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  1. #46

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    Re: DCA: AN interesting look back at the last 4+ years

    Darkbeer,

    Great summary of the past 4 1/2 years of DCA. Maybe add info
    about Grand Californian and Downtown Disney, since they were built
    and introduced at the same time.

    I'm not going to rehash the DCA comment, your 1st 2 posts did
    outlined the problems very well. DCA's problem goes deeper than
    the "pick 2 out of 3" and "themed" a roller coaster to a roller coaster.
    It's the whole skeleton of DCA, lack of berm, no "magical" entry that
    transports to an old fashion mainstreet. It's just a blob.

    Downtown Disney is only ok. If you want GREAT, look at "The Grove"
    adjacent to Farmer's Market. WOW! that IS what Downtown Disney
    SHOULD have been. And the funny thing is that the designers of
    "The Grove" used Main Street at DL for an inspiration. In fact,
    that's the whole problem with DCA. It just wasn't inspired, there is
    no magic.

  2. #47

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    Re: DCA: AN interesting look back at the last 4+ years

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey
    I remember before I became an AP I would wait until the next promotion rolled around or would get discounts at the credit union in town that offers discount tickets. I refused to pay full price because i KNEW there were discounts waiting to be had.
    I would wait till the promotions too. I agree that $56 is too much for DCA.

    I wonder if people would go to DCA even if they redo it because some people will still remember the old park and not wanna take a chance to be disapointed again. Also I wish they don't just take movies and make them into rides I wish they would put more original rides that no other disney park has (and I don't mean taking a ride and changing the name or a 3D ride) then that will make people who live by florida come here.

  3. #48

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    Re: DCA: AN interesting look back at the last 4+ years

    I actually applaud the removal of discounts. Discounts should not exist. Good quality parks should. I am sure that Mr. Ouimet noticed that deeply discounting the cost of admission to the parks has cheapened the Disney name and diluted its image--damage like that produces effects that cannot be quickly fixed with a new paint job, so it will definitely be an uphill battle to restore the public's trust in the Disney name completely. It's doable with enough capital investment though, and the plans I have heard for both the expansion of DCA and Downtown Disney while adding new attractions to the Magic Kingdom seem promising. Disney really needs to wow us with these future expansions (and they know that). Monsters, Inc. should give us a good idea of what is to come, since it is the first major project completely approved, designed, and built under the new management team...and it looks like a promising, family-friendly attraction to me.
    -Kyle, Member of the DCA Lovers Alliance
    I'M GOING TO YALE!!!!!!!


  4. #49

    • Darkbeer
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    Re: DCA: AN interesting look back at the last 4+ years

    Here is another classic post, thanks to the LaughingPlace users and the CM's that helped come up with some of these Nicknames......

    Time for Darkbeer's Top Twenty List.....

    (insert music and graphics...)

    Tonight's topic, the top 20 nicknames for Disney's California Adventure......


    Number 20 - DOA = Dead On Arrival... in honor of the original nickname given by the DLR CM's for the park back when it first opened in February of 2001.

    Number 19 - Disney Coddles Accountineers

    Number 18 - Don't Create Another

    Number 17 - Disney's Carney Amusements

    Number 16 - Eisner's Folly - In honor of SaveDisney.com

    Number 15 - Dirt Cheap Attractions

    Number 14 - Dull Carnival Ahead

    Number 13 - Disappointing Creative Attempt

    Number 12 - BRL = Budget Ride Land

    Number 11 - Dormant Cheap Amusements

    Number 10 - YMCA = Yucky Miserly Cheap Area, in honor of the "music" series in 2002

    Number 9 - D'oh California AWFUL!

    Number 8 - BLS = Blue Light Special

    Number 7 - Disastrous Creative Attempt

    Number 6 - Doesn't Attract Californians

    Number 5 - ECCA = Eisner's Cheap California Adventure

    Number 4 - Disney's Corporate Arrogance

    Number 3 - Decidedly Crummy Attractions

    Number 2 - Discounts Create Attendance

    And the Number 1 DCA Nickname...

    DUMB = Disney's Universal Mountain Berry Park
    Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  5. #50

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    Re: DCA: AN interesting look back at the last 4+ years

    You forgot my personal favorite:

    Don't Come Again

    Unusually and exceedingly peculiar and altogether quite impossible to describe...



  6. #51

    • Darkbeer
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    Re: DCA: AN interesting look back at the last 4+ years

    ^Sorry, Morrigoon (and anyone else)....

    Feel Free to add your favorite(s)....
    Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  7. #52

    • Darkbeer
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    Re: DCA: AN interesting look back at the last 4+ years

    Here is another post of mine, regarding the discounts offered for DCA in 2003...

    The DCA tickets discounts offers in 2003

    First off, Disneyland attendance had no change, and remained at 12.7 million. DCA attendance went up 600,000 in 2003 (based on the Amusement Business numbers).

    A couple of big ticket promotions were offered in 2003...

    First, for the vacationing folks, in late 2002, it was announced that you could be a 5 day ticket for the price of 3 for all of 2003 (also 6 days for 4). In late 2001 and parts of 2002, you saw this ticket during the off-season, but not in summer or other peak times, and, they only announced the offer just before it happened, basically only giving the last minute crowd a chance to buy them. There are no blackout dates with these tickets. Also, they offered hotel specials like get the 4th night free that matched up with these tickets. This had to help in the park hopping department.

    Second was the revised "SoCal" special that started in 2001. At first it was a 2 day NON park hopping ticket for a few dollars more than a single day price, they tried different pricing points anywhere from $10-$25 more. Also, in 2001 and early 2002, you could use both days at Disneyland, and were not required to attend DCA at all. In the fall of 2002, they had the 2-day ticket for $54 ($9 more than a single day ticket), but this time it was one day at Disneyland, and one day at DCA. Well, the ticket sellers at the main gate would explain the offer when asked if there were any SoCal specials (and they have signs at the ticket windows saying to ask about the SoCal specials), but many folks decided to just get a single day ticket to DL, and not bother to pay the extra $9. The folks at TDA were not happy with the numbers, even though Flik's Fun Fair had just opened.

    Well, in early 2003, the "Pay for Disneyland, get DCA for free" ticket was announced, now just $47, the same price as a one-day ticket. This offer started in early January, and expired in mid-May.... well, now when the guests went to the ticket window, and asked about the special, they were told for NO extra charge they could get a 2-day ticket (some asked for just a discounted DL only ticket, but were told those tickets are not discounted), so folks ended up with a 2-day whether they wanted it or not. Well, these folks went to Disneyland for the day... and then put the ticket on the fridge, or somewhere else... and then folks realized that the ticket to DCA was about to expire..... so many folks in fact that Disney had to extend DCA hours, staffing , and offer extra showings of shows for the last three weekends of the deal(No such additions were added to Disneyland). This really drove up DCA's numbers in May.

    The same ticket showed up on August 1st, right in the middle of summer peak, this time good to late November, but now with a 30 day fuse, to prevent the problems they had in May by not having all the tickets expire at the same time. They also offered the ticket in early December as an AP holder special (for AP guests). So basically for 3/4th's of the year the SoCal ticket was offered.

    Also, as for special events, the Grand Opening for Aladdin was January 2003, which brought in AP holders (and it has been reported that the DLR has over 600,000 AP holders).

    Then you had the Grand Opening of Playhouse Disney in May of 2003.

    So between offering many more discounted tickets in the summer, the lowering of the SoCal special to make DCA free, and the additional AP visits to check out the new show offerings, you have an increase for DCA, while DL stayed flat....

    Interesting to note that the increase is about the same number as AP holders...

    And what do we have in 2004? Well, the 5 for 3 and 6 for 4 tickets have returned for all of 2004, this time they come with a free ESPNZone card... and the "DCA for free" ticket has returned for the first 4 months of the year.....
    Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  8. #53

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    Re: DCA: AN interesting look back at the last 4+ years

    I wonder when they'll role out the "Buy a ticket for DL, get DCA for FREE" offer again?
    .

  9. #54

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    Re: DCA: AN interesting look back at the last 4+ years

    I just posted this info in response to a post at another board, but I think this shows a lot. All numbers from Al Lutz's column from February, 2001.

    Opening Day Attendance for DCA (Thursday, February 8th, 2001)...

    DCA: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
    Estimated Attendance - 38,000
    Actual Attendance - 14,000

    But here is the amazing thing, Disneyland got more folks that day, even with shorter hours!

    Disneyland: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
    Estimated Attendance - 17,000
    Actual Attendance - 17,000

    And the rest of the opening weekend got worse....

    Friday, February 9th

    DCA: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
    Estimated Attendance - 38,000
    Actual Attendance - 11,000

    Disneyland: 10:00 am - 10:00 pm
    Estimated Attendance - 27,000
    Actual Attendance - 18,000

    Saturday, February 10th

    DCA: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
    Estimated Attendance - 38,000
    Actual Attendance - 10,000

    Disneyland : 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
    Estimated Attendance - 38,000
    Actual Attendance - 27,000

    And of course, two weeks later was a three-day holiday weekend (President's Day)

    Friday, Feb. 16th:

    Disneyland operating hours 9 am - 10 pm
    estimate - 33K
    actual - 36K

    DCA operating hours 8 am - 12 midnight
    estimate - 35K
    actual - 17K

    Saturday, Feb. 17th:

    Disneyland operating hours 8 am - 12 midnight
    estimate - 43K
    actual - 43K

    DCA operating hours 8 am - 12 midnight
    estimate - 35K
    actual - 19K

    Sunday, Feb 18th:

    Disneyland operating hours 8 am - 12 midnight
    estimate - 45K
    actual - 43K

    DCA operating hours 8 am - 12 midnight
    estimate - 35K
    actual - 17K

    And here is one more day...

    Friday, February 23
    DCA 8 am - 12 am
    Planned: 31,000
    Revised: 15,000
    Actual Park Attendance : 11,000

    Disneyland 10 am - 10 pm
    Planned: 29,000
    Revised: 29,000 (no revision ahead of time)
    Actual Park Attendance: 33,000
    Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  10. #55

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    Re: DCA: AN interesting look back at the last 4+ years

    So, can I make an observation?

    If Epcot Center's attendance suddenly started declining and for a year or so the park's estimated attendance standards were never met, would everyone start hating that park, too? I've already read too many posts saying, "Oh, look at DCA, it didn't make it's estinmated attendance again. DCA is a failure."

    So, if Epcot, or any other Disney theme park, were to all of a sudden stop making their estimated attendance numbers, would everyone start calling those parks "failures" and expressing hatred against it?

    I'm confused.

  11. #56

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    Re: DCA: AN interesting look back at the last 4+ years

    So, can I make an observation?

    If Epcot Center's attendance suddenly started declining and for a year or so the park's estimated attendance standards were never met, would everyone start hating that park, too? I've already read too many posts saying, "Oh, look at DCA, it didn't make it's estinmated attendance again. DCA is a failure."

    So, if Epcot, or any other Disney theme park, were to all of a sudden stop making their estimated attendance numbers, would everyone start calling those parks "failures" and expressing hatred against it?

    I'm confused.
    Well, let me try and explain. You're setting up a scenario where EPCOT stops making its estimates. Meaning, it was making its estimates, and then, the attendance declined, something which can happen, especially with a park that is over two decades old. With DCA, we're talking about a park that has never reached its estimates even once. And the level of discounting is probably not nearly what it is, or ever was for EPCOT. I didn't say that EPCOT doesn't give discounts, I'm saying not to the degree that they've had to with DCA almost from the beginning.
    EPCOT is a park which resulted from years of research and imagineering, whereas DCA was a park whose concept was thought up over a weekend retreat in Denver, by some executives, most of whom are no longer with the company.
    When Epcot opened, it made the cover of Time Magazine, and also warranted a major article in Life. It is still, I think, the third most visited theme park in the U.S. (behind the two "Magic Kingdom" parks). DCA is barely holding on to the number "8" spot on that list which, just my opinion, is pretty sad, especially with the original Disneyland still holding steady at number two.
    If you do have evidence that EPCOT is not meeting its attendance goals, to the degree that DCA is'nt, and can prove it, please, provide the data.
    If you have the info, then we can maybe start to make comparisins, but then again, you'd still be comparing a park that has had trouble from the word go, with one that is just now having trouble. In the latter case, you would know that the park was making its goals at one time, making the possibility of a recovery much more plausible. With DCA, since its never met its goals, how can we believe that it ever will?
    Its not that we "hate" DCA because of the numbers, its that we are dissapointed with the park, more than we have been with anything Disney has opened previously, and we think the whole world is kind of sharing our dissapointment thus, the low numbers and the only Disney park in the U.S. to have lower attendance than a not only one, but two non-Disney parks. (USF and IOA).

  12. #57

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    Re: DCA: AN interesting look back at the last 4+ years

    I might add, some of us read, or know of a book titled "Disney War" by James Stewart, and we get the feeling that DCA is not just "a typical new Disney park going through the usual growing pains just like the other parks when they were new", but a park which may have been a product of the Disney company going through a period in the late 90's-early aughts, when it had sort of "lost its way".

  13. #58

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    Re: DCA: AN interesting look back at the last 4+ years

    That is exactly true. And I try to make a point of it every time.

    DCA has had 4 full years to do some growing.

    Look at Disney/MGM Studios between opening (1989) ... take it 4 years into the future (1993) ...... A lot of quality attractions went in during that time period.

    Everything DCA has added since opening has been a "knee jerk" reaction to provide the quickest fix they could - and think it was going to deliver for them.
    .

  14. #59

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    Re: DCA: AN interesting look back at the last 4+ years

    Quote Originally Posted by DLResident
    So, can I make an observation?

    If Epcot Center's attendance suddenly started declining and for a year or so the park's estimated attendance standards were never met, would everyone start hating that park, too? I've already read too many posts saying, "Oh, look at DCA, it didn't make it's estinmated attendance again. DCA is a failure."

    So, if Epcot, or any other Disney theme park, were to all of a sudden stop making their estimated attendance numbers, would everyone start calling those parks "failures" and expressing hatred against it?

    I'm confused.
    Yes, you are confused. Many, many, many people don't like it (say, the hundreds of thousands of AP holders who decide not to even pop in for free to DCA when they go to DL), so they don't go, and then DCA doesn't make its attendance estimates. Not the other way around.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  15. #60

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    Re: DCA: AN interesting look back at the last 4+ years

    Quote Originally Posted by DLResident
    So, can I make an observation?

    If Epcot Center's attendance suddenly started declining and for a year or so the park's estimated attendance standards were never met, would everyone start hating that park, too? I've already read too many posts saying, "Oh, look at DCA, it didn't make it's estinmated attendance again. DCA is a failure."

    So, if Epcot, or any other Disney theme park, were to all of a sudden stop making their estimated attendance numbers, would everyone start calling those parks "failures" and expressing hatred against it?

    I'm confused.
    If people suddenly stopped going to Epcot, it would probably be BECAUSE they hate it, not the other way around.
    "She's taking everything. She's taking the house, she's taking the kid, she's taking the dog. IT'S NOT EVEN HER DOG. IT'S MY DOG! SHE'S TAKING . . . MY DOG!"
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