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  1. #1

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    January 9, 2009: Sun Wheel

    It's not a Ferris Wheel. It's the Sun Wheel. The California Sun smiles at you from the center of the 160-foot diameter amusement wheel.

    Link to Sun Wheel at Yesterland.com.

    Please discuss it here.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  2. #2

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    Re: January 9, 2009: Sun Wheel

    I have mixed feelings about the Sun Wheel
    Walt never wanted a Ferris Wheel at Disneyland. He knew he had a lot of land in Florida to hold all of his dreams and I'm sure a FW was not one of them. Why have one in DCA? Yes it is unique, a slow moving at times thrilling ride. But it's based on an east coast wheel. What does that have to do with Ca?
    I admit it's fun to watch and the sun design did fit in with the pier theme. As much as I love the mouse why replace the sun? With all the chatter about Disney icons appearing in It's A Small World does anyone think this is same sort of idea? I would love to know how much this facelift will cost. With so many problems with DCA I feel the billion dollar rehab will get us 2 great E-Ticket attractions, a fantastic water show and a new entrance. What will remain are state fair rides (a wild mouse, a swing ride) with Disney type names.

  3. #3

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    Re: January 9, 2009: Sun Wheel

    whoRU,

    You've asked interesting questions. Here are my thoughts...

    Quote Originally Posted by whoRU View Post
    I have mixed feelings about the Sun Wheel
    Walt never wanted a Ferris Wheel at Disneyland. He knew he had a lot of land in Florida to hold all of his dreams and I'm sure a FW was not one of them. Why have one in DCA?
    I'm not aware that Walt Disney ever said he didn't want a Ferris Wheel. In fact, if you look at Fantasyland in the bird's eye view of Disneyland that Peter Ellenshaw painted in 1954, you'll see a Ferris Wheel themed to look like a windmill. Of course it was never built at Disneyland (though something similar was built at Disneyland Paris).

    We can debate about whether the Sun Wheel should have been part of DCA in 2001 (or whether Paradise Pier was a good idea), but the fact is that the giant wheel is there.

    When designing the current DCA makeover, Disney had 3 options for the Sun Wheel: tear it down; leave it the way it was; or make it more charming. Considering the options from both a business and creative perspective, I think Disney made the right choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by whoRU View Post
    Yes it is unique, a slow moving at times thrilling ride. But it's based on an east coast wheel. What does that have to do with Ca?
    The ride makes some sense precisely because the original was built in 1920 for an actual seaside amusement park (at Coney Island in New York). The "technology" fits perfectly with the seaside amusement pier theme of Paradise Pier. There was never anything like it in California -- but perhaps there should have been. It's a unique ride outside of New York (and outside of Yokohama, Japan, where's there's an authorized copy of the Wonder Wheel).

    Quote Originally Posted by whoRU View Post
    I admit it's fun to watch and the sun design did fit in with the pier theme. As much as I love the mouse why replace the sun?
    I'm not a fan of the California Sun "artwork" on the wheel. To me it looks like something from the 1970s, although it also looks like an attempt to mimic Mexican folk art. In either case, it looks out-of-place to me.

    Paradise Pier is a "land" that is supposed to look and feel like an early 20th century seaside amusement pier. Some elements were carefully designed, while other parts look contemporary, cheap, or tacky. Paradise Pier probably cost several hundred million dollars to build, and it does have rides that many people enjoy. So it makes sense to improve rather than demolish that part of DCA.

    Quote Originally Posted by whoRU View Post
    With all the chatter about Disney icons appearing in It's A Small World does anyone think this is same sort of idea?
    I'm one of the people that thinks adding Disney characters to it's a small world is a really bad idea. The characters will weaken the cohesiveness and "story" of it's a small world. I think the Paradise Pier makeover (including the "Disneyfication") is different, because it should give this "land" a cohesiveness and "story" that were sadly lacking.

    Quote Originally Posted by whoRU View Post
    I would love to know how much this facelift will cost.
    It will cost far less than junking the Sun Wheel, leveling Paradise Pier, and putting in an entirely different land with completely different rides.

    Quote Originally Posted by whoRU View Post
    With so many problems with DCA I feel the billion dollar rehab will get us 2 great E-Ticket attractions, a fantastic water show and a new entrance. What will remain are state fair rides (a wild mouse, a swing ride) with Disney type names.
    There's some truth to that summary, although it's more negative than how I would put it. I think DCA will be a far more enjoyable place when they're done. Strolling around Paradise Pier will be a trip to another time, not just a trip to "Six Flags Anaheim."

    A billion dollars sounds like a lot of money (and it is), but high-quality Disney theme park environments and attractions are very expensive. By using much of what's already there, Disney should be able to achieve a true Disney quality park, without having to spend 2 billion dollars.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  4. #4

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    Re: January 9, 2009: Sun Wheel

    I'm a tad dissapointed with the Mickey Mouse head. The original creepy and artificial feeling of Paradise Pier was so close to Shell Beach from the movie Dark City. They should have just ran with that. DCA could have been the creepiest park on the planet!
    it's a sale of candy and a sale of plush, it's a sale of toys and disney stuff
    there's so much that we sell, that it's time we tell, it's a plush plush sale!

  5. #5

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    Re: January 9, 2009: Sun Wheel

    Well it wont go in yesterland but just the sun face is

  6. #6

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    Re: January 9, 2009: Sun Wheel

    Quote Originally Posted by Twist1234 View Post
    Well it wont go in yesterland but just the sun face is
    Yep. That's why my article includes, "Although the Sun Wheel is now in Yester California Adventure, for all practical purposes it's really not gone from Disney's California Adventure."

    The changes involve more than just the California Sun face. There's also the name, the paint scheme, the signage, the loading area, and -- most importantly -- its contribution to the improved charm, style, and theme quality of Paradise Pier.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  7. #7

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    Re: January 9, 2009: Sun Wheel

    I think this is a positive change for the Sun Wheel. Everything being done in DCA is being done with reason. The park hasn't been doing all that well, so doing nothing doesn't help anything. Making actual improvements to the park that'll draw more people in and carry the park closer to par with Disneyland is what'll help it. DCA needs the makeover, and Paradise Pier itself will be in much better shape with better offerings to every visitor. I, too, am glad that the sun face will no longer be on the wheel... it just doesn't really work from an aesthetics perspective. I think introducing a little more Mickey and Disney characters into DCA will help the average visitor feel that it is really a part of the Disneyland Resort and not just a second-rate theme park that's secondary to Disneyland. Plus, they couldn't have gone with a better visual of Mickey for the "Fun" Wheel. Not only do I tend to prefer the vintage-looking Mickey, but it really does look appropriate with the boardwalk look of the Pier.

  8. #8

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    Re: January 9, 2009: Sun Wheel

    I like the reno and the Mickey face. I am disappointed that the Mickey ears are being removed from California Screamin', but I guess the neon lights aren't very vintage...

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