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  1. #1

    • Darkbeer
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    Disney, we are not amused - Los Angeles Times, 4/5/2008 (DCA comments)

    Today's LA Times Editorial Board wrote three different Amusement themed Editorials for their Main EdOp section.

    The one that has the strongest language though talks about Disney's California Adventure and what Disney delivered, and the price they charge for it.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/...0,732586.story


    The first question about Disney’s California Adventure was so obvious that it seemed downright stupid: Why would anyone pay Disneyland prices to go there?

    When the park opened seven years ago, its deficits were clear even to the children who visited. One fabulous ride -- "Soarin' Over California" -- was buttressed by a small array of standard county-fair attractions, albeit given a Disney gloss: the ubiquitous flume ride, a Wild Mouse coaster, centrifugal-force swings, a giant Ferris wheel. Compared with Disneyland, where delights are tucked into every corner, California Adventure seemed barren, low on rides and big on restaurants and souvenir shops. Mainly, it seemed as if the Imagineers had taken the day off to go to Knott’s Berry Farm.

    Much more at the link.
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  2. #2

    • Darkbeer
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    An amazing major slam for DCA in the LA Times this morning

    I posted this in the News section, and here is the link

    http://micechat.com/forums/showthrea...los-93923.html

    But I thought it should be repeated here.

    Today (Saturday April 5th) in the print edition of the LA Times, the Editorial Board had an "Amusement" related main Editorial section. (These are the three daily editorials written by the actual paper's Editorial board). One dealt with Bottled Water and the environmental issues, the second dealt with the proposed "small world" change, and the third was the fact that they were very disappointed with what Disney delivered with DCA and the prices they try to charge. (Disney, we are not amused).

    The subtitle of the Editorial


    California Adventure has fizzled, proving that consumers don't like to be taken for a ride.
    So you can already predict the tone of the article...

    Then the first paragraph....


    The first question about Disney’s California Adventure was so obvious that it seemed downright stupid: Why would anyone pay Disneyland prices to go there?
    And that was one of the major problems, so many ticket price changes in the first 8 months, including a major Summer Discount just for DCA


    When the park opened seven years ago, its deficits were clear even to the children who visited. One fabulous ride -- "Soarin' Over California" -- was buttressed by a small array of standard county-fair attractions, albeit given a Disney gloss: the ubiquitous flume ride, a Wild Mouse coaster, centrifugal-force swings, a giant Ferris wheel. Compared with Disneyland, where delights are tucked into every corner, California Adventure seemed barren, low on rides and big on restaurants and souvenir shops. Mainly, it seemed as if the Imagineers had taken the day off to go to Knott’s Berry Farm.
    And the park get the nickname the "D.U.M.B." park (aka Disney's Universal Mountain Berry Park).


    Somehow, Disney's marketing gurus and sales mavens failed to notice what so many others did: California Adventure didn't give the customer his money's worth. Maybe they missed the value issue because they didn't have to pay the admission price -- which has reached $66 per person, even for kids as young as 10. Maybe they figured working stiffs were too dumb to know when they'd been had.

    Once again, the price. Heck, I don't think it is worth it to buy a one day ParkHopper for an extra $25 as compared to a Disneyland only ticket. All that happens is that you have to leave Disneyland, which is open before and stays open later, for a few hours. (And IMHO, Disneyland has more than enough stuff to do in a full day). Now with an AP of a 3 day or longer ParkHopper, might as well check it out, since DCA is basically free.


    Over the years, though, the park gave off periodic distress signals. Two restaurant operators pulled out because of low attendance. California Adventure installed a "Twilight Zone"-themed ride to draw thrill-seekers. It opened kiddie rides to draw families. It yanked Disneyland's old Electrical Parade back from retirement, and it lowered prices temporarily.
    And even these "fixes" didn't help much, ToT helped bump attendance for a few months after it opened, but had no longer term effect, same with the DEP, seems like the crowds are only one or two deep for most of the parade route.


    Finally, late last year, Disney announced a $1.1-billion overhaul -- more than it had invested in California Adventure in the first place.

    A very positive sign, but how much damage will the first 8 to 10 years of operation do to the park in the second decade, can they overcome what should have happened in the first place, and that is to not build the park on the cheap to begin with (and still trying to charge premium prices).


    Even on a recent sunny Sunday, though Disneyland was so crammed that the regular parking lot was full, California Adventure was relatively empty. The only line -- a mere 15 minutes -- was, predictably, for "Soarin' Over California." Visitors wandered back and forth among the attractions, riding each several times. Many said they were annual pass holders for the two parks and would come to California Adventure when they got tired of the lines at Disneyland. Sad commentary, when an amusement park's best attribute is that it's something of a dud.

    But the fizzle of California Adventure is encouraging in its way. Too often, consumers have been snookered into killer mortgages or expensive cholesterol medicines that are no more effective than dirt-cheap generics. It's nice to know there are times when the law of giving people their money's worth prevails, and when the stupid question is, in fact, the right one.

    And alas, that what Disney tried to do sell a Ford at Mercedes prices.

    The General Public can tell the difference!
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  3. #3

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    Re: An amazing major slam for DCA in the LA Times this morning



    I love DCA.

  4. #4

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    Re: An amazing major slam for DCA in the LA Times this morning

    Can I ask what's so "amazing"? The LA Times--not to mention countless other publications, blogs and message boards--has been "slamming" DCA for years. What's the big deal?

    Hasn't this horse been beaten to death already? I think we're way past the point where DCA naysayers need any more validation, except for those who take perverse pleasure in saying, "I told you so."

    Count me among the supposedly misguided few who like DCA on its own merits and look forward to the upcoming enhancements.
    Last edited by disneytim; 04-05-2008 at 01:37 PM.

  5. #5

    • Darkbeer
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    Re: An amazing major slam for DCA in the LA Times this morning

    And don't forget this New York Times article from February, 2008...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/10/bu...=1&oref=slogin


    VISIT Disney’s California Adventure — a 55-acre theme park next door to the fabled progenitor of the modern amusement Mecca, Disneyland — and you will find a noisy reminder of what happens when a company loses its focus and cuts corners.

    The Walt Disney Company built the park on the cheap in 2001, and many rides are copies of familiar carnival workhorses like the Ferris wheel. A lack of landscaping can leave guests sweltering. Outdoor shows were borrowed from other Disney properties. And the theme, built around tributes to California, is modest except for an occasionally unintentional ghost-town atmosphere: The park draws about 6 million visitors a year, a trickle compared with the 15 million who swarm Disneyland.

    Now, Disney is embarking on a $1.1 billion, five-year effort to get California Adventure on track. The blueprints call for ripping out ho-hum rides and adding elaborate new ones, rebuilding the park’s entrance — a hodgepodge of turnstiles, a miniature Golden Gate Bridge and pastel tile murals — to shift the focus to Disney iconography.
    Can you have some fun at DCA, the answer is yes, but it is clearly not worth $66 for a day.
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  6. #6

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    Re: An amazing major slam for DCA in the LA Times this morning

    How is this news? Did I miss something? Didn't they announce a $1.1B upgrade? The LA Times is pretty late to the party!
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  7. #7

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    Re: An amazing major slam for DCA in the LA Times this morning

    Quote Originally Posted by disneytim View Post
    Can I ask what's so "amazing"? The LA Times--not to mention countless other publications, blogs and message boards--has been "slamming" DCA for years. What's the big deal?

    Hasn't this horse been beaten to death already? I think we're way past the point where DCA naysayers need any more validation, except for those who take perverse pleasure in saying, "I told you so."

    Count me among the supposedly misguided few who like DCA on its own merits and look forward to the upcoming enhancements.
    I agree wholeheartedly.



    How do you spell "agenda" again??
    "Keep Moving Forward."

  8. #8

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    Re: An amazing major slam for DCA in the LA Times this morning

    Quote Originally Posted by Darkbeer View Post
    And don't forget this New York Times article from February, 2008...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/10/bu...=1&oref=slogin



    Can you have some fun at DCA, the answer is yes, but it is clearly not worth $66 for a day.
    Not worth $66..in your opinion.

    When DCA first opened, we paid full-price for tickets. Twice. That was before TOT, Aladdin, Bugs Land, TSM, and yet we still liked the park enough to pay full price again. That was before we had AP's, so I guess we were part of the "general public."

    Someone on the boards (I forgot who) said it best:

    Bashing DCA is so 2004.

  9. #9

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    Re: An amazing major slam for DCA in the LA Times this morning

    Quote Originally Posted by nonob88 View Post

    Bashing DCA is so 2004.
    Why, did it close in 2004? Did it get fixed in 2004? No?

    I think continued criticism until the park is fixed is entirely appropriate.
    So full of Disney Magic, my eyes are blue.

  10. #10

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    Re: An amazing major slam for DCA in the LA Times this morning

    For those who are Interested in the History of DCA and some of its problems, here is an old thread with a lot of information....

    http://micechat.com/forums/showthrea...ght=powerpoint

    But I still find it is interesting to see the Los Angeles Times Editorial Board today (April 5th, 2008) make the comments on its Main Editorial Page. A top 5 newspaper in the USA, and a "paper of record". (Just like the NY Times is a paper of record).
    Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  11. #11

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    Re: An amazing major slam for DCA in the LA Times this morning

    Quote Originally Posted by Gn2Dlnd View Post
    Why, did it close in 2004? Did it get fixed in 2004? No?

    I think continued criticism until the park is fixed is entirely appropriate.
    I think it's that same criticism that is hurting the park. Negative word-of-mouth has kept people from wanting to visit the park, and that's the main reason the park's attendance is so low. Exaggerated criticism and overly-dramatic articles from web-bloggers has hurt the park more than anything else.

  12. #12

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    Re: An amazing major slam for DCA in the LA Times this morning

    Quote Originally Posted by Gn2Dlnd View Post
    I think continued criticism until the park is fixed is entirely appropriate.
    Criticism is one thing, but labeling that criticism as "amazing news" and then rehashing 5+ years of negative reviews is something entirely different. And totally unnecessary.

  13. #13

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    Re: An amazing major slam for DCA in the LA Times this morning

    Darnit Dtim you beat me to it! I was gonna say the same thing, but now I won't. Because I know when to stop beating the dead horse

    But I will say this, Disney has already said it will be investing huge sums of $$$ to fix it. Doesn't this commentary seem a little dated??

    Oh wait, mosuechild said the same thing. Dangnabbit! I guess I have nothing else to add

    I'm going to Cove Bar now.

  14. #14

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    Re: An amazing major slam for DCA in the LA Times this morning

    Ten Years after the fact the LA Times finally notices that DCA is a joke??? A little slow on the uptake aren't they?

  15. #15

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    Re: An amazing major slam for DCA in the LA Times this morning

    Quote Originally Posted by mousechild View Post
    How is this news? Did I miss something? Didn't they announce a $1.1B upgrade? The LA Times is pretty late to the party!
    Quote Originally Posted by Olympicnut View Post
    Doesn't this commentary seem a little dated??

    Oh wait, mosuechild said the same thing. Dangnabbit! I guess I have nothing else to add
    LOL! I was thinking the same thing. It must have been a slow week for the editorial staff if they had to write about this. Writing about this topic in the week or two after the $1.1 billion expansion announcement would have made more sense. But it's been over five months since the announcement and the LA Times' coverage about DCA (Oct. 16, 2007). Five months later and now they're commenting about it?

    On the flip side, the other two editorials about plastic water bottles and the proposed Small World changes are certainly relevant and made for good reading.

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