Condor Flats, the Disney California Adventure land originally designed to represent a desert airfield, has closed to receive a complete makeover. Over the next few months the area will be rethemed and blended into the Grizzly Peak section of the park.
Condor Flats was an original section of the failed 2001 Disney’s California Adventure park concept. The area houses one restaurant, a shop, restrooms and a popular “E-Ticket” attraction. Condor Flats was a direct representation of the on-the-cheep execution of Disney’s California Adventure. The area has only been held together by the popularity of it’s signature attraction, Soarin’ Over California. In recent years Condor Flats seemed to be neglected, with paint chipping and signs fading away. After the 2012 completion of Buena Vista Street the land seemed even more out of place when it became bookended by a beautiful central plaza and Grizzly Peak. The Condor Flats entrance sign which resembled a radar array, as well as the X-1 jet over the Taste Pilot’s Grill restaurant entrance, were both removed before the completion of Buena Vista Street. Both were visibly distracting from the 1920’s Los Angeles street.
Grizzly Peak, also original to the 2001 version of the park, was arguably one of the best designed areas of Disney California Adventure. Due in part to it’s proximity to the high scale Grand Califonian Hotel and Spa. The architecture and thematic tones of the hotel resonate with a National Parks feel resounding throughout Grizzly Peak and it’s signature attraction, Grizzly River Run.
It has long been in the plans, to convert the area into a more lush thematic environment, and now it appears that we are going to receive the airfield that the new Disney California adventure deserves. On January 7, 2014 Disney management closed Condor Flats to begin construction on the “Grizzly Peak Airfield”. When the area reopens in the summer of 2015, Grizzly Peak will essentially encompass the entire area, stretching from Carthay Circle to Paradise Pier.
For those of you worried about your favorite flight attraction, Soarin’ Over California isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it is reported that Soarin’ Over California will be receiving new screens and upgraded 4K projectors. We remain hopeful that the new thematic environment of Grizzly Peak will extend into the attraction queue as well as the restaurant and retail space. We are expecting to hear an official announcement in the coming weeks which should reveal more of the Grizzly Peak Airfield details.
We will be updating you with construction photos and news as the new Grizzly Peak Airfield project gets underway! The photos below were captured on January 8, 2014.
One final goodbye to Condor Flats …