Was it just me, or did June seem to fly by? It was quite the eventful month at the Disneyland Resort, with special events, new attractions, the ongoing Star Wars Land construction, and newly announced plans for the future. As Disneyland hits the midpoint in the summer season, the heat doesn’t seem to be slowing anything down!
Yep, the summer crowds are in full swing. This was the smallest gate entry crowd all day.
CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE CELEBRATES SHANGHAI
Shanghai Disneyland officially opened on June 16, and the celebration reached all the way to California. The Shanghai celebration set up shop in Hollywood Land, transforming the whole area into a Chinese wonderland.
Guests watched the live stream of the grand opening at the Backlot Stage, and celebrated the occasion with the following exclusive offerings:
- Grand Opening pins distributed at the California Adventure gates
- Large map of Shanghai Disneyland on display
- Meet and Greet with Mushu & Mulan
- Special Chinese meals available at various restaurants
- Mulan coloring pages and crayons
The event was massively popular; for most of the day, the line to meet Mulan and Mushu was over an hour!
I for one was thrilled to see Mulan in the park (she definitely needs more face time), and guests seemed genuinely excited about Disney’s newest park.
SOARIN’ OVER THE WORLD
Soarin’ has finally undergone the much anticipated transition from “Over California” to “Around the World”. Now, instead of flying above different locations in California, riders visit global landmarks, wonders of the world, and famous cities and buildings. This upgrade also comes with a minor makeover. TouringPlans.com tweeted this photo comparing the old Soarin’ fast passes with the new one:
I haven’t visited Soarin’ Over the World yet, but I’ve heard largely positive reviews of the new attraction. Stay tuned for my review! And in the meantime, if you’re dying of curiosity and can’t wait for your next visit to see it, there are a few videos of the attraction on YouTube of decent quality.
A FOURTH HOTEL ON THE HORIZON
With the upcoming arrival of Star Wars Land, it is no surprise that the Disneyland Resort is looking for other ways to expand. This month, Disney officially announced plans to build a fourth hotel at the resort. This hotel will be a 700-room hotel (no theme has been announced), and will sit at the north end of the Downtown Disney parking, on the western end of the resort property. For those unfamiliar with the resort’s layout, this is near where the rest of the hotels are located.
Source: Onset Freedom
Construction will begin in late 2017, after Star Wars Land’s completion, with a projected opening in 2021. Disney has not announced many details about the hotel or its features just yet, but this will undoubtedly be a big topic for Disney in the coming months.
To celebrate the release of Finding Dory, Disneyland hosted Speak Like A Whale Day on June 11. There were no special events or character meet & greets, but visitors received commemorative buttons at park entry.
A piece of Disneyland history has finally left the park. The abandoned Skyway building in Fantasyland, (tucked in the trees behind the Circus Train), officially came down on June 17. The space behind Fantasyland will bump right up against the back of Star Wars Land, and given the long closure of the Skyway, not much surprise to see it go.
And finally, fans can look forward to the Shanghai-driven budget cuts coming to an end at the resort. California Adventure returns to its normal schedule starting in July, and will reopen some of the closed restaurants as well.