The Grad Nite season has come to a close, June Gloom seems to have evaporated for the year, and so the summer season can now kick into high gear at the Disneyland Resort. It’s never a dull moment at the Happiest Place on Earth and this week we have a bunch of new things to see.
At Disneyland, we find that Tom Sawyer Island has reopened offering guests once more the chance to explore the wiles of Frontierland, or what’s left of them following the downsizing of the island for the upcoming Star Wars themed land which also continues to develop at rapid pace.
We’ll also head over to Disney California Adventure for a look at the newly opened Summer of Heroes Showcase which effectively serves as a Marvel Cinematic Universe sizzle reel.
We’ll also explore other updates around the Resort including more details on the Big Thunder Trail, Matterhorn FastPass Return structure, and Adventureland refurbishments.
Of course, we’ll have a merch run (with a Father’s Day selection) for you plus looks in Downtown Disney and its upcoming Splitsville location. All of this and more in our latest park pictorial! ENJOY!
New Visions Fantastic
Disneyland’s anniversary week of July 17 is when guests can expect to enjoy Fantasmic!, Rivers of America, and the Disneyland Railroad. Then a little after that, Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia and Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes will welcome guests once more.
Read more: Opening dates set for Fantasmic!, Rivers of America, Disneyland Railroad
SUMMER OF HEROES debuted last month at Disney California Adventure with the opening of the much-anticipated opening of Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT but the new ride was just a small taste of the Marvel-ous summer promotion… there’s tons of themed eats available too! From green tacos, to Hulk-sized donuts, and a bunch more goodies there’s bound to be something for every taste!
Read more: PICS: Disney Califorina Adventure assembled a selection of hero-themed eats for the SUMMER OF HEROES
Tom Sawyer Island
Tom Sawyer Island finally reopened this past Friday and we decided to go on and take a ride on a fantastic voyage to explore the wiles of Frontierland. On the way, we’ll see enhancements on the island plus on-going work on the Rivers of America which are set to open once more in July.
A familiar sight from the past few months. Twain swapped with Columbia.
The formerly silver mist pipes were finally given thematic treatment, they are now disguised as ropes! They line the entire southern end of the island in support of Fantasmic!. These will probably factor in nicely during the previously announced “Whole New World” segment featuring Aladdin and Jasmine on a flying carpet.
Across the river we go!
Familiar sights of wildlife can be seen once again along the rivers.
You can’t really tell here but this log is currently covering a dog and a Native American boy who will presumably be fishing as he did previously along the river banks. You can see a picture of him on Daveland Web here. Speaking of the Native American boy… he also has a new village in a new location…
Meanwhile, access to the island allows more views of the supporting construction for Frontierland and the upcoming Star Wars Land.
New views along the river at the northern end of the banks.
Alien-looking rock forms blend with more natural shapes to transition into a galaxy far, far away.
You can see the show building for the Star Wars themed land over the trees for now. The building will be disguised as a mountain range.
Davy Crockett Explorer canoes will be returning July 29, 2017.
Meanwhile, you can explore other parts of the island which should look pretty familiar. Treehouse remains inaccessible.
The red shirt is reminiscent of the actual shirts worn in the past by Cast Members who worked on Tom Sawyer Island.
Beacon of hope. You can see the tracks for the roof for Mickey’s escape hatch on the mill.
Fort Wilderness also remains inaccessible, being used as backstage support for Fantasmic!.
The cemetery behind the fort is gone and the fort has expanded further north.
The rest of the island, for the most part, is the same as before.
Some of the special effects weren’t working on Saturday morning. The touch effects all worked including Davy Jones chest but the other cave effects that are activated by touch were not lit.
The Suspension Bridge had not yet reopened.
Pontoon Bridge was ready though!
You can see one of the entrances into Star Wars Land in the distance!
The checker pieces have not yet arrived. Necessity is the mother of invention and these spent fireworks caps will do the trick for now!
Anybody have details on Sheai’s Rock?
Summer of Heroes Showcase
The Sunset Showcase Theater has given way to a sizzle reel experience showcasing the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) with some of the theater’s 4D effects.
Costumes for some of Earth’s mightest Avengers are on display.
The Summer of Heroes shop offers all your Marvel-related shopping needs.
Star Wars Land
The space issue in Adventureland is being addressed this month with the closure of the Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost and South Sea Traders shops to make way for additional Bengal Barbecue seating and stroller parking. This should help open up the walkways in the small but vital corridor of the park.
Refurb walls start at the South Sea Traders.
Walls extend all the way down to Bengal Barbecue.
Indiana Jones Adventure Outpost behind walls.
The tree was removed near the Bengal Barbucue as was the surrounding seating area.
Such an unpleasant visual to encounter upon arriving at the happiest place on Earth.
Well now that’s just not a good way to start the day. DOLE WHIP DOWN!
Strawberry Shortcake is back at the Plaza Inn.
If Apple Pie is more your speed.
Noticed one of the Big Thunder Mountain FastPass scanners was uncovered.
It’s disguised to look like a lantern. No Mickey symbol like in Florida. What do you think?
Heading back on the Big Thunder Trail after its debut last week, we noticed a few more details to point out…
Har har. Cast Miners Only.
The lanterns on the rock-work are held up with railroad spikes.
Didn’t notice it last week but this barrel is faintly marked for Harpers Juice. A likely reference to Imagineer Harper Goff whose name used to be visible at the mill on Tom Sawyer Island when it was known not as Lafitte’s Tavern but instead Harper’s Cider Mill. You can see a picture of that former sign here on Daveland Web. His name can also be found on a window in Adventureland.
Noticed a new little shed along the tracks.
Someone must have REALLY wanted their wish to come true.
Actually, it looks the entire contents of someone’s bag were strewn about in the pond.
The sign is back at the Rancho Del Zocalo Restaurante.
This classic signage is back in Frontierland.
New wifi antenna in Frontierland. Where you say?
All I see are some hitching posts for my horse!
More hidden wifi boosters.
World of Tomorrow.
Ready for a not-fireworks fireworks viewing upcharge experience on the upper level of Star Wars Launch Bay.
Monorail is back!
FastPass entrance for Matterhorn Bobsleds is marked by this little structure.
The clock is a replica of the large one that used to adorn the former Fantasyland Skyway chalet. You can see a picture of it here.
Clearly the Matterhorn needed more cowbell.
Closer look at the woodwork details.
Monetizing Matterhorn Way. Hot Dogs and Chips for the munching.
Stopped into First Aid. Everything’s fine!
Some River Rascals floatin’ on by while Fantasmic! equipment sits above water.
Around Disney California Adventure
Disney Animation is still closed.
Turtle Talk with Crush and Disney Animation Academy are still open, you just enter through the sides of the building.
Ana and Elsa Meet and Greet has also moved temporarily into Stage 17.
Noticed a Who Wants to be a Millionaire? PLAY IT! remnant outside of Stage 17.
They moved the queue for Spidey and Cap to more partially shaded area, taking up less space on the street.
Now that Knowwhere Eats has opened the menu at Studio Catering Truck has its regular menu.
Tried the Cherry Necromblaster. Who doesn’t love cherry coke slush?
45 minutes for Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT.
No FROZEN – Live at the Hyperion until June 26, 2017.
Sign was updated at the entrance to Cars Land to feature Cruz Ramirez from CARS 3.
The planter in front of the sign has also been removed, widening the walkway which gets congested during parade-time.
Around the Resort
Hero Up banners in the Esplanade.
Downtown Disney was hosting the name your own Coke kiosks.
A look at Splitsville construction. The new location promises good eats and classic fun.
Where Am I?
Three images to test your Disney knowledge. Can you guess where each of these three shots were taken?
With Father’s Day this weekend, we’ve got a nice selection of purchasables to drain your bank accounts.
Perhaps something for man’s best friend?
Underwear are a always a standard for Father’s Day.
Perhaps some socks?
Perhaps a Star Wars fan?
:: insert joke about getting hammered ::
For the office?
Walt Disney World window picture frame.
Shanghai Disney Resort recently marked its first anniversary marking one year and 11 million guests sprinkled with that intoxicating Disney magic.
Read more: Shanghai Disneyland celebrates its first year and 11 million guests!
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Love your updates, i do have to say something though. i keep hearing people call some of the rock work “Alien rock forms” similar to how they are described here. They are actually not Alien rock form and can be found all over the world. The biggest collection of them in Ireland but there are many places in the USA that have the same rock work. That rock work is Columnar jointed volcanic rocks and is found in Oregon which is probably why they included it in the rivers edge
Awesome! Thanks for the head’s up. I’d say they’re certainly geologically unusual. The fact that they ARE common on Earth makes that transition all the better because it’s certainly not a typical sight but does feel slightly “foreign” so it helps build up to what we will eventually be seeing in the new land! I like them even more now!
This was a great update with some wonderful pics of the work going on on the Rivers of America! Thank you!
I really loved the pics of the trestle and Thunder Trail. Those lanterns being held up by railroad spikes is genius.
I also like the Max Pass machine looking like a lantern instead of the silver mickey head poles WDW has. The more you can remain in theme, the more the guest will believe they’re there.
Thanks for the note, always love hearing from our readers! Agreed on the lanterns, super clever in both uses!