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  1. #1

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    DCA: Will it ever capture the Magic?

    Let me say first of all, I really like DCA. Although it ranks far below Disneyland in Disney Magic, it still is far and beyond what anybody else has done in the industry and has a lot of potential.

    However, I am frightened that as DCA continues to be developed (or rescued as many might say), even Matt and his crew may forget to keep in mind some of the little things that could help put DCA on par with Disneyland.

    Everybody knows that DCA needs more high-quality attractions in the tradition of POTC and HM. But, what DCA needs just as much and possibly even more than good attractions, are elements that complete the immersion experience.

    For example, what would Main Street U.S.A. be without the ragtime piano, the Dapper Dans, the Penny Arcade, the watch store, the old-fashioned soda fountain and ice cream shop, handmade candy shop, the street buggies, swing dancing, etc...? It would be just like Paradise Pier.

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoy California Screamin', the Maliboomer, and I think the Sun Wheel is great for some evening romance or to help contribute to the whole "boardwalk" experience. But, WHERE ARE ALL THE OTHER ELEMENTS? Where are the LITTLE things?

    The point is, DCA has practically none of those things. None of the little things that at Disneyland sweep you away to a different world and make that plaque above the entrance to Main Street mean something significant.

    There. I have said my peace. And if you are out there Imagineers, Mr. Ouimet, ANYBODY, please don't prove me right.
    "Break it down? Are you kidding me...this is hand-carved mahogany." -Kronk

  2. #2

    • Darkbeer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chadalad
    Let me say first of all, I really like DCA. Although it ranks far below Disneyland in Disney Magic, it still is far and beyond what anybody else has done in the industry and has a lot of potential.
    Well, I have to disagree, if you are looking at a whole park, just look to Islands of Adventure in Orlando. An amazing second park.

    Terminator 2 3:D is an amazing attraction, a great pre-show, then the use of live actors in relation to the movie and moving seats.....

    Shrek 4:D is another notch up, once again, a great pre-show, then the amount of movement in the film, with some great gags...

    And queues in general... Look at Jurassic Park, interaction, themeing, SHADE, etc...

    Kid's area, Camp Snoopy is so much better than Flik's Fun Fair.

    IMHO, DCA isn't as good as Knott's, USH or SeaWorld.

    DCA should have had a REAL Woodie instead of Screamin'....

    Maliboomer and it's crazy scream shields... Give me the much larger and shield free Supreme Scream any day...

    And talk about a park with wasted space and lots of closed things, in a park that is already very light on attractions, and rides...

    Plus don't get me started on Goldem Dreams.....
    Last edited by Darkbeer; 03-10-2005 at 08:19 AM.
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  3. #3

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    There are so many fundamental flaws with DCA. I think that California is a great state to visit but, as has been discussed by many Disneylandians, it was a terrible mistake to place a California-themed park in California. I lived in Los Angeles for one year and for me it wasn't that exciting to step out of the everday reality of California and into...uh...well, California. Also, there really isn't any separation between the different sections of the park. It is possible for a guest to stand on Paradise Peir and see a giant pink dinosaur, a mountain that is supposed to look like a grizzly but sometimes looks more like a wolf, a tower that is strangely missing one wing, high tension power lines, and the Anaheim Hilton and Convention Center, all in one sweeping view. Yes, there are places in Disneyland where one can see things like a snow-covered Swiss peak from a dense tropical jungle and a Bavarian castle while riding on a little rocket ship orbiting a bronze solar system but the strange views in Disneyland just don't seem quite so shocking. So fundamental flaw #1 is theme, #2 is the lack of immersive experiences without bizarre intrusions, and #3 would have to be a general feeling of tackiness and the suspicion that the builders of DCA did not want to spend any money or attention to quality detail. I believe that whatever the solution to DCA's problems are, it is going to and needs to be well-planned, well-budgeted and QUALITY.

  4. #4

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    DCA is not up to par at all with Disneyland...the MAGIC is not there, it just seems like another carnival you get in any state, except for the disney characters being there.
    Last edited by MckyCrzy; 03-10-2005 at 09:02 AM.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darkbeer
    DCA should have had a REAL Woodie instead of Screamin'.....
    I don't know about that, Dark... as far a woodies concerned and the amount of space they have, it would be sure hard to beat the Collosolus... And the steel construction added new features to the classic woody design... Like the launch system and the loop...

    But a boardwalk style park area is nothing with out a couple of dark rides, IMHO - why not try and Under the Sea theme with Sabastian or something...

    Oh and more advanced stationary carni games too like Facination and Ski-Ball...

    I get your point though...

    I do like the "bluegrass" like band that plays between Golden Dreams and the Rapids...

    The accapella group at the gate is good...

    I cringe at the "cabaret" style review in front of Disney Animation --- but it is only because I heard the jokes too many times... But kids love it, so I don't mind so much...

    What gets me is that the Bay Area doesn't have much going on... Most of the Golden Vine is empty space (I am assuming they use it for company picnics? Otherwise why build so much?

    The Pacific Wharf area is a waste of space... I noticed they put a stage down there for the Surf City all stars which is a quick fix...

    So there is this dead zone prominade walk way from the Sunshine Plaza to the Pier... It was nice when it was filled with the InspEarAtions, some of that space was livened up... I would like to see a cable car on that route... Or something that moves people that has some visual stunning quality... There is nothing like that in any park I know...
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chadalad
    Everybody knows that DCA needs more high-quality attractions in the tradition of POTC and HM. But, what DCA needs just as much and possibly even more than good attractions, are elements that complete the immersion experience.
    But, WHERE ARE ALL THE OTHER ELEMENTS? Where are the LITTLE things?

    .
    Right on! To suspend disbelief you need the close up details to reinforce that you are not in the real world anymore. I think had the $$$ been there they would have done just that. The SF section to me is the worst offender, the architecture is six flags all the way. Had it been as the SF street in Universal FLA it might have been a different, non parking lot story. You need the rides to support that, and possibly setting the land in a different time peroid to feel unique.
    "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chadalad
    But, WHERE ARE ALL THE OTHER ELEMENTS? Where are the LITTLE things?

    The point is, DCA has practically none of those things. None of the little things that at Disneyland sweep you away to a different world and make that plaque above the entrance to Main Street mean something significant.
    While reading this I was thinking of the thread that's been running for a long time now titled "The Hidden Gems of Disneyland." If a similar thread would be started for DCA I wonder how many pages of genuine postings it would gather.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen of Disneyland
    I think that California is a great state to visit but, as has been discussed by many Disneylandians, it was a terrible mistake to place a California-themed park in California.
    Not if you are building a WDW style park... With a DVC, Resort Center... Trying to attract people to your park from other states...

    I get your meaning... and I agree with you... What is the big excitement of the TOT when you can see the real Hollywood Tower? If I wanted to see a Hollywood Backlot, I could go to Universal Studios... If I wanted to go to a pier park, I would go to Santa Monica... Why see a charactature of what you have come to So Cal to see, or even worse LIVE in?

    I mean if you look at DCA it is focused on themes that are more Southern Californian than Californian... I don't think it represents California very well... Like I said it is a charactature...
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  9. #9

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    I want Disney to stop...step back and create a plan to fix DCA. All these randomly thrown in attractions like Playhouse Disney, Millionaire, Bugs land, Monsters, etc have done little to help and only weaken the theme of DCA. A long range plan, not the next "quick fix" is waht DCA needs. Before long DCA really will be the MGM of the west.....a jubled of mess of attractiosn that have no real cohesive theme making up a theme park that has sort of lost its direction.

  10. #10

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    I enjoy slipping out of Disenyland for a few hours in the middle of the day, to head over to DCA and experience the very cool things the park has to offer. ToT, Soarin', Screamin', GRR (if it's summer), Animation, Aladdin, ITTBAB...

    DCA has some cool things.

    Unfortunatly, the cool things DCA has to offer, are in no way enhanced by the theme of the area it is in. Well, maybe GRR, but that is about it.

    Pirates, if it had been built in a warehouse in a parking lot, would not be as good. The ride is enhanced by being in a land themed to Romanticised New Orleans. Mansion is better by being in New Orleans. Splash is better by being in a tree filled, southern feeling Critter Country, with Pooh really out of place there. Space Mt. is better becuase it is in a "space port". BTMRR is better becuase it's in an old west frontier town.

    The rides at DCA would be just as good if they were built in a warehouse in a parking lot. Soarin', a hang-gliding tour of CA, is not enhanced by being in an ugly, rusty-looking, steel building in a run-down desert airport. Screamin' would be just as good if it were just built over pavement like SFMM's Scream. ToT is not enhanced by being in a Hollywood backlot. The rides are good, but are not enhanced by the themes.

    Many say that the CA themes are good, they just wasn't executed well. I don't see how this can be. How could "run down airport" be done any better executed than Cementdorflats? The ugly cementslab runway is there. The ugly rusty steel hangers are there. It is an ugly, run-down airport. It is executed very well.... It just totally sucks as a theme because it shows us things we can easily see, but never really wanted to.

    Ditto for the Seaside Generic Amusement Park. It has a seaside feel, in some areas. It has the generic amusement park rides and midway games... What more do you want? Sand blowing in your eyes and getting in your shoes? Wads of old fishing line strung about? A "fish gutting" sink? That smell of old rotting fish? Thousands of seagulls squacking and crudding all over the place? I don't know how they could do seaside generic amusement park any better... Again, it isn't execution that flopped, it is the basic theme of showing us stuff we can easily see, but would rather not.

    I think the entire pier area should be redone into an Under The Sea land. This is the place for a Nemo ride. Rip out the coaster-themed-coaster theme and replace it with Triton's Castle theme. The Sea Castle look of Aeriel's Grotto should be extended all through the land. Then, instead of a coaster in a parking lot, we'd be riding an under the sea coaster through Triton's Castle....

    Hollywood Backlot should lose the Backlot and become 1930's Hollywood.

    GRR wilderness theme should be extended into where the Bay/Route 66 now are.

    Bugsland theme should be enhanced in the farm, with some real rides.

    Wharf should be leveled and the are used as part of an expansion into the Timon lot.

    The expansion should not be Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Francisco with a boring cable car ride, or other real world things that peope could easily see if they cared to, but would really rather not see.

    Disney needs to remember what makes the magic (child's sense of wonder and imagination) and quit trying to be "hip and edgy" (artsy-fartsy, snooty, all-style-no-substance, trendy).

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by dshimel
    I think the entire pier area should be redone into an Under The Sea land. This is the place for a Nemo ride. Rip out the coaster-themed-coaster theme and replace it with Triton's Castle theme. The Sea Castle look of Aeriel's Grotto should be extended all through the land. Then, instead of a coaster in a parking lot, we'd be riding an under the sea coaster through Triton's Castle....

    Hollywood Backlot should lose the Backlot and become 1930's Hollywood.

    GRR wilderness theme should be extended into where the Bay/Route 66 now are.

    Bugsland theme should be enhanced in the farm, with some real rides.

    Wharf should be leveled and the are used as part of an expansion into the Timon lot.
    Wow, I just had to say that I REALLY like those ideas. Too bad none of us work for Imagineers!

  12. #12

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    I don't think DCA was designed to capture the same magic, but a different adult aura. For example, the fact that the offer alcoholic beverages does not play into the same magic as Disneyland. Not better, maybe worse, but different is the key to DCA. It is impossible to untrench our feelings for Disneyland and think openly about DCA without cringing at the stark comparision. Lastly you should also remember it took Disneyland a number of years to get up to speed, with a large handful of the original attractions being removed, remodels or abandoned for newer rides, areas and themes. So at the end of the day, for a park just less than 5 years old, DCA is holding her own and we can look forward to magic and changes spreading through her grounds for years to come.
    Last edited by ah schucks; 03-10-2005 at 10:20 AM. Reason: I keep forgetting key words, hands type faster than my brain







  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by MegarooFifi
    Wow, I just had to say that I REALLY like those ideas. Too bad none of us work for Imagineers!
    I think I heard someone say, I am pretty sure it was on the Motley Fool site, that any kid with a Theme Park Tycoon type computer game could design a better park....

    I couldn't help but laugh at that...

    I have to remind people that there are lots of things I like about DCA... But it is heavey on Restaruants Vrs Attractions... The rides are lower grade (with the exception of ToT, Screamin, and Souring...) Everything else is window dressing... Pretty to look at... Oh, and the Hollywood Backlot which I don't like the theming of at all...

    I was thinking about putting together a photo essay next time I go... "Things I like/dislike about the parks..." And show what I think are the issues that need to be addressed, and what I feel they did right...
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by ah schucks
    I don't think DCA was designed to capture the same magic, but a different adult aura.
    That was obvious the moment they put in the Golden Vine Winery...
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  15. #15

    • șoș Tom șoș
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    Everyone is seeking some sort of instant gratification- fix it now, make it better now, I want, me need. OK OK OK...

    I think that revenues are proof in the pudding and minds designed to look at these things are thinking about it as we speak. Plans and battlelines are being drawn and over the course of time, maybe 10 to 15 years things will change, things will improve and the park will blossum. It will require patience and it will require fans to make sure they invest in Disney, especially in a financial sense.

    Ya wanna see changes, rally family and friends to pick up stock in the public traded company and as part owner, demand to be heard.







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