Sunday, October 16, 2011

Disney California Adventure Makeover

Disney California Adventure, which opened in 2001, was constructed as part of a major expansion that transformed the Disneyland area and its hotels into the Disneyland Resort and consists of five areas: Sunshine Plaza, Hollywood Pictures Backlot, The Golden State, A Bug's Land and Paradise Pier. Each area is meant to resemble various aspects of California, its culture and landmarks. It was expected that the park would be a massive success.  The actual attendance for its premier year was far below Disney's expectations and continued to disappoint the company.

Trough feedback from employees, locals, tourists, and many Disneyland vistors, the company was able to understand some setbacks that effected the success of the park.
         -lack of "Disney-quality" attractions
         - lack of rides for young children
         - with an estimated price tag of $600 million, the park was criticized for being built "on the cheap", with a small number of attractions and minimal theming
        - admission was too expensive for what the park offered.

California Adventure has now gone under major renovations, in hopes to attract more visitors and revenue. A $1.1 billion expansion and renovation plan has been put into effect since their decision in 2007. Rides will be redesigned or replaced with a larger focus on Disney characters and stories. Some new additions include:

Buena Vista Street- The park's main entrance gate is similar to the entrance at Disney Hollywood Studios in Florida, with a design to resemble the landmark Pan-Pacific Auditorium. Buena Vista Street,  will lead guests into the park in a recreation of early 1920s Los Angeles when Walt Disney first arrived with Mission and Art Deco facades housing shops and restaurants. The Golden Gate Bridge replica was removed and replaced by a simple arched bridge.  Construction of Buena Vista Street began in the fall of 2010 and is planned to open in the spring of 2012.

Cars Land- This attraction is inspired by Cars, the movie.
The new Cars Land will contain three attractions and will span 12 acres. The first, Radiator Springs Racers will be among the most expensive rides ever built at an estimated $200 million. The ride will begin with a race briefing from Lightning McQueen and end at the Wheel Well Motel from the movie.
The other two attractions are going to be smaller family attractions with smaller height requirements featuring Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, a tea-cup like attraction, and Luigi's Roamin' Tires. Cars Land will also feature a life-size model of Radiator Springs and several dining and shopping venues.
It is supposed to open in 2012, after the park celebrates its 10th anniversary.

I personally cannot wait for the park to be finished with these major changes so I can go back home and enjoy them. Although these changes have a set completion date, "Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.", in the words of Mr. Walt Disney himself.

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