March 14, 2014

California Adventure Phase Two

What ever did happen to the planned California Adventure expansion Phase Two? Everyone was talking about it at one point in time: The Disney Suits, the Imagineers, the fans. Or was it really just the fans? Perhaps so, but it seems to me that the plans are still around even if they never get around to becoming real.

Remember how Condor Flats was going to be integrated into the more forested look and feel of Grizzly Peak? The building for Soarin' Over California would be painted dark shades of green to match the pines and other evergreens that would be replacing the desert landscape. (Especially now that the desert is so terrifically represented in the park with Cars Land.) Do you recall the proposed train ride to be integrated into the mountain? Overall, there was a deepening of theme to make the entire land larger and more compelling? Yes, I remember all the talk. Perhaps that's all it was.

Then, there was Paradise Pier. A proposed new themed queue for California Screamin' and a more beautiful pavilion in which to cover King Triton's carousel. Let's not forget the enhancements to Mickey's Fun Wheel in presentation. And that "lush park" where the Maliboomer once (dis)graced the land.

Need I even begin to talk about Hollywood Backlot?

Well, talk is now that the Monstropolis invasion of the area may be back on again. Complete with that Monsters Inc Door Coaster. I'm a huge fan of those movies and love the characters. Would the concept work? Would it be a crowd pleaser? Would it fit? Probably even less than some other additions to the park. (Think Bugs Land.)

What happened to the grandest plans of the men of mice? Success. You see, if Buena Vista Street and Cars Land had not brought in the crowds, the suits would have been forced to keep going. But nothing ruins plans to keep growing like success. It happens in our personal growth too. We like our taste of it and then rest on what has been accomplished.

The same principal is happening at California Adventure's older sister. Sure, the crowds are still pretty large at Disneyland, but it won't stay that way without some enhancements and new attractions. The 60th Anniversary of the park is right around the corner, and there will be nothing particularly noteworthy added. A parade perhaps, refreshing of the dark rides, and lots of nostalgia. Embarrassing, isn't it?

In all, it really is just a different version of what is happening at Walt Disney World. Keep the people just happy enough with the status quo to keep them coming back. Time for the rose colored glasses to come off.

We're forgoing a trip to the resorts and choosing to take in Europe instead. We'll go back when they earn the right to reach into my wallet.

Remember, Disney is just a business- even in California.

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

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