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Disneyland Resort grows its Enchanted Forest of Construction Walls

By Robert Niles
Published: January 26, 2011 at 3:51 PM
The kids are in school and crowds are light at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California - making plenty of space for the construction crews to move in and get to work.

There's no longer any "California" in front of Disney California Adventure. Nor is the old sun icon standing behind the Golden Gate bridge, either.

Plaza construction at Disney California Adventure

Disney's put the letters into storage and torn down the middle third of the entry turnstiles as it remakes the front entrance of the park.

Concept art of the new California Adventure entry

Hmm, do you think that artist concept of the new Disney California Adventure entry plaza that looks a bit like the entry to Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World?

I like what Disney's done with this construction wall, though, evoking the new 1930s theme for the entry plaza by featuring many of Disney's original toons, including Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Mortimer Mouse. (It gives the park an "Epic Mickey" spin, as Imagineering effectively erases much of the park to recreate it.)

Disney toons

Inside the park, construction's broken the circuit around the lagoon, at the site of the now-removed Maliboomer.

DCA construction wall

The new Little Mermaid show building is almost complete, preparing for an expected soft opening in April.

The DCA Little Mermaid show building under construction

Little Mermaid construction

And work's coming along on Cars Land, set to debut sometime next year.

Cars Land construction

The Playhouse Disney show is gone now, soon to be replaced with Disney Junior: Live on Stage.

Disney Junior construction wall

And the Red Car Trolley tracks are ready to go in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot. But they'll have to wait for the new front entry plaza to be complete before we see trolleys on those tracks.

Red Car Trolley track

Across the esplanade at Disneyland, the Enchanted Forest of Construction Walls grows, as well.

Town Square

Behind some walls, we'll eventually find new attractions, such as the new version of Star Tours, set to debut in May.

Star Tours construction wall

Behind others, we await the completion of more traditional refurbs, such as that happening now to Splash Mountain.

Splash Mountain refurb

Not only is Splash down, Disney's shuttered the entire Critter Country land for refurbishment. It's been ages since I remember Disney closing an entire land.

Critter Country construction wall

Yet, if you can find your way around the walls, most of the rest of Disney's top attractions remain open (Pirates, Indy, Thunder, Subs, etc.), with the shortest wait times of the year.

Disneyland wait times on Jan. 26, 2011

Later today, I'll post my review of the new menu at Fantasyland's Village Haus Restaurant.

Readers' Opinions

From TH Creative on January 26, 2011 at 4:22 PM
Mr. Niles, I apologize for correcting you in front of everyone but you wrote "Yet, if you can find your way around the walls, most of the rest of Disney's top attractions remain open (Pirates, Indy, Thunder, Subs, etc.) ..."

Obviously what you MEANT to write was "Yet, if you can find your way around the walls, most of the rest of Disney's top attractions remain open (JUNGLE CRUISE, Pirates, Indy, Thunder, Subs, etc.) ..."

From Robert Niles on January 26, 2011 at 4:39 PM
Can anyone find a pattern or order in the list of those attractions on the wait time board? I can't find one.
From M. Ryan Traylor on January 26, 2011 at 4:40 PM
I understand the frustrations that can come with construction, but cutting off the loop of CAAdventure seems tragic.
From M. Ryan Traylor on January 26, 2011 at 4:56 PM
There is a slight alphabetizing to the board broken across two columns. Why it's not entirely alphabetized, I don't know. But they should never do it by land for those guests that have no clue where the rides are located.

And never have an automated board ranking them by the wait times. That will deter guests and raise irritation levels.

From Robert Niles on January 26, 2011 at 5:04 PM
With the exception of the DCA block, I found it easier to get stuff done today than on past trips. I'll take construction walls over crowds any time.
From 98.21.198.43 on January 26, 2011 at 5:04 PM
10 minute wait time for Space Mountain! WOW!

I think it's funny that the longest wait time is for Autotopia. That and those spinning Dumbo rides are great examples of the rides that you go there with kids..... thinking we are going to one of the highest quality themed parks there is..... and they have all these options, yet they want to ride the simple spinning up and down ride or the cars on a rail!!.....lol.

From Sierra J on January 26, 2011 at 5:52 PM
Geeez my youth leader's daughter is gonna be spending her 5th birthday staying at the resort for a couple of days in March, I hope all this construction won't interfere with her first visit to Disneyland & Cal Adventure :(
From 76.91.132.82 on January 26, 2011 at 5:53 PM
What are they doing to SplashMountain!!!??? I'm planning to go with a friend on Friday. She hasn't been there in a long time and she wanted to go on Splash Mountain! When will they be done with the construction?
From Robert Niles on January 26, 2011 at 6:06 PM
It's a long refurb on Splash: Closed until March.
From M. Ryan Traylor on January 26, 2011 at 10:11 PM
Robert,

This time last year when I was unemployed, I made 10 trips to the resort in 6 weeks. DL lost money on me buy not spending a dime at the parks. The AP plus parking paid for itself many times over.

From James Rao on January 27, 2011 at 5:27 AM
Great photo tour, Robert. Thank you for sharing. Please keep them coming as the pix will get me through the snowy winter we're having in Missouri!
From 184.98.111.148 on January 28, 2011 at 10:37 AM
I think I understand now why Disney has a great 3 day ticket deal running through March. Was really tempting but all that construction really is a downer.
From 207.200.116.132 on January 28, 2011 at 9:06 PM
Thank you for the awesome pictures! We haven't been able to go back to the Disney Resort for a long time! :)

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