Disneyland Resort Update: Most of the Things We Missed During Halloween Season

Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA

Ladies and gentleman, don’t pinch yourselves. Your eyes do not deceive you. This is actually real… a non-Halloween season update! Of something we regularly cover! That you’re actually interested in!

Yes, we’re returning to the Disneyland Resort after a two month hiatus resulting from our plethora of haunted attractions visits and catching up with what’s transpired during this time. We know that change could be slow to become apparent when we were posting Disneyland Resort construction updates every week or other week. But over numerous weeks? Progress becomes more apparent.

So come join in our magical journey through what’s happened at Disney since we last checked in!

Pixar’s Pinocchio Pal-A-Round and Fox and Friends and Friends and Associates Parking Structure featuring Marvel Motorpool and Star Wars Shuttle Stops and Other Acquired Licences aka the Cleo Structure

The fastest visibly moving project on property continues to be the new neighboring parking structure next to Mickey and Friends. It is urgently needed, since parking and traffic is already often a mess at the Resort and will only get worse when the throngs of superfans flood Disney next June when Star Wars: Galaxys’ Edge opens.

In two months, the parking structure has added two levels, and construction is absolutely flying. The crew continues to work extended hours, and concrete has moved up to anywhere from the third to fifth floor, depending on which part of the structure you’re checking. The escalator promenade is also taking better shape, so we’re also seeing a bit more personality come forth from what is mostly a plain, boxy parking garage. The pace and amount of construction is certainly impressive, and it’s exciting to watch!

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Big news came yesterday, when Disney formally announced the official wordy ride names for the two attractions anchoring “Star Wars” Land. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will be the enormous E-Ticket whose construction we’ve followed for over a year. It’s the near building we typically start with when looking from the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure. Next door, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run will allow guests to fly the most famous ship in the Star Wars galaxy. This continue’s Disney’s recent trend of using long, colon-incorporating names in its IP attractions. But I guess it’s better than “Poultry Palace” or “Pixar Pal-A-Round”…

Also, rocks continue to rise up and be completed. There’s much more progress in the interior of the land, though. We just can’t see it.

Downtown Disney

The last time we checked in on Downtown Disney, the new “4-diamond” hotel project had been postponed indefinitely as a result of Disney’s dispute with the city of Anaheim over tax breaks and technicalities. Well, last month, Disney officially pulled the plug on the project, leaving the west side of Downtown Disney in a bit of a limbo. What to do with the shuttered big box tenants?

Well, things are certainly awkward, ESPN Zone and AMC Theaters don’t look to be returning anytime soon or at all. Rainforest Cafe might. And Starbucks DtD West will. But they did almost sheepishly reopen Earl of Sandwich! So that’s something. It’s officially temporary for now, but it would make no sense if Disney failed to make it permanent. Hey, that means you can get your Holiday Turkey Sandwiches just in time for the season! Hooray!

Meanwhile, the same projects we’ve been following over from the former Build-A-Bear to Naples Ristorante are continuing, continuing, finished, and finishing—in that order. Black Tap Craft Burgers and Bear and Ballast Point still aren’t done and show no signs of finishing soon. But Naples is at least mostly done, with just work on its quick serve area outstanding.

Salt & Straw did open last month. It’s a good ice cream place, and it’s kept pretty busy.

World of Disney Store

Also fully open in Downtown Disney is the World of Disney Store! The redesign is complete, and the retail space has been streamlined to incorporate a more modern and commercially efficient aesthetic and layout. The whimsical cartoon nature of the old store is gone, though media effects retain some semblance of magic. The look is more in line with Disney Springs over in Walt Disney World. The space is more open and flexible, and the products are on more focused display.

The redesign may not appeal to everybody. In fact, Instagram still bemoans the loss of charm to the store. But the change was definitely intentional and done to appeal to the retail performance side first, storytelling second. And it is nice. Just not quite as resonant or engaging.

Marvel Land Construction

We now bring you the start of our Marvel Land construction update for this edition!

We now conclude our Marvel Land construction update for this edition!

Pixar Pier

Five months after it was “completed,” Pixar Pier finally has a fully operational and actually finished entryway. Luxo, the iconic lamp and Pixar logo/mascot, has found a home on the archway over the entrance into Pixar Pier. Looking at hime, one understands why delays happened. He’s not a static statue, but rather a moving animatronic that rotates, bobs, and turns every once in a while. It’s pretty cute, for sure!

Meanwhile, World of Color continues to be worked on. So even though it’s the holiday season at the Disneyland Resort, there will be no World of Color: Seasons of Light this year. Sad, since it’s a legitimately great production!

Also, construction continues on Jessie’s Critter Carousel and is kicking off over at the old Maliboomer Site, where Inside Out: Emotional Whirlwind (see what I mean about IP ride names and colons?) will be located. The area has been cleared of the former giant planters and trees that were previously there.

This concludes our non-Halloween update and return to the Disneyland Resort. We actually still do have a few more haunts to cover (Field of Screams, Pumpkin Nights, Pageant of the Monsters, the conclusion to our Halloween Horror Nights coverage that we never actually got to—to be specific), but they’ll be interspersed among other updates over the rest of the year.

We’ll also be winding into some Christmas updates, since everyone knows that once Halloween passes, Christmas hijacks Thanksgiving’s spotlight and thwacks you upside the head with its presence. Everywhere.

In the meantime, we hope you’ve enjoyed this catch-up update. Enjoy a great Sunday, and doo bah!!

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