Thursday, June 4, 2009

Approaching Extinction...


I know I've joked about California Adventure(that's what they want to call it now, not DCA) being known as "Wall Land" but it's becoming painfully obvious that's what it is...

Not that I'm complaining. It's a good thing. It shows progress. It shows that the Walt Disney Company is trying to fix the mistakes of the past even if it doesn't come outright and say so. Oddly, Bob Iger is far more candid dealing with these questions than Jay Rasulo is. Matt Ouimett would be such a better fit for Iger and the resort... you hear that Bob? Pleeeeaaase?

Enough pleading. With all those walls up you can see that the Paradise Pier area is in for a dramatic change over the next two years. Slowly we are seeing the metaphoric bulldozer come in and demolish DCA 1.0. Or perhaps it's better to think of it as evolving. This Darwinian version of the theme park will be going the way of the dinosaur.

DCA 2.0 will slowly emerge from the Imagineering primordial mud. Not as fast as some Disney Fans/Geeks would like, but it'll progress. And three years from now we'll finally have a park worthy of bearing Walt's name. Ten years later than it should, but finally here none the less. It won't be perfect and there's probably another four or five years worth of projects that could go into the Second Gate so as to make it what it should be. That won't happen until DCA's gate numbers start to tick up. After next year we should start to see that with the WOC water show premiering. People will slowly begin to understand that there are actually reasons to go to California Adventure over Disneyland for a day. Slowly at first... but it'll happen.

The DCA, I'm sorry, California Adventure that will emerge will not be the one that pays homage to the Golden State with cheap rides and limited theming. Instead, it'll be one that pays respect to the state by having areas themed to periods of California's history with attractions based on Disney properties that were created here. The Golden State area will remain relatively the same now, but should a second expansion happen after 2012, it'll turn into that Yosemite style turn of the century national park. It won't require much since the area already reflects most of this now and only requires minimal theming and the removal of modern elements. Not to mention those wonderful AA's that would populate it (especially the skunk!). The Paradise Pier will also reflect the Victorian age midways that populated the coast in the first quarter of the century. This is the area showing the most progress right now as guest walking around Wall-Land can attest. The Hollywoodland section will emerge as a reflection of Tinseltown in the 30's and 40's. Carsland, which I hope they call Route 66, will reflect the desert of the mid century (think 50's and 60's) that cuts through this state and reflects much of it's car culture. And the front entrance which will be styled in Spanish Revival architecture reflective of the time when Walt first moved here. In essence we enter through the time that Walt saw and move forward and back through the times of this states culture.

With the new theming and TSMM being a solid D-Ticket, we can now look forward to the Mermaid attraction which will be DCA's first truly "Tokyo Disneyland" quality attraction, but not the last as those who've seen what Carsland will culminate in. This will not be the last of these rides, but it will be the last time we see attractions like Superstar Limo. As long as Lasseter has a say, projects like that will go the way of the Do Do Bird.

The problems of Pressler and Eisner aren't dead yet, but they are approaching the end of their lifespan. Once 2012 arrives and attendance increases the guests that enter the park will finally see what they should have a decade earlier. A Disney park. One that will go through the next decade (read:2012-2020) with additions and expansions that bury the past so that new generations of Disney fans will not have any memory of Michael Eisner's folly. A new generation will know the meaning of the name Disney and expect the quality we all know the Mouse is capable of and we demand.

And that is a very good thing...

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was happy when that Dino turned from pink to green. And now even better, soon it will be removed!

I'm looking forward to seeing the park grow and get better!

Anonymous said...

Honor I'm curious if you have evidence to believe the new California Adventure will represent the evolution of the entire state of California or just Southern California?

Sheriff Woody said...

Paradise Pier isn't Southern California and the Mermaid section will be closer to mid and Northern California in appearance.

Malcolm said...

This maybe a stupid question, but could anybody enlighten me on what TSMM stands for? I forgot.

t said...

Toy Story Midway Mania.

;)

Malcolm said...

Thanks, T.

Anyway, if Lasseter is right about rides like Superstar Limo going the way of the dodo, then we would like Monsters inc. Mike and Sulley to the rescue remade into Ride and Go Seek, please.

Anonymous said...

Malcolm--
That's a nice thought, but realistically, it probably won't happen. Its a real shame, I know. But hey, what's done is done.

Looking on the bright side, watching a video of Tokyo's Monsters Inc ride just gets me excited about the possibilities of California Adventure's Little Mermaid ride and Carsland.

Anonymous said...

Let's just call it Disney's Emmeryville Adventure already!

Anonymous said...

Now if only they could do the same for the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris! (Its need is greater even than DCA's!)

Anonymous said...

Malcolm, I don't think we're going to see ride and go seek, but I would not be surprised if part of phase 2 is a fairly large refurb. The least we can ask for is for them to either use the screens, or take them out. They're just distracting as they are now.

kpeekelement said...

I was walking through DCA yesterday looking at all the changes. And I don't think the 1.2 will really change DCA from what it was originally. When you screw up once as bad as they did. No new fancy facade can really cover it up.

Tim said...

Any chance we can get Mullholland Madness torn down? Magic Mountain had that same ride in 1972! It is as un-Disney as they come - along with that Maliboomer thing - please tell me that will go too!

I heard it would cost 25 million but if Lassetter wants it can we bury the power lines around DCA?

Anonymous said...

Tim, if its any consellation, Mulholland Madness is being turned into Goofy's Sky School. Last I heard, they were going to remove the Maliboomer entirely, but according to concept art in the Blue Sky Cellar, it will be rethemed to parachute towers.

Honor, you said in your post "see 2012-2010". Was this a previous post, because I looked through the archives and couldn't find it.

Anonymous said...

The model in the Blue Sky Cellar does not show Maliboomer. It shows Jumping Jellyfish relocated to the Maliboomer's location and rethemed as Army Man Parachute Drop. That was an early concept that has been abandoned.

Anyone else think the "turn of the century national park" idea for the Grizly area sounds boring. I just don't get it, we've got a fascinating history of a Gold Rush and legends of Bigfoot, and all kinds of more interesting things that could be expanded on in that area. The only thing that supports the national park idea is the imposing overly big hotel looming over the area. To allow a hotel to dominate the theming in the park is a big mistake IMO. This national park idea sounds very DCA 1.0 to me, no magic, no heart, no soul, and very little reason for being.

jedited said...

To one of the anonymouses above, they have already spent a lot of money and time fixing Paris studio and that is definitely still a work in progress.
To anonymous right above, National Park makes WAY more sense than something narrower. With a broad theme such as this it allows for MUCH more latitude in the future of this area.
Frontierland and Adventureland sound kind of boring and unimaginative, but allow for ENDLESS possibilities as evidenced by the Magic Kingdoms arround the world.

Colorado Mommy said...

Take a look Anonymous, blue sky still has Jumpin Jellyfish as itself and the Parachute ride was going to be something new but has gone the way of the DoDo. So what will end up there is anyone's guess.
I like California Adventure, but look forward to what it will become.

Mr. Rosado said...

amen!!! i think the little mermaid ride will be incredible, but i still do not think that cars should be given an entire land if they wanted to do a pixar themed area there are now ten movies they could put into a land but not just one. i mean there more classic films that have not received a single attraction based upon them let alone a land!

Anonymous said...

Colorado Mommy-

If you're taking about the map, you're correct, the JJ is still there, and as far as I know it sounds like it's staying for a while. I was talking about the model, which shows the JJ turned into the parachute ride. The Bluesky Cellar has a lot of concept art, it may not happen as shown. In any case, you're right, I believe there are no final word yet on what if anyhting will happen to the Maliboomer either. So they both may be around for a while. My point was that Maliboomer was not going to be rethemed to a parachute ride.

Anonymous said...

Jedited-

I think the national park concept is far more limiting, that's exactly the point. Why couldn't it just be a more broad stoke of California mountains and just call it Grizzly Peak. To me that would allow many more interesting future attractions and be more like DL's broad conceptual lands, which don't sound boring at all to me.

Honor Hunter said...

Anonymous said: "My point was that Maliboomer was not going to be rethemed to a parachute ride."

Sorry anonymous, but you're incorrect on that. Maliboomer was going to be rethemed to a Green Army Men parachute drop. But that was almost three years ago. A lot has changed since that model was built. Plans evolve. The Boomer will be rethemed, but as of right now the focus is going to be on the rest of the pier... that retheme will come later.

And so you know, take a look at the model again. The parachute drop is in the helix (the circular turn area) where Maliboomer is. The reason it's staying it because the cost of taking it out would result in a serious dent in the Expansion/Makeover budget. It seems the Imagineers that were thinking about removing it weren't the ones that designed it (few are left that did). When they looked into it they realized that it was built deep into the ground with the helix. Very expensive. So it's a no brainer. Would you rather spend the money to remove it on other attractions or taking it out? It's going to stay. That doesn't mean it wasn't in the plan to be removed.

It was...

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with you Honor on calling "Cars Land" "Route 66" instead. Also, even though the Mulhulland Madness is more Magic Mountain than Magic Kingdom in quality, I really enjoy it and hopefully even more so when it becomes Goofy's Sky School.
What would be cool is if they put the Country Bear Jamboree in the Grizzly area, which I've heard rumors about.

Anonymous said...

Route 66 would be a good name, but if they stick with Cars Land. that will be fine with me. I guarantee that most guests in the park won't give a hoot what the place it called, the important thing will be that is it a detailed land with fun rides.
"Cars Land" may not be the most creative name in the world, but then how is a name like that any different that "Tomorrowland"? Or "Adventureland"? Or "Fantasyland"?

BTW Honor, could a name change REALLY still happen, or is that just wishful thinking on your part?

Honor Hunter said...

By name change I take it you mean from "Disney's California Adventure" then?

No. As of now the plan is to call it that.

The reason I don't like "Carsland" is that it ties the area exclusively to Cars and if they call it Route 66 then they would be able to put other things in and not mess with the theming. Also I don't think everything there has to be a "land" like Disneyland. It's not Disneyland. Golden Dreams is what it is. Paradise Pier is what it is and so on. I don't mind Hollywood Backlot changing to Hollywoodland because it fits with the old age of Hollywood when the sign up on the hill actually said Hollywoodland...

Anonymous said...

No, I was actually referring to the Carsland name. I was wondering if Imagineering was set and locked to call it "Carsland" or if there really was a chance that they could call it something like Route 66.

And yeah, what you are saying makes sense. I was just trying to toss in something for discussion. ;)

Don't get me wrong, if they went with something like "Route 66", that would be awesome. You won't hear any complaints from me.
Regardless, I'm just excited about the new land. :)

Anonymous said...

Sheriff Woody, If Paradise Pier isn't Southern California then what part of California is it?