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  • [Chat] Why the reluctance by Disney to ditch the "California" theme

    I've been thinking about this for awhile. There have been rumors upon rumors of a name change for DCA. Looking at what they are adding, it's gonna be great. But ... the "Theme" is still going to be loose at best. How does adding a Mermaid ride, Cars-Land, Toy Story Ride, Wonderful World of Color = "CALIFORNIA".

    IMO ... it doesn't.

    In order for this park to REALLY work, as a cohesive theme, it needs a name change. I think all of the additions, in addition to the entry plaza remake and the trolly work and REALLY lean towards some kind of "Studios" park.

    I realize Universal Studios is close, and is an actual studio, so maybe NOT have "Studios" in the name. How about simply ... "Walt Disney's Hollywood" or even "Disney's Hollywood Adventure".

    IMO there is only 1 ride in the park that you couldn't currently re-theme to a movie, and that would be "Soarin' over CA".

    Grizzly you could EASILY theme to "DisneyNature" or something.
    Screamin' could get it's long-rumored Villians make-over.
    Maliboomer could get some kind of Incredibles or something make-over.
    The rest of the rides in the Paradise Pier area are already going to be tied to a movie theme.
    The Wharf area could EASILY lose the Bread/Tortilla Tour, link those two buildings and build some kind of walk-through or dark ride. The Wharf itself looks like so many movies anyway, it wouldn't stick out at all.
    There are no more sponsorships left for the winery so that's not an issue, although I'd personally like the wine bar, etc to stay.

    The new area is ENTIRELY based on a movie that didn't even take place in CA.

    I just don't get the insistence on sticking with the "California" theme. It hasn't worked, it doesn't make sense. They are making the same mistakes trying to make a disjointed theme work just because some "genius" came up with the name.

    I wonder if the reluctance to change the name of the park has to do with the "Grand Californian" which is actually quite popular. I don't think you would have to change the name of the hotel to be honest. Especially if that area is still "Redwood Themed".

    For the record, I've always enjoyed DCA. Sure it's had it's issues, but I've always managed to have fun in the park. But if they are REALLY trying to make it better, they need to stop trying to stretch the CA theme.


  • #2
    Re: Why the reluctance by Disney to ditch the "California" theme

    Not enough creativity or mind power to do it. So they are taking the easy route by spending 800m on Cars and Mermaid and Classic Disney. Because "people already like those".

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    • #3
      Re: Why the reluctance by Disney to ditch the "California" theme

      My guess is the exorbitant cost of re-branding. Disney has spent millions over the life of DCA to put that name in the public mind and associate with Disneyland. Calling it by an entirely new name would confuse the public and potentially affect ticket sales (ie "Where is this new park?"). The downside to keeping the name is that DCA's reputation has been hurt by negative public opinion over those same years. I would bet though that they're going to stick with DCA, perhaps adding Walt's first name in front of it, or describing it as the NEW DCA.

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      • #4
        Re: Why the reluctance by Disney to ditch the "California" theme

        It works in a theme park sense. There are the main areas: 1920's California, 1920's hollywood, 1920's Seaside Pier, California Desert and the Redwoods....

        Mermaid fits in with the mythology that a lot of seaside pier have/had. I just wish they'd put in a 'scary' darkride a la Santa Cruse Beach Boardwalk's darkride. With the guy in the electric chair? And the WoC fits because it's a theme park and shows of that size are going to be place where they can fit practically.

        I guess the short answer is that the new stuff fits if you look at it in a general sense.
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        • #5
          Re: Why the reluctance by Disney to ditch the "California" theme

          DCA is a really difficult and complex problem. I 100% agree that it needs a consistent theme - albeit a pretty broad one, most likely. I do think that California could work...the reason it hasn't worked has been because most of the California stuff simply tries cheaply to replicate stuff we can already experience in real-world California. A REAL theme park about California would need to delve into history and mythology and fantastic experiences that aren't available to most tourists in real-world California.

          Unfortunately, the overhaul is going to both enhance (e.g. the new entrance) and damage (e.g. Cars Land and TLM) the California theme. That means it will be harder than ever to make the park fit the California theme OR fit a new one. Every building, every attraction, every structure is a significant investment. Demolition costs money. Building new stuff costs money. So when Disney builds a colossal Arizona-based land in California Adventure, it's not going anywhere for a long time. That's reality.

          I can't really see any realistic possibility of a cohesive theme after 2012. We'll have a vaguely Disney-character-influenced east coast boardwalk that includes the adventures of a Danish mermaid, various California areas, an area devoted to cartoonish bugs, a fictionalized Arizona town, and so forth. What do all these mean together? People argue that Disneyland has no cohesive theme, but I'll say what I always say - it didn't need one any more specific than immersion into worlds of the past, the future, and fantasy. That works just fine for the original theme park. (Shut up, Knott's! ) But DCA is right next door, and if it's going to be a separate gate, it needs its own idea. Something to make it not Disneyland, without violating what it means to be a Disney park. And all it's going to have is a bunch of unrelated pieces with strong California elements and strong non-California elements.

          Bah, I hate sounding pessimistic.

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          • #6
            Re: Why the reluctance by Disney to ditch the "California" theme

            Originally posted by dougeebear View Post
            Disney has spent millions over the life of DCA to put that name in the public mind and associate with Disneyland.
            All the more reason to ditch the name and the negative connotations associated with it.
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            • #7
              Re: Why the reluctance by Disney to ditch the "California" theme

              Just call it MoreDisneyLand.

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              • #8
                Re: Why the reluctance by Disney to ditch the "California" theme

                The solution I liked the best so far, just drop the California...

                New name "Disney's Adventure Park", or with the Carthay Theater area, "Walt Disney's Adventure Park".

                Many guests call it "Adventure Park" currently, so there isn't a dramatic name change.

                But if I was in charge of Marketing, I would be very tempted to come up with a totally new name.

                I think it would be a serious mistake to keep the current DCA name when Phase 1 of the upgrade is completed.
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                • #9
                  Re: Why the reluctance by Disney to ditch the "California" theme

                  I actually like the name, and see little reason to change it.

                  Disney's California Adventure... sure, it's vague. But so is Disneyland (I already read Data's post, and respect his opinion on that matter ).

                  But, seriously. I think Disney's California Adventure is at least a unique name and not just a re-hash of something that already exists ("insert-name-here" Studios, Animal Kingdom, Water Parks, etc.) I sort of like the openness of Disney's California Adventure. It's not too specific. They can have a faux-studio (opinions on the Hollwood Backlot notwithstanding), AND Grizzly River Rapids, Paradise Pier, etc. It's not limited to just a big studio. The way I see it is this: Disney's California Adventure is a theme park in California presented by Disney. That makes sense within the context of the name. Maybe most of you will see that a cop-out, but it works for me! Just as Disneyland is a Land created by Walt Disney for our enjoyment. It's not "the world of past, future, and fantasy land". It's Disneyland. Vague. The theme is not in its name, nor is the park bound by its name. Just as Disney's California Adventure is not necessarily a decree that every experience you have within the park is going to be blatantly related to the history of California. I think that's what they tried in the beginning, sure... but it's not necessarily what they have to do going forward. And the name will still be fine.

                  Just my two cents!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Why the reluctance by Disney to ditch the "California" theme

                    Originally posted by Darkbeer View Post
                    The solution I liked the best so far, just drop the California...

                    New name "Disney's Adventure Park", or with the Carthay Theater area, "Walt Disney's Adventure Park".

                    Many guests call it "Adventure Park" currently, so there isn't a dramatic name change.

                    But if I was in charge of Marketing, I would be very tempted to come up with a totally new name.

                    I think it would be a serious mistake to keep the current DCA name when Phase 1 of the upgrade is completed.
                    I actually agree with everything in this post.

                    Originally posted by LLCMC View Post
                    I actually like the name, and see little reason to change it.

                    Disney's California Adventure... sure, it's vague. But so is Disneyland (I already read Data's post, and respect his opinion on that matter ).
                    IMO, Disneyland's theme was NEVER "Disneyland". It was all about the "Themed Lands" thus you got Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Adventureland, Frontierland, etc.

                    What kind of theme is "Golden State"???

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                    • #11
                      Re: Why the reluctance by Disney to ditch the "California" theme

                      Perhaps less a theme than a dream.

                      Wide open spaces. The lure of gold. The search for fame & fortune.

                      That's what California meant in its earliest incarnations.

                      Those dreams lured millions here, some truly scored those dreams, including Walt Disney.
                      "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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                      • #12
                        Re: Why the reluctance by Disney to ditch the "California" theme

                        I'm willing to bet that Disney doesn't share everything they're working on behind closed doors, I bet they're working on stuff we've never seen or heard of.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Why the reluctance by Disney to ditch the "California" theme

                          Isn't that a given?
                          "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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                          • #14
                            Re: Why the reluctance by Disney to ditch the "California" theme

                            They should keep the Name, after all the Park is in CA...so there leave it alone.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Why the reluctance by Disney to ditch the "California" theme

                              My point was, Do we need to know everything thats going on? I guess I like surprises.

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