Fall traditionally finds the Disneyland Resort in refurbishment mode and 2016 is no exception. Construction on Star Wars Land is still moving ahead, but projects can be seen all over the Resort, including one that will have a major impact on how guests begin their Disneyland Resort experience.
As concrete walls rise, some aspects of Star Wars Land are coming into focus. A deep excavation reveals where a show building will house a major attraction. Forms have been removed from a large tunnel. Work on the new river bank is scheduled for completion by 2017, when Disneyland has announced they will be returning the steam trains and river traffic.
One project that has been unheralded is revealed in activity at the Mickey and Friends parking structure loading zone. A major screen of hedge and security wall has been removed, and a large section of the parking lot has been cleared. According to cast members, this is in preparation to completely reconfigure this area. Tram loading will be moved to an area parallel to the south side of the Mickey and Friends structure, thereby freeing up area to create a major security screening area at the base of the existing escalators. This would bring the west side parking and entry in line with the recently announced east side entry. Also hinted at is security screening for entry to Downtown Disney.
Along the tram route itself guests may have noted that most of the groundcover has been removed, and a great deal of rockwork has been put in place. California is in the midst of an historic drought; it is likely that the new landscape will be more drought tolerant, with an emphasis on hardscape.
At Disney California Adventure, there was reaction to the sudden disappearance of the Hollywood Tower Hotel sign. It had already been announced that the tower would soon have a new tenant, and a new theme. The removal of the signs was somewhat unexpected, as the Resort is heavily promoting the tower’s final months in operation.
At Disneyland several things are taking place simultaneously. Just about all of the Diamond Anniversary décor has been removed, Halloweentime has arrived, and routine refurbishments are taking place. In addition, major construction is taking place at the Hungry Bear Restaurant, doubtless as part of the Star Wars Land expansion.
Over at California Adventure, in addition to the Tower of Terror work, other routine refurbishments are taking place. Even Downtown Disney is getting some work done.
That’s it for now, but check back soon for more updates from the Disneyland Resort.