Welcome back to Disneyland Photo Update. This is our second half of this week’s article. The Disneyland half had so much, we thought we should give everyone a break. You can check out our Disneyland article from earlier this week here. Let’s dive into DCA, Downtown Disney, and the Disneyland Resort Hotels.
We’re off to Disney California Adventure Park, where we are going all through the park as we cover what’s happening now and in the near future.
|Wine and Dine Through the Holidays|
This week, Disney temporarily ended the Pixar Play Parade as they begin to install the Christmas version of Food and Wine Festival, Festival of Holidays.
Along the Parade Route from Carthay Circle to Paradise Pier, Disney is setting up the Festival of the Holidays, as it will be DCA’s biggest holiday season yet.
Disney has been installing these little boxes along the Parade Route across from Wine Country Trattoria. They are permanent installations so that temporary structures like the Food and Wine Booths can connect to power and communication services.
All Right! It’s Booth Time!
|Disney California Adventure|
Now lets go through each land and see the changes that are happening.
Buena Vista Street
Welcome to California Adventure. The park entrance is beginning to receive some holiday trimmings.
Change in Venue for Santa Claus
This year Santa will not be meeting inside Elias & Co., unfortunately, I think logistics and the loss of merchandise space has evicted Mr. Claus out of this area. Instead he will be meeting his guests at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail.
Currently Carthay Circle Restaurant is a blank canvas, but soon it will get garland and wreaths all around!
This week I wanted to stop on by the Animation Building and do a quick run-through of the inside.
At Character Close-Up, Fastpass has been dropped for Anna and Elsa meet-and-greet and now there is just a line inside the main lobby across from the entrance.
At the Animation Academy the old exit still remains blocked due to the set pieces inside the meet-and-greet. This makes the queue for the Animation Academy line up outside in the main lobby as the hallway serves as the guests’ entrance and exit into the studio.
Over at the Sorcerer’s Workshop, a third of the attraction remains closed due to the Arendelle Princesses. The first two rooms remain open but Ursula’s Grotto is still closed off for the dressing rooms for Anna and Elsa. This ultimately makes the attraction a Cul-de-sac as guests have to turn around after the Beast’s Library.
If you have not visited Turtle Talk for a while, they have updated the murals inside the lobby with information about the different creatures from Finding Nemo & Dory. Inside while talking to Crush you can see characters from Finding Dory.
I am hoping the hidden Sorcerer Mickey Fountain will return in all its glory here someday.
The extra control booth added to the Back-lot Stage for the Dance Party Stage is now gone.
This week marked the 15th anniversary of Monsters Inc., so let’s take a ride on this DCA-exclusive attraction.
Frozen: Live at the Hyperion is down to two shows a day, with reworks happening and some of the show being tightened up. This is a good thing. Don’t worry; the amount of shows should increase back to three or four by Thanksgiving!
Let’s move on down to Sunset Boulevard as this week I also wanted to look at Tower of Terror and their gift shop.
I would argue that the Guardians layover is going to effect the rest of the park more than Disney probably wants to admit. From many angles around the park you can see the tower directly and you can also see the looming building in the skyline from around the resort.
Just drop into the gift shop as soon it might change from a Hotel gift shop to one with the trimmings of Marvel everywhere …
Lots of Tower of Terror Merchandise but also Nightmare before Christmas as well. Does that belong?
Cars Land is currently in transition as well, as about half of the Christmas decorations have been put up already.
The additional telephone poles are fully installed down Route 66 that will hold the tire-wreaths in the near future.
Light-cones have been strung from cone to cone at the Cozy Cone Motel.
The tinsel oil can that sits on Flo’s V8 Cafe sign pole has already been installed.
Stanley has not been switched out for Santa Stanley yet.
Sarge’s trees have been wrapped but they star-spangled light banner has not been installed yet.
The few Christmas decorations that Pacific Wharf does put up, strung lights between the main alleyway, have been installed.
Heading into Grizzly Peak, Christmas will be playing a larger role this year as “Santa Coming to
Town (Forest)”. This decision may have been inspired by the popularity of Santa’s traditional annual appearance at Big Thunder Ranch, now a part of Yesterland.
Disney has eliminated another smoking section leaving DCA down to one and Disneyland to two sections. (Disneyland maybe also down to one once the Tomorrowland Station is reopened as an actual train station.)
Moving onto Soarin’:
Is it hard to believe that the Soarin’ safety video is over 15 years old?
Christmas has not missed the largest land in the park but there is not a lot that goes into it either.
Every other light pole down the boardwalk has been tinsel-fied.
No decorations up on Little Mermaid yet.
Over at Midway Mania, now that it has been announced about new digital Fastpass system coming in just a few weeks to this attraction, the division in the planters along the front walkway now make a little more sense – but what will that be used for: Standby entrance, Fastpass kiosks, or Fastpass entrance?
Also this week I wanted to point out at the Midway Shops at the back of the park all the signage on the walls you are missing out on. They are very Pun-ny!
These two signs are across the shop from each other…
Moving over to Paradise Gardens, none of the Holiday decorations are up just yet. This section holds the very popular holiday show Disney ¡Viva Navidad! If you have not seen this show it is amazing! Viva Navidad will return Thursday, November 10th.
Elena of Avalor will be meeting her fans at the Paradise Gardens in a few weeks with the start of Viva Navidad.
Also on the horizon is a new World of Color Christmas show this year called World of Color – Season of Light that will debuts November 10th. The Christmas present boxes have returned for the holiday show and new barges has appeared in Paradise Bay.
Let’s run through some of the highlights of the original show.
Anyone else think that DCA needs to bolster its Holiday line up on the attraction side? The park gets almost fully decorated but there is no Holiday overlays for the attractions anywhere but across the Esplanade at Disneyland.
“Tis the Season to Shop!”
Let’s start off at World of Disney this week, holiday season is already in full swing inside.
Right now at World of Disney the highly desired 2017 Attraction Poster Calendar is available. Since in previous years it sells out quickly, I would recommend you pick it up now. But if they do run out or if you live outside of the area of a Disney Resort (I hear a lot of people do, and they are all crazy) they have made an alternative option this year.
What you can do if you cannot get your hands one it is you can also purchase the calendar through the Shop Disney Parks app for the same price ($24.99+ shipping). The Shop Disney Parks app is run through the merchandise department at Walt Disney World so all the features do not work here in California but it’s better than nothing.
I found it quickly by just searching in app for: 2017.
Back to Disneyland Resort… Inside the World of Disney, Christmas has already adorn the shelves and we will have a more detailed photo report to show you of the new holiday items on Monday!
Stepping outside the refurbishment on the Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum figures over the west door has been completed. They have refreshed the figures and the flying machine has had all lighting replaced by LED lights.
The Park Icon windows along World of Disney have been spruced up to match their Theme Park duplicates.
Continuing down Downtown Disney, the shop that once was occupied by Quicksilver has been gutted, split in two, and now both halves will be welcoming a new renters soon. The shop on the left already has their new occupant advertising for Curl Surf. The other still does not list what will be replacing it.
At Marceline’s Confectionery they are in a sort-of half holiday sense as both Christmas and Halloween decoration adorn the shop. They problem should be fixed any day now.
Over at AMC they are advertising for Doctor Strange, which opens today!
Across from ESPN Zone, the benches have been set up again to help prevent crowds gathering to watch the games on the overhead monitors, because it blocks the path into the shopping district from the parking lot.
|Mickey and Friends Parking Structure|
“Driver, you are clear”
Over at the Mickey and Friends tram station the billboards are advertising World of Color: Season of Light.
At the Mickey and Friends parking structure they have started construction on the Pinocchio parking lot as it will become an expanded tram loading zone for the added persons expected for Star Wars Land opening. The route will be moved so that it continues through the structure a little longer and comes out near where the exit row for Pinocchio lot is now, creating a square with a new inner plaza and reconnecting back with the tram route where Loading Zone 4 is on the tram route creating a wider square and 5 Loading zones. The two zones along the back of current station (Zones 2 and 3) will be going “backstage” for Tram maintenance and parking yard.
|Disneyland Resort Hotels|
This week along with highlights from DCA, I also want to show off the beauty of the Disneyland Resort hotels. They help extend the Disney magic beyond the park gate and to the moment a guest staying on property falls asleep each night.
It’s my favorite hotel as it brings the charm of Walt’s park down to a scale you can grasp.
At Fantasy Tower is where check in is and the resorts gift shops, restaurants, and convention center.
At Adventure Tower they have these lovely little models of the animals at the Jungle cruise
Across from the Adventure Tower is the world famous Trader Sam’s!
Here is the quick-service option at the hotel, attached to Trader Sam’s patio: Tangaroa Terrace. The restaurant offers a lovely menu.
Who else loves the Monorail Slides view from Trader Sam’s?
At the Frontier Tower they have an amazingly detailed little model of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel
The Paradise Pier Hotel brings the charm of land that it represents.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa.
Disneyland’s Resort’s heavy hitter of Hotels as it contains a park entrance to DCA and holds the charm of the Disney’s Wilderness Lodge and Grand Floridian Resorts from Walt Disney World and places into the California Arts and Crafts Architecture style.
Outside the South-wing of the hotel is the lovely little garden just behind Paradise Pier.
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|Thank you !|
|All of us on the Disneyland Photo Update crew would like to thank you for joining us today. Each week we’ll feature different photographers and commentators (often more than one). Today’s MiceChat Disneyland Update was shot and assembled by Brian Pinsky with additional photos from the MiceChat Staff.|
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That’s it for this week’s Update be sure to come back Monday as CakvalaSC continues to cover the Holiday changes throughout the resort.
Are you a photographer? Do you love the parks? Would you like to contribute to the Disneyland Update or other MiceChat columns? Contact Dusty Sage: [email protected]