It is not just the end of the year but at the end of a decade. This decade has had some monumental Disney events (as reflected in posts from the previous two days) but we are getting closer to the biggest of the decade. It’s getting harder to deduce, and this was one that was not easy to place because it has given way to quite a lot. Here is why Disney California Adventure’s refurbishment is one of the biggest of the decade.
Disney’s California Adventure
It isn’t too hidden that when Disney’s California Adventure opened it was not a hit. It had some hit rides but was not pulling in the guests that were desired for a second gate. If you have watched The Imagineering Story on Disney+ then you know that it was an admittance of not just Bob Iger but the company that the first incarnation of the park was failing. There was a need to do something with the park. As said in the documentary, Iger staked the company’s reputation on the revamp.
What’s Old is New
One of the large portions that were redone was the entrance area. Many probably can’t remember the name of Sunshine Plaza as the opening area of the park. Construction for the main entrance began in 2010. This new boulevard would be Buena Vista Street. It is fashioned after the 1920s Los Angeles that Walt and Roy would have seen upon coming to California. And, Storytellers a bronze sculpture would be set in the main plaza at the end of the street. Though a new street, it harkened back to the old-time of California to tell a story fresh for guests.
Under the Sea
Before the biggest changes of Buena Vista Street and Cars Land came in, 2010 and 2011 saw the openings and premieres of World of Color and The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. These alone started bringing in more guests to the park than ever before! And the park was not finished in its transformation.
Of course, the biggest expansion to the park was with Cars Land. It is one of the most immersively detailed lands of any Disney park, and with a very popular attraction. Radiator Springs Racers has become popular not just for Disneyland guests, but any that also ventures to Walt Disney World. I often hear of people comparing it to any attraction at the Florida resort. It is still the ride that runs out of FastPasses the soonest on any given day. The land itself is a huge hit with many walking around to take in any of the decorations and details. This was a clear winner for DCA.
New Name and Lease on Life
When the rededication came in 2012 it was clear this was a new park. Though it kept elements of the old it was fresh and the crowds came. Iger and the company’s reputation was well respected again. Because of its success, it has continued to transform and bring in some popular elements for any Disney park goer. Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: Breakout is becoming a classicly popular attraction. Pixar Pier is entertaining many with a dedicated spot to find Pixar pals. And with the recent announcement of Avengers Campus coming soon this park is not stopping! And this is the park that is starting these areas and attractions to also go internationally, and the overall revamp gives hope for some of the ailing Disney parks that are also getting some much-needed care in expansion.
Until tomorrow, here is some of our coverage of DCA’s transformation over this last decade: