Saturday, August 27, 2011

Disney California Adventure ~ Oh the Changes!

Disney California Adventure ~ Oh the Changes!

       I’ve have enjoyed going to Disney California Adventure from a few months after it opened. What a difference from then to now.

       Gone are the huge letters spelling CALIFORNIA outside the gates. They were replaced by the blue and white spires that emulate the design of the Hyperion Theater that housed Disney’s first studio. The Golden Gate Bridge that welcomed you into the park is gone as is the Zephyr train that housed the Burrr-bank Ice Cream shop and the Bakers-Field Bakery.

       When DCA opened the park had a more “educational” feel to it. There were little areas set up called Artventures. There was a different Artventure for each area. In the Condor Flats area where Aerospace is king the Artventure showed you how to make things like Paper Airplanes. In Bountiful Valley it was an ever changing craft fair using things like corn husks and other natural supplies to make things like holiday decorations and toys. Pacific Warf had a fun Artventure that taught things like Japanese Paper lanterns. Each Artventure taught you about a culture, art form or science.

       Golden Dreams was a fantastic 22 minute video with special effects that showed the different ethnic groups that came into California. It talked about why they came and what happened when they did. It pulled no punches and showed the good, the bad and the truly ugly side of bigotry. More importantly it showed how the diverse people groups that have come into California and all come together to make this a truly Golden State full of Golden Dreams. It had humor along with the drama. This was taken out to make way for Ariel’s Undersea Adventure.

       In the Animation Building there was a theater that housed an ever changing show. It featured clips and behind the scenes information on upcoming Disney movies. They often had pieces of animation equipment from the early days of Disney Animation. I totally enjoyed seeing the Multiplane camera there. This was replaced with Turtle Talk with Crush. I like the show but still miss the behind the scenes info that we had there.

       They had street shows in the Hollywood Backlot area throughout the day. Those have stopped and been replaced with one big show at night, ElecTRONica. One show that was on the street has been moved over to a stage that has hosed such fun shows as Goofy’s Beach Blast, a show that was a taping of a beach movie scene DUH, Department of Untapped Hilarity was a family friendly version of Whose Line is it Anyway. I miss the old shows and look forward to even better ones in the future.

       Also gone and the stage left dark is “Who Wants to be a Millionaire Play It”. When it first started you could win a week on the Disney Cruise Line. The show shut down several years ago and the venue left unused. Fans of the show still gather to talk about the fun they had playing it.

       MaliBoomer was no big loss as far as I’m concerned. The retheming of Mulholland Madness to Goofy’s Fly School, Sunwheel to Mickey’s Fun Wheel and the Orange Stinger to the Silly Symphony Swings changed Paradise Pier forever. Those along with the addition of Toy Story Mania turned it into a Disney Pier. Before the changes the area looked and felt like the old Santa Monica Pier but had very little Disney to it.

       The Hyperion Theater has had a few different shows. At first they did not have a stable show in there that could sustain return guests interest. Disney brought in Blast and the Hyperion found its feet and the need for a quality show. Aladdin was brought into the Hyperion in 2003 and has amazed guests the entire time. When Disney made it public they were thinking of taking Aladdin out the fans banded together and complained. The show remains to this day and is a must see.

       Bountiful Valley Farm has undergone major changes. There was a small stage for a little bug themed show. For a long time I would bring my daughter into Bountiful Valley to learn about farming and agriculture. There were displays that showed what fruits and vegetables were grown in California over the years and where they first came from. There were oversized irrigation displays where kids and adults alike could see how farms water their crops and get wet to cool off. Most of this is now gone to make way for Cars Land. Other things in this area, such as PT Flea’s shop have been removed to make way for Cars Land.

       World of Color has added much to the evening entertainment at DCA. This is another MUST see at DCA. It is unlike any other show as it mixes huge “dancing” water fountains, water screens and Disney video to create a 30 minute show that will have you amazed.

       So if you have never been to DCA or have not been in a long time I suggest you drop on in the next time you come. The park is growing up.

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