Monsters to the rescue - Orange County Register, 12/22/05
Mike and Sulley, characters from the "Monsters, Inc." movie, are off to the rescue once again, this time in a new attraction that Disneyhopes will lead the revival of California Adventure.
The nearly 5-year-old theme park, struggling to connect with visitors, might be able to attract some of the big holiday crowds away from Disneyland with the Monsters, Inc. ride and a new piece of interactive technology - the first three-dimensional figure that can talk to guests.
The Monsters, Inc. attraction invites visitors to line up at the Monstropolis Transit Authority to catch a taxi from the human world into the monster world. Once there, they are purely observers of the action: Two monster "heroes" evade an evil monster and help Boo, a lost child, get back home.
The Monsters, Inc. attraction would rate as a high "C" if Disney still used its original ticket books, with rides starting at "A" and working up to "E" for the biggest thrills. It's likely to be most popular with younger children and fans of the movie. While it's not a blockbuster, it provides a much-needed boost for California Adventure and it signals Disney's intent to accelerate development of a park that opened in 2001.
"We're just getting started," said Rafferty, who is working on several Disney attractions. "This is the first step into the future for Disney's California Adventure."
While the major work will be done next year, Disney has begun improvements already. The area leading to the Monsters, Inc. attraction, called the Hollywood Pictures Backlot, has a new fountain and two rows of trees. Visitors had complained that California Adventure lacked enough shade on sunny days.
Food service, which was shut down in this area because of lack of traffic, resumed this week. The Studio Catering Co. offers take-away food with tables out front.