The Walt Disney Co.'s decision to pump $1.1
billion in a massive overhaul of the California Adventure theme
park in Anaheim, Calif., over the next five years was met with
hallelujahs by those who sell Disney vacation products.
"This will go over
very well with my clients who are real Disney lovers," said Denise
Keesler of Magical Journeys in Davison, Mich.
Adventure, which opened in 2001, was never a huge hit with
vacationers, who still preferred to spend most of their time in
Disneyland, the original Disney park next door, she
"There were a
couple of good rides [at California Adventure], but it just didn't
have that Disney magic and something to hold it together as a
The inspiration for
the new park will be a more significant connection to Walt Disney,
said Disney officials.
going back to the days when Walt Disney first arrived in Los
Angeles [during the 1920s]," said Disney spokeswoman Jennifer Liu.
"It will definitely have an old California feel, and we're looking
at the Hollywood aspect of it."
The investment in
California Adventure is intended to help make the greater
Disneyland resort area a vacation destination and not just a
one-day jaunt, Liu said.
"The idea of even
creating the second park is so people will stay for more than one
day," said Liu. "With Disneyland originally, people came for the
day and left, or stayed overnight. But by expanding the resort, the
whole idea was to extend people's stay in Anaheim and Southern
Rebekah Mahken of
Mei & Mouse Fun Travel in Snowqualmie, Wash., expects to be
booking some extended stays for her "Disneyphile" clients, who she
said are already buzzing with excitement about the plans for
"They didn't feel
it had the high levels of quality that Disney is known for," Mahken
said. "Now, they've gone back to the drawing board and made some
exciting plans, and I think it will become a true multipark
Mahken is thrilled
that part of Disney's plan is to add 250 rooms to the Grand
Californian, the parks' popular hotel, a move that also will boost
The new attractions
scheduled to open over the next five years at California Adventure
Cars Land, a 12-acre area inspired by the Disney/Pixar movie
"Cars," which will include the virtual ride Radiator Spring Racers
and two additional family rides.
" Parades Pier, which will host the
new 4-D Toy Story Mania! ride, slated to open next summer, as well
as a major Little Mermaid ride. The pier will also feature a new
9,000-seat viewing areas for shows.
" World of Color, a nighttime water,
lights and music show.
" A new entry plaza and gateway
inspired by the Carthay Circle Theatre, where "Snow White"
premiered in 1937. This area will also house the new Walt Disney
Story interactive tribute attraction.
" Hollywood Pictures Backlot, an
updated show venue.
" Golden State, where new dining
options will be built, with a focus on California farmland and its
ethnically diverse cuisine. This area will also host food and wine
" A Preview Center, slated to open
in late 2008, which will give guests a sneak peek at developments
in the park.
Liu said the
company did not intend to lower the cost of admission to California
Adventure during the reconstruction.
"A lot of the areas
where the construction will take place will be in areas that will
be away from where guests will actually be," said Liu. "Whenever we
have an attraction that goes into refurbishment, we do make amends,
so that it will not deter from [guests'] normal day at the
contact the reporters who wrote this article, send e-mail to Laura
Del Rosso at [email protected] or Michelle Baran at [email protected].