Disneyland Resort Update: Primarily Pixar Plus Parking

Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, CA

It’s not often that we post a Disneyland Resort update on a Friday, but today is one of those days. And if you like parking structures, you’re in luck! Half of this update is devoted to one! Specifically, a vital parking structure that expands the Mickey and Friends parking capacity and will be absolutely essential to housing the mass of guests expected this summer when Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge debuts. Ready to end your week with a dose of the Mouse? Well, read on!

Pixar Pals Parking Structure

Alas, you’ve noticed that this section is no longer called “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.” Well, that’s because shortly after our last update, it was officially announced that the new parking structure next to Mickey and Friends will be called the Pixar Pals parking structure. It will serve as a complement to the classic characters of the original structure by serving up six Pixar-related levels of its own:

  1. Incredibles

  2. Coco

  3. Cars (yeah, that’s meta…)

  4. Monsters, Inc.

  5. Finding Nemo

  6. Inside Out

In a nice bit of synergy, their designated colors will also match those of the corresponding levels at Mickey and Friends. So that’s pretty cool.

In addition, there’s a few news items about the new structure that pretty much counter several items I’ve speculated upon in recent updates. Among them:

  • The structure won’t open this or next month, as I thought it might be able to. Disney announced that they expect the new structure to open in July, but that they’re hoping to pull that into late June. Either way, this will be after Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens, so it’ll be interesting to see how the Resort handles traffic until the structure opens.

  • The canopy stretching over the loading area didn’t get value engineered. It just wasn’t up yet.

  • The name, of course. I honestly did expect that they’d just provide more friends for Mickey.

Disney also announced that the bridge over Magic Way to Downtown Disney won’t be complete and open until September, which explains why there’s been absolutely zero progress on tree clearing to make way for the bridge. That means they’ll have to place a temporary barrier at the gap that will accept the bridge for the first few months of Pixar Pals’ opening.

Meanwhile, the focus continues to be the portion of the structure facing the tram loading area. The large circular canopy is getting decking, while the escalators and elevators continue to progress. The lengthy canopy over the tram loading area coming off the structure is up, and they’ve also started forming the paving and loading areas for the turnaround to restore the old tram loading landscaping. The parking levels have also gotten stripped, with the same diagonal parking layout as the current Mickey and Friends scheme. It all looks pretty nice, and the new structure will be a welcome relief to the jammed parking that the park currently gets.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

At this point, there’s very little visible change going on from our typical point of view. The only notable one is that they’ve actually started to put a few screens on the backside of the rockwork to hide the structural steel. These screens have a similar rocky texture to the Batuu petrified tree spires, and they’re certainly better than nothing.

Meanwhile, lets go over what we know so far about the opening of “Star Wars” Land:

  • Opening day for Galaxy’s Edge will be Friday, May 31.

  • From May 31 - June 23, only guests with reservations will be allowed in. There will be no standby line. The reservations can be made for free as part of valid theme park admission.

  • Guests staying at one of the Disney hotels on Resort will automatically receive a free Galaxy’s Edge reservation for each registered room guest.

  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run will be running on opening day, but Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance will not. It’s not know when the land’s marquee attraction will debut.

  • Millennium Falcon will not have FastPass initially, in effort to speed up the standby line as quickly as possible.

Got it? How about some pictures…

Downtown Disney

Black Taps Craft Burgers & Shakes is still not open. Will it beat Galaxy’s Edge or fall victim to further delays? On the other hand, they’ve at least started adding an outdoor covered dining area as well as replaced some stanchions off the wall for upcoming signage.

Pixar Pier

World of Color continues to operate. I haven’t photographed the show since it returned, but it’s the same show as before. But here’s some photographic proof that World of Color works again, as you can see the fountains testing.

Meanwhile, this fall, World of Color will get a special, darker twist in the form of Villainous, a new show that will debut with Oogie’s Boogie Bash, the reimagined separate-ticket Halloween party in Disney California Adventure that takes the place of Mickey’s Halloween Party. This makes sense, because Disneyland will still be swamped with guests trying to check out Galaxy’s Edge this fall, and it would make little sense to close down the park early and deprive guests and visitors of the chance to go to a galaxy far far away. Villainous will utilize World of Color’s fountains, projections, fire, and lasers to create a new, stunning, and spooky show for the season!

And remember last update, when I said that Jessie’s Critter Carousel was testing and might open early the following weekend? Well, that’s exactly what happened, and Pixar Pier has gotten that much closer to being fully complete. The new carousel is cute, though the nighttime spotlighting on the Jessie figure has some color balance issues. Lines have been longer than for the previous King Triton’s Carousel, as guests check out this new ('“new”) attraction.

Finally, three weeks can really transform a construction site. In our last update, there was hardly any evidence of progress over at the Inside Out: Emotional Whirlwind ride. But a few weeks later, all of a sudden, a loading station skin has landed, peeking over the work walls. This portion matches the rendering pretty well, and it’s good to see this final part of Pixar Pier finally get a little bit of attention.

The Resort in Bloom

In addition, spring is in full effect across the Resort, and that includes tabebuia blooms that are happening throughout DCA. They’re off peak at The Hub at Disneyland too, but DCA is currently laden with a plethora of vibrant, puffy pinks. Here are a few photos of various blossoms that I photographed last weekend.

That lays it out for this Disneyland Resort update. I didn’t get a chance to make it into Disneyland Park before dark, so we’ll report from their next time—including the cosmetic and use improvements throughout the park as part of Project: Stardust. You wouldn’t think that park improvement projects can get contentious, but this one suddenly has—thanks to what it is addressing and how that’s being done.

But more on that next time. In the meantime, enjoy your weekend, go and relax, and we’ll see you on the other side!

Bloom bah!

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