5 Things Happening Right Now at the Disneyland Resort that All Disney Fans Should be Aware Of (October 2016)

Being reported by Theme Park Insider..

It has been a busy few months at the Disneyland Resort, with the inspiration behind the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT ride detailed just a few days ago plus work on Star Wars Land moving along at a very fast pace (eagle-eyed riders on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad have even been able to spy what looks like an eventual entrance to this land being constructed in recent days!). However, in addition to these long-term developments, there are some other, more immediate things happening at Disney’s west coast park that all fans should definitely know about, from the end of FastPass distribution for a popular attraction to an interesting character shuffle at the Star Wars Launch Bay.

But first, let’s get this month’s update started with some dramatic changes happening to what used to be one of the most iconic structures at Disney California Adventure…

1. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror gets buried under scaffolding and tarps for its final weeks of operation

Image: Screenshot from Howard Johnson MatterCam

Last month we were stunned when Disney pulled down the iconic Twilight Zone Tower of Terror sign after hours. And unforutnately for fans, it looks like the sign removal was just the beginning, as this attraction will be going through even more physical changes before its final closure in January. In recent days extensive scaffolding has been put up right next to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and tan-colored tarps are now covering nearly all of the top of this building (as well as a good portion of the left side) as it gets ready to transform into the industrial-stylizedGuardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT attraction, which is set to debut next spring.

And while this ride is still operating daily, only the exposed portion of the elevator shafts is now visible, and you’d be forgiven for thinking the attraction is already closed just by looking at it. This wrapped-up icon looks even more striking at night:

Image: Screenshot from Howard Johnson MatterCam

Even though the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror’s “Late Check Out” event (which has brought special commemorative merchandise, photo ops, and even an all-new after-dark ride experience to Disney California Adventure) was supposed to be a celebration of the history of this attraction before its upcoming retirement, it looks like these last few weeks are going to be bittersweet for fans, as The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror now looks absolutely nothing like a spooky early 20th century hotel, and unfortunately, never will again.

2. Frozen: Live at the Hyperion ends regular FastPass distribution

This week it was also announced that the blockbuster Frozen – Live at the Hyperion show will no longer have guaranteed FastPass seating on a daily basis, instead only offering the service on peak days as needed. This is certainly a curious decision, as Frozen – Live at the Hyperion has proven to be quite a blockbuster at Disney California Adventure, with fans rushing to the FastPass distribution machines early in the morning on an almost daily basis. However, it now seems that the only way to ensure you have a seat to this show is to either purchase one of the Frozen premium dining packages, or arrive at least an hour prior to showtime to wait for the doors to open.

3. Kylo Ren leaves the Star Wars Launch Bay

As of this week it has been confirmed that Star Wars: The Force Awakens baddie Kylo Ren will no longer be meeting guests at Disneyland’s Star Wars Launch Bay, and has been replaced by the original Star Wars Sith Lord, Darth Vader. Visitors to Disneyland hoping to catch a glimpse of Kylo Ren will still be able to do so at the Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple show, but this character is no longer able to sign autographs or stop for photos at this park.

Of course, Kylo Ren is still meeting guests for the foreseeable future over on the east coast at Walt Disney World’s Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and it doesn’t look like there are any plans to swap Kylo Ren out for anyone else at the Orlando park any time soon.

4. Disneyland Resort Southern California Annual Passport returns

Though Disneyland hasn’t had the serious attendance issues that Walt Disney World has encountered thus far in 2016, it looks like Disney is trying to pump up attendance at its west coast resort as much as possible, and has even gone as far as to reinstate the popular, low-cost Disneyland Resort Southern California Annual Passport, which was originally discontinued two years ago.

While this newly-reinstated pass now costs $459 (an additional $100 compared to the previous price back in 2014) this pass gains Southern California residents admission to both theme parks on most weekdays as well as select Sundays during a calendar year. However, as the name implies, the Southern California Annual Passport is valid only for Southern California residents, and you must live in ZIP codes between 90000 to 93599 to be eligible to purchase this pass.

5. Star Wars Season of the Force finally comes to an end

Image: Disney

This seasonal overlay of Disneyland’s Tomorrowland has been quite a hit, kicking off last November, and bringing limited time food and attractions (including the blockbuster Hyperspace Mountain) to the park. And though we knew that Hyperspace Mountain was taking a little break to make way for Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy, after nearly a year it wasn’t clear whether or not this was a temporary change or the actual end of that Season of the Force.

However, many visitors to Disneyland in recent days have noted that the Season of the Force signs and banners around the area have been completely removed and replaced by regular Tomorrowland signage, which is as official a signal as any that the end of this “season” is indeed upon us. While Disney may elect to bring Star Wars Season of the Force back someday, at least in the short term it looks like the end of the road for this special event.



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Don Korta
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