Walls have gone up in Critter Country and Frontierland as Disneyland gets started in earnest on its new 14-acre Star Wars-themed expansion. The first major step, besides reshuffling and moving backstage facilities, is rerouting the Rivers of America and Disneyland Railroad. Railroad tracks have already been removed and trees along the river are tagged for removal as Disney moves quickly on the fast-tracked Star Wars project. While the Railroad is down, Disneyland is now offering guests the opportunity to step back in time and see the original Frontierland Railroad Station up-close in New Orleans Square. Meanwhile, Disney California Adventure‘s Bug’s Life Theater is now taking guests to Zootopia in an extended 3D preview of the upcoming animated film.
Before we get started, we’d like to thank all of you for your support and readership over the last couple weeks as we covered the major Star Wars-related closures at Disneyland. We saw our readership numbers spike over the last two weeks thanks to all of you liking and sharing our posts across various social media platforms. Dateline Disneyland is a work of love and we appreciate your readership! If you’d like to support what we do, please consider donating via PayPal or by becoming a patron on Patreon (and get fun rewards in return!). Thanks!
Don’t miss your weekly Disneyland Resort crowd forecast — provided by our friends at Mouseaddict — in the Weekly News and Information Roundup at the end of today’s update!
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This week’s update is finally here after a couple unexpected delays this week, so let’s get started before something else happens! 🙂
|Welcome to Disneyland!|
The park looks great this winter as it continues through its 60th Anniversary celebration. It may be the off-season with all of the refurbishments underway, but the crowds haven’t budged — the parks are still busy, especially at night.
|The Frontier Awakens|
Last week the latest MiceAge Update detailed the latest rumors on the upcoming Star Wars project, which is now in progress in the northwest corner of Disneyland. The report included maps giving the first detailed look at the upcoming project, which we’ve embedded below along with interactive below-and-after slider maps.
The project will be unprecedented in terms of scale for Disneyland, dedicating 14 acres to a single property with massive new facades, rock work, and massive E-Ticket attractions that dwarf even Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones Adventure.
A satellite view of the project. While a good portion of the river is being removed as part of the project, it is thankfully far less than what we initially expected. Overall, the river is expected to come out of the project with signifiant thematic upgrades despite some reduction.
Slider image. Move the center bar back and forth to see before and after.
The Disneyland Railroad will remain closed through mid-2017 while construction is on-going, but New Orleans Square Station is quickly and unexpectedly becoming a unique alternative experience worth checking out.
A new “bridge” over the railroad tracks has been installed here, allowing guests to cross the tracks and, for the first time since the mid-1960s, see the the original Frontierland Railroad Station up-close and personal!
Cast Members were excited about the installation of the bridge and are hoping to bring in some educational signage and displays in the future… there was even talk about possibly reopening the station’s interior for guests to walk through again!
On the Rivers of America, walls have finished going up along the path to Critter Country where the River can usually be seen. Coffer dams should go in soon, allowing the back portion of the river that will be rerouted to be drained for construction.
On Big Thunder Trail, walls have gone up at the bridge between the old Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland tunnel and Big Thunder Mountain. Guests looking to access Fantasyland from Frontierland will need to go back into the hub and through Sleeping Beauty Castle.
In addition to the Disneyland Railroad and the Rivers of America, several other attractions in both parks closed over the weekend.
Walls are up at the gateway to Adventureland as its bridge gets some work done.
In New Orleans Square, the Haunted Mansion has reopened with its traditional show after the removal of its holiday overlay.
In Tomorrowland, Autopia’s refurbishment is well underway as the classic attraction prepares for its rumored new Honda sponsorship.
In Cars Land, Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters continues to inch closer to opening.
|It’s Tough to be a Bunny|
The preview is cute and gives a good look at the plot of the film, with some criticism that it may give away a little too much. Still, it looks like a fresh and fun take on the buddy cop movie trope with great animation. If you’re in the park, the preview is a nice diversion and worth checking out.
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|Weekly News & Information Round-Up|
|Weekly Theme Park Hours
January 25-31, 2016
|[B]Disneyland Park[/B]||[B]California Adventure[/B]|
|Monday: 8 am – 11 pm
Tue.-Wed.: 10 am – 8 pm
Thursday: 10 am – 9 pm
Friday: 9 am – 12 am
Saturday: 8 am – 12 am
Sunday: 9 am – 12 am
|Monday: 8 am – 10 pm
Tue.-Thu.: 10 am – 8 pm
Friday: 9 am – 10 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 10 pm
Sunday: 9 am – 10 pm
|[CENTER]For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar[/CENTER]
|[center]Closure and Refurbishment Schedule[/center]|
|[b][center]Disney California Adventure[/center][/b]|
|[b][center]Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels[/center][/b]|
The free Mouseaddict app for iPhone and iPad features more than five dozen categories of searchable resort information, weather forecasts, park and show schedules, the latest news and articles from MiceChat, and more. Download free on the App Store or at mouseaddict.com.
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.[/center]
|That wraps up this week’s Dateline Disneyland. Thanks for reading and please join the discussion below!
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Benjamin, Mark D., Bruno, and Casey!
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Thanks for reading. See you at Disneyland!
|FTC-Mandated Disclosure: Promotional consideration for this edition of Dateline Disneyland was provided by the Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel & Water Playground.|