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Disney's California Adventure - April 2010 construction update

April 13, 2010, 4:16 PM · The kids and I took a trip down to Anaheim over the past couple of days, so I thought it a good time to bring you up to date on the construction at Disney's California Adventure.

If you're unfamiliar with the project, here's what California Adventure will look like in two years:

Concept art for Disney's California Adventure

Note the Disney's Hollywood Studios-style front gate, as well as the new Pixar-themed Cars Land standing between Tower of Terror and Paradise Pier, in the space that used to be a parking lot.

Here's a picture of what that area looks like now, looking from the south north toward the park. (You can see Grizzly Peak and the Grand Californian Hotel in the background.) If you look to the left in the photo, you can see the steel skeleton of a show building, while just above the palm trees you can see what sure looked to me like a banked track, already taking shape.

Cars Land under construction

Radiator Springs Racers, a high-speed "Cars"-themed track ride, debuts in 2012.

In 2011, California Adventure will debut a new family dark ride, The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure. Construction's just begun on the show building, which you can see emerging behind the construction wall.

The Little Mermaid ride, under construction

The "Palace of Fine Arts" entryway to the old Golden Dreams show remains, and will be part of The Little Mermaid building's facade, as seen in this concept art:

Concept art for The Little Mermaid Ride

Here's more concept art, of the Paradise Garden Grill and Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta restaurants that will debut later this year. (I don't know about the "Spring" date mentioned in the caption.)

Concept art for new Paradise Pier restaurants

The concept art shows that the Jumping Jellyfish and Golden Zephyr rides will survive the park's makeover. But I have yet to see the Maliboomer on any concept art, seemingly confirming the widespread rumors that the space shot ride's days are numbered. (FWIW, Mulholland Madness will be rethemed as Goofy's Sky School.)

Finally, I leave you with this shot of the soon-to-open Mickey's Silly Symphony Swings, which I caught at night. The sky seemed appropriately turbulent for this tornado-themed waveswinger ride....

Mickey's Silly Symphony Swings, at night

Replies (16)

April 13, 2010 at 4:21 PM · Nice! I was just there on Sunday and the park seems a little less crowded due to the amount of construction. Or it could just be me not noticing this kind of thing. I totally missed some of these things, like the concept art!
April 13, 2010 at 5:51 PM · I wonder if it would be difficult to replace the tomorrowland speedway at MK with a version of Cars Land..
April 13, 2010 at 6:55 PM · Radiator Springs is going to take up a large amount of space. (Think more like Test Track than the Tomorrowland Speedway.)

Now, that isn't to say that the Tomorrowland Speedway couldn't get a "Cars" overlay, since the Indy sponsorship deal is long gone. But to run the same ride system, I think Disney would have to run it over or under the railroad tracks, to get into the land behind the current speedway and north of Space Mountain. I don't think it would fit in the Speedway's footprint.

April 13, 2010 at 7:37 PM · I will observe in May when I make it over to the West Coast!

Looks good, but I miss that great Golden Dreams show! I felt it had great potental!

April 13, 2010 at 8:06 PM · Great stuff, Robert. I look forward to more updates as the construction continues - especially when World of Color opens later this summer. I am glad Maliboomer will be gone, but chagrined to see some of the other midway rides are not on the chopping block as well. Maybe someday... Still DCA is shaping up quite nicely, and I cannot wait for Radiator Springs!

As for Tomorrowland Speedway, they could just bulldoze it over and put in grass and picnic tables and I would be satisfied...

April 13, 2010 at 8:59 PM · Thanks for the updates. It's a shame that most of the park's current attractions are still pretty weak, however.
April 13, 2010 at 9:02 PM · Did you all know there is a video on Youtube that shows the entire World of Color show from a Grand Californian balcony? The link is on Screamscape and it is absoltly amazing!
April 13, 2010 at 9:36 PM · I'm skipping the early World of Color rehearsal stuff, since I want to see the show fresh when it debuts (either officially or soft-open).
April 14, 2010 at 3:35 AM · ^^Agreed. There has to be a few surprises left in our jaded, spoiler-loving lives! ;)
April 14, 2010 at 4:08 AM · I wonder if they plan on bringing a version of Lights! Motors! Action! to the Radiator Springs area.
April 14, 2010 at 6:49 AM · If they do bring a LMA! style show to DCA, they should change it to something to compete with Water World in Universal Studios Hollywood. A continuous stunt show with some sort of a story without the broken pacing of LMA! Make it a complete stunt show with a beginning, middle and end... no intermissions.
April 14, 2010 at 8:16 AM · Could they even bring a stunt show the size of LMA to CA? How much more space is there left to develope at CA? I thought they were pretty much maxed out after Carsland ate up all of that old parking lot space. I guess if they built another huge parking structure they could expand into the south western parking area by the Paradise Pier Hotel, but this seems very unlikely to me. Barring Disney aquiring any new parcels of land, I don't see CA expanding outward after Carsland is finished, and really, it doesn't seem like there would be anything to aquire if the near future. I think the next major expansion at Disneyland Resort will come in the form of its 3rd gate on the land that they have earmarked, which is currently being used as an overflow parking area.
April 14, 2010 at 11:18 AM · Once Cars Land goes in, California Adventure becomes effectively landlocked, with no room to grow outside its boundaries. Developing the lot next to the Paradise Pier would require jumping Disneyland Drive, which would become a huge engineering expense.
April 14, 2010 at 2:34 PM · Great Update! I know one thing I will miss with the changes is that beautiful mural that lines the entrance buildings. All of the art work I've seen does not show that in place and that would be such a waste of some fine tile art work.
April 15, 2010 at 7:25 AM · Yeah it would seem like more trouble than it's worth, even with the way the park is layed out, it doesn't seem to lend itself that well to expanding over to that plot of land. It's a shame that they will have exhausted all possible room left for any future expansion. You can do a lot with 67 acres, and I'm sure in the years to come Disney will slowly transform CA into a worthy second gate. Universal Singapore is proof that a lot of great attractions and theming can be packed into a well designed and layed out park. Watching the progress of this parks overhall has been a lot of fun for me to observe these last couple of years.
April 16, 2010 at 8:07 AM · A Stunt Show seems to not be in the Style of Disney. If I want to se stunts that are the same year after year and fast make me sick ride I can go to Knotts. Disney is the best for all ages. Stunts are so Hollywood. lets leave the prople options to go else where.

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