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September 18, 2017

It's Haul-O-Ween Time!

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Haul-O-Ween

The Disneyland Resort has been celebrating Halloween Time for a number of years. Most of the focus has been on Disneyland with all of the decor such as the Main Street Pumpkin Festival, and attraction overlays like Haunted Mansion Holiday and Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. There was a small presence in Disney California Adventure for a few years, the last being 2009.

Enter John Lasseter, who wanted to bring a Halloween celebration to Cars Land. Radiator Springs became Radiator Screams, and "Haul-O-Ween" rolled off the production line. (John Lasseter designed these decorations that hang across the streets.)

Haul-O-Ween

It is, in one word, fabulous. Or maybe I mean faBOOlous. Incredible depth of detail. So creative and imaginative with so many fun little touches. I think it's the best new decor Disney has done at the U.S. parks in years. (I haven't seen Pandora yet.)

So how do cars celebrate Haul-O-Ween? I'm so glad you asked. They dress in "car-stumes". Mater is a "van-pire".

Haul-O-Ween

Lightning McQueen is a superhero.

Haul-O-Ween

DJ is a "trunk rocker".

Haul-O-Ween

They go "Trunk-or-Treating".

Haul-O-Ween

They decorate their homes. And just like we have our individual ways of decorating, so do they. At the entrance to town is Scary the Scare-car.

Haul-O-Ween

Mater's Junkyard has been transformed into Mater's Graveyard JamBOOree.

Haul-O-Ween

The baby tractor also wears a car-stume.

Haul-O-Ween

In the queue are lots of tombstones.

Haul-O-Ween

All of the songs are Haul-O-Ween themed. Several are new lyrics to old tunes ("Radiator Rock" is now "Lizzie's Gone Witchy"), but there are two parodies of well-known Halloween songs: "Monster Truck Smash" ("Monster Mash" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett), and "Purple Fender Bender" ("Purple People Eater" by Sheb Wooley). Really clever - they made me laugh.

The Radiator Springs Drive-In is showing some interesting movies.

Haul-O-Ween

Sarge has a Pump-kin patch. You can also see one of the "car-achnids" that has infested Radiator Screams - there are 30 of them.

Haul-O-Ween

The cones of Sally's Cozy Cone Motel have all been decorated with spooky faces.

Haul-O-Ween

Inside the office, Sally has a model of the Brake's Motel made out of candy.

Haul-O-Ween

Lizzie has gone all-out in decorating her curio shop, where she sells "Boo-venirs".

Haul-O-Ween

Haul-O-Ween

In front of the store is an old wrecked car. It's been there a long time - there's a tree growing out of it.

Haul-O-Ween

But apparently it has an undead battery that won't let it "rust in peace." The zombie car lights up and steams occasionally as it tries to get a jump on life. (And no, these are NOT the remains of Stanley!)

A giant spider web covers Flo's V8 Cafe.

Haul-O-Ween

Just outside the entrance to the Cafe is the Spider-Car, which is a PhotoPass photo location. (The car used to be a Toadmobile.)

Haul-O-Ween

Ramone is celebrating Dia de los Muertos at his House of Body Art. Outside is "Sugar", a sugar car decorated like a sugar skull.

Haul-O-Ween

Inside the shop there's an "ofrenda" that celebrates Doc Hudson.

Haul-O-Ween

Luigi and Guido had never celebrated Haul-O-Ween in Italy, but now it's their favorite holiday. They've constructed an orange and black tower of tires outside.

Haul-O-Ween

Luigi sings Haul-O-Ween versions of Italian festival songs in the new holiday version of his attraction "Luigi's Honkin' Haul-O-Ween", such as "Haul-O-Ween Italiano." "The Terror-antella" tells the story of how he and Guido built "Scary the Scare-car", who can be seen at the entrance to Radiator Springs.

Next to Luigi's is the "Horn-O-Plenty". It was originally found on Haul-O-Ween night in 1936. Every year the citizens of Radiator Screams put it on display.

Haul-O-Ween

At night the courthouse seems to come to life. A mad scientist put jumper cables on the windows. :-)

The Cadillac Range has new purple and green lighting at night. It looks appropriately spooky. No changes to Radiator Springs Racers.

Haul-O-Ween

At dusk, when the usual "Sha-Boom" Lighting Moment starts to take place, it's interrupted by supernatural forces, and becomes "Sha-BOO!" instead. The Sheriff's voice then welcomes everyone to Radiator Screams. The background music changes to a new soundtrack of Haul-O-Ween music for the rest of the night.

There is a surprisingly large selection of "Haul-O-Ween"-inspired food and beverage. It's available only in Cars Land.

Fillmore's has Van-pire Mater Bread - sourdough bread with cheese baked on top. I tried this and it's quite good. $8.49.

Haul-O-Ween

Flo's V8 Cafe offers a Car-achnid Pot Pie, Grape Ghoul-ant Shake, and Mini Candy Cone Pie.

Haul-O-Ween

I tried the pot pie, and it was really good. Chicken pot pie with dried cranberries inside in addition to vegetables and chunks of chicken. Nice flaky crust on top. Served with coleslaw for $11.49. I couldn't eat it all.

Haul-O-Ween

There's several items available at the Cozy Cones. The Slow-Burnin' Mac and Cheese is served in a black cone.

Haul-O-Ween

The Spoke-y Cone Macaron is filled with marshmallow buttercream and candy corn.

Haul-O-Ween

Junkyard JamBOOree Mix is flavored popcorn with "nuts and bolts" - green M&M's, candy corn, chocolate covered pretzels, Boston baked beans and so on.

Haul-O-Ween

The cones also have a souvenir spooky traffic cone beverage cup available.

Haul-O-Ween

There's a lot to see in Radiator Screams, and it's really a lot of fun!






May 14, 2016

Disneyland and DCA - New Attractions and Shows

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On our recent trip I had the opportunity to experience some new shows and attractions that have recently opened. I say "new", but two of them were actually updates of existing attractions that just came out of lengthy refurbishments.

The first is the Jungle Cruise, which just re-opened on May 6. The biggest change was to the dock area, to help keep the boats more stable during the loading/unloading process. The dock that you seen on the right side of this photo was added, which helps to confine the boats and limit their movement.

Jungle Cruise dock

Here's a view from the boat - you can see the boats also had bumpers added to them.

Jungle Cruise dock

A closer view of the bumper.

Jungle Cruise dock

There really weren't any changes to the ride itself - everything was just freshened up. The skippers still tell the same corny jokes. (Here was our first sign of "Danger.")

Jungle Cruise

I thought the piranhas sprayed more than I've seen before.

Jungle Cruise

We had a slight wait before going to the dock to unload, so heard a longer version of the menu at the "Cannibal Cafe" - rump roast, toe-fu, ladyfingers, Girl Scout cookies, cold shoulder...

Jungle Cruise Trader Sam

The elephant was added to the roof above Tropical Imports.

Jungle Cruise

It was nice to see the Jungle Cruise return - it's a classic attraction.

Another refurbished classic attraction is the Tomorrowland Autopia. The big change is that Honda is now the sponsor rather than Chevron. There's a whole new color scheme now.

Autopia

Autopia

Autopia

Autopia

The cars are still the same, though some of them have an updated body with a Honda logo. Others appear completely unchanged.

Autopia

You can see some of the old and new cars in this photo.

Autopia

The load process is still the same.

Autopia

I hadn't done this ride in a long time. I thought that the graphics on the screen in the loading area and inside the building part of the queue were new, but I could be wrong.

Autopia

Autopia

Some of the graphics on the outdoor screen were fun.

Autopia

Autopia

Autopia

The track is still the same - some interesting views.

Autopia

There is still a short "off-road" section. It had rained earlier on the day we did it, so that area was a little muddy.

Autopia

There's still the booths on the exit ramp where for $5 you can get a photo taken to put onto your Autopia Driver License.

Autopia

Autopia

We had to laugh when looking around the queue - I'd say that 2/3 of those riding were parties of adults WITHOUT children. Pretty high nostalgia factor for this one.

Autopia

One change: Autopia is no longer a Fastpass attraction.

Over in DCA...

Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters, which replaced Luigi's Flying Tires, opened in March. It's the first attraction in the U.S. Disney parks to use the trackless vehicle technology that they have in the overseas parks. The cars are Luigi's cousins from Carsoli, Italy, who are demonstrating some of the traditional dances from their village. The cars move all around the floor as they whirl around each other, and at the end they all dance and spin in formation.

Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters

There are five different songs, most of them accompanied by lots of beeping.

It's quite finicky about operating conditions, though. I saw it E-stop because someone's hat blew onto the surface, and on this recent trip I was on the ride when it stopped because of light drizzle. (Cast members had warned us that might happen - they gave us a pass that was good for almost any ride in either park.)

Autopia

It's a cute ride, and the spinning at the end is fun, but a lot of us preferred the Flying Tires.

Over in the Animation Building, the Turtle Talk with Crush show has been updated to include characters from the upcoming "Finding Dory" movie. Dory and Destiny the Whale Shark appear together in an extended scene, as does Bailey the Beluga.

Turtle Talk with Crush and Finding Dory

Turtle Talk with Crush and Dory

There's also Marlin, Hank the Octopus, and a hermit crab.

Turtle Talk with Crush and Finding Dory

Turtle Talk with Crush and Finding Dory

Turtle Talk with Crush and Dory

I saw this several times - it seemed much more scripted than it has in the past. I think that's mostly to get the appearances of the "Finding Dory" characters in there. Still a cute show, though, and it was very popular with the kids.

Finally, I saw the new sneak peek of the upcoming Alice in Wonderland film: "Alice Through the Looking Glass." Instead of the "It's tough to be a bug" theater, where the sneak peeks are usually held, this one is in the former Muppets Theater, now that the "Frozen" sing-along has moved out. The theater has been renamed the "Sunset Showcase Theater." On the outside are some of the oversize props from the Mad T Party.

Through the Looking Glass preview

On the inside, though, it still looks like a hall in the Kingdom of Arendelle.

Sunset Showcase Theater

There's something fun in the pre-show area: two booths that will transform you into different characters from Alice in Wonderland. I thought it was pretty well-done. To get started you answer a few questions on the touch panel in front of you, and then look into the mirror above. After some initial process takes places you can use the touch panel to select which characters you want to see yourself as - Mad Hatter:

Alice Mad Hatter

Queen of Hearts:

Alice Queen of Hearts

White Queen:

Alice White Queen

Cheshire Cat:

Alice Cheshire Cat

White Rabbit:

Alice White Rabbit

At the end you choose one of them and mug for the camera. Then, if you have supplied an email address during the introductory portion, it will email you a video.

It was fun to do, and fun to watch. There's a line off to the side for those who wish to try it. It takes several minutes for each person.

The movie clip itself was in 3D. There were just a couple of "4D" effects. Not really my cup of "tea", though. The movie opens June 10; the sneak peek is scheduled to run through June 12.

Alice Through the Looking Glass

While this wasn't a new attraction or show, it was still something new...ducklings! They were in one of the planters near the hub. It's always fun to see the new babies every spring.

Disneyland ducklings

We still have some more new things to look forward to - the new Frozen - Live at the Hyperion musical, as well as the new Soarin' Around the World film. Frozen opens May 27; Soarin' is scheduled for June 17.







March 7, 2016

Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters Annual Passholder Preview

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, March 4, 2016.

Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsterswas conducting an Annual Passholder preview today, it officially opens on Monday March 7th. Below is a first look at the attraction featuring several videos and pictures. For the full set including more of Luigi's plus a check of the ongoing projects and other happens at the Disneyland Resort visit disneygeek.com

I enjoyed the original Flying Tires attraction. It was flawed in the sense that it did not move as freely or easily as envisioned but with a minimal wait it was still fun. The new Rollickin' Roadsters were much more fun to watch and the five different songs and dance routines added variety to the experience. The colors and details of the cars make it visually interesting too. The on ride experience is very passive and not as smooth as you may anticipate, because of these two reasons I thought the Flying Tires were more fun to ride.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

The line was long. The mass of guests filled the area in front of the attraction and went down Cross Street. The end of the line was near the exit. Earlier in the day it had stretched to Flik's Fun Fair.

I got in line at 1:21pm and this was my view....A new banner for the new attraction. All the Festival of the Flying Tires signage has been swapped out. The other signage stayed as it was.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

The line ahead of me...

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

I reached the queue entrance which had a posted wait of 60 minutes from there at 1:31pm.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

Cast members were in the queue scanning annual passes. Every rider needed one today. The attraction has a 32 inch height requirement to ride.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

Another set of cast members were scanning passes again and handing out key chains

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

Inside the queue looks the same. These posters all looked the same to me.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

This is a new one for the dancing tires...vs flying tires.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

I think this is new. There seemed to be several Carsoli references that I think are new.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

Exited the queue building and had a good look at the cars at 2:20pm, about an hour after entering the line.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

A video clip of the dancing cars from this angle. There are five different songs - this one is "Rollicking Night and Day".

The large sign is updated to feature the cousins vs the Festival of the Flying Tires.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

2:40pm...Waiting to board as the group ahead of us gets ready to start.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

A wide angle video of the full sequence. It is about a minute and a half of ride time.

A second camera, a tighter shot of the same sequence.

Time to board. I wanted the red car...but I paused for a picture and someone passed me for it (I did not see a sheet with the car names, I know they each have one).

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

I ended up with this one instead.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

The seats are hard plastic as you would expect and there is a single seat belt. No doors.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

A Point of View video of my first dance - to Cousin Rosa singing "Mambo Italiano". It was 2:44pm so I'd had about an 80 minute wait.

A look back as I exited. My car getting ready for the next dance.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

I then moved around to the viewing area on Cross Street to watch a couple of dances. A video of a full sequence from this angle.

One more license plate picture before moving on. I needed to get pictures of several dozen eggs and construction before sunset.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

You can read the attraction page on AllEars.Net HERE.

The new Rollickin' Roadsters merchandise was available in Ramone's.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

I stopped back by in the evening, after sunset. The wait had grown as more Annual Passholders arrived after work and school.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

The stroller area was converted into an extended queue.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

The attraction was down when I first showed up.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

They were moving cars around one by one. It was a very slow process to watch.

Here is a video clip of a car being brought out.


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016

They then did a full cycle. Here is a look at the cars dancing with no guests.

A second camera for a slightly different view.

Then the attraction reopened.

Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016


Jason @ disneygeek.com image from Friday, March 4, 2016



Hope you enjoyed this first look at Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters at the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, https://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.







November 17, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - Disney California Adventure Christmas

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trips to the parks on Friday, November 9, 2012 and Monday November 12, 2012.

The Christmas season officially kicked off Monday November 12th this year but most of the decorations were up and much of the entertainment started Friday. In this part we take a look at Disney California Adventure and how Buena Vista Street and Cars Land are celebrating their first Christmas season. Plus a check in around the park.


Buena Vista Street is all decked out for the holidays.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas


Pluto with his holiday gear on.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Made my way down to Cars Land next.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

When you walk through Cars Land be sure to really look at the decorations... they are all car-inspired of course.

A snow car out front. "Seasons Speedings!"

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Everything in Cars Land has been decorated.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Sarge's is a nice cross between Fourth of July and Christmas.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


Thought all the air and oil filters on the garland were fun.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Santa Mater out for pictures.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Over on Buena Vista Street the Buena Vista Street Community Bell Ringers are performing for the season.

Afterwards the group posed for a picture.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


Returned to Cars Land to continue my look around. The Christmas trees in front of the shops reflect each owner.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Flo's, Notice how the oil can is connected to the pole. Great detail.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

The courthouse is all decked as is Stanley.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Inside Ramone's, the doorway to the expanded portion of the store looks ready to go.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

An oil can tree in front of Flo's.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

A tree inside.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Bugs Land looks to be the same as the last several years with giant lights and ornaments.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


This year Santa is a department store Santa, sitting in Elias and Co.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


The night before Christmas is told with a series of scenes ringing the room.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

The stores have a nice set of decorations that work, even decorations up above.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas


A closer look at the tree.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Los Feliz has a lot of garland inside.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas


The Men's room garland has no lights...

Disney California Adventure Christmas

But the Women's room does...

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Time to walk through the other side of the street now.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Trolley Treats features a lot of candy overhead.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


A closer look at the candy garland in Trolley Treats.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Clarabelle's has ice cream garland of course.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


Phineas and Ferb feature a Holiday overlay.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


Paradise Gardens features the same decorations as last year (as did the Mermaid building).

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Donald is out on the Pier for pictures this year since Santa is on Buena Vista Street.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Back to Buena Vista Street for the Tree Lighting.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

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Disney California Adventure Christmas


There was no show this evening, just a simple count down and lighting. The Cast Members said the show will start mid next week it looks like.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Next up walked through Cars Land. They are playing Winter Wonderland as the lights come on.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

They had some light issues this evening so not everything came on as planned and many were still not lit later in the evening.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

A short clip as I caught the end of the lighting event.


Disney California Adventure Christmas

Not all the lights were on. Notice the snow and winter sign.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

There's a gingerbread display inside the Cozy Cones office.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Christmas lights on Buena Vista Street.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

The windows of Elias & Co Window.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

The Mad T Party has received some Holiday extras.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Here is a video of the opening.

The projections on Monsters now feature snow flakes and every now and then Santa flying by.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

The Mad T Party band.

Disney California Adventure Christmas


The first 2/3 of the set are their regular songs. Then the finale features the Unbirthday Song as well as a couple Christmas ones.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Video of the Christmas additions.


World of Color features the Prep and Landing preshow segment now. It appeared to be the same as last year, nothing different jumped out to me.


Disney California Adventure Christmas

The Brave segment has remained in the show.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

On Monday I made a second night time pass through Disney California Adventure, below are some pictures from this brief trip.

The garland was lit this evening at DCA (also noticed the flag was still up).

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Inside the main lounge of the Carthay Circle restaurant is a gingerbread dwarfs cottage.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Some garland lines the room.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

A look at the tree on the way out.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Next up a stroll through Cars Land. Snowy is out front to greet you.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Sarge's trees were on this evening.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas

The tree made out of oil cans at the entrance to Flo's has garland now (guess they are still putting finishing touches on since Friday).

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Santa Stanley.

Disney California Adventure Christmas

Disney California Adventure Christmas


Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.



July 30, 2012

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

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There's no particular rhyme or reason to this blog...it's just a collection of things that have occurred to me, or that I thought some people might not be aware of, that I wanted to share.

Did you know that there are now four different places to get ice cream in Disney California Adventure? Paradise Pier Ice Cream Co (the former Catch a Flave), the Ice Cream Cone at Sally's Cozy Cones, Clarabelle's Hand-Scooped Ice Cream on Buena Vista Street, and Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop in the Pacific Wharf.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

I love the hot fudge sundaes at Ghirardelli, but my new favorite ice cream treat is the Hand-Dipped Ice Cream Bars from Clarabelle's. (In About.com's recent poll of Disney travel journalists I ranked it my #1 snack.) First you choose your ice cream bar: vanilla, chocolate or mixed berry sorbet. Then you choose your chocolate: dark or milk. And then you choose your topping: chocolate chips, confetti Mickeys, blue raspberry bursts, rainbow sprinkles or all of above. No surprise to anyone who knows me, I'm sure, but I am a chocolate/dark/chocolate chip girl.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

If you haven't seen it, check out one of the Instant Concert - Just Add Water shows. It's a daytime water show where Maestro Goofy conducts the World of Color fountains which have been choreographed to various musical selections. It's Goofy, so sometimes things get a little out of hand...There are three different shows, each taking place twice a day. They are only about 5 minutes long. Check the daily Times Guide for show times.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

Oh, and speaking of the Times Guide...Disneyland and DCA used to share one Times Guide, with DCA events on one side and Disneyland on the other. This summer, there are so many things going on that each park has its own individual fold-out four page Times Guide! These give a much better overview of the entertainment offerings than the old guide had space for.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

Be sure to check out the new exhibit in the Blue Sky Cellar: The Radiator Springs Historical Society's Museum of the History of Radiator Springs. In the screening room they are showing a really fun Pixar short: Time Travel Mater. It tells the story of the founding of Radiator Springs - which also explains a lot of the artifacts that are in the Radiator Springs Racers queue. This one really makes me smile.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

Throughout the day you'll find the Citizens of Buena Vista Street out and about. There's Disney characters in period attire (Zoot Suit Goofy, Newsboy Mickey), and there's the other citizens, like Officer Blue, Donna the Dog Lady, Molly the Messenger and Fifi the Photographer. It's interesting to see these characters interact with the shows on Buena Vista Street - Goofy joins Five & Dime for a dance number, and Mickey and Molly are part of the Red Car News Boys show.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure
Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

A new entertainment offering this summer, and one that I think has been overlooked by parents with pre-teens, is Dancin' With Disney. It takes place during the day in Stage 17 in the Hollywood Land area of DCA. (By the way, the area formerly known as the Hollywood Pictures Backlot is now Hollywood Land.) While a DJ hosts the event and spins the tunes there are anywhere from 6-8 Disney characters on the dance floor at a time, dancing with any kids (or adults) who want to come out and join them. It's a great opportunity for the kids to get some up close time with the characters. There are at least two different sets - one featuring Disney villains like Captain Hook and Cruella de Vil, and another with some of the Disney "girls", such as Lilo, Daisy, Cinderella's stepsisters, Clarabelle Cow and Clarice the chipmunk. On a warm day it's a nice air-conditioned space to take a break. There's not a lot of seating, but there are some benches around the perimeter of the room.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

Each night around dusk there's a moment when the neon lights in Cars Land come on. It's really worth taking the time to see it. The song "Sh-boom" plays in the background as the lights come on - starting at the end of the street by the courthouse and moving down to the entrance to Cars Land. I don't think there's a spot that's going to give you an unobstructed view of all the lights, so there's many places to position yourself. If you're at Cross Street you'll be able to see in all four directions - there's a lot of neon on Flo's V8 Cafe. But I like watching from around Sarge's Surplus, and watching the neon lights move up and come closer to me.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

There are some strange critters wandering around the Mad T Party in the evenings. There's these crazy guys riding pink flamingos who get up close with the guests.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

And a few times a night they bring the "Who Are You" character out on stage. This colorful "human slinky" performs some very interesting moves.

Random Musings about Disney California Adventure

How about you? Any things that you've noticed at Disney California Adventure that you'd like to share with your fellow readers? Please submit your comments using the comment link below.

June 21, 2012

Your Questions About Disney California Adventure

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Wow, it was an eventful few days last week! While we still have lots of photos to go through and other things that we will be telling you about in the not-too-distant future I thought for this blog I'd address some of the questions that you asked.

From Steve:
Take and post lots of pictures! Jason Dz's frequent posts have been interesting as documents of the work-in-progress, but seeing all of the barricades is frankly a little depressing. I know that not even Disney Enterprises can pull off a 'Blue Fairy' and that realizing the Imagineers designs properly takes a lot of time and effort. It will be great to finally see the fruits of their labors.

A: We took tons of photos! Jason will be posting a couple of photo blogs soon, and, if you missed them, Jeanine and I had blogs with photos after our respective preview visits:
Jeanine: http://land.allears.net/blogs/lauragilbreath/2012/06/cars_land.html"
Laura: http://land.allears.net/blogs/lauragilbreath/2012/06/buena_vista_street_and_cars_la.html

Your Questions About Disney California Adventure

From Craig:
How well do the Pacific Electric Red Cars on Buena Vista Street deal with the crowds?

A: The trolleys don't have a regular schedule - they are suspended several times a day during the two shows; Five & Dime and Red Car Trolley News Boys (the latter use one of the trolleys as part of their show). During Five & Dime the trolley still operates, but only between Carthay Circle and the Tower of Terror. When the cars are running a conductor walks in front of them to clear the way and keep guests off the track.

Your Questions About Disney California Adventure


From Katie:
I'd like to know the height requirements for the rides in Cars Land. I have a little one so I'm wondering if there are things for a two-year-old at all! Thanks - can't wait to go in July!

A: The height requirement for both Mater's Junkyard Jamboree and Luigi's Flying Tires is 32". Radiator Springs Racers requires riders to be at least 40" tall. For those too short to ride there are meet and greets with Mater and Lightning McQueen, or the opportunities to get wet with Red the Fire Truck, or dance with DJ. Flik's Fun Fair is right next door to Cars Land, and most of the rides there have no height requirement.

Your Questions About Disney California Adventure

From David:
Please tell us about all of the Cars Land Merchandise and their prices.

A: Merchandise: there's a lot of it. Ok, so that wasn't very helpful... :-) I can't tell you about the prices, but there's quite a selection, some of it exclusive to Cars Land and Disney California Adventure. There is merchandise themed to each attraction in Cars Land. The Luigi's Flying Tire hats seemed to be very popular - flying off the shelves, as it were, and I saw a number of people with Mater's and Radiator Springs Racers t-shirts. You can buy replica Piston Cup trophies, for your desk or as an antenna topper. In Ramone's House of Body Art is merchandise from two different collections: Champions Custom Speed Shop and Ramone's Low n Slow. Sarge's Surplus Hut has Cars-themed play sets and other toys. And of course there are Vinylmation and pins that are exclusive to DCA and Cars Land. The cone-shaped souvenir beverage cups were very popular, also.

Your Questions About Disney California Adventure

Your Questions About Disney California Adventure

From Sara:
Q: I would like to know if there will be a special 'World of Color' menu for 'Carthay Circle'.

A: There's no special menu. Anyone who orders an appetizer and entree or an entree and dessert off the lunch or dinner menu will receive a World of Color Fastpass. Kids who order off the kids menu will receive one, also. The Fastpasses are for the preferred viewing area.

Your Questions About Disney California Adventure

From Jay:
I would love a review of the New Carthay Theater Restaurant.

Deb Wills and I dined there Saturday night, and Deb was back for lunch the next day. It was excellent - we will have a more comprehensive review soon.

Your Questions About Disney California Adventure

From SaraBeth:
Oh please tell us about the food, and what's especially good in Cars Land (and what's not!) and as many details about the rides, especially Radiator Springs Racers! What an amazing addition!

A: While we haven't tried all of the new food offerings, we've tried a pretty good variety of them, including the Chili Cone Queso (pictured below), Chicken Verde, Churro Bites, and several of the items in Flo's V8 Cafe (pork loin pictured below). We'll have more details in a food blog but we've enjoyed just about everything (even the dill pickle pop-cone!).

Your Questions About Disney California Adventure

Your Questions About Disney California Adventure

From Ann:
Will there be a special popcorn bucket(s)?

A: There is a special Lightning McQueen popcorn bucket (pictured below). It's available at the "Popcone" in Sally's Cozy Cones, and also at the popcorn stand on Buena Vista Street.

Your Questions About Disney California Adventure

From Sara:
Will breakfast cones be available all day at the Cozy Cone? Are the flying tires geared towards adults or just children? Will the Radiator Springs Racers be the only ride in Cars Land with a fast pass?

A: Breakfast cones are only available at breakfast. Here's the Menu

Luigi's flying tires are for kids and adults - kids must be 32" tall to ride. Each tire will accommodate up to two adults and a child.

Radiator Springs Racers in the only attraction in Cars Land that has Fast Pass.

Your Questions About Disney California Adventure


June 18, 2012

Videos from Cars Land and Grand Reopening

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We wanted to share with you the video footage from some of the interview opportunities we had during the Grand Reopening event. (Thanks to Lee for getting all of these processed and uploaded!)

Lee and I did a ride-through of Radiator Springs Races with Imagineer Kathleen Duncan. Spoiler alert: don't watch if you don't want to know what the ride is like!

Deb Wills takes us on a preview of Cars Land.


Lee and I tried our hands at candy making in the new Trolley Treats candy kitchen.

Take a tour of Buena Vista Street in this video that Lee put together.

Lee spoke with Show Producer Doug McIntyre about the new Mad T Party.

There's a new short daytime fountain show in Paradise Bay: Instant Concert - Just Add Water. There are three different versions of it.


June 15, 2012

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land

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This is the cover of the map available at the entrance turnstiles today. Even though Disney California Adventure was closed to the public there were still a lot of people in the park - not only media, but lots of contest winners and their families and other invited guests.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land

For us today was mostly about Buena Vista Street, the new entrance to Disney California Adventure. As most Disney fans know, Main Street USA was inspired by Walt Disney's boyhood home of Marceline, Missouri. Buena Vista Street is inspired by Los Angeles in the 1920s and 1930s, where Walt Disney came as a young man full of dreams and ambition.

There were two new shows that premiered on Buena Vista Street today, and both of them are also about pursuing your dreams. The first is Five & Dime, a jazz group featuring five musicians and Dime, their singer, who have been traveling along Route 66 to L.A. They performed classics like "On the Sunny Side of the Street" and "Ain't We Got Fun."

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land

Zoot suit Goofy performed one number with them.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land

Here's the video:

The next group was the Red Car Trolley News Boys who sang and danced.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land

They were joined partway through by a young Mickey Mouse, seeking his fortune with "a suitcase and a dream." It was a great show - both the new shows are terrific additions.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land

Video:

In addition to the shows Buena Vista has other new entertainment offerings - Disney characters in period costumes and the new "Citizens of Buena Vista Street".
Buena Vista Street and Cars Land

Fifer, Fiddler and Practical Cafe is the new counter service location, offering hot and cold sandwiches, soups and bakery items. It's got a very large indoor seating area. It's the Starbucks location and serves up the usual selection of familiar Starbucks beverages.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land

Trolley Treats is the candy store, with quite a selection of "homemade" candies like real pulled taffy, specialty candy apples and gourmet marshmallows. They have a show kitchen where you can watch the candy makers at work.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land

Here Lee samples their gourmet banana split marshmallow - banana marshmallow drizzled with caramel and chocolate, topped with chopped peanuts and a cherry.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land

Across the street is the big department store, Elias & Co. I never expected to be blown away by a shop, but this one blew me away. Each "department" has its own lighting and decor - and it's really beautiful.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land

Here is the men's department (I loved the mannequins above!).

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land

And the Girl's department - you can see how the color is very different.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land

We went back over to Cars Land for lunch at Flo's V8 Cafe. The food was pretty good - more on that later.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land

The "jukebox" on the counter has hits by the Motorama Girls.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land

We also went through the stores - this is a sample of items in Ramone's. It has merchandise from all three Cars Land attractions.

This evening we went to the new Mad T Party in the Hollywood Land area. In addition to a live band (featuring the Mad Hatter and Alice), a DJ (the White Rabbit) and dancers, the "Who Are You" creature, a rainbow-colored human slinky, comes out and performs several times a night.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land

Cars Land was closed and most of the production equipment had been removed, so there was a great view down Route 66.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land

This evening we experienced a special World of Color show. As we walked back to Paradise Bay we were all given special Mickey ear hats with colored light-up ears. These "Glow with the Show" ears actually interact with the World of Color show and turn off and on and blink and flash different colors during the show.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land

It's hard to explain but the effect was just stunning. I didn't know how they could make World of Color any better - but they did. It's hard to see in this picture, but the lights at the bottom are all ear hats. We also saw the new Brave sequence that's been added to World of Color.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land

It's been another amazing day. No one puts on a show like Disney!

June 14, 2012

Cars Land - NOW OPEN!

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Cars Land - NOW OPEN!

Wow. Today has been a once-in-a-lifetime kind of day. After all, how often do you get to see a brand new land open at a Disney theme park? And such a land! It's amazing, incredible, beautiful, awesome...I've run out of superlatives.

Deb Wills and I started our evening on the red carpet.

Cars Land - NOW OPEN!

We'll have more video later, but to start with we want to share a clip of Jennifer Lewis, the voice of Flo, who was delightful. She even sang a little for us.

Then it was time for the grand opening ceremony. Lee's video is below, but I wanted to share a few highlights...

John Lasseter addresses his Cars alter-ego: John Lassetire.

Cars Land - NOW OPEN!

They brought on stage a number of the "voices" from the Cars movies, like John Ratzenberger.

Cars Land - NOW OPEN!

Tom Staggs and John Lasseter "light this place up!"

Cars Land - NOW OPEN!

Cars Land - NOW OPEN!

And the video:

Then it was time to go in and experience Cars Land.

While Radiator Springs looks great during the day, I think it's even more impressive after dark, when all of the neon lights come on.

Cars Land - NOW OPEN!

And you can see all of the beautiful lighting on the Cadillac Range.

Cars Land - NOW OPEN!

Deb, Lee and I rode Radiator Springs Racers and they both loved it (I think Deb couldn't stop saying "Wow!"), and I enjoyed my second trip even more than the first since I noticed more - there's a lot of detail. I don't think this attraction will get old.

Cars Land - NOW OPEN!

We also took a ride on Luigi's Flying Tires, and I have to say that I enjoyed it a whole lot more than my first ride, since Deb and I got our tire to move, and actually move fairly quickly. I'm still not sure it's worth the long waits it's going to have, though.

We still hadn't gotten enough of Cars Land, but they shooed us out of there.

It was a great day, one I'll remember for a long time. Wow. Just...wow.


June 13, 2012

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

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On Tuesday, June 5, I was fortunate to be part of a group of media who were invited to take a "Sneak Peek" at Buena Vista Street and Cars Land. While we were allowed to take photos and video, we were not permitted to share any of it with the public, or even talk about the experience, until Wednesday, June 13. And believe me, that's been very hard!

I'm not even quite sure how to write this blog entry...there's so much I could say, and not nearly enough space to do it.

So I'll say this: "Wow." Everything I've seen (and there's been a lot of it) in Imagineer sessions at D23, exhibits in Blue Sky Cellar, and from following the construction progress in Jason's photos, still did not prepare me for the reality of Buena Vista Street and Cars Land. Stepping into both for the first time was a thrill. And yes, I was able to ride Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, Luigi's Flying Tires and Radiator Springs Racers.

I think it might be easier to show you photos than to try to describe it. I apologize for the lack of some details - we were on a tight schedule and not allowed to wander around on our own. I was also trying to shoot video and stills at the same time.

We started on Buena Vista Street, entering near where real guests will enter the park. While I think 1920s Los Angeles wasn't quite as clean as Buena Vista Street, a lot of the elements are there that transport us back to that time period. There's a lot of familiar names. For example, just inside the entrance is this gas station - Oswalds!

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

The Chamber of Commerce - aka Guest Services.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

And the Los Feliz Five and Dime shop.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

In the center of the street is a flagpole with a plaque on it, with these words:
"It was July 1923. I packed all of my worldly goods - a pair of trousers, a checkered coat, a lot of drawing materials and the last of the fairy tale reels we had mad - in a kind of frayed cardboard suitcase. And with that wonderful audacity of youth, I went to Hollywood, arriving there with just forty dollars. It was a big day the day I got on that Santa Fe California Limited. I was just free and happy!"

-- Walt Disney

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

In front of the flagpole on the ground is another plaque. Buried underneath it is a time capsule:
"Disney California Adventure Rededication Time Capsule
June 15, 2012
May the hopes and dreams represented by the collection contained within the time capsule beneath this mortar inspire a future generation of dreamers when it is unsealed a quarter century from now, on June 15, 2037."

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

On the other side was the Red Car Trolley stop. (Lockers and restrooms are in their same location to the right of the trolley).

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

On that side is Mortimer's Market, a fresh fruit stand.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Just past that is the monorail bridge. The design is inspired by the Glendale-Hyperion bridge.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Underneath the bridge is Big Top Toys on the east side...

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

And Julius Katz on the west.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

As the Katz family prospered they opened a new shop next door: Julius Katz & Sons.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Atwater Ink & Paint (perhaps an homage to Lillian Disney, who worked in the Ink & Paint department).

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

On the corner is Trolley Treats, a candy store, though probably what it will become most known for is the "Candy Mountain" in the window.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Taking up most of the east block is the large Elias & Company department store, reminiscent of the Bullocks Wilshire.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Dominating the end of Buena Vista Street is the Carthay Circle Theater, though in its current incarnation it's a two-story restaurant and lounge rather than a theater.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Looking back down Buena Vista Street towards the park entrance.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek
Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

One of our really thrilling moments was getting to see the new Walt and Mickey statue. Walt Disney is life-size, and he's at ground level where guests will be able to pose with his statue. A young man with a dream, just like most of us.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

We were not able to go into any of the shops or the Fiddler, Fifer, and Practical Cafe.

We came out of Buena Vista Street and entered the Carthay Circle building, where we were able to tour 1901. This is the new private club which will be open to Club 33 members. (1901 is the year Walt Disney was born.)

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek
Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

There's all kinds of great artwork, and the artwork will change periodically. In one big display case right now is the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs storybook featured at the beginning of the Dutch version of the movie.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

We went upstairs to the Carthay Circle restaurant.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

It's quite large, and very elegant.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

There's a private room that overlooks the parade route, with a table that seats up to 12.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

We had lunch there - we received a selection of appetizers to share, but ordered our own entree. Dessert also featured a selection to share. Andrew Sutton, the executive chef for both Napa Rose and Carthay Circle, spoke to us a bit about the menu. There will be more about the food later, but I'll say that the Fire Cracker Duck Wing appetizer (pictured below) was very good. And I had one of the sustainable fish dishes - Jerked Kingfish - which was also quite good.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Unfortunately we really had to rush through lunch, but that's because we had a can't-miss appointment with Cars Land!

We came in what I consider the main entrance, looking right down Route 66. And there it was...Radiator Springs in its heyday.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Fillmore's Taste-In was to our right.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek
Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

On the left, Mater's Junkyard Jamboree awaited us.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

We took a little time to stroll through the queue.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

In the center, all of the little baby tractors were waiting for us.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

And this is Mater's jukebox. It plays seven original songs, all sung by the voice of Mater, Larry the Cable Guy.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Here is video of my ride.

It was a lot of fun! Everyone I saw was smiling as they rode. I was a little concerned it might make me dizzy (especially right after lunch) but I rode it twice in a row and didn't feel dizzy at all. Those who are sensitive to motion might feel differently, though.

Disney classes it as a "Mild but Wild" attraction. Riders must be at least 32" tall. The bench seat will accommodate up to two adults and one child. All riders are secured by a single lap belt. Those in wheelchairs or ECVs must transfer to ride.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

There are two "turntables", with 11 baby tractors per turntable. Each of the 22 baby tractors is slightly different.

Just outside is Mater's Petting Zoo, where a baby tractor poses for photos.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

On the other side of the road is Sarge's Surplus Hut - "the headquarters for genuine Radiator Springs gear."

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

As we continued down Route 66 we passed Sally's Cozy Cones. Looks like the Imagineers had a lot of fun here - the lawn ornaments are cones, the scoops on the waterwheel fountain are cones - Sally is cone crazy! (I think the Imagineers missed a pun opportunity here, though - shouldn't it say "NO VACONE-CY" on the sign?)

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

We were not able to sample any of the treats at "Sally's Snack Cone-Anza", like pop-cone or chili cone carne. Next time! Here is the MENU.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Radiator Springs Curios looks like classic Route 66 kitsch to me - it'll be interesting to see what's for sale inside, though I expect the usual selection that won't live up to the wonderful exterior.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Across Route 66 is Flo's V8 Cafe, the main dining establishment in Cars Land. The menu features rotisserie NY strip loin, pork loin, and turkey breast, with sides like peas & carrots, mashed potatoes and corn medley. There's also the "Veggie Tater Bake" with roasted vegetables and bulger wheat, topped with mashed potatoes and cheese. Here is the Full Menu.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

In the dining area is memorabilia from Flo's days as a Motorama Girl.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Including some gold records, like these for the albums "Brake it to Me Gently" and "Jeep Date".

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Luigi's Casa della Tires is easily recognizable by the stack of tires in front of it.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek
Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Inside, the queue for the Luigi's Flying Tires attraction winds around and around through a couple different rooms inside - like the tire showroom:

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

And outside, through the topiary garden. I found the length of the queue a bit scary...if it's that long, it's really going to be a long wait to ride the attraction.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Once we reached the attraction loading area the cast member gave us some brief instructions: get balanced on your tire, and then lean to make it move. After we sat down on our tire we were offered large beach balls to throw around.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Here's the video from my ride:

I have to admit that I was disappointed in this. I like the concept, but I didn't think the actual ride was very much fun. The tires don't move very fast and I couldn't get my tire to move much at all. I've heard that it takes 2-3 times to get the hang of it, so maybe I'll change my mind, but I'd have to say that for me it's not worth the kind of wait it's going to have.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

The bench seat will accommodate two adults and a child. All riders are secured by a single lap belt. Riders must be at least 32" tall. Those in wheelchairs or ECVs must transfer to the ride vehicle, which involves stepping up onto the tire. There is a compartment behind the seat for bag storage.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek


Ramone's House of Body Art is across the street from Luigi's Flying Tires. We didn't go inside, but it sounds like it's a clothing shop. Among other things will be items from the "Low and Slow" line.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

At the end of the street is the court house/fire department/police department, with the statue of Stanley in front of it. The statue was covered when I was there, but Jason got a photo of it at the AP preview on Monday.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

In between Ramone's and the court house is the entrance to Radiator Springs Racers.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Wow...it was like stepping into the southwest with all of the great rock formations and the plants and trees. It's really amazing.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

The queue, not surprisingly, is very long, but there's lots to see while you're waiting.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

There was no line, but it still took us a while to walk the queue and reach the loading area. Radiator Springs is somewhat reminiscent of Test Track at Epcot, so the cars are the familiar six-seaters, each seat with its own seat belt. Since the Disney folks asked us to put our cameras away I don't have a ride video from this one. I don't want to spoil it for those who want to experience it for themselves first, so I'm not going to say too much. Though I don't think it's a secret that the ride includes encounters with some of the characters from Cars and culminates in a side-by-side race with another car around Ornament Valley before returning to the loading area. There are some great visuals.

This was the attraction I had most been looking forward to - and it was even better than I expected. A lot of fun seeing the Cars characters, and even more fun racing out on the track with another car. The lead exchanged several times, but in the end the car I was in won. It was all so much fun, but it all went by so fast I didn't have time to absorb it. I can't wait to ride it again!

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

The height requirement for Radiator Springs Racers is 40". Rider swap is available. As I mentioned before, the seating is like that on Test Track - each car has two rows, with three riders per row. For those in wheelchairs or ECVs, the queue is accessible, but riders must transfer to a car to ride.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Radiator Springs Racers is a Fastpass attraction. For now Fastpass distribution will be located in front of "It's Tough to Be a Bug", so guests won't even have to enter Cars Land to get one. A single rider line is also available.

All too soon it was time to leave Cars Land. There are three ways in/out of Cars Land - we came in from the entrance near the winery, and exited by Pacific Wharf (the third offers access from "a bug's land". While it was very cool to come down Route 66, I think my favorite is going to be the Pacific Wharf route - there are so many spectacular visuals when you enter from that direction!

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

One of my favorite things was these "Burma Shave" type signs. Really fun.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

And there's also a "pullout" with a map, just like you see at scenic vistas everywhere.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

Just before we exited we took one last look back into Cars Land. What a great sight! All that "rock work" we saw going up over the last few years is really stunning.

Buena Vista Street and Cars Land Sneak Peek

I'm not sure what more I can say. I am really looking forward to having more time to explore Buena Vista Street and Cars Land. As I think you've seen, there is a huge amount of detail that went into both of them, and much more to explore.

DISCLOSURE: As an invited media guest, AllEars' Media Sneak Peek experience and lunch at the Carthay Circle restaurant were provided by the Disney company.



June 11, 2012

Cars Land and Buena Vista Street: A Preview.

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Just in case you've been living under a vow of hermitry, and recently finished, Disney California Adventure Park is re-opening this week, with a new direction, entryway, and showcase land, Cars Land. It's been in previews since this weekend, and already the internet is abuzz with photos and video from the spandy-new areas, with more to come as the media previews continue through this week, leading up to the grand unveiling on June 15th.

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I had an opportunity to attend one of the AP previews this last weekend. For $75, we were allowed into Buena Vista Street (BVS) and Cars Land from 6pm-11pm. In a word, the new areas are spectacular.

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Throughout BVS, there is an incredible attention to detail that really catapults you back to 1920's, when Walt Disney turned up in Los Angeles with little more than a suitcase of ambition.

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As you walk further down the street, you seem to move a bit through time, until you get to the Carthay Circle where Snow White premiered in 1937.

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Towards the end of the street, is the elegant Elias and Co. department store, which is not a little reminiscent of the departed Bullocks Wilshire.

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Walking through some of these stores, it seems incredible that only a short while ago, their theming could best be described as "tacky," and now...

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Across the way, there's a charming cafe where Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream used to be.

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Inside, the walls are decorated with photos and posters of the singing trio for which the cafe is named.

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Hmm...you might want to take the stairs that night...

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Cars Land is no less impressive. There are three ways to enter--through a bug's land, opposite the Vinery, or through Pacific Wharf. We were let in through the latter, and if you were going for the first time, it definitely packs the biggest visual impact.

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It's hard to convey what a awe-striking vista awaits you. In a way, I'm almost sorry that the walls around the land will come down, because walking through that tiny door into that huge landscape was remarkable.

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The impression of vastness is so great that for a moment, it hardly seems believable that you're still in a theme park. And for that matter, only in a part of what used to be the parking lot for a theme park.

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The main drag of Radiator Springs is charming by day, but gorgeous at night.

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There are three rides in Cars Land: Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, Luigi's Flying Tires, and Radiator Springs Racers.

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Junkyard Jamboree is a spinning ride with an interchanging turntable mechanism similar to Cars Quatre Roues Rallye in the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris, but with the addition of a swinging variable, as the riders sit in a...thing that a tractor pulls.

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It's a pretty fun, somewhat low-key ride. The main detriment is likely to be the wait time, as it didn't look to have a huge capacity and like Dumbo, you have to wait through each cycle of riders before advancing in line.

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Luigi's however, is a little problematic. Based on the old Flying Saucers ride, you board a huge inflatable tire that is puffed up on jets of air. You steer it by leaning in one direction, although they're quick to tell you that if you lean too much, it will act as a brake and you'll stop. What they don't tell you is that it's not just a matter of steering--if you don't/can't imbalance your weight enough, that tire is not going anywhere. I think the caution on leaning too much is probably for two riders, where there's more weight to throw around--with one person, you actually need to slide over to one end or the other of the bench to make it tilt enough to go. Unfortunately, it seems to take more than one ride to really get the hang of this, and until you do, the ride has all the fun of waiting for Dumbo, without actually getting to fly anywhere.

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Talking with a CM, it appears that they almost expect guests to not enjoy it that much the first time, but figure that with practice, it will grow on them. I would be concerned that the wait time--likely to be even worse than Jamboree, because of the greater complexity of mounting and dismounting the giant inner tubes--would put people off trying it again, once they sat there motionless the first go-through. The beach balls are there apparently in the hopes that people will try to reach for them, shift their weight by accident, and start moving. In the initial designs, the tires had a joystick that also enabled the guests to spin, but which were removed because the guest assumed that they were there for steering and got frustrated. I would suggest replacing them--at least then, if someone is too light or otherwise unable to get their tire moving, at least they could spin in place, which would be something.

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Anyway, on to the new "E-Ticket" attraction, Radiator Springs Racers. What surprised me about this ride, was the vague impression I had held that it was primarily a thrill ride. It is primarily, from my viewpoint, a dark ride, similar to the ones in Fantasyland.

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In theory, it resembles Test Track quite a bit, with the indoor part having quite a few call-backs to various moments from that ride, and then a brisk outdoor segment. In reality, the experience is so much better, you can only think that Test Track looks like kind of a gyp next to it.

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Without totally spoiling the whole thing for you, there are a number of variables throughout the ride that combine to make it highly repeatable. Again, the amount of detail that has gone into this is amazing--from almost all the cars inside being animatronic, to leaves rustling when characters you can't see are supposed to be moving beside you, to an entire mini-recreation of Radiator Springs. The outdoor environment is beautiful, and just as impressive.

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If you time it right, you might even see the Disneyland fireworks from the ride.

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So altogether, thumbs up on Jamboree, huge high-five on Racers, and "needs improvement" on Tires. Admittedly however, I did manage to ride Tires again as the last ride of the night, and it was actually much better. I'd encourage more than one ride-through on that, if the lines aren't prohibitive.

Finally, there's the food.

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The main eatery is Flo's V8 Café--a counter service with carving-station style entrees and small wheel-shaped pies.

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I found the roast beef surprisingly good--not nearly the tough, dried out specimens you so often get with quick service food. The mud pie was more reminiscent of a flourless chocolate cake than a pie, but was tasty, if rich. The main problem here, as was with all the eating facilities in Cars Land, was the wait--the line stretched along the outside of the cafe almost to the main road. After a CM takes your order and marks it down on an order form, you then get to wait in line inside for a register. Then, after paying, you get to wait yet again at the counter for your food. The difficulty here is that if you happen to get behind someone ordering for a party of 90, you may end up sitting there forever while they get all the things for that order complete, while further away on the counter, you can see what is likely your order waiting haplessly for its turn.

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One thing you can say for Flo's however, is that the views are admirable. This may ultimately work against it, as people will likely be tempted to rest here indefinitely throughout the day, taking up what are already a fairly small number of tables.

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The other main eating facility is the Cozy Cone Motel.

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This is an adorable-looking place that ends up to be something of a functional nightmare. Each cone sells approximately one thing--popcorn, churros, pretzels, ice cream, or cone-centric entrees--requiring families (or individuals for that matter,) to stand in multiple lines if they want more than one thing. Each cone has one window, so the processing time is, to say the least, lengthy. Unfortunately, behind the the decorative-only lobby of the Motel is the main seating area, whose handful of tables takes up at least half of the room between the building and the cones. Between the snaking lines that overlap to the point of needing tape on the ground to separate them, the tables, and the occasional strolling vendors hawking popcorn and soda to the people starving to death in line, the area back there becomes almost impassible at peak times. I have no idea how good the food is, because not even for Kathy Mangum's famous "Chili Cone Carne" was I going to wait in those lines.

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So in total, I would have to term both new areas of Disney California Adventure big successes. Not for some time has Imagineering been given the scope and budget to create environments this immersive and attractive. Coming from the old DCA where the overwhelming theme seemed to be "made for profit," these are huge improvements likely to draw the big crowds DCA has always wanted.

The crowding is likely to be the worst part of it, however--a lot of these areas have very limited capacity in an almost Potteresque manner, so forewarned is probably forearmed. My best advice: Use the single rider line in Racers; head for cycle loaders like Tires and Jamboree first; consider skipping Tires if you don't have time to ride it more than once; try to eat somewhere else entirely unless you can tag-team the food lines; look at everything, because details are everywhere; and enjoy this golden moment of redemption in DCA's history.

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June 8, 2012

What Do You Want to Know About the Re-Imagined Disney California Adventure?

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The Grand Reopening of Disney California Adventure is just a week away - June 15, 2012. Deb Wills, Lee Zimmerman and I will be there, blogging and tweeting and doing our best to share the experience as we finally get to see Cars Land and Buena Vista Street!

But we'd like to know...What do YOU, our readers, want to know? What are your questions about Cars Land and Buena Vista Street, the Mad T Party? What are your questions about the attractions, the shows, the shops, and the restaurants? Do you want to know which attraction is the biggest thrill, where to find the tastiest snack foods, how to meet Mater, or what we think is the most tacky-but-terrific souvenir?

Please submit your questions by using either the "Feedback Form" or "Comments" links below. We'll do our best to get as many answers as we can!

May 19, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, May 18, 2012. Highlights include the new Cars Land-inspired monorails with their new narrations, Matterhorn bobsled testing and the new Brave Meet and Greet as well as updated construction photos from Buena Vista Street and Cars Land, opening June 15!


The scaffolding is down around the La Brea Bakery.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

This year they are doing grad nite differently than they traditionally have. This year grads get a park hopper ticket and wristband. They can visit both parks all day long then after Disneyland closes they have their party until the early morning hours. So as the day went on more and more graduates showed up in the park which made for a different experience and crowd pattern.

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There was no line and the bus was boarding so I hopped on for an elevated view of Main Street. Minnie waving as we passed by.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


A check in on Carnation Cafe.. it opens June 13th and work was going on all day and into the evening.

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Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


The Matterhorn has water flowing again and bobsleds were being cycled.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Hard to see what is going on at Plaza Gardens. Looks like much of the concrete and retaining wall on the North side are gone.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

First destination of the day was the Small World Mall to check out the Brave Meet and Greet. As you approach there are banners up.

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And some signs.

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There are activities and some games too.

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Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

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Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

There is an archery range as part of the area too, so after your picture is taken you can go shoot a bow and arrow.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The cast members assist you with a quick lesson as the paparazzi snaps pictures.

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A closer look at the bow and arrow.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


A couple tables for coloring.

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A game to test your skill.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

These were interesting. Some stones that you can create rubbings with (thank you David for letting us know the process name).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Moving on, the seagulls are still gone from the sub lagoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The menu boards at Tomorrowland Terrace are now LCD screens, reminds me of WDW.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


Wandered down the trail to the Jamboree next. The cows that were lurking are now gone... wonder where they have wandered off to now, probably backstage hanging out again.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Horace Horsecollar and Clarabelle Cow were out for pictures.

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Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Next up the Monorail. They are promoting Cars Land so each has a name and personality now. Here is Mona Monorail in the Tomorrowland Station. I thought the wrap was pretty well done. It is not as over the top as the previous ones.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Here is a video of the ride to Downtown Disney, the narrations have been replaced and customized per train.

A look in on Buena Vista Street.A check of the Red Car stop.

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The signage on Buena Vista Street looks great.

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Notice all the sidewalks are in now.

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Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The return trip from Downtown Disney to Tomorrowland aboard Mona Monorail.

Very close to getting a great shot of a new bobsleds splashing down.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


A fun hidden mickey on the dock...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

A new sled going by the redone bridge.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Manny Monorail going over the Sub Lagoon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Alice Davis received a window on Main Street since my last visit. It is right next to the one for her husband, Marc Davis.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Time to head to DCA.. only four weeks, 28 days, till the grand openings.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Noticed the awnings are gone from the entrance now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Minnie arriving at her Charter Airlines. Today she had the full-featured head, with blinking eyes and moving mouth.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Taste Pilots has a tarp up as they work on the building where the plane was attached.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The cafe signage is now done.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

A great hand-painted sign.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The sign out front is installed now too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Another great sign being painted.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Time to check out the Studios portion of Hollywood Land which has been taken over by the Mad T Party.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The Drink Me bar.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Props have been installed on the stage. The stage will feature a live band.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The House of Cards bar area.

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Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


The sound stage number has been updated to fit the party.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The food truck has received a new wrap.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The Bugs Life references have been removed from the mural and it is being repainted. Wonder if they are down for the painting or gone forever.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

A look down Route 66, which now has striping on it.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Wires now strung on the poles.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The traffic light has been installed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Most of the construction is done so there are now groups roaming around with no hard hats (the crews on either side were laying sod).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

A sod crew working near the Cozy Cones, notice the fence too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Spotted this new Cars inspired outdoor vending (ODV) cart.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The menu

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The scaffolding is down from around Ghirardelli

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12



A new billboard along the boardwalk between Ariel's and California Screamin' (the second one from the left).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

While looking at ODV carts.. here is one out on the Pier.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


Time for a spin on the Fun Wheel. There were two Racers stopped on the track.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

I think this helps with the scale.. remember those are 6 passenger cars, just like Test Track.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


The signage is great..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Looks like they are working on the clovers in Flik's Fun Fair...notice all the white tops...the green has been removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

I did not get a good picture.. but as I was wrapping up my first trip on the wheel they started to cycle the Racers. By this second go around (15 minutes or so later) they were running. Had to take a couple pictures of what I called the USC race!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

More props and equipment for the T-Party backstage awaiting installation.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

A second look from the Blue Sky Cellar patio, now that the workers have cleared out for the day.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Noticed they have replaced the individual packets of condiments in Taste Pilots with these pumps now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Monorail Manny in Tomorrowland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

A video from onboard Manny from Tomorrowland to Downtown Disney.

A look at the Mad T Party, noticed plenty of lights on the tower even.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

A large sign for the event on the back of the stage.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

More signage for Buena Vista Street.

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Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


Video of the return trip.

Rumble King at the Tomorrowland Terrace

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

The Brave Meet and Greet wrapped up at 3:00pm today.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


Some of the lights were on at the Carthay this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


Also some lights on at the House of Cards.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


The Tower of Terror area was very crowded this evening. A two hour wait! It appeared to be mostly Grad Nite kids.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

No neon on when I first arrived to check out Cars Land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Looks like they were set up for something, notice the microphone stands. In the background you could see groups of cast members heading for the Racers where they were doing testing/previews this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Then all of a sudden the lights all came on... crummy picture but you get the drift..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


The lights in the cafe were on this evening and you could see the stained glass window.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Some water art being created on Main Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Time for Fantasmic which turned 20 last Sunday!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


Afterwards we roamed around the Rivers of America and down the Big Thunder trail as Magical was going on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Made it into Fantasyland as Tinkerbell was taking her final flight.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12


To close with the Matterhorn waterfalls - they have some great new lighting.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/18/12

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com Also be sure to follow me on twitter @disneygeekcom for pictures from the parks.



May 14, 2012

Disney California Adventure Press Preview Part 1 - 5/10/12

Since Laura was in a week-long training class at work, I (Lee) had the opportunity to take her place at a press event Disney put on for Southern California media to get a look behind the scenes at all the changes coming to the Disneyland Resort this Summer - especially the opening of Buena Vista Street and Cars Land at California Adventure.

This is Part One!

The first half of the event took place in what Disney calls its Cast Showcase at California Adventure. This is an immersive education venue that Disney built to familiarize all 22,000 Disneyland Resort cast members with all the changes taking place around the Disneyland Resort. The Showcase is currently occupying the soundstage venue at California Adventure that is used to hold Who Wants To Be A Millionaire. For those who have been through the Narnia or other "behind the scenes" exhibits for various films that have been installed at Disney Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World, this has the same sort of feel. The Cast Showcase is supposed to run for 20 days.

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Our visit to the Cast Showcase began with a welcome by Tom Staggs, Chairman Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Tom said that Disney recognized that California Adventure was not living up to its potential and began a five year program to remake the park. Highlights so far include extensive changes to the Paradise Pier area, the Little Mermaid attraction, and the World of Color show. The re-imagined entrance and hub for California Adventure, Buena Vista Street, and the new 12-acre Cars Land complete that five-year effort. He explained that the Showcase covers not just the changes at California Adventure but also at Disneyland and Downtown Disney. It is not just about attractions but also about merchandising, food and beverage and entertainment. He remarked that when they re-open California Adventure it will finally be a worthy and complementary neighbor to Disneyland. Re-open was a deliberate choice of words - Disney views the magnitude of the changes and the shift in the story of California Adventure to be significant enough that they are considering this a second Grand Opening for the park.

Tom then circled back to talk about the Disney cast members who he said are the key to bringing the worlds that the Disney Imagineers build to life and to the guest experience. He said that the cast members will visit the Showcase because they love what they do - they are Disney fans and they want to know as much as possible to help their guests.

As his parting shot Tom shared a secret - along with all the other changes coming June 15th, there will be a new segment in World of Color featuring Pixar's latest animated feature 'Brave'.

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From here on out the Cast Showcase experience was what the cast members will see. The first room includes displays on the renovated Matterhorn - including one of the new ride vehicles - on the Mad T Party dance party coming to California Adventure (replacing ElecTRONica), and the new Fantasy Faire "Princess experience" area coming to Disneyland.This area also features a kitchen set for the "The Happy Chef" who acts as the master-of-ceremonies for this area of the exhibit. She is putting on a cooking demonstration making a celebratory cake and with each ingredient she adds to the cake there is a video segment from a Disney executive talking about an aspect of the changes. The first video is from George Kalogridis, President of Disneyland Resort, who greets the 22,000 cast members and Imagineers of Disneyland Resort and welcomes them to the cast showcase. He tells the cast members that this is the second largest expansion in the history of the Disneyland Resort and that "the happiest place on Earth just got happier."

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Artist concept drawings for the new Fantasy Faire "Princess experience" under construction at Disneyland

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A signboard explaining changes that will be coming to the Pixie Hollow character greeting area in Disneyland this Fall


Another of the video segments talks to all the changes taking place in Downtown Disney. Those changes include the extensive renovations to the Disneyland Hotel including replacing all the electrical and plumbing, expanding the rooms into the former balcony areas, and upgrading the furniture, carpet, and fittings. Other highlights include the renovated Lego store (we are getting giant Lego sculptures like those at Walt Disney World), the new Wunderground Gallery (Disney collectables), the new Earl of Sandwich restaurant (yea!) and the expanded La Brea Bakery.

The next video segment highlights the recently completed renovations to the "400 block" of Main Street in Disneyland. These changes include complete interior remodels of all the shops and restaurants, most in the Victorian style. The candy store now has a candy kitchen that is twice as big so guests can see two kinds of candy being made at once. The shops have more room for guests to move around and more cash registers to shorten waits to check out. The service area at the GIbson Girl ice cream shop has been moved back into the shop so the queue will now be inside instead of spilling out onto Main Street.

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The new Matterhorn ride vehicles

The segment highlighting changes within the Parks included a section on the Matterhorn. This is the first time it's been scaffolded since it was built which allowed them to paint it a new color and add new "snow", and is the first major rehab since 1978. The new ride vehicles are each two connected cars, each with three individual seat compartments instead of the single (shared) set compartment. They are building a new load area to support both a single rider line and load/unload for guests who need "assistance". The Matterhorn re-opens on June 15th.

The changeover from ElecTRONica to Mad T Party in the Hollywood area of California Adventure is almost complete - with a new central stage and the new House of Cards that replaces Flynn's Arcade. The featured act for the Mad T Party is the Mad T Party Band that includes the Mad Hatter and Alice as band members. They will perform for twenty minutes out of every hour and tunes the rest of the hour will be provided by a DJ (see the picture with the glowing bunny ears). There will be professional dancers featured at the House of Cards along with, if Glowfest and ElecTRONica are any indication, lots of dancing guests.

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Costumes for Alice and the Mad Hatter

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The Mad T Party DJ's costume

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Artist concept for the main stage for the Mad T Party

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Some of the merchandise that will be available at the Mad T Party

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Special food items that will be for sale at the Mad T Party

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The drinks available at the Mad T Party come in very interesting cups

There has been no formal announcement made that we are aware of, but there is a note on the map of California Adventure entertainment below, that reads "Daytime fountain show - our famous Paradise Pier fountains perform, dance and play - in the day".

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This map highlights the live performers and character "meet and greet" opportunities around California Adventure


We then moved to the second room in the exhibit - this one decorated like 1920's Los Angeles to highlight the new Buena Vista Street. Our host for this area was an actor playing an old time radio announcer - complete with impressions and sound effects. Various video segments, along with the static displays, told the story of Buena Vista Street and what guests can expect. Buena Vista Street represents Los Angeles as it was in the 1920's when Walt arrived with little more than "his suitcase and his dreams". Buena Vista Street actually starts with the entrance to California Adventure - the entrance turnstile area has been rebuilt to look like the Los Angeles' Pan Pacific Theater . The shops on Buena Vista street have been themed to have a connection to the young Walt Disney (Mortimer's Produce, Clarabelle's Ice Cream, Elias and Company) and the story is that they may have served as the inspiration for some of Walt's early stories and characters.

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Buena Vista Street ends in a new hub area with a new "partners" statue and a beautiful fountain that front the Carthay Circle Theater. Just in case you don't know the connection, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered at the Carthay Circle Theater in 1937. This Partners statue features a much younger Walt Disney and an earlier version of Mickey Mouse. The Carthay Circle Theater building will house three restaurants: a lounge downstairs that serves appetizers and "small plate" dishes, a full table service dining room upstairs that seats 200 inside and 56 more on the balcony, and the Club 33 associated private dining room - 1901.

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The fountain at the center of the new California Adventure hub. Image copyright ©Disney.

Running up and down Buena Vista Street and into the Hollywood area will be the two Red Car trolleys - based on the Pacific Electric Railroad trolleys that used to run in Los Angeles. Some interesting trivia for this attraction - the cars are based on the original Pacific Electric Railroad cars but are brand new and they are actually battery powered (so all the overhead wires are just set dressing). Their numbers are 623 (for 1923, the year Walt arrived in LA) and 717 (for the 7/17/55 opening day of Disneyland).

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Photos of various merchandise items that will be available in shops on Buena Vista Street


There are several new entertainment acts that have been created for Buena Vista Street. Five and Dime is a jazzy band (the Five) with vocalist Dime, who will perform from various locations using their car as their stage. The Red Car News Boys is a six-member group that will serve as the singing ambassadors of Buena Vista Street and may remind some of Disney's 'Newsies' movie and musical. Fans of the street performers in Disney Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World should enjoy the "Citizens of Buena Vista". These four characters include a policeman, a directionally-challenged messenger, a photographer and a slightly crazed dog lady and they will have impromptu interactions with guests making their way down Buena Vista Street. Guests will also regularly see Goofy dressed in a 20's era zoot suit on Buena Vista Street.

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Artist concept for Five and Dime. Image copyright ©Disney.

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A Red Car News Boy


Tomorrow "Cars Land" so be sure to check back!

May 8, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Saturday, May 5, 2012. Part 1 covered Disneyland Park, in Part 2, Jason looks at what's new in Disney California Adventure.

Beginning on Buena Vista Street. Oswald's has its signage now.

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A quick look at Buena Vista Street. Less than six weeks till opening now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

The Soarin' sign has been replaced/fixed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

No visible changes to the Taste Pilot's Grill sign.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

The Carthay is nearing completion. All the scaffolding is gone and the marquee looks ready to go.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Painters working this morning.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

The bridge is looking complete, notice the lights on it now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

A sign being painted on the side of the cafe.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Caught a little of the Minnie Fly Girls Charter Airline show. They had a traditional Minnie in the show, the one with the articulating head was not used. Also she lost her cap while taking the stage.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Some work going on above Off the Page.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

The studios section of the Backlot is being taken over by the Mad T Party.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

The bar area looks more stationary now compared to ElecTRONica and Glow Fest where it was rolled in nightly.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Plenty of signs telling you what is coming.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

The main stage is set to look like a table and features a lot of lights and an led/video wall. Also note it is set up to open toward the other stage.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Moving on toward the House of Cards. Another impressive structure.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2


They were working on coating the cement.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

There will be an arcade as part of the party too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

The Catering Co truck has had the ElecTRONica wrap removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2


The cab photo op outside Monsters, Inc. has not returned.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

The gate was open into Cars Land. Cast member families were invited to test out the flying tires attraction.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2


The old It's Tough to Be a Bug Fastpass machine area is behind wraps. Internet speculation is this will be used as the Fastpass distribution area for the Radiator Springs Racers to help with the expected crowding this summer. (Note the Racers do have their own FP area but rumor is it will not be used till things calm down).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Pluto out for pictures.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Chip and Dale trying to get some ice cream.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Route 66 has been resurfaced. Guessing this is the final surface which means things are on the final stretch.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Looks like the line for the Flying Tires... only six more weeks and we can be spending hours in line there too!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2


The Little Mermaid was closed for a few days while I was gone for some upkeep. They switched out the CG film clips with traditional animation.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

And the big change is Ariel now sports a new hairdo in the Under the Sea area. The ice cream cone do is gone.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Here is a ride through video.

Another new animation clip.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2


The California Screamin' queue work is done.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

The stand has been removed from near the swings (this is the icee one).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2


Here is a look at Buena Vista Street from Monorail Blue.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

A second pass through DCA on Monorail Orange. The new Candy Store sign is installed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2


Heading back to DCA. What a difference as you approach the park now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2


Forgot to mention the Cars gang has moved on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

But the merchandise booths remain.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

No parade lights yet in this area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

The setting sun made for some great lighting.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Time for a spin on the Fun Wheel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2


Two Racers were stopped on the track. Wonder if it was a planned stop? They were in a perfect photo location. Also noticed the Finish line sign is now up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2


The lights were turned on by my second time around. Looks like all the neon is now on Flos

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Guess they are not covering the remaining portion of the backside?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2


Now some ground level shots.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2

The radar dish/Condor Flats sign has been removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2


Made a quick pass through DCA later in the evening to see Cars Land. The photos make the rocks look much more red than they did in person.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 5/5/12 Part 2


Part 3 will feature photos from Downtown Disney. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com. I have also been Tweeting live pictures from the parks @disneygeekcom.



May 1, 2012

Disneyland Update - 4/29/12

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Jason has been doing a wonderful job with all of the Disneyland photo updates but he has been at WDW recently, so I'm going to try my best to provide this week's update. But I didn't get photos from all of the vantage points he uses, nor am I as good a photographer.

Lee and I decided it was time for a trip to Disneyland - we hadn't been there since February! We arrived in the park about 8:45 am.  Long lines to get in but once inside it was fairly uncrowded.  We got fastpasses for Space Mountain, and since the standby line for Star Tours was only 25 minutes we did that.  It was actually less than 20 minutes before we were seated in our Star Speeder.   I'd never been on the left side of the queue where the baggage scanner is, and it was fun to listen to him - he commented on the "pet" that someone had put in their luggage...see the Mickey ears? :-)

We are in a "Hoth" rut lately - that's the first scene we've had the last 4-5 times, though the other scenes we've had quite a variety.  ("Hoth...why did it have to be Hoth?")

The line for Buzz was only about 5 minutes.  Buzz was apparently on an extended break - there was a curtain around his area. Or maybe we were supposed to ignore the spaceman behind the curtain. :-).  We vanquished Zurg, and, most importantly, my score was higher than Lee's. 

Time for our Space Mountain fastpasses, though the standby was still only 30 minutes. It was fast and fun!

The scaffolding is gone from the Matterhorn. I think the paint job looks a lot different - not nearly as much "snow".   It will reopen with the new bobsled cars on June 15.  

We went to the Jolly Holiday Bakery for a snack. We tried the broccoli quiche which came with fruit.  It was served hot and was pretty good.  Lee also ordered the scone.  It had raisins and some kind of pieces or citrus peel or something in it - I didn't care for it.  I ordered the Matterhorn macaroon, and that was a lot better.  

I'd never noticed the back of the Jolly Holiday Cafe sign before.

I thought the blooming trees in the hub were very pretty. It was a beautiful day today - blue sky and warm, but not too hot.

We stopped by the Carnation Plaza Garden - today is the final day before it closes for conversion to the new Fantasy Faire (opening 2013). They had school bands from all over the western US performing today, as well as a band from Canada.  (The popular Saturday night swing dancing will move to the Westside Stage in Downtown Disney during construction, then will move back to the new Fantasy Faire stage.)

In Frontierland we rode Big Thunder Mountain Railroad -  just less than 20 minute wait for that. It's the wildest ride in the wilderness!

We went to Big Thunder Ranch to see if there was anything to see or any information on the Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree which start this Thursday (May 3), but there was nothing except the closed gate to the Festival Arena. 

Haunted Mansion was less than a ten minute wait.  I'm so used to riding this during the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay that it seems odd to ride it in its "normal" configuration.  I don't know if people were being quieter than usual or if the sound is better, but I heard a lot of different voices singing in the graveyard scene.  

It's time for another round of menu updates on AllEars, so I was taking menu photos as we wandered around.   I didn't really see anything that looked different, though - the biggest change I saw is that they have converted the menus at Tomorrowland Terrace to LCD screens.  That look might not fit the theme in some areas of the park, but it works there.  And I'm sure it'll make updating the menus easier - just a software change now.

I called this the "Aly San San Tres Leches Cake" dessert in Rancho del Zocalo. :-) That's what it looks like to me. (Aly San San is the spokesdroid for Star Tours.)

Disneyland was getting more crowded so it was time to hop over to Disney California Adventure.  The construction has reached the point that things are visibly changing rapidly now!  

We caught a little bit of Minnie's Fly Girls Charter Airline show.

Jason takes his Buena Vista Street progress photos from the monorail but I didn't think to do that while we were still in Disneyland, so I just have some ground level shots.  I have to say that it looks quite beautiful  and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product soon!  There's that June 15 opening date again.

Here's the east side of Buena Vista Street.

And a look on the west side, where the bakery and ice cream shop used to be.

The Carthay Circle Theater is a beautiful building.

All of the ElecTRONica setup is gone with the exception of the food truck - and they are going to have to change the "12" number on the Stage 12 sign - that's very TRON-esque.

But they have already begun the Mad T Party re-theming of the stage - another thing with a June 15 opening date.

And the club area is now the House of Cards.

I don't know what this structure is in front of what used to be Flynn's Arcade, but there are lots of lights and speakers in it.

Some part of the Disney Performing Arts program will be relocated from the Carnation Plaza Gardens to the Backlot Stage. 

We thought this flower field next to It's Tough to Be a Bug was very pretty. 

From the terrace outside Blue Sky Cellar there's a really good view down Route 66 into downtown Radiator Springs. This looks great! And opening, all together now, JUNE 15!

Blue Sky Cellar now features "The Road to Cars Land"' with concept art and models and attraction posters.

I liked this model of Mater's Jukebox - it will feature seven original songs.

The movie seems longer than the ones they have had before - of course I guess this time they are talking about a whole new land instead of a single attraction or show, so there is more to say.  

We walked through the Pacific Wharf. The old Tortilla Factory is under wraps while it transforms in Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory, opening this summer. I'm looking forward to that, but I expect the line will be horrendous.

Between Lucky Fortune Cookery and the Karl Strauss Biergarten there will be a second entrance into Cars Land, under a big red rock archway.

We had planned to ride California Screamin' but the line was 40 minutes and Toy Story Mania was 50.   Busy day at the park!

We had lunch at Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta and Paradise Garden Grill.  While there were no lines in the restaurants the seating area was pretty full - it's nice to see that, since this area seemed very under-utilized when it first opened last year. Lee had the barbecue chicken flatbread pizza.

I had my usual vegetable and tofu skewer from Paradise Garden Grill - though this time I remembered to ask for a second portion of rice pilaf in place of the cucumber salad.

We also tried the Espresso brownie from Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta. It was a very good brownie. There was no "espresso" in the brownie itself, just in the little round things on top, and even those did not have much coffee flavor. We really liked it.

Lee noticed the propeller on the front of this weather vane above Goofy's Sky School was spinning madly (though you can't see it in the photo).

A view of some of the Cadillac Range - June 15 is coming soon!

We walked back to the Mickey and Friends parking structure via Downtown Disney. The Uva Bar area is undergoing some kind of refurbishment.

These banners are up in the tram area next to the garage - we did two out of three on this list!

It was a fun trip, and we enjoyed doing some attractions for a change - most of the time we just run around and take pictures.

April 17, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Saturday, April 14, 2012.

Let us start off the tour at California Adventure and Buena Vista Street, a look at the west side of Buena Vista Street from the Esplanade. It was a beautiful day - very different from the stormy, windy day on Friday!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Gutters are on but the down pipes are not connected yet. That may have been useful on Friday with all the rain we got.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Across the street there was a crew working on the building. Notice some of the roof is on, the windows are going in, and an awning ha been installed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Scaffolding has returned to the tower of the Carthay. Best guess is some touchup/cleanup work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Noticed some barricades up near the stroller parking for Little Mermaid. Appears to be some work along the base of the building, betting it has to do with the rains.. sure looks it.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


The painting of Screamin's queue is moving along.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


Next stop for me was the Fun Wheel to check out Cars Land and see if anything was going on this morning. All was quiet.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


Just one visible crew up on the roof of Flo's working on the neon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Where the crew was working last week looks complete now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The work on the Lion King parking lot looks done. They have tweaked the entrance flow. You now turn in from Disneyland Dr. and then make a left.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The base of the far Cozy Cone is now orange.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


The Toy Story photo op near Toy Story Midway Mania has been removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Goofy hanging out by his sky school for pictures.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The purple bougainvillea near the winery was bright this morning...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Stopped by the Blue Sky Cellar Patio next to check out Cars Land. Hard to believe in just two months we will be able to walk through and experience this new land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Stanley is uncovered this week.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

A look down Route 66

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Now onto Hollywood Blvd. the Red Car cable work looks to be done for the most part in this area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

There was a sign out front of the Animation Building listing the drawing classes for the day. Before you had to ask a cast member inide.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Continuing down the street. The Elephants that once guarded the Backlot entrance have been removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


Work on the facades near the old Candy Store continues.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The marquee on the Carthay Circle Theater looks to be just about done, ready for the lettering. Also a better new scaffolding.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


More detail work on Buena Vista street is emerging and looking great.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


The jet has been removed from the front of Taste Pilots.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

I headed over to Disneyland next. Not much visible progress here, the work has shifted to the interior.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

A random Big Thunder shot as I walked by.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

A turtle hanging out along the Big Thunder trail.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Walked through the Fantasy Faire.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


Was walking by and heard the announcement for the Calling all Drummers show, so found a spot to watch. For those unfamiliar this show takes place several times over the course of the morning and features some of the drummers from the Soundsational parade in a little skit/performance.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Noticed the Mickey Ears on the shoes..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Now a walk around the Matterhorn..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The tunnel over the walkway has been removed as has almost all of the scaffolding now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


From the Monorail platform.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Now some Buena Vista Street pictures from the Monorail.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The Red Car stop is looking great.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Oswalds

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Circling around a second time...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

A closer look at the park area. Looks like the walkway is in now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Plenty of activity around the Matterhorn today.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


Stopped by Innoventions. I had not seen the new Honda display and contest that started several weeks ago.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Strolled through Plaza Gardens which will go behind walls the end of the month to be transformed into the Princess Fantasy Faire opening winter 2013. Still sad to see this quiet area of the park go. Also seems odd to start a project in April with a winter opening vs doing it in the off season and having it ready for the busy holiday rush this year.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

A black horse out near the village, took this picture from the Mark Twain.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Once back ashore, stopped to see the Billy Hill and the Hillbillies.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


The gift cart at the exit to Haunted Mansion was not out today. This really helped traffic flow in the area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Elvis, Scot Bruce, performing in Tomorrowland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Only a couple more weekends of swing dancing in Plaza Gardens. Then the event moves to Downtown Disney during the construction.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


A walk through Carthay Circle seeing what Buena Vista Street lights are on this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


ElecTRONica is wrapping up. The final night is Sunday (4/15).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The line for the End of the Line Club was long.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The truck had no wait though.. guess the alcohol is much more popular than the food.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

One last walk through Flynn's Arcade.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The final two crews performed this evening and the winner was to be crowned Sunday at the final of ElecTRONica.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

The trophy...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

First up Kaba Modern.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Followed by Outer Circle.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

Here is a video of the performances.

I closed out the evening stopping by the Blue Sky Cellar Patio to see what was lit up in Cars Land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12

To end with a look down Route 66.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 4/14/12


Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com



March 29, 2012

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com attended the Annual Passholder Merchandise Sneak Peek on Tuesday, March 27, 2012. In addition to photos from the event he has some photos and video of cars on the Radiator Springs Racers attraction.

There is a Honda display at the Mickey and Friends tram stop (This is what happens when you do not pay attention and the camera is still set for some night time photos from last trip! )

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing


Luckily I noticed I had the wrong settings after only a couple of pictures! Here are some of the banners in the tram stop area.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

Along the tram route plenty of banners too. Honda has a "Wish List Sweepstakes" contest going on - prizes include a CRV and a trip to Disneyland.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

Inside DCA there are signs directing you to the merchandise showcase.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

Time to head to check out the merchandise preview, which is in Stage 17, the site of the former "Who Wants to be a Millionaire - Play It" attraction.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

The event is for Annual Passholders only. After showing your annual pass and getting a wristband you could enter.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

Outside there was a queue are set up as well as much of the merchandise on display. (There was no line at all but I stopped for pictures).

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

Inside Stage 17. To the left cash registers. To the right some displays and straight ahead/slightly left the merchandise.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

Looking left. No line to check out right now.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

To the right a kiosk to buy/renew your annual pass.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

First up the Buena Vista Street CM costumes.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

Next a display of Mad T Party merchandise and concept art.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

For those who do not know the Mad T Party is replacing ElecTRONica. It starts June 15th.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

The far corner had a food/beverage location with some of the new offerings. Such as the dill flavored popcorn. You could get a small sample or purchase a regular size order.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

The pricing/choices.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing


Back to Mad T Party.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

Mater and Lightning McQueen were out for photos.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

A Cars Land CM costume.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing


Now some photos of the merchandise. Most speaks for itself.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

The one item I purchased. The attraction poster pin set. By the way you could get your Annual Pass discount.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

Monorail vinlymation.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing


In the corner was a table where you could pick up the limited merchandise.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing


A look at each of the posters of the Mad T Party.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

The concept art had all been released on the Parks Blog already I think.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

Time for a spin on the Fun Wheel (30 minute wait!) As we were just about to move out of view spotted two cars on the Radiator Springs Racers.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing


On the second time around we stopped and as luck would have it a handful more cars cycled by.

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

DCA Merchandise Showcase Event and Radiator Springs Racers Testing

Here's a brief video clip and some additional still images of the Radiator Springs Racer testing.


For additional photos and details from this trip, including more construction photos and a look around Disneyland and Downtown Disney, you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com



March 5, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, March 2, 2012.

They are still working on one of the stairwells at the garage. The wind had ripped the mesh.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

More scaffolding is down and Buena Vista Street is looking great.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Another look at some of the Buena Vista Street facades.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Walls up around where the Red Car stop will be.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Still no roof tiles on the Carthay.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

All the scaffolding and mesh is now down and you can see the iron work for the marquee.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


Is that a hidden Mickey in the iron work (look right in the middle at the top).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Some details of the Elias and Company facade are now visible.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


A look through the gap in the wall, the monorail bridge looks to be framed. No bricks yet around the Red Car rails.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


Fillmore's shell has been installed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Work continues on the Wharf bridge and tidal basin.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Touching up the rock work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

The walls are down from the parade route work in front of the Little Mermaid.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

The work on the Paradise Pier shops looks to be done. What a difference a little wood siding and removal of the giant clown makes.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

They have altered the Fun Wheel exit area a bit. There is a new gate up between the non swinging and swinging gondolas and when you exit the non swinging one now you are directed up the ramp and to use the same gate as the swinging one to exit. This speeds up the boarding of the next group to the non swinging.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

An overview of Cars Land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Most of the scaffolding is down, just one more story to go.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

The roof is going on Sarge's.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

As well as around the walkway from Fliks. You can barely see it from this angle/distance now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Looks like all the scaffolding is gone from around the radiator cap (wouldn't it be fun to walk the track like those two right now!)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


I kind of like it (Pacific Wharf bridge) with no sign up, the Cadillac Range looks great.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

A wood frame has been installed over the steel at the entrance to Cars Land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

The Minnie's Fly Girls show was going on in Condor Flats.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

A wide shot of the area. As you can see it does not really impact traffic that much.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Moving on.. work continues around GRR.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Repainting going on, do not worry the shop remained open.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


Some work going on in the Studios Backlot.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Plenty of painting projects are underway.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Finally made it over to Disneyland. Some work going on with the seating/planters on Main Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Due to the winds the tarps were up so we could see the progress of the work here.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Coke Corner has re-opened.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

A look inside.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

The Matthorn work is progressing quickly. The scaffolding is already being taken down as the painting proceeds. The new color scheme looks much darker to me.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Wait times around 1:50pm

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Still working on the Tomorrowland Train Station.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

An area in front of the Opera House was roped off for some Modern Family filming.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


Spring has arrived, or at least the plants and trees believe so.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

After sunset headed back to DCA. This week noticed all the street lights on the left were on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

A look at the Midway shops after dark.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

A bright light on Tower of Terror made for an interesting picture.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Turns out they were setting up for some filming in front.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

At ElecTRONica hey added some kinects units around the DJ area. I read they were using them to capture images and project on Monsters. I did not see this in the brief time I was there.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

The street in front of Award Wieners was cleared and set up for some disc games.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

A video of the event...

There was a brief performance before the games.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


More walls in Downtown Disney near Vault 28, appears to be work on the lights against the buildings like all the others.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Work continues where the topiaries were.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Inside the Disneyland Hotel I was happy to see the old photos have returned. They are now on the wall that faces the elevators in the Fantasy Tower.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


The other side of the wall is out from behind the curtains too and features a great map of Disneyland.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


Wait times around 7:50pm

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

The Rumble Kings on the Tomorrowland Terrace Stage.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12


Fantasmic! has returned, so I caught the 9pm show. Did you realize Fantasmic! turns 20 this year?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 3/02/12

Since the Mark Twain is being worked on the characters were on the Island for the Finale. Here is a brief video clip of the finale to conclude this update.



Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com



March 4, 2012

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos featuring a look around the Road to Cars Land which opened this past week in the Blue Sky Cellar. This exhibit features models, concept art, and more showing some of the work that went into bringing Cars Land to life. If you would like to see more pictures or higher resolution be sure to visit his March 2 update at disneygeek.com.

A sign near the walkway leading to the Blue Sky Cellar, with a much more period look.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

A larger sign on the cellar itself.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The new banner over the entrance.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The videos just inside the entrance have been swapped.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

Inside there is plenty to look at, with the usual assortment of concept art plus several models.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The first board has the new attraction posters.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

Next up is Luigi's Flying Tires.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

Instructions on how to drive your tire.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

Moving on the next area featured Mater's Junkyard Jamboree.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar


The next board is for Radiator Springs Racers.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar


Next up Flo's V8 Cafe.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar


And the Cozy Cones

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar


The aerial photo has been updated to one from January.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

Also in the display case are some Matterhorn sled drawings.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar


There is a new video playing in the Screening Room too.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

Now a look around the center of the room.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The shovel used in the Cars Land ground breaking ceremony.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar


The first desk features the Radiator Springs Racers. Here is a picture of the sign. Notice it has the Fastpass clock and standby line. I like the 120 minutes..

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar


The other station features a look at some of the layout of Cars Land.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar



One of the cases holds a series of models and maquettes. Some interesting notes, from left to right: A ride vehicle maquette 1:10 scale. The left side of this model shows the EPCOT Test Track vehicle so you can see the difference. Luigi from the Racers. This is a 1:10 scale model. Interesting here is the left side is machine-carved and the right is detailed by hand. A Piston Cup Maquette from Flo's/Doc's. This is full scale. A ride vehicle from the Flying Tires maquette at 1:5 scale.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar


A model of Mater's Jukebox is also in the case. Its scale is 3 inches = 1 foot scale

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar


There is a large model in the center of the room.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

Back to the large model.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar


Above the two artists' desks are signs that you will see in Cars Land.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

The board by the exit features Buena Vista Street.

The Road to Cars Land - Blue Sky Cellar

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com



February 20, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 17, 2011. Included are photos and video from the new Minnie's Fly Girls Charter Airline show, which started on Friday.

A new direction in marketing? Encouraging the purchase of Park Hoppers instead of Annual Passes?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Starting in Disney California Adventure...Some of the scaffolding and mesh is down on the first section of Buena Vista Street. This is the facade over/around the restroom building.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

The Elias and Company Store

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Moving on to Cars Land. A new sign for Radiator Springs is up

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

The tidal basin next to the Pacific Wharf has been drained. Guessing because they are working on Grizzly River Run and needed all the water gone (this is the reservoir for the attraction).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Here you can see the tunnel/pipe the water flows through.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12


No real visible progress here, but a couple signs with the concept art (same photo that was released with the announcement).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Minnie's Fly Girls Charter Airline debuted earlier today. As you can see the show currently runs Thursday-Monday.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Here is a video of the entire show. (Note: The edges are a little out of focus thanks to the wide angle adapter I was using because of the short distance to the stage).

A few stills from the show:

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12


The facade transformation in Paradise Pier looks almost complete. Just awaiting the new sign.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12


The Cadillac Range is looking great!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

A closer view of the now nearly finished face.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Interesting. In the background looks like they stopped the backside wall? Or just finished a portion of it. Hard to tell from this angle but guessing that may be where the show building starts?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

What is that I spy through the trees? Looks like a new sign. Guessing this is the entrance walkway for the Racers. It says Gateway to Ornament Valley.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

A look at the Cozy Cones.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

A closer look at the new fence facade going up on the backside of Fliks wall.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

A closer view of the Cozy Cones.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Construction walls are still up around the parade route in front of Ariel's.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

The side entrance to the shops in Paradise Pier is open again. They still have the ATM in its temporary housing but looks like it will be back in the wall soon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Over in Disneyland - time for the Mardi Gras Celebration that is part of the Bayou Bash.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

More scaffolding up at the Tomorrowland Train Station (note the train is not stopping here but is running normally for all other stops).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

A check in on Buena Vista Street from the Monorail. Looks like the main portion of the street has been poured and they are ready to start the brickwork around the rail line.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Work continues on the Matterhorn stations. Some concrete has been poured.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Since it is Presidents' Day weekend I stopped by to take in Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12


A look at some of the nighttime sights at DCA...The lights were on at Mater's Junkyard Jamboree (they were blinking/flickering too).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

The new Cozy Cone sign was lit up this week.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

In Downtown Disney, Compass Books will be closing soon to make way for Earl of Sandwich.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

Out at the Disneyland Hotel the character topiaries across from the Fantasy Tower entrance were gone and the area being worked on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

I walked over because I wanted to see the new map at the entrance and it was behind curtains still.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12

To close with a picture of Minnie and Mickey (noticed the fountains were off this week in the background).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/17/12


Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com



February 5, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, February 3, 2012. He includes video of the new Valentine's Day tag to "The Magic, the Memories, and You".

Setting up a mesh around the La Brea Bakery as the remodel/expansion moves along.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

In Disney California Adventure, Grizzly River Run is undergoing its annual refurbishment.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


The Miner 49ers were performing, their act is being retired.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail has reopened. You could smell the new paint/stain/sealer whatever you want to call it.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Nothing really new or different jumped out at me on my quick walk-through.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


Dug was out for pictures.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Moving on down the trail scaffolding up as they are working on the building and the lift hill for Grizzly River Run.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


The rock face overlooking the Pier is nearing completion. Notice anything missing here? They have removed the safety line and poles that went across the top of the range.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

More painting along the Pier.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

The facade work on the shops is moving along. What a difference.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

A check in on Cars Land. The toothpicks are being removed on the rock face.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Scaffolding is up on the back side of the range. They are working their way around covering it up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

All five Cozy Cones are painted now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

A closer look. You can see the backstage wall taking shape behind the cones. I like the detail. That looks like an A/C unit below the window.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Looks like the frame for a backstage gate being assembled behind the cones. Also looks like one of the Red Car garage doors is open.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


The pavement work in front of the Little Mermaid sure looks done. I was surprised the walls are still up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

More scaffolding is down on the radiator cap.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

The Ellis Island Boys performing at Paradise Gardens

Work has begun to transform the tortilla factory to the Ghirardelli shop.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Due to the work on both sides it is a very narrow walkway to the first aid/baby care center.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

A closer look down the street. The large pile of landscaping dirt has been distributed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Tires on the roof of the shack now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Looking down toward Buena Vista Street palm trees have sprung up along the Carthay side and another view of the trees around the fountain.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Walls in Bugs Land. Appeared to be around the water fountain area. This made a narrow walkway even narrower.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

The fountain on Buena Vista Street was on today. As you can see the water was being blown around a bit.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

A closer look at the detail work emerging on Buena Vista Street. This is above the ice cream store.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

An Elias and Company sign taking shape.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Over to Disneyland. Some painting going on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


Valentines day decorations up around Town Square.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

More painting.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

The waits around 3:30.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

The coffee cart is behind walls.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

No signs of work at Plaza Gardens yet... really seems like something should be going on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

The moon was visible already.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Some signs have gone up on the Matterhorn construction walls.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

A ride on the Monorail to check out Buena Vista Street. Notice the Elias and Company sign on the left.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

A closer look reveals something taking shape. Is this the base for the Walt and Mickey statue?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

A second ride on the Monorail, looking north now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

The Red Car station is starting to take shape I think (the bricks in the foreground/left of this shot).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

In Downtown Disney the Lego Store is behind walls as work is getting under way to remodel and enlarge it.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Get it.. one block down....

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

They have moved into the old Island Charters space during construction. There are only a couple aisles inside. It felt a little cramped and odd to take pictures inside so I did not.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

As you can see the store itself is vary bare bones since it is temporary. And a very small space.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Moving on, the work outside Catal is wrapping up in this area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

A little further down still an open trench.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Back at Disneyland the Soundsational parade greeted me on Main Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


New Orleans Square is decked out for Mardi Gras which is going to be celebrated for five weekends this year starting February 10.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


In an effort to ease traffic congestion they have moved the entrance to Cafe Orleans to the other side of the building.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

A closer look at the beads on the light.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


The new entrance for Cafe Orleans.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


"it's a small world" has reopened after removal of the holiday overlay.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Looks like the clock can use some TLC.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

The queue area was blocked so you walked out near the parade route/extended queue.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

And back to DCA in the evening...Some lights on the fountain on Buena Vista Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Next up Cars Land. Guessing we have to be getting close to final lighting in some areas.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Ramones was lit up this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


A closer look.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Back to Disneyland and the Small World Mall for the Magic, the Memories, and You! Featuring a new Valentine's Day segment. Video of the show. The new segment starts at 7:01 in this video.


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Gone with the Wind will be showing at the AMC Theaters in Downtown Disney on Valentine's Day weekend.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Walked through the Disneyland Hotel on the way out. They are continuing to add details to the Fantasy Tower lobby. The entrance area was behind curtains. Looked like a permanent display/mural/something is going in.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

New chandeliers in the lobby & chairs in the waiting area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12


The far area is a kids waiting area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 2/03/12

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com



January 10, 2012

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Saturday, January 7, 2012.

We arrived to a cool and overcast morning. Most of the La Brea Bakery is behind walls. A small outdoor seating area near World of Disney is not and is open. As well as their cart out front. I read they are expanding the bakery, but have seen no real details. Wonder if they will take this chance to redo the wall too since it was originally designed before the security tents went in.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

DCA opens in a couple hours.

Coke had an event going on in Frontierland. Looked to be a breakfast (a couple of pictures later) for some sort of contest winners.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

This is the last weekend to celebrate Christmas this year.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

The West side of the street from Carnation Cafe to Coke Corner is closed for renovation.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

This includes the Gibson Girl (do not fear you can still buy some ice cream across the street at the Main Street Cone Shop.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Since most of the work will be interior reconfigurations the exterior walls are at a minimum right now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


The big news of the weekend is the Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe is now open.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


When you step in the door you have a choice, left or right.. both are the same.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

A look around..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


I chose to the right by the way (random choice).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


Each side had a different display case.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


A look at the menu.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


Now a peek into the bakery choices..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

The woodwork by the cash registers.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

A closer look at the iron work.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


Some interesting tile work on the floor.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

I exited out to the opposite side to check out what was in that display case.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

The cases were above these counters.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


The bakery was crowded so I did not want to linger too long taking pictures and disrupting the line..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


The wait times are always great right at park opening!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Caught the first Toy Soldier Jam of the morning. I took a video last trip if anyone was interested in seeing it visit the 12/23 update or my youtube channel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


The Churro cart in Frontierland has some minor decorations and a special offering as part of the The Kings Day Celebration.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


Zocalo Park and the restaurant were celebrating Dia De Reyes (Three Kings Day) this weekend.

The celebration was from 10am to 6pm Friday to Sunday. So it had not yet started today.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

This morning in the Rancho Del Zocalo Restaurante there was a breakfast for the Coke event. Their centerpieces.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


A face painting area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


Wait times around 9:10am

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Headed over to DCA next. Out on the Pier they have started to work on the facades of the shops.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

The clown has been removed and the awnings (more shots after the Fun Wheel)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Cars Land just continues to look more impressive every time... even in the overcast light..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

A closer look over toward the Luigi's Flying Tires. Looks like the lights are strung now above the attraction as well as to the tire tower.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Slowly painting the base of the radiator cap.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Guess there is no ride testing going on this morning.. a worker on the track working on the rock work. Also noticed only a few more stories of scaffolding to remove on the far wall.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

A nice forest has grown between Flo's and the archway for the Wharf entrance.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


All the cones are now covered. Looks like the last two have caught up to the first three.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

With the Cars Meet and Greet gone you get a clear shot into Maters. Looks like the interior fence is done and the perimeter one is taking shape.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Almost all of the tarps and scaffolding are down on the Carthay, just a little around the entrance area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

This is the right hand side (that overlooks the pump house)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

The facade over where the train used to be is framed and has the exterior wall up already.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


Sarge's looks ready for its exterior finish.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

With the Cars Meet and Greet gone you get an unobstructed view down the street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

The lights are now strung above Mater's.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Did not notice it the first time by, but they have started to put the tile roof on the Carthay.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Notice the trees in the foreground too as they are finishing up the ground level area around the building. Wonder if the walls will come down to open up the area as they move their focus to the inside.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


All the scaffolding on the back side is down too and you can see the emergency exit staircase and back wall.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


Returned to Disneyland and stopped by the Three Kings Day Celebration. Inside Rancho Del Zocalo they had a special dessert.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Outside the park was packed for one of the Mariachi Divas sets.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

As the set was winding down the Three Caballeros came out for pictures. Here was the cast member who was with them.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Moved around the other side of the park to get a better shot (and to get out of the way of the characters)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

From this side it was just as crowded.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

The line for the characters stretched back to the shooting arcade.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


The waits just before 3pm

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Passed by the Three Kings event again and this time some dancers were out front.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

And Mickey and Minnie were out for pictures.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

Moved on to the ranch and Mr. and Mrs. Claus were out for pictures.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


Walls up around the Toontown Station and it is under wraps. Guessing it is painting and regular maintenance. The trains are still running normally, just not stopping here.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


The Matterhorn goes down for several months of work after the weekend. The current bobsleds will be retired. The new ones have individual lap bars.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

The current menu at the Main Street Cone Shop, which had a long line too since the Gibson Girl is closed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12

To close with a shot of the La Brea Bakery. Here you can see where the walls currently stop. The outdoor seating area is open for business.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 1/7/12


Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com



December 29, 2011

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, December 23, 2011.


They were directing ECVs to an open gate on the far side of the entrance area. I thought they should also be directing strollers down there too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

A lot more crowded than last week but not holiday gridlock yet...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Only a few more weeks before the Bakery is slated to close.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

The new bakery has no real visible changes from last week. But a banner is up saying it is coming soon.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

The wait times around 11:45am

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Caught the 12:20pm Toy Soldier Jam Session in the Small World Mall. This brief show happens several times a day.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Here is a video of the performance.


A couple of temporary carts in the Esplanade selling tickets. The line at the booths was short too as I walked by.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Next up DCA. Buena Vista Street is moving along with a lot of visible progress. The framing of the facades is moving quickly.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

This is the west side facade over the restroom/locker building.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


More tarps and scaffolding are down on the Carthay Circle Theater.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


The West side of the street, this is where the train used to be.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Checking out the east side of the street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Back to the west side. Notice the large tree that is now in place.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

The walls have been pushed back and the queue for Disney Jr is now usable. The planters have been reconfigured and some new light. What a difference a few changes make to the area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

It allows for a different view of the Carthay.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


They were doing some landscaping this afternoon. Always fun to watch a tree fly through the air..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

A look down Route 66 reveals work crews have taken over the street with trucks, dumpsters, and port-a-potties.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Upon closer inspection noted new signs down the block.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Several tractors out on Maters for testing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Thought this was interesting. There was a table out front of Paradise Gardens advertising what is available at the grill and they had some free samples.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

It seemed awkward to me and gave me a Costco vibe.. did not really work in the area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Some shots of Cars Land from the Fun Wheel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


The Cozy Cones.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

More trees going in and being moved around.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

A better view of several tractors at Maters.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

The Carthay is a nice addition to the skyline.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Most of the scaffolding on the far wall is down. Only a few more stories to go.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Another view of the new signs on Route 66.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Another flying tree..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Rumor is some work will be done to these stores early next year... will not believe it till I see it since I have heard this before.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

A random Christmas tree shot..

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

No line for Santa.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Holiday inspired sour dough bread.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Wow that is a lot of trees now as you look into Cars Land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


With the trees moved you can get a clear shot of Maters sign now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Stopped by the Disney Gallery and walked through to the Opera House Lobby. Seems time to update the display case.. tomorrow is now today.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

I do not think I ever took a picture of Walt in the castle model...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Some of the current mouse ear options.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

The wait times around 4:30pm

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

A random Castle shot.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


The wheel chair boats are back in use at Small World, I remember reading a while ago they were pulled offline for a while.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Small World Holiday.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

This is interesting.. Tointown? Guessing this is from the wind or could it be a prank?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


A couple pictures from the Wintertime Enchantment

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Video of the event.

(Laura's note: Put your mouse cursor on the video and click on the snowflake icon on the youtube toolbar!)

The wait times around 7:40pm

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Back to DCA.. the new gas pumps in Condor Flats after dark.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


ElecTRONica was not too busy this evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Some pictures from ILLUMINATE performing. This group was on America's Got Talent.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Video of their performance plus some techno remixes of Christmas songs. The video quality of the performance is pretty bad, but you can probably get the drift of the show from it.

The new lights were on near the Carthay.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Cars Land appeared to have some show lighting tests going on. The lighting was not the usual bright white work lights.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Over to Disneyland a look at some of the Emporium windows.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Waiting for the snow fall... Believe had already been cancelled for the evening.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Video of the Believe replacement - a second performance of Wintertime Enchantment plus the White Christmas snowfall finale.

That wraps up this trip. Hope everyone has a great holiday season!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/23/11


Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com



December 19, 2011

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us these photos from his trip to the parks on Friday, December 16, 2011. The main focus of Part 1 is to check in on the progress of Cars Land as well as Buena Vista Street. Part 2 will feature Disneyland and some of the holiday festivities.

I arrived at the Disneyland Resort right as the afternoon winds were kicking up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


Heading to DCA first to check out the construction progress. The facades on the West side of the street are slowly taking shape.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

More framing going up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

The backside.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

There were posted warnings that if the winds continue World of Color may be cancelled (it was not). Also surprising they were still passing out Fastpasses in the Yellow section for the first show, an indication that the park was not too crowded yet.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Everything looks so peaceful from this shot. (the winds were really howling at this point).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


They were keeping everyone clear of the Christmas tree due to the winds.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


Thanks to the winds it was fairly clear as you looked around from the Fun Wheel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


A wider shot of the Radiator Springs Racers area.. wow is it impressive!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

The base of the radiator cap is moving along.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

The RS can be seen now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


The arch by the Wharf is just about painted. Also there is now a tree there.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


The Curios store signage is up now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


The courthouse/firehouse looks great!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


Over to the Flying Tires area. Looks like the lights are going in (you can see them strung in the background as well as the lifts).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Ramone's sign is up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

The Cozy Cones are inching along. Also the backstage fence behind them looks to have been painted.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


Behind the cones it is hard to tell what is going on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


A look at Mater's, notice there is a tractor out (about the middle of the shot). Also more props near the shack.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


The rock work makes a great backdrop for the Wharf. What a difference!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

They were painting the underside of the archway.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Filmore's windmill was going full speed thanks to the wind. Here is a riveting video of the windmill in action from two angles for those who are interested.

Sarge's has received the first layer of its roof.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


The sign for Mater's Junkyard Jamboree is up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Not sure what to call it but something else out in from of Filmore's.. guess it is a windmill of sorts?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

A wider shot of the area. The trees do look great.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

The most exciting change... Route 66 has received its blacktop. It is really moving along.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


Cannot wait to see this at night!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

More details emerging.. notice the lamp post by Filmore's

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

A look down Route 66. Stanley's base is installed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


Over to Mater's. More props installed around the shack.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


In Flik's Fun Fair, Flik's Flyers were closed temporarily.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

As were the fountains.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

The walls were down around the Red Car stop near Tower of Terror.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Only visible change to me was this strip under where it will stop. Guessing this is a sensor of some kind. Wonder if it is for charging too?

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Much of the scaffolding on the Carthay Circle Theater is now down. And the details are starting to emerge.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


Moving on. Here is the East side of the street. Scaffolding up around the old Candy store sign and the Elias and Company facade steel is up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


The West side (where the train used to be)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1


The palm trees have been opened up, just in time for the winds to give them a work out.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Bright new gas pumps in Condor Flats.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update 12/16/11 - Part 1

Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com



November 14, 2011

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com visited Disneyland on 11/11/11, the first day of the 2011 holiday season. Here in Part 2 are photos from Disney California Adventure, including the holiday decorations, the new Prep and Landing intro to World of Color and a construction update, as well as a look at the progress at the Disneyland Hotel.

Some holiday cheer on the new DCA entrance.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

The framing is moving along slowly on Buena Vista Street

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


A couple of trees outside of Guest Relations trailer.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The concrete for the new rock face is moving along. Looks like only one more section to go.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Santa as well as the tree are back in the same location as last year.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


Duffy and his meet-and-greet area are ready for the holidays.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


From the Fun Wheel, a look at the construction area for Cars Land.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Still no paint on this rock face, but it looks to be ready.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

The scaffolding is almost all gone.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The outdoor seating area for Flo's is really taking shape.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2
Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Looks like they are working on the signage for the store.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


Wires up on Maters

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

A wide shot of the racers

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The court house has its first exterior coat on.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

A closer look at the new rock face

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The Carthay Circle Theater is looking more complete.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The Mermaid Building has some Christmas decorations.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Taking a look around the rest of Paradise Pier - Holiday decorations at the Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta and Paradise Garden Grill restaurants.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

A closer look at the Mermaid Building.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


Holiday garland for the Pacific Wharf.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Christmas lights in the Wharf

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

A look towards Cars Land from the Blue Sky Cellar patio area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


You can see the tower of tires at Luigi's.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Looking down Route 66

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The shack for Mater's is looking great.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

On Buena Vista Street the steel just keeps growing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The Pump House is out from behind construction walls, and for the moment there is a small information center there. It is supposed to eventually be a Red Trolley Car stop also.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The area in front of the pump house looks great. Weird to see curbs and trees...

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

A couple of guest relations CMs out to answer questions

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2
Looks like this facade is staying. Just will be re-branded.
Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Left DCA through the Grand Californian entrance. The Grand Californian is not decorated yet.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

The Muppets are watching over Downtown Disney.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


At the Disneyland Hotel, Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto hanging out by the pool.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

All the construction walls are down, just barriers up now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Goofy, Chip and Dale hanging out next to the pool.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

The new E-ticket pool is filled and ready to go.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The new front desk area is now done and looks much more open.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

No signage on the gift shop yet.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

The walls around the fountain area are down.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


The new facade for Goofy's Kitchen and The Coffee House.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


Wow what a difference!

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Heading toward the bridge which now is open. it crossed the pool area between Tangaroa Terrace and Goofy's Kitchen.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Looking over the new pool area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

The tower signs were going up Friday.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

The crew was working on the Adventure Tower sign

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


Working on the lighting for the sign.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


Some holiday treats at Marceline's in Downtown Disney.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


Back at DCA in the evening: the garland on the entrance was not lit up.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2


Lights on the Little Mermaid building.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

For the holiday season there is a new intro to World of Color, featuring the elves from Prep and Landing. These photos and video were taken from the Blue Section.

(Laura's note: I thought this was very cute and clever, but people who haven't seen the Prep and Landing show might not get it.)


Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2



Nighttime holiday lights around Paradise Pier.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 11/11/11, Part 2



Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com



October 11, 2011

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com sends us this photos from his trip to the parks on Saturday, 10/8/11.

The Annual CHOC Walk in the Park fundraiser for Children's Hospital of Orange County is next weekend and there are banners up around Downtown Disney for the event

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The ticket booth posters/ads have been swapped out. Annual Passes have returned and Aulani retired

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The Emporium project is complete.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

A look around the newly-finished Emporium interior

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

No visible process on the camera shop work

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

In Frontierland the re-planking and other projects are done

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Pirates is moving along, now the exterior around the front and Dream Suite are covered up

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The character Meet and Greet area in Critter Country has been redone and recently reopened

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The Adventureland restrooms are still closed as work continues there.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

From the hub you can just barely make out the top of the Carthay in the distance. Also noticed that the Cadillac Range does not block out the Hilton from this point of view (loop to the left of the train station).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Over at DCA most of the merchandise carts are now this new type throughout the park

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

A check in at the Cars Land work from the Fun Wheel

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Flo's is moving along slowly. Notice the worker inside.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The entrance arch from the Wharf looks to have the majority of the concrete work done, painting should start soon. On the right you can see the mesh for the rock face that faces the Pier.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update
More trees have been moved in around Maters so getting good shots of the area is a real challenge now. You can barely make out a couple of workers in behind the trees
Disneyland Resort Photo Update

No visible progress on the Cozy Cones

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The building behind the cones is really taking shape and behind that you can see the frame for what looks to be a backstage gate

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The Carthay Circle Theater is looking great

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The exterior of the courthouse is ready for its covering

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The repainting of California Screamin' looks to be done - it is scheduled to re-open on Friday, October 15.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

This is taken from the Wharf and shows how the rock will turn the corner, curious how the transition will look

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

From the Blue Sky Cellar area there are so many trees now pictures are tough to come by from this height

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The steel is up for the shops on the West side of Buena Vista street, hard to get a good picture

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Here you can see the new footprint is larger than the original

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Lamp posts, parade light stands, signage, a wigwag and more have been installed around the pump house

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The walls are down on the Backlot (and ElecTRONica has returned in the evenings)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Another of the new merchandise kiosks, the Turkey Leg stand did not return to this corner

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Back to the pump house. Notice the canopy, it says Information, so wonder if a line board will be there or just CMs like the old DCA info booth

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The Halloween cups

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Some pumpkins from the Halloween Round-up

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update


Calling All Drummers is performed four times a day starting at noon

Random Toontown shot

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

A long wait for Minnie

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Captain Hook reporting for his shift at the Villains Meet and Greet along the small world mall.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The Oktoberfest area in Downtown Disney.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Time to check out the Disneyland Hotel progress. The walls out front have been shifted around. Only the columns and fountain area area are behind them now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

When you walk in the front door there is a water station and Disneyland Painting now

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The portion of the lobby against the front window is walled off

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

So the check in area is really narrow right now (notice the character out interacting with guests)

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

An interesting shot of the new and old, they have just the center elevator area to finish, both sides are done

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

A not-so-hidden Mickey

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Wonder if the old photos will return, I really enjoyed seeing the old celebrity and Walt shots.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Looking through a window in the wall you can see the pool deck has been poured

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Work is slowly moving along here

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

A wider view of the area as the work enters its final stages

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Mickey and Minnie out performing on Main Street with the Straw Hatters

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

And Chip and Dale were with the Hook and Ladder Company

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Main Street was alive with activity

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Jack Skellington was out in New Orleans Square

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

A real cat along the Rivers of America

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The Cadillac Range at dusk

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Here you can just barely make out the foundation work for Sarge's going on

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

The new trees get in the way of the panoramic shot I usually take from near the
Blue Sky Cellar

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

A band at Oktoberfest

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

On the stage near ESPN was a group called Paint in Motion. Here are some shots of the artwork, can you name the two rock celebrities

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update


A random shot of the pumpkin on Main Street

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

To close with a couple of random World of Color shots. I had a Fastpass for Blue but showed up 5 minutes before show time so was in the back of the section, which was not bad except for all the kids on shoulders in the way.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update

Disneyland Resort Photo Update


Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com


September 20, 2011

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

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Contributing photographer Jason of disneygeek.com was roaming the parks on Friday, September 16, 2011 - the first day of this year's Halloween Time celebration. Here is Part 2 of his update, with photos of the construction progress at Disney California Adventure and the Disneyland Hotel.

Here are the new seasonal park maps.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Moving over to Disney California Adventure...

A look toward the entrance of DCA from the monorail. Notice on the left the old ATM building is gone and the front of the restroom/locker building has been removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Circling back around for another pass. A look into the former Greetings from California store. It appears to be completely gutted now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

On the other side, looking toward the Carthay Circle Theater.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

The Carthay Circle Theater received its topper since my last visit.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Now that the Greetings from California store is closed, the former Cars Meet-and-Greet location across from Soarin' is a temporary Photo Pass and merchandise location.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Some of the walls have been moved around a little. You can now walk right up to/by the Condor Flats sign.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

The planter area is out from behind walls and now sports low rails and more green.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

The demolition work on the stores has been progressing.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

They look to be fairly well gutted.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

The Greetings from California sign is slowly coming down.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Palm trees are now in place by the Pump House at the end of Buena Vista Street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Moving to Cars Land, the Cadillac Range is more impressive with every visit. There is quite a bit of greenery in on the back left of this shot now.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

The framing of the courthouse is moving along.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

The scaffolding around the radiator cap is slowly being removed.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Several workers were gathered around the turntables at Mater's Junkyard Jamboree - they were testing the ride system.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

There's more visible progress every time.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

The telephone poles are making their way down the street.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Some of the nice wood railings along Paradise Bay have been replaced with these metal designs. So you can no longer rest/lean on them and take pictures (comfortably).

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2


If you were curious how they were attached here is an unfinished area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Duffy's photo area is decked out for Halloween.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

And Duffy has a Halloween costume, too.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

California Screamin' is closed for some scheduled work. They are replacing the loop and painting.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

These photos of Cars Land were taken from the Fun Wheel.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Notice all the trees being brought in on the right. Also the walls are being extended behind the Cozy Cones. No visible progress on the cone itself though.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Here you can get a better view of some of the trees that are being brought in.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Hmm.. Thought this was interesting. A group walking the Radiator Springs Racers track. I could not tell if they were inspecting it or if they were just walking.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Flo's V-8 Cafe, and in the background trees are going in to the Luigi's Flying Tires queue.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Lizzie's Curios.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

More scaffolding is down and you can now start to make out one of the bridges on Radiator Springs Racers.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Looking at the Carthay now. Here you get a good view of the elements that have been added around the top.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

The window of Tower of Terror's Gift shop.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

ElecTRONica is closed till the end of the month, and this area between Schmoozies and MuppetVision is walled off. You had to cut through the Muppets queue or go all the way around by Monsters, Inc.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Another look at the Carthay Circle Theater and the access path between Condor Flats and Hollywood Studios Backlot.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Construction walls are up around the front entrance of the Disneyland Hotel. But they were nice enough to put some windows in so I could take pictures of what was going on behind them.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2


The lobby work is progressing and some of the recently finished areas are open and accessible. The new clean look really brought to mind the Contemporary Resort at Walt Disney World.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2


Work is still continuing in other areas.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

New pavement between the Fantasy Tower and the E-ticket pool area.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

I thought this area was interesting - you can see the new (left) and the old.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

A look at the E-Ticket pool area (this is the old Neverland Pool area). The exterior of the Fantasy Tower looks to be done.

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2

Disneyland Resort Photo Update - 9/16/11 Part 2



Hope you enjoyed this highlight tour of the Disneyland Resort. For additional photos and details from this trip you can check out the full Disneyland Update I posted on my site, http://disneygeek.com



June 5, 2011

Disney Soundsational Summer Press Event - What's Next!

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As promised, here's a number of videos from the Disney Soundsational Summer press event.

There was quite a bit of info presented in the What's Next presentation, which was held in the construction area just outside one of the entrances to what will be the new Cars Land. Disneyland President George Kalogridis talked about the DCA Expansion and some of the other changes that are still coming to DCA.

Kathy Mangum and Kevin Rafferty, the lead Imagineers for Cars Land, gave a really interesting presentation on Cars Land, including a video overview where they described what the buildings are, and what will be going in them. They went into quite a bit more detail about the theming than I have heard before - I thought it was fascinating.

Joe Rohde gave a very interesting presentation on Aulani, the new Disney resort that will be opening in Hawaii in August. It's obvious that he's very passionate about it. I'm not even going to try to go into all of the detail - just watch the video. :-)

That's all the video that we have for now - I will have more photos of the hotel suites and some other updates later.



April 24, 2011

April Disneyland Trip Report - Part 2

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Here's part 2 of my trip to Disneyland earlier this week - this part covers Disney California Adventure, which is where most of the construction activity is taking place.

DCA's Entrance Plaza seems to be taking shape quickly - it looks more and more like Disney Hollywood Studios all the time.

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Big changes at the former Sunshine Plaza, where the structure for the Carthay Circle Theater is growing rapidly.

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Because of that construction the ElecTRONica stage has been moved into the Hollywood Backlot - on the sidewalk between Disney Jr. and Off the Page.

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I was surprised to see Flynn's Arcade open during the day. There were a fair number of people in there enjoying the classic 80's arcade games - air hockey was quite popular. For once the line at the Tron game wasn't long - there was only one guy playing.

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The Cars 2 Meet and Greet area in front of Cars Land is very popular.

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These signs on the construction wall made me chuckle: "To Get Corn Dogs", "For Chicken Strips Detour to Taste Pilots Grill".

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Cars Land continues to take shape - lots of progress on the mountains of the Cadillac Range.

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One of the exhibits in Blue Sky Cellar is a display case that the Imagineers update fairly frequently. Right now it has Earth Day buttons and information on DCA's programs for water and energy conservation and waste management and recycling.

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The building housing The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure is really changing quickly these days, with the opening just over a month away. There's really lots of great detail on the facade and the exterior.

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It's hard to see very much of what's going on with Goofy's Sky School. The track has been painted a lovely light blue color, though. :-) It's scheduled to open on May 25.

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The new restaurant area is also changing very quickly.

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They have re-opened this path between Jumpin' Jellyfish and the restaurants, though there are still construction walls on both sides.

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Not sure what this structure is going to be.

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The walkway is open all the way around Paradise Pier again. They've put in a "park-like" area where the Maliboomer used to be. It not exactly what I expected, though - this is what the construction sign had on it before it opened:

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But this is the reality - a few benches and not much shade.

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The trees are up on what used to be the Maliboomer's loading area, which is blocked off and not accessible.

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The part of the "park" that has the most shade and benches is a smoking area!

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As you can see there's still a lot going on in the parks - while the construction process is inconvenient it's always interesting to see the progress - and eventually see the results!


March 9, 2011

March Disneyland Trip Report - Part 2

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In Part 1 I showed you some of the things I saw on Friday at the hotels and Disneyland, and here I'll talk about DCA.

Work is continuing on the new entrance - some of the structure is visible now above the walls.

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The ElecTRONica stage stands in front of the construction walls at the former Sunshine Plaza.

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The walls on the other side of Sunshine Plaza are decorated with 1920's style advertising.

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This sounds like my kind of place: "Mountains of Candy", "Valleys of Taffy", and "Rivers of Fudge!"

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The Cadillac Mountains are still mostly steel framework, but you can see that some of the mountains on the right have been covered.

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From Paradise Pier you can see that the mountains closest to California Screamin' even have some finished rockwork and vegetation.

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I had a late breakfast at Pacific Wharf Cafe - love those sourdough bread bowls! Though the secret to this dish is to get the La Victoria salsa from Cocina Cucamonga to put on top.

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Things seem to be moving along quickly on the exterior of Ariel's Undersea Adventure - good thing, since it's supposed to open in less than three months!

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There's already lots of detail visible!

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This King Triton bronze used to be at Ariel's Grotto at Disneyland, and now has a new home at DCA. This Disney Parks blog entry shows a video of the statue as it's moved into place.

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The track for Goofy's Sky School has been painted.

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The future home of Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta.

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Seems like they have a long way to go if this is going to be open by summertime (or earlier).

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More fun artwork on the construction walls.

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I liked this sign outside Taste Pilot's Grill.

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The "Pixar Pals, Monsters Inc. Mayhem" show was just leaving Hollywood as I went through.

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The Disney Junior Live on Stage show opens March 25.

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I had a good day, even if it was a little bit short, but I enjoy just wandering around the parks.

Look for menu updates over the next week or so.



October 30, 2010

Cars Land "Topping Out" Ceremony

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On Friday, October 29, I was invited to attend the "Topping Out" ceremony for Cars Land at Disney California Adventure. If you're not familiar with that term (and I wasn't), it's a traditional ceremony for construction workers that usually takes places when the highest piece of steel is installed on a building. The beam is painted white, signed by the workers and adorned with an evergreen before it is lifted into place. In the U.S., an American flag is placed on top.

On Friday the highest piece of steel in Cars Land, which is atop Ornament Valley's Cadillac Mountain range (behind the Radiator Springs Racers attraction), was put into place.

(Thanks to Lee for editing the video - he took the audio from an earlier part of the ceremony, which talked about the Topping Out tradition, and overlaid that on the video of the placement of the beam.)

(Just a note - though we were permitted into the construction area for Cars Land, we were only allowed to photograph the Radiator Springs Racers area. Though that takes up about half of Cars Land!)

After the ceremony, Mary Niven, Vice President of Disney California Adventure, spoke about the expansion. You can see/hear it in this clip, but one of the things she announced is the addition of the first "encore" to World of Color. The "Tron Legacy" encore was featured as a "sneak peek" to audiences on Friday night - it will be featured nightly starting Sunday, October 31.

Kathy Mangum, executive show producer of Cars Land, and Jim Kearns, Cars Land project manager spoke about some of the things that will be happening in Cars Land. The mountain range is called the "Cadillac Range", and the different peaks are actually the shape of Cadillac tail fins over the year, with the tallest representing the 1959 Cadillac.

In this clip Kathy gives us a "tour" of Cars Land. By the way, we are standing on the site of the "Court House" that she initially refers to.

There's more information on the history of the "topping out" ceremony as well as some Fun Facts about Cars Land, in this press release.


Return to Blog Central

About Cars Land

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Salute to All Things Disney but Mostly Disneyland in the Cars Land category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Disney's Electrical Parade is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.