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It's good to be on the West Coast...

Written by
Published: February 21, 2007 at 10:51 AM

A couple of links today, which remind me how much I'm glad I live in L.A.

Not to talk smack to my Orlando-area and East Coast friends.... Nope. Wait a minute. I'm totally talking smack to my Orlando and East Coasts friends. It's February. What else is there for theme park fans to do? :-)

The Orlando Sentinel reports the inevitable Chapter 11 filing by the owner of Orlando's Church Steert Station. Back in the days before Downtown Disney and CityWalk, Church Street Station was the "grown-up" place to go in Orlando. But Downtown Disney brought the nightclub district concpet to the tourist resorts and not enough locals were left to support the Church Street Complex, located far north of the tourist zone, in downtown Orlando.

The complex nearly died earlier this decade, but was bought out by Backstreet Boys/'N Sync creator Lou Pearlman, who promised a resurgance.

Too bad that Pearlman turned out to be a (okay, alleged) con man, now facing a slew of investigations for various financial schemes. His company that owned Church Street filed for bankruptcy last night and investigators are serving search warrants all over the place.

If that's the bad news from Orlando, the good news from California is that Disneyland's two new E-ticket rides are gonna rock. Al Lutz provides the details about the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage and Toy Story Midway Mania in a new article on MiceAge, which reads like a mash note to Disney and Pixar's John Lasseter. We've come a long way from the dark days of the Paul Pressler regime, haven't we?

Readers' Opinions

From Mark Hollamon on February 21, 2007 at 1:52 PM
No big deal about Church Street. That wasn't the crown jewel for Orlando anyway!
From Mark Freedman on February 21, 2007 at 3:54 PM
Church Street Station? I thought it was closed years ago and hopefully it will stay closed and inspire the City of Orlando to think of something more appealing for it's Downtown area than a collection of overpriced watering holes. As a transplant from California, I'm happy that the Disneyland resort is making improvements and it would be wonderful if the Disney California Adventure could actually be transformed into a park worthy of Disney's name. If the Disney folks in LA can make something good happen, maybe it will inspire the Disney World team but I'm not holding my breath.
From Gareth H on February 21, 2007 at 4:31 PM
Stupid fool, gets sued by boyband, hides money, does a runner and this all affects the re-opening of Church Street, prefect timing for Disney as tey've just spent a fortune on Pleasure Island!!
From Derek Potter on February 21, 2007 at 8:26 PM
I could have told you that Pearlman was a con man. Only a con man finds 5 guys pretty much off the street, pays for a minimal amount of recording time, and sits on his butt while the band tours and collects 90%...and only a sucker buys the deal. Only one guy out of a hundred (Justin Timberlake) has emerged from "Lou Pearlman" school with any assemblance of a career. Let that be a lesson to all wannabe pop stars out there.

On a similar note. Disney is to be thanked once again for ruining a portion of the town that gave them it's keys.

From Coaster Enthusiast on February 21, 2007 at 9:17 PM
I'm glad Disney is finally doing something with the 20,000 Leagues Lagoon! I've been out of touch with 'stuff' for a while ... But, is WDW planning a similar venue?

As for Church Street ... I live in Austin and we have 6th Street; I've been to Memphis' Beal Street and New Orleans' Bourbon Street. Is there really a need for something like this in Orlando??

From Chris Walton on February 22, 2007 at 12:14 AM
I miss the good ole Church Street Station of the past.
From Kim Johnson on February 22, 2007 at 9:53 AM
Just to respond to WDW/Seas... it's not going to happen here. At least not in the same location.. They put a Winnie the Pooh Playground there. Besides, they have added plenty of other Nemo attractions recently (show at DAK, ride at EPCOT) I feel like I'm missing something..
From Rachel Dixon on February 22, 2007 at 4:59 PM
Trust me it's better to be on the "East Coast" definately. Church Street Station is so old school. It's been dead for a long time and it's really not missed by most. There are so many better and fun places here in Orlando to go. So you can have your West Coast....I will be staying on the East Coast and enjoying every moment of it.
From Jordan P on February 25, 2007 at 6:24 AM
This is easily the most pointless post I've ever seen on the front page of this site, February or not. Were you that desperate to put up a new headline? Two new attractions at Disneyland (one of which isn't even exclusive to DL) hardly make up for NOT being the theme park capital of the world (ie Central Florida)... and what in the world does Church Street Station have to do with theme parks? That place has been dead for YEARS anyway, unless you count Club Paris, which has survived even after being ditched by it's namesake.

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