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  1. #16

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    Re: DCA's Remodel and its Impact on DLR's Future

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
    Coheteboy-
    I agree with you that DCA will still not be a true stand alone park yet, even with these improvements. (But you could argue that about some of WDW parks too.) Itís probably only the first big step in the long term plans for the park. I donít think equaling WDWís income will be possible, thereís just not enough space. But you do make an interesting point about the fact that three gates would offer a lot more to the tourists then two. I hope youíre right and that the third gate plans will not be hampered by DCA if it continues to struggle, but I have heard rumors that it will not happen unless DCA is more successful. These rumors may be wrong, but it does make sense that Dis would be weary of spending more if this money seems like it was a bad investment. I donít think thatís going to happen, but Iím still a little worried it might.


    The way I see it, two of the WDW parks are very incomplete adventures: Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. But despite all that, the tourists never realize this because they are going to walt disney WORLD. To any random person who doesn't follow the Disney empire, they would think that they're going to the premiere vacation destination with four parks. Why go to disneyLAND when the WORLD is waiting for us?

    Being spoiled by Disneyland, I would never have ever thought of a Disney park being a mere half-day adventure. Never. But with Eisner's handling, parks are opening right off the bat as half day adventures.

    Luckily for WDW, Florida never had as big of a critical and local fanbase as Disneyland so I imagine that even if MGM and AK opened as half day parks, there were still enough tourists that wanted to check it out -- so it didn't matter in the long run.

    When DCA opened, southern californians were not accustomed to be duped by Disney. We never even imagined a half day Disneyland. The tourists going to Florida however have been being suckered since the early 80s (or some would argue 70s). And too bad for DCA, when you have writers for the Simpsons nearby, game over. The entire world will soon know of the folly that is DCA.


    That's the only reason DCA is getting such a huge expansion package. CA is not a tourist destination resort compared to WDW so with DCA sucking so badly, it's certainly not helping matters. Florida's half-day parks however are slow to expand, but they do expand eventually. The tourists will be there no matter what.



    It's funny...before, a busy park would mean more expansion, more money going back into the park. In the modern business world, it seems to be about spending less if the money is already there. Spend more only if the first try wasn't successful. I really do wonder what it'd be like if someone in charge actually THOUGHT like Disney did.


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  2. #17

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    Re: DCA's Remodel and its Impact on DLR's Future

    Cohete-
    Well said. You definitely make some good points. What you said reminded me of stories of early DL. While most amusement parks of the time had an average guest visit time of around 2 hours, quickly after opening average visit times for DL swelled to over 7 hours. This means that people have all this time to spend money on food and merchandise and of course back then use more ride tickets too. It is a little strange that Dis didn’t take this lesson from their own history to see what makes a theme park successful.

    I do understand how big of an investment a full day park is, so I don’t completely blame Dis for not wanting to spend so much money at once, although for a company this big, that's really not much excuse. My biggest question in this regard is why they don’t do a better job of making a really nice half day park and plan the layout and infrastructure with the intention and planning for expanding over time. This is really the biggest failure of DCA, (And to some extent the WDW parks), and now it’s going to take a lot more money to fix the problems of the original park. Obviously, there also should have been a price recognition in that DCA does not offer nearly the experience of DL and thus should cost less.

    If they had just done these things, I think they could have just added a few more good attractions every few years and eventually the park would have caught on. Now they’re going to spend half of the budget fixing things rather than adding things. I’m really glad they are fixing or at least trying to fix some of these problems, but its too bad they happened in the first place.

  3. #18

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    Re: DCA's Remodel and its Impact on DLR's Future

    One of the biggest problems DCA had when opening was that the executives were convinced that they had something great when in fact they didn't. Then, not owning up to that for a few years made matters worse.

    "It all started with a PowerPoint presentation..."
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  4. #19

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    Re: DCA's Remodel and its Impact on DLR's Future

    I dunno. When DL opened, construction was just barely completed, and in some areas not even that -- but it had a vision driving it. Even before ground was broken, it had a vision and a story to tell. Execution caught up with the vision. Result? Megahit.

    In DCA I still don't see the vision. Sediment's siggy, "Here you leave the world of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today" is funny, but it's also sadly true. And it's not just what sediment wrote in his post above -- that the suits were convinced they had something great when they didn't -- they still are convinced the underlying vision of DCA works.

    I don't think it does. I don't think throwing more rides at it can ever give it what it lacks: vision, passion and story. The stuff that sticks to your ribs after you leave the gate. That stays in your dreams and makes you want to come back over and over again.

    It's just my opinion, but I don't think the talk about "how to execute DCA in today's market" is worth a damn. IMO the comparisons between the finances of today vs. 55, in reference to the success of DL/DCA, are as specious as the arguments of CGI vs 2D animation. Both cop out on the underlying issue: storytelling, which again comes from vision -- driven by talent, experience, passion and a gut understanding of human emotions (not marketeering audience segments).

    I think the story DL told, and in large part still tells today, is a full course meal. DCA's story fits in a Dixie cup, and is just as disposable.

    DCA is like a modern family TV show -- conceived with the same shortrange, passionless vision, by the same corporate-oriented "creatives," and marketed to the same general audiences, as any other TV show.

    *shrug*
    Last edited by Mr Wiggins; 04-30-2008 at 03:36 PM.
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  5. #20

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    Re: DCA's Remodel and its Impact on DLR's Future

    Disney owns Katella Av. from Beach Blvd. to the 5 Freeway. The land South of Ball Rd, North of Katella Av., and West of Harbor Blvd, Strawberry fields, the Katella Cast Member lot, and the Hilton & Anaheim Convention Ctr. It is about a 4 and one half mile by 1 and a half mile stretch of land. So they do have room to expand I'd say.

  6. #21

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    Re: DCA's Remodel and its Impact on DLR's Future

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Wiggins View Post
    In DCA I still don't see the vision. Sediment's siggy, "Here you leave the world of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today" is funny, but it's also sadly true. And it's not just what sediment wrote in his post above -- that the suits were convinced they had something great when they didn't -- they still are convinced the underlying vision of DCA works.

    I don't think it does. I don't think throwing more rides at it can ever give it what it lacks: vision, passion and story. The stuff that sticks to your ribs after you leave the gate. That stays in your dreams and makes you want to come back over and over again.

    It's just my opinion, but I don't think the talk about "how to execute DCA in today's market" is worth a damn. IMO the comparisons between the finances of today vs. 55, in reference to the success of DL/DCA, are as specious as the arguments of CGI vs 2D animation. Both cop out on the underlying issue: storytelling, which again comes from vision -- driven by talent, experience, passion and a gut understanding of human emotions (not marketeering audience segments).

    I think the story DL told, and in large part still tells today, is a full course meal. DCA's story fits in a Dixie cup, and is just as disposable.

    DCA is like a modern family TV show -- conceived with the same shortrange, passionless vision, by the same corporate-oriented "creatives," and marketed to the same general audiences, as any other TV show.

    *shrug*
    Well, that's why the sig is there.

    And, everything else you wrote was true (IMO), too.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  7. #22

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    Re: DCA's Remodel and its Impact on DLR's Future

    MrWiggins-

    While I agree with most of what you’re saying, I have to disagree about your statement that management still thinks that DCA works. I think this big project is an unavoidable acknowledgement that it is not working, and that they’ve now recognized that they need to do something to fundamentally fix the park. Clearly they’ve at least recognized some of the mistakes made in the past and are doing some smart things to address those issues.

    Probably the most important recognition is the very one you and Sed point out, that there is nothing special or transformative about going to Cali in current times. Clearly much will be done to give the park a more historic feel which I strongly support. I also think that the idea of integrating Walt’s story with a vision of the hope and dreams that Cali represents has tremendous appeal. I have argued this point in several other threads.

    It’s actually all potentially very appealing and actually could be a perfect compliment to DL in my opinion. DL’s theme is essentially a fantasy vision of the US and its culture, it tells the story of America’s western and Midwestern past, its connection to European culture and its fables, the adventuresome spirit of its citizens and its creativity and potential for the future. It’s actually a fairly complex and subtle message created through these on the surface seemingly unrelated locales, but it all comes together and feels right nonetheless. I believe that DCA can potentially become this same type of vision, set in the context of California and its history and people. If, and this is a very important if, this vision is executed correctly, it could be an amazing park, one worthy of being next to its legendary older sister.

    Unfortunately, I fear that even with a potentially good vision for the park, it is in the execution of the vision which most concerns me. It seems that some of the additions don’t as strongly support the theme as they might, and many of the rumored changes since the big announcement are very concerning. I personally don’t have a problem with TLM though I know others do and I don’t want to rehash that argument here.

    I have some issues with Carsland, I really think they need to emphasize car culture over the movie, but they are supposedly moving in the right direction on this, though the loss of the Drive-In worries me. Now we have three rides themed to one movie all together? It just is overkill, and not supportive of the theme the land should take. I also am worried that the layout of the land is going to eat up too much of the remaining land and not allow sufficient space to expand on some of the other existing areas or rework some of the areas that still need work.

    I also am disappointed in the loss of the Walt story in the Carthay. It’s another degradation of the new theme as I understand it and now there will not be an attraction which helps introduce and explain the theme. I also think it’s a big mistake to build another empty FaÁade and then introduce the new DCA with another empty building right front and center that screams of being cheap. Not the impression that I think they want to make with the public for a second time.

    Overall, I worry that we were told we were going to get a lot more for that 1.2 billion then it seems like we’re really going to get. I do think that there are still some clever and visionary people at WDI, and I think they’ve come up with some potentially really great stuff and some good ideas of how to cohesively pull the park together. I’m just worried that it’s starting to seem more and more like this is really just the same old management attitude that says add a few big rides and that will fix the park, clearly that’s not the case.

    While in concept I support removing less important attractions and restaurants to make sure that we get top notch attractions, I’m hoping that’s not all that we get, as some of these small things are pretty important in supporting the overall theming and are part of what make DL special. I hope that the overall theme of the park gets fully fleshed out and properly executed before making a bad second impression on people who were under impressed by the original park, and chose to give Dis a second chance and come see the new DCA.

  8. #23

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    Re: DCA's Remodel and its Impact on DLR's Future

    Beni-

    No doubt the room is available for a lot of growth still, the question is whether that land will be used for a third gate or not, especially if DCA continues to struggle.

    With that being said, it still does not nearly have the space that WDW enjoys.

  9. #24

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    Re: DCA's Remodel and its Impact on DLR's Future

    I agree.

  10. #25

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    Re: DCA's Remodel and its Impact on DLR's Future

    What I think Kill DCA was Too much Store and dinning place.
    DCA open you have only 10 rides, 6 Movies and Displays
    nothing for young kid.

    about 20 dining place. 17 stores.

    You say over kill on stores a dining.

    now have 34 Attraction
    16 dining place 14 stores.
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  11. #26

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    Re: DCA's Remodel and its Impact on DLR's Future

    The mindset behind much of this expansion still fails to understand the creative failures of the park. So, I expect that D.C.A. will be in no better position after all this work is completed.

    The plans do not comprehensively address the deep flaws of D.C.A. It all seems rather piecemeal and unfocused.

  12. #27

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    Re: DCA's Remodel and its Impact on DLR's Future

    I think DCA will definitely be in a better place at the end of the major overhaul--just look at how adding the one major ride of Expedition Everest has boosted Animal Kingdom's attendance--but I still agree with the second statement here. These changes do not adequately address the basic flaws of vision in the park and in many ways I think the changes will actually make the park LESS coherent than it is today.

    Of course this is all speculation and only time will tell, but I personally think the overall idea of "Walt's" adventures in California lacks excitement and interest for the average park-goer. Sure, the big Disney fans will relate to it, but *most* park-goers aren't intimate with Disney history or deeply connected to Walt the man. More importantly, the joy of most of the Disney parks is that they transplant you to a different place--real or imagined. Even DHS is set to Hollywood on the other side of the country. But, even if better detailed--I'm just not sure how exciting it will feel for people to see buildings that look like buildings just miles away.

    Combine that fundamental flaw with an over-toonization of the park (I have my doubts that Little Mermaid will "fit in" thematically or that Carsland won't feel a bit jarring the way a Bug's Land does now) and a lack of cohesiveness.....and I just wonder whether the effect will be as dramatic as Disney hopes.

    Finally I just don't see how re-jiggering the Midway with Disney characters will make it any more "fun" that it is now. Why is Mickey's Fun Wheel better than the Sun Wheel (ok, I'm biased--I actually love the Sun Wheel the way it is)?

    In the end I think DCA will do much better than it is now, and a third park *will* get greenlit (although possibly in the form as an expensive intense-experience Discovery Cove kind of park), but I still would guess that DCA will barely make it to 70% of Disneyland attendance levels. Just my thoughts, and I say this as speculation, knowing that the Imagineers and designers know a hell of a lot more than I do about this stuff---so I hope I end up being wrong




    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    The mindset behind much of this expansion still fails to understand the creative failures of the park. So, I expect that D.C.A. will be in no better position after all this work is completed.

    The plans do not comprehensively address the deep flaws of D.C.A. It all seems rather piecemeal and unfocused.

  13. #28

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    Re: DCA's Remodel and its Impact on DLR's Future

    Brerdan-
    I agree almost entirely with what you've said. I do however think that there’s a lot more potential in the use of Walt’s story then you think. I don’t think it should be a retelling of Walt’s life, I totally agree with you, average people won’t relate to that and it doesn’t make sense as the theme of a park. It’s certainly an interesting story, but it’s just not much of a theme for the whole park to be tied too. However, I think that Walt’s life can be used as metaphor for the California dream and a vision of what California means in the collective conscious of many Americans. Then the park can start to take on a theme much more like DL actually. Then a land about car culture and a historic feeling ocean side boardwalk actually do start to make some sense as part of a complete vision.

  14. #29

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    Re: DCA's Remodel and its Impact on DLR's Future

    Also, from what I've heard, the Mickey and friends transformation of PP is partially so that the ferris wheel and other lighting effects will actually become part of the world of color show. I think the it will be a lot more fun overall do to being far more beautiful and having more rides and a great show, but you're right, putting a big Mick on the wheel doesn't make anything more fun in itself.

  15. #30

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    Re: DCA's Remodel and its Impact on DLR's Future

    DCA needs a theme, and execution. Animal Kingdom has an incredible theme, but I think it's been poorly done. It's like a zoo and a theme park had a child, who is only half like each parent. I can barely stretch out a day there.

    Therefore, I think theme is necessary along with commitment to make it great. My idea, if wishing mattered, would be to bulldoze DCA and put in DisneySea, which has a clear theme and could hold it's own beside Disneyland. I'd keep Paradise Pier, but the rest of the park I'd level. You'd have a diverse, themed land with lots of offerings and a you could do world of color in the center.

    My other idea is blasphemy to most people, but I'll say it here anyway: merge the parks. Put in a electric light rail around DCA, and connect the two with a new land in the middle called something like Liberty Junction or Grand Central Station. The Main Street Vehicles and Hollywood Red Cars both travel to the center station and can take you into the half of the park you want, or you can walk there.

    I'd simply then retheme slightly to have new "lands." I'd have change the backlot into Tinseltown, U.S.A. as the opposite of Main Street with bright lights, Rolls Royces, and movie premieres, etc. I like Paradise Pier, but rather than Bugs Land Or Carsland I'd work on regional-based, like a land based on the Middle East with Pyramids, Minarets, the Cave of Wonders, etc. My answer to Fantasyland would be Narnia, with the impressive White Witches castle as a major draw in. There's a lot more I could do, but dreaming is dreaming.
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