With the completion of Paradise Park upon us and World of Color coming within weeks, it looks like the billion dollar transformation of Disney's California Adventure is finally going to get serious.
Up until now, the work has been a mixed bag: the Sun/Fun Wheel is just a small piece of change and its success a matter of personal preference. The Paradise Pier logo instead of the Mickey ears on California Screamin' falls into this category as does the whole Orange Stinger/ Silly Symphony Swings changeover. What comes next, however, changes the game, giving us fans a real glimpse of the suits commitment to Anaheim's second park.
Regardless of the Company's rhetoric, The Little Mermaid's Undersea Adventure had better be the golden "E" ticket they promise. Ariel deserves the recognition- she did save Disney animation after all- and her attraction will be the first major one added since Tower of Terror. It will also be the first all new attraction designed by Imagineering to relaunch the park. If the adventure proves the key to bringing in more guests, the one-two punch of World of Color and the Little Mermaid could signal a new beginning for Disneyland's little sibling.
In between then and the almost guaranteed blockbuster of John Lasseter's beloved Cars Land with its Radiator Springs Racers, a complete makeover of the nondescript park entrance into Buena Vista Street will rid the park of most of its earliest, ugliest beginnings. The elegant shops, restaurants and architecture of Walt's California should create a Disney worthy experience and a reintroduction of the park to guests burned the first time around.
Here's hoping for success. As the Paradise Park walls come down and the real fun begins to take shape, a plan for Phase Two could be just around the corner!
(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)