I had previously posted this idea:
(note- this was originally across 3 threads, so pardon the way it's written)
Immediately (holiday season): I would put together a "family package" of "gift tickets" to DCA. Family of 4, 2 adults, 2 kids for $80. These would be a specially printed edition with holiday images on the tickets, and for an extra $4 would come with two character holiday cards that were ticket holders (like money holding cards). Great stocking stuffer. Tickets would be good until March 31st. Additional family members' tickets could be purchased for $20 (kids).
Longer term, I would look at lowering DCA ticket prices to $25. I would meanwhile send the imagineers to work at a plan to turn DCA into a Disney's America. It would be a multi-phase plan, so the park could remain open (with reduced ticket prices) as it was being made over.
To start with, I would take the back area of Hollywood (where SSL, Millionaire, the food court, that outdoor stage, and Muppets are) and start turning that into New York. Millionaire (for as long as it remains popular) can stay. However, the building would be retrofitted or rebuilt in such a way that later a children's indoor ride could be put in. Said ride would be designed ahead of time, so the building can be done right for it. Better yet, a plan to make a small theatre out of it. Make a deal with Children's Television Workshop to make an Audio-Animatronic Sesame Street show. Either that, or AA creatures putting on a "broadway musical" in all its glitzy cheesy glory. No tongue-in-cheek sarcasm here, just unashamed cheesiness. Kind of like the city version of CBJ.
SSL and Hollywood and Dine would be history. In their place, a city skyline (a pretty version, like NYNY hotel in Vegas has). The Empire State building, etc. Empire State building would start as an empty shell, but have space in it for a future ToT, when people's nerves have calmed a bit. In SSL's place, a new "mountain". Okay, not a mountain, but an indoor E-ticket. Maybe even if it was just Rock 'n Rollercoaster. The front would be a part of the area's city skyline, not a hideous independent building. The entrance would be themed as a record store (okay, MUSIC store, since none of them sell records anymore )
This land would now feature a second story. Up there (not above the coaster, but above other spots) would be a nightclub (probably playing 70's-80's hits with some 90's stuff, to appeal to a wider audience), a piano lounge with a nice view and outdoor dining (specializing in beverages and appetizer type stuff, mostly buffalo wings, chicken tenders, fries, nachos and quesadillas. Easy stuff requiring only a small kitchen. It would probably get its stuff half-prepared from the kitchen used for the new restaurant in the area. That kitchen would be the one previously used for Hollywood and Dine, except instead of one large restaurant area, it would be a service area, with tables upstairs (overlooking the land). This dining area would be done all cute, with trees in planters, umbrellas over the tables, and white lights in the trees and around the edges of the umbrellas.
Yes, one of the things that will make the NY area desirable to guests at night will be how pretty it looks with all the buildings and windows, etc. all lit up. (and the Emp. St. will have its lighting designed such that however the actual one is lit at that time of year, so will the fake be lit, even the small, forced-perspective windows up high.)
Where the outdoor stage once was, now the entrance to this land, will be a scaled-down Statue of Liberty. What better weenie could a land ask for? She would stand on a small island in the middle of a largish pool of water, with the edges all themed as miniature cityscape on the inside, and look like a normal, but nice planter/fountain edge on the outside. Behind her ladyship (where it's less visible from the front) would be coin-op boats. Groan if you will, but as a kid, I thought those were the coolest things. The barriers build would be such that none of the boats could get lost out of view (ie: the couldn't end up in front of the statue). Keeping in mind that the statue would face towards Muppets (yes, Muppets can stay), the boats would still be perfectly viewable from the rest of the land, they are by no means hidden in a corner, they just aren't the first impression either. The outdoor stage would then be rebuilt, facing towards the former SSL more directly, and a much smaller stage. There would be a coffee bar location there, serving espressos, cappuccinos, lattes and the like (also kid's juice boxes, orange and apple, as is carried in other locations currently). Instead of rows upon rows of benches, there would be two rows of lowered benches, intended for exclusive use by children. The rest of the area would have chairs and small tables (like Coke Corner at DL has). This stage would be large enough for story readings during the day, and starting in the afternoon, musicians. Either a string trio/quartet or a small jazz band or all of the above rotating. This will draw, and keep, people in the area. It will be worth having because it will help sell coffee and fill the land with music. It will also be in the sightlines of most of the area dining establishments, with their 2nd story patios and windowed indoor areas. So in some way it will help sales in all the area restaurants. (Anyone who doesn't understand how an entertainer increases the revenue for a food location, ask yourself this: why is Rod Miller the highest paid entertainer in the park? There IS a reason!)
When the NY redo is complete, its unveiling will be part of the official change from DCA to DA. The park's name will change at that time. It will be a tad California heavy, but many of the themes can easily be understood to represent larger areas of the country than they currently claim to. Grizzly Peak recreation area, for example, is named after a Californian bear, but could be understood to be representative of all national parks. Since GRR already has geysers, this changeover will be fairly painless. Paradise Pier, for as long as it remains (under my plan it's eventually doomed, but there are too many attractions to bulldoze it first) can be easily understood to be any seaside pier/carnival from Santa Monica to Atlantic City. Bountiful Valley Farm (for the time it is there) can easily represent half the midwest states. The half of Hollywood not absorbed into NY (ie: the "street" which contains the Animation building, the theatre, a smoothie shop and soap opera bistro) may remain, though eventually the soap opera bistro will be turned into a location more guests want to visit.
I'm going to go ahead and post this much and I'll do phase II in another post.
On the opposite end of the park.... where Mulholland madness stands useless, is the perfect spot for a volcano. Some of you may recognize this one, I invented it in another thread, but I'll repeat for the benefit of those who missed it (especially since I don't remember which thread!)
The volcano is another e-ticket rollercoaster in the dark deal. The loading platform would be themed like a grass shack with rails/poles themed to look like bamboo. The attraction would start by going up the outside of the mountain, then in near the top like the Paris Space Mountain. The *very* top would be made to appear as if lava could come flowing over the edges at any moment. Indeed, it would have some red areas on the rim made from a durable plastic material. At night, it would glow red. There would also be a smoke machine there in the top, so periodically smoke would emanate from the top. It would all be fireproofed enough that small pyro could be shot from there during a lagoon show (or just for the heck of it a couple times a night to attract attention and "plus" the area). The bottom of the interior of the attraction is made to look like glowing, bubbling lava (ala Indy). The attraction twists and turns etc. inside the main area of the volcano, then shoots into a dark "lava tube", accompanied by a loud ~SPLASH!~ sound. The dark tube gives way to a Plexiglass tube running through a large fishtank, then back into darkness, and comes up from a hole in the lagoon (obviously this is a short underwater tunnel) which is framed on the outside by lava rocks. It then comes across the water, joins up with a "lava rock" archway from the lagoon side of the main walkway back over to the volcano. It does another turn around the exterior (so the track winds around over under etc. the track for the beginning of the ride) then returns to the station. Very little of the ride is exposed-structure. basically from the hole in the water up to the rock arch. A span which can be kept to a distance of perhaps only a few feet (more than 5, less than 20). The only reason the lava arch doesn't reach all the way out to the hole is because it would reduce the dramatic impact of coming out of the middle of the water. The sides of the lava arch can be plussed with waterfalls and foliage. This will improve both the look and the sound of the area.
The aquarium that the Volcano ride goes through will not be exclusively for the attraction, nor will it be exactly a tube. More like two large wall-like fishtanks attached in certain areas to look like the coaster is going through a full-on tube. Anyway, one side of the aquarium would be larger and lusher than the other. The smaller side would have a rock background. The larger side would be shared by the coaster and, on the outside of it, either a sealife "exhibit", or a seafood restaurant. It could even mark the return of the Tahitian Terrace, only it must be renamed to Hawaii. Perhaps Hale Ohana or something. The restaurant could have a stage with hula and ukulele shows.
This area of the park would also get a Little Mermaid dark ride, in the grand tradition of, say, an Alice or Peter Pan.
The Hawaii area would comprise the area from the Zephyr over to the Orange Stinger, and all the land that wraps around them. All that would be left now of Paradise Pier would be the Maliboomer and Screamin'.
More on the Island area: The King Triton Carousel and the Jumpin' Jellyfish can stay (though I would have preferred something a little better themed, it will be moderately acceptable)
The volcano would be a great weenie for the Island village land (no name as of yet.) It would be Hawaii toward the Paradise Pier end, and transition over to a Southwest/NM/Ariz./TX area.
This would be the "western" themed area of the park, but sticking closer to the painted desert theme so as not to tread the toes of Frontierland. It would be a fairly small area anyway, but large enough for a walk-up taco stand, a sit-down restaurant with tex-mex and other southwestern style food, and a line-dancing cowboy burger joint with a line dance instructor on hand to teach a lesson every odd hour, and tables that look as if they've been fashioned from barrels. Later, when a suitable kids play area has been built elsewhere (at this stage, bugs will still be in the farm area, so that would suffice), the Griz Peak Rec Area will give way to a show building for Western River Expedition. In the process, we will probably lose the Whoopi Theater due to space constraints. However, the line-dancing burger joint (hmm... maybe BBQ joint) would be inside WRE, blue bayou style. To acommodate the multi-story needs of WRE, the landscape would rise in that area, kind of like a hill or plateau, to allow lots of lower-story room. In that way, the Southwestern area would transition nicely into the National Parks area (basically GRR) which is fairly Rocky-Mountain in its design.
This is the end of Phase II
Phase III of the DCA-DA conversion
(just to rehash: the park would stay open, with only one area closed down at a time, and gala openings for each area. for the few years that this is being done, the price of DCA would be dropped to $25 per head, slowly rising as the newer, better areas of the park open. The park's name and the name of a couple lands would officially change when phase I, NY, opens. Phase III would complete the major changes in the park)
Phase III is where we finally lose Paradise Pier. It had to wait until other areas of the park had actual attractions in them.
For the life of me I cannot figure out a way to turn Screamin into an attraction that would fit into a themed environment. As much as I'd like it removed, there's no debating that it is a decent coaster and impractical to remove. So bear with me on its effect on the look of the area.
Paradise Pier would now become Liberty Bay. It would be representative of the colonies around the time of the revolution. Perhaps that would be the new name for Screamin : American Revolution (or is that too close to the 6flags coaster name?). The bridge over to Screamin's end of the area would be done over as a quaint covered bridge (like the one in Ichabod Crane). As much of screamin's exposed structure as possible would be covered. Only the top part of it would remain uncovered, so as not to ruin the sightlines for riders of the attraction. While the half tube does block the view of the outside world, it's hideous. It goes. If a suitable wall-like structure can be built to continue to block the view of the convention center, it would be.
In front of Screamin', a new waterfront would be built in the colonial theme. Interesting shops would be put in. A toy shop, featuring tin toys, toy soldiers, tricorn hats, etc. would be put in. Also a fish n chips quick service location. There would be a small shop selling jams, lace, soaps, and other quaint items that middle aged women (like my mother) go so nuts over. There would be some "landmark" items in the area as well. Things like a Liberty Bell and a statue of Washington or Franklin. At that end of the lake, a small ship would be built (since there is no submerged track, it would be stationary) On the pier side, it can house the fish n chips place, but the side facing across the lake would look fairly genuine. Should a show require it, this would be perfect for dumping "tea" from (recreation of the Boston Tea Party).
This land would have gas looking streetlamps, such as main street in DL has.
The covering for Screamin's structure could be made to look like hills/mountains (the appalachins).
Maliboomer goes. It's an eyesore. The ferris wheel stays until something better can be designed to go in its place. It is attractive, and it is an attraction, which the park needs to keep. Since there is a need for more kid friendly attractions, a dark ride based on the creation of America from Columbus and the pilgrims' landings through the Boston Tea Party, the Declaration of Independence, Paul Revere's ride, the war with Britain, and culminating with the swearing in of George Washington as the first elected President. It would have a narration by someone pretending to be Ben Franklin. If this could be sunk underground, then it could be a Pirates-type boat ride, otherwise it would be a fairly quality but normal dark ride.
End of Phase III and fairly complete conversion of DCA into DA.
Minor changes later, perhaps the addition of another attraction in the Condor Flats area, or the extension of the park into the Timon lot would be for a later time.
So far I found one major flaw in the above redesign in Phase I. The parade route passes between H&D and SSL's buildings, so if it was turned into one continuous front, there would have to be a gateway in the middle. Totally doable though, you make tall gates like at Town Square that are cut out to match the skyline image on them. The "mountain" (or Rock 'n Rollercoaster, or whatever E ticket is put there) would be where SSL is, and somehow be designed to share the building with ToT (would take some creativity, but hey, if you plan ahead....) and the restaurant take the place of H&D... or, if it could be worked out, have ToT in behind the restaurant. If not, then ToT take the place of H&D completely and build the restaurant next door to the E-ticket attraction (with parade route passing between the restaurant and ToT), giving up on reusing the old kitchen.