It’s been quite a weekend. Disneyland raised prices again yesterday. It was a big jump too, but it isn’t enough to prepare the resort for Star Wars mania which will hit with the power of a thousand suns in summer of 2019. Which means that even more changes will soon be on the way. Speaking of change, there’s something new at Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout. Pixar Pier has an opening date. There’s a new parade unit on the way to Paint the Night when it returns. And all sorts of other news and construction.

What a wonderful week to be in beautiful Southern California. We’ve been enjoying warm daytime temperatures with cool evenings. Because it doesn’t freeze here, all of our flowers are in full bloom. Just perfect for you to take your love to Disneyland for Valentines Day. . . if we could just find a bit of evidence of the holiday in the parks. . .

Would You Pay?

Annual passes increased in price yesterday, by as much as $150.  That pushes a Signature Plus pass to the thousand bucks range.  You can read all about it in our article HERE.

Prices may be up, but the lines at the ticket booths were full. If the goal is to limit attendance we have a feeling it’s not going to make much of a difference. But the Disney accountants should be thrilled with the boost in revenue.

We have a poll for existing Disneyland Resort pass holders.  Let us know if you are planning to renew and at what level:

Pixar Pier Opening Date

There’s even a Luxo Lamp above the new sign.

Pixar Pier is set to officially open on June 23rd at California Adventure. The rides, shops and restaurants are being rethemed as we speak.

©Disney

We have to wonder why they closed the Cove Bar at the beginning of the year if they haven’t done anything with the space yet. The chairs are all still sitting there on the other side of the construction scrim.

The California Screamin’ sign finally came down.

Triton’s Carousel is still open for now, but will be closing soon.

Toy Story Midway Mania remains a dead end.

Because some of the shop exits are now walled off, the space feels extra cramped.

 

Paint the Night Enhancement

“Paint the Night” returns April 13th in a new location . . . DCA! The parade will feature a new float inspired by the Pixar film the Incredibles. Disney claims that “Dynamic and innovative visual technology will also bring Violet, Dash and Jack-Jack to life, showcasing their powers in surprising ways!”  Let’s hope the float is more coherent than the concept art.

Walls

Walls continue to dominate Main Street USA.

There’s generally some form of entertainment to distract you from the walls.

While the parks haven’t been terribly busy these past two weeks, all the construction does create some pinch-points.

 

There are more walls back by it’s a small world. The parade gate is being located a few feet south of its current location, which will free up queue and stroller parking space.   

Refurbs: Dumbo, Storybook, Casey Jr., Splash

Another LONG wall stretches along nearly the entire Northern flank of the Fantasyland – from Casey Jr. all the way to Storybook Land.

I call this the stairway to nowhere in particular. These stairs once led to a path which took you up to the Skyway. The chalet is sadly long gone to a galaxy far, far away.

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Dumbo will return with a relocated and shaded queue.

Over in Critter Country, Splash Mountain is under a major refurbishment.

Happy Mardi Gras

It’s Mardi Gras tomorrow. While Disney doesn’t really celebrate it, they do decorate for it. As soon as Christmas comes down, Mardi Gras goes up (they recycle some of the Christmas decorations for that purpose).

I wish they’d put this much effort into Valentines Day.

 

Mission: Adorable

Looks like Taneleer Tivan has a new exhibit in his collection. Three adorable Vyloos have been added to Mission Breakout, but they are more than what they appear to be. The creatures have a bit of artificial intelligence, which allows them to see you and react to you.  As the line keeps moving, I could only spend a little extra time with them, but I was delighted with the subtle way these little fluff balls move and react. Soooooo cute and a neat little bit of technology as well.

I have a 30 second video for you as well:

Star Wars Land

If you’ve parked in the Mickey and Friends structure lately, you couldn’t have missed the giant rock mountains looming over the Disneyland Resort. But if you missed that, you can see the construction quite clearly from inside the park as well.

From inside the park you can spy the MAJOR work going on in Star Wars land.
These rock mountains are seriously impressive.

Once the scaffolds come down, those mountains should blend in very well with the new look of the Rivers of America.

And from outside of the park, you get a sense of how far along they are. Ride system installation should be well along by now.

But there’s still a lot of dirt and vast areas which haven’t seen much development yet.

In Search of Valentine’s Day

Will you be my Valentine? I’ve always had a soft spot for the holiday, even though I’m single. But Disney doesn’t do much to celebrate. I went on a search, asked a lot of cast members if they’d seen anything for the holiday, and all that I was able to find were some balloons, a couple treats which are the right color scheme, a set of plush Mickey and Minnie, and a pin (which the photo didn’t turn out on).

There wasn’t a single decoration in the park that I could find.

It would be so easy for Disneyland to celebrate this holiday in a more earnest way. Bring out the happy character couples and set up a few romantic photo spots. Offer a Lady and the Tramp spaghetti dinner. Have a few more merchandise options. And what about screening some of the most romantic scenes from the Disney animated films in the Opera House or Main Street Cinema (each of those screens could be showing a different clip)! It doesn’t have to cost Disney much money to show that February is for lovers.

Downtown Disney

Black Panther releases later this week and is getting some great early reviews. I’m looking forward to seeing it.

A sign is up for the new Disney Home store, which has taken over the corner spot formerly occupied by D-Street.

Black Tap Brewery is on the way to the former Build A Bear spot.

And Ballast Point is headed to the Ridemakerz location.  The renovations at Naples are extensive.  They are moving their bar outside to accommodate more guests and free up table space inside. The upstairs is under refurbishment as well. But with all those construction walls, many guests assume that the location is closed . . . it isn’t! 

In the Parks

And a few parting shots in the park from our pal PhotoMatt.

There should be three pirate musicians. The one in the middle must be temporarily away on another gig.

Larger versions of Photomatt’s pictures can be found here.

 

Have a great week!
All of us on the Disneyland Photo Update crew would like to thank you for joining us today. And my sincere thanks to Wil McCarthy, PhotoMatt and Brian Pinsky for additional photos this week! Please share your thoughts below!