Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA
Happy Monday, folks! We resume a sense of normalcy today by having our Disneyland Resort construction update lead off the week on Monday and finally fitting everything into one update. We check out ongoing work throughout Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
In terms of what's visible, the story of "Star Wars" Land progress continues to be the rockwork that will dramatically alter the Disneyland skyline. Supporting steel is creeping over the First Order building, which itself is starting to get more architectural trim to make the building look like more than just a plain, white box. The varying degrees of progress is plainly visible now, with some rocks still just steel and others with scaffolding all around them to help with rock painting and "aging."
For the first time ever, I'm not starting the "Star Wars" Land series with a panorama of the construction site taken from the southeast corner of the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure.
Because I was in a hurry while snapping photos before it got dark, spaced on it, and forgot.
So here are overviews from a distance instead.
The skyline just across this area is rapidly changing.
And supporting steel for rockwork is starting to creep over and wrap onto the roof.
In addition, a red trim seems to be making its way along the tops and corners of the buildings to add a little bit of visual interest to these giant blocks of buildings.
The older rocks are starting to round into shape, looking more and more like their final form.
I know that makes it sound like they're fantasy video game bosses, but hey, these rocks are towering and monumental!
We're starting to see framing for rocks reaching up and over to obscure the penthouses from park view.
And the mesh that goes over the framework so that the plaster that forms the rock can be applied.
Should look great when everything's said and done--at least from the park interior.
Here's another look at the big rock spire, along with a column and protruding beams for another, smaller rock spire to be soon erected.
These are the kinds of things that will never be seen once Galaxy's Edge is complete, but I find it fascinating to watch this go up now.
I was looking at old construction photos of the Matterhorn Bobsleds, and the process seemed to be pretty similar.
They build the mountain from one structure, supported the roller coaster track from another, and finished off the peak from the top down.
A closer look at the colored panels at the parapet.
You can see the trim spreading across both the First Order building in the foreground and the Millennium Falcon building in the background.
This angle gives a bit of a better idea at how tall the spires are above even the massive buildings.
Interesting that the red parapet breaks here.
Fun fact I learned recently: the structural design of the rockwork (not the buildings) was identical for both California and Florida.
That means they had to design to both the earthquake forces of California and the wind forces of Florida!
So these should be some pretty hefty rocks.
And this steel in particular should be part of structure for a rebel hideout of some sort. Or something like that.
Which is good. We want them to stay there for a long time. (Well, some people don't, but they also foam.)
Over by the large opening, they finally finished the emergency stairs. They also lead to the roof.
There are stairs to the roof of the concrete building adjacent to the First Order ride too.
Critter Country side looks to be mostly the same from here.
Member when this was just where they put all the steel that would frame the building? I member.
They haven't backfilled the retaining walls with dirt yet.
But the walls up by the actual Critter Country entrance look like they're getting some textured treatment to look more thematic.
They're importing some trees into the area, though.
At some point, they're bound to start work on the Rivers of America side of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
I mentioned last week that the towering rock spires of Batuu can be seen from Mickey's Toontown.
And they're very prominent over Gadget's Go Coaster.
You can't miss them.
This is the biggest sightline issue I can see. Rock spires blend into the background of the Rivers of America and Frontierland, which are already rustic.
Behind Toontown... a little more questionable.
There is the cliff-like facade, but I'm not sure that really conveys an effective transition.
Here's a view of "Star Wars" Land from along Big Thunder Trail.
Not as prominent, surprisingly.
Finally, from Tarzan's Treehouse...
I feel like it blends nicely with the skyline both in front and beyond!
Boundaries for Galaxy's Edge.
The extent of this land is massive in scale.
And it's very impressive to really see how far everything extends.
It's going to look epic when everything is done.
The perspective is very convincing.
I can't wait to take photos from everything completed.
Next year will be quite a milestone in Disneyland park history!
Mickey & Friends Parking Construction
Underground work continues around the Chip 'n' Dale lot over by Mickey and Friends, and repaving work over by the tram waiting area. As a result, Chip 'n' Dale remains out of commission.
They've finished the repaving of the loading areas that were being worked on the past few weeks.
And there's trenching work for underground utilities going on over in the Chip 'n' Dale lot.
This is... not conducive to parking right now.
Main Street Trolley Tracks
Over in Main Street, work walls have come down from both Town Square and The Hub! The resulting brick pavers around the trolley tracks looks like it's always belonged there and also provides a nice visual cue on the zone for pedestrians to avoid when streetcars are passing by. Work walls remain through the actual street portion up Main Street, but I would imagine that those will come down within a few weeks as well, since they went up a few weeks after Town Square and The Hub were blocked off.
In addition, around The Hub, the tabebuia trees have all bloomed at about the same time. This annual sign of the coming spring has brought a fresh and beautiful look to the heart of the park!
Well lookie here, we've got some freshly unveiled Main Street trolley track!
A lot of the work walls have come down at Main Street.
Only the middle portion up the street really remains now.
Plus this small section of Town Square.
The walls for the tracks to the backstage area remain.
From the flag pole...
The brick pavers look pretty nice, and if you weren't paying attention, you might have thought they've always been there.
The Main Street Indian looks on at the walls blocking his view.
The Hub has opened up too.
Looking back down Main Street.
This was the reason the January Disney park races were cancelled, by the way.
Over at The Hub, all four tabebuias have bloomed at about the same time!
This hasn't happened in a while.
There's always one straggler that's still bare or already green while the others are pink.
But not this year!
It's the prettiest time of year for daytime shots here, in my opinion.
I love those beautiful pinks.
They're so photogenic!
Toward the backside of Fantasyland, Casey Jr. and Dumbo remain under refurbishment, so work walls remain up for those areas. But the Storybook Land Canal Boats has already reopened after an apparently short, couple of week refurbishment. Scaffolding remains around the backside of Monstro--presumably for routine repainting, but that's one less ride closed.
The back end of Fantasyland is under refurbishment, starting from just right of this frame.
R.I.P. Fantasyland Skyway station.
Casey Jr.'s Circus Train is currently not running.
It's under normal refurbishment.
Dumbo is still down too.
They're changing up the queue and building a shade canopy for the ride.
But they are not cloning it to double capacity like in Disney World.
Not that that was necessary.
Over at Storybook Land, there is still some amount of tarps and scaffolding up.
This is for the rockwork beside Monstro.
The ride itself is open, though.
So that was pretty short downtime here.
The Small World Mall is still behind work walls too. The park is revamping the extent and layout of the tiers to better accommodate crowds and the parade route, which has impacted the Small World queue right now also.
Jumping over to It's a Small World, work continues here.
Construction walls extend by the old Motor Boat Cruise.
The pathway and line for the ride have been pressed out.
Fortunately, there are no parades running right now.
This will be done before the Pixar Spray Parade moves over to Disneyland in April.
We'll see how things look when it's done!
Other Disneyland Notes
I threw in a daytime blooming tabebuia tree in Mickey's Toontown for the heck of it, because it's pretty, alright? But Splash Mountain also remains closed for its in-depth winter refurbishment. It is expected to remain closed at least through the beginning of April, per the park calendar.
Over in Adventureland, Disney also announced that the doing-nothing-at-all Aladdin's Oasis will be converted into a little snacks and shopping area called The Tropical Hideaway, This appears to be a more permanent home to the displaced Tropical Imports shop next to The Jungle Cruise, which was moved across the path to the Adventureland Bazaar so that it could be converted into a stroller parking area. No word on opening, but it's a nice way to use a space that is effectively abandoned, if they're not going to bring back the old meal & show amenity Aladdin's Oasis used to provide.
The lone blooming tabebuia over by Minnie's House. By day.
Splash is still down.
Aladdin's Oasis will be transformed into The Tropical Hideaway soon. Sad news for anyone who hoped for the return of an entertainment venue at the old Tahitian Terrace.
Food & Wine Festival Coming Soon
At California Adventure, the stands for the Food & Wine Festival have already been set up. The Lunar New Year Celebration is hardly over, but Food & Wine starts this Friday! This annual dining event has been a popular feature since it's return a couple of years ago. It will run March 2 - April 12. I'm not sure why it's being cut off on a Thursday and not extended through the weekend of April 14-15 (besides April 13 being the start of Pixar Fest, but they didn't have to necessarily start that early?), but that will still be six weeks of fooding!
Food & Wine is coming! Food & Wine is coming! Here's a look at all the booths that will be set up.
There's also a beer both I forgot to photograph.
The only double window booth gets center staging in front of the Little Mermaid show building.
Nothing in the Boardwalk structures yet, but I am guessing they'll bring back their pop-up brewery taps here.
It's kind of odd to see this so bare.
It seems like the Garden Grill has its regular menu less often than a seasonal menu these days. Grab some skewers before they go away again.
Sonoma Terrace Upgrades
The work walls around the Sonoma Terrace continue to be up. I've heard some interesting rumors on what's actually happening there, including the construction of an additional bar with draft beer taps to expand capacity as well as a new entry off the main pathway to ease circulation. We'll see soon, I suppose!
No change here.
Work walls still up.
Supposedly, there may be new kegerators being added to expand beer serving capacity.
That would make sense. There's already a shade structure overhead.
And maybe a new entrance path too?
The pier is still littered with scaffolding and construction walls, and I got to the park too late to observe any visible progress from prior weeks. So instead, this is basically documents the text items from last week's update (with one correction: they haven't removed the roofing from the California Screamin' station after all. But that will likely come soon.
Also, last week, Disney also provided news on the fate of Ariel's Grotto and Cove Bar. Both will be rebranded into a new restaurant and bar called Lamplight Lounge. And don't worry, they will be serving Lobster Nachos still. There's been enough of an outcry of concerned Disney guests that they felt the need to announce it.
It was nighttime by the time I reached Paradise/Pixar Pier, so pardon the crummy photo quality.
The lights let me peek through the construction wall scrim, though!
Big news last week was the official announcement of what's replacing Ariel's Grotto.
Lamplight Lounge will be a Pixar themed dining establishment.
Cove Bar, to continue to be called Cove Bar?
Screamin'... still unlaunchable.
My bad from last week. The standing seam roofing is still there.
But I'd be surprised if they kept the same roofing for the station redesign.
The loop is back at Screamcredicoaster.
It's nice and shiny.
You can't tell here, but some of the existing buildings have gotten some new paint already.
And that does it for a lengthy for singular update from the Disneyland Resort! As you can see and as we've been repeating, there is a plethora of work going on at the Resort right now, and it's humming along briskly so that most of it can be completed before the summer busy season.
Goo bah... tuu!
Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.