The Disneyland Resort theme parks are buzzing with activity as Disneyland gears up for another festive Halloween season and even more of Disney California Adventure goes behind construction walls for heavy construction and remodeling. Walls went up throughout California Adventure last week as colorful construction walls teased guests with advertisements for upcoming Cars Land attractions, new restaurants, and a peaceful park replacement for the Maliboomer, and it doesn't stop there! This first set of new construction walls is only the tip of the construction iceberg as we enter the fall and winter seasons and more and more of the park goes under the knife for an extreme makeover. Speaking of makeovers, the Disneyland Hotel continues its remodeling project as well as Star Tours in Disneyland.
Many thanks to Mac Daddy for his help with some additional photos in today's update.
For more information on any of the construction projects featured in today's update, just look for a Project Tracker water mark and click that photo for more information on the project and to join the on-going discussion.
We've got a gigantic update today filled with photos and news. So shake off your Monday morning blues and let's jump right in!
WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
The limited run of the Disneyland opening day footage has ended at the Main Street cinema and the vintage Mickey Mouse cartoons have returned.
The opening day footage was a special treat that was quietly added in on the park's 55th anniversary in July. Signage encouraged guests to hurry in an see it before its limited engagement ended but unlike the 50th anniversary film hosted by Steve Martin in the Main Street Opera House, this special treat really was around for a limited time.
As the brief off-season gets underway, work continues on some TLC projects around the park. The horse-drawn trolley tracks in the Central Plaza are getting some work done while crowds are light.
Fantasyland's Village Haus Restaurant continues its major kitchen refurbishment, which will last through mid-December.
Next door, work continues on converting Gepetto's Sweet Shop into the new meet-and-greet for Tangled characters Rapunzel and Flynn Rider.
Back in New Orleans Square, work continues where popcorn and churro carts are usually located.
A peek behind construction walls:
SCARING UP THE SEASON
Nearby the New Orleans construction walls, the installation of the Haunted Mansion's annual holiday overlay is progressing nicely
Over in Tomorrowland, projectors and speakers have been installed for the outdoor portion of Space Mountain's Ghost Galaxy overlay.
The equipment will be used for after-dark special effects that give guests an idea of what awaits them inside; spooky cosmic activity is brewing inside the mountain...
Around the Resort, Halloween merchandise continues to move onto store shelves...
SENDING OUT THE POSTCARD
Today (Monday, Sept. 13), Disney will begin work on removing the giant tile murals that flank the entrance of Disney California Adventure.
The murals are part of the original concept of the entrance that never quite resonated with park guests. The idea was that you were stepping into a giant postcard representing the state, with a stylized Golden Gate Bridge, the rising California sun in the background, and the large C-A-L-I-F-O-R-N-I-A letters in the foreground. While an interesting concept on paper, the final product was mostly underwhelming and largely looked cheap and tacky instead of bold and exciting.
The murals that feature iconic aspects of California from Los Angeles to surfing will soon make way for a richly themed Los Angles city street, circa early 1920s.
Los Angeles and the LAX airport, depicted in colorful tile
Hot air ballooning and California missions
Sequoia National ParkCORRECTION 9/13 10:37 AM: Humboldt Redwoods State Park's Avenue of the Giants and Catalina Island Casino
An homage to the California state animal, the grizzly bear, and the state flag
Further into Sunshine Plaza, the sun icon and fountain are already behind construction walls awaiting demolition. From the OC Register's Around Disney blog:
Starting Thursday (Sept. 9), workers plan to start dismantling the large, metal sunburst statue and fountain in the Sunshine Plaza, which sits near the entrance of the park, said Michele Himmelberg, a Disneyland Resort spokeswoman.
Construction walls are supposed to go up first before the infrastructure is removed.
On Monday, crews are set to begin tearing down the mosaic tile walls that sit alongside the turnstiles and line the entrance to the park.
The tall, mountain designs flank the model of the Golden Gate Bridge, which later will take on a new look.
The features are coming out to make room for the new entrance and Buena Vista Street, an area designed like 1920s Hollywood when Walt Disney first arrived in California.
A building that looks like the Carthay Circle Theatre will go in the location of Sunshine Plaza. [ FULL ARTICLE ]
The free-form planters in Sunshine Plaza will also meet their fate later this fall.
They're showing heavy wear and it will be good to see them finally move on.
BLUE SKIES, BROWN SEAS
Over in Paradise Bay, the World of Color platform is still not being fully lowered during park hours as the show continues to experience various technical issues.
What may be more concerning, however, is the state of the water in Paradise Bay. It's become a very unappealing greenish-brown color that has left a brown film on the World of Color platform.
That brown/green water is spraying on crowds every night watching Disney's much-hyped new water show!
Across the brown bay, the scream tubes on California Screamin' are now all sporting their new bright blue color.
On the other side of Paradise Bay the Maliboomer is now closed, surrounded by construction walls.
Surprisingly, Disney isn't being coy with what they're building in the parks anymore, openly advertising on construction walls that they're removing a ride and replacing it wish a "lush new park."
Some might resent the idea of replacing rides with essentially nothing, but the Imagineers are trying to strengthen the theme of the park, and if that means removing rides like the Maliboomer, so be it. This also opens up space for the addition of theme-appropriate attractions in the future.
The Maliboomer ride vehicles have already been removed from the towers.
PARADISE GARDEN DINING AREA
Down the road, walls now surround the old Route 66 dining area, which will soon be transformed into the Paradise Garden dining area.
The S.S. rustworthy water play area will be removed along with the nearby carnival basketball toss game.
Construction walls featuring pie-eyed Fab 5 let guests know what's going on
Cars Land construction also kicked things up a notch last week when themed construction walls went up around the former Bountiful Valley Farm area, which will eventually become the main entrance to the new land.
Construction walls are themed as a giant souvenir postcard booklet from Radiator Springs, with each post card advertising an upcoming feature or attraction in the land.
The art is fresh and colorful and helps give just enough of a tease for the upcoming land.
Rock formations continue to take shape
HOLLYWOOD PICTURES BACKLOT
Work continues in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot as another section of Red Car Trolley track is installed, the sky backdrop is repainted, and equipment for the upcoming ElecTRONica event moves in.
The old Hollywood and Dine building is getting ready to house Flynn's Arcade.
A large brown wooden wall was installed in front of the building some time after it closed permanently as a restaurant to keep curious guests away. It is now gone as the building gets prepped to house a significant feature of ElecTRONica.
Outside park gates, the Disneyland Hotel continues work on its major remodeling project. Tarps have gone up around the area that included the Lost Bar and Croc's Bits and Bites.
Attraction poster artwork decorates construction walls
Signage informs Hotel guests of what's going on behind the blue walls
THIS & THAT
Back inside Disneyland, the Disney Visa window that was added to the front of the Disney Gallery when it was still the Bank of Main Street has closed. Hopefully this ugly addition will be removed and forgotten about.
Throughout the Resort as well as in the Gallery, the Art on Demand touch-screen kiosks are now turned off. This has been the case for at least a couple weeks now, but no word yet if the service will be permanently discontinued.
Over in Tomorrowland, work continues on Star Tours...
And outside the park, the Newsstand is behind walls for a refurbishment.
Over in DCA, the neon sign for the Catch a Flave ice cream stand is missing.
AROUND THE PARK
We'll finish up today's photo update with a few shots from around the park...
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WEEKLY NEWS AND INFORMATION ROUND-UP
Weekly Theme Park Hours
SEPTEMBER 13 — 19
Disney California Adventure
Monday - Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm Friday - Saturday: 8 am - 12 midnight Sunday: 9 am - 12 midnight
Monday - Thursday: 10 am - 8 pm Friday - Sunday: 10 am - 10 pm
Haunted Mansion: Closed through September 16 to install Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay
Village Haus Restaurant: Closed until December 19 for refurbishment.
Minnie's House: Closed September 7 - 23 for refurbishment.
Main Street Vehicles: Closed September 7 - 30 for refurbishment.
Space Mountain: Closed September 12 - 16 to install Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy overlay.
The French Market: Closed September 13 - 17 for refurbishment.
Roger Rabbit Car Toon Spin: Closed September 20 - December 16
Indiana Jones Adventure: Closed for one day September 22.
Mark Twain Riverboat: Closed September 27-30.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Closed September 27-30.
Mickey's House: Closed September 27 - October 14.
"it's a small world": Closed October 25 - November 11 to install holiday overlay.
Star Tours: Closed Star Tours 2 revamp. Reopens May 2011.
Disney California Adventure
Toy Story Midway Mania!: Closed through October 10 to install safety gates in load station.
Catch-A-Flave Ice Cream: Closed September 7 - 16 for refurbishment.
Hyperion Theater / Disney's Aladdin — A Musical Spectacular: Closed September 7 - October 7 for nearby Red Car Trolley construction.
It's Tough to Be a Bug!: Closed through October 25 - 29 for refurbishment.
Muppet*Vision 3D: Closed September 15 - 16 and 20 - 24
Bountiful Valley Farm area: Closes permanently September 7 for Cars Land construction.
Maliboomer: Closes permanently September 7 for removal.
Pizza Oom Mow Mow: Closes September 7 to begin retheme to Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta. Reopens May 2011.
Mullholland Madness: Closes October 12 to begin re-theme. Reopens May 2011 as Goofy's Sky School.
Burger Invasion: Closed for retheme to Paradise Garden Grill. Reopens May 2011.
The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure: Under construction. Opens Spring 2011.
Souvenir 66 and Corn Dog Castle: Store and dining location closed for remodeling through May 2011.
Red Car Trolley: Track under construction in Hollywood Pictures Backlot. Attraction set to open spring 2012.
Downtown Disney & Hotels of the Disneyland Resort
Arcade (Disneyland Hotel) Closed permanently July 30 as part of Disneyland Hotel remodel
Jungle Cruise Remote Control Boats (Disneyland Hotel) Closed permanently July 31 as part of Disneyland Hotel remodel
The Lost Bar (Disneyland Hotel) Closed permanently August 1 as part of Disneyland Hotel remodel
Croc's Bits & Bites (Disneyland Hotel): Closed permanently August 1 as part of Disneyland Hotel remodel
KODAK DROPS CAPTAIN EO SPONSORSHIP
Kodak has ended its long-running sponsorship of Disneyland's Magic Eye Theatre, the home of Captain EO (as well as the now-gone Honey, I Shrunk the Audience) and Epcot's Imagination Pavilion at Walt Disney World. Kodak says its ties are still strong with Disney, but time will tell if the companies will continue their other in-park sponsorships and services.
Kodak cuts ties with Epcot pavilion
Eastman Kodak Co., a corporate sponsor in Walt Disney Co. theme parks since the opening of Disneyland in 1955, has pulled out of a prominent Epcot attraction.
Representatives for Rochester, N.Y.-based Kodak and Walt Disney World confirmed this week that the venerable photo-and-film company ended its sponsorship of Epcot’s Imagination! pavilion, home to the ride “Journey Into Imagination with Figment” and a play area dubbed “ImageWorks.”
Neither company would discuss the reasons behind the move. Kodak has also ended its sponsorship of a theater in the Tomorrowland section of Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif.
“Our alliance partnerships are ever-changing, and this adjustment reflects the dynamic nature of the sponsorship business,” Disney World spokesman Zoraya Suarez said.
Disney said the move will not lead to noticeable changes around Imagination! beyond the removal of Kodak signs. The resort made cosmetic changes to a theater in the pavilion earlier this summer when it revived the “Captain EO” 3D movie featuring the deceased pop singer Michael Jackson.
Disney said that about a dozen employees who worked at the pavilion through a Kodak contractor were given opportunities to apply for other jobs at Disney World.
Even without the Epcot attraction, Kodak will maintain a substantial sponsorship presence throughout Disney’s theme parks. The company continues to sponsor the 3D movie “Mickey’s PhilharMagic” in the Magic Kingdom and approximately 50 “Kodak Picture Spots” scattered throughout Disney World and Disneyland.
Disney will also continue selling Kodak products in its parks.
Whew! Okay, that ends another full edition of Dateline Disneyland! Thanks for reading and please remember to join the discussion in the comments section below! Also, we're only here thanks to your help, so if you enjoy Dateline Disneyland every week please spread the word and tell a friend or consider helping us out and donating a buck or two so we can pay the bills and keep the updates coming. You can donate safely with PayPal by clicking here.
Thanks once again to Mac Daddy for additional help with some photos this week.
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See you at the parks! - Andy
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