January 11, 2016

Change at Disneyland Both Good and Bad

The year is 1965, and this map represents an era when the lovely and iconic New Orleans Square did not exist as part of Walt's park. Few people alive today can imagine a day at Disneyland without it- without an elegant home for the groundbreaking Pirates of the Caribbean, the equally impressive Haunted Mansion, and even the original Disney Gallery. Most visitors to the park would not even think of missing these two "E Ticket" attractions on a visit. Yet, the park and the surrounding area had to sacrifice some land in order to make this happen. Things change. 

There would be no Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 
without Nature's Wonderland going away.

The face of Disneyland substantially changes today. In a way that will be historic, sad, and yet, offering exciting new Star Wars Land adventures as construction completes a few years from now. Is it worth these huge changes? We shall see. The suits are pushing a single but very popular intellectual property as an entire land among lands that encompass many different individual stories. It's a first for this park, but it seems to be the wise short term business decision- if all you are looking for is money in the coffers of investors and CEOs. After the wild success of Universal's Harry Potter expansions and the very popular Cars Land- the land that saved the much despised 1.0 version of California Adventure, we will see more of this come our way. Pandora / World of Avatar will soon change the face of Animal Kingdom. What will be next? 

Is that what Disneyland is about? That's the question many are asking. Would I prefer Star Wars anchors a third park in Anaheim? Yes, without reservation. It should be different, but it is not. Things change that we have no control over. This is one of them.

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

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