Friday, June 30, 2017

Trip Report: Frontierland Strikes Back

Happy Friday! 

I took a little trip to Disneyland this week to see how Frontierland is shaping up with Star Wars land revealing an onion...or a layer cake...or an ogre....

Tatooine Weinie

From the parking lot, it's always worth taking a few minutes to look at the construction.  It's just getting incredibly massive. I'm a little intimidated by the large building.

People for scale.

I mean...look at all that space!

In space!

Where is the "Pigs in Space" attraction, by the way?

Because of all the changes, I spent more of my day in Frontierland.

It's such a shame Disney is changing in a way that has cut the intimate, yet expansive beauty of Frontierland.

In anticipation of the attractions on the Rivers of America returning this summer, Disney always puts out these nice little displays, case you forgot what was here.

Over in Critter County, we still have the construction walls that hide....not really all that much....and you'll see why later in this blog post... 😉

I won't lie, though, they've got GREAT posters which cover a variety of artistic styles. Normally, that lack of consistency would be a problem but it kind of subliminally acts as a bit of a montage of the graphic history of advertisement for the period of time covered.

OK, yeah, it's all vague, but give them credit where credit may be due. Imagineering can use all the credit it can get right now.

The widening of the bridge/ramp to the Hungry Bear restrooms gives a nice interesting perspective on the architecture of the Hungry Bear.

Disney Consumer Products...sell this one! ↑

On the classic TV show M*A*S*H, Corporal Radar O'Reilly is noted as a "shower tent peeker".

I am, as consistent readers know, a construction wall peeker from way back.

Workers are busy as bees behind the walls!

The Island of Misfit Themes

Now...let me just note that I'm a genius....because I decided to get onto Tom Sawyer Island, just to see how things were now that it's re-opened...and see what kind of construction views I could get from the island. I assumed Disney would have the views well in hand and away from prying eyes such as mine...

It's nice to see the River refilled.

Once I stepped on the island, I caught the interesting sight of two more rafts bring brought over from the other side of the island (I think).

A nice close look at the new color scheme for Lafayette's Landing. I hope it's historically accurate because...I like it.

Tom and Huck's treehouse is up. I haven't been on the island in ages, so I couldn't tell you if this is an improvement, or if they just shut down the island and reopened a lot of it as-is.

Looks like Tom and Huck went out without their gear!

Outside of the changes made to Lafayette's Landing (and the replaced stairs I reported on last year), it's still the odd hybrid of Mark Twain and Pirates, but by now it seems more settled in those two themes. I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Water features!!!

Don't rock the bridge! It's scary!

I'm too clumsy for these things!

The ever-present cranes in the back...

"A Certain Point of View"

The kind of hilarious thing is the amount of continued construction taking place in so many nooks and crannies of the park.

Hey! You! Dude! What are you doing?!

(Think he heard me?)

This trestle is turning out really nice.  This week, the trains started testing so...YAY.

Moose #1: Why did they even call us in?
Moose #2: Shut up and stand still, or we won't get paid!
Moose #3: I hope this tree is gluten-free.

So, the construction is looking great from here.

See those things tipping towards the water....those are raccoons.  (I think they've been drinking...)

Really, this rock work is...spectacular and it isn't finished yet.

In a wider shot, you can see the shifted Indian Village. 

At some point last week, Micechat reported the appearance of the plastic wrapped Indian boy and his puppy relocated on the river as well.  Let this serve as confirmation.  There's the puppy....

...and apparently the mummified Indian boy....

Looking down the way is just a nice shot of the river and back towards the land...

A closer look at the Indian Village.  It was always such a nice little section of the River. I guess we'll see how it pans out.

Nice little picture spot on the island...though how necessary it is, I'm not sure.

Moose #1: Seriously, they couldn't give us sunscreen?
Moose #2: I already contacted HR.
Moose #3: Would you two quit complaining? Remember what happened to Max, Melvin and Buff?!

Of course, Fort Wilderness is still closed.  For a park in desperate need to utilize its space, the continued absence of something to do here is such a shame.


You and walk AROUND the Fort...and see....CONSTRUCTIONLAND!

So, don't even have something to say...I!

And more wow.

 Once this is all done, this is a gorgeous shot!

OK, I have a little Splash Mountain question that's going to make me look stupid.
Does Splash Mountain REALLY always go this far out?
I guess I'm too busy exclaiming how wet I am to notice I'm out ON the Rivers of America for a second there...

Really, every time I see people out there, it blows my mind.  I'm either dumb or a REALLY great audience...

The Path to the Dark Side...or Light Side...or Fantasy side?

Here's my real problem with the new pathway between Frontierland and Fantastland....

At the beginning of the month, I brought my friend Tammy to Disneyland.  It was her first trip.  We needed that path open.  When did they open it? A day after she left back for Georgia! (Hi, Tammy!)

Seriously, Disney? Cut me a break! 

Other than that, it's beautiful, really...

It's a really wide pathway, almost Walt Disney World levels of wide, which they're TOTALLY going to need once Star Wars Land opens.

Oh, looks, the nice little feature from Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland is still there! 

(What? Y'all can't figure out how to get the train over THERE?)

Here's the crazy thing about the re-opening of the pathway...Disney literally opened without it being 100% ready.  They are obviously working hard to get stuff done, but didn't get this done enough for a pristine opening.

I'm not sure what that says about the parks and how they're operating lately, but I guess it's the end result that matters, and we have to wait until 2018 for that to happen.

The bridge is very nicely done, actually.

 These lanterns are really nice. I can't wait to see how things look at night.

I have to admit, where Imagineering consistently knocks it unexpectedly out of the park is in light fixtures. I don't know what...can I talk to the person in charge of that?

Seriously, I will interview the Imagineer who wants to talk exclusively about light fixtures in the theme parks and resorts.

Down the path a little bit, you get a section where I think an entrance, if not the entrance will be (I'm starting to think even from here, they'll have more than one way in....)

The specific but vague concept art is still on the construction wall.

Ok, this shot fascinated me because, yes, the facade is up and nice but construction is going on LITERALLY RIGHT BEHIND IT!

I'm starting to think there are actually explosives back there....

In all seriousness, the extension of Big Thunder Mountain's story to this area is also quite brilliant.

I'm going to take another moment to gush over the light fixtures.....



ok...ok, I'm good.

...I'm such a nerd.

I don't know how they made this pathway seem so long...but the shifts to this large piece of rock work just blew my mind!

Imagineering even tended to the side closest to the attraction.

It's actually really nice to see that Imagineering really didn't leave Frontierland behind in the face of Star Wars Land.

And here we are at the other end near Fantasyland.

There was another construction wall up at this end as well...and I peeked.

Another nice LARGE pathway back there, so definitely two entrances. Or an entrance and an exit to the land.

And this is a shot looking BACK towards Frontierland from the Fantasyland entrance to the pathway.

Overall, it's a REALLy nice job, and I just didn't see the other news outlets for Disney displaying the work of Imagineering quite to the project's credit.

Card Collecting

One last thing. For the moment, until all the Rivers of America attractions are back up, Disney is doing a nice little scavenger hunt through Adventureland, Frontierland, and Critter County.  

At various shops in the three lands, you can go to the register and ask for a treasure map piece.  It IS free (imagine that, something free at a Disney park), and there are six pieces in total, each with a different Disneyland attraction coming back this summer.

On the other side of the cards, the pieces all fit together to form a "map" of Tom Sawyer Island.

It's cute, and a nice little thing to do as you go about your day.

So, that's it.  Have a good weekend/holiday weekend.

In light of yesterday's news of the upcoming changes coming to Pirates of the Caribbean, I'm thinking my next blog post will be one I've been mulling over for some time. It won't be picture heavy, but a deeper dive into the struggle Disney and its theme parks face in today's world.  Stay tuned.

If you like what you see, please feel free to share it, retweet it, whatever.  Let me know what you think or if you have any questions in the comments section below!

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