As Walt Disney once said “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” That imagination does continue as Walt Disney Imagineers continue to explore more stories and more ways to immerse guests in lands of make believe and magic.
In 2015 The Walt Disney Company announced that they would be building Star Wars land at Disneyland. This meant that portions of the Rivers of America would be diverted and that Tom Sawyers Island would be made smaller. It also required that numerous attractions such as the Mark Twain, the Columbia sailing ship, canoes, and Fantasmic would have to go on an extended closure for over a year.
On January 10, 2016 a part of Disney history ended as it was the final day for many of these attractions on the original Rivers of America. It was also the last day that guests could get away from reality and explore Tom Sawyers Island, which opened to the public in 1956. The island has the distinction of being the only attraction designed by Walt Disney.
The Walt Disney Company has now a day after the temporary closures of these attractions released some artist renderings from Walt Disney Imagineering showing just what is in store for the newly imagined Rivers of America.
There will now be an all new beautiful waterfront in Fronteirland along the north bank of the river. These stunning new riverbanks will even include additions to the new track layout for the trains as they travel across elevated trestles along the river banks complete with waterfalls. This new Rivers America is still planned to allow the Mark Twain Riverboat and Sailing Ship Columbia to operate along the Rivers of America, while more adventures will await guests on Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island.
Throughout 2016 Disneyland guests will have many unique limited time magic opportunities to experience some of their favorite attractions in new and creative ways. One of the unique opportunities will allow guests to get up-close to the historic steam engines that have circled Disneyland for decades. Train engineers will be on hand at the Main Street Station and New Orleans Square Station to tell you all about the fascinating trains.
Additional fun experiences will be announced throughout the year on the Disney Parks Blog.