Disneyland Resort Update: The Sunny Winter One

Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA

Greetings, folks! It is I, your regularly scheduled Westcoaster writer, bringing you back to the Disneyland Resort after our intern… did a surprisingly competent job writing an update from the Disneyland Resort last week. Who knew he had it in him to do more than badly fetch us coffee? (I like telling him to fetch me coffee because I don’t actually drink coffee.)

In any case, we’re back for another weeks’ progression at the Didnerland Resort and Spa (*spa not included). The difference between this update and the last one? Well, it’s sunnier. And a week+ has gone by. But hey, it’s been rainy this winter, so sunny photos are a big deal these days!

Oh, and on Wednesday, the internet assploded with new Galaxy’s Edge news. So there’s that.

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 aka the Cleo Structure that Will Probably Still Be Part of Mickey and Friends Anyway

When Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens, it’s going to bring the entire Southern California population (that isn’t blocked out) to Anaheim, which means they’re going to need a few more parking spaces. Fortunately, the 6500 stall expansion has been progressing pretty nicely, and at the current clip, my guesstimation is that we could see it open possibly before May, and likely by the middle of May. The structure is up to its full height, and its more architectural features are starting to unfold. Plus, they’re installing things like stairs and more elevators, which are pretty helpful.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

So last week, Westcoaster was part of the select group of journalists NOT invited for an exclusive tour of “Star Wars” Land. If you haven’t heard, Disney and a select group of media outlets have released a ton of information about what the new land is going to be like, from details about Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance to the food and merchandise offerings to costumes inspirations, and interface with the Play Disney app. The skinny: Galaxy’s Edge will bring a whole new level and depth of immersion never seen in any Disney park before. Guests visiting Black Spire Outpost on Batuu won’t just be in a Disney park representing this planet on the fringe of Wild Space—they’ll be in the Star Wars galaxy itself. Every last detail, from sightlines to theming touches to cast member interactions to easter egg effects and ride and shopping experiences to dining is being designed to make guests feel like they’ve stepped into not just a new land, but a new environment that’s literally out of this world. This summer can’t some fast enough (though the crowds certainly will too).

Downtown Disney Progress

Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes continues to be the lone straggler in Downtown Disney’s yearlong renovation. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, though, as workers have started finishing up the exterior facade, replacing wall panels and finally starting work on the entry canopies that have been bare tube steel for months.

Grand Californian Refurb

Over at the Grand Californian, the area next to the main pool has been getting a facelift for a new covered cabana type structure opening this summer. Steel has gone up for that.

Also, White Water Snacks reopened several weeks ago, and it’s got a spiffy new menu (the nachos are still there, but pricier) and a revamped, more modern looking serving area. Unfortunately, I was a dolt and forgot to take photos (I was distracted) inside, so we’ll catch up on that next time.

Marvel Land

We’ve also got the most widespread Marvel Land coverage on Westcoaster to date—actual daytime (with sun) photos, and photos from more than one vantagepoint! The demolition of the old It’s Tough to Be a Bug show building continues, though it’s tough to be a good spy and see what’s going on clearly, due to the work walls and oblique view angles available. When looking at the future Marvel Land from the back of the Hyperion Theater, however, one can see that A Bug’s Land has been largely cleared out, with maybe utility work going on. Lack of overt or exciting progress is fine here, though. They still have a year ago, and all eyes are on that galaxy far far away across the Esplanade anyway.

Pixar Pier

There’s little progress on the Inside Out ride, but more progress on Jessie’s Critter Carousel, which looks to be about on track for its supposed opening later this month. The carousel theming elements and characters are pretty cute, and the only major item that seems to be left is putting the canopy back on. Yes, it seems like Pixar Pier will very soon be… 90% complete.

Food & Wine Prep

Today is the start of the 2019 Food & Wine Festival at California Adventure. Running now through April 23, this DCA favorite brings back food, entertainment, culinary workshops, and seasonal merchandise. This year is its longest run yet, which signals how well its popularity has been rising through the years. The park was setting up the Festival Marketplace food booths throughout last week. A lot of the stands are returning themes from last year, though there seems to be an overall focus on general food ingredients this year (avocados, garlic, artichokes, berries, corn, etc…) as individual themes. There are a lot more returning dishes this year than in the past, but the menu still looks pretty intriguing!

California Adventure Refurbishments

It’s still the “off-season,” so here’s a look at things getting fixed up around DCA. Grizzly River Run, Pacific Wharf, and a bit of Paradise Park’s Boardwalk dining area.

In addition, last Friday, World of Color soft opened after nearly a year offline. The show is the same as what it was before—no new spectacular unveiled (yet). But it’s nice to have this nighttime show back at DCA. It was missed.

Disneyland Refurbishments

The TLC work is a little more obvious over at Disneyland, where Project Stardust’s subtle beautification and congestion relief efforts continue on Main Street. The Castle’s re-roofing continues moving along. And the Astro Orbitor has flat out flown away! The famous rocket ride is literally nowhere to be found, having been completely been dismantled several weeks ago to be refurbished off site. It’s due to reopen in April.

Get Your Ears On Monorail

The Get Your Ears On promotion is still happening, belatedly celebrating Mickey and Minne Mouse’s 90th birthdays. The monorail skin overlays are pretty cute.

And that is that! We’ll be back next week with a report from the Food & Wine Festival, plus maybe a few other features. In the meantime, we’ll leave you with what winter looks like in Southern California. Actually, it’s been unusually weather-y this winter, so SoCal has actually gotten a good amount of precipitation, which has yielded some nifty photo ops!


Architect. Photographer. Disney nerd. Haunt enthusiast. Travel bugged. Concert fiend. Asian.