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  1. #1

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    What would you do to bring it to life?

    I was just watching some video of Main Street USA and I noticed something. Traffic meanders up the street past the honking street car and the tap of the horse drawn trollies, smells fill the air from the bakery and the sweet shops while people bustle about shopping and strolling in the sunny afternoon. To me this is a very ideal picture.

    Now, we travel over to DCA. All there is is people walking around on wide pavement past static props. It seems dead and empty. Now, do you think that Buena Vista street will make it feel more alive? The plans look great but it doesnt seem very long and I wonder if it will be able to capture that same energy that Main Street USA does. In addition, will San Fransico Street get any kind of a makover? It is even worse providing no depth or feeling that the "buildings" are any more than set pieces. Even worse is the sightlines that draw you away from the street and to PP or GRR. What do you all think, will these two streets be great?

  2. #2

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    Re: What would you do to bring it to life?

    Wow, that's a very good observation. And it may be the very reason why stepping into Disneyland and walking down Main Street instantly grabs my attention and why I never seem to have a strong connection with so many other theme parks. You really are transported when you arrive on Main Street. It's not just the visuals of the architecture, the colors, and (at night) the lights. It's the entire emersiveness of Main Street: the sounds, the smell, the music, everything. You find this throughout most of the park, but not to the same level as Main Street.

    Having not been to DCA yet (I think I'll wait until the big make-over is done) I'm probably not the best person to answer your question about how to bring that park to life the way Main Street comes alive. I just had to comment because I think your observation is so keen.

    Main Street in Disneyland has such a strong identity. Whether you are a first time guest or a longtime park enthusiast, Main Street gives you an uncanny sense of "I have arrived." I think it does that better than any other entrance to any other theme park (even the other Disney parks). From what I can tell from photos and videos that I've seen DCA needs this desperately. DCA needs to shed its image of being the "B side" of Disneyland. But even if Buena Vista Street is short there is no reason why what works on Main Street can't be applied to it as well.

    The key is for Buena Vista Street (and DCA in general) to find and clearly define its identity, then embrace it and make it emersive. What does that area of the park stand for? Answer that question and you have the key to everything else. Then you can start piecing together which sounds, smells, music, etc. represent that the best.

    It seems to me that DCA lacks a message. Most of the themed lands of Disneyland have a mesage to convey and a story to tell. Each one taps into something basic in the human psyche. That is what Walt was so good at. Disneyland, although rooted in American culture, is at its core universal. DCA...not so much.

    Just my rambling 2 cents worth.

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    Re: What would you do to bring it to life?

    Buena Vista street looks great like Main Street but different, and its got its own landmark the Carthay Theatre so unless Disney goes way cheap I think it will turn out to be one of the surprises of the DCA Project.

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    Re: What would you do to bring it to life?

    I thought I read that the San Francisco Street will be getting shops. That would be a boon.
    The Hollywood Backlot street is pretty active. There are places to get food and tables on the sidewalk; shops and attraction fronts.

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  5. #5

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    Re: What would you do to bring it to life?

    DCA needs to be made a lot more "livable" with more trees and shade, a more natural environment, more of the park-like quality that Disneyland has.

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    Re: What would you do to bring it to life?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Weaver View Post
    DCA needs to be made a lot more "livable" with more trees and shade, a more natural environment, more of the park-like quality that Disneyland has.
    wow i just noticed this. Disneyland does have that quality where you feel like you can just stand there and chat/people watch for a bit. like a real park.

    whereas DCA i always feel like i have to keep walking/moving in most areas of the park.
    -plagued

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    Re: What would you do to bring it to life?

    i'm thinking maybe it's cause it doesn't have that Walt Disney touch you know?
    plus the park is less than 10 years old. (i think) so maybe it just needs time

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    Re: What would you do to bring it to life?

    Back when they had olive trees in the central plaza (hub) of Disneyland and a lot of benches it was great to just relax in the shade on the benches and watch people go by. It really felt like a park. Now they have the trees trimmed drastically to give better views of the fireworks. When Disneyland started in 1955 it had an immature stage, only 20 attractions and the landscaping was not fully mature yet. It took about 15 years for Disneyland to reach maturity, by 1970 they had New Orleans Square in place and the new Tomorrowland, and the landscaping had reached maturity and gave it a real park-like look. So it's going to take time for DCA to achieve that fully grown park-like look, but it's too bad they didn't plant a lot more trees when they first built it because the trees would have had an 8-year head start by now and would be well on their way to their mature size and there would be a lot more shade even now.

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    Re: What would you do to bring it to life?

    I'm glad to see I started some good discussion and also that my thoughts are shared by others. The comment stating that HPB feels more alive than the rest of DCA is right on, but the building fascades could be improved even more. Walking down main street feels like your actually on a street cause the building windows are open and you can really walk into each building and it seems like a store. The fact that HPB is closed off or window service along much of its length takes away from that realism and immersiveness. Also, I think that when BVS and HPB become joined and the buildings run together, it will be a much better transition.

    I think this feeling is what makes NOS so great (aside from the obvious intricate detail which only serves to amplify the feeling). This is why I have such a problem with SanFran Street. It's windows are closed and it seems so 2 dimensional. Let alone it feels like it was shoehorned in between a park (which it can definitly be nicely formed to) and the GRR area, which will be a harder transition to smooth.

    I had an idea. If it wasnt so far, and seperated thematically, the red car trollies would fit perfectly if ran through San Fran street. They could go right down into the park like the Real Sanfran, that would be fantastic. I think that Paradise Park should be approached more as San Fransico's waterfront park because the four or five "buildings" that currently make up the area just dont work for me. Ariel's Adventure could be worked in as a transition, and Paradise Pier could be portrayed as a pier just outside Sanfran

  10. #10

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    Re: What would you do to bring it to life?

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Andrew Nelson View Post
    You really are transported when you arrive on Main Street.
    I think that's exactly right. On Main Street, you are instantly somewhere else in time and space. In DCA, you're just still in California/Anaheim/the old parking lot, in real time. I hope that this do-over will make DCA more alive and immersive.

    Great thread!
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  11. #11

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    Re: What would you do to bring it to life?

    removed.
    Last edited by Trevor; 10-31-2009 at 12:31 AM. Reason: inquire within for deleted post.

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