Friday, Disney California Adventure is rededicated as the $1 billion dollar renovation is complete
On February 8, 2001, Disneyâ€™s California Adventure was opened with lack luster fan fair and very little attractions in the second theme park in hat is now the Disneyland Resort. Attendance was down for years and was never a fan friendly place to visit. It was missing something very important to a Disney theme park, magic.
What made Disneyland and many other parks around the world was Walt Disneyâ€™s original vision for Disneyland. Walt built Disneyland as a place for where he would like to take his daughters on a Sunday afternoon that was different from the pier amusement parks of the time. When I first stepped into Disneyâ€™s California Adventure at the end of 2000 while the park was still being constructed it was missing that special feeling. At the time the park felt more like Knottâ€™s Berry Farm than Disney.
Eleven years later we have seen now named Disney California Adventure grow into a Disney park worth being proud of. This Friday, June 15 we see the completion of an over $1 Billion dollar renovation that started in 2008 completed. The park will be rededicated by CEO of the Walt Disney Company Bob Iger to a park that has been transformed into a great Disney park.
As you enter through the brand new entrance that resembles the Pan Pacific Theater you will be on Buena Vista Street. You will be sent back in time to a Los Angeles of 1923 when Walt Disney first arrived in the town from Kansas City, MO. This is the main street that the park needed and its castle being a reproduction of the Carthay Circle Theater that was once located on 6316 San Vincente Blvd.
The Carthay Circle Theater is the theater that featured the premiere of Disneyâ€™s first full length animated featureÂ Â film, â€œSnow White and the Seven Dwarfs.â€ The reproduction will hold a restaurant similar to the Napa Rose inside The Grand Californian hotel.
As you walk through Buena Vista Street you see all the new stores and building with billboards that reflect the time. People walking the street in clothes of the time interacting with guest from police to messenger riding a bike up the street. As you walk under the bridge that is a copy of the bridge on Hyperion Street that lead to the original location of Walt Disney Studios in Los Feliz area you will see the grand shop of Elias and Company to your left on your right a candy shop and cafe. You will also pass by the Pacific Red Cars that once was Los Angeles major public transportation system of the time. The Red Cars will carry guest from the front entrance to the Hollywood Tower Hotel and back.
When you continue through Buena Vista Street you will see a park on your left hand side as your walking to the fountain and a brand new partners statue entitled, â€œStorytellers.â€ It portrays Walt Disney when he just arrived holding a very young Mickey Mouse standing on a suitcase that says, â€œWalt Disney Cartoonist.â€ On the plaque next to it reads a quote from Disney, â€œWe are just getting started.â€ All the characters from Mickey to Goofy will be dressed in period clothing to continue with the mood of the area. This new main entrance starts your excitement as you felt so many times walking through Main Street, USA at Disneyland.
To continues with the California theme, Pixar the California company that was founded by George Lucas and later sold to Steve Jobs and then the Walt Disney Company continues its related attractions to it computer animated films with a new land. Cars Land brings the town of Radiator Springs to life from the Pixar films Cars and Cars 2.
The first thing you will see if how detail and exact the town looks to the animated feature. Everything is placed exactly as in the film. The rock work that creates the mountains is massive and so impressive. It is the largest rock structure created by Walt Disney Imagineering at any Disney theme park so far. The first attraction you will see is on your left is the first attraction, â€œTow Materâ€™s Junkyard Jamboree.â€ On this attraction you will ride behind tractors as they move you from side to side as Mater (voiced by: Larry the Cable Guy) sings songs that really sets the fun of the land. It is a great fun ride for all ages and the line is decorated with items from the animated short, â€œMaterâ€™s Tall Tales.â€ If you are lucky enough you may hear the hidden track coming from the jukebox Mater made for the shorts and used in the attraction called â€œDad Gum.â€
As you walk down the main drag you will see Filmoreâ€™s shop, Floâ€™s V8 Cafe to the Cozy Cone Motel. Both the Cozy Cone Motel and Floâ€™s V8 Cafe serve delicious food choices as you walk to the next attraction which is Luigiâ€™s Flying Tires. Luigiâ€™s Flying Tires is a new version of Disneylandâ€™s Flying Tires of 1960s’. As you fly on a pocket of air you bump and play with beach balls in the color of the Italian flag.
After you get off of Luigiâ€™s Flying Tires and you walk to city hall and see the statue of Stanley who founded Radiator Springs you will see the Radiator Springs Racers. This attraction is the best of the famed Disney dark rides and the speed of the thrill rides. The ride systems is similar to the Test Track attraction at Epcot Center in Florida but the detail on this ride really does raise the bar for future attractions. You start the attraction with a tour of the mountain side before entering the show building and see many of the characters such as Tow Mater, Lighting McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson), Sally (voiced by Bonnie Hunt), Ramon (voiced by Cheech Marin), Flo (voiced by Jenifer Lewis), Luigi (voiced by Tony Shalhoub), Guido (voiced by Guido Quaroni) and Doc Hudson (voiced by Paul Newman) to name a few. You are then sent into a high speed race against other guest as you race through ornament valley to see who wins and finish the attraction in Tailgate Caverns and back at were you started.
Overall, Cars Land is a great addition to Disney California Adventure and the theme park has never looked better after the renovation. This is now a park that can now make a day of fun for the whole family. A great partner to Disneyland at the Disneyland Resort. This summer you must make it a place to visit and I would highly recommend to get a fastpass for Radiator Springs Racers or make that the first ride of you day as lines will be line for the attraction that will be a hit for years to come. For more pictures please visit our Facebook page.