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Disneyland Resort (DL, DLR, DCA) Discussion Thread

p. 393 - Pixar Place Hotel transformation will be completed on January 30th, 2024!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Settlement reached in wrongful death suit against Disneyland


LOS ANGELES (AP) - The family of a woman who died two months after riding the ``Indiana Jones Adventure'' at Disneyland reached a settlement with The Walt Disney Co. in a wrongful death lawsuit.


Lawyer Barry Novack, who represents the family, said a confidentiality agreement prevented him from disclosing the terms of the settlement reached on Dec. 29. Pretrial motions had been scheduled for Thursday.


``The case has been settled and the terms will not be disclosed,'' Rob Doughty, vice president of communications for Disneyland Resort said Thursday in a written statement.


``Safety always has been, and continues to be, our top priority,'' he said.


Cristina Moreno, 23, of Barcelona, Spain, complained of a severe headache after getting off the ride in 2000. She was hospitalized the same evening after losing consciousness, according to the lawsuit.


She died two months later from a brain aneurysm, the lawsuit states.


Moreno, who had travelled to California on her honeymoon with her new husband, ran up more than US$1.3 million in medical expenses in Spain before she died in September 2000.


The lawsuit alleged that Disney pushed the ``envelope to the extreme'' in designing the attraction, known for being fast, turbulent and combining the ups and downs of a roller coaster.


Lawyers for Disney have maintained the attraction was safe, and that the woman's death was unrelated to the ride that opened in March 1995.

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Again, the US legal system at it's finest. It's cheaper to pay them off and make it go away......


Unfortunately, aneurysms can happen to perfectly healthy people at any time. I think the plaintiff's counsel would of had a tough time relating the ride as the cause. Sometimes, I think Disney folds to quickly on these.

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^ While I do agree with you, that they fold quickly, I don't believe it to be the case here.


I mean....it took 7 years for them to fold.





I believe the big problem was the plaintiff's counsel was able to exploit some technicality in the law...If I remember correctly, it was something about how a ride like Indy--doesn't matter if it was intended for 'entertainment' purposes--fits within the genre of vehicles whose sole intent is to transport individuals. So the ride would have to abide by the laws similar to that of public transportation or whatnot, which obviously means that they'd have to dumb it down.



And Robb...Elissa....... I read about that on YOUR site, so dont you dare try and bring me down for it!


-Jahan "March 3rd, 1995" Makanvand

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  • 9 months later...

Official announcement of DCA expansion with many confirmed details!:




ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Since its 2001 debut, the Walt Disney Co. theme park Disney's California Adventure has floundered in the shadow of its legendary neighbor, Disneyland. To fix it, Disney is now planning a $1.1 billion overhaul -- the most extensive makeover the company has ever given to a theme park.


Disney's board recently approved the investment, which will be poured into California Adventure over roughly five years, according to people familiar with the plan. The sum is particularly significant, considering the theme park cost around $1 billion to build and Disney has already spent more than $100 million trying to improve it.


Originally aimed at luring visitors to spend more time and money at the Disneyland Resort, California Adventure has been criticized as lacking Disney's trademark creative spark. The California theme has fallen flat with visitors from the western U.S., who make up the bulk of attendance. Last year, the park drew just under six million visitors, compared with nearly 15 million at Disneyland and short of Disney's original forecast of seven million visitors a year for the new park.


Now Disney hopes to turn the park around by making it more like its successful neighbor, filled with references to company founder Walt Disney, say people familiar with the plan. A key project will be redesigning the entrance plaza, now a hodgepodge of California icons, and replacing it with something akin to Disneyland's signature Main Street.


Just as Main Street harks back to Walt Disney's hometown of Marceline, Mo., in the early 1900s, California Adventure's new entrance will trace the footsteps of Walt Disney from when he arrived in Los Angeles in the 1920s, these people say. Similar to Disneyland's iconic castle, the redesigned park will feature a replica of Hollywood's former Carthay Circle theater, where Walt Disney premiered the movie "Snow White" in 1937.


The new-look park also will be expanded by around 12 acres and will bulk up its attractions, with a heavy emphasis on animated movies created by Pixar, including "Cars" and "Toy Story."


Jay Rasulo, who inherited California Adventure when he became president of the parks in 2002, says the park has had some success in extending the time visitors spend at the resort as a whole and does have some popular rides. But he concedes: "Guests have told us that when they stand in California Adventure, they don't have an emotional connection to it." Mr. Rasulo declined to comment on the investment Disney is making.


Several of Disney's efforts in recent years have had teething problems that forced Disney to spend big money on efforts to fix them, raising questions about Disney's theme-park strategy. New Disney parks in Paris and Hong Kong -- seen as too small and lacking insight into the cultures they serve -- have needed big additional investments after initially drawing slim crowds.


When Walt Disney created Disneyland in 1955, and the company started the Disney World resort in Orlando, Fla., in 1971 with the first Magic Kingdom park, the parks were powerful brand builders. But it is unclear whether that is still the case in the 21st century, when kids are more interested in the Internet and Disney has more tools to play with, such as the relatively investment-light but popular Disney Channel.


Disney maintains its parks are a good return on investment. In fiscal 2006, they accounted for almost 30% of the company's total revenue of $34 billion and reported 30% growth in operating income. Mr. Rasulo says the parks are long-term undertakings and the company always anticipates having to invest in changes. Walt Disney himself said Disneyland was never finished.


Even so, California Adventure has had special problems. On a recent afternoon at the Disneyland Resort, 18-year-old season-pass holder Megan White made a standard complaint: "Disneyland is a magical place, but California Adventure is just a theme park you can get anywhere." Ms. White, of Valencia, Calif., adds she spends most of her visits at Disneyland, only entering California Adventure for one or two rides because it has "no imagination."


California Adventure was the result of a years-long attempt to build on Disneyland's success. In 1991, Disney originally announced it was working on a plan to build Westcot, a West Coast version of Disney's Florida park, Epcot, which had opened nearly a decade earlier.


According to people involved, Disney's then-chief executive, Michael Eisner, was eager to replicate the successful model of Walt Disney World in Florida, which had grown to include several theme parks, a fleet of hotels and a thriving retail and entertainment district. The expansions created a destination that families sometimes visit for a week.


But Westcot came with a price tag of as much as $3 billion and, according to these people, Mr. Eisner got cold feet after the new Disney park outside Paris became a financial and public-relations nightmare.


In 1995, Disney ditched Westcot. In the summer of that year, Mr. Eisner held a three-day retreat in Aspen, Colo., where about 30 executives came up with an idea for a California-themed park, say people at the meeting. Mr. Eisner chose Disneyland chief Paul Pressler to oversee a $1.4 billion project in Anaheim that included California Adventure, a retail district and hotels.


He positioned the new park as a contemporary alternative to Disneyland. It included three main areas: the Hollywood Pictures back lot; the Golden State wharf, which included offbeat, decidedly sedate features like a vegetable garden and tortilla factory; and the carnival-style Paradise Pier, anchored by a big, traditional roller coaster.


When the park opened in 2001, visitors complained it was light on rides and that the ones there lacked the imagination of Disneyland hits such as the indoor roller coaster Space Mountain. As a brigade of Web sites savaged the park, a perception set in that it was a dud.


Mr. Pressler, who left Disney in 2002, says the park suffered from comparisons to its successful neighbor, but he denies the budget was ever a problem. "What we missed the mark on was not having enough for young kids compared to the Magic Kingdom," he says. He quickly added new rides: The vegetable garden was replaced by A Bug's Land, based on the 1998 Pixar movie "A Bug's Life." Disney also later added a $100 million attraction called The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.


The Disneyland resort as a whole, especially the Downtown Disney retail district and hotels, succeeded in increasing visitors' average stay from one day to two. But attendance at California Adventure languished, while Disneyland was bursting at the seams.


Bob Iger, who took over as Disney chief executive in 2005, asked the company's legendary theme-park designers -- known as Imagineers -- to come up with a plan about a year ago, according to people involved in the planning. An initial idea was to combine Disneyland and California Adventure, creating a massive park that required one ticket. But the investment in infrastructure to transport visitors around that area was prohibitive, so they focused instead on creating a second Disneyland.


This summer, Disney hired theme-park consultant Bob Weis to oversee the new project. The remake is a complex undertaking, according to people familiar with the situation. Disney plans to keep California Adventure open during the five-year project, a plan that will require visitors to navigate construction zones and initially go in through a temporary entrance. Disney has no plans to discount ticket prices during that period, they say. Though prices vary, an adult ticket for a day at either park now costs $66, while a combined ticket is $91.


Mr. Weis will add a new area called Cars Land, which will re-create the fictional town of Radiator Springs from the 2006 Pixar movie "Cars," say people familiar with the plans. The centerpiece will be a cutting-edge attraction in the style of Disneyland's popular "Indiana Jones" ride.


Addressing criticism of Paradise Pier, Mr. Weis plans to add a flagship ride based on the 1989 animated movie "The Little Mermaid" and another on the 1995 feature "Toy Story," the people say. The Mulholland Madness ride, which re-creates a careening drive along a famous Los Angeles street, will be rethemed featuring Disney characters. Others, like the Maliboomer thrill ride, are likely to be axed.


It is still unclear what will happen to the name, as the company sees appeal in the words "Disney," "California" and "Adventure," these people say. But there is a big risk in leaving it the same. That said, some unusual relics will be left untouched for now, including the tortilla-making factory and a bread-baking demonstration. A person familiar with the plan says the Golden State area isn't considered as thematically out-of-place as others in the new plan and won't be changed in the near-term.


Yaa for Little Mermaid ride, boo to keeping MM. Cool that it'll all be done in only 5yrs vs the rumoured 10!


Read Robb's Commentary HERE!


New turnstiles and front area.


Trolley's down the new main street.


The Lagoon Show - "Disney's World of Color"


Toy Story Mania


New Front Entrance


More Little Mermaid Ride


Little Mermaid Ride


Radiator Springs Racers (Test Track style ride)


More Cars Land


Cars Land


Map of the "new" Disney's California Adventure

Edited by larrygator
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So to summarize it looks like DCA will be getting:


- A new front entrance


- New 12 acre Carsland area with 3 new rides including a Test Track style ride.


- New Little Mermaid dark ride


- Mullholland Madness to be rethemed


- Maliboomer and some other Paradise Pier rides may be removed.


- Muppets gets replaced with Philharmagic


- New restaurant ala Sci-Fi Drive in at DHS


Ok, here's my thoughts on all this....


I'm a bit indifferent to the renovation news. I think it is needed, yes, as DCA is a bit lack-luster. But I'm not convinced that a new entrance, yet another old WDW 4D movie, a Mullholland facelift, and ANOTHER dark ride or water show will really improve the park all that much.


Carsland and Toy Story Mania. Those are steps in the right direction, IMO. These sound like bigger-budget "E-Ticket" rides that the park lacks. At least the Cars ride does. Jury is still out on Mania, but I'm hopeful it's not just another "Buzz" because that IMO, would not be an E-Ticket attraction.


But re-doing the entrance? I dunno, it's kind of like when the MGM Grand Hotel decided to re-do their entrance. Did anyone really care that much? Most people didn't even notice!


The addition of a Main Street? Sounds like it's pretty much going to be Disney/MGM's main street, but with a different theater at the end. It's nice, sure, but I think it's a little odd to have two main streets back to back from each other. At least the current entrance now doesn't look like something that's 200 yards away. But I guess this is where they will be able to fool people into thinking it's got just as much charm as the park across the street because it now looks more like the park across the street. I don't know about you, but I'm not fooled.


I'm not attached to the entrance DCA has now, so it won't really bother me much one way or the other if they change it, but looking at the concept art for the new entrance, I think I'd walk past it just as quickly as I do the current one. It's different, yes, but I'm not convinced it's actually better.


And a Little Mermaid ride? How many dark rides in a row does DLR need?!?? Let's see... Pooh, Monsters, Buzz, Nemo, Toy Story Mania, Mermaid.


IMO, the only ones that really stand out of that bunch is Buzz and *maybe* Toy Story. The rest of them are either re-hashes of old rides, or just your average dark ride re-telling of a movie property.


Now, if Mermaid was something like Tokyo Disney's Pooh, THEN we are talking BIG attraction here. But so far all I've heard makes me think "just another dark ride..." and the concept art looks just like they've taken the Nemo ride in Florida and added a Little Mermaid theme. Meh....


Philharmagic? Meh. Seen it, done it, don't need to do it again. It's pretty weak as far as 4D movies go. Better than Honey, I Bored the Audience but not as good as Muppets or Bugs, IMO. So they are going to replace one old WDW 4D movie with another one. Great plan!!!


Sci-fi Drive in? So they are getting a restaurant that WDW has had for 10 years. Sure, ok! It's a really cool place, so why not? Didn't they learn the first time around that just bringing over stuff from WDW and plopping it down somewhere in another park doesn't always work?


Trolleys? These don't get me excited either. Adds atmosphere, I guess, but I'm picturing them going down the current Hollywood Blvd area and I'm just not feeling any love for them. I don't ride any current trolley or main street transportation ride at any Disney park...EVER so this doesn't make me very excited.


Lagoon show? Will it be better than Fantasmic? I needs to be. If they want people to walk away not saying "That wasn't as good as Fantasmic....another DCA let down" it has to be the Fantasmic killer. I'll 'wait and see' on this one.


Then I hear rumors of ride removals like Maliboomer and Orange Stinger. But I don't see a replacement for any of those in the current concept art or overhead maps. So what is the point of removing something if you don't have something to replace it with? That would be a pretty DEAD area between Toy Story and Mullholland of those two rides were taken out. Doesn't DCA kind of suffer now from dead areas of the park? Why would they want to create yet another one?


Overall, I hope you guys don't think I'm bitching, I'm just trying to bring up some very good points that I think may have been overlooked in the "change is good" cloud of excitement.


I *DO* think it's all a step in the right direction as DCA really does need "something", but I just can't help to think that deep down I don't see THAT much more imagination going into this than the original DCA concepts had. I look at those images and I feel pretty much exactly the same as I did about what I saw 7 years ago. Indifferent. Some things make me go "Oh, hey, that's kind of cool..." But nothing I saw made me go "WOW!" Not even the Cars ride. While that did peak my excitement level the most, maybe I'm jaded from having been on Test Track and Journey so many times that I just went "Oh, cool, so California is *FINALLY* getting a Test Track ride...10 years later..."


IMO, I see more of the same that didn't get them repeat visitors in the first place so why do they think this will be any different or work better? I'm not convinced.



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Sounds like they have a decent handle on what they are doing, the park never really looked "disneylike" to me, or unlike anything out of the ordinary. That "Westcot" idea seems really cool though, shame it never went through, possibly it might come up again sometime as an idea for another park. I'm also glad they never went with combining the parks, that would seem somewhat lazy IMO, like saying instead of improving the park let's just put it in the same gate so we can say it gets the same guests as Disneyland lol.


^Yeah I agree, they were 2 rides that can be found at many other theme parks exactly as they were (a drop ride and a swing ride) with nothing special. ToT is how Disney really does a drop ride. I wish the article would have mentioned the sun wheel.

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^^ Should be alot more announced soon, at least a couple more E and a few C and D tickets are also rumoured.


Here's another announcement, confirming an upcoming news conference:




The Anaheim park had been a disappointment since its opening six years ago.


By Richard Verrier and Dave McKibben, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

October 17, 2007


California Adventure is getting a $1.1-billion makeover -- with Walt Disney Co. planning to spend more than it did to build the theme park just six years ago.


The struggling park, which sits in Disneyland's shadow, was a disappointment from the start, failing to draw the crowds the company had anticipated. The idea behind the overhaul recently approved by the board of directors is to give it new attractions and a sharper identity -- and make it more like Disneyland.


"They're trying to give it some heart," said a person familiar with the plan who asked not to be identified. "Right now, you go through California Adventure once, and that's about it."


Rob Doughty, a Disneyland spokesman, declined to comment on the plans. Disney Chief Executive Bob Iger is scheduled to appear today at a news conference to provide details.


Like much-bigger Disneyland, sources at the company said, California Adventure will have more clearly defined theme sections and will tip its hat more frequently to the late Walt Disney, who built the first park in an orange grove and opened it to rave reviews in 1955.


Favorite California Adventure attractions -- including the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, one of several added in an effort to address criticism that the park had too few blockbuster rides -- won't be dismantled. A host of new attractions will include several based on Pixar animated films such as "Cars" and "Toy Story."


The entrance plaza will be redesigned and iconic structures reminiscent of old-time Hollywood will be added, including a replica of the Carthay Circle Theatre.


Disneyland's younger sibling, which is loosely focused on the Golden State, attracted fewer than 6 million visitors last year -- short of the 7 million people the company said would attend every year and a far cry from the 15 million who bought tickets to Disneyland.


The brainchild of former CEO Michael Eisner, the park opened in February 2001 and soon became known as Eisner's misadventure; critics seized on its poor performance when they campaigned to oust him in 2004. Walt Disney's nephew Roy Disney accused the company of building the park "on the cheap."


Even California Adventure enthusiasts were pleased to hear about the refurbishing, first reported on the Wall Street Journal's website.


"I love it but not in the same way as Disneyland," said Taylor Rockwell, a visual-effects production assistant who is an annual Disneyland Resort pass holder. "They tried to work the California angle but it wasn't successful. What is there now just isn't up to Disneyland standards."


Al Lutz, who owns and edits the popular Disney fan website Miceage, said a renovation was long overdue.


"Finally, they've acknowledged the elephant in the room," Lutz said. "They are turning it more into a companion to Disneyland as opposed to an afterthought."


Anaheim Councilman Bob Hernandez said he found the timing of today's news conference curious, given the entertainment giant's heated battle with Anaheim officials over the direction of the resort district.


Disney wants to keep the district focused on tourist-related uses, while a majority of the Anaheim City Council supports construction of a 1,500-unit residential project that could help alleviate the city's housing shortage.


Disney sued the city to block the housing project and a Disney-backed coalition has qualified anti-housing initiatives for an upcoming city election.


By touting its plan to beef up California Adventure with a $1.1-billion investment -- more than it has ever spent on a park revamp before -- Disney is clearly trying to sway voters, Hernandez said.


"It's so obvious to those who don't have pixie dust in our eyes," he said.


California Adventure was part of a $1.4-billion remake of the Disneyland Resort that included a luxury hotel, the Grand Californian, and the Downtown Disney shopping district.


Disney has added to the smaller park since with, among other things, the Tower of Terror and "Aladdin," a well-received Broadway-style musical patterned after the animated movie. The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, a climbing park for kids, was expanded with a tie-in to the animated film "Brother Bear."


To lure visitors, Disney discounts the admission price, selling tickets to the two parks in pairs called Park Hoppers.


"It's basically been half price since it opened," Lutz said. "Nobody ever buys a ticket just for that park."

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Personally I won't mind if Maliboomer and even Orange Stinger get the axe, but I would hate to see somewhat unique rides like the Sun Wheel and Zephyr go.

Keep in mind that Paradise Pier isn't changing theme. It'll still be a boardwalk, albeit set much further in the past. I can see the Sunwheel and the Zephyr staying. When Toy Story Mania opens it'll be a good preview of what the rest of the area might look like in a few years.
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It's great to see something official. There have been a lot of rumors floating around the resort recently of the the Little Mermaid dark ride that will replace Golden Dreams and I'm happy they're going through with the project. If it's anything like the one planned for Paris years ago this will be a really cool ride!




The rides that have been strongly rumored to be removed from the pier are Maliboomer (which could be replaced by a parachute tower), The Golden Zephyr (can't run when the wind is too high) and Orange Stinger, I'd be very surprised if they touched the Sun Wheel. This will free up area for viewing the new lagoon show. Anything can happen, I know, but this makes sense to me.


Can't wait to see things develop over the next 5 years, glad they're going to improve Madness and not just kill it off.

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You know, you look at it one way and it's pretty sad Bob Iger has to spend that much money to fix the things that Michael Eisner screwed up. On the other hand it looks like you west coast people will finally get another great Disney park when all is said and done. What they have planned sounds very promising.

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They could recycle Maliboomer's sneeze shields by using them at a salad bar. Orange Stingers is butt ugly, so good riddance, I say.


Just to clarify, I actually like DCA, but I think this overhaul is good idea.

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