DCA History Tour – Golden Dreams

It is part three of my DCA History Lesson! Every week I will be bringing you a look back at something from DCA’s past, leading up to the June 15th grand re-opening of the park. So come along as we take a stroll through the past and remembering how great it was!
Today, we are heading over to the “San Francisco” area of the park (if you could call that an area) and reliving “Golden Dreams.” The exterior of the theater was a replica of Bernard Maybeck’s Palace of Fine Arts located in the real San Francisco. This 25 minute film took you through the history of California and the dreams the land created. Led by Califia, the Queen of California, played by Unofficial DCA Mascot Whoopi Goldberg, we traveled through the years and realized all the dreams that could stem from one state.

This opening day attraction was highly regarded…for what it was, a movie. It never got Soarin’ style ratings, but it was still very good. Disney tried to add their trademark emotion into the film, which they did with great success. Whoopi playing Califia was a great choice as a narrator and shed some nice humor into the film. Favorite line? When the MGM namesake is looking at ‘The Wizard of Oz” costume designers choice of silver slippers, Califia walks quickly behind Mr.MGM and says “Silver is nice, Ruby is better.” While it showed a huge span of time, it never came off as dull history lesson. They brought life into a film that had the chance to be extremely bland.

Many rumors stated that the original production would have been a more elaborate version, more along the lines of “The American Adventure” at Epcot. Sadly, those things called budgets come along and ruin all the fun. There was a miniscule piece of controversy about the ride at the beginning. Some thought the choice to make the two Chinese railroad workers “explode” was a little too intense for a theme park attraction. Measures were taken and the movie returned after a brief refurb with a less intense sequence, but implying the same outcome. Other than that, the movie was fine and dandy. It ran for 8 years, finally closing in March of 2009. In 2011, “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure” took its place, with the rotunda still remaining, just with a new paint job. Personally, I loved the movie and I would have loved to have seen it remain, but I understand why it was removed.

Was this your favorite movie? Do you want Whoopi back in the parks? Do you get the Apple pun? Let me know in the comments below! I leave you with a video of the final showing of Golden Dreams…EVER! (I made that more intense than it needed to be…)

Next week, we cover the multitude of restaurants that have gone the way of the Dodo bird. Until next week… “You keep those dreams alive.” Have a Magical Day.

P.S. Ma’am, you forgot your bag

(Photos courtesy of the wonderful Laughingplace.com)

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About Marshal Knight

Marshal Knight is a Disney lover, entertainment junkie, (impromptu) Country music singer and Root Beer connoisseur who really misses "Bunheads". He is very active on multiple social media sites, including twitter as @Marshal_Knight (twitter.com/Marshal_Knight) and Instagram as @MarshalKnight (instagram.com/MarshalKnight)
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3 Responses to DCA History Tour – Golden Dreams

  1. ryan says:

    I couldn’t disagree more. The choice of Whoppie Goldberg was a poor one–the show ended up being by her and, distractingly, about her various cameos. Contrast that with Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln (current version, and pre-haircut-version)–in both instances, you have an unidentifed, namelss, but powerful narrator present a show actually about Lincoln. In Golden Dreams you have a largely over-the-hill actress who made some sort of appearance in scene after scene after scene.

    And, attendance was never strong for the show, and it was never beloved by the rank and file DCA guests.

    • Marshal Knight says:

      The people that I have spoken to have seemed to enjoy it, though they wouldn’t wait in a line for it. I have also heard that many people enjoyed the Whoopi presence.

  2. Mark says:

    I saw it twice over the years. The first was back in 2001, and I remember not being that impressed by it. When I insisted we see it several years later, it was bad. I think we were the only people in the audience (granted, it was near the end of the day). We just weren’t impressed at all. I was glad to hear it was going.

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