‘Star Wars’ Land update: Disneyland’s Rivers of America route nearly done

The steel is climbing out of the ground as “Star Wars” land continues to take shape at Disneyland.

But while that land will open in 2019, crews are rapidly finishing work on the rockwork and landscaping around the new route for the Rivers of America. The waterway is scheduled to be open to boat traffic again in the latter half of 2017, as is the Big Thunder Trail that connects Frontierland to the back side of Fantasyland.

Related to that work, the steam engine of the Disneyland Railroad that has been on display at the Frontierland/New Orleans Square station has been taken back to the Roundhouse. The remaining items on display on the other side of the tracks should be removed by Monday, May 8, as well.

Other refurbishments at Disneyland include the Guided Tours Garden and the Indiana Jones Adventure – Temple of the Forbidden Eye, the latter will reopen by summer.

Over at Disney California Adventure, workers are putting the finishing touches on the new “Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout!” attraction that will open to the public by Memorial Day weekend.

Those seeking an extended preview of Disney’s Johnny Depp-starring “Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Men Tell No Tales,” the fifth movie in the series, can do so at the Sunset Theater near Monsters, Inc.

Disney Junior is still closed, but expected to open with a new show for the summer.

Meanwhile, workers are still pouring the foundation for the Splitsville Luxury Lanes in Downtown Disney.

Click through the slideshow to see more, including some beautiful roses currently blooming at Disney California Adventure.

  • Where there was once a giant hole in the ground, concrete walls have grown in one of the show buildings under construction in “Star Wars” land at Disneyland. The project is so big, it takes two cranes working each day to keep up with the project’s needs. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Where there was once a giant hole in the ground, concrete walls have grown in one of the show buildings under construction in “Star Wars” land at Disneyland. The project is so big, it takes two cranes working each day to keep up with the project’s needs. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The scrim hiding the back end of the Rivers of America at Disneyland has been removed, allowing better views of the rock work that will be along the water’s edge when it reopens later in 2017. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The scrim hiding the back end of the Rivers of America at Disneyland has been removed, allowing better views of the rock work that will be along the water’s edge when it reopens later in 2017. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • A worker drives a raft to Tom Sawyer Island to work on the island, as it is still closed due to construction of “Star Wars” land at Disneyland. The island is expected to open later in 2017. The refurbishment of the Sailing Ship Columbia appears to be complete too. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    A worker drives a raft to Tom Sawyer Island to work on the island, as it is still closed due to construction of “Star Wars” land at Disneyland. The island is expected to open later in 2017. The refurbishment of the Sailing Ship Columbia appears to be complete too. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • This is the mother goose named Suzi at Disneyland. She appears to be keeping an eye on the photographer, or is looking for food for her and her two younglings, which the photographer named Kyleigh and Melissa. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    This is the mother goose named Suzi at Disneyland. She appears to be keeping an eye on the photographer, or is looking for food for her and her two younglings, which the photographer named Kyleigh and Melissa. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The rigging and masts shine in the sunlight on the Sailing Ship Columbia at Disneyland. The ship looks ready to set sail on the Rivers of America, but for now sits in Fowler’s Harbor. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The rigging and masts shine in the sunlight on the Sailing Ship Columbia at Disneyland. The ship looks ready to set sail on the Rivers of America, but for now sits in Fowler’s Harbor. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Spotted through a crack in the fence, two workers appear to be building a dock on Tom Sawyer Island while the back part of the Rivers of America remains dry of water during this construction phase related to “Star Wars” land at Disneyland. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Spotted through a crack in the fence, two workers appear to be building a dock on Tom Sawyer Island while the back part of the Rivers of America remains dry of water during this construction phase related to “Star Wars” land at Disneyland. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Rock work around the Rivers of America is really taking shape at Disneyland as this phase of the “Star Wars” land project nears completion. This area should open up some time in the second half of 2017. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Rock work around the Rivers of America is really taking shape at Disneyland as this phase of the “Star Wars” land project nears completion. This area should open up some time in the second half of 2017. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Trees planted behind the rock work around the Rivers of America and along the Big Thunder Trail block the views of “Star Wars” land, as was the intention all along. The area along the trail should open up at Disneyland in the second half of 2017. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Trees planted behind the rock work around the Rivers of America and along the Big Thunder Trail block the views of “Star Wars” land, as was the intention all along. The area along the trail should open up at Disneyland in the second half of 2017. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • This photo, taken through a scrim to block views by guests at Disneyland, is of the rock work and more around the northern section of the re-routed Rivers of America. The water body got a new route to make room for “Star Wars” land. The river is supposed to open to boat traffic some time in the second half of 2017, while the new land opens in 2019. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    This photo, taken through a scrim to block views by guests at Disneyland, is of the rock work and more around the northern section of the re-routed Rivers of America. The water body got a new route to make room for “Star Wars” land. The river is supposed to open to boat traffic some time in the second half of 2017, while the new land opens in 2019. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Two floating barges are covered in tarps on the eastern side of the Rivers of America at Disneyland, probably related to the eventual opening of the river to reach their final destination. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Two floating barges are covered in tarps on the eastern side of the Rivers of America at Disneyland, probably related to the eventual opening of the river to reach their final destination. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Some of the rock work around the Rivers of America appears to be nearly complete at Disneyland as the area takes shape to be open to visits by people on the river boats, or on the Big Thunder Trail some time in the second half of 2017. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Some of the rock work around the Rivers of America appears to be nearly complete at Disneyland as the area takes shape to be open to visits by people on the river boats, or on the Big Thunder Trail some time in the second half of 2017. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The steam engine that has been on display at the Frontierland/New Orleans Square Station of the Disneyland Railroad has been returned to the Roundhouse. The rest of the displays will be closed and removed by Monday, May 8, 2017. All part of the preparations to get the railroad running again some time in the second half of 2017. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The steam engine that has been on display at the Frontierland/New Orleans Square Station of the Disneyland Railroad has been returned to the Roundhouse. The rest of the displays will be closed and removed by Monday, May 8, 2017. All part of the preparations to get the railroad running again some time in the second half of 2017. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The original boiler from the #2 engine (the E.P. Ripley) was turned into a display model to explain how steam engines work. It has been on display at the Frontierland/New Orleans Square station for nearly a year while the Disneyland Railroad was closed due to the construction of “Star Wars” land. The display will be closed this weekend, and the display removed by Monday, May 8, 2018. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The original boiler from the #2 engine (the E.P. Ripley) was turned into a display model to explain how steam engines work. It has been on display at the Frontierland/New Orleans Square station for nearly a year while the Disneyland Railroad was closed due to the construction of “Star Wars” land. The display will be closed this weekend, and the display removed by Monday, May 8, 2018. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Guided Tours garden at Disneyland is getting refurbished. Besides the guided tours, this is the starting point for the “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps” tour too. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Guided Tours garden at Disneyland is getting refurbished. Besides the guided tours, this is the starting point for the “Walk in Walt’s Disneyland Footsteps” tour too. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • While the Guided Tours garden is closed for refurbishment, visitors to Disneyland are directed by this sign to visit Disneyland’s City Hall to sign up for the tour, which does carry an extra charge besides the admission to the park. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    While the Guided Tours garden is closed for refurbishment, visitors to Disneyland are directed by this sign to visit Disneyland’s City Hall to sign up for the tour, which does carry an extra charge besides the admission to the park. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The Indiana Jones Adventure – Temple of the Forbidden Eye is closed for refurbishment at Disneyland, but will open up in a few weeks. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The Indiana Jones Adventure – Temple of the Forbidden Eye is closed for refurbishment at Disneyland, but will open up in a few weeks. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Disney Junior, a show for the younger set, is closed and getting retooled into a new show at Disney California Adventure. It is expected to open with the new show by summer 2017. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Disney Junior, a show for the younger set, is closed and getting retooled into a new show at Disney California Adventure. It is expected to open with the new show by summer 2017. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Seeking a preview of the fifth installment are ye? Well at Disney California Adventure, now showing is a preview of “Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Men Tell No Tales” in the Sunset Showcase theater in the Hollywood land area of the park. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Seeking a preview of the fifth installment are ye? Well at Disney California Adventure, now showing is a preview of “Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Men Tell No Tales” in the Sunset Showcase theater in the Hollywood land area of the park. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The folks in the entertainment department at Disney California Adventure have installed a new stage near the Monsters, Inc. attraction for its Disney Performing Arts. Here musical groups from a variety of schools perform each month. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The folks in the entertainment department at Disney California Adventure have installed a new stage near the Monsters, Inc. attraction for its Disney Performing Arts. Here musical groups from a variety of schools perform each month. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • While Disneyland Resort’s custodial staff prides themselves on keeping things clean and removing cobwebs from nearly everywhere, except attractions like the Haunted Mansion, they know better then to touch Spiderman’s web slinging in Disney California Adventure. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    While Disneyland Resort’s custodial staff prides themselves on keeping things clean and removing cobwebs from nearly everywhere, except attractions like the Haunted Mansion, they know better then to touch Spiderman’s web slinging in Disney California Adventure. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • What was the Tower of Terror has pretty much disappeared, but the construction walls are still up around what will be the new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! attraction in Disney California Adventure. The new attraction is expected to open to the public Memorial Day weekend of 2017. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    What was the Tower of Terror has pretty much disappeared, but the construction walls are still up around what will be the new Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout! attraction in Disney California Adventure. The new attraction is expected to open to the public Memorial Day weekend of 2017. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Grizzly River Rapids is once again flowing and getting riders wet after its annual winter/spring refurbishment at Disney California Adventure. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Grizzly River Rapids is once again flowing and getting riders wet after its annual winter/spring refurbishment at Disney California Adventure. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Some things, like this Prickly Pear cactus, need no refurbishment to show their colors, as this one in the Cars Land area bloomed with bright colors at Disney California Adventure. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Some things, like this Prickly Pear cactus, need no refurbishment to show their colors, as this one in the Cars Land area bloomed with bright colors at Disney California Adventure. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • These beautiful pink roses are in the view area for World of Color at Disney California Adventure. Their name is Sexy Rexy Rose, or Rosa Floribunda, Sexy Rosa. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    These beautiful pink roses are in the view area for World of Color at Disney California Adventure. Their name is Sexy Rexy Rose, or Rosa Floribunda, Sexy Rosa. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • This planter near the parking lot tram station in Downtown Disney was getting a major overhaul by some of the Disneyland Resorts horticulture staff. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    This planter near the parking lot tram station in Downtown Disney was getting a major overhaul by some of the Disneyland Resorts horticulture staff. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Not much to see where the Splitsville Luxury Lanes is being built. Crews behind the construction are diligently working on the foundations for the building next to the Build A Bear shop in Downtown Disney. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Not much to see where the Splitsville Luxury Lanes is being built. Crews behind the construction are diligently working on the foundations for the building next to the Build A Bear shop in Downtown Disney. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The swimming pool at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is still closed, but the pool now has water in it as crews work to get it open in time for the 2017 summer season after a major refurbishment. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The swimming pool at the Grand Californian Hotel & Spa is still closed, but the pool now has water in it as crews work to get it open in time for the 2017 summer season after a major refurbishment. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Trees have been planted along the berm that surrounds the new route for the Rivers of America at Disneyland. Meanwhile, construction continues on the “Star Wars” land project in the foreground, with Big Thunder Mountain rising in the distance above the trees. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Trees have been planted along the berm that surrounds the new route for the Rivers of America at Disneyland. Meanwhile, construction continues on the “Star Wars” land project in the foreground, with Big Thunder Mountain rising in the distance above the trees. (Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Knott’s opens new ‘Sol Spin’ thrill ride

BUENA PARK – Riders were spun up in the air, turned upside down and spun around on the new “Sol Spin” ride at Knott’s Berry Farm.

The farm quietly opened the new thrill ride Friday, after getting the okay from state inspectors.

Riders on the new Sol Spin ride at Knott's Berry Farm. The thrill ride holds up to 36 riders at a time, six on each arm. It spins around, goes up in the air, and turns riders upside down. (Courtesy, Knott's Berry Farm)
Riders on the new Sol Spin ride at Knott’s Berry Farm. The thrill ride holds up to 36 riders at a time, six on each arm. It spins around, goes up in the air, and turns riders upside down. (Courtesy, Knott’s Berry Farm)

Construction for the new ride started in the fall last year, at the same time the Knott’s started work on a new restaurant. The heavy rains over the winter stalled work on the restaurant, but the ride was completed in time for the upcoming summer season.

The new ride sits on the concrete platform where the Windseeker ride once stood, during its short stay at the theme park.

That ride had several breakdowns, causing state regulators to ask for many changes to its evacuation procedures. Knott’s removed the ride shortly after that.

Visitors watch riders on the new Sol Spin ride at Knott's Berry Farm. The thrill ride holds up to 36 riders at a time, six on each arm. It spins around, goes up in the air, and turns riders upside down. The ride is on the platform where the Windseeker once stood in the Fiesta Village area of the theme park. (Courtesy, Knott's Berry Farm)
Visitors watch riders on the new Sol Spin ride at Knott’s Berry Farm. The thrill ride holds up to 36 riders at a time, six on each arm. It spins around, goes up in the air, and turns riders upside down. The ride is on the platform where the Windseeker once stood in the Fiesta Village area of the theme park. (Courtesy, Knott’s Berry Farm)

Sol Spin sits in the Fiesta Village of the theme park, near the merry-go-round and the Jaguar roller coaster. Riders can go as high as six stories into the air while spinning around.

There is a minimum height requirement of 54 inches to go on the ride.

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