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Will Cars Land Elevate DCA Enough

The LA Times wonders if the changes to the entrance to the park and the addition of Cars Land to Disney California Adventure will be enough to elevate the park to a full day experience. There’s a lot of room for improvement:

In 2010, California Adventure drew slightly more than 6 million visitors, while Disneyland welcomed about 17 million, according to estimates issued by the Themed Entertainment Assn. and the AECOM engineering and consulting firm. Disney does not release attendance figures.

To make matters worse, analysts said, many of those who visited California Adventure probably owned annual passes that gave them access to both parks. Disney had hoped visitors would spend a full day in each park and stay at a Disney hotel overnight.

Disneyland recently hiked annual pass prices by as much as 30% to try and cut down on the number of locals using DCA and Disneyland as their private playground. The move is a bit controversial, but really one of the few avenues Disney had to address the problem without major capital expenditure (which, after all, is what they’ve just completed at DCA).

As in Orlando, there is increased competition from Universal Studios and even Knott’s Berry Farm and Magic Mountain. The Disneyland resort as a whole has capacity problems. Many days more guests flood the park than they number of rides and shows can truly accommodate. The addition of the rides at Cars Land will help this. Guest satisfaction is the number one indicator of generating return business and rides per capita is one of the leading indicators of strong guest satisfaction. We’ll wait and see what the spreadsheets stay as Disney continues to work the formula for guest satisfaction in Anaheim. Maybe more attractions are still needed or maybe even that third gate we’ve been promised.

After Cars Land opens, what do you think is the next logical step for Disneyland?

6 thoughts on “Will Cars Land Elevate DCA Enough”

  1. 1) Cars Land and the new entrance “look” amazing but they are “style over substance”. Initially they will draw a lot of attention but over time they really offer nothing but aesthetics. Nothing with the new entrance will be “new” or enticing for revisits.mAnd Cars Land may look amazing but in the end it’s only one E-Ticket ride buried within a huge Arizona facade that makes no sense in “California” adventure.

    2) If not a more exciting Pixar franchise, why not Star Wars or Marvel? That’s also my beef with Avatarland. They need to cash in on their richer and more diverse franchises/partnerships because after year 5 then it will get prett stale and you can’t change it.

    3) Why did Disney push annual passes so hard if they were being overwhelmed. For a decade it was a little secret for the ultimate Disney fans, but then they told everyone and introduced a $15/mo tag line that almost forced people into buying one. This is a problem that could’ve been avoided and now we all have to suffer.

  2. I think that Cars Land will help out quite a bit, but, in my opinion, the park still needs a few more rides/shows to require a whole day visit. Of course, two of the parks in WDW are still half day visits and they seem to do okay, so who knows? Guess we’ll find out soon enough!

  3. Personally, I can spend a day in CA Adventure, but I like to hit some of the lesser attractions like Monsters Inc. and The Little Mermaid.

    But they just upped the premium annual passport by $650 and their other ticket prices. I’m wondering how long it will be before they price themselves out of the business.

  4. OMG No another FAIL for disney. I was so happy when I heard they were expanding the park. Even more so when I heard they were going to bring back the flying saucers from tomorrowland but with a new twist. and even more when I heard about a kind of test track ride. But and its a BIG BUT when they opened the new fountain and another! restaurant I started to lose hope for this park once again. And then when Ellen sent two little Brits into the park to test it out I lost even more hope. The only thing that might be good about this park upgrade is that maybe midway mania’s que will drop below 20 min wait.

  5. This is an excellent question. I’m not sure if this will be enough to make DCA an all day park, yet. But, I do think it’s a HUGE step in the right direction. There’s a breezy, “Old California” kind of feel in the park…with enough classic Disney surrounding you that you’re still aware you’re at “Disneyland”. That said, I could spend the the whole day on “Soarin'” and be content! :) Look forward to the future improvements.

  6. My husband and I usually spend the whole day in DCA! We love it! (especially Soaring, Turtle Talk, Bug’s Life, Toy Story Mania, and World of Color!)

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