There is a lull in attendance at Disneyland that runs from the end of the summer season to the start of the holidays. In any year, there may be a series of projects wedged into this time. This year, there are two high-profile projects in the works as well as a number of refurbishments and enhancements.
At the Star Wars Land construction site, a couple of days of rain have not slowed the pace. Work crews have gotten noticeably larger, forms have been removed from concrete retaining walls, and major work has begun on the western edge of the property. Entrance tunnels are clearly defined as well.
Over at Disney California Adventure, the Tower of Terror is still open for business, even as the exterior of the building is being remodeled for its new tenant. Marvel’s Collector will start “moving in” after the final guests check out on January 2nd, 2017. Heavy promotion of the attraction has brought the wait time back up, even on generally less busy days.
Two projects that will have a major impact in years to come are moving more slowly. The new security zone for the Mickey and Friends parking structure has not been officially announced, although the area where it will be built has been completely cleared in preparation. On the east side of Harbor Boulevard, the Carousel Inn and Suites was quietly closed; demolition should begin in the near future to make way for the announced Eastern Gateway project.
New landscape along the tram route connecting the Mickey and Friends parking structure to the Downtown Disney drop off is virtually finished. As predicted, there is much more hardscape and drought resistant plants.
Another area that has been quietly altered is in the Hollywood Backlot—or rather Hollywood Land in Disney California Adventure. The outdoor staging areas that have served a series of outdoor special events ranging from Color Fest to this year’s Mad T Party have been removed. Of greatest interest is the reappearance of Stage 12. Originally housing Hollywood and Dine, Stage 12 had for the last few years been hidden behind walls and planters.
Not every change involves closures. Not one but two movie previews recently opened in Disney California Adventure. Doctor Strange can be seen in the former Muppets 3D theater, recently rechristened the Sunset Showcase Theater. The showing features special effects, as well as a costume display in the lobby.
Over in a bug’s land, Moana has taken up residence in the underground theater that originally showed It’s Tough to be a Bug. Guests who enjoy the previews will find that Disney is thoughtfully offering a wide variety of merchandise in nearby shops.
Halloween Time is in full swing (see last month’s update for full details). Over at the Grand Californian Hotel, they have joined in the celebration with a special lobby display.
That's all for now but come back soon for the latest from the Disneyland Resort.
Additional Photography by Roger Morgan