Exciting things are happening at the Disneyland Resort as we close out the month of February. The Food & Wine Festival 2019 at Disney California Adventure is in full swing. As we leave winter and head into spring, the Resort starts to get a little more crowded. And judging by our most recent trip, it’s already happening.
Parking Structure Updates
Currently, work is being done to the brick walkway by the escalators that lead down from Minnie and Donald parking levels. This does disrupt some of the flow in this area, but hopefully not for very long.
What we really want to call attention to are the parking level signs. These signs have been in need of replacing for several years now. It’s gotten to the point where sun damage has made then near impossible to read, especially Daisy and Minnie. With all of the work being done next door at the new parking structure, we hope this issue can be resolved soon.
Speaking of the new parking structure, progress is still being made. Each week that we visit the Resort, we can see it coming further and further along.
On this day, we saw a lot of workers and vehicles in the area. We can only assume that they are working round the clock to finish the structure as soon as possible before Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens. As it is, Mickey and Friends fills up rather quickly, so more parking is definitely necessary.
Last week, we announced that a new experience, Pop-Up Disney! A Mickey Celebration, will be coming to the former ESPN Zone this spring. This limited-time exhibition will feature several different imaginatively-themed rooms with vivid displays inspired by all things Mickey Mouse. Currently, we can’t see many changes to the outside of the building, but demolition has been taking place inside in preparation for the exhibition.
Unfortunately, there has been no word on when Black Tap Craft Burgers & Shakes will open. The restaurant is still under construction, so it’s hard to guess when the grand opening will finally take place.
Disney California Adventure
It feels like each time we visit we can see progress being made to Jessie’s Critter Carousel. This visit we spotted that critters and horseshoes have been added to the attraction. Guests with a good eye will notice that the critters match the “prizes” on Toy Story Mania. And over the wall, we can just barely make out the mural being painted. What appears to be a full moon and howling wolf can be seen in the top right corner.
Speaking of Toy Story Mania—sadly, Mr. Potato Head is under refurbishment. Again. It’s very common for him to make an appearance for a couple months before undergoing refurbishment for another couple months. Hopefully this toy will return from Andy’s room soon.
Remember when we mentioned crowds were starting to pick up at the Disneyland Resort? The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure had such a long wait time that the queue had to extend down to the Paradise Gardens Park walkway. This attraction typically has some of the shortest wait times, so this was not a great sign.
For a few weeks now, construction cranes have been spotted behind Pixar Pier and Incredicoaster. It’s tough to say whether work is being done on Disney property or beyond it, but it does disrupt the view a bit.
Unfortunately, work is still being to Pacific Wharf and the water is still drained in this area. But World of Color has returned after ten months, so we consider that a win.
Likewise, Grizzly River Run is still down for refurbishment. Guests can spot some of the work being done as they walk by, particularly in the area across from the entrance to Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa.
Over at Hollywood Land by Stage 12, work is being done to open the new Captain Marvel meet and greet experience. This area is infamously known to guests for the “blue wall,” Buzz Lightyear wall, Up wall, and Mary Poppins Returns wall. Judging by what we can see above the walls, the Mary Poppins Returns wall and Buzz Lightyear wall have been painted over.
Animation Academy is receiving a much-needed cleaning and update to its exterior windows. The windows were dirty and the art faded from sun damage. Now, half the windows have been cleaned and refreshed with new art work.
Across from Soarin’ Around the World, an outdoor vendor spot is under refurbishment. While this area is likely not missed very much, it does create some issues with the flow of guests. You can see that people are using it for stroller parking at the moment.
Now that Valentine’s Month has ended, the heart decorations are gone and the main entrance of Disneyland is back to normal.
Construction walls are still up in front of City Hall on Main Street, U.S.A. This does cause an issue with the flow of guests, especially during busier times of day.
And over at Disney Showcase, work is still being done to the curbs. A couple weeks ago, we reported on the enhancements of the curbs along Main Street, U.S.A. to help with flow and prevent people from tripping. The curbs in front of Emporium were the first to receive the change, and Disney Showcase will soon follow suit.
Out with the plastic and in with the paper. Earthy-friendly paper straws have replaced plastic straws throughout the Resort. These can be found at Red Rose Taverne, as well as several other restaurants in both Parks. These new straws are part of the ongoing efforts from Disney to be more environmentally friendly.
Space Mountain is officially closed for refurbishment. The ride is scheduled to reopen March 14, granted everything goes smoothly. Space Mountain is one of the most popular attractions at Disneyland and the rest of the Park is bearing the brunt of its temporary closure.
One of the only attractions to not be affected by wait times is Autopia, which had a 20 minute wait time on this busy day. It’s not a guest favorite, but it is a good option for people who prefer not to wait 80 minutes in line. (Looking at you, Matterhorn.)
However, Frontierland and beyond are feeling the impact of this high-capacity day. Trying to walk through this area and enjoy the view of Rivers of America was not an easy task.
While the Mark Twain Riverboat is open for guests to enjoy, the exterior of the entrance is still under refurbishment. This unappealing sight only adds to the lack of enjoyment in walking through this area.
If you thought walking through Frontierland was awful, proceed with caution. New Orleans Square was chaotic in comparison. The queue for Pirates of the Caribbean contributes to this flow problem, especially when the line needs to stretch up on the bridge or over to Haunted Mansion.
And speaking of Haunted Mansion… The queue for this attraction resembled that of the holiday season when Nightmare Before Christmas takes over, a true sign that guests are in for a busy day at Disneyland.
The exterior to French Market is still under refurbishment, with no changes being visible. Thankfully this refurbishment doesn’t impact the restaurant’s interior and guests can still dine here.
The ultimate sign that Disneyland is experiencing high crowds? This sight outside the Winnie the Pooh attraction. Those guests in the photo aren’t walking through the area—they are waiting in line. Yikes.
And further back into Critter Country, we were met with quite a sight. Pooh Corner is undergoing what appears to be an exterior refurbishment that rivals that of Sleeping Beauty Castle. The store remains open, however, so that is a silver lining.
While most of this post can be construed as negative, we hope that we can sway our readers into thinking positively. A lot of changes are happening that look unsightly at the moment, but when the refurbishments come to a close, we’re sure everyone is going to love the enhancements.