Following up on last year's trip report, I was fortunate enough to return to California this year to spend several days at the Disneyland Resort and to cover the D23 Expo. With my new camera, I ended up taking over 5000 photos during my week long visit, but I've whittled that number down significantly of those to share here. I'll provide write-ups where appropriate (like for the D23 stuff) as I get to it, but in the meantime, enjoy these photos as they come!
I figured it would be appropriate to have the first photo be of the most major addition to the Disneyland Resort on the horizon...
While I'm not a Cars fan myself, this does look pretty impressive!
The Blue Sky Cellar remains as one of my favorite places to relax at California Adventure.
Our first dinner at the resort was a World of Color dinner package at the Wine Country Trattoria. After last Summer's visit, I had to get the amazing lamb shank again!
The dessert tray was also more impressive than it was last year with macaroon lollipops and chocolate tartlets.
Intamin ride... Intamin ride... Intamin ride...
While I miss the Sun Wheel, I really do love the LED lighting package that the Fun Wheel received in its overhaul.
(That's light emitting diodes for those of you who don't know... -BZ)
Since my last visit, Pizza Oom Mow Mow and the S.S. Rustworthy had been removed to make way for the Paradise Gardens restaurants. This is seriously a major improvement!
Oh, and now there's beer!
I never really noticed how nice the Jumpin' Jellies' lighting package was, but it fits surprisingly well into the new Paradise Gardens section of Paradise Pier.
Last time I was here, Mulholland Madness was still open.
The Goofy overlay works thematically, but I was a little disappointed by how much was really unchanged. At the end of the day, it is still a mess of metal, but the blue paint makes it a little less tough on the eyes.
Much like the Barnstormer was at the Magic Kingdom, the new station's theme surrounds a barn (or in this case, a farm where Goofy used to crop dust) that Goofy has turned into a flight school.
The man himself!
The queue has been filled with gags and details that tell the story of the refurbished attraction.
For the love of Larry!
The bulletin board is filled with tie-in gags to other attractions and characters in the Disney family.
There was blood on the saddle... Blood on the ground...
"If you're planning to learn to fly at Goofy's Sky School you should
This poster will be sold soon at the Disneyland Resort.
The ride's cars have been slightly retimed to add a propeller to the front and a "student decal" to the back.
The transfer track has been rethemed, which is a nice touch.
Along the course of the track are instructional billboards that tell you how to perform a certain maneuver...
The lift is still very fast for a wild mouse.
This display actually has moving features.
Watch the POV to learn how I flew the Goofy way...
Something seems to be missing here...
That being said, the removal of the Maliboomer has brought some fantastic balance to view of Paradise Pier.
The Fun Wheel has really grown on me in the last two years.
Over at Disneyland, our first stop was the original Enchanted Tiki Room.
Still full from my dinner at the Trattoria, I didn't get dole whip. Sadly enough, I never did get to go back and have some during the trip.
If only we could bring dole whips into the Walt Disney World version of the Tiki Room...
I think I'm experiencing deja vu.
The following morning started with a ride on a newer favorite of mine, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.
Gumbo and all you can drink Mint Juleps? I'm in heaven!
My friend ordered the Jambalaya, which was delicious.
And for me, the Monte Cristo with the signature Blue Bayou potatoes.
The "Let the Memories Begin" ad in the Esplanade rotates to show guests memories as they happened.
I'm going-going, back-back, to... Orlando???
This is going to take some getting used to.
EnginEars Toys had closed a few days prior to our arrival and by the time we left the entire building's facade was ripped off (I have photos).
The Carthay Circle Theater will be home to two new bars/restaurants, one of which will be dedicated to members of the new Carthay Circle Club, the park's answer to Club 33.
Just the week before, the Golden Zephyr had been torn out with the engine sent off to a nearby railroad museum.
After being shut off for several years, the rotating effect for the marquee for Condor Flats has finally been restored.
Again looking back, I realize I didn't even ride Soarin' this time around.
On to the Hollywood Pictures Backlot (or eventually Hollywoodland).
In preparation for the debut of Disney Junior Live on Stage!, the building's facade was updated to reflect a more 1920's-esque design, and the theater gained a new moniker as the Disney Theater.
I've been Recognized!
I definitely considered buying number five.
Works for me!
Again, works for me!
I was the only one in the group I was with that enjoyed this preview, but being a fan of the film (I will admit, I watched it on the flight to LAX), I was happy to see a well edited sizzle reel on the big screen.
The backlot's fountain has been masked by a massive DJ booth complete with a fantastic lighting package.
The Monster's Inc facade remains unaltered, although it looks very different during elecTRONica.
I thought this was a clever use of an otherwise-closed location.
I'll be back.
They even updated the Studio's sign to keep with the theme of elecTRONica.
I'm glowing on the inside.
Food Truck Fancy fulfilled!
The backside of the elecTRONica projector screen is well masked.
And there is plenty of merchandise to be sold...
In preparation for the arrival of the Buena Vista Street Red Car Trolleys, the sign for the Hollywood Pictures Backlot (and elecTRONica) was removed.
Good news Disneylanders! You have cake pops now too!
I thought this was clever...
The lack of lazy eye is upsetting.
What's all this Mary Blair artwork of, you ask?
Welcome to Hawaii! Prepare for some Paul Rudd quotes!
"I'm going to give you a Hawaiian name... Peepyopee!"
"Okay Monster Man!"
"You sound like you're from Lahn-dahn!"
"Come on out. Oh, the weather outside is weather... "
Surfing Instructor: If you get bitten by a shark, you're not just gonna give up surfing, are you? Peter Bretter: Yeah, probably.
Surfing Instructor: I once saw him beat a guy up with a starfish! Peter Bretter: That's ridiculous. Surfing Instructor: That guy was me.
"Too slow. Do less."
The Disneyland Hotel is currently in the process of a major overhaul. This pool recently re-opened with this fantastic looking slide complex.
The retro-ness is overwhelming.
Also recently opened was the Tangaroa Terrace and Trader Sam's... But I'll get to that later!
These towers are almost down with their respective refurbishments.
We were also shown a renovated room in the Frontier Tower of the Disneyland Hotel. The beds' headboard has lights in it!
I guess I did get to ride Soarin' after all...
In the lobby of the Frontier Tower is a huge scale model of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the surrounding area.
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!
Nice pics to a set of parks of been to many times. I enjoy getting an outside CA perspective to these CA parks. Looks like DCA and the Cali Disney Resort will be great in a year and in coming years. Looking forward to it.
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