Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA
Last week, we split our Disneyland Resort construction update into three parts. This week, we're doing it in two. Yesterday was Disneyland, and today, we check out Downtown Disney and Disney California Adventure. Half of this is a follow-up to things we looked at last week. But hey, construction work has to end sometime. And for a couple items, it has! Lets get to it.
Splitsville (Soft) Opens
At this point, Splitsville may be actually be fully open. But last weekend, it soft opened its first floor (the second floor was closed due to lack of occupancy permit). There's the outdoor/indoor bar, dining on the first floor, and bowling lanes scattered across several locations.
Rather than organize all the bowling lanes in one location like traditional bowling alleys, Splitsville splits (pun not originally intended) them up into three different alleys 2 to 4 lanes each. It's more like a lounge-y bar that happens to have bowling than a bowling alley that happens to have a bar. The interiors are clean and feature a mid-century revival look. It's a safe design aesthetic--no real risks. But it works for a dining establishment. My only significant quibble is that the prices on the menu seem $2-3 more expensive than equivalent items at other equivalent style restaurants.
Other Downtown Disney Work
Work continues on the new Ballast Point, new Black Tap Craft Burgers and Beer, new Disney Home Store, and Naples Ristorante expansion. They pretty much look the same as last week.
D-Street, which vacated its location for the Disney Home Store, has not gone away completely. It's now a vendor cart right outside its former home, though most of the merchandise seems to be generic Disney wares, not the more stylized items D-Street used to sell.
And if you haven't checked out Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, what are you waiting for? It's a blast. And it looks sexy at night!
Grizzly River Run Re-Opens
Over at California Adventure, the rapids ride at Grizzly Peak has reopened. Grizzly River Run's refurbishment was not as extensive as Splash Mountain's, and it's back to cooling down riders in our Southern California winter. You know, the one with Santa Ana winds and 80-degree weather. Here's some eye candy of the returning attraction.
Sonoma Terrace Refurbishment
Correction on last week's update. It's not the Wine Country Trattoria that's being refurbished. It's really just some shade structures that front the area and face the main pathway from Buena Vista Street to Pacific Wharf. A side benefit of this work, though, is that the still-open Sonoma Terrace is now a bit of a tranquil oasis from the main walkway, and ignoring the aesthetically less pleasing work walls, the outdoor lounge environment is actually pretty serene.
Finally, work continues along the back of Paradise Pier. The most noticeable changes come from Ariel's Grotto and the old Treasures in Paradise shop (I just call it the Duffy Bear Store anyway). The roof spires have been removed in the short time between the two weekends that I took this and last week's update photos. In addition, the launch at California Screamin' is completely gone now, and the boardwalk walkway planks along the Paradise Pier games behind Mickey's Fun Wheel has been removed. They'll be moving fast on this project to get it ready in time for the summer season, just like they did for Tower of Terror's transformation into the Guardians of the Galaxy ride last year.
That is it for the week. The Lunar New Year Celebration continues at DCA this weekend and the next. It's a pretty fun event, and great to have Asian culture with more exposure.
Those who can't quite make it to Disney can also visit Knott's Peanuts Celebration, going on weekends only (plus Presidents Day) through Sunday, February 25. That's a pretty fun overlay as well.
In the meantime, have a good weekend, and don't be jerks. And enjoy the Olympics or whatever. Or not. I'm not the boss of you.
Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.