It seems that the folks down in Garden Grove, Calif. -- the city that starts just south of Disneyland in Anaheim -- have found themselves a model for how to take advantage of their proximity to the Disneyland Resort. They want to recreate Harbor Blvd. as "International Drive West."
No joke. Check out the story: http://www.latimes.com/news/custom/showcase/la-me-garden16feb16.story.
Really, I don't know where to begin here. Reading this story, I found my body succumbing to the kind of paralysis familiar to anyone who's watched, say, his favorite sports team blow a late lead in a big game. That "this canNOT be happening" type of feeling.
That said, I'm intrigued by the fact that Garden Grove is trying to lure either Universal or Paramount to build a new theme park on 70 acres just off Harbor. As much as I loathe the idea of an "International Drive West," I'll pay that price to get "Islands of Adventure West."
Kings Island West, however, and I'll pass.
First, it is a linear design, based around the automobile. I'd rather see a more "urban" design, based on a street grid, that is easily accessible on foot. That would reduce sprawl and create more economic opportunities for merchants, as it would be easier for visitors to patronize several locations, rather than just the one they drove to.
Second, the architecture of I Drive remains powered by the bland corporate styling of its resident chain restaurants and stores. There is no attempt to create a distinct architectural style that invite the visitor, supports the merchants' commerce and makes an artistic statement about the location. Yes, that's a difficult goal to achieve. But I Drive doesn't even try.
A new theme park on 70 acres? Can you say 'pathetic?' Unless someone were to create something like Westcot, where the Future World buildings had multiple floors, it will be teeny tiny.
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney California Adventure
Universal's Islands of Adventure
Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Hollywood