In what must be the quickest blue-sky-rumour to open-for-guests attraction turnaround in Disney history, the redevelopment of Frontierland’s old Critter Corral lost its green construction walls and opened for guests this past weekend on 6th October, less than three months from when the walls first arrived.
In that time, we’ve seen two new, wooden buildings constructed to enclose the central square, a sharply-pitched roof joining the two and a third construction creating a raised platform in the middle of the area. On a minimal available budget and in practically no time at all, it seems Disneyland Park is already ready to present a brand new Frontierland attraction, the first since 1996…
Woody’s Roundup! And isn’t that just the most rootinest, tootinest attraction logo around?
Recreating the logo seen in the film Toy Story 2, for the 1950s children’s television series which Woody discovers he was once the star of, the new signage sits on a support of a horseshoe standing in two cowboy boots — very much the style old-fashioned Wild West humour, as seen elsewhere in Thunder Mesa on posters and notices and other imagery. Woody cowboy hats rest either side, telling us this is where the “rootinest tootinest cowboy around” comes to relax. The letters of “Woody’s” are made in 3D as if styled from rope.
Yes, here it is, the Pixar cowboy-themed area predicted and promised by magicforum and DLRP Today for several months (or with this construction timescale — weeks), the first areas of Woody’s Roundup are already open!
With the Father Christmas Village the only use for the redeveloped area confirmed by the resort so far, it’s a surprise to see this attraction logo installed so soon and the area already fulfilling its new purpose, albeit with an impressive Halloween theme.
The roofs of the new buildings (now a Halloween workshop to replace that usually in Central Plaza’s Giant Pumpkin) are decorated with small pumpkins at their peaks and corners, whilst the area beyond the roundup, around the small grassy slope at the rear of the Roundup, has been filled with all kinds of Halloween props…
Amongst Pumpkin Men in various poses and some props from last year’s FantaStitch Stage decoration, there seems to be a resurgence in the number of traditional and/or real pumpkins in this year’s Halloween decorations, in addition to the oversized false ones.
However, after so many years of Disney’s Halloween Festival, it’s hard for us to keep track of what’s actually new in these lavish overlays. Some things, on the other hand, are simply confusing on their own…
Back over at the Roundup village, the Halloween workshops are presented alongside the main attraction of the redeveloped area… the meet ‘n’ greets.
New signage displays the times Woody and Jessie, the two main members of the Roundup Gang, will arrive from their Frontier adventures to meet the fans in their real-life home.
The signage again uses the Pixar-designed logo, which thankfully stands very well amongst the rest of Frontierland — a rather sacred ground for the average Disneyland Resort Paris fan. The wooden pole is wrapped with rope for an extra touch of theme.
The idea of the area is very much like Toon Town — or Toon Studio, for that matter — with a Western theme. Whilst we won’t get a true idea of what the Roundup will offer until next year when its Halloween and Christmas uses have passed, guests can already step up onto the new raised platform in the middle of the area to meet the characters against a backdrop of the cowboy village.
Unfortunately for his many fans, the third member of the Roundup Gang — Bullseye — is not currently scheduled to make appearances.
Whilst you’re in the area, you can’t fail to notice the brand new area loop which has been introduced, the first new loop at Disneyland Park for quite some time. Featuring the classic song “Woody’s Roundup” itself along with many others from The Riders in the Sky‘s album “Woody’s Roundup – A Rootin’ Tootin’ Collection of Woody’s Favourite Songs“ which was released with the film back in 1999.
The buildings all have classic Frontierland-style lanterns hanging from their roofs, as seen across the land, plus a mixture of wooden-tiled and metal roofs. The two new buildings come fitted with windows to keep out Paris’ unfriendly climate. More horseshoes across the wooden (or in some cases, such as roof supports — faux wooden) supports to continue the theme of the entrance signage.
However, as these latest pictures by Photos Magiques show, the Roundup still has much space left to be used and more final details and developments to be completed. The covered animal stables and enclosures remain empty and the Woodcarver’s Workshop remains closed.
The changeover to the much-advertised Father Christmas Village should no doubt bring more completion to the overall area, likely then giving it a feel similar to the stage set of the Mickey’s Winter Wonderland show across the path. It is not confirmed whether the Woody’s Roundup characters and signage will be removed during this event, but it’s certainly possible Woody could be heading into the sunset — temporarily — just one month after he arrived.