Sunday, June 17, 2012
With some reporters describing it as a Disney “do-over” thousands of people lined up Thursday night to be among the first to get into the Walt Disney Company’s unveiling of improvements at its Disneyland California Adventure Park.
Previously described by Disney’s chief executive, Robert A. Iger, as a “brand eyesore” the entertainment company has invested more than a billion dollars, along with its energy, time, and talent into revamping its formerly lackluster California Adventure Park. The revisions include a 12-acre expansion dedicated to Pixar’s “Cars” movies; a total revamp of the park’s entrance; Buena Vista Street, home to the Carthay Circle Theatre; and a heavy infusion of what the company calls, “Disney DNA”, meaning you now see a lot more of the Disney characters and signature brand touches that were previously missing from the park.
New rides now feature “Toy Story” and “The Little Mermaid,” and an $80 million fountain show created to bring Disney characters to life, combines music, lighting, and 1,200 programmable jets of water. Thomas O. Staggs, chairman of Disney’s parks division, explains, “People are still spending on vacations, but they are concerned about value, and they are getting that and more with our new product.”
Disney Vacation Club, Disney Timeshare Part of the Plan for Growth at Disneyland
Carrying forward on an objective started by former Disney CEO, Michael D. Eisner, the company hopes that the park’s revisions will cause Disneyland guests to add an extra day to their Disneyland vacation, and to be more likely to stay on property at a Disney hotel or Disney timeshare, and eat more meals at Disneyland restaurants. The transformations at the Disneyland Park have included the addition of Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which along with 948 guest rooms, includes 50 two-bedroom Disney Vacation Club ( Disney timeshare ) units.
An additional benefit of park guests splitting their time between Disneyland and The California Adventure is that it could relieve some of the overcrowding problems Disney struggles with in its Disneyland Park. Where Disney’s signature park at Disneyland attracted 16.1 million visitors last year, California Adventure lagged behind, attracting only about 6.3 million.