Friday, August 4, 2017

Trip Report: Trains, Steamboats and Rocks...

Hi, Everyone!

Here's a look at the Railroad since it reopened, along with the Sailing Ship Columbia, the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes and the Mark Twain Riverboat!

Checking in on Star Wars Galaxy's Edge

Since we've now seen what Star Wars Galaxy's Edge is supposed to look like (see previous post), it's almost more interesting to look at the progress and try to figure where things are going to be.

I just call this the big A** building...

All Aboard! 

The Disneyland Railroad has mercifully reopened after a LONG refurbishment.  And thank GOODNESS for that because between that and the passage between Fantasyland and Frontierland being closed, it was murder to get pretty much anywhere in the park.

No wonder my feet have been killing me!

The Main Street Station has maintained its displays honoring Walt's love of trains...

...and the history of the Railroad in the park itself.

I'm blanking on if I realized this was even here, but it's a nice map of the railroad, with little lights to show the progress of the trains as you wait. Neat!

They even have a nice display of photos depicting Walt and other train enthusiasts (such as Ward Kimball) with their beloved trains.

Sorry, it was just a nice shot as we pull out of the Main Street Station....

So, there have been a few little changes along your route...

First thing, the panther has been switched out.  He no longer has a sound effect, but this is still a nice change.  He looks much like Bagheera in Jon Favreau's version of The Jungle Book, so nice tie-in.

The set piece just before New Orleans Square station seems relatively unchanged. 

You still get that neat peek into Splash Mountain.

And Now...the money shots.....

From behind, it's obvious the Hungry Bear Restaurant had its back section cleaned up, which is great.  On busy days, they could use the space.

Just a warning, my pictures are going to be all over the place.  I spent an hour on the train to get you all good shots and on a moving train, that wasn't easy!

The clearances between the train and the river have been widened, I would assume for potential evacuation purposes.

With all the watercraft back on the River, everything kind of sprang back to life.  I think even the canoe CMs were happy to be back.

Most of the figures have been restored.

Even Mike Fink's residence and Keel Boat have been used along the river.

Here's a view looking back towards Critter Country.

You get interestingly close to the Mark Twain!

Even the Indian Village looks great.  And no more of those random ACTUAL horses they had in the back.

That was WEIRD. Was Circle D Ranch back there? Can someone enlighten me?!

Even on the track over Frontierland, the Imagineers managed to add in nice little Easter Eggs, like this tribute to Tony Baxter.

How is this a tribute to Baxter, the fantastic Imagineer (and also a leftie)?  Well, a few years ago when Big Thunder Mountain at Walt Disney World got its own upgrades, a reference (and painting) was added, making a character resembling Tony Baxter a villain who wanted to mine Big Thunder.

I believe he is also in the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad comic book.

Since Mr. Baxter is the Imagineer behind the Mountain, it's truly only fitting.

Though, I've met him and he's FAR too nice to be a villain....

On parts of the rock work, little lizards sit.

These nice little scenes as you pass by kind of extend the mood and tone of the River.  VERY nice touch.

Here are a few shots as we pass over Frontierland.

Wave at the smokers in the smoking area!

Horticulture is really an unsung department of the parks.

This view of Fantasyland from the train is always kind of gorgeous.

The trek to Tomorrowland is a little...underwhelming....

let's hope that will change whenever Tomorrowland gets its own upgrade.

Grand Canyon and Primeval World

One of the best parts of the Railroad is the Grand Canyon and Primeval World dioramas.

To those who don't know, the dinosaur portion was brought home from the Ford Magic Skyway at the 1964-65 Worlds' Fair, and the Grand Canyon added to emulate a True Life Adventure film.

Now, I was hoping the portion of the attraction would get a cleaning up, but Disney did one better.

It's certainly cleaned up, but in a few spots, the backgrounds got some added projections.  It's subtle, but really adds extra life to the dioramas.

This rainbow used to be a whole rainbow, so I'm kind of sorry to lose that, but it's still a nice effect.

This is the best shot I could get of the repainted...iguana...saur.....guys....

From the Mark Twain side

Look! Behold! It's Jack Sparrow!

The dock still has these nice displays for the ships.

Nice little reference to the Pirates movies here...

Uh, Disney, your Fantasmic is showing.....'s the theme park equivalent of Marky Mark and his Calvins!

 The Canoe dock was also kind of nicely redone.

I'm not going to lie, I like how everything in Critter Country is laid out. Nice layers, kinetic energy...

The river looks a little spare now, but you know it'll grow.

The animals are back...might even be more!

There are also nice little layers and features.

...and cranes.

Another view of the Indian Chief.  Wingapo.

That's what Pocahontas says, right?

Are they looking for churros?

Mike Fink's Keel Boat.

The river has been nicely laid out for great vistas.  I'm not sure if this is forced perspective or just nice mis-en-scene, but good job Imagineers.

The settler's cabin Mink Fink apparently rented out a few years ago was nicely placed on the edge of Tom Sawyer Island.  Very picturesque.

The trellis is REALLY nice...

But wait! No! Bad boy!!!

Indian Boy and puppy....unwrapped.

 Stroke! Stroke! Stroke! Stroke!

A walking tour...

This poor Cast Member is probably wondering what the hell I'm trying to take a picture of!

The pathway to the ground floor of Hungry Bear is really nice and will hopefully alleviate traffic when the land opens.

Seriously, people, stay away from here, it's MY entrance!

And a little dock was installed over on the Critter Country side.  I wondered when I took the picture what that was about, but now I remember Tom Sawyer rafts used to sit here for some reason so I guess it would have something to do with that...


Good beavers!

OK, this was a "random" little CM entrance in the Rivers of America area.  But it reminded me of how Golden Horseshoe Legend Wally Boag would walk through the Jungle Cruise from his dressing room before showtime and sometimes would get caught by guests.  Smart CMs would deem him a lost "traveling salesman". So, I guess we should call this the Wally Boag Cast Member entrance.

Now, what's kind of interesting, is that Disney opened up all areas, UP TO the entrance to the lands.  I know this because I looked at the models. So...I just find it hilarious that poor Disney got things ready just up to where they had to for guests.

Because, the construction wall peeker that I am, I could tell NOTHING was ready on the other side.

So, I came back down from Critter County to take another look at the walkway from Frontierland to Fantasyland.

This nice little cabin appeared!

Yes, I used my long lens to take a look at the posters on the post office.  If you catch a Disney reference, go down to the comments and let us know!

Here is the Fronterland entrance to Galaxy's Edge.

This gate is to the left of that entrance as you approach it.  Hi, fake horse!

Let me in! Let me in!!!!!!!!!

They wouldn't let me I turned around and kept going...

Here is the pathway to the Fantasyland (ish) entrance.

Nice little wagon.

Now...who is Jason Chandler?

Well, I'll tell you!

This poor area of Disneyland has almost seen a lot of changes. Tony Baxter proposed a land called Discovery Bay, set in around the same time as Frontierland, but more of a Jules Verne steampunk vibe.

With the land, Disney intended on making a miniseries to help promote it, called the Discovery Bay Chronicles, starring Disney voice Pete Renaday as Jason Chandler, founder of Discovery Bay.

So while the land was sadly never built, there is still a tribute here on your way to Star Wars Galaxy's Edge.

Apparently Jason Chandler played the violin.  Or is it a guitar? It's hard to tell from this angle..... I think because of the time period, I assumed it was a violin, and I'm not sure why!

Does that coordinate with Captain Nemo's organ?

They wouldn't let me in here either....spoiled sports...

But for now, the areas are nice (when it's not hotter than Hades) to sit for a spell.

And, as a reward for hanging in there with another long post.....I present...DUCKS!

So, a few posts I have planned will be delayed for a technical difficulty.  But I'll be back soon.  If you like what you see, let us know and spread the word! 

Have a great weekend! 

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