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  1. #31

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    I have been to all the North American parks.
    I agree that DCA is most like DMGMS, but after that we disagree.

    I LOVE Disney Studios! Although it has some weak points like DCA, Disney Studios has some really unique and top of the line experiences:

    Shows:
    1) Indiana Jones Stunt Show— This show is on a grand scale with eye popping fire stunts. It is better than anything I have even seen at Universal Studios

    2) Voyage of the little Mermaid— This spectacular children's show will make you feel you are under the sea. It is a great family experience, deserving of a true Disney attraction.

    3) Car Stunt show— Now they have the car stunt show. Nothing at DCA compares to the level of entertainment of this show.

    Rides
    1) Tower of Terror— I love these two rides. The experience of the TOT is so much better with the fifth dimension. When the elevator leaves its shaft, it freaks most people out. it is a moment of true magic. DCA's version is a poor man's imitation.

    2) Rockin' Roller Coaster— I love the experience of this indoor ride. The theme of navigating LA traffic is tongue in cheek but wonderful. These two rides are first in class.

    Restaurants:

    1) Sci Fi Dine In — What a fun concept to recreate the drive in theater idea as a restaurant. I love it.

    2) Cafe 50's Prime time Cafe— This show / restaurant will take you back to 1950's. Wonderful concept and fun for the child at heart.

    Ambience:

    The recreation of 1930's-1950's Hollywood is truly magical. DCA's just is pitiful in comparison. I don't enjoy the back-lot concept at either park. But at DCA it is all you have.

    What does DCA have?

    The best thing about DCA is Sourn' Over California. It is the genuine Disney style ride. Monsters Inc is a fun little child's ride that is good, but not great. Bug's life is nice too. As to food, nothing is of the experience of Disney Studios. As to theming, Disney Studios takes you to the golden days of Hollywood. DCA takes you to a wiener stand that is supposed to be a movie theater on a back-lot. Can anyone figure out that?

    SO DISNEY CALIFORNIA ADVENTURE IS THE WORST PARK IN THE US!

    Disney Studios beats it hands down. It is not even close! Give me Disney Studios any day over DCA.
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  2. #32

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post
    Rides
    1) Tower of Terror— I love these two rides. The experience of the TOT is so much better with the fifth dimension. When the elevator leaves its shaft, it freaks most people out. it is a moment of true magic. DCA's version is a poor man's imitation.
    I"m afraid I disagree with that comment. I'm one of the few that prefer DCA's and for many reasons too. The biggest one is that I absolutely hate the 5th dimension room. It's cheesy, boring, and pointless in my opinion. It doesn't add anything to the ride at all, and felt it was just thrown in for the sake of an extra show scene. I'd take the mirror effect over that any day

    The second major reason is the drop profile. Don't get me wrong....I love the random drop sequence, but the major reason I don't enjoy it is that it barely gives you any airtime like DCA's does anymore. It seems to only make small ascents and descents with the occasional full drop.

    With that in mind, MGM's Tower of Terror does have some advantages to it like the beautiful garden queue outdoors. I also love their show building, nowhere near as elaborate as Tokyo DisneySea's, but better than what DCA has now.

    Please excuse me for steering this thread off topic.....
    To get back on topic, I still think DCA is a better park than MGM-Studios simply because it has MORE!
    ~ Tokyo DisneySea’s Arabian Coast at nighttime ~


  3. #33

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post
    I have been to all the North American parks.
    I agree that DCA is most like DMGMS, but after that we disagree.
    I think you were disagreeing with another post here, because I agree with you in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post
    Shows:
    1) Indiana Jones Stunt Show— This show is on a grand scale with eye popping fire stunts. It is better than anything I have even seen at Universal Studios
    This show actually disappointed me. It was enjoyable, but IMO it was not even close to the WaterWorld stunt show at USH.

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post
    2) Voyage of the little Mermaid— This spectacular children's show will make you feel you are under the sea. It is a great family experience, deserving of a true Disney attraction.
    I did not have high hopes for this one, and it is a good thing because I thought this was a very average show.

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post
    3) Car Stunt show— Now they have the car stunt show. Nothing at DCA compares to the level of entertainment of this show.
    I agree 100%. Lights, Motor, Action was very good IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post
    2) Rockin' Roller Coaster— I love the experience of this indoor ride. The theme of navigating LA traffic is tongue in cheek but wonderful.
    If any ride at WDW belongs at DCA, this one is it. The theming was fabulous and a perfect fit for a California theme. My only mini-complaint is that the ride is 30-60 seconds too short. This was one of our favorites at WDW.

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post
    Ambience:

    The recreation of 1930's-1950's Hollywood is truly magical. DCA's just is pitiful in comparison. I don't enjoy the back-lot concept at either park. But at DCA it is all you have.
    I agree. The MGM feeling beats DCA handily. No one in this thread has yet mentioned the Streetmosphere characters who I could stop and listen to for hours. As it was I only got to do this for about an hour max over two days. DCA could easily do something similar in HPB and it would improve things there.

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post
    What does DCA have?

    The best thing about DCA is Sourn' Over California. It is the genuine Disney style ride. Monsters Inc is a fun little child's ride that is good, but not great. Bug's life is nice too. As to food, nothing is of the experience of Disney Studios. As to theming, Disney Studios takes you to the golden days of Hollywood. DCA takes you to a wiener stand that is supposed to be a movie theater on a back-lot. Can anyone figure out that?
    Here I think you are being too hard on DCA. I agree with you on food (as I stated in an earlier unrelated post). But DCA does have more cool rides than you mention here. When it comes down to it, MGM itself only has two excellent rides (RnR, ToT). Then it has a few others that are pretty decent. IMO DCA has better rides than MGM, but it lacks the shows, dining, and ambience (as you put it). It is probably the ambience that is the biggest factor in my preferring MGM over DCA.

  4. #34

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Wow, DisneyPrincess... that was *exactly* the ranking order I had come up with. My perspective is a longtime WDW vet who has only recently begun taking occasional trips to DL (and loving it) when other business has me in California. And my brother just moved to an LA suburb... woooo!

    1. DL
    2. Epcot
    3. MK
    4. AK
    5. DCA
    6. MGM

    As someone who grew up with Epcot (I was born in Florida in '78), those "cheesy" rides feel nostalgic to me, and I miss the Future World rides that are gone! I don't really get the "where is the Disney" argument about WS. WS feels as Disney to me as any attraction that is not directly based on a Disney movie or characters, and there are countless of those in almost all (or all?) the parks. My perception of what feels Disney is an immersive theming experience.

    I love AK, though I agree that it's a 1/2 day park. I enjoy DCA very much, though it too is a 1/2 day park, especially for an adult with no children.

    I like MGM for sentimental reasons (had my wedding reception there), but there really isn't much to do other than GMR, ToT, and RnR. Star Tours makes me sick, so that's out. Then there are several shows that I like to see sometimes, but not on every visit, like Little Mermaid, B and B, and Muppets. There are the tours that are really pretty old and boring now that productions aren't really being done there anymore. And there's the stuff aimed at preschoolers.

    The thing with shows... it seems to me you can only bring yourself to see them so many times, compared to the repeatability of rides. The new car stunt show is very well done, and I'm glad to have seen it once, but cars aren't interesting enough to me to ever see it again. And I've seen the Indiana Jones show probably five times... and that's enough... it's been around forever.

    As far as DCA... I especially appreciate the things that are unique to it. Love Soarin, but it's not as exciting for me now that I've been on the Epcot version countless times. I'm very much looking forward to trying Monsters, and I love the Aladdin show. And themed or not, Screamin is a great coaster! Oh... and the Main Street Electrical Parade!!!!! No parade will ever beat that one for me.

  5. #35

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    DCA is a ok theme park...but there's not enough to do becuase by 3:00 pm I am always bored.
    Soarin is cool but since its a Epcot now that makes it less special, River Run is like that River ride at AK, The Hollywood part of DCA is a small clone of MGM Studios, and the Pier is ok but nothing speicail, plus besides the electric parade they have no night time show.
    So as of now DCA needs some work.

  6. #36

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    I like DCA because it is next to Disneyland. I think they work together. I would never want to spend a whole day there without going to DL, hence the parkhopper. But there is an opportunity for characters (pixar) and different rides that I would not want to see in the classic park.
    Also the theme of California is great, I think there is room for change but even Californians, for the most part, have not taken in all our beautiful state has to offer.
    On a side note I think this is a great thread!




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  7. #37

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by pouncingpluto View Post
    As someone who grew up with Epcot (I was born in Florida in '78), those "cheesy" rides feel nostalgic to me, and I miss the Future World rides that are gone! I don't really get the "where is the Disney" argument about WS. WS feels as Disney to me as any attraction that is not directly based on a Disney movie or characters, and there are countless of those in almost all (or all?) the parks. My perception of what feels Disney is an immersive theming experience.
    I have wondered about that. I understand how cheesy rides that are nostalgic can still have value. Heck, a lot of people make fun of the Tiki Room but I still really enjoy it (nostalgia). And I wondered how a person who has been going to Epcot for a long time might view WS and consider it just "part of Disney". Your description above makes sense to me. But I will still insist that to folks without that nostalgia, the "Disneyness" of Epcot is just not very strong. I have four sons and Epcot was their least favorite park at WDW - I think for this very reason.

    Not in response to you but to the general issue of DCA, there has been precious little time for DCA to develop any nostalgia around it. So cheesy DCA rides just look like cheesy rides. The DCA naysayers out there are very hard on the rides at DCA and what they refer to as the lack of theming. But I have to insist that many of the elements criticized at DCA - which supposedly make it a sub-par Disney park - also can be found at WDW - in abundance. Especially by someone like myself who does not have any nostalgia for the WDW parks. This does not mean everything is wonderful at DCA (or that the WDW parks are somehow bad), but it does mean, IMO, that the often heard claim that DCA is not a true Disney park is suspect. In fact, as can be surmised from my OP, my recent WDW experience forces me to reject this line of thinking.

  8. #38

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by HydroGuy View Post
    Here I think you are being too hard on DCA...
    .
    We agree on the basic idea that DMGMS is better than DCA, but maybe you are right. I might be too hard on DCA. I have not listed some unique experiences for DCA.

    1) HOW TO MAKE A TORTILLA — I know that children stay up nights hoping to see the magic of tortillas. I personally have always wondered how they get them so flat.

    2) A FERRIS WHEEL — DCA is the only Disney park in the world that has one. I know that many hope that this ride is cloned across all the parks.

    3) THE SLOWEST BUMPER CARS IN THE WORLD — For those who develope a nose bleed walking, this ride is for you. No other ride like this in the world moves this slowly.

    I can see why people prefer DCA to Disney Studios. After all, Disney Studios have Fantasmic, Star Tours, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, Car Stunt show, Indian Jones, and great restaurants. Those experiences really don't compare to a tortilla tour.
    Jiminy Cricket Fan
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    Love Disneyland and Walt Disney World!

  9. #39

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogberto View Post
    I developed a new appreciation for DCA after visiting Legoland, and Universal Studios Hollywood, for the first time this year. The pricing is similar, but DCA has much, much much more to do for a visitor, and I don't think I realized the "good things" about DCA until visiting other parks, since I had just compared it to Disneyland before then.
    Never been to LegoLand (and hopefully never will), but I was at USH two summers ago as well as Sea World San Diego.

    If one were to ask me: "Would you rather spend a day at USH, Sea World, or DCA?", there would be no obvious answer to me. They all have good things about them and my preference would depend on time of year, my mood, time since my most recent visit, etc.

    However, if one were to ask me: "Would you rather spend two days at DL/DCA or one day at DL and a second day at USH or Sea World?", I could easily answer that I would prefer two days at DL/DCA.

    It is also true that for my multi-day trips to DLR, I always add an extra day to the visit that I would not have pre-DCA. This supports your point about Disney's effort to get people to stay longer in Anaheim and, along the way, spend more money.

    I think that despite DCA's attendance problems, Disney is on the right track with developing a resort in Anaheim that is more than just DL.

  10. #40

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    I like this calm discussion about DCA. It is one of those topics that seems to send people into a frenzy. Here is my feeling...I LOVE Disneyland but not amusement parks. I have been to SFMM, Knott's and Universal but not recently or often. I keep returning to Disneyland for reasons that cannot be measured on a chart. I go to Disneyland about 50 times a year and go to DCA about half of that but it is more of a pinpoint attack. I will go to Disneyland and stroll and shop and dine and go on a few rides. I will enjoy the nostalgia and the atmosphere. I will go to DCA for Soarin' or the Electrical Parade. To buy an ice cream sundae. But it feels wrong to have DCA there, I miss the parking lot I am a native Californian and although when they first said the new park was going to be California themed I didn't understand the point, I like that aspect of it. I get choked up on Soarin' and feel so lucky to live where I do. That is my story.

  11. #41

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post
    We agree on the basic idea that DMGMS is better than DCA, but maybe you are right. I might be too hard on DCA. I have not listed some unique experiences for DCA.

    1) HOW TO MAKE A TORTILLA — I know that children stay up nights hoping to see the magic of tortillas. I personally have always wondered how they get them so flat.

    2) A FERRIS WHEEL — DCA is the only Disney park in the world that has one. I know that many hope that this ride is cloned across all the parks.

    3) THE SLOWEST BUMPER CARS IN THE WORLD — For those who develope a nose bleed walking, this ride is for you. No other ride like this in the world moves this slowly.

    I can see why people prefer DCA to Disney Studios. After all, Disney Studios have Fantasmic, Star Tours, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, Car Stunt show, Indian Jones, and great restaurants. Those experiences really don't compare to a tortilla tour.
    Yes...but why did you feel the need to pick the absolute worst attractions in DCA? Why did you not put in Tower of Terror, Grizzly River Run, or Soarin'? Those attractions alone put it up there with MGM-Studios?
    ~ Tokyo DisneySea’s Arabian Coast at nighttime ~


  12. #42

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post
    We agree on the basic idea that DMGMS is better than DCA, but maybe you are right. I might be too hard on DCA. I have not listed some unique experiences for DCA.

    1) HOW TO MAKE A TORTILLA — I know that children stay up nights hoping to see the magic of tortillas. I personally have always wondered how they get them so flat.

    2) A FERRIS WHEEL — DCA is the only Disney park in the world that has one. I know that many hope that this ride is cloned across all the parks.

    3) THE SLOWEST BUMPER CARS IN THE WORLD — For those who develope a nose bleed walking, this ride is for you. No other ride like this in the world moves this slowly.

    I can see why people prefer DCA to Disney Studios. After all, Disney Studios have Fantasmic, Star Tours, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, Car Stunt show, Indian Jones, and great restaurants. Those experiences really don't compare to a tortilla tour.
    To round out the discussion, you should expand your list to include some of the WDW highlights such as:

    1. Epcot

    - Journey Into Imagination
    - Spaceship Earth
    - Circle of Life
    - Maelstrom
    - El Rio Del Tiempo (this is truly awful)
    - Living with the Land

    2. Animal Kingdom

    - Fossil Fun Games
    - Lion King Show and Mickey's Jungle Jammin Parade (I enjoyed the Lion King show BTW, MJJP was so-so - but the actual show/parade elements were taken out of mothballs from a parade at DL in the 1990's, I believe)

    3. MGM

    - Sounds Dangerous (this is truly awful)
    - Streets of America
    - Backlot Tour (can you say "failed attempt to be like Universal Studios"?)


    I did not get to visit Epcot, MGM or AK in their first five years to see what other highlights they had that have since been abandoned.

    In truth, it was really hard in my post here to twist my mind around to highlight the negatives about the WDW parks because I did not look for them so I could say "See, I told you so!". When I was there I just let them be what they were - some weakness in the park that hopefully will be improved over time.

    All of these Disney parks have gone through growing pains.

  13. #43

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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by TDR_Fan View Post
    Yes...but why did you feel the need to pick the absolute worst attractions in DCA? Why did you not put in Tower of Terror, Grizzly River Run, or Soarin'? Those attractions alone put it up there with MGM-Studios?
    Actually, I was just trying to focus on the real distinctive to DCA.

    Tower of Terror -- Well, that is at Disney Studios (and I and many others feel it is a better version)

    Grizzly River Run -- This is very similar to Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom.

    Soarin' Over California -- A clone of this ride is now at Epcot.

    DCA's one worthy unique attraction is Monsters Inc. DCA has no restaurant that really tops the list. Nor is there a truly wonderful section to the park.

    Disney Studios

    Indiana Jones Stunt show -- Although I would wish that they would update this one, it is still a crowd pleaser packing in audiences daily.

    Rockin' Roller-Coaster -- Nothing like this is at another Disney Park.

    Car Stunt Spectacular -- One is in Paris, but this is in the US.

    Great Movie Ride -- Nice little show that needs to be updated, but still is a unique experience.

    Little Mermaid -- Again unique. I think it is a nice show and certainly many pack it out every day.

    50's Cafe -- I know that this is a restaurant, but it is kind of a show also.

    Hollywood Blvd. This main street for DMGMS makes you feel like you are in Hollywood in the golden era.

    Osborn Family Holiday Lights -- Wonderful display that most love for the holidays. DCA has... Well, NOTHING!

    Now I know that each person has preferences on individual rides and shows at each park. The ultimate answer to the question on how DCA compares to other parks, all one has to do is look at the number of people who enter the park each year.

    DCA IS THE WORST ATTENDED DISNEY PARK IN THE US! Even during Disneyland's 50th celebration, when people were crushing into Disneyland, DCA still could only manage to do Number 7 in the US. Disney MGM came in at number 4. Disney Studios was up 5% but DCA was only up 3.6% when Disneyland attendance was up a amazing 8.5%.
    Jiminy Cricket Fan
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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post

    Tower of Terror -- Well, that is at Disney Studios (and I and many others feel it is a better version)

    Not I. I can list several reasons why DCA's version is better.
    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post
    Grizzly River Run -- This is very similar to Kali River Rapids at Animal Kingdom.
    Not really. It's much longer, has more thrills, and gets you more wet.

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post
    Rockin' Roller-Coaster -- Nothing like this is at another Disney Park.
    There is a clone of this at Walt Disney Studios in Paris.

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post
    Little Mermaid -- Again unique. I think it is a nice show and certainly many pack it out every day.
    There is a version of this (which I feel is better) at Tokyo DisneySea
    ~ Tokyo DisneySea’s Arabian Coast at nighttime ~


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    Re: How Does DCA Really Compare To Other Disney Parks?

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post
    DCA IS THE WORST ATTENDED DISNEY PARK IN THE US!
    Yes, we know that. But being the worst attended park does not automatically mean it does not compare well to other Disney parks. I was attempting here to discuss relative merits and the reality of the WDW parks as opposed to the misleading statements one reads on DLR forums to the effect that all of the WDW parks are so much better.

    You know as well as I do that if you subtracted the MK, Epcot, and Disney-MGM Studios from WDW then AK attendance would fall considerably. You also know that WDW attendance dynamics are very different from DLR, with most visitors going there for lengthy trips because the resort offers such a wide variety of entertainment. AK benefits from this, just as DCA benefits from being next to DL. But AK benefits more because the folks there are already on multi-day trips, as opposed to DLR where the majority aren't.

    I think your point is that DCA does not compare well to the WDW parks. Fine. I have now been there and it is clear to me that it does. And it is also clear to the numerous WDW vets with whom I corresponded on WDW forums.

    As I said in the OP, I am not a "rah-rah-rah DCA is great" person. I looked at it objectively as compared to the WDW parks and drew my own conclusions. If attendance is a problem at DCA, and it is, IMO it would be a serious mistake for Disney to begin fixing the problem with the premise that "DCA is sub-par compared to other Disney parks". I do not know what the reasons are for the low DCA attendance - none of us really do - but I have my opinions.

    It will be interesting to see what Disney does with Iger's "DCA fixup" program and how that impacts attendance over the next several years.

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