Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA
Today's Disneyland Resort update is a continuation of my quest to provide the prettiest park construction photos around while simultaneously reducing the amount of construction photos I feel obligated to take as each project around the Resort comes to completion. We've got our usual suspects around "Star Wars" Land, Downtown Disney, and Pixar Pier, plus a few miscellaneous items.
Although sometimes, it does seem like I'm posting the same photos between updates, overall, it's helpful to note just how construction is going on all around the Resort, across both parks and the Downtown Disney district. It's a level that I don't think has been matched in quite a while, so while cranes and scaffolding are up, Westcoaster will continue photograph them. This time around, though, we're throwing in some interesting trivia that you may not have known about some of these projects.
Lets get to it, shall we?
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
From the outside world, rocks continue to take shape. Inside, a whole new world is being constructed. But since we're not on the inside, you get--yup, you guessed it--more rocks.
Around Batuu, the ride buildings have mostly been completed from the outside. It's mostly the landscape of this future remote galactic outpost that's taking shape, plus some new steel framing moving progressively more toward the Critter Country Side. Scroll through for the latest picture update, and stay till the end for a special look at the frontside of rockwork--from a distance!
Welcome back to another beautiful day in Southern California.
Or perhaps Batuu.
It’s Anaheim on one side, Batuu on the other.
And it’s continuing to progress, even if we can’t quite see most of it.
On this update, we’re going to share some unique and totally true factoids that you may not have known about this colorful new planet in the Star Wars universe.
Batuu is a magical place where rocks grow on top of buildings.
You already know that the rock spires are locally called Batuuttes.
Did you also know that the natives of Batuu call very large hills “bountains?”
Yes, and large, flat lands are called Blains.
There are also Blaciers in the polar regions of the planet.
Plus large, flat elevated regions called Bateaus.
The first, ancient leaders of civilization on the planet are buried within some of the massive terrain in planet, in chambers known as Batombs.
Some of the geology of Batuu also conceals mystical vessels that control the elements of the planet, such as the wind. They call these “Aerkon D’Shun.”
Batuu is part of a three planet system at the edge of Wild Space.
The other planets are named Batwun and Batree.
There is a singular government that rules over all of Batuu. It’s official colors are off white and brick red.
These colors represent the hue of the planet’s most famous flowers, the Batuulips.
There is also native wildlife on the planet.
These include Batuurkeys, and Batuurtles.
The latter reside in the upper highlights of the highest Batuuttes.
Although not particularly technologically advanced, Batuu was home to a primitive droid assembly plant.
They manufactured Batuu Deetoo astromech droids.
Over time, though, Batuu has fallen off the galaxy’s popular hyperspace tracks, so today, it’s become a remote outpost that’s out of general attention.
Some people even jokingly call it Batuuine for how off the radar it is.
We’ll have a chance to see what all the fuss is all about in a little over a year from now!
Mickey and Friends and Friends: The "Pinocchio" Parking Structure Construction
Your quick run-through for this week in alleviating the Disneyland Resort's lack of parking problem shows that the hill that's being dug is getting a bit higher, and the ground around it getting a bit lower. No noodles yet, though. Sorry, Guy Selga.
I’ve been calling it this project the “Pinocchio Parking Structure,” because it’s built on the old Pinocchio parking lot.
But a reader did suggest “Mickey and Friends and Friends” parking structure.
What do you think we should call it? Vote in the comments below, or submit your own nomination.
We’ll tally in future updates.
That’s right, you can shape the future of Westcoaster! Or at least one of its update series.
Downtown Disney Improvements
Black Tap Craft Burgers, Ballast Point, and the Naples Ristorante expansion continue to hum along. The building for the first two has gotten most of its new paint job, and it looks pretty spiffy. The architecture remains the same, but the new (and notably different from before) scheme definitely makes the area look a lot fresher.
Also, the Disney Dress Store completed its move from between Black Tap and Ballast Point over to the old Anna and Elsa boutique. It's open and selling Disney-inspired dresses again--perfect for your next Dapper Day!
Black Tap Craft Burgers is slowly looking more and more colorful.
Designers wanted the colors to reflect the various types of beers that can be found within.
So you’ve got white for white ales, gold for golden lagers, tan for pale ales, red for red ales, and black for porters and stouts.
As Ballast Point anchors the other end, this is a totally logical and not-at-all-made-up reason for why the building is colored so.
The painting is coming along.
The old Ridemakerz graphics are still up inside, though. That should be gone soon.
Banner stanchions have been painted.
It’s looking refreshed, that’s for sure!
Disney also recently announced that Salt & Straw will be coming to Downtown Disney. It will take over the Häagen-Dazs location.
The Disney Dress Shop has finished its move to the old Anna and Elsa boutique, at the corner of the pathway into the Grand Californian Hotel.
The new grand canopy is continuing to take shape at Naples Ristorante.
It’s framed out and mostly sheathed.
Just needs the exterior finish.
This corner will anchor the new outdoor seating and bar area expansion for the popular Italian restaurant.
Pixar Pier Progress
Pixar Pier continues to chug along, with new steel being installed for facade renovations along the backside, near the old Boardwalk games. The station for the Incredicoaster has taken its form, though canopies for the queue still need to be installed. The tubes for the Incredicoaster itself appear to be mostly complete. Work has also begun on framing formwork to cast the new waterfall wall that will envelope Jessie's Critter Carousel. With less than two months to go, there's still plenty of work to complete.
Meanwhile, small bits of Pixar Pier continue to open. Previously, it was Knick's Knacks providing a merchandise location. And just yesterday, the Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats stand opened, along the turn over the old California Screamin' / future Incredicoaster launch. The facade wasn't even complete last Friday when I stopped by, but they only had a sign to install, and it appears that's done!
We’ve teleported to Pixar Pier now.
And it’s starting to really start to pop with the new accents and repainting.
Check out the view across Paradise Bay.
Despite the scaffolding, everything is starting to look pretty fresh!
Except the Fun Wheel. That’s still half painted.
I may not be a fan of the overall transformation, but there are definitely parts of Pixar Pier that are looking pretty nice.
Now, I mentioned Mickey’s Fun Wheel earlier, but it’s not going to be named that any longer.
Last week, Disney announced that when it reopens, the giant ferris wheel will now be called the Pixar Pal-A-Round.
Between this and “Poultry Palace,” we might need to take the keys away from whoever’s naming things at Pixar Pier. Or give that job to not-someone’s-kid.
This part of the future Incredicoaster does not appeared to have been repainted. The white track is still a little blotchy.
But new work is happening at the boardwalk games.
They’re adding new steel structure as part of the facade enhancements.
Recall that this was the area of the Boardwalk Games and Shops that ended up staying the same during the Paradise Pier refurbishments that happened as part of the previous 5-year DCA expansion plan.
The games next to them received facelifts, but these were left in their former, Coney Island style carnival aesthetic.
It’ll be nice to see this part improved.
So work is coming along back here.
Lamplight Lounge remains covered behind tarps for repainting.
But it’s starting to come together.
The bulbous roof spires look fantastical but neat.
Although looks like a titan scuffed this one.
The entry canopy for the Lamplight Lounge is slowly being redone.
Pixar Balls form architectural details at the parapet of Knick’s Knacks.
This area will definitely be very photogenic when it opens.
Consider these updates photo scouting locations, really. Also, the wall has been re-clad so that the interior metal studs are no longer showing.
Speaking of architecture things, the mid-century Incredicoaster station is starting to take place.
In other news, apparently, word on the street is that the California Screamin’ LIM (linear induction motor) launch has been swapped out into a LSM (linear synchronous motor) launch!
The roller coaster was actually testing earlier last week too!
The scaffolding around Toy Story Midway Mania is mostly down now. I think the building and colors look quite nice here.
Here are a few close-up’s of the Incredicoaster.
The tube switches appear to be largely complete.
Just a few sections to do here and there.
And a little more to enclose.
Back to that Incredicoaster station…
Even though it doesn’t actually match or fit with the Victorian seaside park aesthetic of most of the rest of Paradise/Pixar Pier, the form of the station looks great!
The extra structure and roof decking has been installed.
The chevron roof has been decked over too.
But the posts in the queue are missing their new circular canopies so far.
Photo booth… still a mess.
Fortunately, no launches till June 23.
Some concrete formwork has gone up around the carousel.
This will form the concrete “waterfall wall” that’s shown in the renderings for Jessie’s Critter Carousel.
That will make the ride less open, though. But perhaps the inside of the wall will have a fun painting or perhaps animation or zoetrope effect for guests circling by?
We’ll see soon.
Shade canopies are done and match the color scheme of the Toy Story Midway Mania building.
A look at the refurbished launch track.
This was the Adorable Snowman Frosted Treats (ice cream stand) last Friday. It was open as of yesterday.
A new decal for Annual Passholders was unveiled last Friday for Pixar Fest. The decal changes every two weeks throughout the summer.
In minor Disneyland news, there's a small refurbishment of dining area outside of Stage Door Cafe, in Frontierland. And Pirates of the Caribbean has gone down for its further PC-fication. The (in)famous auction scene will be losing its wenches and beloved Redhead and changed to feature the Redhead has a pirate, plundering her former co-villagers instead. I guess stealing people's lifelong valuables is technically better than human trafficking.
The attraction will reopen before Memorial Day Weekend.
Work walls are up around a small section of the dining area outside Stage Door Cafe.
Also no Redhead for you anymore. Pirates is getting another PC treatment. This has happened before (more than once), but that was before the age of Twitter.
Finally, after several months down, Dumbo reopened with its new shaded queue and more spacious plaza area. A new water feature can be found by the entrance of the line, and new posters and theming elements can be seen in line. The reconfiguration definitely opens things up a lot and eases the bottleneck that sometimes forms on the north side of King Arthur's Carrousel. And Dumbo looks whimsical and elegant and quite nice after its extended refurbishment!
The work walls are down! The work walls are down!
Behold… the digitally remastered Dumbo the Flying Elephant—actual ride edition!
There’s a spiffy new covered queue now.
And a coin fountain by the entrance.
Fanciful posters line the line.
The familiar Dumbo hedge is still there.
The ride’s got a fresh new coat of paint and everything.
Riders don’t need a magic feather.
Nor do they need pixie dust.
The fountain has been refurbished and looks great!
Here’s the other side of the queue, with a canopy over the Dumbo ride vehicle photo op.
The whole area is way roomier.
Which is good. Elephants need space.
Sit in elephant for photos here.
Dumbo’s still got that new ride smell and look!
The railings have been repainted but aged a bit.
The ride looks great, and Dumbo’s reopening means that once Pirates reopens later this month, all regular attractions at Disneyland Park are now back open to normal operating schedule!
That wraps up this edition of the Disneyland update. We're down to three main things being tracked--"Star Wars" Land (which, really, even I have to admit, it's hard to see significant exterior progress these days from publicly accessible areas), Downtown Disney projects, and Pixar Pier. Although once the end of June comes around, we'll see the western portion of Downtown Disney shut down for construction of the future "four diamond" hotel that will anchor this side of the Resort district!
Walt Disney said that Disneyland will never be completed, and from the looks of what's been happening at the Disneyland Resort, that's certainly ringing true for the foreseeable future!
Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.