Disney observers say the resounding success of Disneyland's 50th anniversary spurred the company to reinvest in Anaheim.
"It woke them up to the fact that this park has always consistently performed," Lutz said. With Disney's focus on Orlando, Fla., and on overseas parks, he said, "They forgot about Anaheim." But now, "they see this is as such a rich market that they haven't even begun to tap."
Though California Adventure has fallen short of expectations, David Miller, an analyst with Sanders Morris Harris, said the park's poor performance has not affected the company stock price, mainly because Walt Disney World in Florida accounts for about 80% of the company's theme park operating income.