1/11: Inside Monorail Red, Off-season, New DreamDecor, Toy Story Mania!, GCH, +MORE
by, 01-10-2008 at 11:58 PM
Welcome to this week's edition of Dateline Disneyland! This week we'll take a look inside the new Mark VII Disneyland Monorail, off-season Disneyland, Toy Story Mania as it nears completion, and the latest in the Year of a Million Dreams decorations.
I'd like to thank David "Darkbeer" Michael for his fantastic shots from around the Resort this week while I'm out of the state on vacation. David is truly a pro at what he does, and has many more photos from the parks at his Smugmug photo gallery - http://darkbeer.smugmug.com. All shots this week are by David, unless otherwise noted.
Alright, let's get to it!
WELCOME TO DISNEYLAND!
With the holidays at the Resort now behind us, floral Mickey is being re-planted with a new Year of a Million Dreams theme.
Gone are the holiday poinsettias, and here now is Tinkerbell scattering floral DreamSparkle pixie dust around Mickey.
A close-up of Tinkerbell:
Inside the park, Town Square's Christmas tree and the Main Street garlands are gone until next holiday season.
These lamppost adornments are the same ones that said "Where Dreams Come True" earlier last year. They've just been changed to feature the Year of a Million Dreams logo. I think the dark blue is a bad color choice, the lighter blue was much better - but I'm glad that Disney has realized that selling both the "Year of a Million Dreams" and "Where Dreams Come True" campaign at the same time is confusing. Unfortunately, I still don't think its any more clear what the Year of a Million Dreams really is, and why it has been extended for another year.
Here is a photo I took last January when the signs said "Where Dreams Come True."
Disney Clothiers is getting some paint during the off-season. It's main entrance is closed during refurbishment, but you can still enter through its side doors.
Like the rest of the holiday decor around the park, the icicles and snow are being removed from the Castle.
The off-season brings low wait times for park attractions.
And even though the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage has a posted 45-minute wait time, it isn't totally uncommon to find the actual queue down to very little.
The Plaza Pavillion, which is usually closed to park guests is down for a 10-month refurbishment. The Plaza Pavillion, when used, is used for alternate Annual Passport processing when the Bank of Main Street is closed. Rumor has it that the Disney Gallery may be finding a permanent home here.
The former restaurant was also home to the Junior Chef program, which allows young park guests to bake Nestle-Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies. Due to the Pavillion's closure, the Junior Chef program has been discontinued. No word on if it will resume after the refurbishment, or if it will be moved elsewhere.
A LOOK INSIDE THE NEW MONORAIL RED
The new Mark VII Monorail can sometimes be seen out on the track in front of the Roundhouse
The following images were graciously sent to me by an anonymous source. They are screen captures of a recent edition of Disneyland's CastTV program which offered a sneak peek inside the new Monorail. The shots show the new central bench seating, which is replacing the staggered seats in the current Monorails. The following three images are copyright Disney.
The Mad Tea Party has been closed for an unannounced refurbishment.
Earlier in the week the tea cups disappeared from the turntable.
And now the attraction has been completely covered by a plastic tarp canopy.
SCRAMBLING TO FINISH
The Disneyland Dream Suite is pushing along. The Suite is supposed to begin being awarded to guests starting January 31, but considering the need for the obligatory media preview of the Suite and any finishing touches, it looks like the construction team may be cutting it close.
The handrails for the Dream Suite's stairs are being replaced. New ones are now showing up. Looks like they're similar to the old railings.
From our 11/22 Dateline Disneyland column, a look at the old hand rails before they were removed.
The new Toy Story Mania building, is, for the most part uncovered. Construction walls still block guests from getting too close as construction continues. However, from across Paradise Bay, you can now get a pretty good view of the new Paradise Pier attraction - and it looks excellent.
It was thought there would be a fountain in front of the attraction, but turns out it is just a planter. Either way, it brings something sorely missing from much of DCA - trees!
Construction walls now block off the large section of boardwalk in the center of Paradise Pier where Toy Story Mania! is located. Because of this, accessing some attractions when coming from certain areas will be a little annoying while construction presses on.
The only way to access California Screamin' and King Triton's Carousel of the Sea is via Paradise Pier's main boardwalk entrance which takes you past the Ariel's Grotto restaurant and Treasures in Paradise souvenir shop.
To access the Sun Wheel, Games of the Boardwalk, and Maliboomer, you must use the Route 66 walkway which passes the Golden Zephyr, Mullholland Madness, and the Orange Stinger.
GRAND CALIFORNIAN PROGRESS
Construction on the new wing of Grand Californian Hotel is moving on...
And finally, the new Pixar Play Parade is being advertised at the billboards near the security check tents.
Alright, that's it for this week. Thanks again to Darkbeer for the use of his excellent photos. Be sure to check out even more of his shots at his Smugmug gallery.
Until next time - see you at the parks!