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DCA's 6th Birthday 2-8-07

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  • DCA's 6th Birthday 2-8-07

    Six years ago this weekend, Annual Passholders were invited to
    a Preview of Disney's California Adventure. (And some preview
    days for various other groups on several other days previously,
    including a special event on 1-19-01).

    The crowds on the preview weekend, before DCA's official opening
    were huge, and really, DCA has NOT seen crowds like that since
    that weekend, not even on the official opening day. Not only were
    the crowds thick that day, but the day was sunny and the temperate
    rose into the sweltering 90's. And with very little shade, very little
    seating, made for an uncomfortable day.

    The most crowded lines that weekend was for the star attraction
    "Soarin Over California". Even though the queue was missing the
    special extras we expected from Disney (Like Indy and Roger Rabbit)
    Once we were seated and flying, the magic was there.

    Walking around Grizzly River Rapids, and looking a Grizzly Peak was
    amazing, and on a hot afternoon, getting a little wet, would be ok.
    Watched the Geyers shooting, and then seeing the rainbows form
    from their mist. pretty cool. But then I saw some people actually
    getting drenched from the attaction, and I thought, oh, maybe that's
    not such a good idea if I don't dry off before the sun starts setting.

    Redwood creek challenge trail offered kids a great playspace, and
    who doesn't enjoy a suspended bridge or two?! Details witt Humphrey
    Bear and the Ranger's Fire Danger sign. Footprints of different critters
    were all along the trails. There was also a small outdoor stage and
    seating area with Camp Ahwatunee - a forgetable little show.

    Then, walking down San Francisco Street, nothing on the left, and
    restrooms on the right. And then a small interesting looking theater
    with a movie that has all the charm of a 5th grade history movie. Bleah.
    Came out of that theater thinking almost has to be better than that.

    and then I see a Giant Neon Colored Dinosaur with a McDonald's
    Burger Invasion off in the distance. THAT did not bode well. Then
    I saw a Corn Dog Stand, A Silver looking Blimpy ride going 'round in
    circles, a mini coster, Neon colored Jellys for kiddies and a kiddie water
    play area (uh, yeah, just what parents want, to have, their kids get soakin'
    wet in February). Yech! Were the imagineers on something when
    they created this area?? And then a Giant Orange peel with swinging
    bee seats (with music to complete "the mood")

    This must have been what was discussed next in the Pier Planning Meet:
    Then throw in a coaster, ferris wheel, carousel, put lots of lights on
    'em and make 'em flashy like a county fair, and don't forget to add those
    carney games, and a add store themed to a creepy sideshow.

    THAT entire area around the lake is enough to make you barf
    before your first ride, and before your first corndog. Yeah, the
    whole theme was that bad even before opening day.

    Moving on, Pacific Warf themed restaurant area, actually nicely
    done, (especially in comparisson to "the pier") And then they
    toss in a Bread baking tour and a Tortilla factory. A couple of
    ok things added in to the park mix. A or B tickets.

    Next up, as we make our way down the obnoxiously large Great
    cement walkway of DCA, is the Farm and Farm equipment, and
    obligatory? water play area? ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Then the
    Bug's Life3D movie ~ nicely done, BUT, so much more repeatable
    WITHOUT the Stinkbug.

    On to the the last area of the new Park "Hollywood". The entrance gate
    is impressive and looks down a short street, to a facade on the wall of
    the Hyperion Theater. An outdoor stage with a show that closes almost
    as soon as it opened. Soap Opera Cafe (pricey), Hollywood and Dine with
    a nice variety of eating areas, another Hot Dog Stand (with no seating area),
    A show called Steps in Time, with a wierd story about two brothers, and a
    lot of singing and dancing~and of course the Marchino Cherry on top,
    Superstar Limo, to Top off the "what were they thinking sundae."

    The Muppets also open their charming 3D movie in the backlot.
    And really the 2nd best place of the entire new park, the animation
    exhibit, with a short movie about Walt, a show with Mushu and
    an Animator, the Beast's Library, and an area to play around with
    your voice in a Disney Character. So in Hollywood, at least it's
    a "Hit and Miss" situation, rather than the "Hit and Run" that is
    Paradise Puddle.

    And One final Good thing did happen to DCA, called "Eureka!'
    The most colorful, lively and action packed, NON DISNEY
    CHARACTER based parades EVER seen on this coast. It really
    was the most creative thing at DCA on Opening Day.

    (And if Michael Eisner didn't screw around with Steps in Time,
    that Original Show, that last played 1-19-06, would be on the
    top of my approval list, too)

    TODAY, Six Years Later, Monsters inc. has replaced Superstar Limo.
    Playhouse Disney evicted Soap Opera Bistro, Hollywood and Dine
    closed and walled off, Millionaire opened .. . and closed, Turtle Talk
    took over the Walt Movie. You draw characters instead of an animator
    talking with Mushu, Aladdin playing in Hyperion instead of Steps in Time.
    and Tower of Terror in a different fashion, arrive. Yes Hollywood had
    more changes than any other part of the park.
    Unfortunately the only restaurant that survived in Hollywood was the
    hot dog stand that had NO seating and NO table. UGGGHH.

    The Farm area was dismantled, and Flick's highly decorated but highly
    Flawed Fair arrived. Sometime over the past couple of years the
    "FUN" part of the entrance disappears, and everyone wonders where
    the FUN really is.

    Condor Flats, actually lost some streetmoshpere entertainment, that
    was there originally. GRR area gained an atrocious hillbilly type band.
    Brother Bear invaded Redwood Creek area, and brought a show only
    worthy of Chuck E. Cheese (all this while the Country Bears are
    Growling in their grave )

    A couple big name restaurants moved out of DCA, Disney turned
    one into Character Dining area. Maliburritos closed almost before
    it opened, and Strips, Dips and Chips just recently closed in preparation
    for the only change to the entire Pier.

    Of course, the Electric Parade was brought back to DCA, to give
    it artificial respiration, and Block Party Bash now is the "parade".

    Only just one year ago, after Eisner and most of his top ranking
    co-horts left. could now CEO Iger admit that DCA was a Difficult
    Challenge for Disney. And the little seen new president of Disneyland
    resort, who previously oversaw TDL and TDS, is very aware of the
    failure of DCA in theme, appearance and in standards. Tony Baxter
    even suggested throwing in the towel of keeping DCA as a 2nd gate.
    And the Chief Storyteller from Pixar, John Lassetter appears to be
    having a difficult time in addressing the problems of DCA.

    Even if all of John's projects are developed for DCA, it will still be
    lacking in so many ways. Where is the Tiki Room, the Haunted
    Mansion, the Pirates, the Peter Pan, Those type of E-tickets that
    anyone of any age can enjoy without that Shake-n-break your
    neck.

    Even 6 years later, it's still not so a Happy Birthday for this area,
    EVERYONE is wishing it HAPPIER Birthdays in the future. Only because
    we want to see MUCH better things from it in the future.
    Last edited by Aladdin; 02-04-2007, 02:08 PM.
    Critter Country's a mess ev'r since the Country Bears were kicked out. Ya can't cover pooh with honey and 'spect people ta like it.
    An Adventurers It's Time to Put the Spotlight Back on Bring Back the REAL Disney Gallery
    Life for Me! ~ ~ ~ Melvin, Buff, and Max!!! ~~~~ Dump the Dream Suite!
    Meese-ka Moose-ka Mice-Chatter!


  • #2
    Re: DCA's 6th Birthday 2-8-07

    Wow thanks for the info
    :crazylegs

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: DCA's 6th Birthday 2-8-07

      Well, ummm... Happy Birthday, DCA!
      Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

      ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: DCA's 6th Birthday 2-8-07

        I remember going to DCA for the preview and covering the entire park in half a day. I should try to do that again and see how far i get. Pretend that I haven't done it ever before.


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        • #5
          Re: DCA's 6th Birthday 2-8-07

          Well, ummm... Happy Birthday, DCA!
          You said it!!!

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          • #6
            Re: DCA's 6th Birthday 2-8-07

            I went to the preview and then I was a diehard AP holder back then and well, stayed the night in Disneyland between the Castle and the matterhorn. Saw the dedication and the 1st people through (who were prepicked and given life passes) I was so mad that they were prepicked!! Went into DCA and well, it was dead! Got my opening day pins, a mug, and a shirt. Went home shortly after noon!

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: DCA's 6th Birthday 2-8-07

              Very interesting, thanks! I was there in 2001, and cannot believe it's been that long ago!!! Time flies!!!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: DCA's 6th Birthday 2-8-07

                While this sixth birthday seems a little sad, the truth is DCA is turing a corner. According to Al, there might be some really nice additions to the park. I think the problem is still too many people with different visions of what that park is supposed to be. I am hopeful despite Disney still being in the mode that "one more attraction" is going to make DCA a success. Things are getting to a point where they will realize that a new master plan is needed for the park to give it a new, satisfying direction.
                Jiminy Cricket Fan
                .................................

                Love Disneyland and Walt Disney World!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: DCA's 6th Birthday 2-8-07

                  Originally posted by Tracy98 View Post
                  I went to the preview and then I was a diehard AP holder back then and well, stayed the night in Disneyland between the Castle and the matterhorn. Saw the dedication and the 1st people through (who were prepicked and given life passes) I was so mad that they were prepicked!! Went into DCA and well, it was dead! Got my opening day pins, a mug, and a shirt. Went home shortly after noon!
                  Hi Tracy! I spent that cold night in DL, the night before DCA
                  officially opened, too. Where were you in the line. I was in
                  the 1st group of 50 people. (About #35). They sent all these
                  cast members from WDW to DL to organize the whole grand opening.

                  Got in line late afternoon, where they gave us wristbhands, got in
                  our place in line, in the parking garage. For short time, we could
                  hold each others place in line, to eat, etc. I went to esplanade
                  area that evening to see the red carpet arrivals of some of celebrities
                  that were attending a special event in DCA that evening. Then went
                  back to my place in line in the Mickey and Friends parking garage.

                  After DL closed for the evening they herded us over to DL, up Main
                  Street around the castle, into Fantasyland, over to the Teacups,
                  and between the Matterhorn and Castle back down to the Hub,
                  and that is basically where the line was for that early morning.
                  Not nearly as many people were in line as Disney had anticipated,
                  (High estimates I heard was 1,500 to 1,800 people.) But what surprised
                  me were the number of small children that were in line with their
                  parents.

                  Disney offered free hot chocolate and coffee during those dark hours,
                  as the temperature dropped down to freezing that night. Disney even
                  planned for some entertainment for us throughout the night. Pretty much
                  everyone from the Dapper Dan's, to you name it. But but 2am-3am, we
                  really just wanted quiet. The hot chocolate and coffee were really needed, and appreciated, due to the very cold weather (even 2 jackets
                  didn't do it.) And I'm sure people would have brought blankets, but
                  Disney told us that we weren't allowed to bring blankets or pillows. That
                  only meant the nurses station, ran out of blankets. We were allowed
                  to walk up and down Main Street, and we all tried to find the warmest place, some even found the the Theater where Mickey's Cartoons usually
                  play, was open, and warmer.

                  but Disney must have had a change of heart about this time,
                  because they rounded up everyone back to the cold concrete
                  line out in the open. People kept mentioning to the cast members
                  around that we were cold, and several times asked if any indoor
                  places could be opened up to get out of the 30 degree weather.
                  several different places came to mind and were suggested, such as
                  the Opera House could certainly hold a good portion of the people.
                  But the response back to us was no, and that if we didn't want to
                  wait, we could certainly leave the line we were in, but that we
                  wouldn' be guaranteed entrance into DCA. Several families, especially
                  those with small children, decided not to spend the rest of the night.
                  With so much time already invested in this, I was not about to leave.

                  By 3:30am things quieted down, people tried to rest, but not entirely
                  possible to rest on freezing concrete. When the sun started rising,
                  we all started to perk up, or at least approached "frozen Zombie state"
                  and shortly after, they announced that they would be moving the line
                  down Main Street, and told us that there was some room in the esplanade for a few of us to see the opening ceremony, the rest would have to wait. During the night they had built a huge grandstand (for the press) in the esplanade, and they also covered the entire giant "CALIFORNIA"
                  letters, with blue flat boards, all in preparation of the opening ceremony.

                  DCA never reached near the number of people that were there the
                  Sunday before. Needless to say, DCA never even approached the
                  number of people they were expecting for that day nor did they have
                  to close DCA's gate at any time, Which was considered a very
                  likely possibility the months and days leading up to opening day.

                  That whole event is something I would do again, if I lived my life over,
                  BUT it's not something I would want to do a 2nd time, especially
                  in February.
                  Critter Country's a mess ev'r since the Country Bears were kicked out. Ya can't cover pooh with honey and 'spect people ta like it.
                  An Adventurers It's Time to Put the Spotlight Back on Bring Back the REAL Disney Gallery
                  Life for Me! ~ ~ ~ Melvin, Buff, and Max!!! ~~~~ Dump the Dream Suite!
                  Meese-ka Moose-ka Mice-Chatter!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: DCA's 6th Birthday 2-8-07

                    Oh, it sure was cold! I was right by the little grass area by the castle. I froze (had a blanket, but that sure didn't help!) I was also on crutches at the time and they gave me a wheelchair. I also got very sick after and ended up eventually in the hospital due to pneumonia and a 105.5f fever! Believe me, that is the last time I do something like that in winter!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: DCA's 6th Birthday 2-8-07

                      I ended up with a cold, too. But not like what you had!

                      WOW! sure glad you made it through!
                      Critter Country's a mess ev'r since the Country Bears were kicked out. Ya can't cover pooh with honey and 'spect people ta like it.
                      An Adventurers It's Time to Put the Spotlight Back on Bring Back the REAL Disney Gallery
                      Life for Me! ~ ~ ~ Melvin, Buff, and Max!!! ~~~~ Dump the Dream Suite!
                      Meese-ka Moose-ka Mice-Chatter!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: DCA's 6th Birthday 2-8-07

                        We went to one of the AP preview days also. We were not allowed in until the early afternoon. Screamin continued to break down that day so we never got to ride it. After this visit and disappoinment we let our AP's expire until just this past year.
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Re: DCA's 6th Birthday 2-8-07

                          I'm gonna make a bouquet of old paper parking lot tickets, and lay it at the front of California Adventure...in grief.

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                          • #14
                            Re: DCA's 6th Birthday 2-8-07

                            Ta! I am glad I made it too!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: DCA's 6th Birthday 2-8-07

                              Great little overview.

                              Was 2-8-01 a private event for Press and APers, Just like July 17th?

                              Comment

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