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  1. #1

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    California Adventure? What did they do right?

    What do you think disney did right with California Adventure?

    Soarin was definately (sp? Gah i'm really tired) something good...but what about the rest of the park?

    I personally enjoy Grizzly River Run and Screamin...but instead of complaining...what do you think they did right?

    More specifically...what do you think they did right with the whole California Adventure expansion (such as Downtown Disney and the New Hotels)?
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  2. #2

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    Re: California Adventure? What did they do right?

    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.

  3. #3

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    Re: California Adventure? What did they do right?

    Soarin' is inspiring and entertaining. Grizzly River Run is a lot of fun. Screamin' is a great "Disney" coaster... exhilarating but never terrifying. ToT is a great thrill. The Cove Bar serves pretty good cocktails. Monsters, Inc. is as good as any dark ride in Fantasyland. The Animation Building has some wonderful things to do and see.

    I like Downtown Disney in both its concept and execution.

    The Grand Californian is an awesome-looking and wonderfully decorated hotel.



    I have restricted myself to the things I think they got right.
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  4. #4

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    Re: California Adventure? What did they do right?

    IMO only Soarin...pretty said, I know. TOT was pretty good.
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  5. #5

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    Re: California Adventure? What did they do right?

    Upon opening, the only thing I felt was actually executed well was Grizzly River Run. It was the only attraction with a themed queue and a themed mountain to go with it. Sure, it's lacking some animatronic animals, but it was the only completely immersive experience at DCA.


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  6. #6

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    Re: California Adventure? What did they do right?

    The swap meets and gun shows on weekdays.

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    Re: California Adventure? What did they do right?

    The Grand Californian is by far the best hotel on property, although I do love the Neverland Pool at DLH.

    The Sorcerer's Workshop in the Animation building is my favorite part of DCA.


  8. #8

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    Re: California Adventure? What did they do right?

    Quote Originally Posted by themarquisde View Post
    The Grand Californian is by far the best hotel on property, although I do love the Neverland Pool at DLH.
    Ya know I'll agree ... but.. okay the lodge feeling is cool and the rooms are nice but i'd expect nothing else compared to the other hotels' rooms considering it was made in 1999 and DLH and Paradise Pier older, DLH is a lot older. But then I remember that it was the construction of GCH and downtown disney that stripped the DLH of all its things to do and the magic of staying at that hotel over the others in the area.. and I realize that GCH is still nothing like the DLH used to be before GCH was built, not because GCH's greatness but because they got rid of the real DLH heh.

  9. #9

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    Re: California Adventure? What did they do right?

    The Animation Building and Off the Page.

    Soarin' Over California is great (but the queue showcases
    DCA's Built on the Cheap theme)

    The desert airstrip theme is done nicely and blends into
    GRR area very nicely.

    Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is a cute kids play area.
    (but the Brother Bear show, once again lacks even
    the quality that the good ol' Country Bear Jamboree)

    Grizzly Peak does offer some nice views, and blends nicely
    with the Grand Californian. (Although the other side of
    Grizzly peak doesn't mesh well with the main parade stretch)

    Monsters Inc is a cute dark ride and Muppets 3d is still a
    fun movie.

    Flik's Fair ~ themed great! (rides leave ALOT to be desired, though)


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  10. #10

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    Re: California Adventure? What did they do right?

    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.

    While not perfect, I think my perpective is a bit different than the long-time, regular DL visitors because I have been more of a WDW visitor up until very recently. I think for those who are locals, visit DL regularly and got to experience the early disappointment of DCA when it opened are going to be understandably harder on DCA than someone like me who saw it for the first time less than a year ago.

    Being that it didn't let me down in the same manner that it did for many, I think that's probably why my view of it is less harsh than some others.

    Anyhow, I am somewhat fond of DCA and I'm really optimistic about its future.

  11. #11

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    Re: California Adventure? What did they do right?

    They did spell "CALIFORNIA" correctly in the very front.
    That's gotta be worth something! Sheesh...
    Far from the frenzy of the frantic world above.

  12. #12

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    Re: California Adventure? What did they do right?

    Alcohol!

  13. #13

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    Re: California Adventure? What did they do right?

    OK, I can't say I'm as down on California Adventure as most people here (though I still think it has always been in dire need of a redirection).

    As for what I feel they got right? Well, starting with rides/attractions:

    GRR-as someone mentioned, a fully themed queue, a good track design, and a fully themed ride (it never becomes the 'blue trough ride' that so many rapids rides do.)

    Soarin'-the queue could use some work, but the ride itself is certainly The Disney Take on the standard motion simulator. The simulated scents really work well.

    The Animation Building- The entire thing works, including a great walk-through (something which is traditionally very Disney). Feels a lot like the presentation of the Mickey films on mainstreet.

    It's Tough To Be A Bug- Excellent production, and very, very good immersion tools (the stink cloud and the in-seat wasp stingers work very well). Again, great themeing in the queue, something I feel is key to an attraction being 'Disney'.

    Aladdin- Wow. Fantastic production, and, really, a calibur of proper theater that I would never have expected to find inside the park anymore. I'm shocked that this has not been mentioned yet as something Disney got right in CA, as I can't see how anyone could see this as getting it 'wrong'. I should confess that my view may be skewed because I got to see a unique performance the first time I went. That showing, the actors and the audience absolutely clicked, and we ended up with a show almost 20 minutes longer than normal (due in a large part to the genie ad-libbing at one point, and not stopping until he had successfully gotten the entire cast to break down laughing...and Jafar took forever to crack, despite Jasmine being in tears from holding her laughter, Iago having to walk off stage, and Aladdin having a few outbursts of total laughter...mostly covered by the howling from the audience.) I've been back to see it 5 times, always attending the final show of the day, but have never seen that repeated.

    Then there are two attractions which are decidedly not disney, but work very well.

    Tower of Terror- Fantastic thememing in the queue, some of the best, really. Excellent effects on the ride (the disappearing and such). And the ride really works for what it is. However, the twilight zone theme just seems so oddly un-disney. Personally, I love the twilight zone, and really woudln't want it any other way, but there's really nothing disney about it (I think it would have been more disney if it was a stand-alone theme, like HM).

    Muppet 3D- Oh how close they came on this one...how very close...entering a perfect recreation of the muppet theater was a dream, the themeing on the way in was ok, but really could have benefitted from a few dioramas (glimpses of the characters through windows and such). The actual show, while it is purely Henson, works so well...but, again, would have been completely un-Disney. However, Disney DID put there touch on it with the 3D character..and wow, does his presence show just how much the Muppets feel clashes with that particular style of Disney comedy. They really, really came so close, but inserting the yuk-yuk stylings of 3D just...well, it just kills it.

    As for things besides attractions.

    Corn Dog Castle- I hope, when they were first brainstorming things to put into the new park, that the guy who said "a place to get main street corn dogs" got a raise. He deserves it. If only someone had come up with some reason to have Dole Whips in CA...well, always improvements to be made.

    San Francisco Area- Most of the themed areas in CA really, really need help. However, the San Francisco street (complete with Palo Alto reference) the Palace of Fine Arts, and the Bay-esque patio really works well to set a scene. Unfortunately, the ONLY thing in this area, besides a neat cable-car food cart, is Golden Dreams. Perhaps they should take a page from Universal and have a San Francisco Earthquake dark ride?...hmm, or perhaps Tower of Terror should have been that instead of Twilight Zone...

    In any case, those are the primary things I think CA got right. Before anyone points out Screamin', I'll say that yes, it's impressive as one of the smoothest rides available on a steel coaster, and the faux-wooden look to the structure fits with the boardwalk place setting. However, the ride simply has no themeing.

    -AM

  14. #14

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    Re: California Adventure? What did they do right?

    They did the 'concept' correctly. Not necessarily the choice of theming it to California--but the mere fact that they wanted something inherently different than all the other parks. WestCot would have been a rehash of Epcot; Studios would have been too blantant a copy of USH/F and MGM.

    I don't have as much problem with DCA, for I'm coming, infrequently, from out of state. So I've not been as vocally critical of the location.

    Ridewise? Soarin' is fun, the Tower is different enough from MGM to keep it novel, GRR is decently (tho not greatly) themed, and Screamin' is as smooth as glass as a coaster.

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  15. #15

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    Re: California Adventure? What did they do right?

    - The concept of going into a postcard at the enterance (even though I had to read that that was what it was supposed to be).

    - Predictably...Soarin'

    - GRR (mostly) - especially the geyser section. Great iconic mountain, too.

    - ToT

    - Screamin' (from a purely "thrill ride" point of view)

    - The view of Paradise Pier from across the bay at night

    - The carnivalized Beach Boys music in Paradise Pier.

    - Hollywood Boulevard, especially the fake sky at the end, especially especially in the evening with the sunset effect. It's like the unique "un-weenie" at the end of the street.

    - The Animation Building, especially the lobby and the atmospheric rooms of The Sorceror's Workshop.

    - Monster's Inc., a good dark ride, at least one ride the whole family could probably enjoy together.

    - The attempt to buck the trend and do a few non-movie based rides, (though I think this was based at least partly on trying to avoid having to make any animatronic figures. I don't think there were any when the park opened).

    - Adding the word "esplenade" to my vocabulary.

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