September 28, 2009

Post Pier Ponderings

The refilling of Paradise Bay looms. The Silly Symphony Swings will arrive faster than we can believe. World of Color will soon dazzle and excite us. Ariel's adventure is on the horizon although construction progress seems slower than any of us would like. Sure, a makeover of Mulholland Madness is coming and a new eatery, too.

But what happens when Paradise Pier is nearly complete?

Buena Vista Street looks terrific, but will this be enough to bring in the crowds that support approval for Phase Two? Radiator Springs Racers will rock (just watch the preview video!) but will the two smaller attractions with it make Disney's California Adventure a full day park, one worthy of the name Disney? No.

It is just not enough.

The Disneyland Resort needs a second park comparable to the majestic Epcot, a park worthy of being attached to the original Magic Kingdom. And California Adventure is not it- nor will it be. At least not in the form we will see. One day, it will be a great little "third park", more on par with Disney's Hollywood Studios, one with lots of atmosphere and a couple of "must see" attractions. I'd love the Imagineers and the accountants to prove me wrong- go ahead, please try.

It seems Disney has one last chance to wow us in California. It has to be unique to California in theme and brilliant in execution. The acreage for park number three must be used very wisely if Disney suits hope to turn the Anaheim resort into a serious counterpoint to Walt Disney World. Without the abundance of resort features like golf, tennis, and water sports, the park designed for the space must dazzle guests from the beginning- or the company risks the embarrassment and humiliation of DCA 1.0 all over again.

(Concept art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

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