|April 27, 2010
Walt Disney's dream for Disneyland was that it would never stop changing – and that dream is very much alive. Big things are afoot at Disney's California Adventure. New attractions, new shows, a new entrance, and even a whole new land! It's a dramatic take that means Guests will find more to explore, with the first new elements debuting this spring!
Lisa Girolami, Senior Show Producer, Walt Disney Imagineering, gave us an inside look at all the changes at the Park.
Can you give us an overview of the planned changes at DCA?
The expansion of Disney's California Adventure was designed as a series of projects opening over a five-year period from when it was first announced in fall 2007. In summer 2008 we opened Toy Story Mania!, a 4D interactive attraction in the Paradise Pier area of the Park. In 2009, we opened the newly themed Games of the Boardwalk and Mickey's Fun Wheel, also in the Paradise Pier area.
This summer we are opening a new nighttime spectacular called World of Color and the Silly Symphony Swings, a brand-new Disney take on the classic swings attraction, which is now going to be themed to the Mickey Mouse cartoon "The Band Concert" (1935).
In 2011, we will open The Little Mermaid – Ariel's Undersea Adventure and Goofy's Sky School.
In 2012, the expansion will culminate with two projects – a new main entranceway and front area called Buena Vista Street, designed to resemble Los Angeles as Walt Disney would have experienced it in the 1920s and 1930s. We're bringing back the Red Car Trolleys and a replica of the historic Carthay Circle Theater.
We are also creating a 12-acre expansion of the Park called Cars Land. There we will bring the town of Radiator Springs from the popular Disney·Pixar film "Cars" to life for the first time in a theme park experience. We will have three exciting new attractions, plus new dining and merchandise locations as well.
World of Color is about to open – is there a lot of excitement around that at the Park?
We are so excited about the opening of World of Color this June! Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment has been working on building the infrastructure for many months and now testing this amazing show nearly every night. It's going to bring Disney and Pixar storytelling to life in an amazing new way using water, music, animation, color, and lights. It's truly going to be spectacular.
What's your favorite thing about World of Color?
My favorite thing about World of Color, having personally worked on the Paradise Pier area, is that the show will bring a lot of exciting energy and dynamics to the Park each night after the sun sets. Guests will be so excited to stay in the Park well into the evening to experience this incredible production. World of Color is something that the entire family will be able to enjoy together. It is truly an awe-inspiring musical extravaganza that you have to see, hear, and feel to believe.
Can you tell us a little about the Silly Symphony Swings?
Silly Symphony Swings was conceived to celebrate the timeless swing rides from the turn of the century. The attraction allows Guests to swing along with their favorite Characters from "The Band Concert" as a tornado whirls everyone about in a blustery adventure. And what better way to do that than to have Mickey conducting the entire experience?
With so many major projects at once, how does everything get done?
Fortunately, we have a truly talented team that works together on the expansion as a whole as well as dividing up specific areas of the Park into specific teams. At Walt Disney Imagineering, we have over 140 different disciplines of people all under the same organization, and we work together on everything from concept designs, to architecture, planning, project management, just about everything. Each of the teams have years of Disney Theme Park design experience, so it all comes together nicely.
Are there any thematic connections between the new attractions and each other, or the other attractions at the Park?
We've really listened to Guest feedback and are providing our Guests with more of what they'd like to experience in a Disney Park – place making that puts them in another place and time as only Disney can do, providing a wider range of experiences for the whole family to enjoy, and adding rich and immersive new ways to tell stories. These are hallmarks of Disney Parks all around the world, and we're excited to bring more of that to the Disney's California Adventure experience.
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