Yesterday’s Disneyland Update focused on the upcoming Halloween activities and merchandise in that park. It turns out that there is even more big Halloween news to share from Disney California Adventure! We’ll also take you on a journey outside the park and fill you in on the construction and enhancements in Downtown Disney.

Monsters After Dark


When our MiceAge Update mentioned that Halloween would be coming to Guardians of the Galaxy, many folks didn’t believe it. This week Disney announced that Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout will have a nighttime only seasonal overlay called Monsters After Dark. The story of the attraction takes place in the moments following the conclusion of the daytime version of Mission Breakout. It seems that after the Guardians break out of the tower, Groot gets left behind. In the new story, you’ll follow Rocket back into the tower to save his friend from the now thousands of Monsters running amok throughout the building.

Lighting tests have been spotted on the exterior of the building after hours . . . likely for use during the upcoming Halloween season.

The good news is that this holiday overlay is just during the Halloween season and only at night. Interesting that they are willing to make such big changes to a brand new attraction. They really are pulling out all the stops to get guests to visit DCA this Halloween season.

Disney California Adventure

Buena Vista Street

Soon, the front entrance of the park will switch its Heroes sign for an Oogie Boogie Halloween theme.

I hope the Citizens of Buena Vista Street never leave, they really immerse you into the story of the area. But it would be fun to see them in Halloween outfits joining in the fun of their vintage Halloween festivities.

As we move further down the street and onto Hollywood Boulevard we can see that the trees around Carthay Circle Restaurant have purple lights strung through the branches.

I like the idea of a spooky purple glow to the trees.

Hollywood Land

Moving to the Animation building, I wanted to reflect on the rumor that Turtle Talk is going to be moved to Paradise Pixar Pier.

I personally feel that the hole that is going to be left behind by the show moving is going to make the lineup inside the building significantly weaker. . . unless they’ve got something fun and new (and unannounced) planned.

The building currently offers two short shows, a meet-and-greet that has dwindling numbers, and a walk through attraction that is 1/3 closed due to the meet-and-greet. With the turtle show moving (a strong show that suffers from its location and lack of themed theater) that leaves the Animation Academy and the film clips in the lobby itself to carry the building.

Hopefully, a better-themed pre-show and theater will be installed in the new location in Paradise Pier.

An unconventional view of Grizzly Mountain from behind Carthay Circle.

As the underwhelming Super Hero summer promotion begins to wrap up, I wonder if the Hero Training Academy will stick around. It’s almost the same show as Jedi Training Academy at Disneyland. Most adults will likely cringe at this terrible show, but the kids seem to love it.

Scott watched the show for the first time and wasn’t impressed with it either. For those who haven’t seen it, the show essentially is a loose training academy for young kids with some action scenes sprinkled in. Disney tried to tie the show into the Iron Man Experience at Hong Kong Disneyland and the CGI on Iron Man is really bad. It’s either the animation or frame rate, but it’s jerky and doesn’t look realistic in the slightest.

Iron Man here from Stark expo in Hong Kong

The show is led by the two “trainers,” Black Widow, and Hawkeye.

This show is just as cheesy as Black Widow’s smile in this photo.

Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the trainers teach a few “moves” to the “Avengers in training,” only one of which is actually used.

“Just grab your shield and throw it! Yeah, Captain America!” Anyone notice that Black Widow and Hawkeye are Avengers but we don’t get to learn any of their signature moves?

Then this robot comes in and they instruct the kids to throw foam Captain America shields at it. If I were a kid, I’d feel a little ripped off that I don’t get to throw my shield at an actual villain, but they seem to enjoy frisbee-ing foam shields at a hunk of plastic.

And there’s *gasp* Hydra.

“You just won the day Clint, stand there heroically and talk about archery!”

I wish the dialogue wasn’t so clunky, at least Jedi Training Academy feels somewhat exciting. It made me feel as if there was never any danger at all. In the end, the show seems pretty temporary as if it was *gasp* thrown together for a summer promotion, but it has potential to stay for the kids. Perhaps they can find a better way for the kids to actually perform their new skills than throw foam shields.

Nothing like mismatched themes throughout DCA

I am hoping that as a part of the next wave of changes in the Backlot area that the Monsters Inc. Darkride sticks around longer and gets some updated effects and animatronics.

Look close . . . there’s a Mouse-monster running around the streets of Monstropolis
Oh, Boo, we gotta get you home!

I hate working nights, nothing exciting ever happens!

They’ll be pulling these stickers off the trashcans soon.

The backstage overflow queue for Guardians is no longer in use.

Let’s go check out the random stuff the Collector has collected.

Who’s armor is this?
There are all sorts of strange pods and cocoons in this attraction

In all honesty, entering the Collector’s private office and encountering Rocket is still pretty great.

This previous week one of our readers was able to find a little-hidden treasure in the Collectors offices. Our thanks to DisneyDrifter for sending us these two awesome images. If you enter the right office (lower-level loading pre-show room) you can find a vintage Mickey Mouse doll mixed into the Collector’s positions. And if you enter the left office (the office that leads to the upstairs loading area) you can find Minnie Mouse also mixed into the possessions.

The only hidden item I have been able to find is just a Figment…

Cars Land

Over in Cars Land, the additional telephone poles have been installed all along the west side street for Halloween decorations. We are hoping that the decorations match up to the Christmas decorations in theming and scale across the land.

Over at Restrooms, the Pay Phone has been removed. If you were born after 1998 you may not even know what a Pay Phone is.  😉

Also at Maters, the overhead lighting has been having issues again with full strands of lights now out.

That mural looks new. Anyone remember seeing this before?

Paradise Pixar Pier

Remember when you would get wet on Screamin’? Before they built World of Color, there was a wave machine which would result in water crashing on the rocks as you waited to launch up the first hill.
I’m trying to imagine an Incredibles red paint scheme being used all across the coaster
Screamin’ has always been a maintenance nightmare. But it seems like it has been down more than usual lately.

Moving over to the far side of the pier, work continues on a construction project surrounding the walkway. Maybe the entire west helix of the coaster will be enclosed?

Goofy’s Sky School is now down for refurbishment. Based on the last Miceage rumor this off the shelf coaster only has a few years left before it’s put into Yesterland.

Hopefully, the Rust filled walls can be repaired and the moving signs in the attraction will actually work again.

This animated sign has a long history of being broken for months at a time.

Grizzly Peak

Grizzly is still one of the most photogenic spots in the park.

One last little bit of park news before we head into the rest of the update . . . popcorn cart cast members indicate that the new refillable popcorn buckets will be released in the parks on Friday.

Downtown Disney


As we head into Downtown Disney, you’ll notice new signage everywhere pointing out the new parking fee and how to get your parking validated. Signage at the parking booth on your way into the lot may be easily missed.

The ugly temporary security tents are still there. Hopefully this will all be replaced once the new hotel is built.

With the new parking restrictions in place, Downtown Disney’s parking lot is now much less crowded. The shot below was taken about 6 pm on a Friday when it should be the busiest. Most guests are now just parking at Mickey and Friends to just pay the fee upfront and not risking the pay-by-hour rate. With the decline of parking at the lot and an increase of parking at Mickey and Friends, the structure now starts filling up and closing earlier in the day. Plan ahead, maybe even park at Toy Story now if you just want to stroll through the downtown district.

Splitsville continues its build.

Remember that Disney is aiming for a Holiday season opening this year, just 3 or 4 months away now. Shall we take bets on this one?

Both the Disney Vault 28 and Fossil stores will be closing soon to make way for the Star Wars VR experience that was announced a few weeks ago. Hopefully, Vault 28 can be moved elsewhere in Downtown Disney as the store has many boutique-style Disney items you don’t see too often in the parks.

Opposite Disney Vault, Ridemakerz, the hat store and Build-A-Bear are also scheduled to close. Though cast members at Build-A-Bear indicate that they may remain open through the holiday season.


Toy Story Parking Expansion

Disneyland has announced that last bit of unused space left from the old strawberry fields will be filled in for additional parking spaces.

The announcement released through the OC Register that Disney will trade the last undeveloped land that currently is used as a water basin. This space will become 455 overflow parking spaces bringing the total number of spaces for the Toy Story Lot up to 5,378, half of what Mickey and Friends can handle.

A 16-foot sound reducing wall will be erected to shield the noise from this lot.

The real reason for the announcement of just a measly 455 parking spaces is because of the delayed Eastern Gateway Project. A few local Harbor Blvd establishments successfully convinced the clueless Anaheim City Council to block Disney’s pedestrian bridge. Disney has run out the clock on getting the structure, bridge, bus loop, and security plaza built before Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens. Disney is expecting record high attendance for the opening and they are grabbing any space they can to have enough parking for the mass of people visiting the park during that first summer. With the Anaheim City Council being on the side of the Harbor Blvd. businesses, TDA should just throw their hands up at this point and give into the demand of a separate security entrance for pedestrians crossing Harbor Boulevard to prevent any more delays on this desperately needed project.

EDITORS NOTE: (update on the crossed out thought above) The parking structure plans submitted by Disney to the City of Anaheim DID include a crosswalk entry and security at Harbor Blvd. This is essentially a case of the Harbor Blvd hotels and restaurants misrepresenting Disney’s plans. Building the parking structure without the pedestrian bridge (as the Harbor Blvd businesses would like) would result in overwhelmed sidewalks on Harbor Blvd. and potentially deadly conditions in the crosswalks. It’s always safer to get masses of pedestrians out of the way of vehicles. Anaheim’s delay on approving Disney’s structure and pedestrian bridge is pure politics and not in the best interest of anyone. Please join us in demanding that the City approve Disney’s Western Gateway project.

Mickey and Friends Parking Structure Refurbishment

On a lighter note, much of the brick work being done to replace the slippery tiles in the structure has been completed near the escalators and the main Elevators.

Just 2 Levels left

Although there is no longer varying color by parking level, the bricks do look adequate to prevent injuries during inclement wheater. There is no word yet if the rest of the tile walkway on each level will be changed as well or if the long hallway will still host the color tiles.


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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 photo contributions from Scott Attula and DisneyDrifter.


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That’s it for this week’s Update. 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]