Wednesday, October 17, 2007

California Adventure ReBooted

When the Walt Disney Co. began tearing up the old Disneyland parking lot, I thought: "Hot Dog! A new amusement park going in! It's probably going to be something!"

Instead, it turned out to be ... pretty awful. Acres of cement. Carny rides. A big shallow pond reflecting the big ferris wheel and rollercoaster. Also a ghastly attraction called "Hollywood Limo," the worst dark ride ever conceived by the mind of man.

Happily, since CA's opening, the company has made slow but steady progress in making it semi-decent. More happily, they now seem ready to improve it big time:

Walt Disney Co. said Wednesday that it is planning a major overhaul of its troubled California Adventure park near its cornerstone Disneyland park in Anaheim, Calif., and indicated the entire facility may be renamed.

Disney plans to add at least 12 acres as part of an attraction centered on its recent "Cars" movie, co-produced with its Pixar unit, as well as a new entryway, a "Little Mermaid" attraction and what it calls a "nighttime spectacular."

Any company that has the good sense to get rid of "Hollywood Limo" has to be doing something right. Diz will also be calling on J. Lasseter and Co. to bop the place up...

Disney will lean heavily on its Pixar unit for creative input; both Rasulo and Iger said Pixar's John Lasseter is intimately involved in the designs for many of the rides. Further, Pixar software will be used on several attractions.

When they jackhammer a couple of acres of cement, and deep-six the silly-ass lake, I'm there.


Anonymous said...

"When they jackhammer a couple of acres of cement, and deep-six the silly-ass lake, I'm there."

ME TOO! That will provide more entertainment in a few days than the entire park has provided since it's opened.

Anonymous said...

The "Lake" or Pier as they call it will remain... the area around it will be dramatically better and different. Think turn of the century Santa Barbara or Coney Island kind of Victorian feel. And the Cars Land(hate the name) is HUGE... I mean big and very nice to look at. It will open up the park and give it a lot of expansion. Oh, and there is a "partners" statue in the entrance area that compliments the one in Disneyland so very well. I loved the art. I can't wait for it to be done.

Anonymous said...

Don't get me wrong, I love pixar. They've made great stories & great characters! & DCA does need a MAJOR upgrade.
But I have 2 problems with these:

1) too much pixar. If Disney doesn't watch it there's not gonna be a Mickey (or the rest of the classic crew) for the next generation short of the same old stock art that they put on anything. Why meet Mickey when you can meet Buzz who you know & love? Outside of Mickey's Clubhouse there's nothing to attract the kids let alone any older new fans!

2) Aren't they loosing the California theme slightly? technically the films in some part were made in CA, but other than that, The Little Mermaid story takes place in Europe, right? Cars is on route 66 which is in CA, but I think radiator springs wasn't in CA but further inland. Maybe I'm wrong...

I like the Hollywood premiere at the park opening idea. Part of me is wondering where they're putting all of this & how little of the park will be accessible while they're doing all this.

Can't wait for that water show though! Can't wait, can't wait!!
I'll put my AP to use!

Anonymous said...

The way Jay was talking there may be a name change by the time DCA hits ten. So it may not be a "Californian" adventure... just an adventure.

Anonymous said...

They SHOULD get rid of the 'California' theme. What an incredibly dumb idea that was. What frickin' genius decided to make an escapist theme park where we could discover

Theme parks are supposed to transport us to places we couldn't otherwise go. They are supposed to make real what previously could only be imagined. Why would I go to some cheaply-made California facade, when the real thing is grander, better, and perfectly accessible right here?

Yes, it should be turned into Pixar Land. They are 8 years late, frankly, but I guess that's better than never. Maybe one of these days WDI will throw out all its "creative" dead-weight, get some fresh blood and ideas in there, and start doing things ahead of the curve.

Anonymous said...

Yesterday I was talking with my dental hygenist about DCA, specifically "Soarin'". She felt the missed opportunity there was not indicating what parts of California riders are soarin' over. Not sure I agree with her, but it echos what anonymous said above. I'm in a theme part experiencing the sights of California when the real California is there for the viewing right outside the gates.

Anonymous said...

> Further, Pixar software will be
> used on several attractions.

Oooooooooooo! I'm gettin' in line NOW!!! ;-P

phildoncaster said...

Looking forward to new rides from Disney/Pixar in the near future.

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