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  1. #1

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    California Adventure could use a little magic - LA Times, 10/18/07

    http://www.latimes.com/news/local/or...ditions-orange


    You think you've got a tough job?

    My first day back in the office after two weeks off, and what do they do?


    They send me to an amusement park for a few hours.

    Well, not exactly an amusement park -- Disney's California Adventure.

    Ha, here come the jokes already.

    Except that California Adventure isn't very amusing. Least of all, apparently, to the Disney management team.

    The Times reported Wednesday that the company will put $1.1 billion into remaking the sister park to Disneyland, a concession that the original grand design wasn't so grand.

    If I were a certain kind of person, I could say I told you so. In February 2001, I visited the park and was so moved I wrote a few months later: "I took a stroll through Disney's California Adventure and immediately consigned it to the dustbin of amusement parks. Not enough fun stuff to do and too expensive -- $43 -- to do it."

    I strolled it again Wednesday, my first visit back since 2001, and noticed a big change: The price now is $66.
    Much more at the link
    Check out my Theme Park Photos at http://darkbeer.smugmug.com

  2. #2

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    Re: California Adventure could use a little magic - LA Times, 10/18/07

    That's a good article. But, I would like to remind everyone that there are plenty of attractions that have been created at Disneyland throughout the years toward which guests instantly found an attachment. But, how many Enchanted Tiki Rooms and Pirates of the Caribbeans can D.C.A. claim to offer?

    D.C.A. lacks imagination, creativity, and showmanship, plain and simple.

    People are attached to Soarin' over California, for example, because it is a great idea that is executed reasonably well. Creativity is the thing. People love imaginative ideas.

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    Re: California Adventure could use a little magic - LA Times, 10/18/07

    Also the park hopper ticket can be used for both parks so acually if you get the park hopper isn't DCA really free to get in? DCA has some awsome rides, tot, soaring, and california screaming to name a few.since its so hot there in the summer the water ride is awsome, and of course I love bugs land. ( my kids love it there) There will be some great improvements, its a new park, let it grow in peace. everyone expects another disneyland, iots not and not going to be. if you get a anual pass you can do both parks, if you buy a park hopper you get into DCA for free. whats the bitch??

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    Re: California Adventure could use a little magic - LA Times, 10/18/07

    Quote Originally Posted by PragmaticIdealist View Post
    People love imaginative ideas.

    I don’t know if people want "imaginative" as much as they want original or unique. DCA could of been a success if it was unique.

    Then again, a lot of people get imaginative and unique mixed up.




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    Re: California Adventure could use a little magic - LA Times, 10/18/07

    I really like DCA the way it is.

    It's fun. I especially love Paridise Pier all lit up at night.

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    Re: California Adventure could use a little magic - LA Times, 10/18/07

    If so many people wouldn't have complained, and loudly about
    the numerous short coming of DCA, it's very likely that DCA would
    not have had Bug's Land, Tower of Terror, Blast or Aladdin at
    the Hyperion at this point in time. It's been the outright complaints
    about DCA (and the poor initial planning for the DCA to begin with)
    that have prompted Disney to spend this extra 1.1 Billion to make
    the Park just a little more of what it should have been to beging with.

    So instead of Complaining about the Complainers, You should really
    be thanking those of us who have been vocal about DCA's shortfalls,
    because if it wasn't for people speaking up about the lack of Disney
    in DCA, only now would you begin to see ToT under construction, and
    you Certainly wouldn't be seeing this 1.1 Billiion enhancement. SO
    you can start Thanking the Complainers any time now.

  7. #7

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    Re: California Adventure could use a little magic - LA Times, 10/18/07

    ..And the public speaks:

    Holli Messenger has given the matter some thought, and it came to her on her family's first-ever visit to DCA: : "I don't know that there's anything wrong, but there's nothing right, either."

    Noting that Disneyland opened more than 50 years ago, she said, "There's very little here that speaks of the 50 years of innovations since then" in amusement park attractions. For example, she cited the watery Grizzly River Run and said, "They have the same thing at Silverwood," an amusement park in northern Idaho.

    Messenger, visiting from Portland, Ore., with her husband and 5-year-old twin boys, said the family was having a "fabulous time" but that she "had huge expectations because Disneyland is so much over the top in so many ways."

    The sense of "theme" at Disneyland simply doesn't carry over to California Adventure, she said. Messenger, 39, first visited Disneyland as a child, then again in high school, then on her honeymoon.

    And no, she doesn't expect a companion park to surpass the original. But, yes, she thinks a next-door park could be successful, if only. . .

    "I expected some originality," she said, "but there's so much that's exactly the same" as other amusement parks. In its present incarnation, she said, DCA is "just a collection of things" that doesn't represent anything in particular.

    Some great, candid quotes from the public here. And I like that the Times quoted people here that seem to be casual parkgoers, not APs or Disney fanatics.

    It gives a better insight into the public's view of the place that so many of us here have been magnifying and expanding upon for years now.

    And to be fair, even the folks who were quoted as being content with DCA in its current form didn't seem too enthusiastic about the place:
    And now for the loyal opposition. Tim McNamara is visiting from Boulder, Colo., with his wife and two children, 6 and 9. Wednesday was their second visit to DCA, and he found nothing to complain about. They'll gladly spend the whole day there, he said.

    No heart at California Adventure? "I think that's a fair assessment," McNamara said. "You go to the main park. . . and it feels magical. This is not nearly as magical, but I never thought it was supposed to be. The original is magical, and this is its own experience."

    Christine Page is visiting from Australia and was tending to her 6-year-old nephew while on her first trip to California Adventure. No complaints from her, either, but she theorized that the power of Disneyland holds such sway over people that it's hard for them to develop any sentimental attachment to another park.

    "This has only been here, what, a few years?" she said. "You can't expect the same kind of attachment to the characters."

    I guess the original concept of DCA worked on Tim McNamara - he knows, and seemingly accepts that DCA isn't supposed to be the same "magical" type of park as Disneyland - and while he seems to accept that DCA's intentions were different - how much does he actually like the approach?

    As for Christine Page, she's repeating the sentiment of many of the DCA Lovers on this board - that DCA is a new park, and has to grow like Disneyland did... But to that I say, look back at Holli Messenger's quote: "There's very little here that speaks of the 50 years of innovations since then"

    .... DCA really has no excuse.

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    Re: California Adventure could use a little magic - LA Times, 10/18/07

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDude View Post
    I don’t know if people want "imaginative" as much as they want original or unique. DCA could of been a success if it was unique.

    Then again, a lot of people get imaginative and unique mixed up.
    Well, psychologists define creativity as the point at which logic meets originality. And, inhered by the exercise of creativity is the differentiation you describe.

    Grizzly, for example, is certainly a generic rapids ride that offers very little in terms of a show. The attraction may have attractive naturalistic grounds, but how much imagination was actually invested in making the experience all that it is? Grizzly is an anemic effort in a park full of them.

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    Re: California Adventure could use a little magic - LA Times, 10/18/07

    Quote Originally Posted by Hakuna Makarla View Post
    If you get a anual pass you can do both parks, if you buy a park hopper you get into DCA for free. whats the bitch??
    Well, it cost money to build, but from one point of view no one really pays to enter.
    Sure, patrons shouldn't complain, but if something is theoretically worth the price of admission, then DCA could be considered worthless.
    Yes, it's not completely worthless.

    However, since Tokyo's parks have a one-park AP option, and WDW charges a flat rate for the park-hopper option, I think something similar to both of those options could be offered at California's parks, if only to ascertain some estimate of the value of the park.

    So, if someone could buy a DL-only multi-day pass and add parkhopping for, say, $30 to the total price of the multi-day ticket, then TDA could determine the worth of DCA.
    "Here You Leave the World of California Today and Enter the World of, um, er, California Today."

  10. #10

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    Re: California Adventure could use a little magic - LA Times, 10/18/07

    Quote Originally Posted by sediment View Post
    Well, it cost money to build, but from one point of view no one really pays to enter.
    Sure, patrons shouldn't complain, but if something is theoretically worth the price of admission, then DCA could be considered worthless.
    Yes, it's not completely worthless.

    However, since Tokyo's parks have a one-park AP option, and WDW charges a flat rate for the park-hopper option, I think something similar to both of those options could be offered at California's parks, if only to ascertain some estimate of the value of the park.

    So, if someone could buy a DL-only multi-day pass and add parkhopping for, say, $30 to the total price of the multi-day ticket, then TDA could determine the worth of DCA.
    Patrons shouldn't complain?

    A product is a product. Disney is selling a product. DCA is that product.
    If patrons don't like it, then they have every right to complain.

    I suppose, that right is diminished the cheaper the cost of the product is, but still - DCA wouldn't be free if it wasn't worth complaining about, would it?

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  11. #11

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    Re: California Adventure could use a little magic - LA Times, 10/18/07

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterGracey View Post
    I guess the original concept of DCA worked on Tim McNamara - he knows, and seemingly accepts that DCA isn't supposed to be the same "magical" type of park as Disneyland - and while he seems to accept that DCA's intentions were different - how much does he actually like the approach?
    Since Mr. McNamara's family was visiting the park for a second time (from Colorado) and gladly spending the whole day there, I'm guessing they like the approach very well.

    Seriously though, I am a DCA supporter, BUT I also realize it has serious shortcomings and problems. My very first ride in DCA back in 2001 was Superstar Limo, which certainly left an indelible impression--the wrong kind of impression unfortunately. I do wish that the park was built with better theming and not on the cheap. However, I enjoy visiting DCA everytime I go down to Anaheim. Enjoying DCA and acknowledging its problems are not mutually exclusive. This seems to be one of the polarizing issues on this board. The perception is that you have to be in one camp or the other, but really, I think more people are somewhere in the middle. Let's hope that the powers that be--whether in Glendale, Anaheim or Burbank--use this money wisely to improve the park and give it that sense of magic that we expect from a Disney theme park.

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    Re: California Adventure could use a little magic - LA Times, 10/18/07

    Quote Originally Posted by Armadillo4 View Post
    Since Mr. McNamara's family was visiting the park for a second time (from Colorado) and gladly spending the whole day there, I'm guessing they like the approach very well.

    Seriously though, I am a DCA supporter, BUT I also realize it has serious shortcomings and problems. My very first ride in DCA back in 2001 was Superstar Limo, which certainly left an indelible impression--the wrong kind of impression unfortunately. I do wish that the park was built with better theming and not on the cheap. However, I enjoy visiting DCA everytime I go down to Anaheim. Enjoying DCA and acknowledging its problems are not mutually exclusive. This seems to be one of the polarizing issues on this board. The perception is that you have to be in one camp or the other, but really, I think more people are somewhere in the middle. Let's hope that the powers that be--whether in Glendale, Anaheim or Burbank--use this money wisely to improve the park and give it that sense of magic that we expect from a Disney theme park.
    I wholeheartedly agree that enjoying the park and acknowledging its problems are not mutually exclusive. I've praised DCA for its few highlights numerous times (Disney Animation, Tower of Terror, Soarin', etc), and yet I'm obviously not afraid to tell it like it is either and say the park is, as a whole, a total joke.

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    Re: California Adventure could use a little magic - LA Times, 10/18/07

    From the day they opened the preview tent for DCA I wanted to believe DCA would be better than it appeared. And then it opened. I used to get so upset with people like Lutz for saying anything bad about DCA, but he was right. Disney goofed.

    So now chapter two begins. Now the "fix" has been announced and it looks way more exciting than the first preview. I hope the execution really pays off. As long as Disney realizes that layers of theming are not the same thing and must-see attractions. Where is DCA's POTC, HM, etc? The whole family needs to be able to enjoy some big rides together. And they need to do this in an immersive environment which now seems to be coming. Too bad it will take 5-10 years. Can we get some overtime going?
    "Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere." --Carl Sagan

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