Disneyland refurbishments continue before the holidays arrive as toys find a new home in Paradise

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Disney, Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort, In the Parks

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Published on October 18, 2013 at 2:05 am with 24 Comments

Disneyland refurbishments continue as the popular Halloween Time season starts to wind down and the theme parks approach the ever-popular holiday season. This week we’ll fill you in on various refurbishments in both parks including the on-going Big Thunder Mountain Railroad project, Fantasyland’s fall safety additions and new refurbishments at the Mad Tea Party and in Disney California Adventure. Also in California Adventure, the Toy Story gang has a new place to meet fans at a nice new photo backdrop now open on Paradise Pier.

You may have noticed that I’m not the regular writer of In the Parks. Norm is taking a much-deserved vacation, so I’ll be filling in for him over the next couple of weeks – but don’t worry, my regular Dateline Disneyland updates will also continue to run on Mondays. A big thank you to Disneyloon for taking the photos for today’s blog.

Guest Relations open during refurbishment

Outside of Disneyland, Guest Relations is behind walls for a facade refurbishment but is still accessible to guests.

Disneyland continues to adjust with new DAS program

Disneyland’s new Disability Access Service continues through its first couple weeks of operation now that the old Guest Assistance Card program has become part of Yesterland.

We shared details on how the new DAS program works in last week’s update and below is our quick-look at how the new system works.

Guests using the new DAS system will experience the following:

  • The card you are assigned for the day will allow you and your party to make a reservation time to return to a ride without a wait.
  • The return times you are assigned will be given to you based on current wait time.
  •  You will only be able to hold a return time for one attraction at a time.
  • You can get reservation times for any ride in the entire resort, from any kiosk in any park.  The kiosks are not location specific.
  • Any member of a DAS user’s party may obtain the return time from the kiosk, however the actual DAS user MUST ride the attraction with the rest of their party for all to ride.

There are five different locations throughout Disneyland Park that one can obtain these reservations: City Hall, Central Plaza (the hub), New Orleans Square, Fantasyland, Tomorrowland. In California Adventure, DAS locations can be found at the Chamber of Commerce, Carthay Circle, Cars Land and Paradise Pier.

Large queues are still set up at City Hall for guests looking to register for DAS.

Main Street refurbishments

On Main Street, the Penny Arcade and Candy Palace are still behind scrims and construction walls for refurbishment.

Some small touch-up work at the Gibson Girl was underway earlier this week.

Matterhorn and Monorails

In Fantasyland, the Matterhorn recently changed a bit operationally with a new Cast Members positioned on each side of departing Bobsleds, one checking to make sure physical seat belts are buckled and the other checking the seat belt lights on the other side are on, confirming that seat belts are latched.

New cameras have also been installed, directed at the Matterhorn Bobsleds loading area.

Nearby, work on the Monorail track over the old Motorboat Cruise continues. A new safety awning is going up, which is interesting since its going up along a portion of track that doesn’t go over Guests.

Safetyland

At Fantasy Faire, the new safety railing along the moat is now being installed.

Over in Fantasyland, the new fall safety additions continue to be revealed as work on them wraps up.

In Fantasyland, the King Arthur Carrousel refurbishment continues…

And the Mad Tea Party is now closed for refurbishment as well.

In Tomorrowland, flags have gone up around portions of Space Mountain where fall-safety changes will have to be made.

Big Thunder Refurbishment Continues…

In Frontierland, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is still closed while its extended refurbishment continues…

Toys in Paradise

In Disney California Adventure, the new Toy Story meet-and-greet area on Paradise Pier has opened.

The new backdrop is built in front of what used to be the queue entrance for the Maliboomer, which was removed during the park’s major remodel.

On the other side of Paradise Bay, the Golden Zephyr is closed for refurbishment.

And the meet-and-greet gazebo near the Cove Bar is now behind construction walls for some work.

And Flik’s Flyer’s refurbishment in A Bug’s Land continues..

Starbucks in Downtown Disney

In Downtown Disney, the construction continues at the new Starbucks Coffee location going in where Anne Geddes and, more recently, BLINK by Wet Seal were previously located.

Okay, that wraps up this edition of In the Parks! Have you used Disneyland’s new DAS service? Has the system worked well for you? Are you planning on visiting your Toy Story pals at their new home on Paradise Pier soon? Let us know in the comments below!

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy writes the weekly Dateline Disneyland column, which can be found every Monday on MiceChat.

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  • wedway

    Great article as always! Thank you for the update!

  • billyjobobb

    Sorry, just caught me funny…. I consider Disneyland a vacation! Where do you vacation to get away from Disneyland?

    • http://micechat.com Dusty Sage

      Disney World and a Disney cruise ;-)

      • martinjbell1986

        And then after that, you start hitting all of the Adventures by Disney places or the international parks like Disneyland Paris.

      • CCS

        Good morning. Just curious, Dusty. Is Dusty Sage your real name or your Disney posting nom de plume? Great moniker.

      • CCS

        Aha, it’s Todd!

  • BradyNBradleysMom

    These pictures are terrific. Thank you for doing such a great job posting them. They rock!!!

  • Freddie Freelance

    I still have high hopes that something more interesting and permanent gets put in the Maliboomer space; I wouldn’t mind it being a Meet & Greet so long as it was a bit more permanent and 3D than this.

    What I’d really like to see in that space is the entrance and queue area for a nicely themed Flat Ride or small Dark Ride placed on the other side of the Screamin’ supports.

    • LoveStallion

      You want a 3D meet and greet? There are live people and structures there.

    • Imagineer2B

      I’d love to see a California Adventure version of a Haunted Mansion. Perhaps the Winchester Mystery House or something similar? I think even the HKDL Mystic Manor would be amazing.

      • Law of Tickles

        I read a rumor somewhere else that they were thinking of moving the Buzz Lightyear Blaster ride next to this Toy Story stuff on Pixar Pier to have more space for Star Wars Land without taking out Autopia.

      • HollywoodF1

        Tower of Terror. Done.

    • Gurgie

      Yeah, a more immersive (either as toy sized or Victorian) meet n greet would be better if it is permanent.

  • Norman Gidney

    You guys are amazing! Andy you did an absolutely perfect job in taking the reigns for me this week and next. I simply cannot thank you enough.

    Jonathan, you need work ;) JKJK The images you are getting are simply wonderful.

    I can’t thank you enough for keeping us all informed while I run off for a bit.

  • bamato

    I’m glad to hear Norm went on vacation!

    I’m also really liking the pictures this week. There’s something a little different with the color and lighting in them. The time of day perhaps?

  • johntodd

    Gah… looks like my favorite ride, BTMRR, will be down for my visit in December. I keep hoping for an early, soft open but it looks like that’s not going to happen. Sad panda.

  • Big D

    Wow, Buzz is looking very svelt. Apparently he lost some weight or something.

  • Amanda949

    Please tell me they got rid of the smoking section now that the meet and greet is there.

  • DobbysCloset

    Well done. Seeing all those construction barriers reminds me that I don’t need to feel bad about not going to the park this week.

    As to Starbucks…I was in a Starbucks in Camas, WA and congratulated the register operator, who happened to be the manager. on being the official new coffee at Disneyland. She was surprised — she’d been there just the previous week and noticed the new Main Street shop. Assuming that all park coffee would be SB, she got coffee elsewhere in the park and “It was awful.”

    Any chance that Guest Relations is being re-themed to get DAS away from City Hall?

  • DisneyGeek138

    Great update but I would just like to point out that it is Guest Services that is under refurbishment in the esplanade, not Guest Relations. They are two very different things. Guest Relatilns is over by the entrance to DCA.

  • airick75

    Those cameras on the Matterhorn are ugly and “bad show.” Hopefully they’ll be covered and hidden in keeping with the theme.

  • 4Apples4Disney

    Great job, and a great update as usual! Have a good vacation Norm!

  • DZNY LVR

    I agree those cameras on the matterhorn are terrible!

    • Country Bear

      Ditto. The cameras do nothing but detract from the millions of dollars in theming this attraction has lovingly maintained for 50+ years (new torture bobsleds not withstanding). I guess the lawyers must have won another argument in TDA. Hopefully they will find some better cover for this new eyesore.