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  1. #1

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    Armchair Imagineering: San Francisco and Paradise Dreamland for DCA

    And as a disclaimer, at the outset: I do realize given the proposals I am making, none of this will really ever happen, simply due to infrastructure they have in place for new attractions having to simply go away. Consider it a fun "what if" they could do with the space.

    Areas Affected: San Francisco street, Little Mermaid ride plot, all of Paradise Pier and adjoining areas from LM show building end to the bridge on the other side, Paradise lagoon.

    A lot has been said of the lack of California theme in the additions coming to DCA, worthy as they may be. I wholeheartedly agree. To remedy this, I would propose a total re-conception of the whole Pier/lagoon area, to be one cohesive environment dedicated to the San Francisco bay area.

    To be removed permanently would be the Little Mermaid proposed/under construction building, Toy Story Midway Mania, the pizza place, the empty former McDonald's location, and the Maliboomer. Staying basically as they are now/will be would be the Jellyfish Jump, the swings, the Zephyr, the carousel, the wild mouse coaster, and the "midway games". California Screamin' would be renamed the Big Dipper, in tribute to the coasters at the defunct Playland at The Beach in San Francisco, and the current Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk's coaster.

    The main Bay Area street would remain much the same, but be a intro to the new areas. To the right upon turning would be the same Palace of Fine Arts dome structure from Golden Dreams, now serving as an entryway to a building much like the one proposed for the Little Mermaid exterior, a "World's Fair" type atrium building. Inside, however, would be a combination theater experience/ride through about the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Guests would view a brief film, 5 minutes or so in duration, about the quake, before being led by cast members in period theater usher costumes to ride vehicles. The backstory would be a local inventor, perhaps the Gustav Tinkerschidmt of recent hinted Paradise Pier backstory, would be conducting experiments to study the earthquake in hopes of predicting future ones. Guests would board "time travel" prototype cars (motion simulator vehicles like Indy and Dinosaur) and go on a trip to the day of the great quake, 1906, and travel through vintage San Francisco, first on a slower paced tour, then rumbling through Chinatown, the financial district, and the underground of the city when the quake hits, only to be brought back to present day at the last second, as the railway station they are in is about to collapse.

    The pier itself would receive new cosmetic elements and signage, making it more in line with the classic California beachside amusement parks. Actual sandy beaches would be set along the water's edge, with little scenes of beach chairs, vintage coolers, etc, circa 1910-1920 (of the sort pictured here, as an example: http://www.oldukphotos.com/graphics/...ach%201920.jpg. Perhaps even a few small boats placed in strategic locations, tied up at the new pier support system, thick wooden poles like one sees at Monterey Bay or Santa Cruz, or other such locations. The new title of the area would be "Paradise Bay Dreamland", and be more firmly set as if Disney itself had owned a vintage seaside amusement park, rather than a modern interpretation. Continuing on from the example of the recent hot dog stand opposite Midway Mania, appropriate thematic details would be added to must structures, and modern type references removed. For most attractions, they could be rather mostly left "as is" with vintage style signage or flourishes added, such as renaming Mulholland Madness/Goofy's Sky whatever as "Seaside Spinner" and taking a more classic approach to it, repainting/sculpting the cars to have a hand-carved, wooden look to them with sea creature heads sculpted into the front, and a new wooden, well-treated loading platform instead of all the concrete walkways. In the current location of the pizza restaurant former McDonald's, a few small stages would be built to house the "Dreamland Midway Sideshow". Here, live performers would include acrobats, fire-eaters, and the like, as was found in the amusement parks of the period.

    In the former Midway Mania location would sit the new Laff in The Dark/Midway Spookhouse attraction. Typically, the old-style spookhouses had facades of this sort: http://thistlegroup.net/savinrock/im...n-the-Dark.jpg or http://ctacke.tripod.com/laffri.jpg. This would be again a tribute to the classic beachside amusement parks, which often had a spookhouse dark ride attraction. It would feature no Disney film characters, but instead the sets and character AA's would be in the style of the classic Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphony illustrations, such as this: http://z.about.com/d/collectibles/1/...ctorPoster.jpg

    Scenes would include those typical of the vintage spookhouses, such as a witch's castle, a haunted forest, a mad doctor's lab, etc etc, with a more comedic angle than being truly scary, while still having some slightly morbid site gags and pop outs rendered in a cartoony style. In this manner, as opposed to the very flimsy themed Toy Story dark ride, the pier would receive an attraction that actually relates to the classic seaside amusement parks of old.

    This would go a long way, I think, to making this area of the park more thematically appropriate, as well as getting new attractions that have things actually to do with California's history. Granted, such will likely never occur due to the company's dedication to the current attractions they have chosen, California-themed or not. What do you, the micechat public, think?
    Last edited by RegionsBeyond; 04-11-2010 at 11:51 AM.
    when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

  2. #2

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: San Francisco and Paradise Dreamland for DCA

    Updated with a few photos as visual references
    when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

  3. #3

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: San Francisco and Paradise Dreamland for DCA

    The only problem I can think of is that DCA 1.0 was trying to be a classic seaside amusement park. It was just executed extremely cheap and poorly. I think if Disney wanted to continue with that theme and not the Victorian seaside pier, then your idea would be the best!

    Great job.

  4. #4

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: San Francisco and Paradise Dreamland for DCA

    Quote Originally Posted by disneylandfan95 View Post
    The only problem I can think of is that DCA 1.0 was trying to be a classic seaside amusement park. It was just executed extremely cheap and poorly. I think if Disney wanted to continue with that theme and not the Victorian seaside pier, then your idea would be the best!

    Great job.
    This is a valid point, but I'd argue it wasn't trying to be classic at all..it was thoroughly "modern", with the trying to be hip roller coaster, a modern Wild Mouse attraction, the MaliBoomer, no classic spookhouse, etc etc...it was trying to be a seaside amusement park, but by no means a "classic" one like the glory days of Playland or Santa Cruz, or even New York's Coney Island in it's heydey.
    when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: San Francisco and Paradise Dreamland for DCA

    Quote Originally Posted by RegionsBeyond View Post
    This is a valid point, but I'd argue it wasn't trying to be classic at all..it was thoroughly "modern", with the trying to be hip roller coaster, a modern Wild Mouse attraction, the MaliBoomer, no classic spookhouse, etc etc...it was trying to be a seaside amusement park, but by no means a "classic" one like the glory days of Playland or Santa Cruz, or even New York's Coney Island in it's heydey.
    I understand what you mean. They were trying to recreate the classic seaside amusement park, but their execution was a failure. If they were to recreate a classic seaside amusement park, your idea would be the best! I really like the idea of having the sand go out into the bay. They tried to do that by GZ, but, again, their execution was horrible.

  6. #6

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: San Francisco and Paradise Dreamland for DCA

    Quote Originally Posted by disneylandfan95 View Post
    I understand what you mean. They were trying to recreate the classic seaside amusement park, but their execution was a failure. If they were to recreate a classic seaside amusement park, your idea would be the best! I really like the idea of having the sand go out into the bay. They tried to do that by GZ, but, again, their execution was horrible.
    Fair enough, yes, though I don't know how much thought was given to making it "classic"..it seems that at the time of opening, making it EXTREME while still family friendly was the name of the game. Hence the constant puns on the California names and making a few mostly unthemed (except for trying to be hip) carnival attractions (Space Shot type, Wild Mouse, roller coaster). If it had been intended to be a retro/classic beach park, it would have had much different detailing in place to support those rides.
    when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

  7. #7

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: San Francisco and Paradise Dreamland for DCA

    Back to the front page we go, wheeee
    when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: San Francisco and Paradise Dreamland for DCA

    Wonderful ideas - I wish Paradise Pier would have reference more classic rides such as the traditional dark ride that most seaside amusements had.

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: San Francisco and Paradise Dreamland for DCA

    Did you come up with the name from the now closed "Nara Dreamland" that was in Japan, that cut rate version of DL? I don't think too many people in Disney would want ANYTHING named after Nara Dreamland!

  10. #10

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: San Francisco and Paradise Dreamland for DCA

    Quote Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
    Did you come up with the name from the now closed "Nara Dreamland" that was in Japan, that cut rate version of DL? I don't think too many people in Disney would want ANYTHING named after Nara Dreamland!
    Actually, no, didn't think of that at all..it is a more classic style name, and was used for one of the parks at Coney Island, back when it first opened. More info here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreamla...sement_park%29

    That was the inspiration, to be a more "classic" feeling and inspired seaside-amusement park while upping the thematic ties to taking you somewhere exotic, rather than the bland, modern day pier amusement park it opened with.
    when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: San Francisco and Paradise Dreamland for DCA

    I would put a San Francisco area where Mulholland Madness is, changing the planned Goofy's Sky School retheme to a Streets of San Francisco retheme (they're notoriously steep and windy and confusing), enclosing the building and adding show elements such as scenery, projections of other cars, and signs pretending to be street signs doing stuff like saying
    "Crookedest Street in the World!" (this is a real location)
    "ABSOLUTELY NO LEFT TURNS!" (followed by a left turn)
    The five worst crimes in the world, in no particular order, are genocide, rape, murder, torture, and flash photography on Space Mountain.

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: San Francisco and Paradise Dreamland for DCA

    oh, fyi, there is still at least one "Big Dipper" in San Diego:

    www.belmontpark.com | Rides

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: San Francisco and Paradise Dreamland for DCA

    What makes San Francisco San Francisco is, to a large extent, the people you see and meet on the street; and right now, that area in DCA is largely a ghost town for cast members. They should take from what was done at the open of Disney-MGM and put in some street "performers" and get some people to at least stay around and populate the place.

  14. #14

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: San Francisco and Paradise Dreamland for DCA

    Quote Originally Posted by Wotan View Post
    What makes San Francisco San Francisco is, to a large extent, the people you see and meet on the street; and right now, that area in DCA is largely a ghost town for cast members. They should take from what was done at the open of Disney-MGM and put in some street "performers" and get some people to at least stay around and populate the place.
    If there were to be more of an area themed to SF, I absolutely agree..but that is kind of going away now with Little Mermaid, and will remain just the one street. The street atmosphere characters would have been very nice though.
    when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

  15. #15

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    Re: Armchair Imagineering: San Francisco and Paradise Dreamland for DCA

    I forgot I came up with this stuff myself, actually....heh. So back to the front it goes!
    when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

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