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  • Uncle Bob's Re-imagined California Adventure

    The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
    -Walt Disney

  • #2
    Re: Uncle Bob's Re-imagined California Adventure

    Introduction:

    As many of you know, I am extremely interested in the future of DCA and frequently make posts related to the subject. As someone who has been a lifetime fan of WDI and has an architecture background, I am always thrilled to see a new Disney construction project, especially one of this magnitude.





    I will point out where I find flaws in the proposed execution of phase 2, and how I would complete the park with a phase 3+. I have chosen to, for the most part, base all of my recommendations on basically assuming that the work of phase 2 will go on; I only suggest some very minor changes. I will tell why I would change these minor aspects of phase two, and how with my suggested additions of phase 3, could make DCA a great park.

    Last before I actually get started, I wanted to note that many of the ideas presented are not solely my own, I have borrowed suggestions from WDI, micechatters and other sources. I have included a quick sketch to help illustrate some of my points; I hope it will help you to visualize the ideas. So now that I have gotten all that preliminary stuff out of the way, on with the show.

    The Theme:

    In reading about the new plans for DCA, I was actually struck by the brilliance of how they were going to change the image of this park. Clearly, there are still a few creative individuals at WDI with a vision of what this park could become. I was excited about the way that they were going to add Walt to the park and how it was going to have a historic feel. I think this has incredible potential, as so many of us Californians, who the park needs to appeal to more, still feel a profound connection to Walt and his dreams. I also felt very positive about the way that the California framework would remain, but be transformed into a stylized vision of the state at various time periods that will connect with our collective conscious. This is a vision that actually shares a tremendous connection with DL, and I think is a vision that has enormous potential.



    I believe that DCA can potentially become this same type of vision, set in the context of California and its history and people. If, and this is a very important if, this vision is executed correctly, it could be an amazing park, one worthy of being next to its legendary older sister.





    Lay of The Lands:

    One of the key ingredients to a theme park is the sense of entering a realistic feeling environment, distinctly different than your day-to-day reality, and this is one of the chief failures of DCA as a theme park. For the most part I like the way WDI is trying to define each land and give a theme to each, and I can see how each new land will start to become something special and unique.

    My suggestions primarily involve strengthening these themes, defining the lands, and suggesting a new land, which I believe would be the perfect way to finish DCA, and make it feel like a complete, unified vision. As I see it, DCA should house the following lands: Walt Disney Plaza, Hollywoodland, Grizzly Valley, Paradise Pier, Carland and my new take on an old idea, Discovery Bay.

    I will describe my take on each land and a few of the attractions that each might house, but my focus is more on the aspects of overall theme and layout of the park, which I find to be the most challenging and interesting. I will first describe my overall solutions for those issues, and then discuss each of the lands in detail.

    Hubs, Circulation and Defining Lands:

    In this section I will describe my proposed solutions for the overall layout of the park, how I would define the individual lands and provide better circulation of guests. This is the most critical aspect of my entire plan, and I would say, the biggest challenge that DCA faces.







    Walt recognized that people need a large open space where they can stand in groups and decide what they are going to do next, so the hub concept was devised. A hub also provides a perfect opportunity to transition people between lands and themes. Basically, it is still a great concept and my intent would be to strengthen that concept at DCA.







    I see the entire farm and bugs land area as a giant thematic mess that will feel even more off-putting once the new entry is completed. I also think that the extension of Carsland into this already confused area of the park is a bad idea. I believe the best way to deal with this is to create a new land in this central area of the park that will fit thematically with what surrounds it and eliminate this, what will be the last failing remnant, of the old DCA.



    The waterways would be expanded to create a continuous body of water connecting Paradise Pier to all of Discovery Bay as shown roughly by the dark blue line. The purpose of this is two fold, first, obviously Discovery Bay needs to be on a bay and, second this will provide a form of transportation, which will also add to the experience throughout the park.

    As you can see hub 4, marked in gray, is the end of the new red car route and will end in Discovery Bay. There would be a gateway there to Hollywoodland, which both people and the red car would enter through. Located near this hub, you will notice on my sketch that there is a hot-pink dot. That dot is one of three; one is also located near hub 2, and one is near the west end of the PP lagoon, each labeled by letter A, B, and C respectively.

    These are boat dock locations for a mini-fleet of boats that would transport people throughout the park. As you can see, this would allow someone to board a Red Car near the entry, ride to Discovery Bay, walk a short distance, then embark on a boat nearby, and end in the far side of PP. The boats would be a variety of late 18th century crafts that would feel at home throughout this entire area, and bring a sense of life and realness to all the waterways.

    Hub 2 would be a multi-level hub and entirely themed to Discovery Bay. As most of you probably know, the level of the water in the waterways is significantly lower than the ground in that area. The lower level of this hub would be where the dock is located. There is also another important part of this idea, this lower level would also serve as a path of travel for people during parades to move from the front to the back of the park.



    The LA street feel would be extended all the way to this hub. On the west side of the street, nothing would be changed; I would even leave the grapes. Walking from the front of the park, it would just feel like you walked up a side street that was becoming a little more rural as you walked away from the plaza. Then you would arrive eventually at this gateway that would open into hub 2 and Discovery Bay.

    The second gateway would be a bridge that would lead into Carland. This bridge would pass over the water and the lower level where the boat dock is and give a clear sense of entry to Carland. One last note on the overall layout, this layout would allow for most of the remaining land left available in the parking lot after phase 2 to be mostly used up for show buildings for attractions that could easily be related thematically to Hollywoodland, Discovery Bay or Carsland.


    The Lands:

    Walt Disney Plaza:




    Hollywoodland:




    Grizzly Valley:
    Basically, my suggestions for Grizzly Rec. area are that it is combined with Condor Flats as WDI has suggested that they will do, and rename it Grizzly Valley. Then it can explore the themes of nature, the pioneering of California, and the Gold Rush. I like the ideas for the removal of the extreme sports overlay to GRR and aging it and adding some animals. I also like the idea of some sort of train attraction that has supposedly been discussed at WDI.



    Paradise Pier:






    Carland:
    I have some issues with Carsland, so I suggest it instead be, Carland, which I think it still may become. I really think they need to emphasize car culture more than the movie, but they are supposedly moving in the right direction on this. The loss of the Drive-In bothers me, but in my plan it would actually free up space that I would devote instead to Discovery Bay.

    To better define the boarders of Carland, I would not build the Tow Mater Ride and as I said before, that area would be devoted to Discovery Bay. It just is overkill on the Cars movie theme anyway, and not supportive of the theme the land should take. I would suggest eventually adding a Herbie attraction and adding back the drive-in theater in the expansion area that will still remains in the parking lot.

    Discovery Bay:
    As I said, this is land that was initially proposed by Tony Baxter for DL. I believe it would fit well into the surroundings that it would have and the overall theme and feel of the park. Basically, the original featured several potential attractions that all sound great and it could house rides that easily go beyond the timeline and shores of California. The real beauty of this land is that it would fit into the DCA even better than DL. DB would bring a sense of adventure and a real presence for San Francisco in the park during its exciting post-Gold Rush era. I also think that the elevation changes that I described earlier, could be used to really give that SF feel and create some beautiful vistas in the areas.



    Conclusion:
    Well if you made it this far, I thank you for reading everything I had to say. I plan to keep updating this thread and further refining these ideas and I would love to hear any suggestions you might have. This plan also ties very much into my concept for the third gate and I would eventually like to do a similar thread about my ideas for that park, so look for that in the future.
    The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
    -Walt Disney

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Uncle Bob's Re-imagined California Adventure

      The only thing I disagree with is the Fantasyland section. Disneyland is the place for the fantasy area. The Little Mermaid sort of fits, but adding Crush's Coaster next to it just seems like overkill. Also, I don't think people realize that Crush's Coaster isn't a type of ride you can slap onto an existing ride. If they put a crush overlay on Mulholland Madness, it'll feel so half done that it's ridiculous. If Disney hadn't built the new DVC wing behind Mulholland, then we could have had room for Crush. I say leave it to Goofy for now, the classic characters need their due too. The last time Mickey and friends were the center of attention in a ride was 1993. Goofy and Donald don't even have a worthwhile attraction. Goofy deserves something better than a kiddie playground. Heck, all of the Disney Characters deserve more than that. I would keep the area from Mailboomer to Little Mermaid as their equivalent to ToonTown, with a Walt-era cartoon theme. Add the Silly Symphony Swings where Orange Stinger is, Remove the Maliboomer and replace with an Oswald-themed parachute tower, Remove Jumpin Jellyfish and replace with standing area for World of Color and some nice landscaping, and replace Golden Zephyr with the lighthouse-themed control tower for WoC with an animatronic of Donald popping up to survey the area and perhaps say a few things. The rest of your ideas are great though.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Uncle Bob's Re-imagined California Adventure

        I like your ideas as well, I realize what you're saying about Crush's Coaster, I am aware it's a larger indoor attraction and would not retheme MM or GSS but totally replace them. I just thought it fit the underwater theme that would go nicely with TLM. I agree that Goofy deseverves his own ride though. I just don't want it to be a cheesy overlay to an existing attraction, like I said, if it's something worthwhile, I'd keep it.

        In regard to the overall fantasy feel for that area of the park, I think we have simmilar ideas actually, and maybe the word "fantasy" was going a bit far and possibly confused you to what I was thinking.

        Primarily my point was to focus this area on providing more for little ones to do, so that beyond a few attractions spread around the park they have an area where the rides are more focused on them, like FL is at DL. I do like what I've heard so far about the Walt era cartoon overlay, but I don't think its incompatible with any of my ideas really.
        The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
        -Walt Disney

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Uncle Bob's Re-imagined California Adventure

          That area is also a pretty minor aspect of my overall plan, so I wouldn't have any issue with some different ideas being done in that area. I just wanted to make sure the kids got something back for losing ABL.
          The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
          -Walt Disney

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Uncle Bob's Re-imagined California Adventure

            I think you've got it right on the money! Carland sounds better than Carsland. As you said, I also like the way DCA is going. I think these renovations and changes will make a huge difference in the overall aspect of the park itself. As to if it will attract more guests... I think, maybe a few more.
            Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things... and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths." -Walt Disney
            sigpic

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Uncle Bob's Re-imagined California Adventure

              AI-
              Thanks! I think phase 1 will undoubtedly be very successful, there should be some major excitement and publicity generated from the opening of Carsland and the premiere of Cars2. I do think many more guests will visit DCA. Despite this, I still think some of these structural issues of the park will need to be addressed before DCA becomes a park really worthy of being next to DL and strong enough to really make DLR a true resort.
              The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
              -Walt Disney

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Uncle Bob's Re-imagined California Adventure

                Another issue I have with the Tow Mater ride, that I just remembered to mention, is the idea of locating a junk yard so prominately and centrally in the park. This is a horrible idea. It honestly sounds like something one of the imagineers through out there as a joke and someone was like, ooh, that's great, and the idea stuck. I'm not sure if they are trying to make a statement about DCA or the state but it just sounds like a bad idea on many levels.
                The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
                -Walt Disney

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Uncle Bob's Re-imagined California Adventure

                  Update:

                  I also wanted to add a few notes regarding the Screamin' Queue redo. I recently discussed this issue and have a few new possible ideas on this. I guess I didn't really talk about this because it's something that should be addressed soon anyway, but I'll add my ideas here.

                  I think that they should move the queue for screamin' into the east helix and create a large building which would encompass the old queue, the Screamin' loading area, parts of the new queue and some backstage area. The old queue and the backstage area would be given to a fun house attraction. The new building would be themed to a Victorian fun house, simmilar to TSMM, but maybe a little more quirky and fun, and both rides would have this theme. The building would also be pretty tall as to help block out views of the convention center and hotels outside the park.
                  The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
                  -Walt Disney

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Uncle Bob's Re-imagined California Adventure

                    Uncle Bob, I think the queue idea for screamin, might help a little with the view, but from what i could remember i could see the con. center over the eastern helix of screamin, from the little mermaid grotto restaurant area. whatever's going to block the outside world is going to have to be big. So Probably a large attraction like you said would definitely do a better job.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Uncle Bob's Re-imagined California Adventure

                      uncle bob, i looked at your plans for DCA and surprisingly, i had some similar ideas in my head. My layout was different and I had some different lands though. I'm just telling you this because when I finish my designs, rides, and layouts, I don't want you to think I copied you.
                      I like your plan though and although I have other things in mind, it would definitely work and is a great idea.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Uncle Bob's Re-imagined California Adventure

                        FI-
                        Thanks! I definitely know that you have suggested a lot of good ideas and I wouldn't be surprised at all to find many simmilar aspects to our ideas, we are trying to redesign the same existing park using simmilar new theme ideas. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
                        The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
                        -Walt Disney

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Uncle Bob's Re-imagined California Adventure

                          thanks, and one thing i found as i redesigned the park was there are many things and themes that could be created that would fit in the California theme. I sure you think the same way but I just heard from too many people how "california" was such a poor theme that not many ideas could be created. It's just not true.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Uncle Bob's Re-imagined California Adventure

                            Definitely agree, there's a lot of ways to start with a California theme and move in other directions, the important part it that it connects with people on a somewhat subliminal level, so they inherantly understand how it relates to California. Appealing to nostalgia and ideas that are easily indentifiable and part the collective conciousness are excellent ways to so this. (Cheesy recreations of well known existing icons randomly thrown together fails completely in this regard.) This is something WDI seemed to completely ignore in the original plans of DCA and that is really a big part of why the park failed IMO. I don't see it as an inherent failure of the theme, but rather as a failure in the execution of the theme.
                            The Mickey audience is not made up of people; it has no racial, national, political, religious or social differences or affiliations; the Mickey audience is made up of parts of people, of that deathless, precious, ageless, absolutely primitive remnant of something in every world-wracked human being which makes us play with children’s toys and laugh without self-consciousness at silly things, and sing in bathtubs, and dream and believe that our babies are uniquely beautiful. You know…the Mickey in us.
                            -Walt Disney

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Uncle Bob's Re-imagined California Adventure

                              that's a very good way to put it, the execution could have been much better.

                              Comment

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