Visitors to Disney's California Adventure on February 8th were all but oblivious to the fact that it was celebrating its 9th birthday. No announcements, no special posters, in fact, no mention anywhere. Not what anyone would expect from the theme park resort after a nearly 3-year-long celebration of Disneyland's 50th Anniversary; it seems like random new ice cream flavors on Mainstreet U.S.A. get more credit than the "step child" of the Disneyland franchise.
While some enthusiasts are left wondering why this day passed in complete obscurity, others have their own ideas. ""Happy Birthday DCA! Hope this next year is better than all of your past nine!" says DisneyGeek138 on micechat.com, referring to the massive overhaul that is currently under construction -- new Cars Land, Little Mermaid E-Ticket ride, and the World of Color show. Still others were skeptical, as many have been after Disney announced the opening of its second park on the Disneyland Resort.
California Adventure has been under construction, it seems, since it opened, with park officials trying to get a hold on visitor's expectations. Part of the reason for the underwhelming feeling park-goers are left with could be due to visitors expecting a "second Disneyland", when the park was intended to be a place where a more mature audience could enjoy themselves. However, with the additions to the park like the new Cars Land, and past additions like the interactive show featuring Crush from "Finding Nemo," the park could be considered the Pixar alternative to the beloved Disney getaway.
After all, the new generation has grown up with a new group of classics -- Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Cars, Up, The Incredibles, to name a few. While Disneyland will always hold the enchantment of its classics and the imagineering of the future, California Adventure seems to be shaping up as its "New Age" Pixar counterpart.