Today marks the 10th anniversary of the rededication of Disney California Adventure along with the official grand openings of Buena Vista Street and Cars Land.
Disney's then-CEO Bob Iger led the rededication ceremony, which saw thousands of fans joining Disney managers and invited guests packing Buena Vista Street on the morning of June 15, 2012.
Here is our coverage from that morning: Disney Rededicates Its California Adventure Theme Park
And here is our video of the ceremony, for those who would like to relive the moment.
The openings marked the end of a multi-year transformation project for California Adventure, which had opened in 2001 to tepid reviews and poor paid attendance (well, for a Disney theme park). The introduction of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror and the Aladdin musical (along with the Cove Bar's Lobster nachos), helped a bit, but Disney managers eventually decided that the park needed a major overhaul in order to provide neighboring Disneyland with the solid companion that such a legendary tourist destination deserved. (That Tower of Terror review, linked above, is the oldest bylined article on the TPI website, by the way.)
Two years after Universal rocked the industry with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (see, Harry Potter and the Day That Changed Theme Parks Forever), Disney showed that it could design and build a jaw-dropping, immersive land based upon a single IP, too. Review: Radiator Springs Racers and Cars Land at Disney California Adventure
Disney's Imagineers also showed that they could create an engaging new entry way into a park, to frame DCA as the result of Walt Disney's adventure coming to the state of California back in 1923. Review: Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure
It all worked. Disney California Adventure (the park dropped the possessive "'s" after Disney after the rebuild), saw a 22.6% percent increase in attendance in 2012, according to the TEA/AECOM Theme Index global attendance report. In the following year - the first full year of operation for Cars Land and the revamped park - DCA welcomed another 9.5% increase in attendance, pushing Disney California Adventure into the Top 10 most attended theme parks in the world for the first time.
Today, Radiator Springs Racers ranks among our readers' Top 20 Attractions worldwide, as does Tower of Terror's successor, Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout, making the new DCA as acclaimed as it is popular.
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The next time you visit Disney California Adventure, please start by pricing discounted tickets from our travel partner's Disneyland Resort tickets page. And for more theme park news and advice, please sign up for Theme Park Insider's weekly newsletter.
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