Disneyland‘s long-abandoned Skyway Chalet in Fantasyland will soon be moving to Yesterland. Disney has officially filed the necessary permit for its demolition, thus removing the structure which has sat unused for over two decades. The demolition comes as part of the larger Star Wars-themed expansion, which is currently in progress now in the northwest corner of the park. Meanwhile, Fastpass+ continues to creep into the park, with Pirates of the Caribbean behind walls to get new infrastructure installed for the imminent arrival of the next generation of the popular line-hopping system.

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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We’ve got a quick Disneyland update for you this week, so let’s get started!

Welcome to Disneyland!

May gray has been hitting So Cal hard lately but it’s made no difference for crowds at Disneyland.




Fastpass+ moves in…

Pirates of the Caribbean is currently closed to allow work necessary for the implementation of Fastpass+ at the attraction. We recently showed you the addition of Fastpass+ infrastructure at Indiana Jones Adventure and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

At those attractions, the existing Fastpass queues will simply be converted into Fastpass+ queue and new posts will be installed to scan Fastpass+ codes on guest’s smartphones. The conversion to Fastpass+ isn’t as easy at an attraction like Pirates, where there is no existing Fastpass queue or signage.

You can see scaffolding in place beneath the attraction marquee.

Pirates of the Caribbean does have a history with Fastpass — Disney attempted to implement the original Fastpass system here in 2000 but was abandoned in 2004 after Disney realized the system was unnecessary at such a high capacity, people-eating attraction.

It’ll be interesting to see if Fastpass+ meets a similar fate — history repeats itself, as they say.

Meanwhile, walls aren’t up yet, Disney writer David Koenig has reported that you can expect to see a similar Fastpass+ retrofit at the Matterhorn Bobsleds in the coming weeks.

This will be the first time the Matterhorn Bobsleds will have received any iteration of the Fastpass system.

Skyway to Yesterland

Disney officially filed the permit last week to remove the long-abandoned Skyway Chalet from Fantasyland. We’ve been curious about the fate of the structure, which has been rotting away, obscured by trees in the northwest corner of Frontierland for years.

Star Wars construction has effectively cleared all of the land right up to the Frontierland-edge of the Chalet and now our curiosity has been met with a clear answer. There’s no specified dates as to when Disney will begin demolition and while the permit is good for a year, we’d expect the work will get underway quickly while the demolition equipment is still on property.

In isolation, the loss of the Skyway Chalet is perhaps long-overdue. It’s been sitting unused since the Skyway closed in the 1994 and after more than two decades in the elements with no maintenance, it’s unlikely the structure is suitable for use.

In the context of all of the various historical features we’ve lost at Disneyland over the last decade, and especially in the last several months, the removal of the Skyway Chalet is yet another unfortunate blow to fans of Disneyland history.

Many fans had, for more than 20 years, maintained a glimmer of hope that Disney might someday refurbish and repurpose the structure to house some sort of guest experience — whether it was another retail location or a character meet-and-greet. Unfortunately, those hopes will never come to fruition now as the last major vestige of Disneyland’s Skyway moves on to Yesterland.

ADA compliancy has long been the cited reason why Disneyland couldn’t repurpose the structure for a new offering but that seems more like an excuse than a legitimate reason — Disneyland has retrofitted plenty of spaces to allow for ADA compliancy and could have found a solution here as well if there had been enough interest and support in doing so. The reality is likely that WDI and TDA were both uninterested in finding a use for the structure and investing in it to accommodate a new use — it was apparently easier to just let it fade into the background for 20+ years. In a park that’s so tight on usable space, that’s a shameful waste.

Much of the structure is now covered in what appears to be hastily-applied white paint.

The excellent and invaluable Daveland website has some great and very rare interior photos of the Skyway Chalet from recent years, long-after the removal of the Skyway attraction. Click here to see them.

The stairs up to the chalet remain intact for now. The decorative post that had once carried the Skyway to Tomorrowland sign is now removed entirely, hopefully safely in the hands of the Walt Disney Archives.

For more information on the history of the Fantasyland Skyway Chalet and the Skyway attraction:

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 ]

Building a Galaxy Far, Far Away

Work continues prepping the Star Wars expansion construction site… lots of dirt being moved around to get ready for construction and to accommodate the rerouting of the Rivers of America.

You can see the Frontierland-side of the Skyway chalet from here

Rivers of America

A view of Star Wars construction from the top of Tarzan’s Treehouse

Meanwhile, back in Critter Country…

Views of the River work from the back of the Hungry Bear Restaurant

Zooming in…

Lots of dirt…

The recently downsized Tom Sawyer Island…

Big Thunder Trail

A look at what used to be Big Thunder Trail…

This & That

In Tomorrowland, the restrooms at the exit of Space Mountain are expanding into space that was previously the lower level of the Starcade. The restrooms are closed during expansion.

Over in Star Wars Launch Bay, the upstairs area which formerly housed Super Hero HQ sits in the dark and it looks like much of the old Marvel stuff is still just sitting up there.

The V.A.U.L.T. Spider-Man meet-and-greet looks like it’s still all in place.

Rumors had suggested Disney closed to Marvel exhibits to build a preview center for the new 14-acre Star Wars expansion but there are currently no signs of that happening yet.

The Siemens exhibit space from Innoventions looks like it’s all still up there, too.

In Downtown Disney, construction on the shopping district’s second Starbucks location continues…


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Weekly News & Information Round-Up
Weekly Theme Park Hours
May 16-23, 2016
Disneyland Park California Adventure
Mon.-Thu.: 9 am – 10 pm
Friday: 8 am – 11 pm
Saturday: 8 am – 12 am
Sunday: 8 am – 11 pm
Mon.-Thu.: 9 am – 9 pm
Fri.-Sun.: 8 am – 9 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!
  • Disneyland Monorail: Closed through May 19 for refurbishment.
Disney California Adventure
  • Silly Symphony Swings: Closed through June 9 for refurbishment.
  • Grizzly River Run: Closed through May 17 for refurbishment.
  • Frozen — Live in the Hyperion: New stage musical show opens May 27.
Downtown Disney and Disneyland Resort Hotels
    None.
Tomorrowplan Crowd Estimates for Disneyland Resort from Mouseaddict

May 9-15

Sun
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
Sat

  • Pirates, Blue Bayou, the Monorail, and Grizzly River Run all return this week as the summer season approaches, and Grad Nites are already underway.
  • Look for temps in the mid- to high 70s, with partly cloudy skies and slight chances for rain.
  • Create your own Fastpass, any time, any ride! Check out the premium Wait Watcher feature in the Mouseaddict app.

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.
Alright, that wraps up this week’s Dateline Disneyland! What do you think of the removal of the Skyway Chalet? Is it long overdue or should Disney have tried to save the building and give it a new life? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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