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  1. #1

    • MiceAge Columnist
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    December 11, 2009: WESTCOT Center and the Original Disneyland Resort, Part 1

    Urban planner Sam Gennawey takes you back to 1991 when the Disney released the Preliminary Master Plan for The Disneyland Resort. The plan included spectacular new resort hotels and WESTCOT Center. This is part 1 of a 2-part article.


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

  2. #2

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    Re: December 11, 2009: WESTCOT Center and the Original Disneyland Resort, Part 1

    A very interesting article, although the writing could use a clean-up pass. Looking forward to part 2!

  3. #3

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    Re: December 11, 2009: WESTCOT Center and the Original Disneyland Resort, Part 1

    Nice article, Sam. Cannot wait for Part Two! by the way, your blog rocks...
    Mark

    Disney parks and art, movies, music, more... Over 1, 000 Posts!
    www.InsightsandSounds.blogspot.com

  4. #4

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    Re: December 11, 2009: WESTCOT Center and the Original Disneyland Resort, Part 1

    This was an interesting article back in 2000 when Jim Hill wrote a more comprehensive version in the OC Weekly. But still it's interesting.

    http://www.ocweekly.com/2000-06-15/n...misadventure/1
    Last edited by jaxbistro; 12-11-2009 at 08:08 AM.

  5. #5

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    Re: December 11, 2009: WESTCOT Center and the Original Disneyland Resort, Part 1

    I've heard about the plans for WESTCOT for a long time now, and one thing that I don't think I've ever seen or heard but I've always wondered -- was there an acronym for WESTCOT Center, or was this just what everyone called it?

  6. #6

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    Re: December 11, 2009: WESTCOT Center and the Original Disneyland Resort, Part 1

    I WAS THERE! I actually went to the huge event for the press and business community when all this was unveiled at the Disneyland Hotel. I got my name on some advisory committee (don't ask me how!) so I got into this huge event. There were models and renderings all around.
    At the time I was very enthused by the "Epcot West" portion, but in retrospect
    Iím glad that didnít happen. DCA (at least the concept) was a much better idea. However the Downtown Disney area, surrounded by water and overlooking Westcot was much grander. And the ideas and drawings of a completely redone Disneyland hotel was wonderful and should, even now, have been done.
    I still have all the press materials from the event! Maybe I'll look into selling them one day!

  7. #7

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    Re: December 11, 2009: WESTCOT Center and the Original Disneyland Resort, Part 1

    Quote Originally Posted by goatdan View Post
    I've heard about the plans for WESTCOT for a long time now, and one thing that I don't think I've ever seen or heard but I've always wondered -- was there an acronym for WESTCOT Center, or was this just what everyone called it?
    As far as I know, the name WESTCOT Center was simply the West Coast counterpart to EPCOT Center. While EPCOT began as an acronym, WESTCOT did not.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  8. #8

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    Re: December 11, 2009: WESTCOT Center and the Original Disneyland Resort, Part 1

    Eisner told me that WESTCOT stood for: We Expect Something To Come Of This... but it never did.

    This was a fascinating article, I remember hearing about Westcot in the early 90's and then it just kind of fizzled out. I had no idea it was going to be such a huge development. I really like the improvements they would have made outside the park, but I do think that DCA is a more fitting place for Disneyland. Epcot works because the Magic Kingdom is designed to be in a series of theme parks surrounding it, Disneyland works perfectly well on its own.

    If they had redone the surrounding streets like in the concept art, left the Disneyland Hotel buildings/attractions alone while keeping part of Downtown Disney, and dumped the $3 billion straight into DCA, the Disneyland Resort would be the envy of the entire Disney universe! Keep in mind, $3 billion was an obscene amount of money in 1991. Today just about any structure costs hundreds of millions, and Vegas hotels are $1 billion a piece, but back then you could actually build a world-class mega-resort to rival the best of the best for a few hundred million.

    This really shows just how incredible Michael Eisner's visions and ambitions were back in the day. He ended up a horrible penny-pinching ogre, but in the early days, he was so amazing it was like a complete re-birth of Disney. It's so hard to put him in an esteemed position, but he did after all revive Disney from the shadow it had become in 1984.

  9. #9

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    Re: December 11, 2009: WESTCOT Center and the Original Disneyland Resort, Part 1

    Thanks for the comments. Thanks Mark. Yours is always worth the visit. The blog is still new and I am working to find that voice. I would like to thank Werner for a great collaboration.

    I like Athlonacon's suggestion for the acronym but I believe Werner is right. The difference between my article and Jim's is my focus is as much on the planning document then anything else.

    I am an urban planner and prepare Specific Plans and just love the way this one is laid out. The illustratrive drawings at this scale is simply just not done. Harkens back to the Chicago Plan of 1909 to spark the imagination.

    Sam
    Samland's Disney Adventures

  10. #10

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    Re: December 11, 2009: WESTCOT Center and the Original Disneyland Resort, Part 1

    Great article. I love the concept art! Too bad this didn't go through-- they certainly wouldn't be having over-crowding issues with 3 parking structures!
    Oo-de-lally!

  11. #11

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    Re: December 11, 2009: WESTCOT Center and the Original Disneyland Resort, Part 1

    I think DCA has the right scale (as far as height of icons etc) and maybe even the right scope (the expanse of California) but poor execution of design and detail. Seems like it will get better, but I will miss the quasi-Epcot side of the park.
    Mark

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  12. #12

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    Re: December 11, 2009: WESTCOT Center and the Original Disneyland Resort, Part 1

    I think it looks beautiful, and much better than what we actually got. I love the idea of being able to spend the night within the park!

    Fluffy Club Member

  13. #13

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    Re: December 11, 2009: WESTCOT Center and the Original Disneyland Resort, Part 1

    Great stuff - the concept art is wonderful. It seems we are visiting what could have been more and more recently...and it's kind of sad. What could have been and what ended up being lead to such a disappointment.

  14. #14

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    Re: December 11, 2009: WESTCOT Center and the Original Disneyland Resort, Part 1

    ďThe unstated thread was that Disney could make the Hotel less desirable to a potential buyer by increasing the leasing cost of the monorail to an exorbitant amount.Ē
    Imagine being a paying guest only to find that the monorail no longer connected to the hotel!!!

    Oh wait a minute....

    Never mind.

    ~JBodine

  15. #15

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    Re: December 11, 2009: WESTCOT Center and the Original Disneyland Resort, Part 1

    Well, the monorail station is in the same spot as it's always been. It seems farther away since the demise of the Monorail Cafe and other hotel support buildings.

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