Okay, I've been thinking about what could make DCA into a world class park to rival some of the other Disney parks around the globe. As I was pondering this question I realized why I really wasn't to impressed with California Adventure when I was there last summer, it's a museum!
Here in Minnesota, we have something similar to DCA, it's called the Minnesota History Center, and until recently...it was FREE!
I've been to several parts of California on many different occasions and I figured out, DCA held little for me because I had seen all of the things it was trying to represent. I did not go to California to see a park based on California. So then I was thinking, what overlay could be given to DCA that would involve almost no cost to Disney, would be asthetically pleasing and fun at the same time, then it dawned on me...Disney's America.
Here's how I percieve a DCA metamorphosis.
Sunshine Plaza -> San Francisco - New Cannery Row overlay, with an old watertower, like House of Blues, showing off the Disney's America logo. The Golden Gate could stay, so can the train. The sun sculpture will have to go, but Disney could just move it to downtown Disney somewhere. A new "weenie" icon could be a giant American flag, or some kind of kinetic water sculpture with American icons.
Paradise Pier -> Luna Park (East Coast) - The northern part of the park would be cleared out, with the zephyr and the jellyfish relocated to the southern part of the lagoon. The area formerly occupied by them would be given a New England theme, with a new hurricane themed attraction. Golden dreams would be emptied, and possibly used for the new hurricane attraction, or maybe something completely different.
Hollywood Pictures Backlot -> Golden Hollywood (California)- This area would stay relatively the same, except for some cosmetic changes to the facades. Instead of the area taking on a behind-the-scenes hollywood look, it would be more of the Hollywood of the imagination, with old 1930's cars and a never-ending gala movie premiere at the Hyperion. Possible rides/shows: Vault Disney, keep the Animation building, a new indoor ride form of Catastrophe Canyon, new version of Superstar Television, and of course, a new Great Movie Ride.
Grizzly Peak -> Rocky Peak (Rockies/National Parks) With slight modifications to the nose and ears of the grizzly mountain, it could easily be a wolf. GRR could be renamed Wolfpack Rapids or something similar, and the entire area would become more of a rocky mountain national park type area. The challenge trail would be redesigned by WDI to better fit in with the new theme.
Condor Flats -> Eagle Flats AFB (Space Race) Soarin' over California would be given a new movie, that's the only adjustment. The Taste Pilot's Grill would remain the same. The only theming difference would be the addition of various historical American space craft and other NASA themed building overlays. The area would become America during the race for the moon, with Soarin being a new astronaut training flight or even just a flight across America.
The Cannery Row/Factories -> Fesitval of Nations. A celebration of American diversity and culutral harmony. The factories could stay basically the same, with just a slight theme variation. New sub-areas would be Chinatown, Mexico, etc.
Bountiful Valley Farm -> Heartland Farm. This area could be modified to resemble the great plains farm area. A new cheese shop, farmer's market, and other adjustments would be easy to add. ITTBAB could stay, but a Bug's land would have to go. A new tornado themed attraction would fit in nicely here. A new mini-farm could be built with the return of Minnie-Moo.
Winery -> A new improved American Adventure attraction ala Epcot. New story, new AA, new theater, etc. The show is really good, and just because the idea is a clone, it doesn't mean the show itself has to be.
Timon Parking Lot -> New Land TBD (Possibly Dixie, the Smokies, or (insert your idea here).
This is the product of my latest brainstorm, what do you think? Feel free to add your ideas!