Disney California Adventure: Creating the Magic – Part 2

/Disney California Adventure: Creating the Magic – Part 2

Disney California Adventure: Creating the Magic – Part 2

Picking up where we left off on the last post, let’s continue to make our way around the park.

 Paradise Pier:

6/2008: The now extinct Sun Wheel, Maliboomer and Orange Stinger attractions.


10/2005: The Mickey head on California Screamin’, prompting many to refer to it as “The Mickey Coaster”. This was taken during the first Mickey’s Halloween Treat party at DCA, which is now held at Disneyland. If you look closely, you can also see the old Paradise Pier sign under the coaster where Toy Story Midway Mania now resides.

12/2007: Toy Story Midway Mania prepares for its June 2008 opening 
4/2008: The sign is up, and by the descriptions of the ride, no one is quite sure what to make of it just yet.   We know it will be interactive like Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters over at Disneyland; however, WDI proclaims that this will take the idea behind Buzz to a whole new level. Hmmm…

6/2008: Toy Story Midway Mania opens up to rave reviews, and long lines.  Everything that WDI was trying to explain finally made perfect sense.  Even now, four years later, the line still averages at 40 minutes.

11/2008: Scaffolding appears around the Sun Wheel and the gondolas are noticeably absent.
11/2008: The water from Paradise Bay is being drained to begin World of Color construction
11/2008: This was taken a couple of weeks after the previous photo and the water is now completely drained.


11/2008: Another look at the water being drained.  This also gives another angle of the old Paradise Park and the non-sensical rotunda.
5/2009: Mickey’s Fun Wheel officially opens and lights up beautifully at night. Once World of Color opens, the lighting effects of the attraction help to enhance the show experience.
11/2009: One year after construction began, the new Paradise Park is well on its way. Some water has been filled into the Bay to begin testing the pumps and hoses for World of Color. In the background, the flat platform is where the Orange Stinger used to be and construction has begun on the Silly Symphony Swings in its place. Just behind that, you can see a glimpse at the soon to be gutted Pizza-Oom-Mow-Mow.
11/2009: A better look at the show platform.
11/2009: A closer look at the flattened swings and Pizza Oom-Mow-Mow.
3/2010: It’s a treat for park goers to catch glimpses of fountain testing while visiting the park.  You could literally hear the crowd gasp whenever they would start-up.  Anyone in the area would stop to watch.
3/2010: As Spring approaches, the construction walls around Paradise Park and are surrounded in brightly colored flowers. Just 3 months until World of Color’s big debut!
4/2010: Paradise Park opens, letting guests get up close to the Bay. The park is full of benches and lovely music set to the 1920’s atmosphere. It’s a wonderful place to take a break during a busy park day, even today.  The construction you see in the background is for the Little Mermaid attraction.
4/2010: The newly opened park offers a better vantage point of the show platform. You can also see the new sun and Paradise Pier sign on California Screamin’
5/2010: Silly Symphony Swings looks great lit up at night! This was taken one month before it officially opened.
6/2010: World of Color debuts to a packed house on June 11th. Leading up to this night, many were worried about the logistics and how they would handle the crowds. Disney opted to offer Fastpasses for the show from the Grizzly River Run FP machines, something that ended up working so well they still do this 2 years later. During the first few months, World of Color was shown twice nightly. The first performance offered a musical pre-show with two hosts and larger than life light-up puppets of several Disney characters.
6/2010: The show was an immediate hit, and finally gave visitors a reason to visit the park at night.
6/2010: The show offers impressive panoramic scenes along the vast water screens.
4/2011: Construction is underway on the conversion of Mulholland Madness to Goofy’s Sky School, based on the Disney short “Goofy’s Glider”. You can also see Maestro Mickey atop the Silly Symphony Swings.


4/2011: The old Pizza-Oom-Mow-Mow and Burger Invasion buildings are busily transformed into Paradise Garden, featuring Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta and Garden Grill. The area was originally very kid-oriented with a water play area and a basketball toss, while the new area promised to offer a more intimate and charming garden dining experience, fitting to the 1920’s theme.
6/2011: Just two months later and the area is almost ready to greet guests.
7/2011: Goofy’s Sky School opens. Guests are still underwhelmed by the attraction, but do seem happy with the re-theme.
7/2011: Also opened in July were the new restaurants Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta and Garden Grill. Both are counter service options and share a lovely outdoor seating area.
7/2011: Several of the different coverings for the seating in the Paradise Garden area were re-purposed from other parts of the park. Be sure to make note of this gazebo when I post the photos from Cars Land. 😉
1/2012: The Paradise Garden Bandstand features live musical entertainment daily. Featured here are the Ellis Island Boys Band that play wonderful tunes from the 20′s & 30′s.

4/2009: Games of the Boardwalk opens, bringing more Disney themed traditional carnival games to the area. Some of the offerings are Dumbo’s Bucket Brigade and Goofy About Fishin’.
6/2012: Paradise Pier as it looks today is truly magnificent. It’s remarkable to think how many projects have been completed over the last 5 years in just this area alone. Some additional projects I didn’t mention were the removal of the kitschy Dinosaur Jack’s Sunglass Shack in 5/2009 and the Maliboomer in 9/2010. Both were great decisions by WDI, if you ask me.

Bountiful Valley Farm/Cars Land:

10/2007: The Bountiful Valley Farm area of California Adventure is a sleepy corner of the park with not much to offer. The area pays homage to farming in California, but its nothing compared to Epcot’s Living with the Land. There is a counter service restaurant with “fresh” options and a milkshake stand. Beyond that, the most exciting part of the area is the pin shop, P.T. Fleas. Once A Bug’s Land was added to the park, they incorporated characters from the film into these farming displays. These old planters are the new home of Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree.


10/2007: P.T. Fleas is the park’s central pin shop. Does the gazebo structure look familiar? They gutted it and moved it over to Paradise Garden as a seating area!
9/2009: At the first D23 Expo in 2009, Cars Land is the centerpiece of the parks & resorts pavilion. This was one of the models on display, giving guests the first tangible look at what was being planned for the area.
9/2009: Another much larger model was also on display at the 2009 D23 Expo.
9/2010: In the fall of 2010, the Bountiful Valley Farm area of the park was closed for good and construction walls were quickly propped up promoting Cars Land.
9/2010: As soon as the walls went up, the construction crew went to work.
9/2010: The construction crew isn’t wasting any time here!
4/2011: Mickey’s Fun Wheel offers a great birdseye view into Cars Land. It’s hard to believe most of that was a parking lot just a few short months before this photo was taken.
4/2011: Another look at the rock work being crafted.
4/2011: To the left, you can see the Cozy Cone structures taking shape, as well as Flo’s V8 Cafe (sorry for the grates in the shot).
8/2011: At the 2nd D23 Expo in 2011, Imagineers share more details about Cars Land. They even brought along some the ride vehicle prototypes, like the one seen here for Radiator Springs Racers.
1/2012: Thirteen months after construction began and many of the structures look like they’re almost ready. The Cozy Cones are getting painted, Luigi’s Leaning Tower of Tires looks ready, Flo’s sign is up. You can also see Radiator Springs Curios and Ramone’s look like they’re just about ready, too.
1/2012: Another peek at the town area of the Land.
1/2012: The rock work is really stunning.
1/2012: The “RS” is already in place!
4/2012: The Blue Sky Cellar opened in 10/2008 and showcased many of the projects going on around the park throughout the last few years. In April, the focus was shifted to “The Road to Cars Land”. Their building boasts an outdoor patio that sits directly across from the main roadway of Cars Land, giving guests a perch for peeking in on the construction.
4/2012: Inside the Blue Sky Cellar there is a new detailed model of Cars Land on display.
4/2012: WDI shares neon concept design.
4/2012: Also on display are early layout renderings for the land.
4/2012: A concept model of the jukebox is on display for Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree. Since music is the basis of the ride, this jukebox promises to be a huge part of the scenery.
4/2012: The Imagineers created a more detailed history for Flo and her cafe, including a former female singing group known as the Motorama Girls.
4/2012: Back out on the patio, seeing the guest response to the location, WDI provided a map for the looky-loos.
4/2012: Our first real look into Cars Land. Before this, the view had always been obstructed.
4/2012: Construction workers and Imagineers hard at work.
4/2012: Our first look at it lit up at night. That neon sure is pretty!
4/2012: That mountain range is breathtaking, day or night.
5/2012: The Cars Land sign is up at the main entrance, though covered up, it’s still exciting to see!
5/2012: It’s almost unreal to think that we’re at the end of it all. It’s been such a long journey for everyone involved, even the guests.
Thank you for following along, I hope to see you around the parks!

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  1. Kristi Beauvais (@fayehb1108) June 13, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    What a wonderful walk through DCA!! Like your Mama said… that must have been a lot of work! Thanks for sharing!

    • Chrysty Summers June 14, 2012 at 7:22 pm

      Thank you “walking” through it with me! 🙂

  2. Kelley Opperud June 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Chrysty! That was just awesome – I just went on that journey with you- thank you so much for what must have been a LOT of hard work!

    • Chrysty Summers June 14, 2012 at 7:21 pm

      Thank you!! I’m so glad that you enjoyed it. A lot of work, yes, but a lot of fun too! 🙂

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