Beginning with the familiar view over Cars Race Rally, something here will catch your eye as interesting progress. The whole area has suddenly become surrounded by large wooden poles and posts of various sizes, most surrounding the ochre desert rocks. Though we can’t be sure if they’ll remain this size, they appear to be ready to act as path barriers and to help restrain the extra greenery due to arrive in this area, eventually forming a large natural sheild around the canyon from the courtyard outside Animagique.

However, a series of far larger poles could have a different story. Roughly bordering the future Route 66 leading from the Crush’s Coaster entrance to the far edge of the Cars area, their height gives the impression of large telegraph poles, a common sight along Route 66. Though perhaps currently, at least, their vast height is too large even for this when compared to the miniaturised canyon below. We’ll definitely keep you posted on this one. (oh yes!)

The poles even appear to tower above the Toon Town backdrop, seen above, which has now added a few more metal frames to its collection. These will eventually be the supports for various buildings in the faux environs of Toon Studio.

A few short steps and there’s even more progress to see, this time with paint and primer. Paint, for the side wall of the Crush’s Coaster dark-ride building. After the installation of the stunning “fresque” early last month, the wall to its left has finally received colour, leaving only the longer section of the building, to its right, without its ocean blue finish.

The primer is, of course, for Disney Studio 3. After several months of “will they”/”won’t they”, the front wall of the Animagique theatre was finally wrapped in scaffolding late last month and has already lost its classic yellow to a fresh coat of white primer. The building will almost certainly be repainted in the same blue as Art of Disney Animation and Disney Studio 5, completely tying the land together in a single, different colour scheme. No signs of work on the rear wall facing Front Lot have yet been reported, and, since blue here would throw off the entire park entrance, it’s safe to say this will remain yellow.

Now, whilst not an incredible step in the transformation of the land, it’s nice to see that the new planter in front of Art of Disney Animation (added last October) has now received some extra plants amongst its tall, stylised trees. No signs of a barrier around the planter yet, though this will perhaps be added along with the Sorcerer Mickey statue and his arch of stardust.

Time for the most major part of our update today – a unique look at the rapid progress made on Cars Race Rally recently. Specifically, the queue line buildings and boarding area. The photo above shows the circular entrance building with the pistachio-green Flo’s V8 Café canopy on the far right. Concrete flooring and queue line barriers can already be seen, and some very traditional Route 66 tiles have already been applied to the bare concrete of the circular building.

Finally, two photos exclusive to DLRP Today from Photos Magiques! Over the temporary fence next to Art of Disney Animation, the zoom lens focuses in further on the queue and boarding area, giving a very first look at the more industrial, “backstage” area of this Pixar “film set”. To familiarise yourself with the layout of the attraction, take a look at the map here.

In the first photo, one of the two boarding areas and the ride’s main control booth can be seen. The boarding areas will be used to group the correct number of guests ready for the two pairs of turntables, and the gas station themeing of Flo’s V8 Café can already be clearly seen. Rounded concrete footers and gas pump-themed supports will enclose guests, whilst the booth is themed somewhat like the pay kiosk of a Route 66 filling station. Buttons and control equipment can already be seen inside.

The second photo turns the lens as far to the left as possible, with the attraction entrance and Radiator Springs storefronts directly ahead. Upon entering the queue, guests will walk through several indoor corridors inside these “film set” buildings, before then stepping outside to this “backstage” canopy-covered area. The bare concrete form of the paths can be seen, and many of the queue line railings are already in place.

All three of these photos also show the height difference very clearly – once out of the higher entrance building, the paths lead down a small gradient into the Flo’s V8 Café boarding area seen above. This adds not only to the effect of the “canyon” ride area but to the general immersiveness of the entire Toon Studio area.

So much progress from every angle! And all in a park named after the champion of progress, Mr Disney himself. The themeing seems on an entirely different level to the rest of the current park, taking you into different, foreign lands, and they’re still not done! The next few weeks should see even more construction walls descend on the land, as the tarmac flooring is replaced with a more “Disney” alternative and Flying Carpets Over Agrabah receives a long-awaited, three week refurbishment.

And so, to end, a photo dug up from the archives, taken little over one year ago, that truly shows the power of progress…

Click Here and remember what we’ve left behind!

All photos by Photos Magiques. You can see the full collection here.

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