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  1. #1

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    Sad Why wasn't DCA a big hit..............

    first of, my favorite ride of all the disneyparks iis Soarin but will the new expansion help the struggling park tell me.....

  2. #2

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    Re: Why wans't DCA a big hit..............

    not sure what your thread implys. I love that park and so do many many others. it was and always will be a big hit with me..

  3. #3

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    Re: Why wans't DCA a big hit..............

    It will absolutely help. Adding two big attractions like Radiator Springs Racers and The Little Mermaid are sure to bring in huge crowds into the Disneyland's "ugly stepsister".
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    Re: Why wans't DCA a big hit..............

    Well, I'm not seeing a whole lot of agreement between the thread title and the content of your post, DCAfanatic, but welcome to MiceChat, and I'll certainly give my answer to the question in the title.

    Why wasn't DCA a hit?

    * Lack of sheer attractions value. When the park opened, the only attractions really worth it to most people were Soarin' over California, Grizzly River Run, California Screamin', and...ummm, yeah, that's it. =/ It's Tough to Be a Bug and ToT were added in later years, and some people do enjoy a few other attractions in the park. But most people who visit Disneyland will be able to fill up their entire day with attractions, most of which are highly enjoyable.

    * The been-there-done-that syndrome. When you've been to the places DCA tries to replicate, the park can be kind of underwhelming due to their scale and the lack of money invested in them. In addition, a lot of these places simply don't have the kind of magic that we find in the archtypal story realms of Disneyland. There's a lot less escapism in DCA. You're doing stuff you could also do in real life, in many cases for less money and with a lot more authenticity. Doesn't help that you can see beyond the park boundaries to that real world, either.

    * Lack of Disneyishness. Much of Paradise Pier exemplifies this most purely. It's a complete and intentional departure from what makes a Disney park a Disney park because it mimics the entertainment venues that Walt himself was trying to push away from and improve on. "Attractions" like Mulholland Madness and MaliBOOMer require zero real Imagineering, and a lot of guests can tell. It's like going to a less thrilling Six Flags.

    * Uncomfortable layout. Maybe it's just me, but I find the lay of the land aggravating. With Disneyland, the beautiful hub-and-spokes design allows optimum speed from place to place. With DCA, it's kind of all over the place. I always feel like I'm walking farther than I should have to. (Not to mention that the park "faces" south, which means the sun is often in your eyes as you walk through the park. Disneyland is the opposite--the sun is in your eyes as you leave. If you leave during the day in the first place.)

    * Lack of pretty, "natural" areas. Disneyland has gorgeous areas like Rivers of America, Adventureland, New Orleans Square, Critter Country--the plants are allowed to become significant parts of the visual aesthetic, with beautiful contrasts between them and the architecture, which is also pleasing to the eye. DCA has been characterized as a concrete jungle. (Plants take time to grow, I know. Those areas of DL were pretty ugly in its early days. But it's a factor nonetheless.)


    All that being said, I do enjoy time in DCA. And I'm very happy for those who like it more than I do. (Although I certainly hope the Walt Disney Company won't listen to you. ) I just think it's a vastly inferior park to Disneyland, which makes it very difficult for a non-AP-holder like myself to spend too much time there. Every moment I waste in DCA could be spent at Disneyland, which has none of the above problems. In fact, it excels at fixing all of those problems. Every one. It does so exceptionally. The same areas that make Disneyland great tend to weaken DCA because of their radically different approaches.

    Oh, and by the way--they should have built a berm.


  5. #5

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    Re: Why wans't DCA a big hit..............

    I love DCA being a failure. It certainly drives away crowds.

  6. #6

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    Re: Why wans't DCA a big hit..............

    Let me say that I don't hate the DCA, but I think that it's has some major flaws.

    The biggest problem, especially when it first opened was that it lacked attractions and what was there was a bad mix of attractions. It's major e-ticket attractions were too "thrill ride" such as screaming and Grizzly River Run, which meant that not everyone could or would want to go on them. There was no e-ticket that everyone in the family could go on, such as Pirates or HM.

    There were too many movie attractions. While I do like a movie from time to time, it not the sort of thing that I want to see every single time I go to the park. It did not help that two of the movies were clones from WDW which many of us had seen several times before.

    When the park first opened it also lack a kids attraction area, such as Fantasyland. They have tried to correct this with Bug's Land

    Finally, the park theme seemed very uneven. There were parts that looked great and other parts that looked like they were done on the cheap.




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    Re: Why wans't DCA a big hit..............

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    It's Tough to Be a Bug and ToT were added in later years
    Actually It's Tough to be a Bug opened with the park.

  8. #8

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    Re: Why wasn't DCA a big hit..............

    Datameister:

    That is one of the best analysis I have ever seen of why DCA failed...every one of your points is right on the money.

    That being said, I agree with DCAfanatic that California Adventure has some great rides (Soarin, Grizzly, Screaming) at the Anaheim resort, but overall, the entire package was not worth a separate admission price.

  9. #9

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    Re: Why wasn't DCA a big hit..............

    Shade! There's no dang shade!

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    Re: Why wasn't DCA a big hit..............

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    Disneyishness.
    My new favorite word.

    Data really nailed this one down perfectly. I love DCA as well and we always have so much fun there, but it has some problems that caused it to not be so popular. And most of them are the problems that people do notice, but not consciously. Only us fanatics can do that kind of thing.

    I really have a lot of hope for this make over. It seems to be heading in the right direction.

    Our revels now are ended. These our actors, As I foretold you, were all spirits and Are melted into air, into thin air: And, like the baseless fabric of this vision, The cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces, The solemn temples, the great globe itself, Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff As dreams are made on, and our little life Is rounded with a sleep. mycroft16 on Twitter

  11. #11

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    Re: Why wans't DCA a big hit..............

    Quote Originally Posted by Luke Manning View Post
    Actually It's Tough to be a Bug opened with the park.
    Whoop, right you are. I knew that A Bug's Land "opened" later, but I hadn't realized that ITTBAB was already there. Thanks!


  12. #12

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    Re: Why wans't DCA a big hit..............

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    Well, I'm not seeing a whole lot of agreement between the thread title and the content of your post, DCAfanatic, but welcome to MiceChat, and I'll certainly give my answer to the question in the title.

    Why wasn't DCA a hit?

    * Lack of sheer attractions value. When the park opened, the only attractions really worth it to most people were Soarin' over California, Grizzly River Run, California Screamin', and...ummm, yeah, that's it. =/ It's Tough to Be a Bug and ToT were added in later years, and some people do enjoy a few other attractions in the park. But most people who visit Disneyland will be able to fill up their entire day with attractions, most of which are highly enjoyable.

    * The been-there-done-that syndrome. When you've been to the places DCA tries to replicate, the park can be kind of underwhelming due to their scale and the lack of money invested in them. In addition, a lot of these places simply don't have the kind of magic that we find in the archtypal story realms of Disneyland. There's a lot less escapism in DCA. You're doing stuff you could also do in real life, in many cases for less money and with a lot more authenticity. Doesn't help that you can see beyond the park boundaries to that real world, either.

    * Lack of Disneyishness. Much of Paradise Pier exemplifies this most purely. It's a complete and intentional departure from what makes a Disney park a Disney park because it mimics the entertainment venues that Walt himself was trying to push away from and improve on. "Attractions" like Mulholland Madness and MaliBOOMer require zero real Imagineering, and a lot of guests can tell. It's like going to a less thrilling Six Flags.

    * Uncomfortable layout. Maybe it's just me, but I find the lay of the land aggravating. With Disneyland, the beautiful hub-and-spokes design allows optimum speed from place to place. With DCA, it's kind of all over the place. I always feel like I'm walking farther than I should have to. (Not to mention that the park "faces" south, which means the sun is often in your eyes as you walk through the park. Disneyland is the opposite--the sun is in your eyes as you leave. If you leave during the day in the first place.)

    * Lack of pretty, "natural" areas. Disneyland has gorgeous areas like Rivers of America, Adventureland, New Orleans Square, Critter Country--the plants are allowed to become significant parts of the visual aesthetic, with beautiful contrasts between them and the architecture, which is also pleasing to the eye. DCA has been characterized as a concrete jungle. (Plants take time to grow, I know. Those areas of DL were pretty ugly in its early days. But it's a factor nonetheless.)


    All that being said, I do enjoy time in DCA. And I'm very happy for those who like it more than I do. (Although I certainly hope the Walt Disney Company won't listen to you. ) I just think it's a vastly inferior park to Disneyland, which makes it very difficult for a non-AP-holder like myself to spend too much time there. Every moment I waste in DCA could be spent at Disneyland, which has none of the above problems. In fact, it excels at fixing all of those problems. Every one. It does so exceptionally. The same areas that make Disneyland great tend to weaken DCA because of their radically different approaches.

    Oh, and by the way--they should have built a berm.
    Data's summary is actually one of the better I've read, that covers most of the bases when it comes to the lack of popularity DCA has had. I also agree that while I enjoy aspects of DCA, I recognize many problems. To me understanding this is really important to help really analyze what makes a successful theme park. Probably the biggest single problem is that most people will naturally compare it to DL. It's the only park much of the local audience really knows and what defined a Disney park in their eyes. Anyway, here's a couple more issues that I would add to the list:*Lack of attractions for kids. Many people see this as the biggest reason for DCA's failure. While I don't agree that it was the main reason, as there are many reasons, it was clearly a major problem.*Lack of family friendly attractions. Obviously related to the previous point, but I believe an even bigger problem is the lack of attractions that all members of the family would have interest in riding together. The park seriously needs some iconic attractions for the whole family like POTC, HM, IASW.*Lack of internal transportation options. No train or other internal transportation and the fairly poor layout that Data noted makes this small park pretty hard to get around.*Disjointed and confused theming. Much of the park simply has too many themes, and few fully encompass the guests or are fully fleshed out. This just makes for a disjointed feel for the entire park and few places you feel fully enveloped in a themed environment. This of course is also tied to the lack of a berm and some of the other problems Data mentioned.*Obvious cheapness. While Disney parks are typically recognized for their plush detailing and general high level of quality construction, much of DCA gives off an impression of being cheaply done. This is just not an impression any Disney park should ever create.*Too many shows and film based attractions. Tied right into the cheapness and the lack of attraction value, there are too many films and shows and not enough rides. People like rides, especially repeat visitors, other types of attractions get boring, DLR has too much local business to ignore that crowd.
    Last edited by Uncle Bob; 08-17-2008 at 10:50 AM.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Why wasn't DCA a big hit..............

    Whats a berm???

  14. #14

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    Re: Why wasn't DCA a big hit..............

    Ditto on Datameister for a few of those points.

    The fact that I can see busy roads and construction going on outside the park on nearby roads kinda ruins the escapism (like on California Screamin' when you're going up the second hill you can see all over Anaheim, but not the "beautiful" eye pleasing parts). Granted CS is a roller coaster and you don't really have enough time to focus on the scenery (unless you turn your head towards the Pier), still it's that little extra that helps you to believe. Take Grizzly River Run for example, when you're going up the giant lift, you see over DCA and the Grand Californian Hotel and it's gorgeous, not some streets, construction, and traffic.

    There's a very apparent lack of theming, or an under-use of it. What makes Disneyland so magical is that there's detail in everything. I don't tend to mind the 1 hour+ waits because there's always something to look at, read, touch, etc. while you're slowly moving towards the front of the line. Tower of Terror is the only attraction in DCA I can think of that keeps you occupied and excited to go on it while you're just waiting in line.

    The placement of attractions/areas is really awkward and hard to get to as well. Disneyland is nice because almost all areas of the park are accessible from one point of the park. You walk into Main Street which establishes itself wonderfully, then you pick a direction and go and if you decide to back track, there's always little short cuts and walkways you can take to get to another part of the park. In DCA, it takes FOREVER getting to Paradise Pier because the park kinda winds like a giant letter 'S'. I find that most of the time I don't want to bother going on ToT because I'm all the way in the Golden State or Paradise Pier and don't want to bother walking all the way there.

    However, with all that being said, DCA is still a fledgling park (it's not even 10 years old) so it has plenty of room to improve. I enjoy the park a lot (especially the small crowds and open walkways), and I believe it will only get better. While it may not hold the magical aspect of Disneyland, it's definitely a place worth visiting and not just once. It's a very different park compared to Disneyland, and I think that's were most of it's unpopular opinions come from.

    Again, just give it some time and I think people will be singing a different tune about the park.

  15. #15

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    Re: Why wasn't DCA a big hit..............

    Quote Originally Posted by Jungle Skipper View Post
    Whats a berm???
    A big wall or mound of earth that visually and physically separates one area from another. Disneyland is surrounded by several berms that form a major boundary between the park and the real world, but all you see is a nice little hill with trees and plants on it. Looks pretty, keeps the magic in, and keeps the yucky out. DCA has no such berm; it uses tacky-looking walls and attractions themselves. (DL uses both of these, too, but the berms do a fantastic job in most areas.)



    That's the berm behind the Haunted Mansion meeting up with Splash Mountain, which is used instead of the berm for a little ways. Then the berm starts up north of Critter Country again.



    That's the backstage side of the berm along the outside of Rivers of America. (The railroad often follows the berm.)


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