Saturday, August 2, 2014

#Disneyland60.....Today In Disneyland History......August 2, 1995

Disney Executives Meet To Discuss New Anaheim Based Park

August 2, 1995

On August 2, 1995, in Aspen, Colorado, 36 Disney executives gathered together for the first of 3 days to brainstorm ideas for a second Anaheim-based theme park to be built next to Disneyland. The concept of a theme park dedicated to California, then called California Adventure, arose from this meeting, following the cancellation of the WestCOT project, a west coast version of what was then known as EPCOT Center, Construction of the park began in 1998, and was completed by early 2001. Originally the concept behind the 72-acre park was to make California into a theme park, hoping to create "precise reproductions of California landmarks, charming streets and gorgeous landscaping that stimulates the state's forests and farmlands" and celebrate the California dream. It was intended to appeal to adults while Disneyland was intended to appeal to children.  Sadly the initial concept garnered less than stellar reviews, with ironically, one of the major criticisms from guests in its first year were the lack of attractions appealing to children and the lack of a nighttime show or parade to keep visitors from leaving at nightfall. Within the first year of operation, Disney's Electrical Parade and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire – Play It!  were brought to the park, and several of its original rides and attractions were closed.  In October 2002 the Flik's Fun Fair area opened, which added attractions for children.May 2004  brought the newest E –Ticket Ride Twilight Zone Tower of Terror  where guests were to drop in.  

By 2007, Disney realized that the park was still not working and that something major needed to be done. Bob Iger said "Any time you do something mediocre with your brand, that's a withdrawal. California Adventure was a brand withdrawal." Iger briefly considered combining California Adventure and Disneyland Park into one large park, but the price would have cost as much as completely remodeling California Adventure. On October 17, 2007, The Walt Disney Company announced a multi-year, $1.1 billion redesign and expansion plan for Disney's California Adventure Park (against its initial $600 million price to build). Each district was reimagined to transform the park to an idealized version of the state, exploring specific time periods and historic settings. The project began in December 2007 and was completed in stages. Toy Story Midway Mania! opened on Paradise Pier in June 2008, in space formerly occupied by a store and restaurants. 

World of Color, a nighttime water and lights show on Paradise Bay, opened in June 2010. The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure  opened on the site formerly occupied by the Golden Dreams Theater in June 2011.  The most drastic changes to the park included a complete overhaul of the main entrance, Sunshine Plaza, and Paradise Pier, as well as an expansion into the last of the parking area originally designated as future growth space. The main entrance and Sunshine Plaza were turned from a "giant postcard" spoof of California into Buena Vista Street. A representation of Los Angeles as it appeared when Walt Disney moved there in the 1920s.  Paradise Pier was turned from the boardwalks of California into a Victorian seaside amusement park of the 1920s, and some of the areas rides now focusing Disney characters. 

The final transformation came with the addition of Cars Land, an area that simulates Radiator Springs from Disney· Pixar's Cars film franchise, was added to the southeast portion of the park, and includes three new rides including the wildly popular Radiator Springs Racers.  Construction was completed in 2012 and the park was "re-dedicated" on June 14, 2012.The Park received a modified name, Disney California Adventure.  Today Disney California Adventure Park has 8 exciting lands to explore bringing the magic of Disney and Pixar stories and characters to life through amazing attractions, entertainment and dining. It truly has something for every member of your family. And that’s what happened today in Disneyland’s history. 


  1. Reading this brought back so many wonderful memories of excitement and anticipation for each of the expansions & transformations. It's amazing how much better it gets with every expansion.

  2. Edna-were you lucky enough to go during Opening Weekend or during those early weeks? I have to admit I was skeptical when they said they were going to remove my beloved Golden Gate Bridge and truth be told, I still miss the California letters out front but with the additions of Buena Vista Street and Cars Land-WOW!

    1. No I didn't go during opening week, but I did go 3 weeks later.

  3. Replies
    1. I am having so much fun going back and time and researching and learning each day. Even though I lived it, there is so many fascinating things that I am learning! It's the magic of Disney