Happy last day of August! And for Disney fans…happy last day of summer. Tomorrow, we’re officially in Halloween season, and the park is about to sprout up some pumpkins and cobwebs. So for today, I’m soaking up the last few moments of summertime Disneyland.
Disneyland glows all year long, but I love how the colors pop without any seasonal decor distracting from the facade details.
CHOC TASTE OF DOWNTOWN DISNEY & CHOC WALK
On August 10th, the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) held its 10th annual “Taste of Downtown Disney”, a huge fundraiser to benefit the hospital and its patients. Visitors sampled small dishes and wine pairings from each of Downtown Disney’s major restaurants, and enjoyed live music and entertainment throughout the night.
A few weeks later (August 27), the hospital also had its largest event of the year: CHOC Walk. Registered walkers follow a route through both Disneyland and California Adventure before sunrise, meeting characters (sometimes rarely seen ones!) along the way.
If you’d like to support CHOC with a donation, please visit their official page here.
VIRTUAL REALITY IS COMING
News broke last month that several stores in Downtown Disney are closing to make way for new restaurants. This month, more items joined the construction list! Vault 28 and Fossil will close their doors to make way for a Star Wars virtual reality experience.
The stores will close by the end of September, with the virtual reality experience opening around the holidays (no official date has been announced). We don’t know much about it yet, other than its name, Secrets of the Empire, and that it is a joint effort from Disney, LucasFilm’s ILMxLAB, and virtual reality creators The Void. Disney will undoubtedly share more information in the coming months, as plans and construction unfold.
PIXAR PIER STARTS TAKING SHAPE
This month brought the first signs of Pixar Pier rumblings over in California Adventure. Ryan Theme Park tweeted photos of a tarp that surfaced beneath California Screamin’ just a few days ago. The area beneath the coaster is currently pretty bare, so it’s not surprising that retheming work will seemingly start in that spot.
In scary news, the Disneyland Hotel experienced a chlorine leak on August 18. The leak happened when workers servicing the hotel pool accidentally cut a chlorine line between the pool and Goofy’s Kitchen. Several cast members and guests sought medical treatment as a result of the leak, but thankfully no one suffered any serious injuries.
Midway Mania fans, rejoice! The brutally hot indoor part of the queue, just before the platform, FINALLY has air conditioning. Open windows have been replaced with glass, and the tight quarters no longer have that stifling hot air they used to hold so well.
Visitors to the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail spotted a new version of a classic character. Disney appears to be testing a talking Mickey, and he conducted a few meet & greets with guests over the course of a few days. Having talking face characters will definitely be an exciting upgrade for the Disney parks.
Disneyland just announced that Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! will be getting its own Halloween overlay. During Halloween, riders will have a brand new drop experience that takes place right after the current ride plot. After escaping the Collector’s Fortress, Rocket realizes they have left Groot behind. So it’s back into the Fortress to rescue Groot, and avoid some brand new monsters along the way. The overlay will feature a brand new song, “Monsters After Dark”, composed by Tyler Bates.
And finally, it’s lights out for the Main Street Electrical Parade. The Disneyland classic had its final run down Main Street USA on August 20, playing to a humongous crowd of loyal fans. I’d say a final goodbye to this parade, but as we know, it has a habit of resurfacing in different Disney parks. I’m sure we’ll see it again very soon, even if it’s not at the Disneyland Resort!