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|Location||Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, California, United States|
|Owner||The Walt Disney Company|
|Operated by||Walt Disney Parks and Resorts|
|Opened||February 8, 2001|
|Website||Disney California Adventure Park website|
|Location||Disneyland Resort, Anaheim, California, United States|
|Owner||The Walt Disney Company|
|Operated by||Walt Disney Parks and Resorts|
|Opened||February 8, 2001|
|Website||Disney California Adventure Park website|
|Downtown Disney District|
Disney California Adventure is a theme park in Anaheim, California and one of two theme parks comprising the Disneyland Resort (with the original Disneyland Park being the other). It opened on February 8, 2001 as Disney's California Adventure Park, with its name change (the removal of the possessive and the word Park) announced on May 28, 2010. The park is owned and operated by the Walt Disney Parks and Resorts division of the Walt Disney Company.
The 67-acre (27 ha) Disney theme park - built during the 'Disney Decade', a growth initiative of former Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner - was designed as part of a major expansion that transformed the Disneyland area and its hotels into the Disneyland Resort. Whereas the original 85 acre Disneyland Park contains eight themed "lands," Disney California Adventure is divided into eight themed "districts": Buena Vista Street, Hollywood Land, Grizzly Peak, Pacific Wharf, "A Bugs Land", Cars Land, Condor Flats, and Paradise Pier. Each district is meant to resemble various aspects of Californian culture and landmarks, both stylized and idealized.
In October 2007, the Walt Disney Company announced a $1.1 billion reconstruction of the park (against its initial $600 million price to build) to counter initial criticisms that the park lacked the immersion, character experience, and timelessness of Disneyland Park. As a result of the initiative, each district was reimagined to transform the park from a veritable spoof of modern California culture to a romanticized, idealized version of the state exploring specific time-periods and historic settings. For example, the park's Paradise Pier (originally a modern, seaside carnival-style wharf with comedic midway games and rides like Maliboomer and Mulholland Madness) was re-themed to a Victorian Era pier with flashing incandescent lightbulbs, classic midway games with Disney character references, and the Toy Story Midway Mania interactive attraction. The reconstruction project began in December 2007 and was completed on June 14, 2012.
In 2011, the park attracted approximately 6.34 million guests, making it the 14th-most visited theme park in the world, its highest ever attendance total for a calendar year.
In front of the Sun Icon of the former Sunshine Plaza,
To all who believe in the power of dreams, welcome. Disney's California Adventure opens its golden gates to you. Here we pay tribute to the dreamers of the past: the native people, explorers, immigrants, aviators, entrepreneurs and entertainers who built the Golden State. And we salute a new generation of dreamers who are creating the wonders of tomorrow, from the silver screen to the computer screen, from the fertile farmlands to the far reaches of space. Disney's California Adventure celebrates the richness and the diversity of California... its land, its people, its spirit and, above all, the dreams that it continues to inspire.—Michael Eisner, February 8, 2001
On the plaque of the flagpole in Buena Vista Plaza on Buena Vista Street,
To all who come to this place of dreams, welcome. Disney California Adventure celebrates the spirit of optimism and the promise of endless opportunities, ignited by the imagination of daring dreamers such as Walt Disney and those like him who forever changed- and were forever changed by- The Golden State. This unique place embraces the richness and diversity of California... Its land, its people, its stories and, above all, the dreamers it continues to inspire.—Robert A. Iger, June 15, 2012
In 1991, Disney announced the plan to build a second gate in Anaheim, WestCOT, a west coast iteration of Epcot, in place of the existing Disneyland main parking lot, but due to various reasons the project was canceled in 1995, which led to the idea of Disney's California Adventure (DCA), a park to celebrate and pay tribute to California, providing a similar experience to stepping inside a California postcard. DCA was part of the plan to expand the one park property and convert it into a greater, multi-day vacation resort destination which would be able to appeal to a greater audience - similar to Walt Disney World resort.
Disney’s California Adventure was expected to draw large crowds when opened in 2001. On January 14, 2001, a Los Angeles Times article titled "The most Jam-Packed Theme Park on Earth?" stated, "Senior Disney officials acknowledge that there will be days when California Adventure will have to turn patrons away, particularly in the first weeks after the park opens, during spring break and again in the summer." The actual 2001 attendance was substantially less than Disney expected.
Various reasons for this have been suggested:
The construction of DCA began in 1998, as part of the Disneyland Resort expansion project which included the new theme park, the Disney's Grand Californian Hotel, Downtown Disney, and the renovation of the Disneyland Hotel and the Paradise Pier Hotel, and was completed in 2001. DCA occupies the site of the former parking lot for 5,000 vehicles, and parking is now provided in the multi-level "Mickey and Friends" parking structure, giving space for more than 10,000 vehicles.
On October 17, 2007, The Walt Disney Company announced a multi-year, $1.1 billion expansion plan for Disney's California Adventure Park. Current plans for the renovation and expansion are on display for park visitors inside the Blue Sky Cellar at the Golden Vine Winery. Disney listened to the public and several of the attractions which drew criticism from the public will be removed in the multi-year, multi-billion dollar redesign and expansion of Disney's California Adventure. Other rides will be redesigned or replaced with a larger focus on Disney characters and stories. On May 28, 2010, it was announced through the Disney Parks Blog that the park would also be receiving a slight name change, to Disney California Adventure, as well as a new logo. The new name took effect on June 11, 2010, appearing on park maps and banners, but was first used in a commercial promoting World of Color a few days prior. World of Color premiered on June 11, 2010, as part of Disney's Summer Nightastic.
Buena Vista Street expansion
The park's entrance sequence underwent major reconstruction and re-themed the postcard themed entry with its CALIFORNIA letters, mosaic tile murals, Golden Gate Bridge, and Sunshine Plaza.
The park's main entrance gate, which opened on July 15, 2011, moved outward to where the postcard letters previously stood and is similar to the entrance at Disney Hollywood Studios in Florida, with a design resembling the landmark Pan-Pacific Auditorium. Buena Vista Street, which takes its name from the Burbank street on which the Walt Disney Studios are located, now lead guests into the park in an immersive recreation of early 1920s Los Angeles when Walt Disney first arrived with Mission and Art Deco facades housing shops and restaurants, and period specific theming. The Golden Gate Bridge replica has been removed and replaced by a replica of the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge. A recreation of Carthay Circle Theater, which showcased the world premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 now sits at the end of Buena Vista Street serving as the visual anchor. Red Car Trolleys now travel from the entry, up Buena Vista Street to Carthay Circle, then down Hollywood Boulevard towards the Hollywood Tower Hotel. The district opened on June 15, 2012.
Hollywood Land expansion
Hollywood Pictures Backlot was renamed Hollywood Land representing the Golden Age of Hollywood of the early 1930s. The popular kids and family stage show Playhouse Disney Live on Stage, which received a minor retheme of its exterior, was updated with new shows and renamed to "Disney Junior: Live on Stage" (also the building that it occupies was renamed to The Walt Disney Theater). The land's archway entry was also removed.
Cars Land expansion
Cars Land began construction in July 2009 on the site of what was once the Timon parking lot behind the Tower of Terror attraction. Cars Land spans 12 acres (49,000 m2) and contains three attractions. The largest attraction, Radiator Springs Racers, with a budget at an estimated US$200 million, was one of the most expensive theme park rides ever built.
Paradise Pier expansion
The Sun Wheel was closed and rethemed into Mickey's Fun Wheel, as the wheel was repainted and the sun face was removed. The new face of the 1930s era "pie-eyed" Mickey Mouse was placed on the wheel on April 14, 2009. The ride reopened on May 8, 2009. The Mickey Mouse face on California Screamin' was replaced with a sunburst and Paradise Pier logo. Another E-ticket attraction, a launch tower by the name of Maliboomer, closed on September 7, 2010, as part of the overhaul. The Orange Stinger closed on July 14, 2009, and was rethemed as Silly Symphony Swings, based on Walt Disney's classic cartoon, "The Band Concert". Conductor Mickey Mouse stands on top of the tower moving around with the music. Silly Symphony Swings opened on May 28, 2010. Mulholland Madness closed on October 12, 2010 for its transformation into Goofy’s Sky School, based on Walt Disney's short film "Goofy's Glider"; the ride reopened on July 1, 2011. Paradise Bay is now the home to the new nighttime spectacular World of Color, now playing on select nights during the week. A new, bayfront, 6,000-person standing-room-only viewing area was added to accommodate viewers.
Also included in this re-theming was the re-imagined midway games, which opened on April 7, 2009, and on July 1, 2011, Pizza Oom Mow Mow and Burger Invasion were re-themed into Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta and Paradise Garden Grill. A themed beer and pretzel hut also opened across from Paradise Gardens on July 1, 2011. Golden Dreams was closed and replaced with an attraction named The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure. Paradise Pier's re-imagining was completed in July 2011, coinciding with the 10th Anniversary of Disney California Adventure.
By early April 2010, Paradise Park viewing area had opened, and was accompanied by an all new music loop, featuring early 1920s-style music, to reflect the theme of the Pier.
Golden State expansion
The Golden State name was retired and the area was sectioned off into three separate lands; Grizzly Peak, Condor Flats and Pacific Wharf.
The area also saw the addition of several new restaurants based on California's farmland and heritage. California-themed food and wine festivals will be hosted in this area of the park. The Seasons of the Vine attraction was closed in March 2008 and replaced by Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar. The new attraction opened in late October 2008 and showcases future additions to the park. There was also a "placemaking" re-theme for the Grizzly River Run attraction replacing the contemporary extreme sports elements with older equipment aiming for a 1950s-era National Park feeling.
Disney California Adventure Park re-opened on June 15, 2012 with CEO and President Bob Iger making a new dedication speech as Buena Vista Street and Cars Land was revealed to the public.
Buena Vista street is the first "themed district" inside the main entrance of the California Adventure Park. Guests enter Buena Vista street through the park's main entrance gate, which resembles the landmark Pan-Pacific Auditorium. Buena Vista Street, which takes its name from the Burbank street on which the Walt Disney Studios are located, leads guests into the park in an immersive recreation of early 1920s Los Angeles when Walt Disney first arrived with Mission and Art Deco facades housing shops and restaurants. A recreation of Carthay Circle Theater, which showcased the world premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937 sits at the end of Buena Vista Street serving as the visual anchor for the district. Red Car Trolleys travel from the entry, up Buena Vista Street to Carthay Circle, then down Hollywood Boulevard towards the Tower of Terror. Buena Vista Street was opened to the public on June 15, 2012.
Paradise Pier is themed to directly resemble a Victorian-era California boardwalk. It is an idealized and romanticized version of popular coastal boardwalks such as the Santa Monica Pier and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. The district's attractions, such as California Screamin’ (a launched steel roller coaster built to appear as a classic wooden coaster) resemble the timeless amusement park rides found at many boardwalks. Toy Story Midway Mania! is an interactive 3D attraction inspired by classic midway games. Mickey's Fun Wheel is a 160-foot (49 m)-tall Ferris wheel overlooking Paradise Bay, a large body of water that dominates the Paradise Pier area. A hydrotechnic show, World of Color is performed nightly on the waters of Paradise Bay (using fountains, projection, and flame effects) and showcases a series of vignettes from numerous Disney and Pixar films.
The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure opened in 2011, and is a classic audio-animatronic based dark-ride. It is based on the animated motion picture The Little Mermaid. Paradise Pier also features Goofy's Sky School, a typical Wild Mouse roller coaster based on the 1940 animated Disney Short Goofy's Glider. As well, a wave swinger swing ride entitled Mickey's Silly Symphony Swings is based on Disney's The Band Concert short. King Triton's Carousel of the Sea is another fun and innovative ride in the Paradise Pier district, it's a classic merry-go-round surrounded by fan fountains that features sea creatures (sea lions, sea horses, dolphins, and whales) in place of traditional horses.
The Paradise Garden Grille and the Boardwalk Pizza and Pasta are two classic Victorian restaurants in the Paradise Pier district that are connected by an outdoor, shaded seating area built around a gazebo in which bands play daily.
Grizzly Peak is themed to California's wilderness and national parks with particular references to Yosemite and Redwood national parks. The main attraction of the district is Grizzly River Run, a fast-paced Gold Rush-esque river rapids ride around the summit of Grizzly Peak, the park's original icon. Nearby is the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail; an interactive playground area, which also includes a show featuring characters from Disney·Pixar's Up. A special entrance to Disney's Grand Californian Hotel is also located in this area, used exclusively by hotel guests.
Condor Flats is themed after an airfield in tribute to California's pilots and engineers from the 1940s to the mid-1960s and the era's aeronautical achievements. The district's retaining walls are made up of old railroad ties, and World War II runways. The featured attraction of the area is Soarin' Over California, a ride that simulates a hang glider tour of California. Condor Flats also contains the Taste Pilot's Grill counter service restaurant, a shop, a water play area with a giant rocket jet that sprays mist, and Minnie's Fly Girls Show, featuring Minnie Mouse. The number 47 is hidden in various places as a reference to 1947, the year the sound barrier was broken. Also, the clock on the Fly 'N Buy Souvenir Shop is stopped at the exact time the sound barrier was broken on October 14, 1947 by Chuck Yeager.
Pacific Wharf is based on Monterey's Cannery Row area, especially as depicted in John Steinbeck's novels, and also resembles San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. This area includes the Cocina Cucamonga Mexican Grill, Pacific Wharf Cafe, The Lucky Fortune Cookery Chinese restaurant, Wine Country Trattoria restaurant, Mendocino Wine Bar, Sonoma Terrace, along with a Karl Strauss beer truck and a margarita stand. The area also features the Ghirardelli chocolate factory built to resemble the iconic San Francisco chocolate factory. The area also contains the Boudin Bakery Tour, which is a tour of the sourdough bread making process with Rosie O'Donnell and Colin Mochrie as video tour guides. The area is home to the Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar, which opened in October 2008. Blue Sky Cellar is an attraction that displays the construction projects currently being worked on in California Adventure park. The Blue Sky Cellar exhibits will be rotated every few months until June 2012, when the major park improvement project is scheduled to be finished. It is unclear if the attraction will remain after the completion of the expansion.
Hollywood Land is an area inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood in the 1930s. The area includes attractions based on film, television, theater and a subsection called Hollywood Studios which is designed to appear as an active studio back-lot. A version of the The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction from Disney's Hollywood Studios opened in Hollywood Land (then known as Hollywood Pictures Backlot) in 2004. The Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! attraction is also featured in the Hollywood Land district, the ride is based on the characters from Monsters, Inc.;. The 2000-seat Hyperion Theater located in the heart of Hollywood Land currently plays host to Disney's Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular. Disney Junior is currently held in Hollywood Land as well, it opened on March 25, 2011 and features "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" in the show.
Also featured since the park's opening is Muppet Vision 3-D, a show that also originated at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Both the Tower of Terror and Muppet Vision 3-D benefited from the many advances and new technology made available to the Imagineers since their original incarnations opened in Florida. This allowed the DCA versions to be technologically superior in certain aspects. The restroom facilities in Hollywood Land are designed in the style of Frank Lloyd Wright's Storer House, located in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles. The stamped concrete structure is typical of Wright's pioneering design.
"A Bug's Land" is seen from the point of view of a bug, and the character of "Flik" from A Bug's Life. Oversized human items and foodstuffs are scattered around the land. This land features Flik's Fun Fair (a collection of themed, family and child-friendly attractions such as Fliks Flyers, Francis' Ladybug Boogie, Tuck & Roll's Drive 'em Buggies, Heimlich's Chew Chew Train, and Dot's Puddle Park) and It's Tough to be a Bug!, a 3D film based on the Disney·Pixar film A Bug's Life. The land opened as the park's first expansion in 2002 to expand the park's family-friendly attractions.
Cars Land is a land spanning 12 acres (49,000 m2) and containing three attractions. The largest attraction, Radiator Springs Racers, is a dark ride that utilizes the technology of Epcot's Test Track. Based on Pixar's Cars films, the ride begins with a race briefing from Lightning McQueen and ends with an outdoor side-by-side dueling race to the Wheel Well Motel. With a budget at an estimated US$200 million, it's the most expensive theme park ride ever built.
The other two attractions at Cars Land are family attractions with smaller height requirements: Mater's Junkyard Jamboree, a tea-cup-like attraction; and Luigi's Flying Tires, which is similar to the 1960s Tomorrowland Flying Saucers attraction. Cars Land also features a life-size model of Radiator Springs and several dining and shopping venues.
Cars Land also serves as a connection between Pacific Wharf and Hollywood Land, eliminating the awkward dead end at the foot of the Tower of Terror attraction. The land opened to the public on June 15, 2012.
Many Disney characters can be found throughout the park, greeting visitors, interacting with children, and posing for photos. Some characters have specific areas where they are scheduled to appear, but can be found wandering as well.
World of Color is a new nighttime show at Disney California Adventure that was designed by Walt Disney Creative Entertainment. This show has more than 1200 fountains and includes lasers, lights, and fire with high-definition projections on mist screens similar to the ones used in Fantasmic! at Disneyland and Disney's Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World.
Mad T Party is an interactive nighttime dance party based on Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland film and is located in the Hollywood Land district. It is considered a similar experience to Glow Fest, which was staged in the same area in summer 2010, and ElecTRONica, a similar event themed to Disney's Tron franchise that ended on April 15, 2012. Mad T Party features lights, music, projections, and merchandise kiosk stands, a lounge and an interactive game area. The event started on June 15, 2012.
Pixar Play Parade is a parade featuring floats and characters based on Disney·Pixar films such as Monsters Inc., The Incredibles, and Ratatouille. In a first for the Disneyland Resort, the floats feature small water jets that shoot water into the crowd of spectators. The music used in the parade is derived from Hong Kong Disneyland's Mickey's WaterWorks Parade, both having the same tunes with changes in lyrics. Due to the massive construction in the park, the parade was on hiatus since January 2011. It returned in June 2012.
A "newsboys" musical group found at Carthay Circle. The newsboys appear via Red Car Trolley and inform guests about local news happenings in-song. A Hollywood newcomer, Mickey Mouse, arrives and is motivated by the newsgroup to pursue his dream of seeking a career in Los Angeles. The performance is partly inspired by the 1992 film, Newsies.
A swing band consisting of five male musicians and one female singer. The group perform in the cross-hairs of Buena Vista Street and Hollywood Land.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror attraction