Monday, July 21, 2008

Let It Begin...

It's almost that time of year again...

Get ready for a great deal of activity as DCA becomes "Disney's Wall-land Adventure". Well, maybe they won't call it that, but they should with all the construction that's supposed to begin in the Fall.

Prep work will be going on by the middle of August and by the first half of September the construction will begin. Now this will be great news to those that keep asking when it will begin, but it's going to be a bit of a pain to entertainment and operations...

Also when you watch a parade after August you are in for quite an experience. The parades will still start in Sunshine Plaza but they won't end down near the Orange Stinger. Instead they'll end about halfway through where they normally go as the parade cuts a hard left and heads through the doors near the tortilla factory. A remarkably short route for people who want to watch the festivities. But to correct the mistakes of "He Who Should Not Be Named" sacrifices must be made. Imagine if the Suits had had brains back then? We'd be getting a second wave of shows and E-Tickets instead of mopping up after the mess he made. Sigh... may he never, ever work again.

But the good news is that this park is finally on the road to recovery and will one day be a shining example of what a Disney theme park can be. If only common sense had prevailed in that Aspen Get-together many years ago all this wouldn't have been necessary.

If only...


Unknown said...

As always, I'll believe it when I see it.

Anonymous said...

you will believe what when you see it? the walls?

cuz they are a-coming.

or the fact that the park will be good again? haha

honor, when do you think you'll have a scoop on Disney World's 40th anniversary? There are some HUGE rumors floating about.

Unknown said...


Unless you're someone WAAAAAAY up at TWDC, I'll continue to be skeptical.

I will believe it when it's built and opened. Considering that Disney's America, WestCOT, and other ANNOUNCED projects never came to fruition, I'm going to take a wait and see approach. I'm not doubting that parts of this will happen, but I do have my doubts about ALL of it.

And regarding the 40th at WDW:

He's pretty much used that all up.

Spokker said...

It's not that anything was pushed back or delayed. They had always planned to start around this August, if I recall correctly. When they announced DCA 2.0 it was way ahead of schedule. The whole housing drama forced them to show their hand and announce their plans.

Unknown said...


I agree with you on tipping their hand -- I'm just wondering how much of that was a dog and pony show and how much will really stick.

Anonymous said...

Just got back from a three day stay at The Grand Californian always fantastic experience. The easy entrance to DCA is perfect, as is much of DCA and its relaxed atmosphere...especially if you have young kids. "Soarin'" is a World Class ride...Grizzly River Run is really fun, (especially after getting soaked and you can run back to the hotel and jump into the pool).

A special treat was discovering a Broadway quality "sidewalk show" in front of the "Disney Animation" attraction, many were unexpectedly moved to tears by these gifted performers.

These are just a few examples of the great time we have at least three times a year at DCA.

This site spends a fair amount of time ripping this park apart,(and those who helped create it), but, just like those before you Honor, who mocked Disneyland, so will those in a few years mock things like "Toy Story Mania" questioning why they would spend so much money on a simple "carnie" ride.

The reality is, some things work in theme parks...some things don't. You wanna list of attractions that are sitting in the Disneyland graveyard? Disneyland and its resort was built for kids by a visionary. The petty, nasty "Monday Morning Quarterbacking" of anything that isn't coming out of Pixar or Lasseter is quite tiresome.

Unknown said...


You hit it on the head.

The parks weren't built for kids. That's what playgrounds are. The parks were built for everyone to enjoy together.

For the love of God.

Unknown said...

And you hit it on the head by making a terribly invalid argument.

Spokker said...

"The petty, nasty "Monday Morning Quarterbacking" of anything that isn't coming out of Pixar or Lasseter is quite tiresome."

If you think a bunch of Disney nerds on the Internet are petty and nasty, go work for Disney and find out how nasty they can get behind closed doors.

Unknown said...


Haha. Awesome. And true.

Anonymous said...

Corruption, Disney's America is not the best example, to compare to DCA. Disney's America happened because Disney didn't want to go forward against lawsuits and protests, no matter how small that particular vocal minority was. Is anybody going to be filing lawsuits to prevent Disney from re-vamping DCA?

I trust Honor Hunter knows his stuff. I'm betting that it's definietly going to happen. 100% surity over the quality of the final product will only come after the walls come down. But I remain optimistic.

Unknown said...
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Anonymous said...

dear ,spokker,

I'm off to the Disney commissary in ten minutes, (they close at 2:30). I'll think of you while I'm dining:) Ha awesome is that?

Unknown said...


And I will continue to remain realistic, as opposed to "optimistic."

I'm more concerned about what's there today than what "is going to be there" or "might be there" in the future. Right now, the park is a stinker. And I think bigger fixes need to be made than what is happening, but that's off-topic.

Honor, to his credit, does get a lot right, I just think that his exuberance needs to be tempered, at times, just as I would imagine he thinks my "Debbie Downer" attitude does. I think that there is probably a happy medium between the two of us that is more likely what's the prevailing view and what will realistically occur at DCA.

And as an aside, I feel that HKDL is in a much better position to "make it" in our critical eyes. DCA, and to an extant Walt Disney Studios Paris are both just horrible ideas from the get-go :(

Spokker said...

And it's not always a bad thing. Sometimes it is, when creative dudes get ousted due to petty politics.

But sometimes it's good. John Lasseter has explained that in-house screenings of Pixar films are not pat on the back sessions. They seriously examine the film and expose any flaws before release.

I'm sure there have been a ton of arguments over the direction of a film and we've seen directors being taken off projects due to disagreements.

I think that comments like "DCA sucks" is a far cry from the mud slung behind closed doors at Disney. Some of it may result in better projects, some of it may result in worse projects, but it's difficult to determine those things from an outsider's point of view.

Spokker said...

Hey Honor Hunter, are you into the Studio Ghibli films at all? I did a search and I could find nothing about Hayao Miyazaki on your blog.

Key people at Pixar, most notably Lasseter, cite Miyazaki as a huge inspiration for the way they approach animation. I would assume that you'd naturally cover those films.

I would be really surprised if you had seen say, Spirited Away, and not loved it.

C33 said...

Well first of all, I doubt that the shorter parade route will be much of a problem. Even on very busy days it is never hard to find a great spot along the route to watch the parade. It never has been, either, all the way back to Eureka.

You know I think the problems with a lot of these blogs- be it Honor, Al Lutz, Jim Hill or whomever, is that they are trying to cover a constantly changing landscape. Things change. Things that seemed for sure get canceled, new things get announced at the last minute. I think it's a little fair when plans are broken on the internet by someone, and then when they don't happen people accuse the writer of "lying" or making stuff up. Off course things change.

And to corruption's, point, we've already seen plans scaled back. The large theater facade that was going to harbor a Walt tribute is now going to remain empty. And what on earth is going to happen to MuppetVision? Who knows.

I personally find the process interesting- plans are made, then changed, then canceled, then reinstated. Those looking for concrete news can just wait until the billboards go up in Universal City. For me, I'm happy to tag along for the ride.

Spokker said...

The axing of the Walt Tribute doesn't really bother me. It would have been cool but one of the major criticisms of DCA was that it's big on shows and short on rides. I'm glad that thing was axed in order to save the red cars, a physical attraction you can actually ride on.

Another great rumor I read is that the restaurant in Carsland was cut in order to pump up the budget for Radiator Springs Racers. Things like that bode well for this expansion, even if I don't like the Cars theme itself.

Anonymous said...

sorry skeptics, but we can't kill the messenger. i'm sure ALL of the rumors have truth to them considering disney loves the blue sky phase.... trouble is though, going from blue sky to the groundbreaking doesn't always happen the way we see fit, let alone the dreams the imagineers want to come true. besides, disney rumors and gossip is fun fodder for the imagination.

Anonymous said...

DCA was all Eisner. Truth.

DCA will be so much better in the future...I can't wait.

Bob and Rob Professional American Writers said...

Wow! Great article Honor...and equally great debate. Look forward to all the changes in DCA. You heading to San Diego this year? Cheers, Bob & Rob

Anonymous said...

Well, everyone's entitled to their skepticism, heck knows that the Disney admin from the late 90's up until just a couple of years ago earned it. And this new administration under Iger has still to dispell all doubts. What guys like Honor are doing is trying to encourage us to think positively. They say they have contacts in Imaginearing who in turn say that some wonderful stuff at the parks are coming out soon enough. And sure, some of it may not turnn out, but truth be told, ALL the signs thus far have been very positive, so much so that I will agree with those who say just have faith. In time we will all see whether or not that faith was well placed.

Anonymous said...

True. This new Disney leadership is nothing like it was under Eisner toward the end of his tenure. I was very impressed when I read the news reports about Iger's negotiations with Hong Kong officials and his decision to forego Disney's share of royalties in order to use that money to invest in building new attractions. That's the kind of leadership Disney needs now in order to right the wrongs of the Pressler era.

I think Honor is onto something when he insists that we Disney fans have a bit of patience. Since the DCA announcement, we haven't officially heard much of anything new coming up. But that doesn't mean that there isn't anything in the works.

Look at it logically, it hasn't even been three years since Iger has taken over offically, and it takes that long or even longer to get major projects from the planning stages to construction. So, with the foregoing in view, a wait and see attitude is not uncalled for, and I think a little bit of optimism isn't so far fetched either.

Anonymous said...

Doom! Doom! I say! There can be nothing positive from this! After all, it wasn't done by Walt! Nothing is perfect unless it was done by the Maestro himself you fools!!!

Unknown said...

@keystroke kopper, etc.

I have not once said anything stating that non-Walt made attractions are inferior. Much to the contrary, actually. I think Tokyo DisneySea is darned-near perfect, and last I check, Mr. Disney had 0% input on that one. And even the original EPCOT Center was a wonderfully amazing tangent to which his original city was only a mild influence.

And I don't advocate doom and gloom, either.

All I've been trying to say is "don't count your chickens before they've hatched." If you're going to be optimistic, at least be cautiously optimistic. If I'm coming across as pessimistic, that is my own issue with how I'm communicating. I'm just trying to be realistic. I'll work on better establishing that in the future, should it be necessary.

I hope that DCA improves for the better. My only issue with it both now (and for the future) is that it seems so thematically bizarre that I'm not really sure what it represents anymore...

Anonymous said...

Well, what good would it do for the long term "investment" of turning Disneyland into a full fledged resort if Iger n' company did not invest heavily into improving DCA? Don't forget, that the improvenments are being made not to please Disney fans (generally speaking of course)but to draw more people in, by positive word of mouth and by attracting them by building new "gatebusters." Should Team Disney pull out of the billion dollar plan, what hope does Anaheim ever have of reaching its full potential?

I think the new management realizes this fact better than anyone, yes, even more than Disney fans. It was Eisner who yeilded DCA with his incessant budget slashing. They arrogantly thought that the Disney brand would be enough to bring the people in. The shame brought upon that idea and the management that brought it into being, has been pounded out over and over again from DCA, to WDSP, to HKDL, that the new managment can't bear to hear it anymore than we as fans can.

Spokker said...

"True. This new Disney leadership is nothing like it was under Eisner toward the end of his tenure."

There has certainly been an improvement. But many fans still have concerns. I think there is an over reliance on rides based on animated features, especially of the Pixar variety.

Don't get me wrong, I'm probably going to enjoy the Little Mermaid ride, but I would enjoy a Journey to the Center of the Earth-like attraction or an attraction similar to Horizons a whole lot more.

There is room for both types of attractions at the parks. Disney threw WDW fans a bone with Everest. Now how about Anaheim?

Anonymous said...

That's a good point Spokker. But atleast these fan complaints you mentioned are about the choice of theming of the attractions, and not the malnourished budgets of the past that yeilded lousy attractions that cheapen the Disney experience.

But to be fair, I beleive the thinking behind the imaginears' new attraction slate for DCA has to do with balancing the attraction line-up with what already exists in the park. As you said, there is room for both kinds of attractions in each park, rides based on movies/animation and those that are not. DCA's got plenty of attractions already that are not based on animation. In 2001 it opened with no attractions based on Disney animation, atleast none that I can think of, and to this day, none of DCA's major attractions are based on Disney animation, until Midway Mania, that is.

So what I think that the Imaginears are atempting to do is balance DCA's major lineup of Soarin, GRR, and TOT with the giddier, chldlike feel of Midway Mania, Mermaid, and Carsland. And like you, I hope that we will be seeing more fantastical attractions like Journey in the American parks too. Hopefully with Disney management back on track, we will soon enough.