Disney California Adventure turns 15 today and Disney will commemorate the occasion with a special ceremony at the opening of the park this morning. Meanwhile, the park celebrated the Lunar New Year over the weekend and treated Annual Passholders to special events and activities over the week as part of the Resort’s AP Days. Over at Disneyland, construction on the new Star Wars expansion is slowly getting underway, both in the park and in backstage areas. In Frontierland, Disneyland’s traditional breakfast at River Belle Terrace has migrated over to Rancho del Zocalo, as the River Belle prepares to roll out table service later this week.

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There’s a lot going on, so let’s get started!

Welcome to Disneyland!

The 20th Century Music shop is still closed for refurbishment

And the China Closet is still missing one of its doors…

Valentine’s Day treats are available in the Candy Palace

Happy Mardi Gras, this Tuesday!

In Frontierland, an old orchestrion, formerly on display in Main Street Station has moved into the back of Silver Spur Supplies. It’s been refurbished and is working in top-notch condition. A real little hidden gem.

Meanwhile, Disney California Adventure turns 15 today. Disney will be marking the occasion this morning at park opening with a “special moment.”

The park, which initially struggled to find an audience, underwent a multi-year $1 billion re-imagining and expansion project that finished in 2012. That revitalization project, which included Buena Vista Street and Cars Land, helped turned the park around and is now seen as a successful and worthy counterpart to Disneyland.

Happy 15th birthday, Disney California Adventure! Here’s to your continued evolution and a bright future!




Happy Lunar New Year!

Disney California Adventure hosted its annual Happy Lunar New Year Celebration in Paradise Garden over the weekend. This is such a great cultural offering and I’m always happy to see it return every year. If only Disney expanded it to run for a couple weekends.

Cultural activities and entertainment are found throughout Paradise Garden, including writing your New Lunar Year wish on red papers and hanging them up.

Happy year of the Monkey!

Mickey and Minnie meet in their Lunar New Year costumes

A couple of special food items

What Year Are You?

Passholder Perks

Last week Disneyland launched AP Days, a month of special activities, movie screenings, and events for Annual Passholders that will run through the end of February. At Disneyland, Annual Passholders can enjoy daily screenings of vintage Disney programs in the Main Street Opera House starting at 5 p.m.

Long lines for event registration on Sunday. Pass holders can enjoy free bottled water and popcorn at screenings.

At Disney California Adventure, Stage 17 features screenings of cartoon shorts, activities, character meet-and-greets, and free popcorn and water. The venue was closed on Sunday but Cast Members said it was expected to reopen today, Monday, February 8.

The Blue Sky Cellar features coloring, free recipe cards, and information about Disney’s new expanded Disney Photo Pass privileges for Annual Passholders.

Most of the wall displays inside the Blue Sky Cellar remain unchanged from when the venue was a preview center for Disneyland’s Fantasy Faire area.

Other displays have been switched to advertise the Disney Photo Pass service to Annual Passholders.

Passholders can recharge their phones at charging stations inside the Blue Sky Cellar

Free Disney recipe cards.

The screening room has tables with coloring pages and the TV shows a short video featuring the 2016 Disneyland Ambassadors welcoming and thanking Passholders.

The video includes footage of Walt Disney as the Ambassadors mention that “Disneyland will never be completed”

Each week of February will feature a different theme

Meanwhile, work continues on the backside of the Blue Sky Cellar

Moving Meals

In Frontierland, the River Belle Terrace’s breakfast menu has moved to Rancho del Zocalo as the River Belle is converted into a table service location, which is set to open on Wednesday.

River Belle’s menu board announces the change and has a preview of the restaurant’s new southern barbecue menu on display. (Click for larger version)

Rancho del Zocalo is now serving up an expanded breakfast menu…

Most of the traditional American breakfast favorites from River Belle have moved to the other side of Frontierland.

The move to Rancho allowed for the addition of new Mexican-inspired breakfast options.

We tried the chilaquiles, which were just okay. The crunch that comes from the tortilla chips in traditional chilaquiles isn’t found here as the layered chips is pre-made and served from a steam tray. It still packs enough flavor for Disney Mexican food, though.

The Frontier Awakens

Disneyland’s new Star Wars project will be unprecedented in terms of scale for the park, 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. Below, a map showing how the new land is expected to impact Disneyland’s landscape once completed in late 2018.

StarWarsExpansion-BeforeStarWarsExpansion-After

[ View Map Large ]

Relocating Backstage

In order to get construction underway, Disneyland is working on clearing out backstage facilities which will be bulldozed as the land they sit on will eventually become home to Star Wars Land.

Not much has been demolished yet, but facilities like the Circle D Ranch are now cleared out and awaiting removal.

The massive show building for Star Wars Land’s “battle escape” attraction will take over this area.

Rivers of America

Inside the park, not much has changed from the guest perspective. The Rivers of America remain closed but none of it has been drained yet.

Looks like some trees have been removed from the berm along the river.

In Critter Country, the Hungry Bear Restaurant added Country Bear posters to its construction walls.

Yes, they’re really open!

Disneyland Railroad

At New Orleans Square station, tables have been added to the queue area with Railroad information available for reading and coloring available for kids.

Refurbishment Round-Up

In addition to the major Star Wars expansion, several other projects continue in both parks.

Jungle Closed

Jungle Cruise remains closed through early May.

End of Season

In Fantasyland, “it’s a small world” has reopened with is traditional show.

Honk for Honda

Autopia’s refurbishment and repainting project continues in Tomorrowland as the attraction gets ready to welcome its new sponsor when it reopens in late-April.

Looks like a new blue-and-white color scheme is erasing the unpleasant color scheme leftover from 1998.

Rollickin’ Along…

In Cars Land, there’s no visible progress at delayed Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters attraction. Pre-recorded safety spiels could be heard from behind construction walls on Sunday but no other progress could be seen.

Temporary lighting is up in Cars Land and along Paradise Bay as Disney prepares to film segments for its upcoming “Wonderful World of Disney: Disneyland 60” TV special, which airs later this month and will feature actor Josh Gad along with numerous other celebrities.

Beyond the Berm

Over at the Disneyland Hotel, the E-Ticket Pool is closed for resurfacing.

Goofy’s Kitchen is also closed for refurbishment.

Fall safety on the Fantasy Tower doesn’t look great…

A new structure has gone up in the surface lot next to the Mickey and Friends parking structure.


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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
February 8-14, 2016
Disneyland Park California Adventure
Monday: 9 am – 9 pm
Tue.-Wed.: 10 am – 9 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 9 pm
Fri.-Sun.: 8 am – 12 am
Monday: 9 am – 9 pm
Tue.-Wed.: 10 am – 8 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 8 pm
Fri.-Sun.: 8 am – 10 pm
For a complete listing of theme park hours,
visit the Disneyland.com Theme Park Calendar
Closure and Refurbishment Schedule
Disneyland Park
  • Disneyland Railroad: Closed for over a year starting January 11 while the Railroad path is rerouted for Star Wars Land.
  • Rivers of America: All River traffic and attractions are closed for over a year starting on January 11 while Star Wars Land construction reduces and reroutes the northern portion of the River. The extended closure includes:
    • Mark Twain Riverboat
    • Sailing Ship Columbia
    • Rafts to Tom Sawyer Island
    • Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
    • Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
    • Fantasmic!
  • Jungle Cruise: Closed January 11-May 5 to remove holiday overlay and for extended refurbishment.
  • Autopia: Closed January 11-April 28 for refurbishment.
Disney California Adventure
  • Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters: New attraction opens early 2016.
  • Soarin’ Over California: Closed January 25-28, February 1-4 to install new Soarin’ Over the World attraction.
  • Aladdin – A Musical Spectacular: Closed permanently starting January 11. A “Frozen”-inspired musical stage show will take its place.
  • World of Color: Closed January 19-February 1 for refurbishment.
Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels
  • E-Ticket Pool, Disneyland Hotel: Closed for refurbishment.
  • Goofy’s Kitchen, Disneyland Hotel: Closed for refurbishment.
Tomorrowplan Crowd Estimates for Disneyland Resort from Mouseaddict

February 8-14

Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat
Sun

  • Spring is not here yet, but Mother Nature hasn’t gotten the memo. Temperatures are expected to reach 90 degrees with mostly sunny conditions this week. Tap “Cool Zones” in Mouseaddict’s “Search” to find spots to chill out.

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.

Headline Roundup
A quick look at noteworthy Disney theme park headlines from around the web.
  • Cast Members express misgivings and Imagineers worry about tight deadline for Star Wars Land (Dave Koenig)
  • Shanghai Disneyland tickets go on sale in March as the park prepares to open in June. (LA Times)
  • Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen, House of Blues celebrate Mardi Gras with live music, special menus this Tuesday. (Disney Parks Blog)
  • Universal Studios Hollywood adopts “demand pricing” as it prepares to open Wizarding World of Harry Potter. (LA Times)
Alright, that’s it for this week’s update! Did you celebrate Lunar New Year at Disney California Adventure over the weekend? Let us know what you thought in the comments section below!

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– Andy




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