Disneyland Park, Anaheim, CA
Hey folks! We're doing things a little bass ackwards this week and ending with the Disneyland Resort construction updates. Don't worry, though, I promise this update is going to rock! I know that normally, the Disney updates start the week, but things were getting stagnant, and I wanted to do something a little boulder. We've got a gem of post about "off-season" construction at the Happiest Place on Earth, and even though the return of these geology puns might be a little rough, I promise that the content will still be marblelous--regardless of whether you're reading this sober or stoned.
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
With the ride buildings being pretty much enclosed at this point and blocking any insight into the progress of the First Order and Millennium Falcon attractions, the most visible progress has come in the form of the rockwork rising up to mask the fronts of the buildings. Batuu is quite the mountainous planet, and those rocky spires keep sprouting. Plenty of steel and framework and mesh lath to create a whole galaxy of a world coming next year!
Oh, this ol' thing.
These photos were taken from Super Bowl Sunday, where it was surprisingly packed in the parks (as you can see from that backup of cars entering Mickey and Friends).
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge continues to progress.
This way to Downtown Disney. But that's actually tomorrow.
The buildings are looking pretty much the same right now.
The walls are mostly closed up, and they haven't been much ornamented yet.
What's more interesting has been what's happening at the roof level and higher.
It's pretty much been structure to support rockwork.
Lots and lots of rockwork.
It'll at least shield all those mechanical ducts and equipment from the park side.
The tallest rock spire was topped off rocks ago, but that didn't mean that was it for the rocks of Batuu.
Lets take a closer zoom at the building tops, shall we? For example, that's a freaking massive duct at the Millennium Falcon building!
New steel seems to be constantly being erected on the rooftop level.
The older spires continue being plastered to receive their rocky texture, but more columns, beams, and braces has appeared to support additional rockwork.
They're multiplying everywhere.
Kind of like Porgs.
Thank goodness the progress hadn't gotten this far when I tried my Porgoshop update.
It seems like the mountainous terrain will be pretty extensive over the buildings, which is great. The more rocks, the better the illusion!
This one has mesh up but no actual plaster yet.
Closer to ground level, the red trim seems a touch more complete. I wish the bottom line of the horizontal portion had been kept horizontal as opposed to parallel to the top of the parapet wall... which I also wish could have just been straight instead of sloped.
To our reader who pointed out a missing beam from last week's update, take consolation. It has returned!
Dirt continues to be backfilled against this massive retaining wall that I used to think was part of another building. I suppose this is one way to keep some of the excavated dirt on site as opposed to trucking it out.
And you can see steel framework for what I assume will be more rockwork over in this part of Galaxy's Edge, which will be more woodsy to blend with Critter Country. This is where the Resistance will be headquartered, in contrast to the more architecturally developed Frontierland entrance side that houses First Order forces.
A year and a quarter to go!
Lets look at things from inside the park.
The rockwork is finally tall enough to poke above the treeline and be seen from Tarzan's Treehouse.
From this side, you can see more developed progress.
It'll be pretty exciting to see the finished forced perspective effect of this behind the Rivers of America and Frontierland.
Steel steel steel....
Over to the Critter Country side, you can see the dirt filling up against the retaining wall from a few photos ago.
Hard to make out much detail here, but it's definitely different than even a couple of months ago!
At ground level...
Around the riverbend of the Rivers of America, Batuu is definitely taking noticeable shape.
It makes a lot of sense to work on the rockwork first.
Had the buildings in the "town" area of Galaxy's Edge gone up, there would have been less room to set up and install the rocks.
Plus, the dust and excess spray from the plastering would have dirtied up everything built below.
So it actually makes sense to do theming top-down, in opposite contrast to the direction you usually build things.
I still think they'll look quite nice and photogenic behind the Rivers of America.
I would imagine that a lot of this scaffolding may come down well before "Star Wars" Land actually finishes, giving us completed sightlines and offering new and exciting photographic opportunities before the opening of Galaxy's Edge!
At least I hope so.
And even away from the frontier, "Star Wars" Land is visible--if you're looking for it.
Mickey and Friends Tram Area Construction
In other news, the Mickey and Friends tram area is getting some pavement replacement, so things might be a little fenced off for guests.
Never mind this. Just some paver replacement.
It's not too substantial, but just something to be aware of for regular visitors.
Main Street Trolly Re-Tracking
Main Street has turned into Maze Street, as the construction walls have extended from both Town Square and The Hub to meet at Center Street. This is very unconducive to parades, but fortunately, none are scheduled until April, when this work wraps up. But it's definitely a barrier through the entire entry spine of the park, and though there are pass-through's every so often, the extend of the walls makes them hard to find until you practically come upon them. This is the park's reality for the next couple of months.
It was pretty dark when I made it to Main Street last week. Here are some daytime photos of the construction!
So far, so similar--just brighter.
Aaaaand, alright, we've got a lot more walls now.
The work walls now run completely up Main Street.
There are pass-through's here and there. The track itself is being removed and replaced, and the part of the pavement up to the two score lines on either side is also being torn up to be replaced with brick pavers.
When everything is done, the Main Street trolley tracks will look similar to what's at Buena Vista Street.
Not a lot of space on the remaining part of Main Street.
Then again, the earth-digging equipment is pretty constricted too.
It's not too terrible, though. This is essentially nearly a total parade environment in terms of obstructions, minus the people sitting along the sidewalk and further congesting things.
And the crowds through Main Street haven't seemed too bad during the times I've crossed up or down the path.
Around the Hub.
Don't worry, the walls do not enclose the Matterhorn too.
In other news, one of the four Tabebuia trees in The Hub has woken up and bloomed early. And now, just like in junior high, things are just awkward.
This means no pretty springtime photos this year. The walls will always be in the shot.
Splash Mountain Refurbishment
And remember when I mentioned last week that Splash Mountain is down? Well, it's DOWN. The entire drop has been taken out, and who knows where else the flume is being replaced. This is a more extensive Splash Mountain project than most years see, but good TLC is always welcome, especially on a high-wear-and-tear water ride and beloved classic like Splash!
Splash Mountain is down for its annual big refurb.
And this one is big!
The drop flume has been removed, so you can see into the mountain's guts.
Not too interesting. It's just dark.
But I've never seen the ride deconstructed this extent.
So that's different.
They've got a poster for the work walls here too, documenting Splash Mountain's history. But something caught my eye in the old concept art the showed...
Apparently, someone told the concept artist to just go ALL LOGS, ALL THE TIME!!! It's laughably absurd how many logs are in this concept art, in clear violation of blocking zones. And sure, it's concept art, so never rely on it for accuracy. But just look at it! There are 3-4 logs per block zone! Three logs going down the drop at the same time! In fact, I counted 15 logs overall in the entire rendering. It's like someone "Pimp My Ride"d the drawing--but with logs. That cannot be OSHA compliant...
That's it for to...night. We'll be back tomorrow with Downtown Disney and California Adventure.
Zip-A-Dee Doo Bah!!
Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.