Note the detail in the new facade
What is on schedule however are the new costumes the ride operators and shop
clerks will be wearing in Paradise Pier by next summer. Gone will be the bland
and only vaguely boardwalk inspired bright blue and plaid outfits they currently
wear. Instead they will be wearing uniforms much more period-specific, with
knickers and knee socks, vests and bowties for the boys, and feminine pleated
skirts and blouses with scarves for the girls.
If WDI waits until September, 2008 to start a remake of that eastern section
of the pier, could it all be done in 8 months for the debut of the World of
Color show in May of 2009? That's doubtful, and so that pushes that project out
to late 2009 and into 2010, the same time the rest of DCA is undergoing its most
sweeping construction and closures. The headaches of DCA's extreme makeover
construction timeline are many, and it's been extremely challenging for both the
WDI artists and the TDA planners to try and hammer out a workable timetable.
We'll keep you posted on these challenges with the construction timetable as
they progress and get hammered out.
One thing that gives TDA some time to work on these problems behind the
scenes is the apparent collapse of the deal to build housing on the edge of the
Resort District that was zoned for hospitality purposes only. With the implosion
of the housing market in Southern California, coupled with an extremely
successful and forceful political response from Disney, the land once proposed
for 1,500 condominiums now appears to being abandoned by SunCal. While the surge
in business in Anaheim that is helping to bankroll the DCA makeover predates the
housing proposal, TDA had been forced to consider the political implications of
any announcement of substantial investment in Anaheim due to the messy housing
With the housing proposal fading away surprisingly quickly, TDA can now
target its announcements regarding Anaheim as it sees fit. Still to come are
announcements regarding the two hotels for GardenWalk, as well as the big
makeover of the Disneyland Hotel, and a major retail/restaurant expansion for
Downtown Disney. With the housing problem going away, now we may not get formal
word on all of those projects before the June election that was supposed to
decide the fate of the Resort District housing.
So that's about where the long term plans for DCA sit currently. What about
the near term plans for across the esplanade?
We Need a Little Christmas...
Next weekend the Christmas season
officially begins at Disneyland with the debut of the Christmas Fantasy Parade,
the Believe In Holiday Magic fireworks, and a brand new snow effect on the
Still putting it all together
The Castle's new "Snow Show" will take place three times per night.
It lasts just a few minutes, but includes the same snowfall once reserved
only for the fireworks finale. It will be performed at 5:30pm, 6:30pm, and then a final time just after the fireworks. Using
thousands of embedded LED's, plus hanging lights and decorations, the
been reported to be very impressive in early tests.
Why they insist on trying to
draw more and more people into Disneyland's already overcrowded Central Plaza
area is beyond me, but if you can safely find a good viewing spot you should be
in for quite an impressive show.
Backstage, at a price...
Once Christmas is over and Disneyland
likely suffers through repeated daily closures of the main entrance due to
overcrowding, a new way to experience Disneyland will arrive. The Adventures by
Disney tour we'd told you about earlier this year has received the greenlight
and will soon be taking reservations.
Don't forget backstage now too!
The Disneyland portion of this mega-buck tour will comprise three and a half
days, after two previous days spent up in Los Angeles touring the Walt Disney
Studios and other Hollywood highlights. The first day of the Disneyland
experience has guests checking in to the Grand Californian, being wined and
dined in the wine cellar at the Disneyland Hotel, then sweeping into Disneyland
with a reserved viewing area for Fantasmic, or on nights Fantasmic isn't
performed they'll be whisked in through the exit for a double ride on Space
Mountain at the end of the night. The first trip on Space Mountain is as normal,
but as soon as all of the regular park visitors leave, the Adventures by Disney
group will ride Space Mountain again with the work lights on before being
escorted back to their hotel.
The second day starts bright and early with a Character breakfast on Main
Street before the park opens before walking over to Indiana Jones where they
will tour the backstage maintenance facility and see how the ride all works.
Following a ride on Indiana Jones flush with insider secrets on how it's put
together, the tour heads to the north side of the park where they again head
backstage and visit the Circle D farm where Disneyland's horses and animals are
kept and cared for.
The inset above better shows the Disneyland
The farmhouse at Circle D is a nondescript 1940's bungalow, but Disney fans
should be impressed to learn that it is the original farm house on the property
used by Walt and his team during the construction of Disneyland. A visit to the
big parade warehouse where all the floats are kept, as well as a tour of the new
pneumatic launch pad for the Disneyland fireworks round out the morning.
It's the afternoon of the second day however where Adventures by Disney pulls
out the big guns, and ruffles some feathers by selling off experiences once
reserved only for Disney family members or special guests.
A tour of the new "Dreams Suite" in New Orleans Square is first, followed by
a visit to the exclusive Club 33. Lunch isn't served in Club 33 however, not
that the Adventures by Disney group hasn't given up on that concept just yet.
Instead, lunch will be served on the patio of Café Orleans, but the end of the
meal will be hijacked by a pirate from the entertainment department who will
then lead the tour in through the exit of Pirates of the Caribbean and
immediately load them on to their own boat.
Walt Disney's private apartment on Main Street
After an exclusive ride on Pirates, the tour heads to Main Street where the
group heads up to Walt Disney's private apartment above the Fire House. Once a
privilege only for Disney family members or specially approved guests of the
Disney company, this tour of the apartment should be a highlight for Disney
fans. Tour guests in wheelchairs will still be able to get up to the apartment
via a mobile elevator leased by Disneyland from JetBlue Airways and parked