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  1. #1

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    February 4, 2011 - California Adventure Preview Center

    The 10th anniversary of the grand opening of Disney’s California Adventure is just days away. Yesterland turns back the clock to before the grand opening. Get a sneak preview of what you can expect at the new park in the old parking lot.


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

  2. #2

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    Re: February 4, 2011 - California Adventure Preview Center

    Thanks for the look back.

    Pretty amazing if you think about the park then and what has been opened since that park premiered 10 years ago.

    Tower of Terror
    Bugsland
    Toy Story Midway Mania
    Playhouse Disney
    Monsters Inc.
    World of Color

    plus coming very soon:

    The Little Mermaid
    Carsland
    Street Cars

    Will DCA have doubled in size come 2012?

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    Re: February 4, 2011 - California Adventure Preview Center

    As always a wonderful article. I have my own special look on Tuesday.

    Sam
    SamLand's Disney Adventures

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    Re: February 4, 2011 - California Adventure Preview Center

    Sad, it's just sad. I remember seeing the Preview Center that was in front of the DCA gate, and thinking, 'This is not that great'. Someone I knew who worked in DL was telling me how great Soarin' was going to be, yes Soarin is one of the better rides, but as a whole, it still wasn't great. It's funny how blind you can be when you surround yourself with yes men.

    Anyway, Werner, I love your article and humor.

  5. #5

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    Re: February 4, 2011 - California Adventure Preview Center

    I just think it's amazing to read the promotions of the day, the way they really thought that this new park was going to have wall to wall guests while DL would be hurting for people. A very delusional start to what might someday become a great park.

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    Re: February 4, 2011 - California Adventure Preview Center

    I remember asking a CM in the preview center if there was going to be an AP available - and she said 'not for several years - it's going to be way to popular to have an AP.' It wasn't more than a few months before the extra cost option for DCA was available, and then not much more again before you could ONLY get a combo pass!
    I am SO glad Pressler is long gone.

  7. #7

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    Re: February 4, 2011 - California Adventure Preview Center

    Great Article, Werner! I was there, 3-4 days before the official opening on February 4 and I liked some of the things they had there.

    I miss the some of the more iconic structures of DCA already, but I am going very excited about TLM: AUA coming soon (but still think that it's better suited to DL.)


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  8. #8

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    Re: February 4, 2011 - California Adventure Preview Center

    Loved the art work! Loved the article! But I did not love the reality. While I feel that the artists were really trying to put a best foot forward for DCA, the whole concept of a part in California to present a microcosm of California is just stupid. Every element of DCA is just not as great as the real thing in California. If you travel from other parts of the world to see Hollywood, would you go to DCA and see its version instead? If you wanted to see the beach, would you go to the Paradise pier section of DCA instead? The whole concept of a park about California was flawed to begin with. Now that DCA has abandoned the California theme it is just now somehow bringing itself up to an adequate level of a theme park, rather than just an amusement park.
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  9. #9

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    Re: February 4, 2011 - California Adventure Preview Center

    Quote Originally Posted by JiminyCricketFan View Post
    The whole concept of a park about California was flawed to begin with.
    I agree that the concept, as executed, was deeply flawed.

    However, a park about California in California could have worked — and could even have worked well — if the park had consisted of "lands" that provided a real sense of place and time.

    Nobody complains that Colonial Williamsburg is about Virginia and in Virginia.

    We can go to another place, but we can't go back in time. DCA could have taken us to the Hollywood of the 1930s (rather than DCA's Hollywood which can't decide what year it is or whether it's a street or a studio backlot). DCA could have taken us to California's Mother Lode Country during the Gold Rush. DCA could have taken us to Los Angeles in the 1950s, with exuberant Googie architecture and signs. DCA could have taken us to a late 19th century San Francisco, complete with hills and the "brand new" cable cars.

    And DCA could have provided attractions in the tradition of Disneyland's great E Tickets of the 1960s throughout the park.

    Maybe, some day, I'll expand on these thoughts in a Yesterland article. The world doesn't need another article to bashing DCA. But perhaps there's room for an article discussing how a California theme could have worked.

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited by Werner Weiss; 02-05-2011 at 06:42 AM. Reason: typo
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  10. #10

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    Re: February 4, 2011 - California Adventure Preview Center

    "It’s interesting how many of the attractions in the Preview Center are now the subject of Yesterland entries. In fact, in honor of the 10th anniversary of the park that’s now called Disney California Adventure, please take a look at the Yesterland home page, scroll down to Yester California Adventure, and see how many attractions, shops, restaurants, and shows from the relatively young park are already part of Yesterland."

    And look how much of Adventureland or New Orleans Square is part of Yesterland: close to nothing. In fact, the Adventureland pages only show a retheme of the Swiss Family Treehouse and the Tahitian Terrace and it's retheme. In fact, no lands of Disneyland over 56 years have lost more than DCA lost in it's first 10.

    For another comparison, what has Animal Kingdom lost over the past 13 years? Almost nothing, other than the River Boats, the Pocahontas show, and the Jungle Book show.

  11. #11

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    Re: February 4, 2011 - California Adventure Preview Center

    Quote Originally Posted by Werner Weiss View Post
    Maybe, some day, I'll expand on these thoughts in a Yesterland article. The world doesn't needs another article to bashing DCA. But perhaps there's room for an article discussing how a California theme could have worked.

    Any thoughts?
    That's an article I'd love to read. I've never had any problem at all with DCA's original concept. A vast majority of people living in SoCal don't go very far from their own homes. I betcha there's a large percentage of Orange County residents that have never been to Hollywood. The state is so diverse that there's plenty of room to highlight the different regions and, as you suggest, times. It was the execution of the park that was so bad.

  12. #12

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    Re: February 4, 2011 - California Adventure Preview Center

    Quote Originally Posted by Werner Weiss View Post
    I agree that the concept, as executed, was deeply flawed.

    However, a park about California in California could have worked — and could even have worked well — if the park had consisted of "lands" that provided a real sense of place and time.

    Nobody complains that Colonial Williamsburg is about Virginia and in Virginia.

    We can go to another place, but we can't go back in time. DCA could have taken us to the Hollywood of the 1930s (rather than DCA's Hollywood which can't decide what year it is or whether it's a street or a studio backlot). DCA could have taken us to California's Mother Lode Country during the Gold Rush. DCA could have taken us to Los Angeles in the 1950s, with exuberant Googie architecture and signs. DCA could have taken us to a late 19th century San Francisco, complete with hills and the "brand new" cable cars.

    And DCA could have provided attractions in the tradition of Disneyland's great E Tickets of the 1960s throughout the park.

    Maybe, some day, I'll expand on these thoughts in a Yesterland article. The world doesn't need another article to bashing DCA. But perhaps there's room for an article discussing how a California theme could have worked.

    Any thoughts?
    After Phase 1 construction is completed maybe you can do a massive photo comparison of every change that was made to the park since it opened...in one article. That would be cool if you have the photos of the old DCA to compare it to.
    Toonaspie: I have Asperger's. I like cartoons. Toonaspie!

  13. #13

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    Re: February 4, 2011 - California Adventure Preview Center

    Quote Originally Posted by toonaspie View Post
    After Phase 1 construction is completed maybe you can do a massive photo comparison of every change that was made to the park since it opened...in one article. That would be cool if you have the photos of the old DCA to compare it to.
    There will be a great opportunity for a "then and now" photo essay for each of the "lands" of DCA.
    Werner Weiss
    Curator of Yesterland, featuring discontinued Disneyland attractions

  14. #14

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    Re: February 4, 2011 - California Adventure Preview Center



    It's interesting to see that the imagineers conceived a bare-bones flume ride that wrapped around the Orange Stinger and splashed down in front of the Sun Wheel. That one never was realized in the park.

    Also, I'm so glad they never added that GIANT surfboard to California Screamin!

  15. #15

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    Re: February 4, 2011 - California Adventure Preview Center

    I still can't believe they designed the park with that kind of a layout. Just looking at the park map is puzzling. The flow is really wonky. I don't know why they wanted to keep all that back parking lot. They could have used all that space from the beginning and had a much better design instead of Afterthought DesignLand.
    It seems like they still are wasting that precious space by putting offices back there as opposed to offsite.

    Still upsets me that the Grand Californian eats into what could have been more space for a real "Condor Flats" land part of the park. =/

    I remember going to DCA on the first year and thinking I could spend a whole day there. I left feeling extremely underwhelmed. Here's to the future of DCA!!
    Last edited by Brinkalee; 02-09-2011 at 11:37 AM.

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