Itâ€™s no surprise to anyone who follows Disneyland news that thereâ€™s lots of construction going on there these days. In fact, you can see much of it from the Mickey & Friends parking lot, including the top of the new Star Wars land and the huge new parking garage. The people at BuildZoom went one step further, though, and analyzed the Disneyland Resortâ€™s top 10 highest-priced building permits issued over the last year, since August 2017.Â
The permits include projects at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks, the recent remodel at Disneyâ€™s Grand Californian hotel and some changes at Downtown Disney.
Now, building permits are often issued in series as a project goes on, so one permit doesnâ€™t necessarily tell the entire story, especially on a major site such as Disneyland. Also, the cost estimates are made by the contractor, and donâ€™t include later changes or furnishings. Still, it provides an interesting glimpse into the park, provided by BuildZoom, an Internet company that connects homeowners with contractors.
Hereâ€™s what they found over the last 12 months:
1. $100 million. Disneylandâ€™s new â€śCleoâ€ť parking garage under construction next to the existing Mickey & Friends garage. Whew, thatâ€™s a lot of money to add 5,500 spaces to the former 1,000 spaces that were on this surface lot. Look down next time youâ€™re there, youâ€™ll see the bulldozers at work. According to the permit, this has been code named â€śCleoâ€ť and will comprise 2.3 million square feet over six stories.
The future entryway to Star Wars: Galaxyâ€™s Edge at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, July 12, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)
2. $55.8 million.Â According to BuildZoom, this appears to be for construction on the Battle Escape dark ride, the decorative rock work and backstage office building for Star Wars: Galaxyâ€™s Edge. It goes without saying for Disney fans that any new dark ride would cost much more than this, so this is likely just the beginning.
Disneyâ€™s Grand Californian Hotel & Spaâ€™s lobby is still bathed in soothing amber tones. This the first remodel since it opened in 2001. The new look was revealed Weds., Dec. 6. (Photo by Cindy Yamanaka, Orange County Register/SCNG)
3. $22.9 million. Remodeling of the Disney Grand Californian hotel. This hotel, which opened with California Adventure in 2001, is Disneyâ€™s first and only 5-star hotel in Anaheim and itâ€™s pretty spiffy inside, even more so ow that itâ€™s been renovated. You can stop in and take a look at the soaring lodge-like lobby by going through the entrance near Grizzly River Run in DCA. The remodeling included spruced-up rooms, a freshened up lobby and pool and a club floor.
The new oversized Jessie figurine that will lure visitors into her new â€śCritter Carouselâ€ť at Disney California Adventure. This replaces King Tritonâ€™s Carousel. Concept art courtesy of Disney.
4. $6.6 million. Final enhancements to the ew Pixar Pier at Disney California Adventure. This permit was issued back in January and clearly doesnâ€™t include the total cost of this huge makeover of the entire former Paradise Pier district of the park. This included the ew â€śJessieâ€ť sculpture that will be erected in front of the newly redesigned carousel, 40 new light poles, the new fountain and more.
5. $4.4 million. For whatâ€™s described in the permit as an â€śiconic theme propâ€ť in front of â€śAttraction #2 at Star Wars: Galaxyâ€™s Edge. Hmmm â€¦ Maybe a mock-up of the Millennium Falcon? What do you think?
One of numerous construction projects underway now at Downtown Disney. Photo by Marla Jo Fisher 2018
6. $3.9 million. This one may surprise you. Itâ€™s for renovations at the Naples Ristorante in Downtown Disney. You may have noticed walking by that itâ€™s open while under construction. This will add some 1,800 square feet and enclose the existing outdoor terrace, according to the permit. Obviously thereâ€™s lots more construction going on nearby in Downtown Disney, though the planned hotel is on hold right now, maybe until after the November election.
7. $2.8 million. This was for the â€śguest sorting area and queueâ€ť at the new Star Wars: Galaxyâ€™s Edge, including a 953-square-foot steel structure and an 817-sq-foot queue. Do you think this is just to get into the new land?
Lamplight Lounge at Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim, CA, on Thursday, June 21, 2018. (Photo by Jeff Gritchen, Orange County Register/SCNG)
8. $2.5 million. To create the Lamplight Lounge in Pixar Pier. I must say I like what they did with this place, even though I was sad to see the former Arielâ€™s Grotto restaurant and Cove Bar disappear. Note that building permit estimates typically donâ€™t include interior furnishings, and the new ones are nice! Make a reservation in advance so you donâ€™t have to stand in line to get in.
9. $2 million. This permit covers the construction of the new â€śshow spacesâ€ť for the Incredicoaster at Disney California Adventure, which was built from the existing California Screaminâ€™ roller coaster. Guests in line to ride now go through a cleverly designed section that tells the story of why the Incredibles superhero family is there.
Artist rendering of the new Tropical Hideway to open in Disneylandâ€™s Adventureland, between the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Jungle Cruise, in the former Aladdinâ€™s Oasis.(Disneyland Resort)
10. $1.7 million. The Tropical Hideaway at the Enchanted Tiki Room. This includes the 410-square-foot deck renovations to create the new dining spot, also renovations to the former Aladdinâ€™s Oasis, guardrails and remodeling of the bathroom. Disney will only call this a â€śdining location,â€ť so your guess is as good as mine as to whatâ€™s actually happening there. Itâ€™s supposed to open soon, so weâ€™ll all find out.
Where did this information come from? The San Francisco-based startup BuildZoom.com, which uses massive amounts of building and construction data from around the country to give advice to homeowners about potential contractors they might hire. The service is free to homeowners. Thanks to research associates Sasha David and Kelsey Graeber for writing up their blog post for BuildZoom and graciously sharing it with us.