This is another Disney Blog by a Disney fan who wants to talk about whatever he wants. Disney related, of course.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

DCA vs. A Parking Lot

If you spend any time at all checking Disney message boards, and if you are reading this you do, you have seen threads started by Disney Fundamentalists announcing they would rather have a parking lot than Disney's California Adventure. Do these people truly wish that DCA had never been built? I think we should try to find some reasons why they would believe this.

The parking lot was closer than the current parking garage. It was cheaper to park your car for the day in the parking lot than it is for a one day admission to DCA. You never ever saw a Pixar character in the parking lot. They had the great segment in the Monorail spiel about finding your car as you passed by the parking lot. Those are about all the pro's I can think of for leaving the parking lot in place. (I am not saying I agree with any of them I was just trying to look at this from the view of a DCA hater.)

I tend to view California Adventure more as an undiscovered gem in the Disney universe. I am not saying that this park compares on any level with the masterpiece across the esplanade, but it still a special place. If the Animation Building did not contain any of the shows that it currently hosts I would still visit. The lobby is spectacular. All the classic movies and songs make this a great place to sit and dream.

Even if it isn't as good as the older version at Disney MGM Studios, Oops, Disney's Hollywood Studios, the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is a wonderfully themed attraction that provides an engaging story and thrills that make you scream. The best part of this attraction is that in Florida you always have a line and in DCA you can almost always walk on. I have only once had a line over 30 minutes staring at me when I walked through the gates.

Soarin' Over California is amazing! I don't think that I have to provide any further explanation to support that statement. If I must I will say that Disney built a very unique attraction that almost, but not quite, makes up for the removal of the CircleVision 360 from Tomorrowland. On both coasts this attraction packs them in.

If you want detailed theming, a thrill, and a little soak, Grizzly River Run is just past Soarin'. It is safe to say that this is the best river rapids ride I have ever seen. It is fun to ride and it is fun to watch. This was a great addition to the Disneyland Resort.

I have only touched on four small areas/attractions in DCA and I already feel that the pro's for DCA far outweigh the pro's for the parking lot. I think the fan community can give it a rest. DCA is here to stay and will be improving for the better. It may not be the perfect theme park but, come on, it is better than a parking lot.


Davelandweb said...

Chris - I have often joked about the whole parking lot deal as well. I think it is basically just backlash from how DCA ended up being such a disappointment. Hopes were extremely high for it and then it ended up being the victim of budget slashing. It's on the way up though, and I am sure all the naysayers will convert once the next round of 1 billion plus is spent to "fix it." Thanks for the great post as always! (Now if you REALLY want to get people going, just mention the name Paul Pressler. That poor man is probably one of the most crucified in Disney History and blamed for everything that went wrong)

Wayne said...

I think the best description I ever heard of DCA was one of Disney's lands all by itself, but you still pay the full price to get in.

I liked DCA, the one time we went. You could get on any ride in minutes, the food was great and there was a great variety, as opposed to Disneyland's burger and fries everywhere, and, being a native, it was kinda cool to see some of the good things about Cali extolled instead of the common images of traffic, gangs, etc.

I think they could save it by rearranging the fence and just making it another part of Disneyland. Heck, the only time most people go to see it, is during the "two for one" ticket specials.

James said...

I agree with your assessment 100%. It may not compare to some of the other crown jewels in the collection, but it definitely has some highlights.

I also love California Screamin' and — I'm almost embarrassed to admit it — Golden Dreams. Is it just me, or does everyone get a little teary during that final song? :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but DCA is a complete mess. Are there some good elements? Yes, a few. But overall, as a theme park, it is ill conceived, poorly designed and uninspiring. If you understand the design of public places and the proper use of detail and theme, you would know. Now, it is destined to get better soon - but as it was first presented, it would have been better left as a parking lot until wiser heads came up with a more complimentary plan for Disneyland.

Gabriel said...

I feel a bit strange: I went to Disney Land with my wife, and well... I didn't how that I was going to be scared of someting as silly as Grizzly River Run... but I guess I just choose the most chill out atrractions at disney.

gabrielle said...

great post! i love DCA and i am even more excited for the "makeover" it's getting. it's strange, i never knew people were so angry about this park. it doesn't compare to disneyland, true, but does anything really?
and as far as rides that make me teary-eyed go, soarin' over california makes me cry every time! i'm not sure why but i can't help myself.

Pictures of Disney World said...

I've been to DCA once. I think it is more fun than a parking lot! :)
Is it one of the Disney Company's best works? No. Fun? Yes. And are they spending big bucks to make it much better? Yes.

Spokker said...

I'm surprised John Hench wasn't brought up here. I'm not sure if he coined the term or not, but he probably gave the phrase the legs it has now.