Darkbeer, perhaps we need to set the definition of theme. CA Screamin' is built/modeled after and old boardwalk wooden rollercoaster. That is a theme. Granted its not western themed or snow themed or space themed, but it is themed. An un-themed roller coaster would be Deja Vu at Magic Mountain where it is simply a generic Steel Structure. CA Screamin' was built and designed in a fashion to make it look like a old wooden coaster. That is called theming.
granted, the theme of CA Screamin' sucks but it is themed.
The structure is themed, the ride is not. Yes, the metal looks like wood, but the roller coaster is still a roller coaster. Disney uses theatrical surfacing techniques to disguise sensible building materials so they enhace the overall story. California Screamin is all disguise and no story.
DCA does need a themed coaster. When Screamin' was down last year after the "accident", DCA was really lacking for things to do.....more than ever! I believe JosephTNielson once suggested a inverted coaster themed to a Disney short that stared Goofy on a ski lift. He suggested that the coaster be enclosed in parts and that the coaster travel out around the perimeter of the park and back. I thought it was a great idea because it not only brought one of the more beloved classic Disney characters into the theme of a ride but also would allow a bit of a thrill-tour around the outer edge of the park much the way the DLRR does at DL. Some people might have a problem with themes from one land overlaping unto different land, but I see nothing wrong with a little bit of theme fusion with this idea, I would guess it would have fit in on Grizzly Peak.
Some of the best theming for coasters in my opinion are the ones at Islands of Adventure, although I haven't ridden Everest yet, and Rock and Roller Coaster is alright, Dueling Dragons and Hulk are awesome, as is Ripsaw Falls, especially the cues. It would be cool if DLR could get something a little more aggressive than what we now have, just to add to the mix.
As a coaster, I really like CA Screamin. It's a fun ride. And that's kinda where it stops.
But I don't think they need to change it all that much. A new queue would certainly be great and I think some areas fully enclosed would be great.
Anyone see Rollercoaster Rabbit with Roger Rabbit? There was a part in the finale where they go into a pitch black house for awhile. I'm not saying they should make it pitch black but I think a little something extra goes a long way.
Heck, LEGOLAND has a nice themed coaster, they basically made the first portion of the ride a dark ride, as the train goes thru a group of scenes in a building before it goes up the lift hill, and then you get the Roller Coaster portion of the ride.