Disney California Adventure has FINALLY found its audience with the opening of Cars Land. Imagineers have given the park that magical Disney touch that it had been missing since Michael Eisner built it on the cheap back in 2001.
It's been open for around 20 days now, and I don't think a negative word has been written about it. People love it, and honestly, it's killing me that I haven't been yet, so all you boastful visitors, I've probably blocked you on Facebook at this point as a measure of self preservation. Yeah, I'm a little jealous.
I haven't been to the California parks since 2010, before I did the College Program in lovely Florida. Visiting DCA at that point, the re-imagining of Paradise Pier had been completed and World of Color was up and running. They'd already rid of the Eisner-ick that made the park so, well, boring.
Not so with Condor Flats and the Grizzly River Recreation Area, Those areas remain almost completely in tact, as they were from the dreadful Day One.
I've always thought that ripping out Grizzly River Run would do wonders for the park. A river rapid ride is so not Disney. Every Six Flags park has one. It's not unique, fun, or worth the five acres it takes up in the middle of the park.
It was, when the park opened, the icon of Disney California Adventure, the weenie, as Walt would have called it. But, much like the Fantasia hat over at DCA's sister park, Hollywood Studios (which covers up Grauman's, the original, and still superior, weenie), there is something that could be a much better icon. In DCA's case, it's the new Carthay Circle Theater, which stands higher than Sleeping Beauty's Castle across the concourse. With the need for something to print on merchandise to distinguish the park filled, there's no need for the uncreative, unimaginative mountain.
techskip points out on MicheChat.com's web forum, Condor Flats is a land designed to represent the desert portions of California. And so is Cars Land. And Cars Land does it better, so why two lands representing basically the same California climate? Surely the imagineers have noticed the redundancy, and are planing on doing something about it.
The west side of the park can't be ignored now that the east side has gotten the brunt of the updates. The newly named "Hollywood Land" where "Who Want To Be A Millionaire" and the "Monsters Inc." dark ride (which should also be replaced by something that, at the very least, begs for multiple rides) is currently, also needs some attention.
But, when you look at the money Disney has been spending (A billion in California, a billion in Florida, a couple billion on cruise ships, a billion probably on Avatar land [Still have saying that]) you come to the conlcusion that they've spend a lot lately. They've come to that conclusion, too, and aren't going to make it a trend.
From the Orlando Sentinel: "We should be coming down substantially — substantially — in domestic spending," Disney Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo said during a recent presentation to stock analysts.
So, while all this would be fantastic, reports have come out that Disney may be putting some money into Disneyland's Tomorrowland. This news, with the news of the reduction in capital spending, all means that Disney California Adventure will probably look pretty similar to how it does today 10 years from now.
Or maybe, just maybe, Disney will realize what Walt always knew: being cheap puts you on the level of everybody else, and reinvesting money back into the parks, well, that gets you Cars Land.