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  1. #1

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    DCA and Disney's America

    A wild tear caught my mind the other day and I started thinking about that almost produced "Disney's America" themepark in Virginia in the 90s. So I googled it, and Wikipedia--far from an objective source, I know--noted that two of the proposed rides from the park; a raft ride a and an old fashioned looking rollercoaster, where eventually arguably put into DCA. Indeed, if you look at the concept art for DA, you can see obvious precursors to Grizzly River Run (although it was originally to be native American themed) and Cali Screaming (visible from an overhead view).
    This made me wonder further, if DA had been built, would it gain a lot of the same skepticism that marks DCA (i.e. that it is foolish and arrogant to produce an American themed park for Americans, just as it is arrogant to produce a California themed park for Californians.
    Either way, I seriously doubt DA would have done very well somehow--loks too much like early EPCOT, which suffered from an emphasis on education without enough rides.
    Here's some of the shots showing similarities to DCA:
    Grizzly River Run:

    Condor Flats:


    If you look in the upper right you can both see a Cali Screamin' style white coaster, and a farm area kind of like Bountiful Valley Farm:



    What do you think? Would such a park have been profitable?
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  2. #2

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    Re: DCA and Disney's America

    Kinda looks like DCA got some help elsewhere, too bad it wasn't good help. From that overhead, it also looks like paradise pier lagoon. I think we compare too much of DCA to DL because it is right across the Esplanade. it is hard to say whether a new park in a new area would be getting the same criticism. But grizzly river rapids and screamin are two of the best rides and the same with the Condor Flatts area, which is ok theming. Kind of makes you wonder if these DA plans added a C between them and became DCA? Whatever it is, hopefully Mr. Lassiter will help this park's cause for it's 10th anniversary in 4 years.





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    Re: DCA and Disney's America

    Looks a ton alike,
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    Re: DCA and Disney's America

    Me personally? I doubt it. Where they wanted to build it, the weather sucks when it is cold, and I just don't think people would have flocked to it. I was always against Disney's America, not only from a location statndpoint, but from the standpoint of the concept as well.

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    Re: DCA and Disney's America

    Quote Originally Posted by NickCharles View Post
    Me personally? I doubt it. Where they wanted to build it, the weather sucks when it is cold, and I just don't think people would have flocked to it. I was always against Disney's America, not only from a location statndpoint, but from the standpoint of the concept as well.
    I felt the same way.

    I think Disney's America was Michael Eisner's "me-too" version of Colonial Williamsburg. And, some of the concepts like the "Industrial Revolution" roller coaster were embarrassingly bad.

    If Disney ever did anything near the nation's capital, that attraction would need to be a legitimate interpretive center and not some mindless amusement park with an American motif.

    As for D.C.A., a Californian park that is both a museum of living facts and a community center is a great idea, especially if the park complements The Magic Kingdom. But, unfortunately, D.C.A. just doesn't execute that idea as well as the park should.
    Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; 01-31-2007 at 05:10 PM.

  6. #6

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    Re: DCA and Disney's America

    Wow they do look really similar...


    The artwork that looks like GRR has some animals in it, kind of like the changes Al was talking about for GRR.

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    Re: DCA and Disney's America

    Quote Originally Posted by Maseca View Post
    Wow they do look really similar...


    The artwork that looks like GRR has some animals in it, kind of like the changes Al was talking about for GRR.
    I also like that the rafts appear to be made by indigenous tribespeople. That direction is precisely the way G.R.R. should go.

    The mythology of the original Californians has tremendous potential to be made into a D.C.A. attraction. And, their conservationist mindset would give G.R.R. more of a purpose and would work well with the John Muir-inspired ideas the rest of this region of D.C.A. presents.
    Last edited by PragmaticIdealist; 02-21-2007 at 01:09 PM.

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    Re: DCA and Disney's America

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    I felt the same way.

    I think Disney's America was Michael Eisner's "me-too" version of Colonial Williamsburg. And, some of the concepts like the "Industrial Revolution" roller coaster were embarrassingly bad.

    If Disney ever did anything near the nation's capital, that attraction would need to be a legitimate interpretive center and not some mindless amusement park with an American motif.

    As for D.C.A., a Californian park that is both a museum of living facts and a community center is a great idea, especially if the park complements The Magic Kingdom. But, unfortunately, D.C.A. just doesn't execute that idea as well as the park should.
    Wasn't Disney-MGM Eisners "quick we have to have one built before they do" park in regards to Universal Florida? And wasn't Animal Kingdom simply Eisner's "me too" park in response the the fact that people were going to Busch Gardens in Tampa?

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    Re: DCA and Disney's America

    Quote Originally Posted by NickCharles View Post
    Wasn't Disney-MGM Eisners "quick we have to have one built before they do" park in regards to Universal Florida? And wasn't Animal Kingdom simply Eisner's "me too" park in response the the fact that people were going to Busch Gardens in Tampa?
    Yes and yes... He helped turn Disney from a ruler of magic kingdoms to an operator of amusement parks.

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    Re: DCA and Disney's America

    Doesn't it freeze in Virginia? So would the Grizzly Rapids have become an frozen tobaggon ride? And the pier would turn into an ice skating rink every time winter rolled around?
    What a silly idea! Everyone knows that East Coasters go to Florida to vacation!









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    Re: DCA and Disney's America

    I also really doubt it would have worked. They look very similar and you can call garbage by any other name and it won't smell any sweeter!
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    Re: DCA and Disney's America

    On 21 September, 2001 MiceAge's very own Al Lutz wrote a column for MousePlanet entitled Is it time for Disney's America?. The column explores the possibility of converting Disney's California Adventure into Disney's America. Anybody interested in the similarities between Disney's America and Disney's California Adventure should definitely give it a read. The recently published The Disneylands That Never Were also makes mention of these similarities.

  13. #13

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    Re: DCA and Disney's America

    There could be a park where it gets cold. I remember the World's Fair in New York was open for two summers and it was very popular. The winters could be used for maintenance and improvements. Or, there could be an extensive amount indoor entertainment arenas so that it could remain open in the winters in a limited capacity. I think the standards that PragmaticIdealist recommended for a park near the capitol would work very well this way.

  14. #14

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    Re: DCA and Disney's America

    Quote Originally Posted by lazyboy97O View Post
    On 21 September, 2001 MiceAge's very own Al Lutz wrote a column for MousePlanet entitled Is it time for Disney's America?. The column explores the possibility of converting Disney's California Adventure into Disney's America. Anybody interested in the similarities between Disney's America and Disney's California Adventure should definitely give it a read. The recently published The Disneylands That Never Were also makes mention of these similarities.
    Hmmmm....Never read that one, thanks for the link. I must respectfully disagree with Mr. Lutz, though; I like Paradise Pier, I just think it needs better rides (which apparently it's going to get) and better theming (ditto). The problem with Disney's America, I still contend, is the problem EPCOT had, and to some degree DCA has. People don't so much care about civil war renactments, Ellis Island, or Indian Villages in a Disney Park any more than they care about the history of transportation, hydroponic farming, technological innovations, or tortilla making, the history of California wines, or the history of California immigrants. These subjects can all better be pursued in infinitely more expansive and in depth fashion in any host of museums.
    People want great rides, Disney characters, and that Disney "magic" in a Disney park.
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    Re: DCA and Disney's America

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmay View Post
    The problem with Disney's America, I still contend, is the problem EPCOT had, and to some degree DCA has. People don't so much care about civil war renactments, Ellis Island, or Indian Villages in a Disney Park any more than they care about the history of transportation, hydroponic farming, technological innovations, or tortilla making, the history of California wines, or the history of California immigrants. These subjects can all better be pursued in infinitely more expansive and in depth fashion in any host of museums.
    People want great rides, Disney characters, and that Disney "magic" in a Disney park.
    I couldn't disagree more with you. The Magic Kingdom isn't just a collection of rides and characters.

    The Magic Kingdom is a collection of worlds.

    To take the characters and stories out of those worlds is to render all of it meaningless. When Disneyland first opened, Frontierland was about both tall tales and true, and Tomorrowland was about the science-fictional, as well as the science-factual. As EPCOT opened, Disneyland's focus shifted towards the imaginary core of the experience, but that fact does not mean that EPCOT was any less interesting. World's fairs existed long before it, and Disney created several wonderful attractions and pavilions for those events. In a similar way, Adventureland, with its "Tru-Life Adventures" and "People and Places" components, gave way to Disney's Animal Kingdom, which is also interesting and which had several precedents in the form of zoological and botanical gardens.

    People can appreciate a great many things, and Disney should not be beholden to the misconception that all people want are more bears or pigs or dwarfs.

    People don't know what they want, sometimes.

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