Adventure Trading Company gets ready to open at Disneyland as summer continues

Written by Andy Castro. Posted in Dateline Disneyland, Disney, Disney Parks, Disneyland Resort, Features

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Published on July 28, 2014 at 5:05 am with 50 Comments

About Andy Castro

Andy is a Southern California native, raised with Disneyland and a life-long fan of Disney theme parks and animation. Andy wrote the long-running weekly Dateline Disneyland photo, news and opinion blog here on MiceChat from 2007-2016. Andy continues to make occasional special guest contributions on MiceChat.

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  • Larry Parker

    Thanks Andy for continuing to highlight the substandard Club 33 exteriors. If enough of us continue to do that, hopefully that will be incentive that improvements be done. I’m wondering if the Fire Station at Main Street’s Town Square is now in the sights of the greedy WDW “imagineers” now encamped at Disneyland. Time will tell..

  • jcruise86

    I have to see it in person, but from Andy’s photos, New Orleans Square looked pretty good to me. Then again I (seriously) like the smell of gasoline and skunks, and I don’t like “Chinatown” or “The Sweet Smell of Success,” so what do I know?

  • The NOS changes are beyond substandard. They’re heartbreaking. Even a third rate home contractor couldn’t pull off a window that’s out of center with a “nobody will notice” excuse. They’ve taken the crown jewel of Disney themed lands and carelessly thrown the meticulous scale and design to the wind.

    It’s very, very sad.

  • mightymicroscope33

    Parts of Club 33 look fine and the average guest won’t notice. However, I hate the huge windows especially at night and the off center window is just terrible at night. I hope they get rid of the strange blue lights.The rest of the park looks great! I hope they don’t ruin the fire house.

  • Algernon

    ALGERNON: “Excuse me, but how do I get into Club 33?”
    DOORMAN (British accent): ” I believe you would have to know somebody or be somebody to do that, sir.”
    ALGERNON: “But I thought Disneyland was MY land.”
    DOORMAN: “No sir.”
    ALGERNON: “Well I definitely have a problem with that.”
    DOORMAN: “Yes, sir. Are you having trouble finding your way out of the park, sir? Perhaps these gentlemen may be of assistance…

  • Kennyland

    If Club 33 is going to be that conspicuous then I can imagine the average Disneyland guest is going to wonder what’s going on up there and want to experience it only to be told they can’t. At least the original club was discreet.

    • Internitty

      So true, a hidden gem was a lovely idea but this in your face atrocity is just going to drive home the new Disney us and them mentality. Of course the writing was on the wall as soon as they started moving WDW execs in.

      • Marko50

        Believe the writing was on the wall long before the WDW execs showed up.

  • amyuilani

    The guests who have never been to Disneyland before, or the guests who have only been a couple of times in their lives, will never care as much about the Club 33 changes. I think it’s time to let it go and start talking about other things. This update is starting to get really redundant, which is unfortunate because the photography is so pretty.

    • Internitty

      That’s true Andy, your night time photos are really good and they do make the new NOS look good despite how awful it actually is. You need to take some bad photos but having read this blog since the first entry I don’t think you can take bad photos.

    • Hi amyuilani,

      Sorry if you’re tired of hearing about New Orleans Square. Unfortunately, this is a big project and there was still information to report on the project today. Things like the props going back up on the balconies, finishing wrought iron work, temporary railings, and new fall safety were all things that were new this week, or we didn’t have space for in last week’s post. Additionally, we hadn’t shown you how the new windows look at night, which is actually a pretty big part of how this project changed the area. So, I’ll be happy to let the New Orleans Square changes go once there’s no longer news to report on… but until then, I’ll keep taking photos.

      Thanks for reading, even if we are redundant!
      -Andy
      Dateline Disneyland

      • amyuilani

        Hi Andy,

        I understand your position and accept it. I’m not going to pretend to be huffy and claim that I won’t visit the site anymore, because that’s not true. I am such a fan of your photos that this is a regular Monday morning site for me. And it’s not the pics of NOS and Club 33, it’s the constant pointing out of the little details every time you discuss it. But as you said, this will pass and it’ll be time to discuss something soon. Halloween time is not too far away, and your picture of the Mickey pumpkin with the crowd moving through the shot is my favorite of all time!

        Thanks,
        Amy

      • Internitty

        My biggest worry is that you will stop reporting it and Disney people watching this blog will say all the complaints have blown over. Please do not stop the momentum on this it’s too important.

      • FixitKronk

        The photos are amazing Andy! Every Monday you make me wish I was there on Sunday.
        I will say with each post NOS looks better, so give disney a while to tinker with it. Obviously they had to concentrate on the interiors to meet their deadlines. But the are free to add and maybe subtract over the next few weeks to make it feel right.
        One of the great joys of visiting the park especially around sunset is the you do feel like you step into different times and places with each land. I still get goosebumps walking past the burning tiki torches of adventure land or thru the gates of the castle. Theaming here is as good as anything on the planet. Yes the larger windows throw the scale off a bit, but the extra bridge and illuminated upper floors also give it a lived in feeling that didn’t exist before.
        Heading there Sunday for dinner at blue and a fantastic show. Will be interested in seeing if I get that lived in feeling when I’m there. The kind of feeling that doesn’t exist right now in tomorrow land because of the sub closure.

      • Marko50

        ^^^This.

    • konekobus

      So what DO guests who have never been to Disneyland before, or the guests who have only been a couple of times in their lives, care about?

      Why is Disneyland visited better than, say, the park next door (16.5 vs 8.5 million)? Is it just the rides,, or do people (subconsciously) notice when an area is properly designed or not?

      • amyuilani

        When you don’t have anything to compare something to, it’s your middle point that everything will always be better or worse than. People here are passionate about the changes because they remember the park as it was and have something to compare it to. There are a lot of fanatics that were not going to be pleased, no matter what Disney did. Light Magic was not a great show, but even if it was better, it was always going to be doomed because people didn’t want to let go of MSEP. (Weird example, but it’s the only one I can think of right now.) Had the original NOS been bad, then this change may not have seemed so strange. See: DCA <2012.

      • pattimarie

        great point konekobus. many of us do care, and the fact that we care matters. those of you who want us to stop caring–why don’t you give it up! we’re the ones with the passion–so us giving up is not likely. really don’t get why my caring bothers you so much anyway.

  • MyFriendtheAtom

    that facade facing the Rivers of America isnt finished right? Like, they’re gonna do something about that right?

    At what point does something that hideous become acceptable

    • Internitty

      Meg Gilbert Crofton

    • Tinkbelle

      We can only hope. I’m also still hoping that the huge window area isn’t done. Simply awful.

      • Jabroniville

        Hopefully they at least put a tree on the widened side or something- anything to block the obviousness. It’s too bad the windows above it are also off-centre.

  • OprylandUSA

    The subs sure are “looking good” for an attraction slated to be bulldozed.

    • There’s no need for you to be so snarky Opryland. The MiceAge Update wrote long ago that once the Star Wars plans were put on ice once the Subs were scheduled to come back. But thank you for reading!

    • Lakerfan3224

      It is looking like all of the major construction projects like Monstropolis and Star Wars Land and anything else large-scale will be put off until President Colglazier leaves Disneyland which would be after the 60 year anniversary. The current management at the Disneyland resort doesn’t seem too interested in spending a lot of money right now. Whereas you have Walt Disney World spending money on Avatar Land and a Frozen takeover of Malestrom possibly in October.

  • Disney_Dad

    At the risk of sounding overly harsh, those responsible for designing and signing off on the external NOS changes should be thoroughly ashamed and seeking alternative employment, as their talents clearly lie elsewhere. It seems so strange after the excellent recent work in DCA and the Alice refurbishment. How on earth did this happen?

  • GhostHostJeff

    I’ve never been to Club 33, but I’ve always known about it. The days of Club 33 being a “secret” are way in the pass. The Club is in so many tourist guidebooks as a “fun fact” that most people already know it exists. The changes in NOS do not bother me, the large windows, the candles, etc. The one thing that does seem off is just the off centered window that is seen from the outside.

    • BlAcKoUt510

      Completely agree. Just the off-center window & the blue lights threw me off.

    • BostOfPrey

      I think the off center window needs to be finish with a different paint job. Other than the grey looking unfinished I don’t have a problem with it. Drive around your own town and take the time to notice just how many older buildings have windows that are off centered on the outside. Most buildings center windows in the room not in the outside wall. To me this just makes the building feel more realistic.

    • monktard

      Thats a really good point about Club 33 being really well known now and therefore doesn’t need to be hidden anymore but my gripe about this update is that they broke the forced perspective with the larger windows. The exterior of the building could have kept the perspective without making changes inside. The overall look is just odd to me as every second level in the park is in perspective except for the revamped 33. Also, The Court of Angels- I won’t even get started at my dismay with the decision to close it off to the public.
      The new door does look really nice though.

  • LoveStallion

    Well I’m glad NOS isn’t totally done. The little extra flairs they are still working in are at least making it bearable, but there’s still no excuse for the off-center window.

    I think that now the bigger problem than the size of some of the new windows is just how transparent and obvious they are. This is particularly evident in the great night shots. Club 33 should have a certain mystique about it, not be slapping everyone in the face with garish light from all sides.

  • Timekeeper

    Wow, I stand corrected, NOS does look a District for Traverse Town from the Kingdom Hearts video game series (but in a bad way); Isn’t a land supposed to a reflection of certain place or time? The off-centered window could use some go-away green or gray (even through this link is about WDW): http://passport2dreams.blogspot.com/2012/08/go-away-green.html

    From this description about The Adventureland Game, it sounds fine, since you have to pay-to-play (much like the Vinylmation Easer Egg Hunts) and since it’s only one month, I’m not too angry about it, just don’t make it permanent as Adventureland (in DL) is a clogged artery. And not to sound too snobbish, the game would benefit better in WDW, just don’t destroy Swiss Family Robensen Tree House in the process.

    Last note: It’s annoying that the movie “Frozen Heart”, is ruining the Norway Pavilion. (fyi, why I call the movie as “Frozen Heart” is because I hate really short minimalist titles and that it communicates the story somewhat better.) I’m happy Ariel now has her dark ride after twenty years since her movie, I hope a superior BatB dark ride (and others come first), as I don’t want a water ride based of the most recent animated Disney feature (as popularity could wane any time now.)

    -Timekeeper

  • ChrisNJ

    I don’t think Disney wants any of their high-end offerings to be hidden from the general public as Club 33 may have been when originally created. We have had the Dream Suite and the Cinderella Castle Suite promoted as prizes and then get publicity shots of celebrities using them. And on the lower end of the spectrum we get the dinner packages that promise better seats to show. It’s all about selling something – in some cases it’s an up-sell to the average guest with a few extra bucks, in others it is trying to sell a cool-factor to a corporate sponsor or celebrity who will bring Disney rewards in another way.

    The night photos are GREAT. MiceChat’s contributors sure do deliver when it comes to images to daydream over. Thanks!

  • Lakerfan3224

    Is Peter Pan closed because according to Disneylands refurbishment schedule it is closed today until the 31st?

  • DubiousEndeavors

    Is it as bright at night as the photos make it seem? I appreciate wanting to give the guests INSIDE of Club 33 a great view of the park, but at the cost to the majority of guests who lose the illusion of the forced perspective? I just feel like, as I’m sure as many of you do, the refurbishment was unnecessary.

  • Skimbob

    Well there has been some improvement on the NOS exteriors but let’s hope they are not done with the off center window and the bridge on the river side. I can live with most everything else. I still hate the gates for COA but we are stuck with them. I wish they would have done better like Fantasy Faire and the all new DCA. Change is good as long as it is done right. this was a miss.

  • tonyrr1

    Hello all. I don’t post often, but I did want to add my voice to those who are dissatisfied with the Club 33 expansion. There are so many reasons I dislike what’s been done (covered extensively in this column and others), but none more so for me than the loss of the Court of Angels. Any time I have visited Disneyland, like since I was a kid, I’ve always taken a moment, usually when I’d exit POTC, to just be in that space for a few moments. It was always quiet, serene, well-designed, and the little details were always something to enjoy and appreciate, particularly the Court des Anges stained glass sign. Yes, the New Orleans Square look has been damaged, yes it says something deplorable about current Disneyland management that they would make that space that is so exclusive and unavailable to the majority of park guests so easily seen. I don’t know what else to say other than I think someone’s thinking has gone off the rails (Walt reference intended) with this idea.

    To end on a positive note however, thanks for your hard work on this column Andy, both in writing and particularly in photography, and thanks in general to all the MiceAge staff. For we quiet observers, we’re awfully grateful for your dedication and obvious passion for the topic. Interestingly enough, the last time I visited Disneyland in the morning, I noticed Fishbulb up on the Monorail walkway in Tomorrowland snapping pics. I wanted to walk up and say hello and shake his hand, but I didn’t want to interrupt his obvious focus as he was searching for interesting shots to take. I couldn’t help but smile. 🙂

  • larry_poppins

    Andy,
    Thanks for a great update. And thanks for the link to the O-Zell Soda Company. What a great website. Very entertaining with animation and music! And a great way to help out the Walt Disney Birthplace! Can’t wait to sip a cold O-Zell root beer!

    Larry

  • Susan Hughes

    The Eastern Guest Flow corridor is really moving along backstage. They’ve torn down a lot of structures, including the CM break room “East of Main” and the Anaheim PD building (where are they lock up the troublemakers?).
    Based on the progress so far, the corridor isn’t going to make a straight line from Point A to Point B. It’s going to zig zag around. But work is still going on. It may straighten out as more demo continues.

  • Haven

    As I surmised, the off centered window was due to it being “on center” from the internal guest view. One way to have re-centered it from the outside would require rebuilding the facade of that section to allow the new window center to dictate the center of the facade (not knowing what other structural or mechanical challenges were involved). The slack could be taken up on the left side, looks like about 12″ was all that was needed. That could have been a recess between the new facade and the neighboring one. Of course, it was easier to just drop the window in what was already there. As for the candle sconces, I am not joking when I say I could go to Lowe’s and find a more appropriately scaled, wrought iron fixture that would not even come close to breaking the budget.

    On another note, was so sorry to hear Haunted Mansion is closing August 25 for the Halloween overlay when I will be visiting for the first time in 6 years the first week of September. Seeing Halloween and Christmas are a long way from the first of September, I never imagined it would be closed already for that installation! Come on marketing machine, with global warming, summer temperatures and sunny weather does not end the last week of August anymore. L.A. temps have hovered around 100 degrees well into late September for several years now! The “summer” season should be re-evaluated and not based on L.A. Unified’s August 12th school start date. Lame.

    • Susan Hughes

      The Haunted Mansion closing should be the least of your worries. On August 18th the Blockouts end for the Annual Passholders. That’s going to be your biggest headache. The parks will be packed, the un-civilized will take over the resort, and your Disney vacation will be…”The Nightmare Before Christmas!”
      After the 4th of July through mid August is the BEST time to visit The Disneyland Resort. The crowd size is very nice. The people are mostly out of town guests (who are also very nice), and it’s…well, Magical!

    • Westsider

      Haven, September being the hottest month of the year in coastal SoCal isn’t a new thing. When it was just the Indians and some coyotes here 500 years ago on the coastal plain that became Orange County, September was still the hottest month of the year. You can’t blame Global Warming and decadent American lifestyles that demand Disneyland’s and 18,000 parking spaces in a desert and weekly Internet updates fueled by coal-powered server farms for that.

      And 500 years from now, whether the climate warms or cools, September will still be the hottest month of the year in coastal SoCal.

  • jurassic5

    The undertone of class warfare which has accompanied the changes of Club 33 is very interesting; it is apparent that non-club 33 members feel the exterior of NOS is subpar at the expense of a lavish, expanded interior which caters to an elite.

    Perhaps a better thought is to be appreciative of the fact that you can afford to be inside of the park shaking your fist at New Orlean’s exterior — something which a minority of the population can say (particularly given recent annual pass changes).

    • Westsider

      It’s about the equivalent of a Business Class passenger on a 747 who only gets free sparkling white wine from California shaking their fist at the First Class passengers upstairs for getting Dom Perignon champagne.

      Meanwhile the luxury 747 is flying over the Indian subcontinent where over 1 Billion people live in grinding poverty and sickness and bleak existences. But darnit they’re getting real champagne upstairs in First Class while we only get sparkling white wine here in Business Class! When do we land in Paris?

  • mbyrd

    Love that Haunted Mansion merch.

    Perhaps the refurbishment of Club 33, including the removal of much of this history, was motivated to attempt to discourage super fans like myself from applying to get in. Maybe they figured they would cater more toward people looking for a real plus experience and less toward people who were interested in the novelty and history of the experience. I’m sure i’m off base but just felt like speculating tongue in cheek.

    PLEASE! NO MORE PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN MOVIES!!!

  • danielz6

    They should close the fire station to the public and make it the entrance to a new private VIP club situated in Walts apartment.

    • CCS

      That one gave me a smile, danielz6. Do you also foresee a “bridge” connecting the upstairs to The Emporium, where private shopping opportunities await??

      • Marko50

        But only for 3/4 sized people.

  • Yoshinoya

    Anyone visited Disneyland recently can confirm if the Olaf Antenna toppers have been released?

    Also great job again Andy, love reading the updates and pictures.

  • houseofmouse722

    Nice to see some details being added back into NOS. Started to feel a bit warmer and more lived-in. Hopefully they will continue tweaking.

    My biggest problem is still with the huge windows, especially at night. I was there in the evening last week and they were very obvious. Wouldn’t you think that they would put up some luxurious looking draperies? This would reduce the light pouring out into the street below, and reduce the amount that people can see in, while surely making it look richer inside. They probably won’t do that to the off-center window facing the river though; that would block the view of Fantasmic and fireworks. Here’s hoping that things continue to look at least a little bit better with time. Thanks for the gorgeous photos.

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