Word is making the Disney blog circuit that the Walt Disney Company board of directors have chosen which vision to follow when it comes to fixing Disneyland’s second gate, California Adventure. Very few details have emerged, but the number I’m hearing tossed around is $1.1 Billion (give or take 10%). This is just for the park itself, a separate budget is included for hotels and vacation club expansion and for continual improvements over at the original theme park, Disneyland.
This is good news. $1 billion is about 30% more than was originally spent on the theme park in the first place. Which proves, if you’re going to do something, it makes more sense to do it with quality the first time around instead of trying to cut corners or short change your customers. There are a lot of challenges ahead for those looking to fix the flaws. Line of site issues, a general theme that does nothing to inspire, and a lack of a main street type area to name a few. Bob Weiss, an Imagineer who had a hand in the original concepts for Disney-MGM Studios and Disney’s America, has been brought back into the fold to oversee the relaunch project.
When it comes down to it, that’s what this is – a relaunch. It’s going to happen in phases, they can’t just shut the park down for a few years to redo everything, but it’s going to happen. At the end, perhaps at the 10 year anniversary, I’m hoping that in addition to a new jewel of a park, one that deserves to be across the square from Walt’s original crown jewel, there will be a new name, a new brand. One that deserves to have the Walt Disney name preceding of it.
For more exciting details, plus some information on Lucasfilm’s growing Disney partnership, visit Blue Sky Disney.