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Disney makes DCA revamp official today

2007-10-17

By Robert Niles: Today's the day that Disney confirms its planned makeover of Disney's California Adventure with a press conference, featuring Disney CEO Bob Iger.

The details are widely known: Toy Story Midway Mania will be the centerpiece, followed by redos of the park's entrance and common areas. Most major attractions will stay, though Maliboomer and some of the other off-the-shelf-style rides in the midway will go. Cars and Little Mermaid attractions should follow in 2009-10.

The LA Times chases the story this morning, citing the plans being first reported in the Wall Street Journal yesterday. Maybe that's where The Times' Richard Verrier first read of them. But the story actually was first reported by Al Lutz on MiceAge months ago, and picked up by fans on multiple theme park websites, including Theme Park Insider. (My $.02: The Times should let Kimi Yoshino cover *everything* regarding the Disney theme parks. Unlike Verrier's, her reports don't always lag the Disney blogosphere, and if they do, she always properly credits it.)

Readers' Opinions

From David Kirby on October 17, 2007 at 11:05 AM
According to Al, the name of DCA's ride has been changed back to "Midway Mania", whereas the Studios version will still be called "Toy Story Mania".
From Brady Allen on October 17, 2007 at 12:25 PM
according to the Disney Link a 12-acre land will be dedicated to Radiator Springs from Cars
From Chris Wilkes on October 17, 2007 at 2:55 PM
So is the Little Mermaid attraction going to be a show like the one at WDW or will it be the long shelved dark-ride that was originally designed for Disneyland Paris?
From John Quinteros on October 17, 2007 at 3:52 PM
Why do DCA need to revamp? It's fine the way it is! People just need to feel the California spirit! Whatever, as long as the good rides (Soarin', ToT, and California Screamin') remain untouched, I'm happy.
From Robert Niles on October 17, 2007 at 3:59 PM
I've got a page up now for Radiator Springs Racers, since that's the confirmed name for the Cars ride. Disney's press release dropped the Midway from the Toy Story ride, but I'm leaving our page with the other name since I'd also heard that it would include the word Midway. We'll see.

Chasing details about the Little Mermaid attraction. No name was given for that, leading me to believe that it is still a bit up in the air. I'd heard ride, though.

From Chris Wilkes on October 18, 2007 at 5:32 AM
My understanding (from the Little Mermaid DVD doc on it) is that the dark ride was completely finished as far as design goes... all that was left was toactually build the thing, but Disneyland Paris's financial woes at the time put the kibosh on that. All the imagineers involved in the project seemed hopeful that it would still see the light of day somewhere. So let's hope that we see all their hard work all those years ago finally come to life- as opposed to making them start from scratch or just copying the Disney Studios live show.
From Anthony Murphy on October 18, 2007 at 5:56 AM
I hope they don't totally revamp the entire park because I think some areas were pretty good! Its a Bug Land is going to be Pixarland if I were to guess (Since Its tough to be a Bug is there). Having just come from Disney Studios in Disneyland Paris, they have Crush's Coaster, an indoor spinning rolercoaster that would kill if it was put at DCA or MGM (Hollywood Studios or whatever it will become). So Disney is not out of good ideas yet!
From Matthew Baker on October 18, 2007 at 6:53 AM
I first visited DCA just this month (and only because I just got an AP), and learned about the overhaul only last night. Going by the MiceAge articles it sounds more like an Extreme Makeover Theme-Park Edition rather than throw-it-out and start-over. For sure it'll still be DCA, hopefully not so half-hearted this time around. Certainly the E-tickets are all staying...and we might get some new ones. :) Personally I'm looking forward to the Wonderful World of Color water-fountain show.
From Robert Niles on October 18, 2007 at 7:59 AM
It's all very Pixar (okay, 'cept for the Little Mermaid, which is the DLP dark ride) and the Mickey's PhilharMagic in the old Millionaire building). But that's greatl, IMHO. Disney ought to ride Pixar as far as it will take them. My son (age 7) is already whining to get on the Cars ride. This has been the first thing to distract my kids' attention from Harry Potter at IOA, which is very, very good news for Disney.
From Marc Ricketts on October 18, 2007 at 8:31 AM
There's a recap of a presentation made to cast members at www.miceage.com. According to this, Philharmagic will replace Muppetvision, not be in the WWTBAM building. The Mermaid ride is described as a "major attraction" using an omnimover system and having a $100,000,000 budget. The carsland area will also have a spinning ride and a new version of the old flying saucers with giant hubcaps instead of saucers (and computers that can make it work this time) in addition to the central ride with a $200,000,000 budget. All in all, the best announcement since the departure of Paul Pressler!
From David Kirby on October 18, 2007 at 8:53 AM
I still can't believe they're puting a Little Mermaid ride in California Adventure. I'm also still trying to fathom how they were going to justify the now shelved Ratatouille coaster. Oh Disney, what happened?
From Mike West on October 18, 2007 at 11:10 AM
Well guys, I think this proves the "Imagineers" final acknowledgement that they didn't do it right(the reason I've not been back to DCA since it opened). A revamp this soon also proves that had they been more about content than $, they wouldn't be spending more $ (at todays prices), to fix it. Off the shelf rides at a Disney Park, Shame on them!(I'd almost rather have the parking lot back). At a conference recently we were asked if we had 90 minutes to eat lunch with anyone living or dead, I answered Walt. DCA was one of the things I felt he needed to know about(then I'd spend the rest of the time pickin his brain =)-). I just wonder if when they started out so poorly, if DCA can ever truly be fixed.
From Chris Wilkes on October 18, 2007 at 1:02 PM
Don't blame the imagineers. They're not the ones holding the purse strings. They did what they could with the orders and budgets they were given.
From DONTAE ROBERTS on October 18, 2007 at 2:17 PM
THE CARS THEME PARK WILL BE A VERY BIG SUCCESS!!! I THINK IT WILL BE THE BIGGEST IN YEARS!! BUT TO BE HONEST WITH ALL, I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY THEY DONT BUILD THAT PARK IN FLORIDA. THEY HAVE ALOT MORE LAND TO BUILD ON HERE IN FLORIDA. ALSO THIS IS THE MOST VISITED PARK THEY HAVE.
From Manny Barron on October 18, 2007 at 7:14 PM
So is Mickey's Philharmagic official as well? That would be awesome replacing the unpopular Muppet vision. And what other paradise pier rides are leaving the park along with the maliboomer? This DCA revamp news is absolutely great.
From Anthony Murphy on October 19, 2007 at 6:42 AM
Muppetvision Unpopular? It looked full the last time I went on it at DCA.


Anyway, I went on the Pixar rides at Disney Studios in Paris and like I said, they were really good! The Crush Coaster should be repeated at some American Park because it combined a dark ride with a spinning roller coaster! Imagineers did a really good job!

From David Kirby on October 19, 2007 at 8:18 AM
There is no Cars theme park. It's just a new section being built. I do question though theming an entire land to a movie that hasn't been around long enough to prove it's staying power. I guess we'll see.
From Matt Thomas on October 19, 2007 at 12:35 PM
I agree, Cars has not proved its staying power yet, and they shouldnt make a ride based on it, in my opinion. I think that they should make a ride that is not based on anything they have done before. Some of their best rides have not been based on movies.
From Eric Davis on October 21, 2007 at 5:44 PM
There's concept art that shows the Little Mermaid ride vehicles being similar to the "sea-shell" omnimover system used for Epcot's Nemo attraction.

As for Midway Mania, there's concept art that shows the attraction's signage as being "Toy Story Midway Mania," with the "Midway Mania" part being much more prominent than Toy Story.


Also, about the Cars Land, it's not like it's going to be *entirely* based around the movie. Yes, the general layout of the land will look like Radiator Springs, but all concept art currently released points to a "half and half" mixture of realistic cars and cartoony cars. I think it'll be a nice blend. It only makes sense, since Radiator Springs is a fictional California town that had its hay-day during Route 66's prime.

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