Before Disney’s California Adventure, part 2.

Previously, I showed you a bit about the state of parking in 1998 as construction on the upcoming Disney’s California Adventure began. Let’s jump ahead to the next year now.

My visit in 1999 began with me parking at the Lion King lot.

Lion King parking lot on March 23, 1999.

A tram would take guests to the “Christmas tree lot” at the front of the park. Notice the copper color scheme on Space Mountain back then, from the “new” New Tomorrowland that had recently opened.

“Christmas tree lot” tram area on March 23, 1999.

The same lots (Lion King and Pinnochio) were still being used, but this directional sign was new. Notice something added?

Parking lot sign on March 23, 1999.

A Disneyland Resort Preview Center had been opened to give guests a glimpse of things to come — specifically, Disney’s California Adventure, the Grand Californian hotel, and Downtown Disney.

The Preview Center was set up along the construction wall across from the Disneyland entrance.

Disneyland Resort Preview Center on March 23, 1999.

It was basically just a tent with some potted plants (er, potted trees?) around it, and lots of scaffolding. Because scaffolding is magic.

Disneyland Resort Preview Center tent on March 23, 1999.
Disneyland Resort Preview Center entrance on May 23, 1999.

I’d love to show you what was inside (such as all the concept art that was on the walls), but there was a strict “no photography allowed” policy — and a cast member enforcing it! (Somewhere I have a picture of the sign that says I can’t take pictures there, but I couldn’t find it at the time of this writing.)

You could, however, climb up to the top of the observation deck and take pictures of the construction progress.

Preview Center observation deck on March 23, 1999.

There wasn’t much going on at this point.

DCA construction on May 23, 1999.

They did have a panoramic photo of the view with an artist rendering overplayed on it so you could better picture what they were working on.

View of the view on March 23, 1999.

Here’s four close ups of the entire thing in stunning 640×480 resolution:

Hey, look! This hole is going to become Soarin’ Over California!

Soarin’ Over California construction on March 23, 1999.

This was also when they were building the new cast member costuming building.

Cast member costuming building construction on March 23, 1999.

And it went up much faster than DCA! Two months later and…

Cast member costuming building construction on May 12, 1999.

If you parked in the Pinnochio lot, you could see the parking structure construction:

Parking structure construction on May 11, 1999.

Although the construction made getting in and out of the park a bit inconvenient, it was a very exciting time to be visiting. In just three years the resort would more than double in size with a new theme park, high end resort hotel, and shopping complex.

But, there was still more previewing yet to be done.

Until next time…

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