It was way back in September 2005 that we last saw these large drilling and digging machines around La Terrasse, when the 40ft foundations for the Tower of Terror were dug out. Now, they're back, and it's holes for Hollywood! That screwy, ballyhooey Hollywood! Not quite as big, but still impressive for this themeing enhancement project.,
Seen from the Vinci parking garage of Disney Village, construction on the foundations for the new street sets and landscaping is already well underway. All of the previous planters, flooring and landscaping around La Terrasse has been removed, leaving the bare shell of the Art Deco building. Large digging equipment is on-site and the first significant blows for the foundations have been made, as can be seen under the fences surrounding the queue of Art of Disney Animation (photo 2).
This spot in particular will be for the storefront of the recognisable “Gone Hollywood” boutique at Disney’s California Adventure, whilst the La Terrasse area will become home to a new Pueblo Deco facade around the existing body of La Terrasse itself, creating a new Mediterranean-flavoured space with only minimal access through to Tower of Terror – the main entrances, instead, will be via a path leading from Place des Stars to Studio Tram Tour, right past the front gate of The Hollywood Tower Hotel.
The current impact of this work on the park experience is pretty unmissable, though some recent improvements to guest experience have been made. The oval 15th Anniversary signs seen on the fences around Fantasia Gardens have now appeared along these walls, whilst several fences directly in front of the Tower have been given a very clever service elevator overlay (see photo on magicforum here). For guests heading towards Studio Tram Tour, a new configuration with the path presents a far more organised approach. The entire stretch is now devoted to the attraction’s queue, easing guest flow and allowing it to be separated into a clear entrance and exit.
To give a grand sense of scale to this project, or at least show the vast area of Walt Disney Studios it has the chance to influence, this final view from the skies (by Disney Central Plaza’s resident aerial photographer, Jollyroger) gives a perfect overview of the entire construction.
You could almost see the Studios as a present without a box or any wrapping – unfortunately, half the fun is unwrapping a present, right? This construction right at the heart of the Studios will, hopefully, tie it all together to create a much more satisfying package. The area now surrounded by construction fences is almost as large as the rest of the park’s paths put together… If this project was about “filling in the gaps” of a park between its otherwise very successful attractions, it appears to have already succeeded!
Photo 4 by Jollyroger on Disney Central Plaza forum.