In 2007, Disney California Adventure announced a five-year, one-billion dollar park renovation and expansion that would turn the under performing park into an area more reminiscent of 1920’s Los Angeles – the Los Angeles Walt Disney saw when he first came to California to fulfill his dreams.
The renovations began with the removal of the iconic letters that previously spelled out “California,” which visitors saw as they entered the park’s main gate. In fact, the entire park entrance is being redesigned to reflect the new look and feel of the theme park. The entrance itself will be renamed “Buena Vista Street,” and will opened August 29, 2011.
As part of the entrance renovation, Carthay Circle Theatre, a replica of the L.A. landmark, will incorporate both a restaurant and a lounge and will serve as a hub in the park’s new gateway.
In addition to the refurbished entrance, the theme park will also debut several new attractions, including The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. The ride, which takes guests through an immersive experience combining music, animatronics, and amazing special affects to convince guests they are actually part of Ariel’s world, is scheduled to debut June 3, 2011.
Additional attractions will include Cars Land, a brand new area which will be themed around the popular Disney Pixar Cars film franchise. Cars Land will incorporate the Radiator Springs Racers Ride, a 5 1/2-minute adventure that will take guests through several scenes from the film, before culminating in an exciting side-by-side race. A gift shop, reminiscent of a Route 66 road trip, will also be part of Cars Land.
Goofy’s Sky School is also currently under construction, and will be replacing the former Mulholland Madness attraction. This ride, which was originally scheduled to debut June 3, will now open July 1, 2011, instead. Goofy’s Sky School is based on the 1940’s cartoon Goofy’s Glider, and will take guests through a fun roller coaster ride. Guests will experience hilarious thrills as Goofy attempts to teach novice pilots how to fly.
Both Goofy’s Sky School and The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure will be a part of Disney California Adventure’s Paradise Pier renovation. The renovations, scheduled to be completed July 1, 2011, are designed to reflect a 1920’s beach paradise. The inclusion of two new restaurants – Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta and Paradise Garden Grill – aim to appeal to guests with diverse menus and healthier options. The fan favorite Corn Dog Castle will also be returning to Paradise Pier.
Disney California Adventure just celebrated its tenth birthday, and the extensive renovation plans are designed to attract the crowds the theme park had hoped would come when the park first opened. With several new attractions, restaurants, gift shops, and more, many hope that Disney California Adventure will finally have the Disney magic that it was missing before.