Sunday, August 24, 2014

Disneys California Adventure TV Special - 8 stars out of 10

Disneys California Adventure TV Special - 8 stars out of 10
January 2001

“Disneys California Adventure TV Special” was a very entertaining way to get to know the park.  Rather than an explanation of the rides or a bunch of big musical numbers to celebrate the opening, this tv special is a mini-movie that has Richard Kind and Barry Bostwick searching the park for Michael Eisner and two dimwitted cops (Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood) trying to track them down.  Throughout the course of the story, we experience most of the attractions, get a general feel for the park, and laugh.  By the end of the special, you’ll be itching to visit this unique theme park (which is a true testament to the park’s success, considering the negative reviews and attendance failure that loomed over the first few years of the park).  The pacing of the film is good, exploring each land and of course ending with California Screamin’.  Even though it seems like the park is too young to have a nostalgia factor, it does due to the amount of retheming that occurred when Bob Iger took over.  For guests who have still never been to the park today, this special definitely painted a pretty picture of the park and made me realize that there is a lot more there than I previously thought.  The park pulls many things from Disney Hollywood Studios but is definitely not a clone.  There are clever new ideas like Soarin’ and Grizzly River Run, as well as new additions that weren’t around at the time of this special.  There are also several iconic monuments here like Grizzly Peak, the Golden Gate Bridge, and that amazing ferris wheel.  The tv special isn’t an opening celebration like the others and there are no 1,076 member marching bands or balloons, but it doesn’t pretend to be that; instead, this special is a very clever piece of advertising that will easily hold your attention for 42 minutes.

[Pictured: The original Paradise Pier section of Disneys California Adventure]

Other Park Opening TV Specials:

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