January 26, 2009

From Laughingstock to Increased Stock?

The transformation of Paradise Pier continues. As the Imagineers begin to reshape California Adventure into a park worthy of the Disney name, the challenges they face are numerous. How to do this and stay within budget? How to transform the park into one more people wish to visit? How to redeem the park from a history that includes being the laughingstock of the industry- one played for laughs by the Simpsons?

The task is far more monumental and the implications deeper than Disney will admit. At risk is the reputation of the Disneyland Resort, not Disneyland park. And the money that should flow from the expansion.

Walt's Kingdom will always be a sentimental favorite. But can the Imagineers transform California Adventure into a park that allows the resort to hold its own with its younger American cousin? A revamped park is a must for Disney's investment to really pay off. Future plans include adding more hotels and hotel rooms, an expanded Downtown Disney, and an eventual third park. Without the "blessing of size" and sitting in the middle of an unattractive city, Disney has to work very hard to convince travelers outside of California to spend their hard earned money here. California Adventure 2.0 must persuade the public that the suits are serious about making the Golden State resort one that truly shines. It's their last chance- and there will be no other. Fooled once, maybe. Fooled twice, never.

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

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