DCA's Year in Review - 2004
Well, I have decided to go back thru some 2004 posts at another board and look back at what happened at DCA...
First event, the Rose Bowl Float coming to DCA, and the fiasco it created by not finishing the parade, and remaining in Pasadena for the 2 extra days of Float Viewing...
First a quote from Robert Niles
But, c'mon Disney, this is the Rose Parade. Not a preshow float for the Main Street Electrical Parade. Other corporations recognize that this a time to put aside overtly commercial messages and build a little goodwill with the audience -- their market. But Disney instead decided to flog California Adventure at us, and pimp a new ride.
Bad show, Disney. But wait, it gets worse. On the back page of the Calendar Weekend section of this morning's L.A. Times, Disney has an ad promoting its float's appearance at DCA from Jan. 2 - 19. Say what? That means the float won't be joining all the others from the parade in the traditional post-parade display. Instead, Disney's hauling it back to Anaheim and putting it on display for paying customers to DCA.
Tacky, tacky, tacky.
A quote from Fab, aka Michelle Smith
Looks like Disney has learned its lesson and left the float in Pasadena for viewing.... and didn't bother to ship it south...
What's even tackier is that the second and third are usually the days reserved for disabled people and underpriveliged youth groups to view the floats. Why couldn't Disney have waited til the fourth?
And how much did the showing cost at DCA, they had a team of float folks replacing flowers for a couple of weeks, plus the entertainment team that "rode" the elevator, well, they really didn't ride it at DCA, but they still worked the crowd.....
Then in the first week of January, Disney Marketing started up with a new Campaign to help sell the special SoCal tickets... The tag line...
"Pay for Disneyland, get DCA for Free"
Now this came as a big shock to many, who in the past complained when folks on the boards said the same thing in regards to prior promotions of the SoCal ticket....
Also around the same time, good news from the park, as it got rid of its SAP (Special Assistance) program, and went to a much more regulated system of matching assistance to need, and cut back on a lot of abuse of the old system
Also in January 2004, the Resort got rid of the "original" logo that featured GRR, and went back to a traditional Script logo that gave more emphasis to Disneyland, and shortly thereafter, DCA's logo was also changed, this time emphasing DISNEY and placing California Adventure in much smaller letters.
Then we had Roy Disney making a statement about DCA in a SEC filing from February 2004.
The filing then took issue with the company's skimping too much in building California Adventure and Disney Studios Paris in recent years. It said the company should have invested more in California Adventure, which opened in 2001, and charged that executives were too skittish over the Euro Disney debacle.
"The continued suppression of innovation - fixing the off-the-shelf rides -- is likely as the schemers desperately try to avoid any financial write-offs at this time," the filing says. "[California Adventure] has failed and will never come close to generating the financial return the planners forecast."
Also in early February, we had this statement from ESPN...
Also around the same time we find out the Super Soap Weekends have also been cancelled at DCA for 2004.
Next year, Disney's California Adventure (DCA) is opening a new attraction, the Tower of Terror, which is the number one attraction at Walt Disney World in Florida. With its incredible popularity, the number one marketing message for DCA over the next year will be launching the new Tower of Terror. As a result of DCA's specific goals, the X Games Xperience will not continue next summer.
Febuary 8th, 2004 was DCA's 3rd Birthday, and in honor of the event, Disney did absolutely NOTHING!
Then we had this statement from Michael Eisner himself...
Eisner's strategy of late has been to expand the brand without spending much. He tried to transform its properties —in Anaheim and Paris into "destination resorts" by adding second theme parks. The $1 billion Disney's California Adventure, largely made up of rides copied from its Florida parks or purchased off the shelf, left tourists yawning. Attendance was weak and sponsors like Wolfgang Puck fled. "What people have to keep remembering is we are going for magic,'' Eisner told NEWSWEEK last year. "We are not going for perfection."
May 5th brought the addition of Tower of Terror to DCA, which helps its attendance mix, but by no means was it a home run. Most people have said they prefer the WDW version... so 10 years after the original was built, DCA gets ToT lite.... and after an initial boost of AP holders, crowds have died down to very short waits.
Later in May we find out the SSL had been officially put out of its misery (though in early 2004 there were rumors of it reopening)....
Late June brought the first 1 day ParkHopper to the Main Ticket Windows, at about $20 more than a Single Park ticket, and even less with a SoCal discount.
July had an interesting article from the Motley Fool...
Across the way, the same couldn't be said for Disney California Adventure.
A lot has been written about the shortcomings of Disney's second West Coast park. Sadly, it's all true. It remains an incomplete destination. It opens later and closes earlier than its sister park as a silent bow of admission that it is not a full-day park.
The park's newest attraction, a scaled-down version of Disney World's Tower of Terror, is helping. It's the ride of choice after the rope drops at 10 a.m. A summer promotion with McDonald's got us Big Mac-consuming guests in an hour early, which proved to be plenty of time to knock off three quick rides on the new attraction before the rest of the park opened, but why did Disney give in to the cloning process? It's not a regional operator like Six Flags that can afford to dilute the magnetism of a new ride by copying it. Why would the masses that have already experienced the ride in Florida over the past 10 years head out to California? California Adventure has just one worthwhile original attraction, but that distinction will vanish once Soarin' Over California opens in Florida next year.
In July, Management decided to eliminate the wait board at DCA.
Also, at the end of July, the DLR Guide map was eliminated, and once again two different maps were issued for each park, this time with a new "Times Guide" on a seperate piece of paper, to allow the Glossy Maps to have a longer shelf life.
In August, Who Wants to be a Millionaire - Play It! was closed, and showings of Aladdin were cut back to 5 days a week. Also Groove 66 and Chance to Shine got the ax in the summer of 2003.
September brought the closure of the Paradise Pier Hotel special entrance, and the return of ABC Primetime Preview weekend, which really didn't boost attendance that much.. should be interesting to see if it returns in 2005.
September 14th brought Touch Screen Ordering and payment system to Taste Pilots Grill.
October brought back White Napkins to DCA, but instead of a DCA logo, now the napkins feature the Disneyland Resort logo.
Also, after over a year of having many strings of lights missing, the new fiscal year finally allowed for the replacement of the missing lampposts and lights.
November brings changes to Ariel's Grotto, with Ariel going away, and Capt. Mickey and Capt. Rustworthy taking over the place. Of course menu prices go up $2 a plate, but Disney still can't afford to change the signage to advertise the fact that Mickey Mouse is now the main character at the meals.... So we have "Ariel's Grotto" that doesn't have the lovely redhead as one of its characters....
Also in late November and December, DCA was seriously lacking in the Christmas decoration and shows department. No Christmas tree, and the only real Christmas thing was Santa's Beach Bash.
And also in late November, a new themed truck was parked in front of San Andreas Shakes... Of course, it is just one big Kellogg's advertisement!
Looks like 2004 was the year DCA had a bunch of stuff closed or eliminated....
Should be interesting to see what 2005 brings to DCA...
So Far, The "Pay for Disneyland, get DCA for Free!" is back
The lowest price EVER for a 3 day ParkHopper at $109 (Advance Purchase)
DCA closes one hour earlier (8 PM) on Friday's
And the "Block Party Bash" is coming in May, but that thing has changed so many times, sounds like we might be getting another "Light Tragic".... (only time will tell)
And of course, folks will compare it to the "Walt Disney's Parade of Dreams" opening at Disneyland.....