Happy Friday everyone! We have a few end of the week Disneyland Resort news items for you today. While none of them should come as any surprise to us, some of you may be very disappointed by this first item.

RunDisney Disneyland Falls 

Folks have been speculating for months that RunDisney was about to pull out of the Disneyland market.  Disneyland claims its because of Star Wars land construction.  However, that construction has been going on for nearly two years.  While that may be part of the calculus, the gridlock of city streets during the races, problems with Anaheim’s anti-Disney City Counsel, falling race registrations, and growing costs following the decision to stop using volunteers are also likely factors.

The races continue at Disney’s other resorts.

Were you a RunDisney fan? How has this decision impacted you?

New Destinations

As we’ve all known for quite some time, StarTours will be getting some new destinations inspired by The Last Jedi, which comes out this holiday season. The new scenes will launch at Disneyland park and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on November 17 and puts you in the middle of an epic battle that takes place on the planet of Crait.

So expect November and December to be just a bit more crowded than it was already destined to be.

“[Luke:] I can’t believe it. [Yoda:] That is why you fail.”

Downtown Disney’s new Dress Shop

Or should we say new location?! The new shop is located directly across from the old shop and features the same merchandise you knew and loved from the Disney Vault.

The shop may not look as ornate, but it’s crammed with all the same old stuff.

Grand Californian Refurbishment

The Grand Cal is just about done with its major refurbishment project, which has taken the better part of a year. When you walk in, you won’t really notice anything different, but there’s a lot more change than you might imagine. All the furniture and rugs are new throughout the hotel and modifications have been made to make the rooms feel larger and brighter.

The changes are significant enough that 4 shadowboxes filled with sample details were posted just off the lobby so guests could see what was going on behind all those construction curtains. (These aren’t new, I just wanted to have the photos here so we can compare them to the actual completed rooms).

Below, you’ll find a blurry sample of the new carpet and the old carpet.

New carpet on the left and old on the right. Which do you like better? I have a definite opinion.
The new pattern is busy and just sort of blends together.
The old pattern was much bolder but also much darker. It also looks like it wore really well.

And here’s one of the new rooms. The beds are taller now so you can stow your bags underneath.

Oh no! I think the guest is still in the room. Better run!!! Just kidding. Friends invited me to stop by to see the new rooms. You can see that the larger armoires have been removed. There’s a larger wall-mounted TV.
I found this power outlet to be a sign of the times, but a welcome one. 4 USB ports and just two three-prong outlets. You could charge 4 phones at once! I’d like these at home.

So, how did they do? Does it match the samples we saw in the lobby?

Pretty close!

Two things of note in this photo. The first is that a Keurig coffee maker is on the counter, with coffee pods in the drawer below. The 2nd is that the coffee maker sits in a spot that was once the closet. So the closets have been made smaller to accommodate more desk space.

Some folks will appreciate the new larger feeling rooms which make better use of space. But some will miss the more luxurious and upscale feel of the previous rooms.

Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire

The new Star Wars Virtual Reality experience is under construction in Downtown Disney (where Fossil and the old dress shop were located).  The experience is actually created and run by a 3rd party company called The Void.

The Void is known for high quality VR experiences in the themed entertainment industry. However, their implementation of the technology requires the user to wear quite a bit of gear and takes a while to suit up. It will be interesting to see how this is handled in their first Disney implementation as Disney usually seeks to avoid such encumberments.

Take a look at this video and you’ll get an idea of just how much is involved with the experience.



Construction on Downtown Disney’s future bowling alley is really rolling now. The building is starting to look interesting and now that it’s enclosed with glass window already being installed, we should see the pace pick up.

Star Wars Land Construction

Not to be confused by the StarTours or Star Wars VR experiences we’ve already spoken about in this update, there is also Star Wars land construction to show you. The show buildings are being enclosed. climate control systems have been installed on the rooftops. Rock work is quickly advancing. It’s all starting to look like they might just beat their construction estimates. Sadly, Florida is falling further behind as their delayed start, hurricanes and even their own Reedy Creek Improvement District are all working against them. We generally think of California as being the more difficult state to build in, but that’s not been the case with this project.

Those mountain tops are near the Millennium Falcon ride. Photo: Brian Pinsky
This is the First Order themed Battle Escape attraction. It’s just massive, which is necessary since the ride takes place on two levels. Photo: Brian Pinsky
Walls are going up and we should see fire escapes added soon. Photo: Brian Pinsky
Photo: Brian Pinsky

This and That from DCA

Merry Christmas from Disney California Adventure, where the first holiday decorations are in the process of being installed.

That we can deal with. But what you’ll see below is just plain TERRIBLE show. The murals in Bugs Lands are in horrible shape. Faded, pealing, split. We’ve been showing you the issue on and off since late spring. We know that Disney hopes to plop Marvel Land on this spot, so perhaps they are just ignoring Bugs Land for now.

Hard to believe you are looking at a Disney park.

Even if Disney plans to tear it all out in the relatively near future, Shouldn’t they just remove that mural and paint the show building “go away green” or sky blue?  It would cost them so little and would take care of this blight.

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Much thanks to Brian Pinsky and Dsny Debbie for additional support with today’s update!

Let us know what you think about RunDisney running away. Will you pay $30+ to play a VR game? How about the deterioration of Bugs Land?