Disney Californina Adventure to Begin Entrance Transformation in January

Concept Art for the New Entrance to Disney California Adventure

We previously brought you news that the iconic C-A-L-I-F-O-R-N-I-A letters, which greet guests at the entrance of Disney California Adventure, would be retired starting January 4.  Now, according to the LA Times, Disney is providing more detail about the massive changes coming to the park in the upcoming months.

The 16-month project will transform the park from breezy California style to the golden age of Hollywood – the time when Walt Disney first came to Los Angeles.  And in order to accomplish the $1.1 billion makeover, crews will wall off four acres of the main entrance, stretching between the California letters, Sunshine Plaza, Grizzly Studios, and the Hollywood Studios Backlot.  The artist’s rendering, pictured here, might look familiar to anyone who has visited Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida.  The refurbished entrance, dubbed Buena Vista Street, is scheduled to be reopened August 29.

But the closure of the area around the entrance is just the beginning.  On August 1, the project moves on to the shops within the park.  Engine-Ear Toys, Bu-r-r Bank Ice Cream, and Baker’s Field Bakery will close, and on August 29, the Greetings from California gift shop will also close.  All of the closures will require guests to access the park through a backstage pathway that will be located adjacent to Soarin’ Over California.  This arrangement will be in place through the spring of 2012. 

And while the walls and paths may be inconvenient, DCA Vice President Mary Niven notes that all major attractions and shows will continue on during the process.  “While we’re adding all these new attractions, our guests’ favorite attractions are still open,” Niven says.

Work to the park is being completed in phases.  By next spring, crews anticipate that most of the Paradise Pier attractions currently behind construction walls will reopen, and the new Cars Land, a massive 12-acre addition to the existing park, is slated to begin opening with three new rides in the spring of 2012.

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