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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Disneyland: One Man's Dream- Designing a California Adventure

On July 17, 1998, it was publically announced there would be a second theme park added to Disneyland as part of a multi-billion dolar expansion from Disneyland to the Disneyland Resort. But the park was not WestCOT, or Port Disney. It was something new.

Let's flashback to a retreat Michael Eisner planned. The goal: to come up with a new theme park concept to add to Disneyland to make it a resort. What eventually emerged was a theme park based around California and celebrating it's history and achievements. Let's face it: California is a dynamic state. It's full of vinyards, orange groves, deserts, mountains, forests, and piers. Not to mention Hollywood, Los Angeles, and various other famous cities.

The following pamphlet was released, outlining the new Disneyland Resort. I'll let the pamphlet speak for itself:

This was the initial design for DCA and the soon-to-be Disneyland Resort. But before we jump into DCA, let's look at the resort as a whole.

Construction began in 1998 and most of the resort was a construction site until 2001 when DCA would open. Temporary parking lots were set up across the streets with shutlle service to Disneyland while the parking lot was being turned into a theme park.

The famous Disneyland marquee was sold to John Stamos at an auction. In agreement with the city of Anahiem, nothing could have a huge sign anymore- not restaurants, hotels, and now, Disneyland. In it's place a smaller sign was made, this time saying "The Disneyland Resort".

Also demolished were almost all of the Disneyland Hotel facilities, including all the buildings that were constructed since the hotel's opening. The Towers were extensively remodeled and refurbished.

In between Disneyland, the construction site for DCA, and the Disneyland Hotel, construction for Dowtown Disney and Disney'a Grand Calfiornian Hotel were under construction. Those will get their own post in a few days. There was also a huge parking structure that was being built for guests to use when visiting the resort, entitled "Micke and Friends Parking Structure".

Disney was also able to aquire the Pan-Pacific Hotel, which they were redoing to match a new land in DCA- Paradise Pier. It would be called the Paradise Pier Hotel, and also go under extensive remodeling and retheming.

Anahiem also did things around this time. Many streets were rerouted and redone to accomadiate the resort. They also beautified the city, adding lush landscapping and more. Slowly, area was becoming something Walt always wanted. A non-tacky resort area people would love.

For the next several days, we'll explore the construction of DCA, Downtown Disney, and the hotels. That'll take us to DCA's opening day.

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