Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA
We've got another Disneyland Resort update for you today, and it spans all three areas of the Resort--both parks plus Downtown Disney. And that doesn't even cover the Pixar Fest activities and features, which we'll be tackling later this week. So hang on to your hats and construction goggles, cuz this here's the wildest ride in the--actually, it's not that wild at all. Because it's a blog post. Blog posts aren't usually wild.
"Pinocchio" Parking Structure Construction
They're still moving dirt around but have gotten a pretty large extent flattened out. Of note is the mound they've built somewhat close to the tram area, which is interesting, because last month, there was a slighter mound on the opposite side of the old connecting road leading into Downtown Disney. They haven't started digging any foundations yet, though, so for now, you get more dirt.
The downside of the Pinocchio Lot being down, however, is that overflow for Mickey & Friends is now even less accommodated, and the structure is now regularly closing down multiple times a day on non-blacked out weekend days, on account of traffic backing up within the structure. Part of this can be solved through better communication and cast members not continuing to route cars into the same backed up level when they see that this move is causing the rest of the vehicles entering the structure to back out onto Disneyland Drive. And the other part can hopefully be solved by the increased capacity that the new parking structure will bring for incoming automobiles. Though it will also make things worse during the evening exit rush, when that much more cars and trucks and vans and SUV's will be clogging the same road arteries that currently already back up after the fireworks.
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
From dirt to rocks, those Batuuttes continue to stretch upward. In addition, this past weekend, they installed some terra cotta red screen panels on the sides of the First Order building to alleviate the massive extent of white wall. They were putting them up on Friday, but by Sunday, they had already completed the task. Other than that, work continues on the interior of "Star Wars" Land, where we can't really see it. And an armada of trees has arrived on the southern edge of the land, creating a softened edge along the new perimeter berm and obscuring the sightline through the Critter Country entrance into Galaxy's Edge!
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Work continues on the ride in advance of its planned opening at the end of this month. The outlines of the queue canopy can be seen, and the operator buildings themselves have gotten their new coats of paint.
It's A Small World Mall
The parade corridor walkway opened last week just in time for the Pixar Play Parade to start running through, as part of Pixar Fest. I had thought that work would be concentrated on the terraced area facing It's A Small World, but it was actually mostly some repaving and an extension and redistribution of the queue in order to minimize crowd intrusion onto the main pathway. And you know what? It looks pretty sharp!
Other Park News
Splash Mountain allegedly reopened last weekend. I say allegedly, because it was temporarily down whenever I happened to walk by. There were rumors that the logs were all reconfigured to be 2-across for every row, but I can't find any evidence of this actually happening. If anyone rode the ride over the weekend and can verify one way or the other, feel free to indicate in the comments below!
Oh, and unbeknownst to me, they've apparently been running a no-bag line at security on and off on the Harbor Blvd. checkpoint side. I usually enter from the Mickey & Friends side, so I hadn't noticed before. But this was a highlight in an otherwise exhausting time just getting into the Resort on Sunday morning. Why they don't operate this normally is beyond me, as it helps with the lines so much. Ditto for why they haven't done it on the west side entries. Walt Disney World has done this for years. There's no reason Disneyland shouldn't also accommodate this. They can work around any operational complexities it creates.
Downtown Disney Refurbishments
Work continues on Black Tap Craft Burgers and Ballast Point, with the facades receiving new paint while the interior remodel progresses. Also, the Disney Dress Shop closed down this weekend, to be relocated to the old Anna and Elsa's shop at the corner of the walkway leading into the Grand Californian. This suggests that either Black Tap or Ballast Point will expand into the middle tenant space? But it confuses me why they didn't just place the Disney Dress Store in the old Anna and Elsa's to begin with, rather than build it in one location and then move it to another. It seems... inefficient.
Oh, and for anyone interested, the Lego Store has a TRON lightcycle model on display now, to help market the new Lego TRON: Legacy set that was recently release.
Finally, the big kahuna at DCA... Pixar Pier continues racing along. This update sees notable progress on the Pixar Pier entranceway, new spires added to the future Lamplight Lounge and souvenir store across from it, plus the reopening of said store!
Over on the Incredicoaster, the enclosure an extension of the old "scream tubes" continues, with effects and sets being installed inside the tubes as well. The station is progressing quickly too, as framing for the roof expansion that will transform the old California Screamin' station into an example of midmodern architecture has been erected pretty quickly.
Work also continues on redoing the old Boardwalk games, the walkway, and repainting the facades. The food stands along the pier are also receiving attention right now, and Mickey's Fun Wheel is also getting its other half painted. But no noticeable progress on Jessie's Critter Carousel, however. At least not yet.
That wraps up another lengthy Disneyland Resort construction update. But we have more from Disney this week! Last Friday marked the kickoff of Pixar Fest, the summer season promotional overlay that touches both parks and marks some sweeping entertainment and attraction debuts. Not everything is quite done yet (Pixar Pier, of course, doesn't open until June 23), but we'll check out what guests could see starting last Friday the 13th.
Speaking of... we've also got a little spooky something from the Queen Mary as well. So check back for more updates later this week!
Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.