Summer is winding down at the Disneyland Resort, and as the spooky Halloween season approaches, Disney has announced even more changes coming headed to Anaheim. Aside from typical refurbishments, and the Star Wars Land construction, Disney revealed a huge new project, has sparked the rumor mill about another, and even threw in a change or two seemingly out of the blue. If this month is any indication of the future, 2017 & 2018 are going to be a wild ride at the resort (has Mr. Toad adequately prepared us?). Let’s recap.
THE EASTERN GATEWAY
It’s been a rumor for as long as I’ve been a Disney blogger (about 2 years), and now it’s finally true…Disneyland’s property is expanding to the other side of Harbor Blvd. Disney has purchased a whole bunch of real estate (including the Carousel Inn) that will become the “Eastern Gateway”, a new 7-story parking structure and access point to the park.
Currently, buses, taxis, bikes, and car drop offs all use a transit center located right next to the bag check lines, which often causes major congestion and confusion for park visitors. With this new transit center, vehicles and pedestrians will have more space, and the resort will have added room by the park gates to expand Disneyland or California Adventure in the future.
This graphic from the OC Register proposes what the new transit area will look like:
The two biggest questions that stem from this graphic surround the monorail and bag check. Will the monorail be rerouted with a stop in the transit center? And will guests coming from “good neighbor” hotels on Harbor Blvd have to go through back check in the transit center? Or will there still be bag check at the esplanade? We’ll have to wait and see!
Though Disney has yet to release many details on the project, you can read the full announcement here.
CHOC WALK: TASTE OF DOWNTOWN DISNEY
Disneyland regularly hosts fundraisers and events for the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). On August 13, Downtown Disney held its 9th annual tasting fundraiser, with tickets selling for $85 per person. Participants received drinks, appetizers, and desserts from Downtown Disney restaurants, and enjoyed performances from live bands throughout the night.
The “Taste of Downtown Disney” event sold out, and is just the first in a series of fundraisers leading up to Disneyland’s biggest CHOC event of the year: the CHOC Walk. This year’s walk (a sunrise walk through Disneyland and California Adventure) will be held on October 30. For more information about Disneyland’s CHOC fundraisers, visit the CHOC Walk in the Park site here.
On August 3rd, Disneyland experienced unusual darkness for about an hour when an Anaheim city transformer blew out. Main Street, the castle, and parts of Tomorrowland and Frontierland only had partial lighting, leaving the cast members to pull out flashlights to help guests navigate certain walkways.
This month, Disneyland announced the return of AP Days, a specialty event with in-park activities and giveaways for annual passholders. AP Days will run from September 6 – October 2. You can read more about the upcoming passholder offerings here.
The OC Register claims that Disney is working on building a new horse training facility in Norco, California. The new grounds would house all of Disneyland’s horses, and they would commute to the resort three times per week.
And finally, the Mill on Tom Sawyer Island got an unexpected makeover this month. The previously brown and somewhat overlooked mill has been refreshed with teal and red paint. Here’s a before and after.
After photo from MouseInfo
Now the mill is definitely more eye-catching, don’t you think?
That’s all for this month. With Halloween on the horizon, the resort will be glowing with pumpkins and orange décor very soon. I’m headed to Mickey’s Halloween Party in October, and I can’t wait. In the meantime, enjoy the last few days of the summer season!