Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Exclusive! Crowley on California Adventure redo: "Too soon!" "Too 'off-the-shelf'!" "Half-baked!" "Pap!" "Drivel!" "Boring!" "Where's Lasseter??!!"

Disney announced plans today to try and make lemonade out of the lemon that's called the California Adventure theme park in the greatly-missed old parking lot of Disneyland. But the news is not sparking celebrations and maypole dances in Mouseland.

Foresmost Disneyland expert (and Disney shareholder) Jon Crowley, aka LA Dodger Jon of the Disneyana source site Hollywood Thoughts, comes out roaring so ferociously that he skipped posting and sent it straight to us!:



Anyone really spend some time reading the Disney press release?

To my way of thinking, they've made the announcement too soon-- there's an awful lot of half-baked ideas in that official statement.

Put another way, if this is the best they've got (with the exception of the mentioned "Cars Land"), we're all in store for Dismal California Adventure, version 2.

A "Unique Nighttime Spectacular" water show featuring colorful lighting?!? You've GOT to be kidding me. How very... um... 1973.

The tortilla-and-bread-making plant remains??? REALLY? The one part of the park you could roll-a-grenade-through-and-not-hit-a-soul (kids, don't try this at home), remains largely intact?!? Who the heck is doing their research?? Who in their right mind spends 66 bucks to watch a machine flatten corn meal?!? Am I alone here? I'm thinking 'where's my mine train ride through the grizzly mountain?' and Iger is giving me maize.

HOLLYWOOD PICTURES BACKLOT: They wanna hold workshops with writers and directors. Wow. Plastic folding chairs in an overheated conference room and a tacky dais of your favorite (but never heard of them before) Desperate Housewife staff scribes. So now DCA is the biggest, most fun version of The Learning Tree. Is this release for real? Did Iger read this pap before it was released? It sounds like a mid-level publicist wrote this drivel before it had the chance of being reviewed by Weis, Lasseter OR Iger. This whole document comes across like a boring travel pamphlet published by a podunk chamber of commerce.

I wince when Iger invokes Walt's name-- I don't believe their intent is true. In fact, I think it is an indicator that WDI is still grasping for TRUE solutions to an underwhelmed public response to DCA.

The bottom line is that DCA is too "off the shelf"-- not enough unique "DISNEY" ideas to ride approaches. What I'm seeing in this release is the mention of a lot of shops and restaurants, and not enough (except as stated above, regarding CARSLAND) fun and innovative attractions.

GOLDEN STATE: Sounds unchanged. Read the release, you'll agree with me.

PREVIEW CENTER: As a kid I LOVED seeing models of "Discoveryland" and other proposed projects from WDI. That said, I fail to see how a small storefront crammed with posterboard models will drive ticket sales to 15 million. Hey, I kid... but is the best idea they have to forward to the public today?

Lastly, where was any mention of John Lasseter? Neither the LA Times, the Disney release or the WSJ mentioned him.

Iger is known throughout the town for being an affable -- yet uncreative -- guy. Without Lasseter -- a true storyteller & creative guy in the Walt mold -- the project is up a creek.

I get the impression that the creative teams have a LONG WAY to go before they plunge the first shovel into the soil. If they move too quickly, today's press release indicates that Disney is about to make another big blunder in the old parking lot.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


(A "Unique Nighttime Spectacular" water show featuring colorful lighting?!? You've GOT to be kidding me. How very... um... 1973.)

WOW... it really CAN get worse. Who knew?