PICTORIAL: Black Panther character lands, Celebrate Gospel sings, Disney Home opens, and more!

The busy construction and refurbishment schedules continue to push forward as the Disneyland Resort braces for the busy Spring Break period and then the big summer crowds. This weekend saw the debut of several great new things including character meet and greets with King T’challa himself, the Black Panther. His debut comes with a convoy lead by his warriors the Dora Milaje.

We also saw the opening of the Disney Home shop at Downtown Disney and the yearly return of the fabulous Celebrate Gospel event. Meanwhile, construction and refurbishment projects continue including Pixar Pier, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, Naples Ristorante, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Storybookland Canal Boats, and more. Plus we got our hands on some of those new-fangled Strawberry “Rose Gold” Churros — which are surprisingly tasty — and more.

Of course, a fabulous Merch Run awaits you at the end. All of this and much more in our latest pictorial! ENJOY!

Black Panther Arrives at DCA

Even Cap had to stop and salute the king.

While supplies last, they are handing out BLACK PANTHER activity packets.

Captain America and Spider-Man are still meeting guests (near the Backlot restrooms) as are Loki and Thor (Hollywood Backlot Stage).

Celebrate Gospel returns

A joyful noise filled DCA on Saturady as more than a dozen local groups came for the yearly event.

Welcome (Disney) Home

The former D-Street location has reopened as DISNEY HOME. We can already tell this is going to be a favorite stop of ours in Downtown Disney.

String art in the store is not for sale but we were told by Cast Members that they were taking an interest list as the items may be available in the future.

The store was rather crowded so we tried our best to get pictures of the goings on inside. We’ll be back for sure!

Pixar Pier

Now onto perhaps the busiest corner of the park as work is underway to transform Paradise Pier into Pixar Pier by this summer…

Mickey’s Fun Wheel

Not much visible progress on Mickey’s Fun Wheel which will soon be getting Pixar themed gondolas. The Mickey face will be staying.

Toy Story Mania!

The attraction remains open during its exterior refurbishment, bringing a new color palette that includes blue roofs with red accents.

Incredicoaster

The former California Screamin’ attraction is getting some show upgrades, enclosed tunnels, and a new loading station themed after THE INCREDIBLES.

Looks like a new roof is going in right over the existing one. When work is done, the building will be meant to resemble the Parr family home from the film. A new Edna mode figure is expected inside.

DEMO-lition is still underway, apparently including the elevator tower above and the now-gone shade queue structures.

You can see here the first launch hill tubes are now enclosed.

New launch station coming.

Work has begun on changing the former Scream Cam building into what appears to be a new cookie vending location.

Western Pier

Exterior facade work seems to finally be underway.

 

Ariel’s Grotto

The former princess dining location will reopen as a new location in Pixar Pier. Specific details have not yet been announced.

 

King Triton’s Carousel

Soon to become a Toy Story themed attraction, not much has been confirmed yet for this still-open attraction.

More Pixar Pier

Treasures in Paradise, Paradise Pier Ice Cream Co. are not showing much in the way of visible progress. The billboards on the boardwalk have all disappeared, though.

Paradise Park

Is the new land name that will encompass everything from the Silly Symphony Swings down to Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. I wonder if PIER will turn to PARK on Golden Zephyr?

The attraction had a delayed opening on Saturday so they wisely restricted access to the land so that people didn’t walk all the way back there for nothing. A line quickly formed.

Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge

The new land is marching fast towards its 2019 opening.

Around Disneyland

Flags were flown at half staff in observation of last week’s tragedy in Florida.

The Spring/Easter themed balloons have made their debut for 2018.

We tried the new Strawberry Rose Gold Churros. It’s a standard churro with strawberry-flavored dust. It’s not bad, actually. Reminds us of Captain Crunch crunchberries.

Main Street lockers are back.

Walls pushed back at Dumbo a little revealing new flooring around the attraction.

A new shade structure is expected to help shield those waiting to board the popular Disneyland classic.

Monstro the whale is now hidden behind construction barriers for the Storybookland Canal Boats refurbishment.

“it’s a small world” remains open as a new queue/shade structure is setup here, too.

Splash Mountain is getting some extensive TLC. Hopefully that extends into the show scenes inside which could not only use a technological update but also just some general maintenance.

Main Street is still a long corridor of walls as track replacements are underway for the horse-drawn streetcars.

Don’t forget! The newest version of the Annual Passholder exclusive refillable popcorn bucket program has returned and offers unlimited $1 refills. The bucket is no longer available but refils are until through March 1, 2018. Flavored popcorn is not included in this offer. You must present a valid AP at time of purchase.

A Rey of hope!

Star Wars fans rejoice! Rey is visiting the Disneyland Resort from a Galaxy far, far away starting this MAY! Joining Chewbacca, Rey will visit with guests at the Light Side character experience throughout the summer, with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren encountering guests at the Dark Side area.

More Info: REY character confirmed for Disneyland STAR WARS LAUNCH BAY

Around Disney California Adventure

No BLACK PANTHER inspired dishes at Award Wieners, but the return of a bunch of favorites from last year including the Zootopia Banana Corn Dogs, and Summer of Heroes Spider Bite Slush.

Redwood Creek beautification continues.

I love walking by Grizzly River Run in the morning. The sunlight in the mist is so pretty!

2018 Lunar New Year at DCA

It’s once again time for the Lunar New Year celebration at Disney California Adventure; a tradition which brings with it festive food, entertainment, and more. This year it’s the Year of the Dog so everyone’s favorite four-legged pooch PLUTO is this year’s main mascot.

More Info: PICTORIAL: 2018 Lunar New Year celebration at DCA brings festive sights, sounds, flavors

A Limited Wrinkle in Time

The limited-time 4D engagement of A WRINKLE IN TIME ends on March 16.

Around the Resort

Half of World of Disney is now closed for refurbishment.

Concept art has popped up on the construction walls around Naples giving a preview of the changes coming to the restaurant and fast-service location next door. Aside from a new outdoor bar and expanded patio, the interior will get new pizza ovens.

Napolini will get its refurbishment upgrades later this year.

New walls in front of the upcoming Black Tap but not much otherwise visible for that location or the new Ballast Point.

We had Splitsville again for lunch. Third weekend in a row. >,< So good!!

“Berry Lavender” comes with fresh strawberries and raspberries which are muddled with blackberry jam, lavender vodka, agave, and lemon juice. It is SO good!

Royal Sangria includes Blackberry brandy, Pavo Real Red Wine, strawberries, orange juice, agave, and triple sec. $13.

Had to get the Grilled Avocado with Ahi. So so good. Served over rice with wonton crisps. YUM!

Salmon Poke Bowl. Fresh deliciousness. You can watch them prepare the raw fish dishes in the kitchen via a big demo window.

Southern Goddess salad has a really generous portion of yummy fried chicken, deviled eggs, heirloom tomatoes and avocado. YUM!

Still hungry? Check out our full pictorial review from the soft opening of the location including a bunch more dishes and drinks!

They ditched the Mickey’s Fun Wheel DCA ad. Probably a good idea since it’s closed for a good bit of the year.

Loading was happening again at the old stations and the exits were once again used for exits this weekend.

It looks like the very old loading stations which were removed last year are going to be used once again as construction gets underway on the new parking structure next to Mickey and Friends. Aside from the newly placed wheelchair accessible loading ramp, you can see new yellow saftey zones added near the escalators.

You can see staging areas in the back empty lot where construction will soon begin on the new structure.

Merch Run

A lot of the new jewelry pieces are being sold with backings that actually double as gift-bags.

This ornament though!!!

And these!

Totes loving this small world design.

Sniffing Ufufy’s is a normal pasttime, right?

Gone Hollywood recently has gone all Mickey/Minnie, ditching former live action, Marvel, Lucas merch.

More Toy Box figures above and then another look at the great character merch available this year. Such great artwork!

Tee Time!

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Find more designs at our store: mouseinfo.com/tees.

THE END!

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Author: Joey Inigo

I have been a part of MouseInfo.com since 2003. I enjoy visiting the Happiest Place on Earth and am happy to talk about Disney Parks all day long.

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