It was the final weekend before every Annual Pass but the highest tiered Signature Plus (and premiere) are blocked out for the rest of the year so the parks have been jam-packed with folks getting their last fill of the Disney Holidays before the restricted entry.
On our visit to the parks, found the holidays well underway with several projects on-going. The biggest news is the crop of new security checkpoints that have popped up all around the Resort.
Star Wars Land has had a lot of progress and more rock work is starting to go up around the new Disneyland Railroad tracks in anticipation of their reopening next year. Work on Star Wars Land will continue on into 2018.
We also learned about the upcoming closure of the Fantasyland Castle Heraldry Shoppe and took in the sights in Downtown Disney as the former House of Blues location gets completely gutted in anticipation of the upcoming Splitsville Luxury Lane that will be opening in its place. We also have a tiny merch run!
All of this and more in our latest pictorial. ENJOY!
Lunar New Year
Disney California Adventure park is going to be launching its largest Lunar New Year Celebration with an event spanning from Friday, January 20, through Sunday, Febuary 5, 2017.
Read more: Lunar New Year Celebration at Disneyland Resort brings new WORLD OF COLOR pre-show, 17 day event
Western Gateway Project
As part of a larger plan to unify and simplify security efforts at the Disneyland Resort, new checkpoints have been created that broaden the secured area of the resort and minimize the time guests spend in security checks.
The western security checkpoint at the Disneyland Resort theme park Esplanade area have been removed and new checkpoints set around the Resort have taken their place.
Since 2001, getting around the Resort has been pretty consistent so it might take a bit to re-orient getting around. Thankfully, the changes mostly work to make things easier!
Mickey and Friends
New security tents are the only way to get on a Mickey and Friends tram to the park. You can see the tram route now surrounds this new area.
New wheelchair accessible ramp.
Exit from the trams goes back into the parking area and escalators.
These two original loading areas are still being used.
Near the escalators is a new pathway that goes back into the structure across the tram route. It loops around the new tram route and is the walking pass into Downtown Disney and the only way into the parks.
You can see the new tram route here and the walk path towards Downtown Disney and the parks. You must now go through Downtown Disney to get to the parks.
A better look at the new walkway.
A different view than before.
There was only one tram loading area operating in the morning causing for major backups.
The Esplanade is now wide open once more.
No more security tents restricting access between the parks and Downtown Disney.
One remaining tent is still in place. A standing testament that as long as there is imagination left in the world that Disneyland will never be complete.
Metal detectors have gone up here.
The main entrance to Downtown Disney now also has a security checkpoint.
Entire entrance now walled off.
No more security screening here since it falls within the new secure zone.
The former walkway back to Mickey and Friends is now blocked off, forcing guests to walk through Downtown Disney to get back to the parking structure.
Signage still needs to be updated.
The entrance to Downtown Disney from the Disneyland Hotel also has a security check point.
Completely blocked off.
Exit back to Disneyland Hotel.
Metal detectors also now at the entrance to Downtown Disney from the Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa.
Quite a busy day in the parks but lots of unused parking spots in the Premium Parking area going unused.
Kinda crummy when the parking situation is so bad to have spots wide open and unused.
Main Street Electrical Parade is back!
From the Mickey and Friends Parking Structure you can see the canopy from the Main Street Electrical Parade’s Cinderella segment. The parade is set to return on January 20.
Read more: Disneyland’s Main Street Electrical Parade returns January 20, upcharge premiere party the day before
Star Wars Land
There’s a lot going on at the Star Wars Land construction site. Water everywhere, new holes, new rocks and even some new wood.
By far one of the worst pathways in the entire resort. Always backed up.
Tom Sawyer Island
Castle Heraldry Shoppe
It was confirmed last week via Facebook that as of January 12, 2017, The Castle Heraldry Shoppe will be closing. There’s talk about the area being used for next generation FastPass in Fantasyland for Peter Pan’s Flight. We didn’t get a chance to hop inside but here’s a few pics of the exterior and the kitschy window display.
A few weeks ago we covered when the Fuel Rod service debuted at Disneyland Resort. We showcased the new kiosk at Small World Toys, now we have a few more shots of the remaining ones around the Resort. You can see the starter pack below:
How it Works
The third party service FUEL ROD has taken up a small presence around the Disneyland Resort giving guests a convenient way to keep their technology juiced.
You may have seen the FUEL ROD service at various other public areas like airports, malls, and convention centers. In essence, they are reusable, portable charging rods that allow you to fuel (charge) your mobile devices on the go. Once the power is gone, simply recharge the rod OR find a FUEL ROD station and simply swap your drained rod swap for a freshly-charged one.
If you already have a FUEL ROD, then you can now use the kiosks around the Resort to swap your rods. If you need to buy a new one, you can do so in the park (it will set you back $30) or you can buy one ahead of time on their official site for $20.
Disneyland Park locations are Main Street Lockers, Small World Toys, Hungry Bear, and Tomorrowland Starcade.
Disney California Adventure Park locations are in Kingswell Camera and Treasures in Paradise.
Other locations are include ESPN Zone, Disneyland’s Business Center, GCH’s Convention Area, and Paradise Pier Hotel lobby.
Holiday twist to the $6 donuts in the hub.
Morning with Character
Moana and Pocahontas were trying to stay warm in the crisp winter morning.
Christmas hasn’t passed yet but you can now get your hands on some 2017 merchandise. Happy New Year!
Busy day as everyone piled in for the last holiday weekend before blockouts begin for everyone but Signature Plus and Premiere.
Got your tickets ready?
Never noticed that the wires powering the Main Street trees for the holidays are disguised by these faux branches.
Like a picture print by Currier and Ives!
Hey Mick, do you think they’ll notice if I take the star?
Walt tests out the Ironman gauntlet.
Smaller vegetation around the Plaza Inn makes it easier to see the restaurant (and see fireworks and parades FROM the restaurant.)
Looks like the Gingerbread Grand Californian Hotel is finally finished.
A bunch of Hidden Mickeys.
Around Disney California Adventure
Back over to DCA.
Firefly jars near Grizzly Peak.
Sweet Potato Pie, so good. COME ON, PATTY!
Pork Belly Bao taco. Delish. Not as good as the one earlier this year though!
Rice Pudding with Apples and crunchin’s. It was ok.
Smashed Reuben Potato, yummy!
Our favorite (despite it not being very photogenic) is the croquette with brisket and horseradish. Yum!
Short Rib and Mashed Potatoes. Also not very photogenic but tasty!
Chicken Sausage with spicy beans and rice!
Mac n’ Cheese was a little bland but balanced out by the spicy croutons.
Lamb was good but we are not fans of hot raisins in our food.
Winter Mint Milk Tea was NOTHING at all what we expected. It was not milky, minty, or tea-y. It kinda just tasted like a glass of Yakult. =\
There’s a lot to explore at the Disney California Adventure Festival of Holidays. Check more here: PICTORIAL: The FESTIVAL OF HOLIDAYS brings multicultural seasonal celebrations to DCA
Still love this detail!
Mostly Kosher… that ENERGY, though!
House of Blues is Splitsville
Work is finally under way on the new Splitsville location.
Read more: Sushi finally returning to Disneyland Resort in new ‘Splitsville’ location at Downtown Disney
The interior is being completely gutted.
Pandora is finally open. This is in addition to the one already inside New Orleans Square at Disneyland.
No Curl Surf yet.
Why did nobody tell me there was a new Star Wars movie?????
Fancy some DCA plates?
Time for some BITE SIZED BEIGNETS! Jazz Kitchen Express for the win.
Sun setting on this update.
What day was these pictures taken? Last Saturday was a MAD House at the parks.
We were there on Saturday and Sunday. Both days were nutso!
I have a question about the Fuel Rods. You said when your Fuel Rod is ‘used up’, you can swap it for another one. Is there a $ charge to swap it out? or only the original $20/30? and you can just keep swapping them out for free?
You can keep swapping them out for free. There’s no additional cost.
Yep, unlimited swaps for free. And if the special offer is still valid on the site, you can buy it ahead of time for only twenty bucks.