Bingo.When DCA was a proven failure, they had a choice to make: rip out ALL of the junk, including Paradise Pier, and do something amazing, or put in Carsland an re-do the entrance maybe to fool guests into thinking that all of the park looks that good. I think it came down to money, otherwise the California theme would be junked. California isn't some magical experience, IMHO, and despite the fact that a lot of films are made in California, outside of California people don't view the state as having this wonderful mythology and special little sub-culture. Would you want to visit a theme park that was "Disney's New York State Adventure"? They could have a replica Central Park, skyscrapper roller coaster, and rides depicting the wonderful rural world of upstate New York, and a mysterious sewer ride. Or maybe a "Disney's Florida Adventure" which celebrates the state of Florida.
Give me a break. GRR is a Knotts rip off ride that doesn't look as good as the Knott's version and if you want to see the real Redwoods, the Disney version doesn't cut it.
Monument Valley also isn't in California, yet there is a Cars version in DCA. DCA doesn't "celebrate" California, that is how they sold it to the APers, it's aim is for foreigners and out-of-staters to keep them from leaving the property to go to Knotts, Hollywood, etc . . .