at the future home of all things Star Wars at Disneyland. The big E-Ticket attraction continues to grow, as more of the show building structure gets put up. There's also new vertical construction in the back corner of the site, by Mickey's Toontown, and the Rivers of America side continues to get work as crews race toward a summer opening deadline that will be here relatively soon.
Up from our usual Mickey and Friends perch...
This weekend was back to grayness.
But with a relatively dry week, more work has progressed.
The most noticeable changes come from the big E-Ticket.
The roof has received its decking, and a touch of steel appears to have gone up for the parapet wall that will conceal mechanical units located on the roof.
Meanwhile, additional steel for columns and braces appears to be advancing forward toward the trench area.
Still some steel on the ground, though.
A closer look at the roof decking.
There's one buckling-restrained braced frame brace left to be installed here.
The two stories are going to be plenty spacious for the attraction inside!
Shifting right a bit...
And back down toward the trench area.
A glimpse closer to ground level offers a bit more scale.
Ignore the out of focus poles in the foreground look the main show building in the background.
Concrete work continues advance at the "trench" and "pit' areas of the future E-Ticket.
I imagine more steel beams and columns will be delivered once these are erected.
I'm definitely curious what part of the ride might be taking place along here, or if this is even part of the ride!
The formwork around the circular retaining wall has come off.
The black material on the soil-side is waterproofing so that when the dirt is back-filled in against the wall, any moisture and liquid in the soil will not be able to leak through the concrete and into the building.
Guy Selga may have noticed more noodles popping up too! Yes, that's more rebar for some columns going up the middle of this room. Whatever it is.
Remember the old access road that cut through the middle of the site when they were first just grading the soil? Well, that's gone now, and vehicles are now moving along the side, closer to the perimeter.
Noodle-mania in the distance...
Moving over to the Hungry Bear Restaurant side...
More progress, but less obvious. There's that bridge/pathway I mentioned last week next to the Hungry Bear.
This is purely my own speculation, but said bridge/pathway might be the back entrance into "Star Wars" Land, angling along the reconfigured bank of the Rivers of America briefly before crossing over or under the Disneyland Railroad to enter Star Wars Land en proper.
Because, remember, the Disneyland Railroad is still crossing over the Critter Country pathway between The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (green building on the right) and the Hungry Bear Restaurant. So about left of the berm retaining wall in this photo. But then (if we're to trust the rendering Disney previously released), it runs visibly along the reconfigured bank of the Rivers of America.
The concrete wall along the far west side of the site looks mostly the same, but it stretches along pretty extensively.
And from ground level, it becomes obvious how tall this is! (Also, note the light fixtures already installed to light the backstage service drive.)
And now, to pan along the back end (front for the park, back from this angle) of the site.
That's the berm separating "Star Wars" Land from the Rivers of America.
I don't really see too much changing along the vegetation edge from last week.
But the green construction vehicles seem to indicate that some soil work has been ongoing.
So much equipment...
Some stairs have sprung up along the concrete retaining walls supporting the berm and service drive over the future "Star Wars" Land main entrance section.
And there seems to be something architectural going up behind the rockwork on the right of this photo too.
Not sure what will go here, but those are large openings for something. Windows? A doorway? Mechanical ducting?
Lets pan along the back of the Rivers of America rocksand waterfall wall.
Slowly but surely, more plaster is going up.
It's a multi-coating process.
Spray as much as is needed.
You can glimpse the Rivers of America dam in the background on the right.
In the back area, a new building has sprung up. This is near the area of the second E-Ticket of "Star Wars" Land, but I doubt this structure is for the ride.
Look through the steel of the first E-Ticket, and you'll notice that while large, it doesn't quite seem sizeable enough to house an actual large attraction.
But progress is progress!
Also, that building near the northeast corner of the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure is definitely a building. Last week was a foundation slab, and this week, walls are going up.
And since it's concrete masonry units (CMU, or sometimes called "cinder blocks"), it will go up quickly for this small building.
Finally, after two weeks of my making fun of it, the future Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout! tower got shy and hid itself again.
Yes, that's right. The construction people totally read this update and react to my writings. Totally.
AP Days Still Going Strong
Week three of AP Days continues with little enticements. A new recipe card, a new souvenir pin, and some offerings that have been around since week one that I missed in previous updates!
I feel ashamed for having missed this two visits in a row, but there's an adorable Elliott floral arrangement located off the main walkway between the Tomorrowland and Pixie Hollow entrances.
Here are this week's recipe card and pin.
Jolly Holiday Bakery has some cute Main Street Electrical Parade inspired desserts.
These ladybug macarons were pricey (3 for $9.99) but delicious--bites of sweet strawberry cream and more tart berry filling.
Beauty and the Beast Comes to Disneyland
In celebration of the upcoming Beauty and the Beast live action movie adaptation that opens on Friday, March 17, Disneyland has introduced several "limited time experience" tie-in's related to the beloved franchise, including a lot of delectable dining options! At Maurice's Treats, over in Fantasy Faire, the Strawberry Rose Twist, Grey Stuff Twist and Red Rose Lemonade Freeze have been added to the menu.
A look at the revised menu at Maurice's Treats.
In Fantasyland, between The Many Adventures of Pinocchio and Village Haus, the Royal Reception has opened, featuring Beauty and the Beast merchandise for fans to purchase. Clothing, toys, and souvenirs are all offered.
The window outside the Royal Reception.
A couple promotions ago, this was the space to meet Anna and Elsa and Rapunzel before that.
Now, it's effectively a pop-up store.
Plenty of merchandise for Beauty and the Beast fans, though!
Bring your kids and your wallets.
And speaking of the Village Haus Restaurant, it has been transformed into the Beauty and the Beast-inspired Red Rose Taverne, complete with enhanced decor and a new menu full of enticing options. The park has done a fantastic job with this overlay on a limited budget, furnishing the interiors with a cute collection of props and decorations that bring guests to that "poor provincial town" where Belle resides. Plus, the new food offerings are pretty tasty and provide motivation to visit this nook of Fantasyland for those who are looking for alternatives to the Village Haus' traditional theme park food fare menu!
The Village Haus sign outside has been transformed into something a bit more French. Just a bit, though.
Entering the building, curtains with the Red Rose Taverne logo drape both sides, covering up the regular Pinocchio murals.
The food counter area is the same, with little details spruced in to distinguish the old Pinocchio ambiance from the new Beauty and the Beast environment.
A mural in the back, some props in front. It all works.
The Beast's red rose occupies the shelf where Pinocchio normally sits.
Gaston's presence is in full effect as a framed drawn portrait on one wall.
Little knick knacks give a touch of French charm--a feeling of something Belle might frequent.
This lovely stained glass piece is on the wall opposite from Gaston's portrait and is gorgeous.
The porcelain ware is in the style of the live action movie.
Candelabras and more books perched above.
Cogsworth and friends on another shelf.
Lets take a look at the food offerings! Here's half of the adult selections.
Here's the other half.
And there are specialty drinks as well. Souvenir cups run out quickly too, though, so come early for those!
Beauty and the Beast rice crispy treats are offered at the cashier.
The Slow-Cooked Beef Poutine was very tasty. Although it was a bit cool by the time I sat down to consume it (owing to some of the kitchen issues the first weekend with a high demand crowd), the flavors were top notch. The seasoned waffle fry base provided a unique but crunchy and flavorful starch. The pickled red onions added a nice tanginess that isn't traditional but still enjoyable. The gravy could have been thicker, and the cheese curds more plentiful, but overall, it's still better than anything I'd ever had at this restaurant and on the level of many of my favorite quick serve dishes at the Resort.
I had it with the Red Passion Rose Lemonade, which was definitely on the sweet and fruity side. There's a light but noticeable rose flavor, but I much enjoyed the drink.
I also tried the Chicken Sandwich á la Lumière and enjoyed the rich variety of flavors. There are a lot of tastes in this sandwich, but for me, they formed a nice combination with a pop of spice, good seasoning, and a tender chicken breast patty. The garlic fries were also an unexpected surprise. Though not as good as at Cafe Orleans, they were still tasty.
The Beast's Burger was an umami overload, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Meat on top of meat with hearty gruyere cheese, this burger is definitely targeted at carnivores. It's bold and befits its namesake, and the fries add a great pairing.
Although I didn't get a chance to try it, I heard that the Cauliflower Steak Sandwich also had high reviews from many other diners, including some of my friends who had it over the weekend. I'll definitely be back to try that and other dishes.
There's no word on exactly how long this will run, but a couple of cast members offered "a few months" as the anticipated timeline. Hopefully, some of the menu items make it onto the permanent rotation after this limited time experience ends!
I didn't get to sample every single dish at the Red Rose Taverne, since that would have been a lot of food for me to eat, and several items, such as the Grey Stuff Gateau, were actually out when I visited. In its first weekend, the reimagined restaurant has proven to be very popular, with long lines starting from the beginning of the day. Those looking for the Grey Stuff ought to stop by early on to maximize their chances of getting it. But for anyone looking for a rundown of all the food items, our friends over at Disney Food Blog have posted a comprehensive review of everything from the Red Rose Taverne.
That's it for today. Come back later this week for some different content, as we dive into some of Southern California's art and music scene as an exercise of Westcoaster's expanded content. Until then, take care and be good people.
Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.