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  1. #16

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post
    Well clearly not even that audience liked DCA.
    The problem was that Disneyland's family audience didn't like DCA. In its opening year, DCA surpassed the attendance of almost every other park in the nation and made the top ten list.

    It wasn't that DCA didn't have an audience, it's that the 13 million people that were already going to Disneyland had very little interest in the new artistic direction.

    For a lot of people, especially the kind of people who read the New York Times, the word Disney means fake, disingenuous, commercial and artificial.
    A bastardized version of art. There are people out there who see Disneyland and it's insistence on it's own conceived reality as silly and foolish (and certainly you've seen that mocked time and time again in movie and song).

    DCA was meant to get passed that by producing a world that was visually appealing but still acknowledged the fact that it wasn't real. It was designed to appeal to a group of people who had already rejected Disneyland as a fake experience not worth a visit.

    I say this not to defend their decisions or the vision for the park, but only for historical perspective. I know there were a lot of people who didn't understand the point to the park, and certainly I think a majority of people who were visiting Disneyland didn't get it either.

    If you think the New York Times author was spot-on with this review, then maybe you can answer me why the park is still struggling to please guests to this day, and why Disney just approved that $1.2 billion budget to fix the place up.
    The park is struggling to appeal to the DISNEY audience. At some point I suppose the management decided that it would be easier and far cheaper to just keep producing park experiences that used the exact same formula to appeal to the already existing audience than to attempt to appeal to a new audience.

    Some of the first decisions they made in changing DCA was abandoning the California theme and adding family friendly cartoon related attractions. Today DCA and Disneyland are getting attractions that follow the same exact formula so closely, that I doubt anyone would object had the attractions built in DCA been located in Disneyland or visa versa.

    Maybe that's a good thing, maybe it's not. That's a matter of opinion. Some people like getting the same thing over and over and over again. If they didn't, Hollywood would have gone out of business years ago.

    A long time ago Walt envisioned a park that had lands that were all unique and different and over time that park just kind of merged into a singular experience. A long time ago Epcot was a park that was fundamentally different from any other Disney experience, and now Disney is spending billions of dollars "fixing" that park to mesh better with the other park experiences. The same thing is happening to DCA.

    Let me just sum this up this way. I'm not defending DCA itself as much as I'm defending Disney's decision to try something different, even if it wasn't well accepted by their audience.

  2. #17

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Quote Originally Posted by Druggas View Post
    But it isn't. It's a Disney park that should have been built with Disney standards.
    Disney standards were meant to change.

    In 1955, it was perfectly acceptable to open up carnival attractions that had no theme, no story, and no details. In 1955 it was perfectly acceptable to open up an attraction which featured nothing but mounds of dirt. In 1977 it was acceptable to open up a roller coaster that was highly detailed and themed, but told no story whatsoever.

    By the time Indiana Jones opened in 1995, Disney standards had changed so dramatically that it was no longer acceptable to open an attraction without a detailed backstory and theme. It was no longer acceptable to open an attraction that didn't tell a story and took place in a different place and in a different time.

    You may think it's a step backwards, but why can't standards change to the point of getting away from storytelling altogether? Is there any place for the Disney standard to go?

    Sometimes it's just nice to get an attraction where something DIDN'T go terribly wrong.

  3. #18

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    I'm all for a Paradise Pier Bashing anything... it's my least favorite area in the park, and has been since I first saw it on CM tours in 2000. It's uninspired, unimaginative and a complete cop out. The fact that Barry Braverman acknoweldges Paradise Pier's pier lack of unimaginative attractions blows my mind, and it certainly speaks volumes about the values of the Pressler/Harriss/Eisener era. The thing that irritates me about DCA is it ignores the qualitites that make Disneyland so popular 50 years after they wre first imagnied. The timeless ideals of Fantasy, Adventure and hope for the future are abandoned in favor of something that is rooted in a sort of late 90's timewarp. Ironic cynicism (Hollywood Pictures Backlot),extreme adventure sports (GRR backstory) and hip and trendy restraunts (Wolfgang Puck, Robert Mondavi) IMO just don't have the type of staying power that those other themes do.

    For a lot of people, especially the kind of people who read the New York Times, the word Disney means fake, disingenuous, commercial and artificial.
    A bastardized version of art. There are people out there who see Disneyland and it's insistence on it's own conceived reality as silly and foolish (and certainly you've seen that mocked time and time again in movie and song).
    This is true, but those people also existed in the 1950's, and Disneyland was never really branded to those people anyway. In moving away from the middle american values Disney was famous for, it attempted to reach those people who never saw Disney as a viable entertainment option anyway. IMO, DCA alienated Disney's core base of customers with faux hip and edgy designers such as Brarry Braverman and Anne Hamburger. They tried merging Disney's middle american appeal with Manhattan sensibilites and the result was muddled and confusing.


    I think however that we may be overestimiating the extent that Paradise Pier will be "fixed". Will those guady abborations such as the Maliboomer and county fair swing ride Spinning Bee thing inside the Orange be removed? I hope so....but then replaced with what? In a park where people already complain about a lack of things to do, will Disney spend the money to remove attractions, that while not great do provide some sort of entertainment? I'm not holding my breath
    Last edited by TrojanSkippa; 09-18-2007 at 06:08 PM.
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  4. #19

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    DCA = Paul Pressler Land.

  5. #20

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    Let me just sum this up this way. I'm not defending DCA itself as much as I'm defending Disney's decision to try something different, even if it wasn't well accepted by their audience.
    I agree with this statement, to a point. Trying different approaches is a risky and bold move, but that doesn't mean you abandon everything you have learned up to that.

    This is the part that scares me:

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    DCA was meant to get passed that by producing a world that was visually appealing but still acknowledged the fact that it wasn't real. It was designed to appeal to a group of people who had already rejected Disneyland as a fake experience not worth a visit.
    Gee, that's a big departure alright. A park acknowledging that it isn't real? For people that acknowledge that the 46-some year old success across the esplanade is fake? No wonder the two parks don't compliment each other!

    So, if there is ever a time I'm wandering around Disneyland, and I feel like I need to reject the place as fake and not worth visiting, I'll use my ParkHopping capabilities and visit DCA for awhile.

    You can appeal to an adult audience without abandoning all sense of believability. Grown-ups like to fantasize a little too...even if it involves wineries and beer.


    As an aside: Darkbeer, is this another DCA Sucks thread, "just because?"
    Last edited by 2DieFR; 09-18-2007 at 06:09 PM.
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  6. #21

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    The problem was that Disneyland's family audience didn't like DCA. In its opening year, DCA surpassed the attendance of almost every other park in the nation and made the top ten list.
    And yet, it never was able to reach the numbers that Disney predicted. DCA has made the Top 10 list time and again, but that certainly doesn't mean success, as much as it means overflow, ParkHopping, and APers from Disneyland proper.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    It wasn't that DCA didn't have an audience, it's that the 13 million people that were already going to Disneyland had very little interest in the new artistic direction.
    Right, so Disney builds a park right across from Disneyland and expects that its going to be a smash hit because its targeting a different audience? That doesn't make any sense to me. If anything, Disney should be broadening its audience with the new park, not trying to create a new audience by alienating the old.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    For a lot of people, especially the kind of people who read the New York Times, the word Disney means fake, disingenuous, commercial and artificial.
    A bastardized version of art. There are people out there who see Disneyland and it's insistence on it's own conceived reality as silly and foolish (and certainly you've seen that mocked time and time again in movie and song).
    DCA was meant to get passed that by producing a world that was visually appealing but still acknowledged the fact that it wasn't real. It was designed to appeal to a group of people who had already rejected Disneyland as a fake experience not worth a visit.
    Obviously, the majority of Disney guests don't see the parks as a bastardization of art. Therefore, Disney should be building and creating for the audience that understands and appreciates Disney parks, instead of creating a knock-off of itself that blatantly makes fun of itself.


    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    The park is struggling to appeal to the DISNEY audience. At some point I suppose the management decided that it would be easier and far cheaper to just keep producing park experiences that used the exact same formula to appeal to the already existing audience than to attempt to appeal to a new audience.
    Of course it's struggling to appeal to a DISNEY audience. Who else is going to want to go to somewhere called "DISNEY'S California Adventure" ?

    If Disney wanted to appeal to a different audience as much as you say they did, they shouldn't have built the new park in the parkinglot of the ORIGINAL Disney park. I mean, come on!!

    The excuse of trying to appeal to a different audience is a cop-out from Pressler, Eisner, and WDI hacks like Braverman. Disney wasn't trying to appeal to a different audience- they were trying to make more money by investing less money.



    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    In 1955, it was perfectly acceptable to open up carnival attractions that had no theme, no story, and no details.
    What attractions are you referring to? Certainly not the Mad Tea Party, King Arthur's Carrousel, or Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Because I'm pretty sure those attractions all were themed and all featured elements of the stories they were based on.



    Quote Originally Posted by 2DieFR View Post
    You can appeal to an adult audience without abandoning all sense of believability. Grown-ups like to fantasize a little too...even if it involves wineries and beer.
    Agreed.

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  7. #22

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    Thumbs down Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Quote Originally Posted by Mathius View Post
    Nice to see another bashing thread on the park because, you know, we don't have any of those right now.

    I find it funny how some will dig up articles from 6++ years ago to bash a park. Can we be a little more current with these articles?
    I agree! DCA bashers will do whatever it takes to keep the hate level as high as they can.

    No big surprise. Guess they have nothing else to talk about, so they dig up old news stories- haha... wow.
    -Wes

  8. #23

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    That quote from Barry Braverman is pathetic. We should have known. No wonder he was fired.

  9. #24

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Quote Originally Posted by MrLiver View Post
    DCA was meant to get passed that by producing a world that was visually appealing but still acknowledged the fact that it wasn't real. It was designed to appeal to a group of people who had already rejected Disneyland as a fake experience not worth a visit.
    You need to back up this claim. As far as I can tell, DCA was built in an attempt to make Disneyland a resort destination, a little more like WDW. Are you saying they thought that people would fly from far away to visit a 2-park resort even though they had rejected the larger of those two parks?

  10. #25

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Quote Originally Posted by RenMan View Post
    You need to back up this claim. As far as I can tell, DCA was built in an attempt to make Disneyland a resort destination, a little more like WDW. Are you saying they thought that people would fly from far away to visit a 2-park resort even though they had rejected the larger of those two parks?
    I agree that it would be nice to have Liver back up this claim. I'm curious about this because this is the first time I've heard anybody say that DCA was intended to be entirely unauthentic at every opportunity. I'm pretty sure the Grizzly Peak Recreation Area and Pacific Wharf at least try for some authenticism and believable theming.

    DCA isn't MGM Studios - it doesn't blatantly represent itself as being fake and full of facades except in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, but that's the whole point of that land as evidenced by it's name.

    I don't think DCA was supposed to, at any time, be obviously fake. It just came off that way because the park designers and management involved in the park's creation were shortsighted and weren't willing to invest enough in the park.

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  11. #26

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    The 1st time I entered DCA, it was for a preview, and it
    was from the Grand Californian entrance. That is a beautiful
    "side" entrance to DCA. The view of Grizzly Peak and the
    geysers spraying. The next area I saw was Condor Flats,
    and theme with the runway lights was apparent.

    So my initial impressions of DCA were positive. Add to that,
    seeing the "Steps In Time" ORIGINAL show which I loved
    (this was before they added the goofy Brothers storyline/hip
    fairygodmother story that blugeoned the show), seeing
    Eureka! at night, which was fantastic, seeing the beautifully
    designed Animation Building, and it's separate areas to explore,
    and Soarin', and these were done well.

    However, there was that gnawing thought of "why another
    rapids ride, that every other carnival park already has? Why
    such a horribly designed queue for Soarin'? But moving on
    to rest of DCA, the themeing fell apart. The Sun Plaza hub
    area is just plain ugly and the music choices were forced
    "California Songs", the Hollywood Pictures Backlot initial looked
    interesting and somewhat similar to the "Main Street" of
    Disney MGM studios, BUT when you looked closer, it was all
    false fronts ~ unlike the street in Disney MGM. Then the
    thought came to mind that DL did indeed get shortchanged!

    That thought continued to grow as I walked by the wharf area,
    with the "weathered looking buildings" and THEN my eyes
    noticed the most abhorant disregard for the standards that
    Walt Disney established when he built Disneyland ~ that
    vial blatant violation was (and unfortunately remains) known as
    "Paradise Pier." There is absolutely NO reason NOT to remove
    absolutely every attraction in this area.

    This carneyland
    degrades the very thing Disney stands for in quality showmanship.
    Unfortunately, it remains as a monument of Pressler and Eisner's
    build and maintain on the cheap and rip off the public for whatever you can get
    away with, without giving the public the quality Disney stood up
    for when he was alive. Paradise Pier can only be improved by
    tearing it out, NOT by adding to the horrendously cheap themeing
    they tried to get away with. THIS is what needs to be addressed,
    and the public has certainly voiced it over and over ~ We don't
    want the REAL WORLD in a Disney Park! We want something that
    can take us away to a different time and place, something that
    DOESN'T look like a county fair, or a run down ferris wheel and
    coaster on the beach. Paradise Pier is THE problem with DCA!

    Paradise Pier needs to be removed in order for DCA to move up on
    the scale of theme parks. As long as Paradise Pier remains, it
    will continue to make Disney look like just any ordinary Knott's,
    Six Flags, State or County Fair, or even the local travel carney
    set up in your grocery store parking lot ~ all they would need to
    do is add the painted white lines for parking spaces in paradise pier.

  12. #27

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    My best experience at DCA was my first visit, shortly after opening. I ate at Wolfgang Pucks with large realistic waves crashing outside and a wonderful view of the Pier. A year later Pucks was gone and the waves turned off. My bigest problem with the pier, as an educated adult, is the lack of period and theme. Ironically, the attempt at an ocean side pier likely makes it the most expensive place in the park.

    I have nothing against trying to appeal to adults without restricting kids. That's the real Disney magic. Disneyland always made me happy as a kid seeing my parents and even grandparents happy at the simple joys of riding a real steam train or seeing a long past period of time lovingly recreated.

  13. #28

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    What relief that hack era is ending in Anaheim...!

  14. #29

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Quote Originally Posted by Aladdin View Post
    Paradise Pier is THE problem with DCA!

    Paradise Pier needs to be removed in order for DCA to move up on
    the scale of theme parks. As long as Paradise Pier remains, it
    will continue to make Disney look like just any ordinary Knott's,
    Six Flags, State or County Fair, or even the local travel carney
    set up in your grocery store parking lot ~ all they would need to
    do is add the painted white lines for parking spaces in paradise pier.
    Paradise Pier is only one of DCA's many problems. Granted, it's one of DCA's largest issues, but don't give it all the credit.

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  15. #30

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    Re: Amazing NY Times article from February 11th, 2001 and Paradise Pier

    Quote Originally Posted by RenMan View Post
    You need to back up this claim. As far as I can tell, DCA was built in an attempt to make Disneyland a resort destination, a little more like WDW. Are you saying they thought that people would fly from far away to visit a 2-park resort even though they had rejected the larger of those two parks?
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post
    I agree that it would be nice to have Liver back up this claim.
    It's hard to back up with any written proof, but certainly if you around during the time of the preview center and the press conferences you would know that DCA was suppose to have a completely opposite feel from Disneyland.

    Let me quote Braverman:

    "This will be a very pop-culture park in contrast to Disneyland. It is about the here and now. It will be hip, irreverent and contemporary, where Disneyland is rooted in fantasy."
    For instance, in the official backstory of Soarin' Over California, the existence of the attraction is described as being the result of the aviators in Condor Flats building a hang gliding simulator. It wasn't magic or suspension of belief... it was you sitting in a theater watching a simulation. Nothing more.

    In Disneyland if you go on Indiana Jones, Disney makes every effort possible to make you believe that it's real, but deep down inside you know it's a fantasy. In DCA the experiences are real because you are experiencing them. California Screamin' is a real rollercoaster. The Golden Zephyr is real. The Farm was a real farm. The Boudin Bakery is a real bakery.

    I suppose it's fair to say that I misspoke in saying that DCA acknowledged the fact that it is fake. A more accurate description is that Disney, in building DCA, acknowledged that their experiences were fake and tried to build a park that didn't rely so much on passing everything off on fantasy to be relevant.

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