Monday, May 30, 2011

New Stuff! - The Disneyland Hotel

In addition to getting a "Sneak Preview" of The Little Mermaid attraction and the new Star Tours on Friday, I was also able to check out the new "stuff" over at the Disneyland Hotel. We'll begin with the new Monorail-themed water slides. This is the area that was formerly occupied by the Seaports of the Pacific shops, The Lost Bar, and the remote control Jungle Cruise boats.

The former Shipyard Inn/Hook's Pointe building was spared from demolition and has been given a complete makeover. Due to ongoing construction work at the hotel, temporary signs have been posted to guide the way through all the construction walls.

This shot shows the entrance to the new bar, "Trader Sam's".

Here's a shot taken last year from almost the same angle. The ground around the building has been raised and now covers up the old Wine Cellar space that used to be located on the lower level. I was told that the space is now used as a pantry and storage for the new bar and restaurant.

Here's another current shot taken from a different angle....

...and another taken last year from roughly the same spot. That building on the right was the Croc's Bits and Bites food stand that was torn down. We'll see a "before" and "after" of that in a minute.

These doors can be found at the entrance of Trader Sam's. The beautiful carved wood sort of reminds me of the doors to The Enchanted Tiki Rooms at both Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland.

The interior is rather small, but there is plenty of outdoor patio seating.

Does this view look familiar? I'm kicking myself for not staying in there longer or at least asking if there were any effects that take place outside the window. I didn't really think of it until later when a hotel employee told me to make sure to go back and order a specialty drink and see what happens. She seemed to be implying that the bartenders recite something or do something special, but when I got home and looked at my pics, I was wondering if maybe more happens. I guess I need to go back!

If you look upward, you can see a few familiar faces. There are two drum players from The Enchanted Tiki Room in the background, and Koro, "The Midnight Dancer" from the Enchanted Tiki Garden can also be seen. I don't know if they talk or do anything either.....again, it didn't really cross my mind until after I got home! Note the shirt being worn by the cast member.

Here's a close-up of that shirt. I love the print....tikis, hippos, Jungle Cruise boats, and there's even a groovy-looking bird. I want one of these shirts!

Now we'll continue around the building to the new restaurant, Tangaroa Terrace. Gee, I wonder where they got that's GRRRRRRRRRREAT!!!

Here's another shot taken last year from more or less the same vantage point.

A close-up of the new sign and the tikis on either side of the entrance.....

There's a patio, or should I say a "terrace" with seating to the left and right side of the entrance. The terrace area continues on around the building and connects with the outdoor seating for Trader Sam's. There's even an area for outdoor entertainment. As I was leaving, there was a man sitting on a stool playing the guitar. Now if they can just hire some hula girls and fire dancers! Oh, and I love that giant rubber tree in the middle of the terrace and it is a real concrete Disneydendrons here!

Let's go inside and take a look at the new menu.

Once you know what you want, you place your order using these touch screens. A receipt is then printed out and you take it to a central register along with any additional items (chips, drinks, desserts, etc.) that you can pick up along the way.

The interior of the restaurant is also quite small (Trader Sam's was built in what used to be part of the Hook's Pointe dining room). There are some nice framed pieces hanging on the walls.

Here's a shot looking up above the entrance.

This is what the old Hook's Pointe interior looked like. I had taken photos of it and was even given a menu that I intended to post before it closed last summer, but I never got around to it!

Now we're back outside and looking at an outdoor fireplace that has been built in the spot formerly occupied by Croc's Bits and Bites.

Here is another shot from last year looking in the same direction.

Just to the right of this area would have been the path that used to lead to the old Hotel Waterfalls and Koi Ponds. Today, there is a path that leads to......a grassy lawn. Just as we had seen in the concept art, Disney took out the beautiful waterfalls and caves and replaced them with nothing!

If you look closely, you can see that at least three of the Jacaranda trees around the Koi ponds survived the demolition.

Here they are as they appeared last year. Also, if you look in the shot above, you can see that the Dancing Waters arena is still standing behind that construction wall, with only a small portion of the tall blue concrete wall having been removed.

I thought it was interesting the way that this construction wall had been built around a tree. Many of the construction walls at the hotel have vintage Disneyland attraction posters hanging on them. In addition to this Tiki Room poster, there are vintage posters for the Jungle Cruise, the PeopleMover, Tom's Sawyer Island and the Skyway.

Well that's it for today. This was my fourth post in four days! I haven't posted that frequently since the first three months of my blog! I'll probably be taking the next 3 or 4 days off from posting. If anyone is interested in checking out my Disneyland Hotel posts from last summer for further comparisons, you can click on the links below:

The Disneyland Hotel - Waterfalls and Caves

The Disneyland Hotel - Koi Ponds and Dancing Waters

The Disneyland Hotel - The Old Marina Buildings


Connie Moreno said...

WOW WOW WOW super excellent post!!!!

A Snow White Sanctum said...

Thanks for the tour Tokyo. More than ever I'm yearning for a return trip to Anaheim.

Why do you suppose they removed the waterfalls and ponds? Usually moves like this have more to do with money or liability rather than actual improvements. I wonder about this one.

Major Pepperidge said...

Whoa, you are on a posting tear!

I love all the tiki stuff, very cool. Imagine it at night with torches and colored lanterns. The Monorail water slide looks pretty neat too; when I was down there for an event last year, that whole area was just mud and noisy jackhammers.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

WOW - Great post! When did you go? I was at Trader Same's yesterday having a Tiki Drink with Jason Schultz and didn't notice 3/4 of the stuff you photographed!!!

The windows do the "Rain" thing like the Tiki Room at DL, they also have an erupting volcano which was pretty cool. They dim the lights and do a whole "mini-show" when some of the specialty drinks are ordered.

TokyoMagic! said...

Connie, thanks!

SWS, I think on their official website, Disney said the waterfalls were being removed due to concerns over water and power conservation. Somebody wrote a comment reminding them that they were doing this at the precise same time they were debuting World of Color and how much water and power did that new show use? Disney didn't respond to that comment. Unfortunately, it was kind of slippery around the waterfalls, so I'm guessing part of the reason for their removal had to do with liability.

Major, I didn't stay until it was dark, but I'm sure it all looks great at night. I forgot to point it out, but if you look closely in that pic of the Rubber Tree, some of the torches had already been lit.

VDT, I went on Friday. I think the bar and restaurant had only been open for a couple days. Many of those pics were taken over at the Tangaroa Terrace restaurant, I don't know if you made it over there. Now that I know for sure there's a "show" in the bar, I have to go back!

Dan Alexander said...

Lots of changes at The Disneyland Hotel. The Monorail water slides look great!

Yes, please go back to the Tangaroa Terrace, order a special drink, and give us a report!