Walt Disney World
Walt Disney--The Man
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The 67 acre theme park - built during the 'Disney Decade', a growth initiative of former Walt Disney Company CEO Michael Eisner - was designed as part of a major expansion that transformed the Disneyland area and its hotels into the Disneyland Resort. Whereas the original 85 acre Disneyland Park contains eight themed "lands," Disney California Adventure is divided into eight themed "districts": Buena Vista Street, Hollywood Land, Grizzly Peak, Pacific Wharf, "a bug's land," Cars Land, Condor Flats, and Paradise Pier. Each district is meant to resemble various aspects of Californian culture and landmarks, both stylized and idealized.
In October 2007, the Walt Disney Company announced a $1.1 billion re-construction of the park (against its initial $600 million price to build) to counter initial criticisms that the park lacked the immersion, character experience, and timelessness of Disneyland Park. As a result of the initiative, each district was re-imagined to transform the park from a veritable spoof of modern California culture to a romanticized, idealized version of the state exploring specific time-periods and historic settings. For example, the park's Paradise Pier (originally a modern, seaside carnival-style wharf with comedic midway games and rides like Maliboomer and Mulholland Madness) was re-themed to a Victorian Era pier with flashing incandescent light bulbs, classic midway games with Disney character references, and the Toy Story Midway Mania interactive attraction. The project also includes the creation of the new Cars Land scheduled to open Summer 2012. The ambitious re-construction project began in December of 2007, and will be completed on June 14th 2012.
In 1991, Disney announced a plan to build a second gate in Anaheim, WestCOT, a west coast iteration of Epcot, in place of the existing Disneyland main parking lot, but due to various reasons the project was canceled in 1995, which led to the idea of Disney's California Adventure (DCA), a park to celebrate and pay tribute to California, providing a similar experience to stepping inside a California postcard. DCA was part of the plan to expand the one park property and convert it into a greater, multi-day vacation resort destination which would be able to appeal to a greater audience - similar to Walt Disney World resort.
The construction of DCA began in 1998, as part of the Disneyland Resort expansion project . DCA occupies the site of the former parking lot for 5,000 vehicles, and parking is now provided in the multi-level "Mickey and Friends" parking structure, giving space for more than 10,000 vehicles
Note: Disney Park History is still under construction, so considering there are many duplicate attractions, for information on individual lands and attractions see the Walt Disney World section of the site.