Welcome back to the Disneyland Resort.  There is a lot of news and changes this week, especially at Disney California Adventure.  Buena Vista Street has been totally closed off for construction and a temporary detour for the entry and exit of the park is now in effect.  Cars Land construction has moved into overdrive, we take a look at future projects for Disneyland, check up on the construction at the Disneyland Hotel and take a look at the Disneyland Half-Marathon set up.

DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE’S TEMPORARY ENTRANCE

This past week the entire entrance corridor for Disney California Adventure was closed off.  The closure of the former Sunshine Plaza area is for the construction of Buena Vista Street.  Sections of Buena Vista Street have been under construction for quite a few months now, most notably with theCarthay Circle Theater.  Guests are now being sent on a detour behind Soarin’ Over California to enter and exit the park.

This represents the first time a Disney park has ever had to detour an entrance for an operating theme park.

Entrance Disney California Adventure

Disney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance

A look at the park map of the area

Buena Vista Street Closed off for Construction

Starting Monday morning, the main entry corridor for Disney California Adventure Park will be completely closed off. Guests entering the park will be sent on a detour behind the Soarin’ Over California attraction and emerge between the ride and the Grand Californian Hotel and Spa. The corridor will serve as both the entrance and exit for guests of California Adventure. The area being used for entry and exit is a what Disney refers to as a ‘backstage’ area, and was never truly intended for public use. Disney has added lights, background music and a wall themed to the recently opened Pan Pacific inspired park entrance. Read More —>

I feel that Disney actually did a good job with the detour.  After being surrounded by walls, especially at California Adventure, for so long, I was afraid that the way the park welcomed and said goodbye to it’s visitors would come off very cheap.

Even though the maze of walls are not the most pleasant to look at, Disney has done a decent job at “plussing” the area and making the best out of the necessary situation.

Disney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance

Disney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance

Thank God!

Disney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance

Concept art for Buena Vista Street and attraction posters are all along the walls; giving guests a glimpse at what will be here next summer.

The one below shows a street car in Carthay Circle.

Disney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance, Concept Art

Carthay Circle Theater

Disney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance, Concept Art

Red Car Trolley & Elias and Co

Disney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance, Concept Art

Buena Vista Plaza

Disney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance, Concept Art

Radiator Springs; Cars Land

Disney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance, Concept Art

As guests enter the park, they are funneled to the right along walls that have been themed well to the new Pan Pacific Auditorium inspired California Adventure Entrance.

Disney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance

When the new entrance opened, it received a lot of criticism from the ‘online’ community regarding the use of fake flags.  It’s interesting to note that each of the wall’s spires have real flags.  Hopefully this is something that Disney will reconsider for the main gates as well.

Disney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance

The lighting is probably the ugliest part of the detour, however it’s above your line of sight, so most guests don’t really notice it.

Disney California Adventure, Temporary EntranceDisney California Adventure, Temporary EntranceDisney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance

Disney, as Disney does, has put a outdoor vending location just around the first corner.  It’s seems shameless, but it also seems to be causing traffic problems during the height of the parks entrance and exiting crowds.  A few Cast Members have to be stationed around the displays to protect the location as a large amount of guests funnel past the area.

I’m sure that the merchandise department is trying to makeup some of the lost revenue from the closure of the large Greetings from California & Engine Ears Toys retail stores, but this is a really bad location.

Disney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance, ODVDisney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance

The concept art and attraction posters are a very nice touch, and seem to be engaging curious guests.

Disney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance

Benches are set up along the way

Disney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance

And the lighting that is in normal line of sight is pleasant to look at and within the theme of the area.

Disney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance

The landscaping is very nice

Disney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance

The area is also filled with a new background music loop.  It’s conceivable to think that this may be the new music loop for Buena Vista Street when it opens in 2012.

Watch the video below to hear the new music loop.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRH_XyhpXHI?rel=0′]

Guest Relations has been set up in the area as well.

Disney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance, Guest RelationsDisney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance, Directional Signs

As you emerge next to Soarin’ Over California, you walk under a large “welcome” sign, that doubles as a directional sign for exiting the park.

Disney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance, Welcome SignDisney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance, Welcome SignDisney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance, Info SignDisney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance, Info SignDisney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance, Info Sign

A Guest Relations Information Booth and guides have been set up just opposite of the entrance; the smoking section has been removed.

Disney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance, InfoDisney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance, Exit SignDisney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance, Park SignDisney California Adventure, Temporary Entrance, Directional Signs

BUENA VISTA STREET

This past week we said our final good bye to Sunshine Plaza and Greetings from California, as the entire has been closed off and is now under demolition.

Final Goodbye To ‘Greetings From California’

The largest retail store at Disney California Adventure Park will be closing tomorrow, August 29, to be transformed into an elaborate ‘Department Store’ for the new Buena Vista Street.

Red Car Trolly and Elias and Company Concept

Greetings From California was themed to quite a few different California cliches such as the beach, Route 66, cameras and even a giant post card complete with a neon Minnie Mouse signature.  The store lacked the Disney feel of it’s twin over at Disneyland, The Emporium. When Elias and Company opens in the summer of 2012, it will be an elaborate ‘Department Store’ from the 1930′s.  The Buena Vista Street presentation at the D23 Expo informed us that not only will the new store be massive in size, but it feature inter-connecting stores, similar to the Disneyland counterpart.  Some of the inter-connected stores will include Big Top Toys and Los Feliz Five and Dime.

Greetings from California

Read More —>

View of the former Sunshine Plaza, soon to be Buena Vista Street

Buena Vista Street Construction, Disney California Adventure

The maze of walls can be seen in the background

Buena Vista Street Construction, Disney California AdventureDisney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street Construction

Carthay Circle Fountain

Fountain, Buena Vista Street Construction, Disney California Adventure

Carthay Circle Theater

Disney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street Construction

The maze of walls can be a bit confusing for guests who don’t visit often.  There is basically a winding path from Condor Flats to the Hollywood Pictures Backlot.  The path has a tee in the middle that branches off to the rest of the park.

Looking at Buena Vista Street from Condor Flats

Disney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street Construction

Going around the fountain towards the tee.

Disney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street Construction

The main intersection for the three pathways.

Disney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street Construction

Towards the back of the park

Disney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street Construction

Looking into the maze from the Grizzly Waterfall

Disney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street Construction

Towards the Hollywood Pictures Backlot

Disney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street Construction

In the middle of the tee is a lone cast member helping lost guests find their way!

Disney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street Construction, Red Car Trolley

More Red Car Trolley tracks have been unveiled in the area.

Disney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street Construction, Red Car Trolley

With the movement of the walls, you can now get right up next to the Carthay Circle Theater.

This thing is MASSIVE!

Disney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street, Carthay Circle TheaterDisney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street, Carthay Circle TheaterDisney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street, Carthay Circle TheaterDisney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street Construction, Carthay Circle TheaterCalifornia Adventure, Carthay Circle Theater Construction

Trees have been planted around the Pump House / Red Car Trolley stop

Disney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street ConstructionDisney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street ConstructionDisney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street Construction, Pump HouseDisney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street, Pump House

A lamp from the Pump House

Disney California Adventure, Buena Vista Street, Pump House Lights

CARS LAND

Cars Land has also seen an increase in construction activity, as construction can now be seen during the park’s operating hours.

Look down Route 66 of Radiator Springs.

Disney California Adventure, Cars Land Construction

Radiator Springs Racers

Disney California Adventure, Cars Land, Radiator Springs RacersDisney California Adventure, Cars Land, Radiator Springs RacersDisney California Adventure, Cars Land, Radiator Springs Racers

The back of Cadillac Range appears to be finally getting some attention

Disney California Adventure, Cars Land construction

A closer look at the Court House…Notice anything different down Route 66?

Disney California Adventure, Cars Land Construction, Route 66 Light Poles

Light / Power Poles have been installed.

Disney California Adventure, Cars Land Construction, Route 66 Light PolesDisney California Adventure, Cars Land Construction, Court House

Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is getting more difficult to see with the new landscaping and coverings.

Disney California Adventure, Cars Land Construction, Mater's Junkyard Jamboree

Disney California Adventure, Cars Land Construction, Mater's Junkyard Jamboree

Disney California Adventure, Cars Land Construction, Mater's Junkyard Jamboree

I really hope these speakers get hidden better than this.

Disney California Adventure, Cars Land Construction, Mater's Junkyard Jamboree

Flo’s V8 Cafe

Disney California Adventure, Cars Land Construction, Flo's V8 Cafe

Disney California Adventure, Cars Land Construction, Flo's V8 Cafe

Take a look behind the buildings.  The fencing around Luigi’s Flying Tires has been installed, and the loading area looks visible as well.

Also roofing tiles are being installed on the far right building.

Disney California Adventure, Cars Land Construction

Cozy Cone Motel

Disney California Adventure, Cars Land Construction, Cozy Cone

Radiator Springs Curios Shop

Disney California Adventure, Cars Land Construction, Curios Shop

Casa Della Tires

Disney California Adventure, Cars Land ConstructionDisney California Adventure, Cars Land Construction, Casa Della TiresDisney California Adventure, Cars Land Construction

Cadillac Range’s details are starting to really show!

Disney California Adventure, Cars Land Construction

DISNEYLAND HOTEL

Construction progress at the Disneyland Hotel

Disneyland Hotel Construction

Neverland / E-Ticket Pool

Disneyland Hotel, Pool ConstructionDisneyland Hotel Pool ConstructionDisneyland Hotel Pool Construction

Nice directional signs have started to pop up at the Disneyland Hotel.

Disneyland Hotel SignageDisneyland Hotel Directional Signage

DISNEY HALF-MARATHON

This weekend is the runDisney, Half-Marathon, 5k and Health and Fitness Expo.

Here is how the set up looked on Thursday.

The starting line on Disneyland Drive.

Setting up the Starting Line for the Disneyland Half MarathonDisneyland Drive ready for the Disneyland Half Marathon

Finish line near the entrance to Downtown Disney and the Disneyland Hotel

Disneyland Half Marathon, Finish Line

2011 Disneyland Half-Marathon Race Map, Click to Enlarge.

2011 Disneyland 5K Race Map

Main stage set up.

Main stage set up.

Disney Half Marathon Stage, Disneyland

As seen from the parking structure.

Finish Line & Stage Set-up for the Disneyland Half Marathon

5K Starting line on the Mickey & Friend’s Tram Route

5k Start for the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend

Download the entire Marathon Guide, including expo floor and race maps

AROUND THE RESORT

No visible construction as of yet on the new Jolly Holiday Bakery Café / Plaza Pavilion

Disneyland, Plaza Pavilion

In light of the recent news regarding the future removal of the Carnation Plaza Gardens, let’s take a tour of the area.

Disneyland, Carnation Plaza Gardens

Carnation Plaza Bandstand, the longest running big band stage in America.

Disneyland, Carnation Plaza GardensDisneyland, Carnation Plaza Gardens

There is A LOT of history from this particular area of Disneyland, something that doesn’t exist in any other Disney theme park.  Being a history buff and a musician myself, I’m not pleased with the future plans for this area.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj_gHlrp5ec?rel=0′]

Disneyland, Carnation Plaza GardensDisneyland, Carnation Plaza Gardens

Read More about the Stage That Walt Built

Disneyland, Carnation Plaza Gardens

The Matterhorn Bobsleds reopened earlier this week.

Matterhorn Bobsleds

Get your runs on the icy slopes now, the Matterhorn will close again from January 2012 – June of 2012 to receive technology upgrades, paint and the new bobsleds.

Matterhorn Bobsleds Splash Down

A new street show featuring the Soundsational Parade Drummers has poped up along the Small World Mall.

Soundssational Drum Line

The band is looking for a few more drummers, and two “try out” for the spot preforming some impressive drumming feats.

Soundssational Drum Line

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WU9ZSh0y1JM?rel=0′]

Back at DCA, Photo Pass has moved to the old Cars meet and greet area across from Soarin’ Over California.

Disney California Adventure, ODV

The Grizzly Waterfall is once again flowing!

Disney California Adventure, Grizzly Water FallDisneyland, Queen of Hearts

A lot of work goes into these photo reports and the entire blog for that matter, there is NO way I could do it without your continued support!

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All Current Resort Closures & Special Event Information

Current Disney California Adventure Construction Information

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See You At Disneyland!

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