Yah I agree with that. One time I went to DCA and walked all the way back to CA Screamin. And... it closed right as we got there. So then we were like... "ok what else are we gonna do?" It was too cold for GRR (though I'm always down for it no matter what) and Soarin' is only fun if you have the right seats (plus it's quite a wait) so we headed to Tower of Terror, which was the only other closest attraction (everything else in Paradise Pier are NOT attractions... they're rides.)
It's like I started at the entrance of Disneyland, walked all the way to Toon Town, and then walked all the way to Indiana Jones. And there ain't a whole lot in between that journey in DCA; just Bug's Land. Except for the 3D movie, there are no attractions in there either... just rides.
Also, there aren't enough shady spaces along the long walk, which makes it rough on hot days....
DL has so many trees and shady spots....I guess its because they've had so many years to grow but still....
In looking at DCA objectively I see two gems: Tower of Terror and Soarin'. These two stand out as rides that were designed around a theme, not the other way around.
Monsters, Inc. became the obligatory Dark Ride, Screamin' the coaster, Grizzly Rapids the water-ride--very formula, and trite. Does this mean those rides aren't satisfactory or entertaining? No, I just believe they were way too predictable to stand out as real successes. At Magic Mountain, they'd be gems.
Soarin- I know people are complaining about the queue, but I have only seen one or two pictures of the WDW queue and I like the interior of ours better. Perhaps if I could be proven...er.....wron....otherwise.
Animation Building- I love going in and learning how to draw Disney Characters. To me, that is fun, and Beast's library is pretty awesome. Too bad they could not have done more with it.
Mission Tortillas- MASECA!!!!!! I love getting free tortilla's.
Screamin- A fun coaster and one of the only reason's I go there. Plus that Mickey on the ride (that houses the loop) is pretty awesome, but I am biased. (my BIL helped with the design of it)
Cove Bar- good atmosphere and actually good pizza!!! That right there is saying alot because those who know me, know that I am not a pizza fan.
It's tough to be a bug- FUN 3-D movie that is totally re-watchable. Unlike HISTA. I love the queue and the play posters, Complete immersion. I love it
Monsters Inc.- Great ride with some neat effects.
As much as I love ToT, I like the one at WDW better, but it's still a fun ride.
Award Weiner's- Just really good hot dogs and fries.
Katie Founding member of the BA I LOVE us!!! FIGHT ON!!!!!!
It's so relieving to not have to squish in with thousands of others. Even when the park is very busy the wide walkways help quite a bit.
But more shade would be prime.
They have a few great rides as well.
It's less hectic and frenetic. Can be more relaxing.
Also: Electrical Light Parade.
Good morning, son
In twenty years from now
Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
And I can tell you 'bout today
And how I picked you up and everything changed
It was pain
Sunny days and rain
I knew you'd feel the same things...
It's hard to find anything good about Downtown Disney. It's a mall, and The Block is right around the corner. Disney wanted to duplicate the success of Downtown Disney in Walt Disney World but the Anaheim property doesn't have the space. The area should have been used as part of the theme park expansion.
Keep in mind that the entire attitude surrounding the resort expansion was to build it way under budget, and it's hard to find anything good about that, but yeah, Soarin', Screamin', Tower of Terror are the few things they did right.
I think their competition was really more with CityWalk than with The Block. Universal has CityWalk as an excuse for people to go to that area, if just to hang out. I think Disney was trying to do the same (and does a good job) with Downtown Disney. I know many locals -- myself included -- who go just to go to Downtown Disney and that's it.
Actually, I think they did a lot right in DCA (although it's far from perfect). I know that statement alone puts me in the minority.
IMO, the foundation of a good park is there. Attraction-wise, there really isn't a long list of things that I would outright remove. I also enjoy the distinctly different parts of the park as well.
Actually, THAT is one of the biggest problems with all of DCA!
"The foundation of the park" ~ it's the most critical mistake of
any other aspect of the park. The layout is horrible. You can
see right into the main hub of the park, all the way from the
Mickey Floral Display. The Squashed in entry way of DCA doesn't
give a chance to magically unveil anything, nor does it transport
All of Hollywood is a dead end, with only one entrance/exit, which
is a mess when a parade or Block Party Bash is going on. There is
nothing that draws you furthing into DCA. Can't believe some
people count the wide open walkway as a plus for DCA ~ That's
because the park is not drawing people.
The main drag through DCA is just a flat stretch of concrete. UGGGGHH!!!!
It's Not themed to ANYTHING! Around Grizzly Peak it should be themed to
a National Park ~ just like it is on the Grand Californian side. And there is
no weenie along the main drag in DCA.
So, to the positive, the Grand Californian entrance/exit is done very
well. BUT WHY isn't the Main Entrance even MORE spectacular?!?!?!?!?
The queue to the Bug's Life Theater is done very well. But, whenever
I consider going there, the very thought of the stink bug turns me
away. WHY couldn't they think of something that would attract
people, instead of turn them away? AND WHY is Flik's Fair set so FAR
BACK behind the unused/useless remnants of the old Farm area?
(And Why would they think another dead end is a good thing,
instead of drawing people THRU area?) Poor ol' Heimlich sure could have
used that extra space to extend that current 30 second trail of his!
And Francis sure could have used a little extra room for larger capacity
at his ride!
I know that with an Omnimax screen, Soarin' Over California requires a whole lot of space but as we finally got to the final part of the queue, lining up in rows near the door that would soon let us enter, I sarcastically asked a cast member, "Is Elvis's corpse around here somewhere?" After all that wait time, and going from one section of the building to another and then another, I wanted to see something so rare by that time that it would have made up for everything else.
Well, it did. Soarin' itself and my sister put it best when she said it was the best thing about Disney's California Adventure. To see our potential future home of Palm Springs, albeit briefly, from the air was certainly worth it, as well as the rest of what makes California what it is, and the unexpected surprise of Patrick Warburton serving as the "chief flight attendant" of the ride (I hadn't read up on the attraction before going to the park).
And the scents of a forest and orange groves, well, Soarin' certainly had me by then. I'll still keep tabs on my former home state of Florida (especially interested nowadays in what Governor Crist is up to), but I appreciated my 4-years-living-there home state even more. And to me, that says it all about Soarin'.
I didn't read all the posts, but here's my view on DCA...
When we first visited it shortly after it opened we were (at the time "we" was my wife, 2 y/o daughter and I) not really impressed. DTD was nice, we liked and still like it. The grand californian is beautiful. For us though it came down to things we could do as a family there...the answer at the beginning was...not much. I remember on the way out a CM was doing a survey and asked me to partake so i did. Our big thing was, there wasn't much there that our little one could do or be interested in.
Now, over time they have done some improving. Granted as my daughter and now my son are getting older they can do more of course but they have added things since opening that has made the park better. So for us the favorites are: Grizzly Rapids, Tower of Terror, Electric Light Parade, Block Party Bash, Soarin', Monster's Inc. and the Animation area of Hollywood, the Brother Bear rec area (as my son calls it).
Over time the family and I have come to enjoy DCA, I know that isn't the "popular" view but there it is. Between it and DTD we now enjoy the whole resort.
I have never been to DCA, but will be going there in May (and hopefully again in June, Please vote for my Disney Dream Job Video!)
Some thoughts though: Some areas don't seem to fit in with the theme of California. I'm not exactly sure how Bugs life fits in. But you can rationalize several of the attractions fitting into the cohesive California theme. Soarin over California is obvious, Grizzly River Run is meant to be through the national parks (I believe that's the intent), Tower of Terror takes place at the Hollywood Tower Hotel. Toy Story Mania is rumored to be in a facsimile Pixar Studios building, so although it's a stretch I suppose that qualifies, and I don't think it would be too difficult to defend Carland's presence either... Just put Route 66 as an onboard soundtrack and you're Golden.
Those attractions are all quality (Although Tower of Terror is far inferior to it's counterpart in Florida), but aside from Soarin' it doesn't have an E-ticket that can be appreciated by a large majority of Guests every day. Grizzly River Run may be a great rapid ride, but not everyone wants to get soaked every day. I think the park should be compared to Disney's Animal Kingdom in terms of quality because they were both built within a 5 year period. Visually, no Disney park I have seen approachs the Animal Kingdom. It's signature ride, Kilimanjaro Safari's can be seen by every guest that enters through the gates, and Expedition Everest is as good as any Disney Coaster ever made. I think that when Toy Story Mania and Carland find their way into DCA it will be a much better park, but it will still be lacking an attraction of the caliber of Everest of Kilimanjaro Safari. The original Tower of Terror would be one of those attractions, and Soarin' could be close.