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.
A look at the park map of the area
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.
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.
Carthay Circle Theater
Red Car Trolley & Elias and Co
Buena Vista Plaza
Radiator Springs; Cars Land
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.
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.
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, 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.
The concept art and attraction posters are a very nice touch, and seem to be engaging curious guests.
Benches are set up along the way
And the lighting that is in normal line of sight is pleasant to look at and within the theme of the area.
The landscaping is very nice
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.
Guest Relations has been set up in the area as well.
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.
A Guest Relations Information Booth and guides have been set up just opposite of the entrance; the smoking section has been removed.
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.
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.
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.
View of the former Sunshine Plaza, soon to be Buena Vista Street
The maze of walls can be seen in the background
Carthay Circle Fountain
Carthay Circle Theater
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
Going around the fountain towards the tee.
The main intersection for the three pathways.
Towards the back of the park
Looking into the maze from the Grizzly Waterfall
Towards the Hollywood Pictures Backlot
In the middle of the tee is a lone cast member helping lost guests find their way!
More Red Car Trolley tracks have been unveiled in the area.
With the movement of the walls, you can now get right up next to the Carthay Circle Theater.
This thing is MASSIVE!
Trees have been planted around the Pump House / Red Car Trolley stop
A lamp from the Pump House
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.
Radiator Springs Racers
The back of Cadillac Range appears to be finally getting some attention
A closer look at the Court House…Notice anything different down Route 66?
Light / Power Poles have been installed.
Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree is getting more difficult to see with the new landscaping and coverings.
I really hope these speakers get hidden better than this.
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.
Cozy Cone Motel
Radiator Springs Curios Shop
Casa Della Tires
Cadillac Range’s details are starting to really show!
Construction progress at the Disneyland Hotel
Neverland / E-Ticket Pool
Nice directional signs have started to pop up at the Disneyland Hotel.
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.
Finish line near the entrance to Downtown Disney and the Disneyland Hotel
2011 Disneyland Half-Marathon Race Map, Click to Enlarge.
2011 Disneyland 5K Race Map
Main stage set up.
Main stage set up.
As seen from the parking structure.
5K Starting line on the Mickey & Friend’s Tram Route
AROUND THE RESORT
No visible construction as of yet on the new Jolly Holiday Bakery Café / 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.
Carnation Plaza Bandstand, the longest running big band stage in America.
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.
Read More about the Stage That Walt Built
The Matterhorn Bobsleds reopened earlier this week.
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.
A new street show featuring the Soundsational Parade Drummers has poped up along the Small World Mall.
The band is looking for a few more drummers, and two “try out” for the spot preforming some impressive drumming feats.
Back at DCA, Photo Pass has moved to the old Cars meet and greet area across from Soarin’ Over California.
The Grizzly Waterfall is once again flowing!
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See You At Disneyland!
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