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  1. #1

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    Will DCA's walkways be changed?

    I'm currently trying to find it but there was a really good thread on here a while back that mentioned the difference in layout between Disneyland and DCA. Data did a nice line diagram that showed the paths of the two parks. The overall consensus was that it doesn't just seem longer to get from point A to point B in DCA, it actually takes longer. So, considering so much is being spent on the actual park, is there a plan to address this?

    A wonderful example is trying to get from Paradise Pier to Pacific Wharf, or vice versa. They're what... 20 or 30ft apart (along with an elevation difference) but you need to go over 2 bridges to get from one to the other. What about Bugsland to Tower of Terror? Thats a fun walk all the way around. I know with Carsland a tunnel will likely be built but are there any actual plans on the table?

    One that can't easily be corrected is the decision to link Grizzly Peak with the Winery. The Matterhorn is pretty good sized, but you can walk on either side of it. Grizzly is a good size, Winery adds to it... pretty soon you are walking well out of your way just to get from one side to the other. I don't know the actual layout of Grizzly and I doubt a tunnel is possible... but it's another example of a bad layout.

    People will likely begin to refer to the Hub and Spoke layout of Disneyland. If I rememeber correctly the different lands initially did not have connecting paths. In order to enter a different land you had to backtrack and exit the land you were in. Eventually they figured "that's a long walk" and started connecting things. Again, not sure if it's true, just think it's interesting that no one who planned it thought about it. So... this isn't a "DCA was built on the cheap let's bash it" thread. I am wondering if there are any plans for additional paths that will make it easier to navigate DCA.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Will DCA's walkways be changed?

    Yeah, it doesnt really help that they build it in kind of an odd shape. Disneyland is a more square type shape, so nothing is really SQUEEZED in. While DCA is more of an odd rectangular type shape, so it takes forever to get from one end to another, like paradise pier and ToT. I hope that they build a pathway from carsland to both the ToT area and the Paradise Pier area, i think that would make things a bit easier.
    Just seems like they squeezed in areas like backlot areas rather than having them flow together.

  3. #3

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    Re: Will DCA's walkways be changed?

    They really need a park-wide transportation system bigger than the red car trolleys. They need something that goes from Sunshine Plaza all the way to Paradise Pier... and I do mean the very back end
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    Re: Will DCA's walkways be changed?

    DCA's layout is pretty weird. It's kind of a convoluted figure-8 with some dead-end offshoots. Modern-day Disneyland offers a lot more options for getting from place to place. It's more like a grid. Here's that image I did way back when...



    The orange dots are "weenies" that draw you in visually, with pale orange dots being minor weenies. Notice how at Disneyland, you walk in straight lines toward the weenies, and then you're provided with numerous other options along the route if you change your mind, and once you get to the weenie, there's often another one that presents itself if you're interested. At DCA, you can't just walk toward the weenie...you have to walk in a curved path and eventually wind your way there, with not much to see in the mean time. (And it doesn't help that you're looking into the sun as you progress further into the park!)

    Obviously, neither is totally ideal. The average guest can get lost in either place without a map or someone to guide them; that's the nature of the beast. But I know that I have a much easier and more enjoyable time navigating through Disneyland than California Adventure, and I think analyzing their layouts provides some insight into why.

    EDIT: And yes, Disneyland's layout was originally more of a strict and unmodified hub-and-spokes design, which actually isn't all that great an approach. The spiderweb layout it uses now is better - they connected lands with new paths so that it's easier to get from place to place. Unfortunately, the placement of DCA's attractions and backstage areas makes it a bit more difficult to make similar modifications there.


  5. #5

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    Re: Will DCA's walkways be changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lukey114 View Post
    While DCA is more of an odd rectangular type shape, so it takes forever to get from one end to another, like paradise pier and ToT. I hope that they build a pathway from carsland to both the ToT area and the Paradise Pier area, i think that would make things a bit easier.
    Those are very good points, and I also love the fact that many lands are interconnected and can be accessed via different lands at Disneyland. I'm not entirely sure about service roads, but having different access points to HPB and PP can be very effective.

    Nevertheless, it still frustrates me that Disney didn't bother considering transit that circumnavigated the entire park. The red trolleys will help somewhat, but they cannot run continuously like the DLR due to interference from parades in addition to the traffic issues that World of Color will likely cause. This same argument can be applied to Epcot, where Disney failed to consider enough transit for such a massive park (the boats are rather slow).

    As far as changing paths go, a tunnel through GRR would be awesome if possible.
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    Re: Will DCA's walkways be changed?

    DCA's layout is fine. It's much more efficient than the Disneyland model, since there is less backtracking involved. Disneyland's design has many dead ends where one has to travel through an area once or twice to see the whole park (Critter Country, New Orleans, Toontown, Main Street). DCA was designed to be more of a circular park and I feel that it moves people through much more easily than Disneyland does.

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    Re: Will DCA's walkways be changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    DCA's layout is pretty weird. It's kind of a convoluted figure-8 with some dead-end offshoots. Modern-day Disneyland offers a lot more options for getting from place to place. It's more like a grid. Here's that image I did way back when...

    I'm not sure how close it is to scale but the combination of Condor Flats Entrance, Grizzly Peak, and the Winery is a substantial amount of land. Again I am saying this without a sound knowledge of Grizzly... but why wasn't a path constructed that separated it from the Winery? A tunnel may or may not be an option... but if it is an option it would likely be an expensive one.
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    Re: Will DCA's walkways be changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    DCA's layout is pretty weird. It's kind of a convoluted figure-8 with some dead-end offshoots. Modern-day Disneyland offers a lot more options for getting from place to place. It's more like a grid. Here's that image I did way back when...
    You should make a similar map for the other Disney parks. Epcot, Animal Kingdom, even Hong Kong Disneyland follow more in line with the circle 8 of DCA than with the hub and spoke design of Disneyland. Even more modern, non-Disney parks like Islands of Adventure utilize the same design.

    If everyone is using the same design, then it must work right?

  9. #9

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    Re: Will DCA's walkways be changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    DCA's layout is fine. It's much more efficient than the Disneyland model, since there is less backtracking involved. Disneyland's design has many dead ends where one has to travel through an area once or twice to see the whole park (Critter Country, New Orleans, Toontown, Main Street). DCA was designed to be more of a circular park and I feel that it moves people through much more easily than Disneyland does.
    The dead ends of Disneyland have multiple options to get there... the dead ends of DCA are exactly that... dead ends. They include Hollywood Pictures Backlot, Bugsland, and Pacific Wharf. Everything on the side of Grizzly Peak might as well be a dead end because of how long it takes to get to the other side.

    By comparison most of Disneyland is easily navigated with multiple options in the event that your primary route is blocked. Tomorrowland could be accessed through Fantasyland or through it's own entrance. Fantasyland can be accessed on 3 sides (front, left, right). ToonTown is a dead end, as is Critter Country. Frontierland and Adventureland both access New Orleans Square... and they have multiple access points as well.
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    Re: Will DCA's walkways be changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    I'm not sure how close it is to scale but the combination of Condor Flats Entrance, Grizzly Peak, and the Winery is a substantial amount of land. Again I am saying this without a sound knowledge of Grizzly... but why wasn't a path constructed that separated it from the Winery? A tunnel may or may not be an option... but if it is an option it would likely be an expensive one.
    The diagram is most definitely not perfectly to scale - I was mostly trying to create a simplified schematic of the layouts, but the overall scale is pretty close.

    I don't know enough about GRR to say if a tunnel could be built, either. I kinda suspect not...if it's anything like the Matterhorn, there's a lot of backstage stuff at ground level, in the middle of the mountain, especially because it's a water ride that surely requires a lot of mechanical wizardry. The Matterhorn actually has the same problem in terms of layout...except its footprint is significantly smaller, which makes the walking distances smaller, and there's stuff to do on the other side!

    Disneyland's layout weaknesses are the most noticeable on the west side, where you have a long stretch of walkway from Main Street through Adventureland and NOS that culminates in a dead end in Critter Country. The thing is...there are four majorly popular E-tickets along that path! Not to mention the Jungle Cruise, the canoes, the raft to PLOTSI, numerous restaurants, the DLR, Tarzan's Treehouse, and even Pooh. DCA's dead ends are just dead ends.


  11. #11

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    Re: Will DCA's walkways be changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Datameister View Post
    Disneyland's layout weaknesses are the most noticeable on the west side, where you have a long stretch of walkway from Main Street through Adventureland and NOS that culminates in a dead end in Critter Country.
    But... you can make a quick right after entering Adventureland and go to Frontierland. Or you can walk through Adventureland, make at right at Riverbelle, and go through Fronteirland. IMHO there is nothing within Disneyland that compares to the walk from Condor Flats until it meets that main path at Paradise Pier.

    The dead ends of Critter Country and ToonTown are also comparable to the dead ends of Hollywood Backlot, Bugsland and Pacific Wharf. The difference being that Critter and ToonTown aren't easily connected. Backlot to Bugsland would likely be simple... Pacific Wharf to Paradise Pier a little more creative but doable.
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    Re: Will DCA's walkways be changed?

    I like Bug's Land as it is a nice hidey hole away from everything else where parents can turn the kids loose without losing them. The Wharf is fine as you either go around the long way or through the wharf and bridges are not a problem for me.

    I do agree that the dead end of Hollywood is a major pain in the neck. At least you can go up and around the mountain on one side and then around the boardwalk but Hollywood means the guest doubles back.

    I remember how Camp Minnie and Mickey was a dead end and at the beginning parts of AK was also dead ends. Planners do not realize that not all guests can walk 20 miles a day let alone 1 mile a day. I got me a super duper scooter now for that problem.

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    Re: Will DCA's walkways be changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by techskip View Post
    But... you can make a quick right after entering Adventureland and go to Frontierland. Or you can walk through Adventureland, make at right at Riverbelle, and go through Fronteirland. IMHO there is nothing within Disneyland that compares to the walk from Condor Flats until it meets that main path at Paradise Pier.
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  14. #14

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    Talking Re: Will DCA's walkways be changed?

    people need to stop being so lazy and get some exercise! :-)

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    Re: Will DCA's walkways be changed?

    Quote Originally Posted by krpink View Post
    people need to stop being so lazy and get some exercise! :-)
    Nothing's wrong in walking, certainly...but it's not a issue of, oh, I'll die if I have to walk from one end to the other...but simple inconvenience. At Disneyland, if you're at Haunted Mansion and want to ride say, Matterhorn, and know the paths, you can get there in five minutes with a lot to look at it. If you want to go from Screamin' to Tower of Terror, have fun walking over a lot of wide, bland concrete walkways and pretty much with no shortcuts, just one choice of rather lengthy path, even though there is at least one way that could have connected the two and made it simpler to pass between. The difference so much isn't an unreasonable distance to walk, but the manner in which you walk there...which is a meandering, not well thought out or direct path with several dead end areas along the way.

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