Visit Disney's California Adventure , a 55-acre theme park next door to the fabled progenitor of the modern amusement Mecca, Disneyland , and you will find a noisy reminder of what happens when a company loses its focus and cuts corners, the Los Angeles Times.
The Walt Disney Company built the park on the cheap in 2001, and many rides are copies of familiar carnival workhorses like the Ferris wheel. A lack of landscaping can leave guests sweltering. Outdoor shows were borrowed from other Disney properties. And the theme, built around tributes to California, is modest except for an occasionally unintentional ghost-town atmosphere: The park draws about 6 million visitors a year, a trickle compared with the 15 million who swarm Disneyland.
Now, Disney is embarking on a $1.1 billion, five-year effort to get California Adventure on track. The blueprints call for ripping out ho-hum rides and adding elaborate new ones, rebuilding the park's entrance , a hodgepodge of turnstiles, a miniature Golden Gate Bridge and pastel tile murals , to shift the focus to Disney iconography.
In June, Disney will unveil a glimpse of the shoot-for-the-moon bet it is making on California Adventure's makeover, with the introduction of a ride called Toy Story Mania. More than three years in the making, and estimated to cost about $80 million, the attraction essentially puts guests inside a video game.
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