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The redo of Disney California Adventure Park is really
coming together nicely. As you can see from these shots that Noe took
yesterday, its Pan-Pacific-Auditorium-inspired entrance is getting closer
& closer to completion.
Photo by Noe Valladolid
How close? A quick peek over that Disney-characters-from-the-1930s
construction wall reveals that they're just about to begin laying this theme
park's new paving stones.
Over at the Redwood Challenge Creek Trail, the retheming of
this DCA Opening Day attraction has nearly been completed as well. As you
wander through this wilderness recreation area, you'll find that virtually
every reference to the "Brother Bear" characters have since been removed. Now
it's Russell and Dug from Pixar's 2009 release, "Up" ...
... who serve as the hosts of this extremely hands-on play area.
Where - in order to become a Senior Wilderness Explorer - you must first earn
your badges in rock climbing, tracking, puzzle solving, wolf howling, animal
spirit and bravery.
And speaking of bravery ... I noticed that quite a few brave DCA visitors were
taking part in the soft opening of Goofy's Sky School.
"And what was so brave about doing that?," you ask. Well, if
you're paying really close attention while you're moving through this
attraction's queue, from the parachutes that used to be chicken feed bags ...
... to the hens that are nesting on top of the Fast Pass
... to this ride's control panel (which - if you'll look
closely - has been fashioned out a box that used to hold fresh eggs) ...
... it's clear that Goofy's Sky School - up until just
recently - used to be a chicken farm. In fact, that's what the Official Permit
for this place says. That Goofy has been certified to run a chicken farm. But
Goofy has crossed out the words "chicken farm" and then scribbled in "Flight
Which - you'll have to admit - is a cute little gag. But
what I liked best about this permit that the Paradise Pier Bureau of Farming issued
is who signed it: J. Kinney (as in Jack Kinney, the director of some of Goofy's funniest shorts
from the 1940s & 195os) and A. Bertino (as in legendary
Disney gagman Al Bertino).
The Imagineers did something similar with the patent
application that Goofy has filed for his flying contraption. If you look close,
you'll notice that the patent inspector is P. Colvig ...
... as in Pinto Colvig, the Disney Legend who voiced Goofy
from 1932 through to 1967.
There's a bulletin board in the Goofy's Sky School queue
that also features some additional Disney in-jokes. From a Babbit Employment
Bureau flyer (which is an obvious nod to legendary animator Art Babbit. Who's
often been credited with taking Goofy - who used to be just a background
character in the early Mickey Mouse cartoons - and turning him into a star), a "Notice
to Appear" signed by George Geff (which is the name that Goofy used to go by in
all of his "How to" shorts) as well as a letter signed by Big Al from the Bear
Brothers Backwoods Brewery (Big Al is - of course - the character from the "Country
Bear Jamboree" show that was patterned after Al Bertino).
Mind you, there are lots of great gags that are not Disney
in-jokes stashed in Goofy's Sky School queue. Everything from today's weather
report (i.e. "Breezy with a 90% chance of chickens") to Goofy's instructions when
it comes to how one should fly a plane (i.e. "To descend, press stick forward,
close eyes and scream'").
You'll find similar sorts of signs when you finally board
this rethemed Wild Mouse coaster and then take to the skies. Which are loaded
with all sorts of crucial instructions like "How to Turn" ...
... and - more importantly - "How to Land."
And after spending a few hair-raising moments zooming
through Goofy's Sky School, I could have really used a drink. Unfortunately,
the two restaurants that will make up DCA's new beer garden area (i.e. The
Boardwalk Pizza& Pasta as well as the Paradise Garden Grill) won't be open 'til
sometime later in the week.
But - even so - it was nice to get a chance to take part in
the soft opening of Goofy's Sky School yesterday. If only so that Noe and I
could then be among the first to see all of those great Disney in-jokes that
the Imagineers stashed along the queue. Which will make experiencing this
radically rethemed version of DCA's old Mullholland Madness ride a lot more fun for animation history buffs.
You posted from the future! "Sun, Jun 26 2011 11:04 PM" it's only 9:36 PM now
The park is turning out great. The little details placed over the last year have really made everything stand out.
Only thing I can't stand is that hideous entrance. Not only is it ugly, but I don't understand why they couldn't come up with something original instead of just copying DHS.
I think this coaster is a cheap makeover and not Disney worthy, just like the same coaster in Animal Kingdom (that whole part is just a kick in the face in a otherwise spectacular park). They could have the theme and have a coaster like this in it.
I think the only thing worth to go and visit the park is Cars Land when it´s ready although I´m nut sure if it´s a big pull now the second Cars movie is kind of a let down.
Geef... George Geef... not 'Geff'.
Nice article! I'm a Disney freak ( and "Annual Pass Holder") and have been waiting for this to open for months now. I finally get to try out the new Goofy ride this Saturday and can't wait! I was already a fan of Mulholland Madness so I know this will be well worth the wait ;)
Great article and great pictures.