The first time I visited what was then known as Disney’s California Adventure was in the spring of 2001. I was in high school, and the park was shiny and new. Having only opened a couple months prior, it was basically untouched. Part of that was due to a woeful lack of attendance. My visit took place on a Friday evening in what would have been spring break for some families, and even then I remember looking around and thinking, “Damn, this place is a ghost town.”
Danny and me, on our most recent visit to Disney California Adventure
Disney’s California Adventure was not the park that SoCal locals wanted, and it was not the park they were promised by Disney. In the late ’80s, Disney shopped the idea of another park not just to Anaheim, but to neighboring cities as well. Long Beach was in heavy consideration for a park called Port Disney. Eventually, the city of Anaheim won out by offering sweetheart tax breaks and large investments from the city in exchange for what should have been a $3.1B theme park. In 1995, the company’s plans for a second California theme park called WestCOT, first announced in 1991, finally fell through. But the idea of a second park remained. In 1996, Disney struck a deal with the city of Anaheim that would keep them from collecting and paying to the city a “gate tax” on theme park admission for the next 20 years with the promise of a second theme park. However, the new plans for a $1.4B park called Disney’s California Adventure were lackluster compared to the pie-in-the-sky WestCOT. Continue reading
We here at Hyperion Papers would like to send a heartfelt thank you to all of the soldiers who are serving, have served or have fallen in service to the United States of America and elsewhere in the world on this Veteran’s/Remembrance Day. Continue reading
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! That is, it’s planning season for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. The Festival Marketplace menus were announced yesterday, and we want to take a look at what’s new, what’s returning, and what’s off the menu for 2014. We’ll also share our opinions, because such things surely must matter.
Culinary Demonstration with Chef Phillip Ponticelli: Pan-Seared Florida Shrimp with Tomato Egg Fettuccini and Tomato Basil Water
Tonight, I’m going to have a scotch on the rocks (and I mean ice), and watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Thanks for giving me my favorite movie, Bob.
Filed under News, Opinion
Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers in Saving Mr. Banks (2013)
The first trailer for Saving Mr. Banks is now online! We were very excited to get our first glimpse of Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson as Walt Disney and P.L. Travers. The trailer has definitely made us excited for the upcoming film, which releases in the USA on 13 December, 2013. Continue reading
With the grand unveiling of California Adventure’s Cars Land all of those many months ago, there was much excitement and fanfare. The reviews were immediate and prevalent, both in traditional media and the blogosphere. Now, time has passed, Cars Land has become a Disney Parks must see, and the focus has shifted from ‘can’t wait’ to ‘what’s next’. The rumors are fairly convincing that Hollywood Studios is going to get a serious look. With the move of the Imagineering visionary behind Cars Land from California to the Disney World properties, it seems like Orlando may be getting a shot in the arm. As such, Hollywood Studios might just be the next Disney property to get a much needed, long overdue overhaul.
When Danny and I lived in New Jersey, we had a very rigid first-day tradition for our Walt Disney World vacations. We would take the earliest flight we could out of whichever Metro-NYC airport was offering the best price and earliest arrival time. We would hightail it to the Magic Kingdom for the afternoon, then take an evening dinner at one of the signature restaurants on the monorail loop. Now that we live in Montana, our first day entails a lot more travel time and more chance for delays, so parks aren’t really part of the arrival-day equation anymore. That, paired with the $10 per person credit card hold for signature restaurant reservations, means that we now look for something much more casual and flexible for our arrival night dinner.
On our last Walt Disney World vacation, our first meal of the trip was dinner at Olivia’s Café. We were so pleasantly surprised by this unassuming spot at the Old Key West resort that we booked it again for the first dinner of our upcoming visit. Located in the Hospitality House at Old Key West, Olivia’s is a cozy café with a casual feel, adorned with beachy decor, postcards and photos of actual Disney Vacation Club members.
Olivia’s Dining Room
The Disney Curmudgeon is a weekly op-ed piece from your friendly Hyperion Papers admin staff. I use this space to publicly rant about things that bother me, sometimes about Disney Parks, sometimes about Disney entertainment, but usually about the online Disney community. Obviously my opinions do not reflect those of the Disney Corporation, and it would be presumptuous for me to think that Disney would even care about my lunatic ravings, but they should, on both counts. What follows is my honest assessment on a topic that I find irksome. The disclaimer: I will keep my columns PG-13, but there will be the occasional light profanity, and sometimes, I may even allude to something a bit lewd. If I offend you in any way, feel free to let me know in the comments, but I did give you fair warning.
The following piece will be a new weekly column on The Hyperion Papers where I, Danny, will express some disgruntled opinions about something Disney-related that I find irksome. Look for it every Monday evening, and feel free to drop me your opinion on my musings in the comments. I may even use it for fodder in future posts.
Princess Merida of Pixar’s Brave is not your archetypal princess. Hers is a coming-of-age story about familial love, defying gender roles, and dealing with expectations that may fly in the face of your true desires.
Merida as she appeared in Pixar’s Brave.