The Greedy Theme Park Fan's Wish List for Improving Disneyland
Theme park fans can't help themselves. No matter how much we might like specific parks or attractions, we always are thinking about how they might be made juuuust
a little bit better. Or, in the cases of not-so-favorite attractions, a lot
So it is in that spirit that I offer my Orange County Register column this week: Suggestions to improve some Disneyland attractions.
In it, I offer a "wish list" of improvements on current attractions at Anaheim's Disneyland. In each case, I point to an comparable attraction — from another park or Disneyland's past — that offers a better model that what Disneyland now offers. (While cracking a few jokes along the way, of course.) And next week, I will offer a similar wish list for Disney California Adventure.
Here are the rides that I included on my Disneyland upgrade wish list:
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Tom Sawyer Island
- Astro Orbitor
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- It’s a Small World
What's your wish list for your favorite theme park? Which rides or shows there would you like to see upgraded to a better example from another park?
I don't regard those rides as worthy for improvement. They are fine "as is". For example, the under 10 year olds love Winnie the Pooh just fine. The line is extremely short at Disneyland. There is no need for an elaborate queue line that you see at Disney World.
I think Robert means to bring the best of Disney Parks tech worldwide back to the original park. For example, Tokyo Disneyland's ride vehicle for Winnie the Pooh. For myself, although it's more likely for my child to experience TDR first rather than DLR, I live closer to the West Coast. So.... I'd prefer that Star Wars land open first at DLR than WDW and with better tech.
I think the wish to upgrade the pooh ride comes from the fact that a far superior pooh ride resides in Disney Tokyo. It is a "Track Free" ride and looks cool as heck. I disagree with the submarines, they have been upgraded far more recently than many of the other rides. I agree with the Matterhorn because it is one of the bumpiest and uncomfortable rides in the park. Tom sawyers island should be scrapped and they should put a new pirate themed attraction on the island or possibly move big thunder ranch over onto the island.
There are lots of improvements that can be made with new tech park wide. The haunted mansion in the Magic Kingdom and Winnie the Poo in Tokyo Disneyland where they are the same great rids, with some amazing modern enhancements. These enhancements if they were available at the time they built the ride, I am sure they would've done originally. I think the best example of all is the new interactive area of Pete Pan's Flights in the Magic Kingdom. Wish they would update the entire ride with effects like that!
Definitely agree with all of them!
"For example, the under 10 year olds love Winnie the Pooh just fine. The line is extremely short at Disneyland. There is no need for an elaborate queue line that you see at Disney World."
Great article! My personal opinion on Autopia is that it should become 100% electric. Electric cars are the cars of the future, and by doing this not only would Autopia become less smoggy, but it would also spread a good message about helping the environment.
They need to gut out Toon Town and make "Parade Land" so people can go back there and sit and watch non-stop parades all day. That way the rest of us can traverse the park without people sitting on curbs.
@Russell: You didn't read the second part of the paragraph. "but Disneyland got the runt of this litter." "Even Disney World got a better deal with its version". The article was referring to all Winnie the Pooh rides, not just Tokyo's version.
Russell Meyer wrote, "Oh that's right, even the vaunted Elon Musk takes government money to support their business, so they don't have any extra lying around for this type of sponsorship. Maybe Exxon-Mobile will help out."
Matterhorn Bobsleds - The new bobsleds are terrible for your back. More proof that Wall Street Disney doesn't care about their customers?
Give Brandon the grand prize! Bring back the People Mover!
Give Tomorrowland some serious loving. There are too many random IPs smashed together in a concrete canyon. I feel like standards have been lowered when it comes to allowing admission into this land. Star Wars, Marvel, Buzz Lightyear, the crew from Finding Nemo, Autotopia, and Space Mountain have very little to do with one another and none of the styles blend together very well. I have high hopes that as soon as the new Star Wars land opens, Star Tours and the Jedi Academy will relocate and open up space for a more cohesive Tomorrowland…tomorrow. Please fix the old People mover tracks, or rip them out. It’s depressing.
Great article, and I agree with most of these. The only one I don't is flooding It's a Small World. While that would improve the feel of the attraction, Disneyland's version of the ride is the original and I think it should instead be restored to the 1966 version. No Disney characters, no North America room, etc.
Changing Winnie the Pooh to the Tokyo version would be great. That ride seems like it is always a walk on. Partly that is due to location, but I agree that the Tokyo version would draw people over there.
I heard pirates of the Caribbean is way better in Disneyland than in Magic kingdom so they should make the Flordia one more like the Cali one,also upgrade space mountain in MK.
My "home park" is Knott's Berry Farm in Orange County, and I am mostly happy with the park as it is. I think it's a good mix of themed areas and attractions and thrill rides and roller coasters.
I love the recent upgrades to the Matterhorn, although the ride could be smoother. I was able to ride it multiple times on the Fantasyland side, which isn't TOO rough.
Anyone who says DL's Pooh can't be improved has obviously never been to Tokyo.
Hi, Floridian here :). Just wanted to see if I'm allowed to talk about WDW. Cause if so...
I agree! Disneyland needs the Peoplemover.
Bring back Tahitian Terrace. I would also revamp Jungle Cruise completely. Reboot Matterhorn by tear down and rebuild.
I just went to DL for the first time, having grown up on WDW. The biggest surprise disappointment to me was Thunder Mountain Railroad. The DL version feels too safe. I don't know if the update is to blame, but the track is too smooth and the airtime non-existent. The theming is great, but the MK version is much more forceful, and also has great theming in the queue, and serves the function of a coaster for the whole family much better than the DL version, which is just a kiddy coaster IMO. I'd like to see the DL version gain some of the larger scale and force of the MK version.
Tomorrowland isn't going to see any major changes until the entire land gets a makeover. When that happens my guess is everything except Space Mountain and the Circle Vision Building will go away. If it will become MarvelLand, get a much more coherent retro future makeover, once again attempt to show the possibilities of what progress may be around the corner or something else is anyone's guess. The only guarantee is changes are coming sometime after Star Wars Land is done. Marvel would be a dissapointing choice because it eliminates a land Walt was very interested in. But if Disney can do it in a way that is truly enhances the park, I'm open to it. Walt would never want his park to simply become an imitation of what it once was, and that is currently what Tomorrowland is.
Jonah - I wonder if Big Thunder was toned down because of the deadly accident that happened at DL a few years ago.
Tomorrowland needs the most TLC at Disneyland. Back in the 80's and 90's, that park was a land of kinetic energy, lights, and sounds, especially at night! Moving the Astro Orbitor down to ground level hurt almost as much as losing the People Mover. At least at Magic Kingdom, the entire land is pretty much alive. However, I don't want to see Space Mountain permanently turn into Star Wars. I don't have anything against Star Wars as I'm a huge fan, but I like how there are still Disney Attractions without big name licensing attached (not including Pirates as that is a different story).
I agree with Robert Niles, those rides could use some type of enhancement. As a frequent Disneyland visitor, I would like to see those rides, especially, the "Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" ride, be augmented. I have not been to Tokyo Disneyland yet, but I've read their Pooh version of the ride is phenomenal. That would be a great addition to the park.
@Anon: You didn't read the last sentence.I feel like he made it clear that while even Disney World's version is better, what they really want is Tokyo's. As in literally saying they dream for the version in Tokyo...
I agree with Rober Niles. The attractions he suggested do need an upgrade. Especially, the "Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh." I have been to Disneyland many times, but I haven't yet been to Tokyo Disneyland. However, I've read about their version of the ride, and it sounds like its amazing! I would like to see Disneyland add Tokyo's version of the ride.
@Kevin: "I feel like he made it clear that while even Disney World's version is better, what they really want is Tokyo's."
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