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DCA 1.0 Memorial Thread

PerceptiveCoot

Veteran Member
Jul 13, 2018
1,539
Sitting at home here in Nevada, I suddenly got very sentimental for the time when my family lived in California, where we would often visit California Adventure, often more so than we visited Disneyland proper. For all its flaws, my sister and I had a great time there as kids, with it containing most of our favorite rides and restaurants at the park, including...

Tower of Terror, Soarin', California Screamin', Muppet Vision 3D, The California Zephyr Ice Cream Shop, and, yes, even Mulholland Madness

As terrible as the park may have been, it was the stage for many of my formative childhood memories and the beginning of my love for theme parks. Much has changed about the park, for better and for worse, but I figured DCA 1.0 deserved a place on the forums for people to share their love, or perhaps hatred, of the original park.
 

Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,280
Pittsburgh area
Never went, but from what I've seen it on Mice Chat Yesterday posts, it would have been a disappointment to me since it definitely wasn't Disney level. Kind of reminded me of an amusement park, just brand new.
 

PerceptiveCoot

Veteran Member
Jul 13, 2018
1,539
Never went, but from what I've seen it on Mice Chat Yesterday posts, it would have been a disappointment to me since it definitely wasn't Disney level. Kind of reminded me of an amusement park, just brand new.
I can definitely imagine being disappointed as an adult. Maybe since it was my first theme park I enjoyed it more without any expectations.

I personally never understood the complaint that there wasn't enough for kids though, although that that might reflect more on my own lack of fear in tackling big rides.

Personally, from an adult perspective, the park was mixed bag, certainly not the worst park in the world (*cough* Disney Studios Paris *cough*). Grizzly Peak, Condor Flats, some of Paradise Pier, and Pacific Wharf still hold up, while Sunshine Plaza (besides the train) and Hollywood Pictures Backlot were eyesores and deserved all the criticism they got.
 

shiekra38

Legendary Member
Dec 13, 2009
13,870
Florida
Sitting at home here in Nevada, I suddenly got very sentimental for the time when my family lived in California, where we would often visit California Adventure, often more so than we visited Disneyland proper. For all its flaws, my sister and I had a great time there as kids, with it containing most of our favorite rides and restaurants at the park, including...

Tower of Terror, Soarin', California Screamin', Muppet Vision 3D, The California Zephyr Ice Cream Shop, and, yes, even Mulholland Madness

As terrible as the park may have been, it was the stage for many of my formative childhood memories and the beginning of my love for theme parks. Much has changed about the park, for better and for worse, but I figured DCA 1.0 deserved a place on the forums for people to share their love, or perhaps hatred, of the original park.
DCA was the Dinoland USA of theme parks

It was a love it or hate it type of experience.

Personally I think Grisley River Run is underrated

DCA 1.0 was wacky and weird and campy.

The big issue is that Disney transports you normally to different time periods and places that seem foreign.

DCA 1.0 transported you to current and approached the idea of "tribute" from more of parody perspective and capitalized on kitschy aesthetic.

It's like, could I theme a store to a Clearwater/Daytona Beach surf shop with fluorescent lights, bad carpet, and spray painted gangster spongebob prints? Sure, I could, but there is nothing fantastical about that. It's real life. I can experience that for real.

All that said, I can't say that I didn't find DCA 1.0 oddly charming. If it wasn't next door to freaking Disneyland, I think it would be interpreted more fondly.
 
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OhHaiInternet95

Veteran Member
Aug 18, 2017
4,257
DCA was the Dinoland USA of theme parks

It was a love it or hate it type of experience.

Personally I think Grisley River Run is underrated

DCA 1.0 was wacky and weird and campy.

The big issue is that Disney transports you normally to different time periods and places that seem foreign.

DCA 1.0 transported you to current and approached the idea of "tribute" from more of parody perspective and capitalized on kitschy aesthetic.

It's like, could I theme a store to a Clearwater/Daytona Beach surf shop with fluorescent lights, bad carpet, and spray painted gangster spongebob prints? Sure, I could, but there is nothing fantastical about that. It's real life. I can experience that for real.

All that said, I can't say that I didn't find DCA 1.0 oddly charming. If it wasn't next door to freaking Disneyland, I think it would be interpreted more fondly.
I wish people could separate the non-Dinorama parts of Dinoland from, well, Dinorama.
 

OhHaiInternet95

Veteran Member
Aug 18, 2017
4,257

Disneyhead

Legendary Member
Jul 24, 2008
11,417
Orlando, FL
I have some DCA 1.0 collectibles. And oddly enough all the stuff it's representing is gone.

Here is a snowglobe showing the entrance with the big CALIFORNIA letters, the monorail crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and the Sun Icon.



And I have a bunch of King Triton's Carousel plush, a wind-up carousel, and a KTC picture frame.



And here is my favorite Universal collectible.

 
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Mad Dog

Premium Member
Jan 30, 2013
20,280
Pittsburgh area

A good recap on opening day DCA.
love that article. I knew most of the info but it was interesting reading to have it all put together in two very long and detailed articles. Thanks for the find. :thumbsup:
 

Ryan

Staff member
Moderator
May 23, 2013
4,441
That is NOT DCA 1.0. Original DCA had Superstar Limo, Soap Opera Bistro, Steps in Time, Eureka, and about 1000 restaurants.
We went in April 2001 for the first time and we were absolutely stunned that we were ready to leave at 2PM after arriving at 8AM. We spent the bulk of time in the Animation pavilion, about 45 minutes. People forget that the park had so little in E-Tickets, which were just three, and these were barebones: Grizzly, Screamin and Soarin. The lack of lines made these one-and-done in 5 minutes each. The two 3D shows were 10 to 20 minutes of time filler and our group didn't even bother with Golden Dreams or Steps in Time. I'm thankful to this day that we actually experienced Superstar Limo as I would've never ridden it otherwise. That was also done in 5 minutes, and everybody thought it was ridiculous. We knew we were bored when after eating corn dogs at 1PM, we were watching a juggler at the then Golden State Ampitheatre. We left just as Eureka started.

It's hard to say how long DCA 1.0 lasted, but I think it's safe to say it died around 2002 when they started throwing everything at it (and shutting the problem children down). Might have not been great fixes, but when I went back in August 2002, we highly enjoyed Blast and Millionaire. so there's something. I'd say Bugs Land/ToT is the soft approach to DCA 1.5.
 

deadbydawn

Member
Mar 23, 2015
592
Orange County, CA
Man, DCA 1.0 was weird. Anyone else remember the farming area and non-moving tractor photo-op? Thrilling. How about the miniature version of the X-Games they hosted? Complete with full size halfpipe in the lagoon.

I remember going to Burger Invasion next to Mulholland Madness pretty frequently when I was in high school and thinking it wasn't "that bad" of a deal compared to the McDonald's on Harbor. I also recall the giant hamburger signage looming for another year or so after it closed.

Jim Hill did a great multi-series write up that is a pretty fascinating look at the fall of WestCOT and how we ended up with DCA 1.0.
 
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Jerroddragon

V.I.P.
Jun 27, 2017
2,599
It's hard for me to know if why I liked DCA so much from Day one, it was not near where it should be but I still like parts of it.
The Three E tickets I think were great, Grizzly, Soarin, and Screamin.

The music on in the park, I enjoyed. I know the new stuff fits better with the themes but the music gave me songs that I could listen to at home and it would make me feel like I'm at the park.

The Letters out side the park were tacky but everyone loved to take pictures with them and so did I.

It still blows my mind that Hollywood had a bunch of land that was used day one and either replaced by something not ment to be there or is just empty. That land needs work and Disney has ignored it for 15 years now
 
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