June 18, 2012 |
After more than a decade in existence and $1.1 billion in renovations, Disney California Adventure still probably needs another billion dollars in improvements before it can be worthy of the Disney name. RELATED: Disney park braces for 'carmageddon' as Cars Land opens As the hoopla surrounding the grand reopening of the Anaheim theme park dies down, I thought it would be a good time to take a look back at what DCA was, has become and could be. REVIEWS: Cars Land | Radiator Springs Racers | Mater's Junkyard Jamboree | Luigi's Flying Tires | Buena Vista Street The story of DCA actually starts way back in 1991 when Disney announced plans to build the $3-billion Westcot in the old Disneyland parking lot. For myriad reasons, the West Coast version of Disney World's Epcot was eventually canceled and new plans were unveiled for an edgy and hip 55-acre theme park celebrating California pop culture.
October 19, 2011 |
Riders aboard Luigi's Flying Tires will use a pair of joysticks to steer the levitating bumper car as it floats atop a surface similar to a giant air hockey table. The new ride debuting in the 12-acre Cars Land at Disney California Adventure in summer 2012 recalls the short-lived, breakdown-prone Flying Saucers that moved from Disneyland to Yesterland in 1966. > Photos: Luigi's Flying Tires at Disney California Adventure Luigi, as you may recall, was the excitable 1959 Fiat 500 who ran the tire shop in the animated movie "Cars.
November 4, 2010 |
Disney California Adventure has canceled the California Food & Wine Festival for 2011 and 2012 because of ongoing construction associated with the $1.1 billion expansion -- and officials won't say if the popular event will ever return to the Anaheim theme park. The annual spring event, included with theme park admission in April and May, featured tastings, seminars and demonstrations by celebrity chefs such as Guy Fieri, Cat Cora and Robert Irvine . The 5-year-old festival had continually grown in popularity, expanding from 30 events over four weekends in 2006 to 700 events over 46 days in 2010.
November 15, 2012 |
Two things consistently stand out for me about Cars Land at Disney California Adventure. First, the stepped-into-Oz themed land is so wonderfully immersive I always have to remind myself Anaheim is just behind the enveloping Cadillac Range. Second, the chock-a-block neon gulch exuberance of Cars Land flies in the face of every standard the famously fastidious Walt Disney set for his theme park empire. > Photos: Cars Land Christmas at Disney California Adventure The arrival of the first Cars Land Christmas combines both that whimsy and mayhem into a delightfully delirious twist on the traditional holiday festivities.
December 13, 2010 |
As Disney California Adventure reaches the midway point of a $1.1-billion expansion, I'd like to take a speculative look at what Walt Disney Imagineering might have in mind for Phase 2 of the massive renovation project. DCA's extreme makeover was necessitated by the on-the-cheap, off-the-shelf nature of the nearly decade-old theme park that even Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger now calls "mediocre. " Phase 1, which began in 2008, fixes about a third of the flawed park.
June 1, 2011 |
The cute, new $100-million Little Mermaid dark ride is just what Disney California Adventure needed: a D-Ticket attraction geared toward moms with young children. Photos : Concept art of the Little Mermaid dark ride While neither groundbreaking nor awe-inspiring, Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure is the type of audio-animatronic ride sorely lacking at the built-on-the-cheap Anaheim theme park, which is undergoing a $1.1 billion renovation.
December 6, 2011 |
With frosty mugs of Butterbeer raised in a toast, Universal Studios Hollywood officials announced plans Tuesday to bring the wildly popular Wizarding World of Harry Potter to the California theme park. Details were limited but officials did say the California park would see a Hogwarts Castle and visitors would ride Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, the marquee attraction at the Florida park. Wizarding World will be built within the existing California theme park, but it was unclear if the new land might be located at least partially on the studio's back lot. > Photos: Top 10 Wizarding World of Harry Potter rides and attractions Wizarding World proved an instant hit when it opened in June 2010 at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure theme park.
December 7, 2011 |
While all eyes will be on Disney California Adventure in 2012, plenty of other theme parks in California will be adding new rides and attractions in time for the summer crowds. Our Top 10 for 2012 is dominated by new rides coming to DCA's 12-acre Cars Land expansion , the grand finale in the $1 billion extreme makeover the Anaheim theme park has undertaken during the past five years. DCA's transformation is so massive that even Disneyland is taking the year off as far as new attractions go, letting the spotlight shine on its younger neighbor.