It’s nearly Turkey time and while many parks are on auto-pilot for the remainder of the holiday season, Disneyland is moving forward on some big new projects. We’ve got news for you on plans to expand the Disneyland Hotel, a retro revival for Tomorrowland, new droids for Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, and curious new holiday decorations and entertainment. Plus, we’ve got an important announcement about the upcoming Gumball Rally at the end, so be sure to read to the bottom!
Tomorrowland Returns to Its Roots
New concept art shows plans for the expanded Tomorrowland entry. While the previous french fry rocks took up more space, artist renderings show that a significant amount of real estate will be reserved for gardens and elevated platforms containing mid-century decor. The garden on the left has the burden of needing to conceal a small equipment room. The box is currently hidden behind construction walls.
The green walled area you see above will be concealed in the elevated garden area below.
The garden areas are just temporary until the beautification can be completed next year. But you can see how large the green space is. Fencing is just now being installed.
Fencing has been installed in the portion of the garden closest to the Astro Orbiter.
The concept art doesn’t show the remaining french fry rocks. Let’s hope they disappear soon.
According to a sign posted for guests:
Since Disneyland first opened in 1955, there have been several great, big beautiful Tomorrowland entrances – and its threshold is being transformed once again! As shown in this concept rendering, guests will soon be entering Tomorrowland on a widened pathway lined with elliptical planters that are filled with swirls of colorful flowers and sculptural spires. In addition to being an alluring and more accessible entryway, keen-eyed guests might spot that this new threshold into the future pays homage to yesterday’s Tomorrowlands …
What do you think of the new open entry to Tomorrowland and the plans to theme the area? We’ll have more for you from Tomorrowland later this week.
New DVC Tower
Disneyland has just proposed a large hotel project to the city of Anaheim. The proposal is to build a 4th tower at the Disneyland Hotel for Disney Vacation Club. We’ve circled the area where the tower is likely to be built if approved by the city.
The spot is adjacent to the Disneyland Hotel pool and Goofy’s Kitchen.
The large plot of land is mostly unused space and was the previous home to the Fantasy Waters nightly show and a portion of the old waterfalls. Do any of you remember those charming features of the hotel complex? Long gone now.
Much of the lawn above should survive the project as the back portion of this lot of huge.
Now for a bit of speculation. The current three towers are called Fantasy, Frontier, and Adventure. We are going to guess that the new tower would be called “Tomorrow.” That seems more likely than Main Street, New Orleans, Galaxy, Toon, or Critter.
Galaxy’s Edge: Beep Bop Soda Pop
In the years leading up to the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, we were promised autonomous droids and interactivity. While those things were cut before opening, something new is slated to be added to the land this week (likely on Thanksgiving day). Three new refreshment carts, made to look like droid-driven vehicles, are backstage waiting installation. Each cart is painted to look like a different Coke product. There’s a red Coke cart, a silver Diet Coke cart, and a green Sprite cart. We have a photo of a similar cart that is on stage in Orlando’s version of the land. The droids do have limited movement and sounds.
In other Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge news, the construction at the emergency exits of Rise of the Resistance have been completed, revealing double-wide exits. For now, they have been blocked by trash cans.
Downtown Disney – Let It Glow
Disney seems really proud of this next item and has written quite a bit about it on the Disney Parks Blog. We are almost always happy to see new decorations and details around the Resort, but this one has us conflicted. The Day-Glo colored plastic trees that have been placed throughout Downtown Disney have been controversial among fans. Not everyone likes these 80s-inspired trees.
200 trees of varying heights and 70 matching glow rings adorn the gardens of Disneyland’s shopping district.
They even popped a few on a rooftop near Catal restaurant.
Across from the shuttered ESPN Zone and in front of the long-closed Rainforest Cafe, the Asian Street Eats booth still hasn’t opened. We’re not sure what the delay is. The booth will be operated by Earl of Sandwich.
In the Animation building at Disney California Adventure, the Anna & Elsa meet and greet has been updated to reflect costumes from the new movie that was released on Friday. Unfortunately, the new costumes reveal a pretty big plot point at the end of the movie. So if you haven’t seen the movie it and care about spoilers, go ahead and skip this section. For those of you that have already seen the movie, or just don’t care about spoilers read on ahead.
Anna and Elsa both now wear their final costumes from the movie. Elsa has a white dress with her hair down instead of her signature braid. Meanwhile, Anna is wearing her coronation dress. There have been some complaints about the choice of costumes particularly because the movie was just released, but let’s face it, this was inevitable.
With the widespread success of its opening weekend, and an estimated $127 million US debut and $350.2 million worldwide, it is only a matter of time before everyone knows all the plot points anyway. How much more of the Arendelle royalty do you think we’ll be seeing around the parks?
This and That
New Annual Pass Design
This week, a new AP design started distribution. This new pass design features a classic Mickey Mouse. The older version had the Fab Five all grouped together.
We have heard some rumors that these are RFID enabled, just like the passes out in Florida. If this is true, it would be pretty easy to convert to an RFID based system at the Resort. What do you think of the new passes?
Disney Holiday Dance Party in Tomorrowland
Although Tomorrowland itself lacks much holiday cheer, it does have the only designated holiday stage show in Disneyland. It features the Galactic Grill/Tomorrowland Terrace stage decorated in a gingerbread cookie and peppermint candy facade. It’s similar to the regular dance parties that occur throughout the year, but it’s holiday-themed.
It’s an interesting addition to an otherwise holiday-less land. Although, we think that the neon trees would look better in Torrowland than in Downtown Disney.
Showdown at the Golden Horseshoe
The long-anticipated replacement for the Golden Horseshoe’s Laughing Stock debuted on Friday. It is a dueling piano show entitled Showdown at the Golden Horseshoe. For more info about the show, and to watch one of the premiere performances, be sure to read the article below.
We’d love to hear your thoughts about this curious little show.
The latest of the Designer Ear collection dropped on Friday. The Coach leather ears are very limited, with less than 1400 pairs produced for Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and shopDisney. A small set was released on Friday at the Dress Shop in Downtown Disney, and they promptly sold out that same day. Although if you’re still interested in a pair, they will be on shopDisney starting today.
On our most recent trip to Disneyland, we also saw that the Her Universe Leia Bun ears are back in stock. They were very popular and sold out quickly. It’s interesting to see which Designer Ears are limited edition versus limited release. You can find the Leia Bun Ears at Disneyana while they’re still available.
Collectible Mint Julep Cup
For a limited time, you can now get your Mint Julep or soft drink served in a special collectible hammered stainless steel. It’s surprising that these didn’t come out during the summer when a mint julep is best served in a metal cup to keep the drink cold, but it’s never a bad time to enjoy a julep.
Actually, hold that thought. When the queue extends all the way into Front Street, that’s probably a bad time to enjoy a mint julep. With the advent of mobile order, it can cause the standby queue to back up as people pick up their mobile orders, similar to what happens with Fastpass attractions.
When the line for mint juleps and beignets backs up like this, does that deter you from ordering from the Mint Julep Bar?
Gumball Rally 2020
Well, folks, it’s that time of year for you to schedule time off and make travel arrangements for the upcoming world-famous Gumball Rally! It’s a full day adventure at Disneyland to see who can ride the most attractions in a single day. It is set for February 8, 2020, and the ticket store is open! So grab a friend (or two, or three) and set up a team today.
If you attended D23 Expo this year, you may have seen our glorious first-place trophy featuring three attractions that turned 60 this year: the Matterhorn, the Subs, and the Monorail. Feast your eyes on the prize!
Act fast, our early-bird ticket price must go up one week from today:
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Let’s hear from you!
Do you like the idea of an expanded Disneyland Hotel? Are droid carts a step in the right direction for Galaxy’s Edge? Happy with the new retro version of the Tomorrowland entry? Do the new Disco trees in Downtown Disney fill you with holiday cheer? Are Anna and Elsa’s new outfits too revealing (so to speak)? Let us know in the comments below.
We have a lot more for you this week folks. Multiple articles every day leading into Thanksgiving.