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  • My DCA essay...

    So I wrote a paper for my English class about DCA. Im gonna post it for you to read and wouldnt mind hearing what you thought. Its kinda long so no pressure.

    Originally posted by WRDup
    Wesley Davenport
    December 19th 2006
    English 1
    Professor Cramer
    Tragic Kingdom
    In the spring of 2001 Disney’s California Adventure park opened to much anticipation and fanfare. Where once stood the vast and encompassing sea of asphalt that was the Disneyland parking lot, now stands what some had hoped would be an enchanting and enriching alter-ego to the “Happiest Place on Earth”. In all it’s glory with new exciting lands of wonder, DCA was suppose to transform Walt’s original park into a “destination” resort that would help create new memories for family and friends for generations to come. However, DCA quickly became the ugly step-sister to Disneyland’s Cinderella. It was strange to feel disenchanted and estranged with Disneyland’s new next door neighbor. It wasn’t captivating or immersive. It was bland and cold. Disney’s California Adventure lacks keys elements that transformed Disneyland from the novel idea of one mans dream into an American icon.
    Since its inception, more than five years ago, Disney’s California Adventure has struggled to live up to the expectations set to a high standard by Disneyland. In his book “Disney War” James B. Stewart wrote that “Disney’s California Adventure opened to weak attendance and tepid reviews” (382). Even with the addition of new attractions like “Tower of Terror” & the Monsters Inc. inspired “Mike & Sulley to the Rescue” DCA continues to under-whelm guests and under-perform for Disney accountants.
    Take admission price for example. Disney’s philosophy on the issue is that the two parks must remain equal in value (meaning price) in the eyes of the consumer. If one park is less
    Davenport 2
    expensive than another the less expensive park will be viewed as cheap or low-budget and might not draw the expected crowd. Disney Executives hope that by maintaining equal admission prices they would lead consumers to believe that each park must offer an equal value of entertainment. However, the actual value of admission isn’t hard to figure out. By simply reviewing a map of each park most anyone can determine that Disneyland offers more bang for your buck simply because it sports a much longer and more comprehensive list of attractions. You get what you pay for and to the dismay of corporate executives and accountants consumers know it. On any given day you can choose to pay the same admission price for either Disneyland or Disney’s California Adventure. Consumers know how to get their moneys worth and so most decide to pay to attend the aging fifty-one year old Disneyland that is at most times crowded beyond comfort rather than visit the new wide open spaces of a far less crowded California Adventure literally 50 steps in the other direction. That being said the issue of “value” evolves into a broader discussion of other ways DCA lacks the “value” Disney Executives want you to believe exists to justify equal admission price.
    We can start the discussion with words of wisdom taken from someone who helps create the magic of Disney theme parks, an Imagineer wrote, “The first step in translating our dream into reality is to create a building in which it can live” (84). The theme of California Adventure is adventure. That adventure is set to take place, within the confines of the park, in California. In essence, guests of DCA are suppose to be transported into different adventures that take place within California. According to the quote above this idea must somehow be translated into an edifice that embodies the excitement and thrill of a Californian Adventure. “At Disney Theme Parks a building is not just a building”, the Imagineer continued (84). You might notice on your
    Davenport 3
    next trip to DCA that upon entering the park you are greeted by a replica of the Golden Gate Bridge and beyond that a big metal sun sculpture that doubles as a water fountain. These structures, while nice in their own right, might be inappropriately placed at the entrance to welcome guests to the park because they don’t capture the essence of the adventure guests are suppose to be getting themselves into.
    To contrast this point imagine entering a park through a tunnel under a train station to find yourself in a turn of the century mid-west Town Square complete with City Hall, a Fire Station, quaint shops, an Opera House, a Bank and a horse drawn carriage that carries you to the steps of an enchanted fairy tale castle complete with moat, draw bridge, Prince, Princess and a Happily Ever After. At Disneyland, Walt was able to embody the theme of fantasy within Sleeping Beauty Castle. The Castle stands tall, front and center on the horizon at the end of Main Street, USA to represent the park as an icon of its purpose and emotionally attaches us to that purpose by bringing to life fantastical worlds previously found only in our imagination or in one of Walt’s animated movies. Its symbology resonates through the other parts of the park to remind us that we are in a place of make-believe, where our imagination decides who we are and where we go. At DCA there is no such structure, edifice or icon to represent the purpose of our adventures in California. More importantly, the lack of such an icon leaves us with no emotional connection to the reason why we are there or why we should go back.
    Guests come back because they had fun. Walt Disney said, “You’ve got to have a place where the whole family can have fun” (Gabler 484). Creating an environment that entertains the whole family at once is crucial in building the emotional connection guests have with the park that entices them to return time and time again. For over 50 years Disneyland has been able to
    Davenport 4
    keep people in the park because there is something for everyone and something for everyone to do together. Many of Disneyland’s high profile “E” ticket attractions are suitable for the entire family. The ability to share experiences with your children, parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents & friends is paramount when trying to create meaningful memories and exponentially increases the guests perceived value. Aside from Fantasylands dark rides like Peter Pan Flight or Dumbo entire families can enjoy Jungle Cruise, Haunted Mansion, Pirates of the Caribbean & “It’s a Small World” together! By contrast, DCA has zero attractions of this high caliber leaving it a place where you sit and wait for others to ride so you can ride what you want to ride. Dividing the family in this manner, against the admonishment of Walt himself, defies the very essence of what he was trying to accomplish and lessens even further the value of the park as compared to Disneyland’s family friendly mantra.
    As one additional blow to DCA’s deteriorating prospectus on value, it lacks personality, literally. Disneyland boasts Mickey Mouse as its official resident. Kids and children of all ages come to Disneyland for a chance to meet the mouse in person, to take a picture with him and perhaps get an autograph. In television commercials Tinker Bell is often seen flying over Sleeping Beauty Castle sprinkling “Pixie Dust” to ensure the magic stays alive. While Disneyland might not need to give Goofy or Donald the boot to represent DCA, California Adventure would benefit from some sort of spokesperson who is interactive and relatable. In his online blog Merlin Jones writes about DCA, “maybe Oswald, the Lucky Rabbit, now returned to the Disney fold, could be the new DCA mascot to Disneyland's Mickey”. Certainly a audible representative would help increase the exposure captured by California Adventure and boost its image.
    Davenport 5
    While the issues this essay takes with the monetary value of a days visit to Disney’s California Adventure might not be a complete solution to the perception guests hold in contempt against the “pricing structure versus value” woes of the infant park, they represent a return to the ideals Walt Disney incorporated into Disneyland would help shift its image. Even within the rank and file of Corporate Disney “what is widely referred to as "The DCA Problem" [has] created two separate factions within [Walt Disney Imagineering]” (Lutz) when it comes to deciding how to resurrect the parks reputation. I believe creating a place where families can have fun together should always be the number one priority. It’s this same ideology that has transformed an orange grove in Anaheim into the magical realm of fantasy that people call the “Happiest Place on Earth”.
    They say it was “all started by a mouse”. But what inspired Walt Disney was his family. In the case of Disneyland, Mickey Mouse plays a supporting role in the cast of Walt’s imagination. Built almost out of necessity, after sitting on a bench eating peanuts in Griffith park while his two girls rode the Marry-Go-Round, Disneyland is a place for families. It is an opportunity for parents and children to learn and to grow and to have fun together.







    Davenport 6
    Works Cited
    Gabler, Nea. Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination. New York: Alfred A.
    Knopf, 2006.
    Imagineers. Imagineering: A behind the Dreams Look at Making the Magic Real. New York:
    Disney Editions,.
    Jones, Merlin. “Finding Walt’s DCA”. Re-Imagineering. 1 December 2006.
    <http://imagineerebirth.blogspot.com>
    Lutz, Al. “Tom, Huck & Jack”. Mice Age. 15 December 2006. Al Lutz. 28 November 2006.
    <http://www.miceage.com/allutz/al112806a.htm>
    Stewart, James B.. Disney War. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2005.
    Last edited by WRDup; 12-20-2006, 12:52 PM.
    "There's no off position on the genius switch"

    Twitter: @WRDinc | Instagram: @WRDinc

  • #2
    Re: My DCA essay...

    Looks like a good little paper discussing the DCA problem, and I have to say you summed it up rather well.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: My DCA essay...

      All I can say is, WOW! Good for you!
      Friend walks into line of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh-
      "Come on, Let's go see Country Bear- .......Oh."
      -August 1st 2010

      And this elevator traverls directly to The Twilight Zone The Gift Shop!
      -August 2nd 2010

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      • #4
        Re: My DCA essay...

        It's getting there. You need to work on flowing the argument from one section to the next. Right now it's only a list of gripes that compound to a problem, which for a disintrested reader get "boring" at about the page 4 mark.

        The issue of the ticket prices is more of a symptom than a problem, so perhaps place less weight on that and mention it later. The main thrust of your argument centres around Disney's legacy and how DCA's design doesn't live up to that, so think about structuring it around that. Cut back on the fanboy waxing lyrical over Disneyland's fantasticness a bit. Trim the lists.

        Try to pull these disparate threads into a logical compelling argument. Also, check your grammar.
        Disney FAQ#275: What is DCA?
        DCA stands for Disney Construction Area. All the Cast Members are themed with hard hats and steel toed boots.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: My DCA essay...

          WOW a very informative read! Loved reading it too didnt even notice its length!

          :thumbup: "This guy!"

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: My DCA essay...

            This is very good. It brings up some points that I had not really pondered before. There are rides in DCA that are meant for only kids and that was NOT Walts idea when he built Disneyland. Also I have in the past been giving DCA the benefit of the doubt but you bring up a good point that there is no cohesive theming throughout. Disneyland was meant to tell a story as in a movie script; this does not translate to its neighbor.
            However, we do have to remember that DCA is just over 5 years old and Disneyland is over 51 so maybe in time DCA will be up to par with Disneyland.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: My DCA essay...

              The format and the transitions from paragraph to paragraph, and subject to subject could use some work but with those aside, I loved it. You hit it right on the money. Nice summary of problems and excellent writing style!

              Nice vocab too!
              Oh what the future will hold...

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: My DCA essay...

                Have you turned this paper in already? Or, as some MCers are assuming, are you asking for constructive suggestions? As a Disney fan, and somewhat fan of DCA, I found it intersting and informative. As an English teacher, I think you have great voice in your writing (assuming you are familiar with the writing traits). There are some issues with grammar and verb tense, etc., but overall, well done!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: My DCA essay...

                  Originally posted by monotonehell View Post
                  It's getting there. You need to work on flowing the argument from one section to the next. Right now it's only a list of gripes that compound to a problem, which for a disintrested reader get "boring" at about the page 4 mark.

                  The issue of the ticket prices is more of a symptom than a problem, so perhaps place less weight on that and mention it later. The main thrust of your argument centres around Disney's legacy and how DCA's design doesn't live up to that, so think about structuring it around that. Cut back on the fanboy waxing lyrical over Disneyland's fantasticness a bit. Trim the lists.

                  Try to pull these disparate threads into a logical compelling argument. Also, check your grammar.

                  Hehe, I agree, though it's a great start! Is this paper finished and handed in already? I think you can actually flesh out the opening paragraph a lot more with some brief backstory of the original park. For there are many who don't understand that Disneyland means so much to so many will simply not understand or care to understand why DCA fails and will basically stop right there.


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                  • #10
                    Re: My DCA essay...

                    Well done!
                    HDAlien

                    -----------------------------------------------------
                    "I dream of the day when you can go to a drive through, purchase alcohol, tobacco, and bullets, and use them all before you get home" -- Dogbert

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                    • #11
                      Re: My DCA essay...

                      Originally posted by monotonehell View Post
                      Cut back on the fanboy waxing lyrical over Disneyland's fantasticness a bit.
                      The idea of the paper is that Im on the side of Disneyland denouncing the current state of DCA. My view is biased and in this case its okay. Grammer sh-rammer.

                      Originally posted by Coheteboy View Post
                      Is this paper finished and handed in already? I think you can actually flesh out the opening paragraph a lot more with some brief backstory of the original park. For there are many who don't understand that Disneyland means so much to so many will simply not understand or care to understand why DCA fails and will basically stop right there.
                      The paper is finished and turned so theres no going back now. The problem I faced when trying to get a lot of the back story and history into the paper was that every source needed to be cited. While I might know a good amount of facts about the origins of Disneyland Im not an expert and so too much mention or detail of its begining would have required a source and proper documentation. I would have liked to get that into it but I only had a week to complete it and I had a ton of other stuff going on this week.

                      But thank you for you critisism. it really is appreciated.
                      "There's no off position on the genius switch"

                      Twitter: @WRDinc | Instagram: @WRDinc

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: My DCA essay...

                        just so you know, I got an "A" on this paper. YES!
                        "There's no off position on the genius switch"

                        Twitter: @WRDinc | Instagram: @WRDinc

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: My DCA essay...

                          An "A"? Did you attach a $50 bill to it? Well done!
                          Disney FAQ#275: What is DCA?
                          DCA stands for Disney Construction Area. All the Cast Members are themed with hard hats and steel toed boots.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: My DCA essay...

                            It was very interesting. You've put a lot of thought into it, that's clear. I enjoyed reading it, but felt separated from it. I really dig DCA. But I'm proud of, and familiar with, my home State of California, so I'm DCA biased.

                            Being a big kid helps too.
                            "...Mr. Bluebird on my shoulder..."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: My DCA essay...

                              I liked it, but it might help that I agree with your ideas. Congratulations on your grade. I'm curious, what was the original assignment? One thing I noticed, though, is that your beginning was far more lively and descriptive than your ending. If you like writing, and you must because you chose to share your work, you shouldn't tire of a piece before it's done. It's not long, but I'm kind of comparing it to forced perspective. You need to keep your and your reader's interest all the way through or it will seem too long.

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