10/14/14 Disneyland Resort Report: New First-Aid Building, Downtown Disney, Park Prep for 60th, & New Parade Speculation

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EDITOR’S NOTE: A natural successor to Disneyland News Today, the Disneyland Resort Report will be a re-occurring photo report and news series bringing you the latest from the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. In addition to this, each quarter, we will present a Disneyland Resort-focused episode of the WDWNT Podcast. We here at WDW News Today are happy to continue to cover our California counterpart and bring you the latest news and information regarding the topic.

Welcome to The Disneyland Resort!

In this picture even the Monorail is the color of a pumpkin.
In this picture, even the Monorail is the color of a pumpkin

A Festivus For The Rest of Us

In years gone by October was a fairly quiet time at Disneyland. Kids back in school, weather cooling down, maybe some introspection, as Fall takes us to a quieter frame of mind. Not today baby!

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If you check your 16-month Advent Calendar, you will see that Halloween is now a gateway season for one long Holiday Time that will end in early 2015. Nowhere is that more true than at The Disneyland Resort.

Anything but a premium pass will soon begin to feel chipped away by holiday block out days. All of the remaining Mickey’s Halloween Party events are now sold out. Part of the second weekend of October was blocked out for many, mainly due to CHOC Walk: A yearly benefit for Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Park attendance during that weekend outpaced all but a few days of this past summer. 

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Park opening on Columbus Day. Columbus Day!

But, there are a couple of little “troughs” ahead, and they are great times to get your thirst for Disneyland slaked. Between Halloween proper and Thanksgiving weekend is one. The other is after Thanksgiving, for a week or two before the Christmas season shifts into twelfth gear. Your milage may vary.

Once “The Season” is over, we will be into Disneyland’s 50th year and Diamond Celebration. And as we speak, plenty is going on amid the clamor to make the year especially magic.

Is There A Doctor In the House?  

As part of the creation of a Guest Access Corridor along the east side of Main Street U.S.A., Central First Aid had to be moved over, ever so slightly. The result is not something everyone may notice, but is a marked improvement over the previous facility, with a touch of Walt Disney’s personal story woven into it.

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Two lovely building facades have replaced the nondescript “temporary” building that stood in this spot for decades.
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First Aid services now take place in what looks like a small town “Medical Building.”
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The inscription on one of the building’s windows reads, “Doc Sherwood M.D. – Family Practice.” Sherwood lived in Disney’s Missouri home town of Marcelene. He once commissioned a crayon drawing of his stallion Rupert from the young artist. He has the distinction of being Walt Disney’s first “customer.”

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Next to the First-Aid Station is the Wish Lounge. A refuge for Make A Wish Kids visiting the Park.

Like the buildings on Disneyland’s Center Street, the new structure is tapered down in scale to create a forced perspective as it leads away from Main Street. In some ways the building is reminiscent of the well executed Storybook Circus/Carolwood Park Train Station at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. Rationally all of these new buildings are a little too small for their stated function, but they have enough detail to be convincing, reassuring and ultimately believable. This small addition to the center of Disneyland reflects that same sense of scale and quality.

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The gate awaits. This “floodgate” will be the north end of the Guest Access Corridor. The access route is expected to be used during pyrotechnics and parades on Main Street.

I Know It When I See It

Downtown Disney’s Wonderground Gallery recently held one of its fairly frequent, always interesting, artist signings. This one featured five (count ’em, five!) artists in attendance. Among this imaginative  and talented throng were favorite Florida fantasy artist Jasmine Becket-Griffith and Hipster Mickey mastermind Jerrod Maruyama.

If you haven’t been to this gallery, which specializes in what might be called contemporary or revisionist depictions of familiar Disney characters and tableau, we are really at a loss to explain your inaction.

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He’s always been an everyman. Artist: Jerrod Maruyama © Disney
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A dis-quieting metamorphosis? Artist: Jasmine Becket-Griffith © Disney
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Jasmine Becket-Griffith signing art for a fan.
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On your wall, in the mail, or on your person. Images © Disney

For more information on product or upcoming events, the Wonderground Gallery can be found on the internet at http://disneyparksmerchandise.com/parksauthentic/wonderground-gallery/

 I’ll Stop The World And Melt With You

News that the characters from Frozen will soon be taking up residence in the Animation Building at Disney California Adventure Park is only… the tip of the Frozen iceberg, so to speak.

For the time being, their little snow covered chalet in Fantasyland is still the hottest place at Disneyland Park.

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On a recent morning, the line to get a “return time” stretched past Village Haus, nearly to the edge of Fantasyland.

So who would have guessed that another facet of the Frozen franchise would suddenly appear at the  Downtown Disney District? Anyone? Everyone?

Sound the Royal Fanfare (and act surprised), Anna and Elsa’s Boutique has arrived!

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Frozen-haters: Walk on by.
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This is a place for the little ladies to stock up on Frozen merchandise and, if they wish, get coifed and made up as their favorite Princess from the film.  Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique’s colder sister.
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How slammed will this place be during the holidays?

Restoration Nation

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Stylized tarps, with the image of the building they cover have been around for quite awhile in the California and Florida Parks. These covering Coke Corner even have the appropriate seasonal decorations worked into the art.

At any given time now, buildings on Main Street are under tarps as Disneyland readies for next years’ Diamond Celebration. What is interesting this time, compared to a decade ago, is the nonchalant, business as usual, approach to the freshening. The preparation for the 50th anniversary seemed a breathless, hero and goat making marathon with no certainty of completion. Since that time the Resort’s condition has not been let to slip to panic inducing levels of differed maintenance, so preparing the Park “for it’s close-up” seems like no big deal.

The “E” Word?

Last month Hong Kong Disneyland premiered it’s new nighttime parade, “Paint The Night.”

The creative team, led by Disney Entertainment wunderkind Steve Davidson, has, by all indication, a hit on their hands in a park that for the last couple of years has been in ascendancy. Billed as Disney’s first-ever fully LED parade, it is a dazzling, high-tech descendant of The Main Street Electric Parade and SpectroMagic. Sporting more than 740,000 individual lights, “Paint…” features seven units, in a pretty even split of Disney and Pixar show scenes.

Here’s some photos from the new pageant’s premiere:

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Image © Disney

 

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Image © Disney
HKDL-PTN Truck
Image © Disney
HKDL-PTN Woody 2
Image © Disney

What will be interesting from the stateside perspective, is how much influence this show will have on the the still un-named, new Disneyland Park nighttime parade planned for the Diamond Celebration next year.

(By the way, these pictures were taken at Hong Kong Disneyland where Main Street and Sleeping Beauty’s Castle are nearly brick by brick replicas of Disneyland U.S.A. So at least we know this parade would fit on the street.)

Well, what do you think they should call it? Stick with Paint The Night? Come up with something different? Or… use a name with the E-Word in it? Electric?

That’ll do it for now…

See ‘ya real soon!

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About the author

TimPat McRaven

Deejay Middlebrow is an American disc jockey who has been selected by a secretive group to curate the Radio Free Disneyland Podcast.

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