Tag Archives: Disney’s California Adventure

What does the future hold for the theme park industry?

The financial crisis has forced the theme park industry to re-evaluate the way they operate in order to ensure they survive the recession. The question is, how much will this crisis change the way in which theme parks are run in the future?

(photo by Diana)

Before the current recession many theme park operators aimed to produce the biggest and the best parks in the world. Universal opened Islands of Adventure in 1999 to critical acclaim whilst Disney opened the $4 billion Tokyo DisneySea in 2001, a record cost for any theme park in the world.

Theme parks were in with tourists, as proven by the ever-increasing number of visitors hitting Central Florida each and every year to take in Walt Disney World, Universal, SeaWorld and Busch Gardens.

The popularity of parks led to a number of destinations looking to add theme parks to their offerings to potential visitors. The most notable plan for a themed entertainment destination was Dubailand, a huge destination set just outside the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.

The recession put an end to many of the expansive projects planned around the world. Dubailand dates have been put back considerably or halted altogether whilst a number of the major theme park operators have kept very tight-lipped about their plans for the future that hadn’t already been announced pre-financial crisis.

But whilst Tatweer are struggling with finance for their entertainment super-destination in Dubai another project in the same city has been a huge success.

Sega Republic, a small indoor theme park in Dubai Mall, represents a new age of themed entertainment which puts quality over quantity. I was personally incredibly impressed by the number of highly-themed attractions in the park which kept me wanting to ride over and over again.

Despite its great selection of well-themed, quality attractions there’s no doubt the price to build Sega Republic will be considerably less than even the smallest parks produced by the major operators in the industry.

This begs the question is, are theme park operators ready to rethink their future plans in order to ensure they are safe from external shocks?

Whilst Sega Republic is only one small park in a huge industry there is other signs that major operators are trying to bring some of their theme park magic in a more compact style around the world.

Recently the Walt Disney Company started a huge refurbishment project for their stores around the world, which included adding a number of high-end, interactive, experiences which are aimed at keeping guests in their stores for longer.

Whilst the store refurbishments are by no means fully-fledged mini theme parks what they do represent is Disney shifting their operations strategy after the recession in order to bring some of the Disney Park ‘magic’ to customers rather than them having to travel to one of the five international resorts themselves.

There’s no doubt it has become incredibly hard for developers to obtain the credit needed in order to build new large-scale parks and this could well mean we see more and more of these smaller outlets coupled with further expansion of the already established major destinations, with a prime example being the major expansion of Disney’s California Adventure.

Of course once credit markets loosen up we could see a return to the more traditional style of theme park development, but until then we could be looking at an all-new way in which the theme park industry is run.

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Filed under Disney's California Adventure, Disneyland Paris, Sea World, Tokyo Disneyland, Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World

Why World of Color must stay exclusive to Disney’s California Adventure

The Wonderful World of Color debuted at Disney’s California Adventure last week to critical acclaim from fans and the media alike.

(photo from Michael Huey)

The all-new show, which takes place in Paradise Lagoon, is a mixture of fire, water, music and imagery from the plethora of classic Disney and Pixar movies that is sure to entertain the whole family.

But whilst the show does represent that start of a new generation in theme park spectaculars Disney should refrain from sending this attraction to the East Coast or any of their other parks around the world.

It’s no secret that California Adventure has been far from a fan favourite since its opening in 2001, a problem primarily put down to its large collection of midway-style rides, a lack of world-class attractions and only a couple of unique experiences to be enjoyed in the park.

World of Color represents one part of the $1 billion plus expansion of DCA which is expected to bring the park up to the standard customers expect of a Disney theme park.

One major part of the appeal of this show is that it’s unique to California Adventure, it’s one experience that Disney can use to really promote the park.

Some of the best current attractions at DCA are clones of attractions from other parks or have been cloned, the Tower of Terror, Soarin’ and Toy Story Mania are all prime examples of such attractions,

But World of Color breaks that trend, it’s something totally unique to DCA and it’s something that the executives at Disney can really use to promote the park as a world-class destination up to the standards of its legendary neighbour Disneyland.

The reason millions of people visit Disney parks around the world each year is because they offer a unique experience unrivalled by their competitors, if Disney want the DCA expansion to be a success then they need to ensure that World of Color stays unique to the West Coast park.


Filed under Disney's California Adventure

World of Color set to be streamed live online

World of Color, the all new show at Disney’s California Adventure, will see it’s premiere screened live online.

photo from Michael Huey

The all new show which features huge projects on water walls, lights and other special effects will see it’s official premiere take place tomorrow and Disney is streaming all the action live online.

Whilst the premiere of the 20-minute show isn’t open to the public the stream will provide a chance for fans to catch the show before it opens to all audiences on Friday.

If you want tips on getting a good spot to see World of Color check out our last blog post containing information provided by The Disney Parks Blog.

All the action from the premiere will be stream live on the World of Color UStream channel.

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Disney release World of Color viewing tips

With the debut of World of Color at Disney’s California Adventure just around the corner the Disney Parks Blog has released some viewing tips for the all new nighttime spectacular.

According to the blog the best way to secure a good viewing spot for the show is to either grab a Fastpass for a reserved viewing area, order a special picnic basket or book a special dinner which affords great views of the all-new show.

Photo from Loren Javier

  • “World of Color” Disney’s FASTPASS Ticket – FASTPASS tickets for “World of Color” will be available each morning at the Grizzly River Run FASTPASS terminals. Guests can insert their park tickets into the terminal to obtain a FASTPASS ticket to see “World of Color” from the reserved viewing area in Paradise Park. As with other FASTPASS attractions, there will be a limited number of FASTPASS tickets available for the show. Note: guests will not be able to pick a specific show time. FASTPASS tickets will first be distributed for the earlier show, and after those have been distributed, FASTPASS tickets will then be distributed for the later show. When all of the day’s “World of Color” FASTPASS tickets have been distributed, Grizzly River Run terminals will convert back to distributing Grizzly River Run FASTPASS tickets.
    • Tip: If you would like to see the show on the day of its premiere, June 11, here are a few things you should know about getting a “World of Color” FASTPASS ticket. If you arrive before park opening, you may park in the Pumbaa parking lot on Disney Way and, beginning at 7 a.m., gather at the Main Entrance to Disney California Adventure park. When Disney California Adventure park opens to the public, guests lined up for FASTPASS will be walked into the park and over to the FASTPASS terminals. As always, theme park admission will be required to enter the park to obtain a FASTPASS ticket and to view the show.
  • “World of Color” Picnic Meals – You can also secure reserved viewing by ordering a special boxed picnic meal. Beginning June 11 (date subject to change), Picnic meals may be ordered online –www.disneyland.com – or by walk-up purchase, subject to availability, at the Sonoma Terrace, Golden Vine Winery. Picnic meals purchased online will include reserved viewing for the first show and walk up picnics will include reserved viewing for the second show. They are not available for order via the (714) 781-DINE line.
    • Picnic meals be picked up at the Sonoma Terrace from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Picnic meal options include four selections for adults: “The All American” (cold honey-stung fried chicken), “The Taste of Asia” (chilled miso-glazed salmon), “The European Antipasto” (cured meats, regional cheeses, artichoke heart, sun-dried tomato) and “The Mediterranean Vegetarian” (marinated grilled vegetables in a whole wheat wrap with roasted garlic hummus). Kids’ options for children ages 3-9 include “The Junior All American” (chicken), “The Lunchbox Classic” (peanut butter and jelly) and “The Little Squirt’s Box” (apple wedges, string cheese).
    • All online picnic meals with “World of Color” Reserved Viewing are priced at $14.99 and must be redeemed for the designated reserved show date and time. No refunds, exchanges or other discounts.
    • Each guest entering Paradise Park must present reserved viewing area admission. Guests may only enter the viewing area during designated times, which is specified on their ticket. Separate theme park admission is required.
  • Prix Fixe “World of Color” Dinners – Prix fixe meals with “World of Color” Preferred Viewing are available at both the newly redesigned Wine Country Trattoria and Ariel’s Grotto restaurants. Guests may order from a selection of Italian cuisine at Wine Country Trattoria (current prices are $39.99 for adults and $18.99 for children ages 3-9), or a varied menu of seafood, meat and vegetarian options at Ariel’s Grotto (current prices for inside seating are $36.99 for adults and $20.99 for children ages 3-9). Both restaurants offer Preferred Viewing for “World of Color.” Reservations: (714) 781-DINE. Seatings are at specified times and space is limited. No refunds, exchanges or other discounts. Separate theme park admission is required.

You can also see the show without a reserved spot. There is ample space all around the perimeter of Paradise Bay that provides great views of the show. The views from these locations are certainly different, but the choreography of the fountains, bright bursts of color and music can be enjoyed from all around Paradise Bay.


Filed under Disney's California Adventure