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  1. #1

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    What if DCA had just been an explansion of Disneyland?

    So I was just thinking about how whenever we go, my parents aren't really ever that interested in going to DCA. We actually didn't even know a few lands and rides existed until recently. I though the entire Grizzly Peak land was just the hotel and never bothered. But anyway the real point is they don't go to DCA because they like Disneyland and that's the original and don't feel like wasting time outside Disneyland. But if it had been an expansion without having to go through a separate gate I think they would have been much more interested. Imagine if it had just been an expansion and all of a sudden Disneyland had a bunch of more rides and lands, I think it would have been more successful from the start.

  2. #2

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    Re: What if DCA had just been an explansion of Disneyland?

    I disagree. One of the most powerful attractions within Disneyland is not a ride. It's the hub and spoke design. It's logically laid out and its lands are perfectly defined and a joy to walk through. Thematically it tells a very coherent and strong story.

    DCA's biggest issue, and it's main problem - one nobody will ever be able to solve - is its layout. It's a mess. It's incoherent, illogical, hard to remember and has no basis on anything. I've been tons of times to DCA and I can't remember where I'd end up if I walked through the street in front of Ariel's, for example. Do I get to the hubcap - er - Carthay Circle? Can't remember. And I'm not exactly sure why the Tower of Terror leads to Bugs Land somewhat abruptly.... or why you walk from Cars Land's Route 66 to San Francisco all of a sudden... or...

    It's just a mess. I mean, I love Cars Land more than anything else in the DLR, and Buena Vista Street is now a competitor to Main Street. BUT - I'm very glad DCA is nowhere inside of Disneyland. No matter what they do to DCA, it'll always, always be a mess of urban design. Especially when compared to its neighbor next door.

  3. #3

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    Re: What if DCA had just been an explansion of Disneyland?

    Yeah it is reeeally messy

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    Re: What if DCA had just been an explansion of Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by fjhuerta View Post
    I disagree. One of the most powerful attractions within Disneyland is not a ride. It's the hub and spoke design. It's logically laid out and its lands are perfectly defined and a joy to walk through. Thematically it tells a very coherent and strong story.

    DCA's biggest issue, and it's main problem - one nobody will ever be able to solve - is its layout. It's a mess. It's incoherent, illogical, hard to remember and has no basis on anything. I've been tons of times to DCA and I can't remember where I'd end up if I walked through the street in front of Ariel's, for example. Do I get to the hubcap - er - Carthay Circle? Can't remember. And I'm not exactly sure why the Tower of Terror leads to Bugs Land somewhat abruptly.... or why you walk from Cars Land's Route 66 to San Francisco all of a sudden... or...

    It's just a mess. I mean, I love Cars Land more than anything else in the DLR, and Buena Vista Street is now a competitor to Main Street. BUT - I'm very glad DCA is nowhere inside of Disneyland. No matter what they do to DCA, it'll always, always be a mess of urban design. Especially when compared to its neighbor next door.
    Actually, you've just described one of DCA's greatest strength. The hub and spoke model at Disneyland worked great back when park capacity was low. We're talking pre-Space Mountain, Big Thunder, Indy, Splash, and Fantasmic! The biggest mistake, in my opinion, was the placement of Space Mountain to prevent a widening of Main Street. However, a widened Main Street just to the east would be off-center to the hub and castle. So due to ride placement and aesthetics Disneyland has the giant bottleneck of Main Street. It's so bad the week after Christmas that guests have to be redirected backstage for safety during parades. You're telling me Walt would have designed a park where over 10k guests every year are forced to see that the Jungle Cruise backs up to Main Street if they want to leave the park? This is also one of the biggest reasons why I'm glad DCA's over 30k. capacity wasn't added to Disneyland and its bottlenecks.(DCA opening day was at least 15k, which would have been a crowd control nightmare had it come in the form of a Disneyland expansion.)

    I always tell people outside work that DCA is better designed than Disneyland but I'm very careful to never say that on-stage in front of a guest. DCA's bottlenecks don't exist for the most important, with the exception of exit flow from the Aladdin show and Hollywood Blvd. during parades if they ever added a decent attraction or two to the backlot area. Disneyland, on the other hand, has the two bottlenecks when you first pass under the Main Street train station, the general Main Street bottleneck, the Tomorrowland entrance bottleneck, the Adventureland bazaar bottleneck, the Cinderella Castle drawbridge bottleneck, the castle courtyard bottleneck, and I can keep going if you want to count parades, fireworks, Fantasmic!, and Halloween parties.

  5. #5

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    Re: What if DCA had just been an explansion of Disneyland?

    I guess it somewhat depends on your perspective. For me, yes, the bottlenecks at certain times of day are problematic. But it's not a permanent issue (ie I can and have on plenty of occasions not really run into a blockade in those areas).

    However, in DCA, I feel like there are a lot more dead ends. I have to backtrack a ton to go places. That annoys me every time and there's no way around it because the walkways are where they are and that's it. So from my perspective, even though I agree that foot traffic is generally more free-flowing at DCA, it still feels like more of a time-suck to get from place to place, and more of a trek to get from place to place.

    Now I want more data to see if my perception is skewed, but it seems like it takes me longer on average to go between attractions in DCA. Yes if I'm hitting everything in one "land" those are close together, but getting from land to land is more time consuming. So while in Disneyland, it might take me an extra few minutes because there's a cluster of people and/or strollers to try to get through, in DCA it takes just as long because it's just a plain farther walk.

    A lot of the time when I don't bother going to DCA, it's not because I don't feel like going to some of the attractions, but rather because I feel like the time investment just to get over there isn't worth it. Between switching parks, which takes time, and then walking all the winding pathways through DCA, it's often just not worth it.

    As for the original question, I disagree it would've been more successful if it were just part of Disneyland. I believe part of the point of a second park is at least partially second admissions. If you build all these extra lands and market them as a second park, people are more likely to be willing to pay for said park. A different ticket or a more expensive ticket because you're getting "2". If it's just a giant expansion of the same park, you can't raise prices as much in one swoop. The value perception would be insurmountable for too many people. Sure, they raise prices every year, but the raise would need to be so much higher to compensate if it were all one park. It wouldn't have worked.

  6. #6

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    Re: What if DCA had just been an explansion of Disneyland?

    Park hopping is so easy. I treat the DLR as one big park. I go back and forth between both parks on a whim.

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    Re: What if DCA had just been an explansion of Disneyland?

    I had always thought expanding DL would have been much better than adding a second park. They could have expanded Critic Country and Tomorrowland to ease dead ends and help crowds flow around to other areas of the park.

    However, after reading some similar conversations here, I realized how insane it would have been to expand the capacity of DL to 100,000 people a day. Even with alternate entrance/exits and additional pathways, can you image Fantasmic or Main Street parades with 100K guests??

    I still wish they would have done more with Disneyland while adding a second park, though.

  8. #8

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    Re: What if DCA had just been an explansion of Disneyland?

    I am happy they didn't add DCA as an expansion it would have degraded DL so much. The layout of DL still works well today IMO you can get to each side of the park within 10 mins where as a trip from PP to hollywoodland seems to take forever. also there really isn't a flow to DCA at all it's awkward all the way around to me. It's a better experience now but the park is still sort of lost IMO on what it wants to be.

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    Re: What if DCA had just been an explansion of Disneyland?

    I think it is great that they have differences in designs... and in reality DCA REALLY isn't that hard to get around... I feel it is just the lazy perspective we hold today. Theme parks involve walking... DCA isn't a HUGE park... Go to Animal Kingdom, NOW that is a trek between rides!!

    Is it really that hard that it discourages someone from going to a theme park to enjoy some incredible rides and atmosphere... I don't think so... but heck, I enjoy walking... and I don't expect life to be easy every second.






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  10. #10

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    Re: What if DCA had just been an explansion of Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by DuckyDelite View Post
    I had always thought expanding DL would have been much better than adding a second park. They could have expanded Critic Country and Tomorrowland to ease dead ends and help crowds flow around to other areas of the park.
    Yep, they sure could have saved a ton of money by building up Disneyland and leaving the old parking lot alone.

    Soarin could have been a great replacement for America Sings!

    Grizzly River Rapids could have been built in the underutilized acreage behind Big Thunder.

    Tower of Terror could easily have been an awesome upgrade for Mission to Mars (think about it)

    Screamin could have been a well themed coaster for Adventureland......Indiana Jones Mine Cars, a Tarzan Coaster or even a Lion King ride.

    Radiator Springs Racers Imagine a Rocket Rods that actually worked with banked turns and maybe even a showbuilding with a visit to a city of the distant future


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  11. #11

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    Re: What if DCA had just been an explansion of Disneyland?

    I've been a big fan of DCA from the start and I actually enjoy it much more than DL. What bothers me about Disneyland is losing so many little things over the years that I feel were unnecessary and didn't add to the experience. For example: tree house re-theme, Tom Sawyer Island re-theme, removal of skyway, trees higher than the castle, destruction of Carnation plaza gardens, removal of Cascade peak without considering a replacement. So many little cuts that while not amounting to much by themselves mean a lot when combined. Am I the only one who finds the Rivers of America to be boring? Walt had such a different vision as the big ships made every turn and you were given dramatic views which told a story. Some not so PC, but still dramatic. The trip around the island is now pointless. You used to feel like you went on a journey. Now you just feel like you went in a small circle on a boat. Except for Splash Mtn, Star Tours and Indy, I don't see many changes or conservations of existing elements which Walt would have approved of. The Fantasyland remodel and modernization years ago with the addition of Pinocchio as possibly an exception to that.

    For me DCA is a pleasant escape from Disneyland and I am very pleased with the recent additions. Hopefully in the future there will be big plans to remodel Tomorrowland and begin to bring back some "balance to the force" in terms of the themes off of the hub.

    But to the original point, adding DCA to Disneyland would not have worked in my opinion. Walt's vision was to provide a journey through Disneyland that began as you approached the berm behind gates and opened up as you passed through one of the two tunnels to a view of turn of the century America-- and then ahead was the castle and a glimpse of something magical. Then off to each side were themed entrances inviting you into different worlds. Perspective was very important, and how could you do that with adding something behind you at the entrance? You would have to change the DL entrance first; it just wouldn't have worked.

  12. #12

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    Re: What if DCA had just been an explansion of Disneyland?

    For what they charge to enter with half the offerings of DL, yes I feel that DCA should be reduced to simple expansion status.
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  13. #13

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    Re: What if DCA had just been an explansion of Disneyland?

    Quote Originally Posted by fjhuerta View Post
    DCA's biggest issue, and it's main problem - one nobody will ever be able to solve - is its layout. It's a mess. It's incoherent, illogical, hard to remember and has no basis on anything. I've been tons of times to DCA and I can't remember where I'd end up if I walked through the street in front of Ariel's, for example. Do I get to the hubcap - er - Carthay Circle? Can't remember. And I'm not exactly sure why the Tower of Terror leads to Bugs Land somewhat abruptly.... or why you walk from Cars Land's Route 66 to San Francisco all of a sudden... or...
    I hate "me too" posts, but me too. I feel rather lost at DCA. I couldn't legitimately tell you how to get to Goofy's Sky School from anywhere else in the park. And it especially makes no sense since the template for a navigable theme park is a few hundred feet away.

  14. #14

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    Re: What if DCA had just been an explansion of Disneyland?

    my father always thought the same thing but then one day tickets would cost more b/c the most popular ticket is 2 day 1 park per day. and some people only go to DCA so disney just wants our money but I feel that creating one entrance to an esplanade where one side goes into disneyland and the other DCA would be weird cause it would be like your in the park payed to get in there and now there is like a gap in between 2 lands it just would be not very disney-esk b/c then if they didn't want the gap then they would have to build DCA right next to the DL entrance then it wouldn't be a smooth transition and there wouldn't be enough room to do bag check and it just wouldn't work
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  15. #15

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    Re: What if DCA had just been an explansion of Disneyland?

    I don't get a lost feeling in DCA, I think the layout is just fine. But I'm not one to crisscross around at DL like some do. I start at one place and meander through each section in a thoughtful and deliberate manner. I never backtrack to a land I've already been to.

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