Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA
We immediately interrupt our Midsummer Scream coverage to bring you an update from the Disneyland Resort. Mostly because it's been a few weeks. There are a lot of photos, but we'll zip through this as quickly as I can manage. Ready? Lets go!
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 LICENSES
They're in full swing at the new neighbor to Mickey and Friends, which is good, because they'll need to have this whole thing ready before "Star Wars" Land opens. The parking structure is progressing noticeably now, with the second floor being cast on the eastern side and the circulation deck where the escalators will connect down to the tram loading area taking shape. The ramps are starting to get poured too, and many, many more columns are being formed. It appears that as far as circulation goes, vehicles will enter this adjacent structure by turning left after the toll booths, rather than right into the current structure. I haven't quite figured out how the structure exits, though I imagine traffic will get routed back to the current exit lanes in some manner.
Banners detailing a bit of the parking structure plans have been up in the security zone of the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure for a while, now. I just never took pictures of them.
The loading promenade will look like this by the new structure.
The existing Mickey and Friends escalators are on the right. The new structure is on the left and background. It’ll have a larger canopy structure over the top level, though.
Wait here for trams.
Compare this angle to the rendering two photos ago,and you get a sense of how the new structure will interface with the existing tram layout.
Meanwhile, they’re hauling and starting the second level now!
At the southeast corner of the site, the escalators will reach down toward the loading promenade.
Looks like there will be some curvy portions for style purposes.
Concrete formwork is up.
The trams will eventually continue on and U-Turn under the escalators, but they need to have this closed while they construct the escalators and repave the driving path first.
Closer to Mickey & Friends, here are some ramps up to the upper levels of the new structure. It’s similar in layout to the existing.
Lots of concrete will go here.
Some trenches are being dug for new footings to occur here. Probably for the vehicular landing of the last ramp up to the second level.
The site has gone fully vertical.
Structurally, the structure is divided into two halves, and you can see where they meet here.
Concrete has already been poured along the ramps.
Just not completely.
The new structure is not that far from the existing!
Noodles for Guy.
Different ramps for different levels.
It’s just columns on the western half… for now.
Get ready for a host of close-up with plenty of noodz! Cuz we know you love ‘em!
The circular columns use circular formwork to create the shape.
A double row of columns where the two halves of the parking garage meet.
The escalator deck from a distance.
The ground floor is getting vehicular concrete in some areas too. This guy was cutting control joints scored into the ground.
Carrying around more rebar.
The construction is pretty hefty. There’s a lot to set up, even though the structure itself is relatively straightforward.
But it is simply massive…
Back to the current tram area.
From ground level, the structure is rising above the construction fencing.
Column formwork lying on the ground.
The structure will stretch all the way to Magic Way.
The 6500 parking stalls will be very welcome, once this is all done.
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge
Do you like rocks? Because we have more rocks!! Yes, the skyline behind the Rivers of America continues to take shape. Of course, plenty of progress inside the land is going on too. We just can't see it. But it's getting exciting to see the angles of the rockwork from the Rivers of America. All the while, they keep on throwing even more steel pylons to support more rock spires.
The view is pretty consistent from Mickey & Friends these days.
With a few exceptions.
This area is finally getting mesh in preparation for all the rockwork that will cover this part of the Batuu outpost.
Some new steel columns and outriggers have appeared over the Millennium Falcon ride building.
They just won’t stop with the rocks! Cars Land, eat your heart out!
Finishing touches are going on these spires that they’ve been working on for a while.
The view from the middle of the parking structure. Though exposed from the public side, the towering forms will still probably draw some excitement for arriving guests.
Lets check it out from the park side of things.
Yeah, things are getting very prominent.
Granted, this is the angle from the top level of the Mark Twain, but still.
There won’t be hiding any of this.
The forced perspective should look better once the scaffolding comes down.
There are some Cadillac Range-esque elements here.
The texture looks great.
The new steel peeks up from beyond.
Some of the First Order structures can be seen over the trees, though. Not sure I quite like that, as it breaks the Frontierland theme.
Can’t deny there’s a ton of work and detail being poured into this, though.
From the Harbor Blvd. side, the progress seems more evident.
This is how Disneyland gets even more mountains.
Downtown Disney Development
Not a ton to report in the Downtown Disney front. Black Taps and Ballast Point continue to chug along, while Naples continues its entrance facade remodel. New paint has gone up on the facades opposite Ballast Point and Black Taps, matching the gray palette that's been adopted. Meanwhile, over on the west side, some food trucks have been set up to make up for the dearth of dining created by the closure of Earl of Sandwich, ESPN Zone, and Rainforest Cafe.
They’ve set up a bunch of food trucks over by the old AMC Theaters in an attempt to liven this now-closed-off part of Downtown Disney.
The theater plaza has been turned into a seating area.
An Afters truck is parked here. I’m surprised they didn’t get a Salt & Straw truck as a preview of what’s to come.
A closer look at the seating. It’s nice and colorful.
As a reader pointed out last time, the Downtown Disney monorail station did not actually close down for construction. It was just down due to heat. The station is still open normally.
Black Taps looks the same from the outside.
Same with Ballast Point.
But they’re finally tearing down the drywall to remove the Ridemakerz wall graphic.
Wetzel’s Pretzels is getting some facade replacement.
Ditto with the Haagen-Dazs transformation into Salt & Straw.
The Catal side is getting repainted. They’re just doing it at night.
You can see the old and new color schemes here.
No more oxidized copper patina hues.
Naples continues its transformation.
The exterior siding has been removed.
They’re literally pounding away at the new canopy. This guy was, at least.
Pixar Pier Progress
Yes, Pixar Pier did open last month, but as we noted, it wasn't actually complete. So even after its premiere, construction still continues at certain segments of the Pier. In the time since our last update, Bing Bong's Sweet Stuff has opened. And I finally got a chance to ride the Incredicoaster, which is the same fun ride, just rethemed. My previous criticism generally persist, but it is good to have the roller coaster back. Meanwhile, Jessie's Critter Carousel finally seems to be picking up steam, as the canopy of the old Triton's Undersea Carousel has been removed, and more tarps put up to control construction dust.
Day 39: still no Luxo topper at the sign.
In World of Color news, the platforms are back up for repairs.
You may recall that the middle one went kaputz a couple of months ago.
The damage may not be as bad as feared, but they still need to fix it. In the meantime, there are no World of Colors shows at night.
For obvious reasons.
They’re finally seriously working on Jessie’s Critter Carousel.
The canopy wrapping the roof form is gone.
Despite the hot summer, the carousel is being covered up more and more, left to swelter in the sun.
This was added to the wall by the Pixar Pier turnaround over the Incredicoaster launch. It looks temporary, but cute.
Want to ride the Incredicoaster?
The mid-century style light fixtures look great!
As do these disc fixtures. Modern yet retro at the same time. I really like them.
The trains are repainted and all red now, naturally.
I love the patterning of this screen over the queue bridge.
Overlooking the station…
After the train departs the station, we see Jack Jack teleporting around while the world’s worst babysitter looks on.
I wish Edna was an animatronic—even a simple one. The Jack Jack teleporting effects are nice, though. A rare moment of dynamic theming.
We launch into the first scream tunnel and find Jack Jack shooting lasers.
The train rockets far to fast to really take in the detail, so the actual theming is also sparse.
In the middle tunnel, going up the lift hill, Jack Jack goes gooey.
This is an area where the roller coaster slows down, so it would have been nice to have more movement in the theming besides Jack Jack’s changing projection.
Especially from the back car, Mr. Incredible offering Jack Jack cookies flies by way too quickly to be noticed.
In the final tunnel, Jack Jack triggers his fire powers. It’s just paint, with movement coming from the train hurtling by, but it would have been nice to have an effect here.
The force field is clearly just paint even on the ride, though flying under Violet adds a bit of a near-miss thrill.
The Jack Jacks on a Stick are inexplicable, though. Yes, they show that he’s multiplying, but they come across as tacky, and as the coaster is hurtling through hills at this point, they’re also not well registered.
The finale scene is cute. Jack Jack is back, and a little oversized. Again, it would have been nice to have some form of animatronic here, as the train swings by slowly enough to allow it to be appreciated. But I reckon it wasn’t in the schedule or budget, which speaks larger volumes behind the brain trust directing the Pixar Pier makeover.
On the other hand, Bing Bong’s Sweet Stuff is now open.
I do like its exterior aesthetic, which reinforces that classic seaside amusement park pier look better.
The colors look great. Very inviting and fun.
Inside, there is a mixture of merchandise and treats.
Bing Bong statue coming soon.
A look at the colorful interiors.
I like the whimsy.
You can get sweets at the left side of the establishment.
Fudge, caramel apples, cake popes, and Rice Krispies treats are all available.
Jenny’s favorite part.
Some more interior photos.
Cashier for the merchandise side.
Unimpressed unicorn is unimpressed.
Pretty sure this was made by someone aiming to go on Nailed It. Either that, or we have a unicorn pig!!
Finally, in other Resort and park news...
A Bug’s Land will close after September 4th. You have until Labor Day weekend to enjoy it. And by you, I mean your kids dragging you to one of the few places in DCA with rides oriented to young children.
The Hideaway is still coming soon. I’m not exactly sure when it’s supposed to open.
The Pixar Shorts Film Festival is back in Hollywood Land, in the old Muppetvision Theater. "Bao," "La Luna," and "Sanjay's Super Team" are playing now.
The only nighttime entertainment at California Adventure continues to be the 8:50 Paint the Night.
Disney announced that The Holidays at the Disneyland Resort will run November 9 through January 6. But that's not important, because we're not even at Halloween season yet! (But if you don't care about Halloween, firstly, why do you read this site, and secondly, there you go.)
And that does it for our run-through of the Disneyland Resort. We'll pick up the Midsummer Scream updates for the rest of the week (and likely part of next week). So for the dark and spookies, you have that to look forward to. And for the opposite-minded, a bit of Disney hopefully tided your themed attraction buzz!
Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.