The World Report
Page 3 of 3
We finished our visit at DCA with Disneys Electrical Parade and LuminAira. The Electrical Parade has always been a favorite and it was nice to see it again. LuminAira is the new lagoon show with fireworks and screens that display pictures drawn by children visiting the park that day. A nice show all in all. But as with any new park it is having to learn how to live in its space. The Lagoon area is small and viewing can be tough if you dont get there early. We watched it from Paradise Pier and we had to sit on the ground behind ten other people to view the show. Not bad for me or my son but could be tough if you have an elderly person with you. The number of people in front of us made seeing the screens difficult at times. We also missed a lot of the candlelight effects from our viewing area. Also DCA guests are learning what we here in Florida have known for years from Illuminations - make sure you check to see which way the wind is blowing before you choose your spot. Otherwise the only thing you will see is the smoke that is blowing in your face. Think a lower energy, lower to the ground Illuminations type show and you got LuminAira.
Well that was our visit to Disney's California Adventure. It's a good beginning for a new park but needs some things to really become a great park. What would I do to make DCA a better park? Well, not that anyone has asked my opinion. Ok, actually several friends have asked my opinion but they don't count. Here are some of the things that I think would make DCA a more enjoyable park or at least help get more guests to be aware of the park:
- Add some attractions. I think Disney should go ahead and take the plunge and add at least 2-3 attractions in the park to tighten up the dead areas. Tower of Terror has been rumored and that would be a great start, but what DCA needs is one or two new (never before seen) attractions that really can grab some attention. Attractions that will draw people to the park like Indiana Jones or Star Tours did when they opened at Disneyland. A nice dark ride wouldn't hurt the park at all and can someone please turn up the juice at Superstar Limo and make this attraction the race through Hollywood it was designed to be?
- Offer a 2 day Park Hopper Ticket. Disney feels that they
have a good product at California Adventure. That's good. Make it easier to get people
into the gates at least for the time being. In Florida we have learned that if people have
the option to park hop they will just to check things out. If Disney believes in DCA then
for a year or so build an audience by allowing people to freely park hop between the two.
Once people are inside they can see what DCA has to offer and they will spend money inside
[Ed Note: Disneyland recently introduced a 2-Day ticket - one day each for Disneyland and DCA without park hopping - for Southern California residents for $49]
- Create a new and different entertainment experience. Disney broke new ground with the Electrical Parade and Fantasmic and they should use their ingenuity to create a different, can't miss type of entertainment experience that gets indeliably linked to DCA. LuminAira is nice but I am not sure the lagoon will ever be the best location for a show. The shape is odd and too many attractions take up viewing space. Be creative and draw us into the park to see the best special entertainment project Disney has ever created.
- Synergy. The hype about DCA has been rather low key on this side of the country. Disney owns ABC and the Disney Channel but I can't remember seeing much about the park on either station. Disney has the Disney Sunday Movie on ABC. Why not take a lesson from Walt and give us the tour of the new park and explain what it has to offer. Maybe the Osmonds could go behind the scenes at Soarin' Over California. Seriously, Disney should be using their television presence to let the country know about the park. And with airfares so cheap right now (I flew into San Diego for $108.00 from Orlando) now would be a great time for Disney to tap into some of the markets in the east. I have also never understood why Disney doesn't advertise it's other parks at WDW. Tokyo Disneyland Resort isn't represented in Japan at EPCOT and neither is Disneyland Paris in France. Why not have a place in the Magic Kingdom that entices guests to make their next Disney theme park visit to DCA?
Well thats about all for this version of The World Report. Look for an update soon about my time at Disneyland (including the excellent Haunted Mansion Holiday redo) and the Disneyland Resort. Till then...
-- Stephen Halpin
The World Report reports on all aspects of Walt Disney World.
The World Report is not posted on a regular schedule
The opinions expressed by our Stephen Halpin, and all of our columnists, do not necessarily represent the feelings of LaughingPlace.com or any of its employees or advertisers. All speculation and rumors about the future plans of the Walt Disney Company are just that - speculation and rumors - and should be treated as such.
-- Posted November 19, 2001