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Celebrating 15 years of California Adventure

raven24

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I was intending to make this thread earlier today, but I completely forgot. I should be asleep right now, so for now, this will be short. I will post more tomorrow.

Tomorrow marks 15 years of California Adventure, which is unbelievable to me. I was just nine years old when it opened, and I remember seeing the park for the first time when it opened in 2001 (and being completely underwhelmed). In five years, it will have been two whole decades. Sheesh.

I don't think any other Disney park has seen as much significant change in its first 15 years of existence, besides Disneyland, maybe. Cheers to DCA! You may not be as great as Disneyland, but you can stand on your own. Looking forward to DCA's future. Happy Birthday!


Opening Day_ California Adventure (2001).jpg
 

dweezil78

Well-Known Member
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I don't think any other Disney park has seen as much significant change in its first 15 years of existence, besides Disneyland, maybe. Cheers to DCA! You may not be as great as Disneyland, but you can stand on your own. Looking forward to DCA's future. Happy Birthday!

View attachment 129666
Happy birthday DCA!

Kind of funny how absolutely nothing from the artwork is around today, even the monorail is the old one! With possible exception of those mountains on the left which look like they could be from Cars Land (obviously a funny coincidence, even the movie didn't come out until 2006). :)

Some fun contributions to this thread of things that no longer exist -

The obligatory Superstar Limo ridethru:

The Hollywood & Dine food court, which I don't think I ever had the opportunity to eat at and am bummed about because it looks fun and has a very old school MGM'ish vibe about it, which the old WDW kid in me digs even if it's cheesy:
http://www.yesterland.com/hollywooddine.html

ABC Soap Opera Bistro - I also never got to eat here. And while soap operas don't really have the same draw these days (if they're even lucky to still be on), I really do think the concept here is clever and again, very MGM'ish.
http://www.yesterland.com/soapopera.html

And finally, a cool look at the original artwork for DCA at Disneyandmore and how the end result differed:
http://disneyandmore.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-disneys-california-adventure-that.html
 

Figments Friend

Well-Known Member
Wow...has it really been 15 years already?
I remember seeing the marketing materials for the 'New Disney Theme Park in Southern California' even way out here on the East Coast.
Did'nt quite know what to expect based on what I saw, but I certainly recall the huge hubbub once the Park opened.
People were slamming it majorly.
The impression I was getting was this was a Park built on the cheap and for all the wrong reasons.

I finally made the trek out West to experience it myself in. 2007 and I had to agree...it was a big disappointment.
So 'empty' feeling with very little to do unless you wanted to shop and eat.
It reminded me too much of a badly designed version of DHS in Orlando, with the various multiple shops and eateries and little else to offer a non-thrill ride Park goer.
I left very underwhelmed, but Disneyland Park more then made up for it.

When the announcement came for a zillion dollar refresh for DCA I was pleased to hear they were attempting to correct some of the 'mistakes' made previously.
Things sounded promising, and the new proposed editions brought some much needed excitement to the Park.
When I revisited right after the re-opening it was a vastly improved experience, but still had some room to grow.
The new editions were great...and really helped fill some 'holes'.

Today the Park seems to keep getting better in slow steps.....with little redesigns and small additions added here and there like the expanded 'Grizzly Peak' area.
Although I'm still not a huge fan of the Park, it has indeed improved since it's original incarnation.
It has the potential to become something even better with a few more additions, and perhaps a bit more theming in some areas.

-
 
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raven24

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Happy birthday DCA!

Kind of funny how absolutely nothing from the artwork is around today, even the monorail is the old one! With possible exception of those mountains on the left which look like they could be from Cars Land (obviously a funny coincidence, even the movie didn't come out until 2006). :)

Some fun contributions to this thread of things that no longer exist -

The obligatory Superstar Limo ridethru:

The Hollywood & Dine food court, which I don't think I ever had the opportunity to eat at and am bummed about because it looks fun and has a very old school MGM'ish vibe about it, which the old WDW kid in me digs even if it's cheesy:
http://www.yesterland.com/hollywooddine.html

ABC Soap Opera Bistro - I also never got to eat here. And while soap operas don't really have the same draw these days (if they're even lucky to still be on), I really do think the concept here is clever and again, very MGM'ish.
http://www.yesterland.com/soapopera.html

And finally, a cool look at the original artwork for DCA at Disneyandmore and how the end result differed:
http://disneyandmore.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-disneys-california-adventure-that.html
Do you remember Burrrbank Ice Cream? The shop looked like a train. I thought the name was clever, I'll see if I can find a photo.

Yes, pretty much nothing in that concept art is there anymore! Crazy.
 

dweezil78

Well-Known Member
Do you remember Burrrbank Ice Cream? The shop looked like a train. I thought the name was clever, I'll see if I can find a photo.
Of course! I would say that is the only thing from DCA 1.0 I was bummed to lose in the transition to Buena Vista Street. I always thought it was a pretty cool spot (no pun intended.)
 

westie

Well-Known Member
This is a picture of my daughter Michelle on opening day of DCA on the Orange Stinger(?). I took this with a disposable camera over my shoulder. This pic also was published in the now defunct Disney Magazine which really made her feel like a big shot! She's 22 now. Boy how time flies!!202499_3285548032430_679844302_o.jpg
 

Disneysea05

Well-Known Member
Those bee seats on the Orange Stinger sure didn't last long. I remember they started chipping and breaking.
 

Phrubruh

Well-Known Member
I miss the crisscross fries from Test Pilots grill.

Superstar Limo was insulting to anyone that lived in the areas they parodied.

Does anyone remember Steps in Time? I never got to see that show. Was it any good?
 

GiveMeTheMusic

Well-Known Member
I miss the crisscross fries from Test Pilots grill.

Superstar Limo was insulting to anyone that lived in the areas they parodied.

Does anyone remember Steps in Time? I never got to see that show. Was it any good?
Oh Steps In Time. Where to begin?

The first version of the show was only seen in cast previews for the park. It was then shut down for two weeks and opened with a new version on the park's opening day.

What it had going for it was that it was daring - something that can't often be used to describe park entertainment these days. They went with bold concepts and tried new things. They didn't all work.

The revised show was the first big project for then-new Creative Entertainment head Anne Hamburger. It produced the up-tempo "Dream is a Wish" that still gets used in park events and Grad Nite fireworks shows to this day:


This Beauty and the Beast number didn't survive after Cast Previews:


Neither did the Snow White opening, replaced by the above Dream is a Wish number:


It and Animazement at DL were victims of the 9/11 effect on the parks. When a new Disney-created production opened at the Hyperion, it was Aladdin, and everyone's familiar with that because it ran about eight years too long.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
The park is a lot of fun now and the wide walkways make it a lot less stressful than walking around DL. My only wish is that California ADVENTURE had their own version of an ADVENTURE land. Being that the ties to CALIFORNIA are so loose now and they focus more on the "Adventure" anyway. Adventureland at DL is so small with no room to grow and Jungle Cruise isn't going anywhere. The possibilities are endless as well as timeless with the Adventure theme. I would of like to see an area at DCA where we could have an attraction like Journey to the Center of the Earth ( escape from a California Volcano that we didn't know existed until the pacific receded or something) and maybe a suspended Aladdin E ticket attraction. It would be more interesting and offer more variety then a Marvel Coaster... For me anyway. I think an addition like two of the attractions I mention above would put DCA pretty close to Tokyo Disney Sea in regards to roster of attractions.

I say use the Simba lot as a DCA expansion for a new Adventureland. If they need a new hotel they can build an adventure themed hotel where the Paradise Pier hotel is.

And since it's the Simba lot ... I think a lion king ride would be a nice homage.
 
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brb1006

Well-Known Member
Does anyone remember the commerical/promo of the park that showed Buzz Lightyear along with the various Disney Characters taking a glimpse at the new park? I remember seeing it for the 2000 VHS release of Disney's Tarzan.
 

Phrubruh

Well-Known Member
I wasn't really a fan. I prefer shows with singers - the novelty of a marching band onstage with lights wore off about 6 minutes in for me.
My wife's family are full of band geeks so they loved that show. I agree it got old really fast especially when I got drugged to it each time. Aladdin was a big improvement.
 
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