Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA
We interrupt our regularly scheduled Haunt updates to bring you a trip back to the Disneyland Resort! Can you believe it's been nearly a month since we were last here? In that time, progress over at "Star Wars Land" has been zipping along, to the point where we're even starting to see the mountainous peaks of the future land from a galaxy far far away forming! There are also miscellaneous refurbishments happening, plus, Halloween Time is in full swing! Lets take a gander at all the happenings, shall we?
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Lots have gone on since the last we visited, though a lot of that has been inside the buildings and thus unable to be documented. But outside, the Millennium Falcon building has grown even more, while the First Order building is getting more and more enclosed, and they've even started the secondary support structure and plastering of the mountains that will form the backdrop of the entire land! It's kind of exciting, especially from angles inside the park, where guests can start to see how the addition will impact the traditional views of Frontierland and the Rivers of America!
Here we are again, upon a familiar sight.
Remember when this site was all dirt? Only eight months ago.
A lot can change in a short amount of time.
It's been a month since we've looked at this site, and there's been a good amount of progress, depending on where you look.
This is not one of those areas.
A little bit of development here, but not much.
But on the First Order building? Yeah, things have been happening with all the stuff.
Inside this huge hangar space, they're starting to cast floor elements.
Steel is being assembled to be installed within the space. And deeper in, they're forming a wall to enclose what we used to call a pit and could also be a loading zone for the ride (or something circular).
Fuzzy fireproofing of the structural steel is making its way around the building.
Meanwhile, wall panels have started going up the west side of the building.
Last month, this was completely exposed, but the building is starting to close up!
Two construction workers use a lift to fasten the panels.
I wondered how they would be addressing the issue of building code wall insulation requirements when I saw all the strapping and steel ledges, but it turns out that prefabricated insulated wall panels are being used.
This provides an "all in one" solution for the wall finish, wall framing, and required thermal performance. And it turns out the straps were to prevent the horizontal steel ledges from racking (twisting lengthwise) in case of an earthquake.
Soon, this entire building will be a giant wall of Death Star Gray.
Except for this opening. There's an interesting lack of wall framing here. What element might be placed here when they work the walls along to this point?
Framing on the roof for all the mechanical equipment and penthouses continue.
It seems to me like this ride might be similar to Universal Studios Hollywood's Transformers ride, in that there could be elevators that take ride vehicles up and down floors.
That would require large elevator shafts to accommodate show scenes or projection screens, and a tall overrun to fit all the vertical movement equipment.
The concrete on the roof seems to be poured now.
Lets take a wide view from the northeast corner of Mickey and Friends.
The Millennium Falcon building has been humming along too. It's much harder to see it, since the angle is oblique, but just the density of what's inside shows they've been putting up walls and steel.
They've also started plastering the mountains that will form the towering backdrop of Galaxy's Edge.
The flag marks the highest point in "Star Wars" Land, the home of all those cast member signatures from a few months ago.
Soon, these rocks will join Cars Land's Ornament Valley, Frontierland's Big Thunder Mountain, and Fantasyland's Matterhorn as Disney's fake naturalistic geological structures.
Onto the main Millennium Falcon building, you can see similar metal ledges and strapping on the left edge and facade facing the camera, soon to receive their Death Star Gray wall panels too.
You can see here that the peaks will conceal the show buildings.
And hopefully, they won't pull an Expedition Everest and leave the backsides of these peaks exposed.
Disneyland's historic mountain adjacent to its future mountains. Kind of a cool juxtaposition, no?
Don't forget how massive the scale of this project is. There is a ton of work going on here!
From certain parts of the park, the mountains are visible across the skyline.
You can see the mesh that supports the rockwork plastering better from this angle, plus more steel wall studs for the side of the show buildings facing the park.
The First Order building pokes through the trees too.
Wall panels have been going up on this side too. I wonder if Disney will bother concealing them behind rockwork later too. This is an elevated view that most guests won't notice, but it will be visible for anyone on an elevated portion of the Mark Twain.
Regardless, you can start to imagine how Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge will fit in here when it's complete. The aesthetic should be pretty natural, and it's certainly exciting to anticipate!
Mickey and Friends Parking Structure Improvements
The recent work by the escalators of the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure have largely wrapped up. Turns out they were replacing the slick floor tiling with safer and slightly more textured brick pavers. The tiling remains all the way down the parking aisles, but in pavers off the escalators and southeast corner stairs will at least mitigate some of the issues with slippery floors during the occasional times Southern California actually gets rain (last winter notwithstanding).
The new brick pavers are muted but nice.
They extend around the top landings of the escalators.
Not sure if Disney will replace the rest of the pathway (that would be logistically challenging), but I actually like these more than the previous tile.
The River Belle Terrace
Speaking of the Rivers of America... the River Belle Terrace is currently closed for refurbishment. They're completely redoing the outdoor seating area and reconfiguring the indoor dining and kitchen spaces. Should be fun to see the finished changes once they're done!
Work walls are up around the River Belle.
This is what it normally looks like, for those who miss it.
The building is getting some new work, probably new exhaust fans and kitchen-related equipment, if the kitchen is being reconfigured.
They're fixing up the pavers too, for the outdoor dining!
For all you brick nerds out there. Brickers, if you will... (Tom, I'm looking at you.)
Halloween Time at Disneyland
Halloween has also come to Disneyland Park, and the crowds certainly show it! Mickey's Halloween Party has returned, occuring a couple times each week. In addition, the Haunted Mansion and Space Mountain have been transformed into their fall overlays.
Other than the gingerbread house inside Haunted Mansion Holiday, there actually isn't much new at Disneyland Park this year (then again, most of their Halloween decorations are recycled annually). The exciting hotness is over at California Adventure, and we'll tackle that in a future post. So enjoy the Halloween snippets below, and refer to last year's Disneyland Halloween update for more eye candy on what to expect!
Another Friday afternoon, another mass of crowds at security.
The Great Pumpkin is here! The Great Pumpkin is here!
These are the same decorations Disney trots out for Main Street every Halloween season, but they're charming and cute.
Who doesn't like that Mickey-Lantern smile?
And the various jack-o-lanterns sitting on the storefront upper porches.
You can get "boolloons" too. Get it? Cuz balloons / boolloons... I'll let myself out now.
Tuesdays and Fridays are the typical Mickey's Halloween Party days, and if you visit Disneyland Park on those afternoons, you'll likely see people taking advantage of already dressed up for the night's festivities and taking advantage of MHP early entry
Walt, Mickey, and their pumpkins.
The Halloween Tree is back!
This Ray Bradbury tribute is one of our favorite things in the park.
This part of Big Thunder is getting some work done, but the ride is still open.
The traditional Día de los Muertos display is back up over at Zocalo Park, next to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
It celebrates the Mexican Day of the Dead.
That's like their Halloween and family Memorial Day mixed into one, in general terms.
It's a colorful and festive scene!
The Rivers of America are beautiful in the afternoon golden hour light.
Waterfowl's trying to be all creepy there...
The Haunted Mansion Holiday is back!
And very busy!
But it runs through the Christmas season, so don't worry if you can't catch it during Halloween.
The park was readying photo ops and other Mickey's Halloween Party decorations on Friday afternoon.
One of many trick-or-treating zones.
Whaaat? GHOST Galaxy? Why would you name something that??
Finally, Space Mountain Goats Galaxy is back for Halloween Time, and boy is it popular! That's 150 minutes if you can't make out the time in the background. I guess every really misses the animals in the old Big Thunder Ranch petting zoo...
Choup is back at Disney California Adventure! I repeat! Choup is back at Disney California Adventure!!!
CHOUUUUUUP!!! it's back, and it's marvelous!
And it's bringing in all the crowds too! The best crowds. The biggest crowds. Yuuuuuge crowds!
See? Look at this line into the Pacific Wharf Cafe, where you can purchase Choup. It's way out the door and nearing the bridge into Pacific Wharf. If that isn't proof of Choup's greatness, I don't know what is.
That does it from the Resort today. This was largely a Disneyland-centric update (though I couldn't help but place a PSA for the return of our beloved cheddar ale soup), and we'll look at the adorable Halloween decorations at California Adventure on another day. In the mean time, stay cool and stay spooopy.
Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.