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stitchhead
01-02-2004, 10:00 PM
Right across from Disneyland lies the California Adventure. It features some old attractions brought here that were used to, such as Muppet Vision 3D, and the soon to be Tower of Terror. And also, they have attractions we have never seen before, such as the Grizzly River Run, Soarin' Over California, California Screamin', etc. But could Disney have done better? Instead of the California Adventure, could we have had, say, an MGM Studios instead? I think that an MGM Studios would have been great, fittign in with the whole Hollywood, California thing. Or how about an Epcot? Or Animal Kingdom? I can figure some pros and cons to this whole issue.

Pros... - new attractions such as Soarin'
- new theme park that Florida doesnt have, thus being
unique in California
- new experience for the locals
- more for tourists to do in the Disneyland Resort

Cons... - too many movies
- not enough blending of attractions. yes, there's a lot to
there, but there's not enough stuff for the little ones
who are either too short to ride or don't like thrill rides
- according to Annual Pass Holders, it gets boring really
fast. It doesn't have that spark that the other theme
parks in Florida does.

So, did Disney do a good job with the opening of the California Adventure, or should they have put something else in such as MGM Studios or Epcot?

Not Afraid
01-02-2004, 10:16 PM
Well, what drugs were they on when they decided to go for the theme. "Hey, I know! We'll make a theme park aroud the theme of California....and we'll put it in California! What a great idea!!!"

It just is the thrill it should've been. When I see the ideas for Westcot and Disney Seas in Long Beach, it STILL makes me cry.

Yes, there are good things about the park, but not many GREAT things, which is what makes Disneyland so special. DCA was planned and built by Walt Disney's evil twin.

TP2000
01-03-2004, 01:16 AM
Originally posted by stitchhead
So, did Disney do a good job with the opening of the California Adventure, or should they have put something else in such as MGM Studios or Epcot?

I'm not one of those who think the "California" theme of DCA, in the middle of the real California, is inherently flawed. However, I do feel that DCA as it was designed, built and opened to the paying public is inherently flawed.

DCA was obviously built on the cheap, and it shows in too many places. I'm sure Walt in his 1960's "flushed with cash" heyday cut a few corners himself, or allowed the sharp pencil boys to cut a few corners if they persisted. But he obviously did it so artfully, and so skillfully, that it didn't make you feel that you had been cheated out of anything. Where Disneyland leaves you feeling appreciated and respected, DCA leaves you feeling ever-so-slightly taken advantage of and a bit cheated out of 47 bucks.

DCA's queues aren't quite as themed as they should be, especially in Paradise Pier. The attractions themselves aren't as "over the top Disney" as they should be. And there aren't enough attractions to justify the same price as Disneyland to begin with. The clever and well designed details are too few and far between. And in some places around DCA you can just feel the late 1990's "Trendy Management by PowerPoint From Those Who Don't Understand The Product" oozing from every corner.

But I don't think DCA is a lost cause, and I don't think they need to change the theme to "Disney's American Adventure" to salvage the place in the long term. It just needs some more really unique E Ticket attractions, a great night lagoon show, a heavy layer of additional detailing in many sections of the Park, and a polishing up or bulldozing of the ugly sections (Route 66 & the entrance plaza spring immediately to mind).

All of that will take some cash though, and it seems like the modern day DisneyCo has no stomach for that type of thing. Even though their reputation is on the line, in a marketplace where they established their theme park reputation in the first place.

It's no wonder Pressler bailed out and fled to The Gap. He probably saw the writing on the wall and knew his major responsibility that he brought from planning to reality was a big mistake. It will likely take massive amounts of capital and energy to get DCA pointed in the right direction. And Pressler, who is no dummy, obviously realized he made some major mistakes in his 1990's theme park career.

JeffG
01-03-2004, 01:34 AM
It is nice to see a new topic getting discussed here... :)

-Jeff

DL4EVER
01-03-2004, 09:41 AM
Well, where in the blue blazes are you going to put a California themed park? Idaho? I like the California theme, and the park, because although it may be a gross interpretation of the real thing, I wouldn't have gotten to see the entire real thing, so it was the best thing that could, from what I can tell, sum up California into something that you can do in a day.

I agree, it isn't perfect, but then again, neither was AK when they opened that, or MGM when they opened that. Same goes for EPCOT, too many people thought it was a joke to actually have to learn while at a theme park. I have full confidence that changes and additions will be made, and DCA will eventually turn out just fine.

Also, keep in mind, DCA isn't meant to be Disneyland, Disneyland Jr., Disneyland 2.0, or anything like that. Although we have become accustomed to certain "standards" when it comes to Disney, we need to realize that DCA is not meant to be compared to the park right across the Esplanade.

Also, I'm sure that Disneyland itself gets just as boring to AP holders if they have prolonged exposure to it, but that is strictly my opinion, rather unbased actually.

screamin4ever
01-03-2004, 10:37 AM
The DCA theme can fit ANY hit attraction Disney wants to clone from any other park plus any new, original attraction they dream up (fingers crossed).

So yes it works. It would have worked as just plain Disney Adventure Park too. The problem has been not enough big, immersive rides and a Resort president who thought he was building a mall to sell product.

Biggest mistakes (IMO):
1. Trying to move away from Disney characters and focus on hip pop culture.
2. Not enough "Disney" rides.
3. As said before, too many films.
4. Too many shops and restaurants instead of rides.
5. Too many off-the-shelf rides, especially Mulholland Madness and Bugs Land didn't help in that department although it plussed the character issue.

As long as Disney continues to add more traditional Disney attractions the park will be great. I'd still like to see a giant sand castle in place of the sun icon at the entry, but that's just me.

I would rather the park opened smaller with hit attractions than slapping together Route 66 junk. Imagine Bugs Land WITH great dark ride instead of Route 66 at opening.

The park just wasn't ready to be opened. That's my gut feeling.

Tigertail777
01-03-2004, 11:29 AM
Its decent as a half finished (in EVERY part) park, but definately way way not worth the price.

I find it very very hard NOT to compare it to Disneyland when everything screams for me to do so: first and foremost the price, it isnt a full park like Disneyland, not by a long shot it shouldnt have a price anywhere NEAR Disneyland (yeah sure AP's are all fine and dandy for those that live close enough to use them, for those of us that dont, DCA is NOT I repeat NOT worth $47).

Secondly its right across the freakin esplanade for crying out loud, within eyesight of Disneyland... how can you NOT compare??? The way its set up, if you dont know any better, it looks like its included WITH disneyland, it really does not look like a seperate park.

I agree that it doesnt look like it was ready to open and they did a rush job to finish. While I am not sure about the theme (I think it COULD work if done right), I know I was highly dissappointed in the lack of small details... the very thing that makes Disneyland magical. The worst offender in this area was GRR... please dont tell me I paid $47 to see faded lifevests, and sunbleached rafts... its called grizzly river.. where are the darn grizzly's??? What is there to look at???

OK thats enough for now... I have already stated the other stuff before.

lazyboy97O
01-03-2004, 06:30 PM
I don't think you can say anything is a bad idea until it has been tryed. Wasn't Disneyland itself supposed to be a bad idea that would ultimately flop? I also think any park can be good. I think the park is killed because of its intentions. I'm sure if let free to do what ever, the Imagineers could make DCA a wonderful place that would call locals to experience their home state. But I think DCA was built looking for money. But I guess I'll have to go to DCA first.

danyoung
01-03-2004, 06:58 PM
Aside from the obvious problems in the park (lack of E ticket rides, lack of AA rides), I think there's an even bigger problem that separates it from the original. Walt's Disneyland was not designed by park builders - it was designed by movie people, storytellers who knew how to set up a scene, keep your attention till the payoff, and make you feel good for watching. The way the DL lands blend together, (well, at least till they made the boneheaded move of putting the Tomorrowland rockets right at the center of the park, but I digress) along with the berm surrounding the park, makes for a much more immersive experience. This is sadly lacking from DCA (and from most of the modern day Disney parks, truth be told).

The original idea was to come up with a great story, and then come up with a fun technology to tell the story. DCA didn't have that as its objective, from its obvious use of off the shelf technology. Other than Soarin' there is no ground breaking attraction in the park, and the paying customers quickly realized it.

That indefinable magic that is Disneyland is lacking in DCA. And I fear that adding a few more attractions here and there isn't going to make up for that.

danyoung
01-03-2004, 07:00 PM
Originally posted by JeffG
It is nice to see a new topic getting discussed here... :)

-Jeff

Hey, as long as people still wanna yack, what's the harm? ;)

rcman2001
01-03-2004, 08:40 PM
I think it would do better if it had more disney "magic". Also, every disney park has an enterence icon, and dca doesn't even have one, and if that sun waterfall is it, then that doesn't deserve to be it. At least build a sandcastle surounded by neat colorful ladscaping, or a mickey sorcerers hat like at mgm to make it feel more "Disney". Also, I think if the park were in florida, it would be awesome because its an "escape". If you were to walk into the park in florida you would forget about your hotel room or florida and feel totally imersed in a california wonderland. But since its located in california, you never "escape", you just see crappy recreations of your surroundings, and dont feel anywhere special. The park's landscaping needs improvement (more trees), and all faded paint themeing needs to be repainted with bright colors (warf). The only way to make it up to disney standards, even when you add new E-ticket attractions, is to destroy the park completely bcause disney is all about magic and this parks isn't just lacking magic, its absolutily lifeless in it's curent location (meaning anywhere else in the world would be an ideal location and make for one of the best theme parks). I talk about "escape" a lot, and what I mean is, when you walk into disneyland, you are sucked into a magical fantasyland whith cool spaceports and colorful rides, but when you walk into dca, you never leave the place you came from. Sadly, it didn't just make itself look bad, it brought down Disneyland with it.

For improvements, they need more disney characters, and some new broadway style shows like Beauty and the Beast or Lion King. Plus, Tower of Terror was done absolutily cheap, and without the 5th demention room, it lacks allmost all twilight zone theming. I obviously didn't ride it yet, so i dont know how they made up for that, but from what I know its cheap. Eisners damage has been done, and even if Roy Disney was in charge, repairs from Eisner's damage will cost millions of dollars.

screamin4ever
01-03-2004, 10:27 PM
Originally posted by danyoung
Aside from the obvious problems in the park (lack of E ticket rides, lack of AA rides), I think there's an even bigger problem that separates it from the original. Walt's Disneyland was not designed by park builders - it was designed by movie people, storytellers who knew how to set up a scene, keep your attention till the payoff, and make you feel good for watching.....

I think you are right on here. DCA was designed in the worst possible way by giving sections to imagineers and some to "mall guys" to develop with a limited budget and I'm sure Eisner/Pressler stood over a micromanaged. DCA was designed by a committee. And you know that a donkey is a horse created by a committee!

That said, it does have some strengths that can be built upon and hopefully money will begin to be pulled from bad ideas like X-Games and put toward fantastic attractions. DCA needs a New Orleans Square kind of addition with a POTC type mega dark ride and a Haunted Mansion type attraction to boot. Lay off the thrill for the next addition until the park achieves a balance. Let the Imgaineers go for it in a big way for a change. Just give them a chance to wow the public with the financial support of the company. How about for DCA's 5th birthday? Hmmmmmm? Please??? Sell off something if necessary.....oh ABC television perhaps?

sambo
01-03-2004, 10:28 PM
DCA is a half park. Half thought out, half executed, half [Self-masked word deleted] attractions, subsequently half the expected attendance. The thought of a "California" themed park in California is one of the stupidest ideas on the planet. Most of the Disneyland attendance is from Californians. Most of the attendance at DCA would be Californians. Gee I'm gonna take a trip somewhere, pay outrageous prices to see a shoddy and not very well thought out version of what I can see only a short drive from my own backyard. Hmmm, they must think me an idiot... Considering it was a Pressler idea - I'm sure that's the case.

Unfortunately the real idiot is gone, along with a huge portion of his staff, but we are stuck with this ... "thing".

I'm not saying DCA is all bad. It has some good things. But it is a park that thinks it could be a great one some day, but is unaware of it's own crippling insufficiencies. It needs to be dismantled, sold to the highest bidder, and the space made available for the expansion of the real gem - Disneyland.

...and the thought that one shouldn't compare Disneyland and DCA is so patently ridiculous that I won't even go there...

Mod note: Please do not self-mask words. Use words that are not on our censored word list, don't self mask (http://mousepad.mouseplanet.com/showthread.php?threadid=7985). (you can test by clicking "preview" instead of "post.")

teach
01-04-2004, 08:57 AM
Just curious.

IF one could turn back time... A)How many people would rather see a parking lot instead of having DCA built at all(with no thoughts of another park being constructed)?... B)How many people would rather have DCA as it is at this time (realizing it will change over time)?

Just A or B in response, curious in a statistical way.

DL4EVER
01-04-2004, 11:57 AM
Originally posted by rcman2001
Plus, Tower of Terror was done absolutily cheap, and without the 5th demention room, it lacks allmost all twilight zone theming. I obviously didn't ride it yet, so i dont know how they made up for that, but from what I know its cheap.

The Fifth Dimension room in itself was a failed attempt at an effect, also the theming of it was horribly rushed. Also, what do you define as Twilight Zone theming? Just from what they showed on the Parade, ToT's indoor queue does not look cheap in any way, also, what costs more money: A) An attraction that has to be tested relentlessly, because it has never been done before and they must test and fabricate everything completely new or B) An attraction that HAS been done before, thus not nearly as much testing and revisions to it. I believe it would probably be B. Also, can you find some reliable figures that would demonstrate the cost of MGM's ToT compared to DCA's ToT? Sure, clearly at DCA we won't be waiting outside in some dense, overgrown garden, but not only did that not make the ride for me, it doesn't fit DCA ToT's setting. Also, the 5th Dimension room didn't MAKE the ride for me, so I say good riddance to it, but that's just my opinion. From the way I see it, MGM's ToT is designed to be like a secluded, abandoned hotel, somewhere up in the hills. To me, DCA's ToT looks as though it is an abandoned hotel streetside.

I know that a lot of people have and will call ToT cheap because it's not going for the dense, outdoor garden, but it shouldn't be connected with the ride itself.

Also, which resort do you think has been getting more TLC budget wise? That doesn't actually need to be answered, any looking back at additions to both resorts from between 1990 and now suffices. To me, it is clear that Disneyland Resort is getting screwed budget wise, and that Disney World is getting raised upon a pedestal, but then again, WDW has become Disney Company's flagship park per say, and if a quote from Walt about Disneyland coming first is accurate, then it has grossly strayed from that.

And last but not least, as I have said countless times, any Tower debate is moot, because TDS' ToT will be better than both of the US ToT's put together, simply because of the almost non-existant budget cap for any attraction heading to Japan.

danyoung
01-04-2004, 06:04 PM
Originally posted by teach
A)How many people would rather see a parking lot instead of having DCA built at all(with no thoughts of another park being constructed)?...

I'm glad they did a park, and I find a way to enjoy DCA, even tho it's not all it could be. Still, I have fond memories of that HUGE parking lot, and the walk from your car (or motel across the street) up through the covered walkway that extended out, and getting closer and closer to the gates, hearing Jack Wagner's voice telling you today's park hours, etc. Much more magical for me than the current esplanade!

sambo
01-04-2004, 08:07 PM
Originally posted by teach
Just curious.

IF one could turn back time... A)How many people would rather see a parking lot instead of having DCA built at all(with no thoughts of another park being constructed)?... B)How many people would rather have DCA as it is at this time (realizing it will change over time)?

Just A or B in response, curious in a statistical way.

A for me...

Bruce Bergman
01-04-2004, 09:17 PM
Originally posted by teach
Just curious.

IF one could turn back time... A)How many people would rather see a parking lot instead of having DCA built at all(with no thoughts of another park being constructed)?... B)How many people would rather have DCA as it is at this time (realizing it will change over time)?

Just A or B in response, curious in a statistical way.

B. Good idea, but with caveats - DCA has gotten off to a really rocky start, but it's up and running.

Although they should have already had done their homework and realized that they needed more kid stuff (Flik's Fun Fair and something else), a large entertainment venue (the Rocking the Bay/Skatepark area at the Golden State Amphitheatre, but done semi-permanent with more seating area), and a couple more E-ticket rides (Tower of Terror and another original) already approved and in development before they opened the gates.

Rather than making it all look like "Oh, Darn, we need more things to do here - and until we get them we'll be bleeding money" afterthoughts...

Hindsight is 20-20, but we were pointing out the problems from the get-go in public forums like this where they couldn't help but hear about them, and the upper management calling the shots about the new park deliberately weren't listening. (As in fingers in their ears, "La La La Laaaa, I can't hear you....")

Maybe they'll learn to listen to a focus group and get the answers they need to hear, rather than tailoring the questions they ask to get the answers back that they want to hear....

On second thought, that will never happen - it would make too much sense. :p (2004 Bruce L. Bergman)

:fez: --<< Bruce >>--

sleepyjeff
01-04-2004, 10:35 PM
A. I dearly miss the old Parking Lot. If DCA were gone, I could be just as easily entertained at a county fair---sans the un-realized expectation of Disney Joy. Also; without DCA I am convinced Disneyland would be flush with attractions-both new and old-that they don't have now.

:crying:

sediment
01-05-2004, 09:29 AM
I choose A, but there should always be thoughts about new parks or expanding current ones. Do it right the first time, though.

What could have been done instead?
1. Build Disneyland outward into the parking lot slowly.
2. Determine the backlot first and build it.
3. Build the parking structure.
4. Start building the expansion.
5. Make railroad a figure eight around the expanded area.
6. Build new hotel. Doesn't need to be right next to DLR (see #7).
7. Expand the monorail to stop at new hotel (as it was supposed to long time ago), as well as to nearest Metrolink station.
8. New theme ideas: Pinocchio's Pleasure Island; Pixarland (after swallowing it whole, but keeping it independent like Maximax);

Problem is that DCA as it is today was planned to appeal to a different demographic, yet the overall "vacation destination" idea clashes with that: the same people are being lured to DLR to partake in DCA and DL, so why make the Resort schizo? Do we hear WDW's parks described as appealing to exclusively different demographics? It was made to attempt to keep people from going to other places in SoCal. It will work for about two years, then people should go back to staying at a central place between SFMM and SeaWorld, doing DL for the one day and avoiding DCA until it's included in a one-day parkhopper.

sneekin-in
01-05-2004, 11:01 PM
Originally posted by sleepyjeff
A. I dearly miss the old Parking Lot. If DCA were gone, I could be just as easily entertained at a county fair---sans the un-realized expectation of Disney Joy. Also; without DCA I am convinced Disneyland would be flush with attractions-both new and old-that they don't have now.

:crying:

Sleepyjeff, have you changed your position on DCA:confused:
I thought the last time you were at Disneyland you said
michael Eisner had really created something special ( DCA ):p

ModHatter
01-06-2004, 12:43 AM
You know, DCA is flawed. At its opening, so was Disneyland. people seem to forget the creation of New Orleans Square and the Tomorrowland Project.

Personally, I am hoping for the day when Disneyland can secretly buy up the east side of Harbor. I may not live to see it, but if done, DCA can be the park it really should be.

I really don't want too many "establishedcharacter"-based rides at DCA (or Disneyland itself, for that matter). Aladdin at Hyperion is fine, because it's not YET ANOTHER 2.5-dimensional dark ride. But think about it... the classic rides we know and love at Disneyland are largely Imagineered without existing as a cartoon or live-action film first. Bring on the AAs for sure, but as with Pirates, create a great RIDE, and the movie will come about later.

A few basic lessons for DCA's future:
Live shows over movies. A total of one movie is more than enough for the entire resort.
Create a hub. It feels like it takes forever to get to Paradise Pier, and if you don't backtrack, you're stuck in an endless Kiddieland with zero appeal.
Create a Railroad (perhaps in tandem with Amtrak, making each car an observatory on a mini-Coast Starlight route) or PeopleMover to make navigation easier, to allow for better views of the scenery when DCA gets some, and to show off areas of the park that visitors might not explore otherwise.

Tutter
01-06-2004, 02:02 AM
I think DCA is a good idea overall. I like the theme to be honest. I would say that for me the biggest problem seems to be the layout - the lack of a central hub has been mentioned - but it means you end up walking to get to somewhere without any shops or attractions beside you. It feels too open (if that makes sense).

I understand the point of paradise pier but it does have that tacky feel I thought Disney originally wanted to get away from.

I suppose I am saying I quite like what's there but it doesn't feel cosy enough.

ppmuse
01-06-2004, 09:14 AM
Honestly, I haven't come to a conclusion about CA Adventure. The restaurants are probably the best of both parks. Screamin and Grizzly and Soarin are great rides. I would agree with you on the fact that there are way too many 3-D movies there. Besides Muppets, I probably won't see any of them again. But I have hopes for the future.

As for MGM/Disney Studios, it probably wouldn't do very well here. Universal and Warner Brothers are too close. Also, Epcot and Animal Kingdom need a lot more room than the parking lot at Disneyland. Animal Kingdom would probably need twice the space. Epcot would probably fit, just future world, no country's.

The problem with Disneyland is space. There isn't enough of it. At WDW, you will always be able to escape the outside world, while at Disneyland, the outside world is just a few minutes walk away. CA Adventure will be a great park, they just need more rides that are "E-Ticket" rides that haven't appeared anywhere else. Like Screamin, and Soarin (unfortunately, it will be opening at WDW in a year or two).

averagecuppajoe
01-20-2004, 04:05 PM
The debate as to how flawed and underwhelming DCA is endless. I feel that DL has a charm and magic that none of the other parks posses.

(One valid mention that I had forgotten was DL minus New Orleans Square, DL minus Toontown.....minus Big Thunder Ranch, minus Critter Country, and so on. It did take time.)

My biggest beef is being charged full park price for half a park. I left DCA with a feeling that was new to me on a Disney trip: ripped-off and taken advantage of.

How can you offer so much at one park and so much less at the adjacent park, ask for the same amount of money, and expect people to be a-ok with that?! I'm insulted that, that pr--- Eisner, thinks that I," Joe Public" wouldn't have a problem with this. What am I, stupid?!

Other theme parks have opened smaller adjacent parks but are smart enough to ask a fair price which is "less", than the parent park.

GREED. That's how DCA reads to me. And no, that's not a very warm and cozy feeling, indeed.