Unsure what to expect, we reported in February with the slightly cheeky title, ‘Widening the Party escape routes‘, that the famous pathways around the foot of Central Plaza were undergoing some of their first modifications since the opening of Disneyland Park back in 1992.
The park is “famous” for these kind of pathways because they’re so different to almost every other Magic Kingdom-style park, snaking through the greenery of the plaza and providing perfect, quick escape routes after a nighttime parade or fireworks. Would the modifications open them up too much, ruin the clever layout?
Luckily, not at all! The two affected areas are the pathway from Crockett Road (left of Main Street) to Frontierland, which has been widened, and the patio seating areas of Plaza Gardens, one of which has been opened up with with an extra set of stairs.
How does it look in real life? Well, admin Scrooge of Disney Magic Interactive forum has posted up and excellent series of before and after views — let’s take a look…
Crockett Road before:
The entire path has been widened quite significantly, but more noticeable from Main Street is that the entrance has been opened up with a much bigger curve, pushing the plants right back as far as the gas lantern. The new path will make this alternative route much clearer, allowing guests to bypass Central Plaza completely (when it’s taken over by It’s Party Time, several times a day).
Notice, though, that another famous detail of the park has still been implemented back into the path — the change between the lands. Suddenly, the clean stone curbs of Main Street become a rocky stone border as you set off en route for the Far West!
Plaza Gardens before:
This change is a little more daring for the people re-Imagineering the hub. These terrace areas were previously very hidden amongst the gardens, accessible only by a single pathway. Now, as you walk toward Plaza Gardens Restaurant from the hub, they’ve connected up the area on your right with the pathway which leads from the Tips Board to Discovery Arcade.
There’s now therefore the possibility of an additional route between Main Street and the eastern side of Central Plaza, for Discoveryland and Fantasyland, plus the benefit that more people might discover these often-overlooked seating areas.
All in all, some fairly minimal changes to ease flow through the Plaza during shows, completed to a very high standard indeed. Only a fan would know the paths weren’t always like this.
In fact, only fans like us would care! Happy exploring…
Aerial view: Google; Pictures: Scrooge.