Disneyland Resort Update: The Disneyland Railroad Returns

Disneyland Park, Anaheim, CA

Cheers, folks! After the dark and spooky tone of last week's updates from Midsummer Scream, we return to connotations of bright and happy and cheery and magical with a trip back to Disneyland for a look at what's happening at Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom.  This update meant to happen last week, to keep up to date on the returns of the Disneyland Railroad and Rivers of America attractions, but I didn't make it over last week.  Thus, you get it this week instead.  Good?  Great.  Lightspeed ahead!

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

Work continues to focus on the Millennium Falcon and First Order attraction buildings and their connected structures along the Disneyland Drive side of the future "Star Wars" Land.  The build out on the Millennium Falcon building finally seems to be making its way over the ride footprint to touch the First order show building, while concrete-framed non-actual-attraction-parts continue to grow.

Downtown Disney Construction

Over at Downtown Disney, crews are working around the clock at Splitsville to make up for the late start of construction.  I've seen them working at nighttime, so it seems like they're definitely pushing hard to meet the original late 2017 schedule.  Also, I noticed a bit of exterior refurbishment at the Grand Californian Hotel.

Around the Hungry Bear Restaurant

With the return of the Disneyland Railroad and Rivers of America attractions, the work walls along the Hungry Bear Restaurant have been completely removed, revealing an absolutely lovely, rustic riverside walkway toward a new half half of Hungry Bear dining that connects down to the pathway to prevent a dead end.  The Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge work walls have been pushed back to right under the railroad track, providing a much cleaner looking separation between the existing park and its future expansion.  As you'll see further down, this is now the same case at the future Frontierland entrances into Galaxy's Edge.

Along the Galaxy's Edge

What was once behind work walls has now become part of Frontierland again, as the pathways to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge now lead up to the underside of the Disneyland Railroad.  This area looks quite nice and presents a new chapter in the ever-evolving history of Frontierland.  The little Old West touches are charming and provide a lovely touch to the ambiance.  The railroad bridging is pretty iconic too, providing some scenic moments for Disneyland Railroad photography fans.

Return of the Disneyland Railroad

Finally, we come upon the return of a classic--the attraction that is arguably the earliest inspiration and inception for a "Disney Land."  Last last Saturday, July 30, the Disneyland Railroad reopened after a year and a half of refurbishment and changes to accommodate the footprint of the new Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.  In addition to the first-ever left turn for the attraction, it gained some new and splendid waterfalls along its route, new angles of the relocated Native American village along the Rivers of America, new views of the river in general, and even a refurbished Grand Canyon Diorama and Primeval World!  The turnout for this beloved ride has been pretty significant, with lines at Main Street and New Orleans Square stations in the 40-60 minute range since it opened.  Pro Tip: The other two stations are less crowded, for those who want to wait less.  Although with the unfortunate Friday breakdown of one of the four engines that were running when the railroad reopened (per a Cast Member), lines may creep up here too, since the Railroad is now already down to only three trains running (the fifth engine is not yet back from refurbishment).

And if you'd like to take a video ride-through past the Grand Canyon Diorama and Primeval World, you're in luck!  Here's some video I shot this past weekend.

I wasn't able to make it to the park in time to ride the Rivers of America boats to get shots from there, so those will be incorporated into the next Disneyland update.  In the meantime, this might be a quieter week after last week's Midsummer Scream flurry.  Or maybe not.  We'll see.  In the meantime, be good to each other.

Choo bah!

Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.