DCA: Blue Sky Cellar Updated

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At the press event on Thursday night we got a sneak peek at the updated Blue Sky Cellar, which opened to the public on Friday.

Outside of Blue Sky Cellar, on the patio that looks out towards Cars Land, is a new plaque, which gives you a future glimpse into Cars Land.

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Since Ariel’s Undersea Adventure is the next big upcoming event, most of the exhibits are focused on it – including the two “Imagineer’s desks” on the upper level.

There’s a lot of details that a 480×360 pixel photo won’t capture, so each photo is a link to a larger version of the photo, if any of you are interested in seeing some of the details.

One of the items on the desk is a piece of glass, which is a sample of what will be used on the attraction’s entrance marquee – there are additional drawings of it on the right side.

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Above the desks is a painting which shows the 86′ hand-painted mural that will be above the loading area. Notice Ariel underneath – she’s wearing a hardhat and holding a set of plans – that is the team logo that was created for the project.

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The other desk shows multiple versions of the ride layout as it evolved over the course of a year.

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Many of us have previously seen the 1/4 inch to one foot scale model of the attraction in its case, but alongside it is something new: a one inch to one foot scale model of Ursula – glowing menacingly in the same type of black light that will be used for that scene in the attraction.

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Just after you walk into the main room of Blue Sky Cellar there’s a board on the right that is decorated with the new DCA Attraction posters. These are the retro-look posters that have been in Disneyland for a long time, but this is the first time there have been attraction posters for DCA. The first three are for Silly Symphony Swings, California Screamin’, and Mickey’s Fun Wheel, with more to come.

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Next is concept art for the Disney Theater (currently Playhouse Disney) and the Red Car Trolleys.

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This board describes the backstory for the new dining options in Paradise Pier: Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta and the Paradise Garden Grill. There’s also details on Goofy’s Sky School – did you know Goofy was a chicken and egg farmer? 🙂

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At the bottom of a ramp is a display case, which has items that are changed out more often than those in the rest of Blue Sky Cellar. On the middle shelf are aerial photos, taken about a year apart.

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On the bottom shelf is Scuttles’ script for the opening scene of Ariel’s Undersea Adventure.

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In the Screening Room there’s an updated movie – some of the footage is familiar, but much of it is new and focuses on the Little Mermaid attraction – though there’s also some info on Cars Land, including a clip where we get to watch John Lasseter and Tom Staggs enjoying a test ride on Radiator Springs Racers.

My very favorite new addition is in the screening room, on the right side. If you recall there was a large map showing what DCA will look like in 2012 after the current expansion is completely. They have replaced this with a wonderful new piece of “projection art”. It’s still a map of DCA, but now it comes to life with at least 30 special effects – moving images that are projected onto the map. There’s everything from the World of Color Show in Paradise Bay to lightning strikes on the Tower of Terror. It’s not “Enchanted Art”, like that on the Disney Dream, as there is no interactive component, but it’s still fascinating to watch. I think the entire sequence takes somewhere between 2 and 3 minutes. (The World of Color show starts at about 1:12 in this clip.)

Imagineer Alex Grayman, one of the original concept designers for Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, talked to us about the Blue Sky Cellar updates – what is in the room, and how they determine what they want to put in there.

Laura Gilbreath is a native of San Diego, CA. She has been making the trek up Interstate 5 to Disneyland since she was a small child and terrified of talking tikis and hitchhiking ghosts. She and her husband Lee enjoy trips to Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as well as sailings on the Disney Cruise Line.

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