Archive for the ‘DCA’ Category


Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Today, the cast members working on the redesign of the entrance to DCA’s Hollywood Studios (formerly Disney/MGM’s Hollywood Studio Backlot) removed the two elephant statues that stood atop the land’s entrance pedestals. These elephants, inspired by the family-friendly classic movie Intolerance (catch the 3D director’s cut in theaters now) were deemed intolerable and tagged for elimination.

The Hollywood section of DCA has seen many changes over the years, from its origins as the home of Superstar Limo (“Almost half as good as that old mine-train ride at Knotts, but not quite” — Los Angeles Times), to its years as “home of an outdoor stage, an indoor stage, another indoor stage but with a movie screen, a closed attraction, a closed show, a closed restaurant, another closed restaurant, and a neat attraction with no visible external signage,” to its glorious current incarnation as a vibrant, expanded land with a neat night-time party venue, tracks for a miniature railroad (opening in June),  and only two large seldom-used buildings. We’re sure even more wonderful changes are in store!

As for the elephants, they are being sent across the plaza to Disneyland for a quick (and well needed) dip in the elephant bathing pool. After they have been given time to dry, they will be painted pink and shipped to Florida a decoration for the Magic Kingdom’s new “double Dumbo” attraction.

Little Mermaid (part 3)

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Finishing off our tour of DCA’s Little Mermaid attraction…

Kiss the girl

The “Kiss the Girl” scene is nicely done but very inappropriate. Major organizations (such as No Contact Before Marriage and the Defense Against Cooties Foundation) agree that explicit depictions of smooching may border on life scarring for children below voting age.

Creepy shadows

The actual kiss is depicted in silhouette form. A bit of trivia: this gigantic animated silhouette was cut from a single piece of black construction paper by the nice lady who makes silhouettes on Main Street.


In the back, there’s a little reference to Syndrome from The Incredibles. What’s up with that?

King Triton

Ariel’s dad, Neptune, is totally ripped. This kind of idealized body image is what gives feelings of inadequacy to so many adolescent mermen.

Married mermaid

The final wedding scene is cute, but the prince shows his lack of thespian experience by always looking right at the camera.

Mystery boxes

There’s a mysterious cabinet visible near the end of the attraction. If we are interpreting the markings correctly, this is a storage space for both the original manuscript of The Little Mermaid and Hans Christian Andersen’s head.

Mermaid treasure!

As you exit, notice the sea chest with the gigantic lock. It’s obviously full of treasure, but they don’t let guests have any. This is grossly unfair — teasing, really — and it left a bit of a sour taste in our mouth, which was unfortunate as the attraction had otherwise been so nice. (Also notice the attraction’s final hidden Mickey. Seriously — enough already!)

Little Mermaid (part 2)

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

Infinite seashells

The attraction has only fifteen vehicles, but they are made to look like many more through the clever use of mirrors.


The attraction is narrated by a creepy, beady-eyed musical bird for some reason. Nobody we interviewed for the compilation of facts within this expose was able to tell us why (largely because they were too busy looking at is as if we were insane).

Water entrance

The attraction vehicles turn around and slip below the waves, complements of a special effect that, while brilliantly executed, is crammed with far too many tiny little hidden Mickeys for our taste.

Mermaid with purse

As you descend into the sea, Arial can be seen overhead, accompanied by what appears to be a chambered nautilus and carrying a purse to help remind little princesses of their responsibility to accessorize.

Mermaid treasure house

Within Ariel’s undersea lair can be seen many of her treasures (forks, ruined books, jugs full of seawater), cleverly scavenged from among the many survivor-less shipwrecks that have drifted down to her domain.


In the “under the sea” room, Sebastian the crab faces a row of electric eels and, with his little baton, conducts electricity.

Psycho mermaid hair

In the grand showroom, Ariel sings, dances, and sports a hairdo modeled after the shell of the fly-specked cerith.

Kissing a swan

Why is this fish kissing the front half of an old, barnacle-covered swan statue? We don’t know.


Ursula, the villain in this little tableau, is introduced in a dark, spooky scene in which she is depicted as being larger than the water-covered video globe of the Earth. We don’t understand this either.

Tomorrow, the exciting climax to this thrilling adventure!

Little Mermaid (part 1)

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Now that the queue for the Little Mermaid attraction at DCA is finally averaging less than two hours, we thought it would be nice to make a little photo tour of the attraction for those of you who have neither been to the park recently nor seen any of the other photo tours, videos, or detailed reviews copiously available online and in travel guides, AAA publications, and Disney-fan magazines.

Little Mermaid entrance

The entrance to the attraction is very attractive, although here and there we could see a little room for additional quality control.

Mermaid tile

Within the entrance is a mosaic floor in which scenes from the film have been created entirely with natural sea-sourced materials, such as seaweed, shells, and bits of the Titanic.

Center of DCA

Here’s a little bit of trivia for you, this marker embedded in the ground at the attraction’s entrance marks the exact, precise, geographic center of Disney California Adventure.

Hidden Mickey

Within the show building, we immediately spotted this lamp, which serves as a hint of the one problem this attraction has — too darned many hidden Mickeys. Sure, we love hidden Mickeys as much as the next guy so long as the next guy isn’t Michael Eisner, but in this attraction they are just ubiquitous.

Weird shape

The level of detail in the queue is incredible, although we can’t quite understand why the rails are decorated with these little cacti.

Radioactive mermaid

As the vehicle boarding area approaches, there is a large mural decorated with this lovely painting of Arial, the Little Mermaid herself. As a subtle environmental message, the LM’s mermaid face glows gently, to help make riders aware of the problems caused by dumping radioactive materials into the planet’s oceans.

Coming tomorrow — the actual attraction!

Clear skies at DCA

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

Clear skies at DCA

Just wanted to share this incredible view from DCA. On our recent visit, the sky was so clear that for the first time ever we could actually see the mountains in the distance!

DCA’s new entrance

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

DCA's new entrance

We finally got to see the new entrance to Disney California Adventure, and think it is an incredible tribute to the entrance to Disney Hollywood Studios in Florida.

Seeing the new entrance also helped us understand why the park’s name was changed from Disney’s California Adventure to Disney California Adventure — there is no possible way that the “‘s” could have fit on the marque. Seriously, it would have been crammed up against the “C” and just looked terrible. Good decision, Disney!

California Zephyr’s New Home

Monday, August 8th, 2011

As Disney California Adventure refurbishment continues, the California Zephyr (which once housed a toy-train store and restaurants selling train-themed baked goods and railroad-flavored ice cream) has been removed, bringing a sincere tear to the eye of many a Disneyland fan.

“It’s like a piece of history has been cut right out of history, and now — it’s history!” said Paula Babble, a former cast member whose lack of eloquence is matched only by a sense of nostalgia so overblown as to essentially be crippling. “I remember back when it was the Viewliner at Disneyland. I road it as a little girl and it was like a dream that I was actually dreaming, about a train and being on a train. I was so happy when they brought it out of storage and put it on display at California Adventure! But now it’s gone, and it’s like they’ve taken my childhood and crushed it and stomped it and ground it to pieces, hitting it with a hammer again, and again, and again until it is nothing more than bright, fragile shards of a ruined dream sprayed across the landscape of my life, threatening to draw blood from any who so much as think of touching a finger to them — only worse!”

Disney has announced that it will donate the California Zephyr to the Gene Autrey Museum of Western Heritage. The museum doesn’t want the train and has nowhere to put it, but Disney needs the tax deduction, so there you go.

New DCA entrance theme

Monday, August 1st, 2011

DCA’s Engine-Ears Toys, Bur-r-r Bank Ice Cream, and Bakersfield Bakery were obliterated today as part of the installation of the park’s new entrance-area theme.

“The new California Adventure entrance experience,” said an imagineer who spoke with us on condition of our pretending he existed, “will be reminiscent of Walt Disney’s early days in California. As of now, with the construction walls up and the stores and set pieces removed, the entrance’s new ‘Disneyland: 1954’ theme is complete. Guests detouring around the new entrance will be able to experience the thrill of passing by Disneyland as it was being built.”

If planned plans continue as planned, this new theme — complete with “workers” performing “construction” — will remain in place until early next year, after which it will be replaced by an even more Disney-historic orange grove.

Secret Carthay Circle club

Monday, July 25th, 2011

Rumors have been confirmed that the Carthay Circle Restaurant — being built at Disney California Adventure to replace the water fountain and scientifically precise model of the sun that once stood at the end of the entrance street — will contain a secret club on a secret second floor. This club, similar to Disneyland’s Club 33, will be a California-themed private venue called Route 66.

The club will feature gourmet food, a “Golden Gate” entry staircase, a telephone booth and memorabilia from the movie Condorman, and a dining room themed to California-native Richard Nixon, complete with microphones in the chandeliers so that behind-the-scenes cast members can record and respond to any guest request at a moment’s notice. One special touch will be a ladies-room commode fashioned from palm fronds.

Membership is already full and the waiting list extends several years into the future, so if you are massively wealthy and interested, you’d best contact DCA management immediately to have your name added. Note that, in keeping with its California theme, Route 66 membership fees are payable only in gold nuggets.


Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

While planning for an upcoming jaunt into Disney California Adventure, we were looking over the DCA map on and noticed that a big change has been made to Maliboomer — it’s invisible! Although the attraction is still listed, you can’t see it on the map at all!

To find out what was going on, we contacted Dr. Professor — a thin white man with disheveled gray hair and a doctorate in comparative accounting from an unaccredited university who sometimes walks around DCA in a lab coat. According to the doctor, “What Disney has done is realize that the so-called ‘Maliboomer’ attraction was, although entertaining, highly visible but artistically unappealing. To address this problem, they painted the entire attraction with infra-red paint that is invisible to the human eye and therefore renders the entire superstructure visually indetectable without highly specialized equipment.” He went on to warn that guests wandering in the area should pay particular attention to signs so that they don’t accidentally smack into one of the towers, and left to study vector equations in Midway Mania.

Thanks, Doctor!