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Those Who Fail to Learn From History...

Disneyland: It seems the folks in Garden Grove, Calif. 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."

From Robert Niles
Posted February 16, 2003 at 4:04 PM
We don't post April Fool's stories on this site. And it is February. So, having said that, y'all can pick your jaws up off the floor and rest assured the following story is real.

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:

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.

Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Robert Niles
Posted February 16, 2003 at 10:20 PM
I'll concede that Orlando and Orange County have improved the quality of International Drive on its southern end in recent years. But it is still flawed in at least two ways.

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.

From Kevin Baxter
Posted February 20, 2003 at 3:11 AM
Very true, there.

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.

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